Zidrova

Zidrova is a planet in the solar system Hazhor. It has one moon, Gina (the G is hard).

The sapients belong to a species called the Ritoni. The Ritoni have six tentacles for crawling on land, two hands, a tail like a brontosaur's, and an elongated mouth with 36 teeth and a tongue. Ritoni have no external ears. They are a peach color. Their eyes are round and blue. A hole in their back called a baqsra allows the spraying of pheromones. Ritoni are 3'3" long at their adult height. They weigh an average of 71 pounds. A male Ritoni has an umbrella-shaped sexual appendage called an asrkiłtë, the equivalent of the penis, while a female Ritoni has two round appendages called jhetlazhkës, the equivalent of a clitoris.

The Ritoni are extremely homogeneous. 96.2% of members of this sapient species share the same culture, beliefs, likes and dislikes. It is understood what to do in any given situation. It is also understood without the need to be linguistically specific what another Ritoni wants in a certain situation. In fact, sociologists are in a dispute as to whether Ritoni culture even counts as a culture.

The Ritoni do have division of labor, with doctors, chefs, sailors, seamsters/seamstresses and soldiers (who protect Zidrova against invaders from other planets). The majority, however, are employed waiting on and serving others.

The courtship of the Ritoni is strictly ritualized and follows a strict pattern. A male and female Ritoni will begin dating by asking predictable questions. They touch their hands to each other's hands and their tentacles to each other's tentacles one by one. After a while two Ritoni who choose to get married will go to a platform called a blhaqha and dance towards it step by step. The male then sprays pheromones on the female and their tentacles meet.

One half a year of pregnancy produces twins. All babies are conceived during the summer. Upon birth, each child receives a predictable name based on his or her unique scent. The parents will then raise their child until it becomes strong enough to have a job (which is usually some time around its fifth birthday). At the age of 8.5 a Ritoni enters puberty (although this is delayed for Ritoni without adequate food). A Ritoni finishes growing up by the age of 12.

All dead are cremated. The ashes of the deceased Ritoni are then placed in a chonhdra, a square box with zigzag markings. The Ritoni believe they will have an afterlife. In the afterlife, they say, there will be no pain, sweat or defecation. There will also be an endless supply of food.

Male Ritoni wear loincloths to cover the asrkiłtë; female Ritoni wear two cymbal-shaped pieces of metal called droghi to cover their jhetlazhkës. All wear shawls at lounging time.

The Ritoni live on animals, grains, fruits, vegetables, and algae. The Ritoni have four meals a day. In each meal, they eat their courses in a predictable order. They start with a bowl of alcohol. Then they will eat any sea animals in the meal if there is seafood, then algae, then grains, then fruit, then land animals, then vegetables, then air animals. They will then finish the meal with another alcohol dish.

The Ritoni spend a lot of time lounging on furniture, reading and chatting in the qozhdacchë, a Ritoni social room. A favorite pastime of theirs is writing poetry. The poems, although different from each other, all come from beings with the exact same mindset, so when a Ritoni reads another's poetry, there is a feeling like reading your own thoughts. The beauty of nature is a favorite theme in these poems.

About 3.8% of the Ritoni population consists of what are called a'uvtlhi, or "mutants". These are people who had enough of a mutation in their genetic code when their DNA was being transcribed that they do not share the same intuitive mind as 96.2% of Ritoni. These people often develop language that diverges too much from Ritoniqa Dzhapa'u for them to be understood, or maybe they simply do not think like most Ritoni, or lack a theory of mind. Many of these are LGBT or asexual Ritoni who could never fit into the heteronormative Ritoni mating and dating rituals. On rare occasions, a mutant's ageing development is off, so that s/he reaches puberty too early, or so that s/he continues to have the mind of an infant or child Ritoni all her/his life. The mutants are banished from Ritoni society, and go off to fend for themselves in the wilderness. Sometimes they form small mutant campsite communities. One of these communities is called an a'uvtlharcchagh.

There are 8 billion Ritoni living on Zidrova in all.

The Ritoni call their language Ritoniqa Dzhapa'u, or "Ritoni language". It is a VOS language. It is controversial whether Ritoni even counts as a language, with all the words and grammar being genetically transmitted to offspring so that they know how to speak it fluently as soon as their brains and mouths have developed enough.

