Old Age Among the Liir

From SotS


Liir achieve “Elder” status after having lived for more than three hundred years. At this point they are over 5 meters in length and usually weigh well over 200 kilograms. Liir who have reached this venerable age generally retire from any profession which might put them personally at risk and adopt a monastic lifestyle. The older a Liir becomes, the less likely it is to reproduce. Although Liir elders can both birth and father children simultaneously, they are far less likely to do either than younger Liir. Infant Liir only come in one size, and it becomes increasingly difficult for an increasingly massive Liir to tend to its own infants as it grows beyond the size of an adult blue whale.

At a certain point elder Liir become far more interested in educating and nurturing children than in producing them.

In general, their days are spent contemplating the mysteries of the universe, composing songs and poems, maintaining the oral tradition of the species and instructing the young in matters of ethics, morality and proper conduct as a sentient being. No Liirian philosopher is taken seriously before the age of 400.

Any given Elder will usually be surrounded by a cloud of younger Liir, who listen to the songs, ask questions and telepathically explore the complexities and subtleties of the Elder’s mind. This period of “swimming alongside” is considered a vitally necessary part of any young person’s education. The aged are highly revered in all Liirian subcultures and younger Liir will gladly sacrifice their own lives or embrace great personal risk to protect an Elder from any possible harm. Their ancestors are living treasures in their eyes. A sizable number of Liir spacers regard their service as a duty to the species and volunteer to “scout the empty sea” in order to protect the Elders who must remain behind on Muur.

A portrait of a Liirian elder
Click image to enlarge
Decisions regarding government and policy are largely made by Elders.

All Liir, from the greatest to the smallest, have a voice in government. But because Elders are the strongest, the wisest and the deepest among them, their voices are stronger and louder.

In addition, each Liir world has one Elder who is the largest, the most ancient and most powerful. In general this Liir is given a title of respect by others upon that world ("Eldest"). Liir from other worlds often refer to the Eldest upon that world by the name for the whole planet—so the Eldest of Planet Muur is "Muur", with the implied presumption that he speaks for all of Muur.

When you play the game as the Liir you assume the role of a new Eldest—the leader of the Black Swimmers. You are the wisest, the strongest, the largest and loudest voice of the deep—those who follow you will call you Eldest, but planet-bound Liir would refer to you as The Black.

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