The phonemes of Ritoniqa Dzhapa'u roughly resemble those of human languages, but with their longer mouths, the Ritoni have allophones of these familiar sounds that are, for instance, halfway between [ɟ] and [g]:

Consonants:

m /m/
p /p/
b /b/
f /f/
v /v/
n /n/
t /t/
d /d/
s /s/
z /z/
r /ɾ/
lh /ɬ/
lj /ɮ/
l /l/
ts /ts/
dz /dz/
tlh /tɬ/
sh /ʃ/
zh /ʒ/
tsh /tʃ/
dzh /dʒ/
nr /ɳ/
tr /ʈ/
dr /ɖ/
sr /ʂ/
zr /ʐ/
ny /ɲ/
c /c/
j /ɟ/
ch /ç/
jh /ʝ/
y /j/
ly /ʎ/
cch /cç/
jjh /ɟʝ/
ng /ŋ/
k /k/
g /g/
kh /x/
gh /ɣ/
ł /ʟ/
nh /ɴ/
q /q/
x /ɢ/
qh /χ/
xh /ʁ/
qqh /qχ/
xxh /ɢʁ/
hh /ħ/
' /ʔ/
h /h/

Vowels:

i /i/
e /e/
a /ä/
o /o/
u /u/
ë /ə/

The names for natural objects and plant and animal species are all formed by predictable formulae.

Names for (golden) plant species have five slots: CVCVC: (1) ethnobotanical use/fruit or vegetable type; (2) form of plant (tree, shrub, etc.); (3) color; (4) taste; and (5) shape of the plant or of the relevant/used part.

First slot:

m: algae
v: carbohydrate plants (pseudograins)
t: pome fruits
d: drupes
n: berries
s: pepos
r: hesperidiums
lh: aggregate fruits
ts: multiple fruits
dz: capsules
tlh: fregetables
sh: leaf vegetables
zh: flower vegetables
tr: pod vegetables
dr: bulb vegetables
sr: stem vegetables
zr: root vegetables
ny: tubers
c: spices
j: infusion plants
ch: sweet plants
jh: intoxicating drug plants
ch: succulents
ng: protein plants (inc. nuts)
k: fiber plants
g: ornamental flowers
kh: wood plants
gh: medical plants
q: poison plants
x: weeds

Second slot:

i: tree
e: shrub
a: vine
o: odzh (equivalent of grass)
u: algae

Third slot:

p: magenta
b: burgundy
f: pink
v: red
t: peach
d: orange
lh: tan
lj: brown
ts: white
sh: golden
tlh: grey
xxh: black
tr: cream
dr: yellow
j: green
k: aqua
g: turquoise
q: light blue
x: blue
hh: indigo
': lavender
h: purple
dzh: spotted
jjh: striped

Fourth slot:

i: sweet
e: salty
a: umami
o: sour
u: bitter
ë: inedible

Fifth slot:

m: ellipse (two-dimensional)
b: circle
v: triangle
n: square
d: rectangle
z: rhombus
r: trapezoid
dz: pentagon
zh: hexagon
dzh: octagon
dr: arch
zr: crescent
j: heart
jh: star
g: terete
gh: almond
x: wavy
': teardrop
p: sphere
f: oval (three-dimensional)
t: dome
s: cube
sh: cuboid
tsh: cone
tr: pyramid
sr: cylinder
c: tetrahedron
ch: octahedron
k: prism
kh: cucumber
cch: botryoidal
qh: irregular

Names for animal species have six slots: CVCVCV: (1) number of legs; (2) habitat (water, air, etc.); (3) color; (4) basic body plan/phylum; (5) distinguishing features; and (6) diet. More than one consonant may be in the distinguishing features slot.

First slot:

z: no limbs
m: 2 legs/arms/flippers
b: 2 legs + 2 arms/wings
t: 4 legs
c: 4 legs + 2 hands
j: 4 legs + 2 wings
ny: 4 legs + 4 wings
y: 5 legs
lh: 6 legs
r: 6 legs + 2 hands
lj: 6 legs + 2 wings
l: 6 legs + 4 wings
ts: 7 legs
k: 8 legs
g: 8 legs + 2 hands
kh: 8 legs + 2 wings
ł: 9 legs
q: 10 legs
x: 12 legs
h: 14+ legs

Second slot:

u: water
i: land
a: air
o: amphibious
ë: parasite

Third slot:

p: magenta
b: burgundy
f: pink
v: red
t: peach
d: orange
lh: tan
lj: brown
ts: white
sh: golden
tlh: grey
xxh: black
tr: cream
dr: yellow
j: green
k: aqua
g: turquoise
q: light blue
x: blue
hh: indigo
': lavender
h: purple
dzh: spotted
jjh: striped

Fourth slot:

u: uxesh (the malacologue phylum on Zidrova)
i: ixesh (the arthrologue phylum on Zidrova)
a: tetrachordate (animals with a spinal chord and cephalopod-like tentacles for limbs)
e: worm
o: radiate
ë: other

Fifth slot:

ł: long ears
lh: horn(s)
m: muzzle
n: baqsra
nr: antlers
sh: proboscis
v: fangs
z: tusk(s)
zr: stinger
ch: hair/fur
kh: spikes/quills
cch: blowhole
jjh: feathers
dzh: ridge on back
tr: baleen
dr: plates on back
p: pouch
b: ossicones
t: spinnerets
c: shell
j: flippers
q: beak
': none

Sixth slot:

i: omnivore
e: nectarivore
a: carnivore
o: granivore
u: herbivore
ë: filter-feeder

The Ritoni gather many golden algae and golden plants to eat. Edible golden algae include the mushex and mushaf; odzins (the carbohydrate grain-analogue order of plants on Zidrova) include the voshaz, voljef, vodrev, votsam, vovij, voljim, and voka'; pome fruits include the tiship, tijip and tivi'; drupes include the dixi', dibif, dibił, didrip, dedrif, dijjhif, dihip, dadif, deship, dilji', and didzhikh; berries (in the botanical sense of the word) include the naxip, navop, nehij, nehi', nitsig, nijiqh, nidikh, and nidrif; pepos include the sajjhif, satlhif, and seqif; hesperidia include the ritrop, ridrop, ridof, rivo', ripojh, and ripi'; aggregate fruits include the lhijicch, lhevicch, and lhajiv; multiple fruits include the tsishop, tsiljij, tsejig, and tsixir; capsules include the dziviqh, dzidrev, dzidrig, and dzijet; fregetables include the tlhishe', tlhive', tlhashez, and tlhajuf; leaf vegetables include the shevej, sheshav, sheshex, shepep, and shehep; flower vegetables include the zhe'up, zhashej, and zhedzhe'; pod vegetables include the tradreb and treshap; bulb vegetables include the dretsu' and drehe'; stem vegetables include the sretsisr and srevukh; root vegetables include the zradetr, zratsesr, and zraljuj; tubers include the nyavif, nyaljacch, nyalhej, and nyahu'; spices include the cihicch, cixxhacch, and cexxhijh; infusion plants include the jeshij and jeshiv; plants used for sweets include the chitrit, chahiqh, and chotsisr; and protein plants include the ngilhekh, ngiljep, ngavat, ngalhezr, ngejadzh, ngolhek, and ngetrac.

Golden plants are used for many other purposes as well. Medical plants include the ghivi', ghitlhuqh, gheshukh, and ghotsutsh. Plants used for recreational and entheogenic drugs include the jhedzhip (jhedzhipine), jhejukh (jhejukhine), and jheljuj (jheljujine). Plants grown for their fiber include the kitsëqh, kitrëqh, ketsëqh, and kalhëg. Plants prized for their ornamental flowers include the getsëg, getsësr, gedëcch, geqëqh, gehëgh, gepëqh, gejjhëjh, givëj, getëjh, and gedrëjh. Trees used for their wood include the khiljëv, khilhë', khivëd, khitlhëb, khixxhëqh, and khitsëkh.

There are a number of well-recognized succulent species in the desert: the chepësr, chepëp, chetsëtr, and chedëjh.

Plants to be avoided because they are poisonous include the qidzhëtr, qitsëp, qedrëv, and qashëj. The xevëjh, xedrë, and xedzhëkh are considered weeds.

Some animals are also used by the Ritoni, or kept as pets. The jaxajjhbqu produces eggs, and also has a delicious meat; same with the jahalhjjhqu. The lhiljachi and the amphibious lhotrachbu are pack animals and can be ridden. The lhitsalhchu has a white wool that can be shorn into textoles for the Ritoni, whole the lhitrałlhchu provides a cream wool. The lhitlhchu is hunted for its meat and leather. Popular seafood includes the zuvokhë, zuvechë, zivucu, zutrucë, zulhucë, zutlhucë, tutsuvca, kuljunca, zutlhukhca, tuxunca, tu'ucji, tsujhuci, xutuqi, kujjhucu, tulhucji, kov'iu, kutichkhë, and, when it can be hunted successfully, the yuva'u. The tivałmcha, titlhamcha, tiljanche, titsachu, titsałchu, tidzhałchu, lhiljachu, tiljachkhi, jajjhajjhqi, javanjjhqu, and nyafajjhqe are all kept as pets.

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