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 LIFE cycle

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Number of posts : 29
Age : 26
Registration date : 2009-02-02

PostSubject: LIFE cycle   Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:15 am

All kuijins give live birth, whether their soul is a mammal, an insect or a fish, which means that the young are not born within eggs. Instead, they're born still inside the amniotic sack (after around seven months of gestation), which the parents have to cut open to retrieve the newborn. This sack is particularly tough because it must protect the unborn child, and kuijin mothers are known to have a particularly rough time of it when pregnant*. At birth, all kuijin are still hairless/featherless/scaleless/etc.less and have their eyes closed, though they of course already possess the basic shape of their soul animal.
What they look like during their growth depends on the soul animal they have been given**. However, hair begins its growth as soon as they are born, beginning to show in the first few weeks. Feathers take longer and may not show until a month after the birth. Scales grow beneath the first skin and are finished in around two months, but once the first skin is discarded, these new scales must still harden. Eyes open around the end of the second month, and soon after the child begins to move around on its own.
Kuijin young are very much like human children in that they seek to touch, hold, bite everything in the near or far vicinity. They learn to walk much more quickly, however, since their being usually quadrupedal when young (unless, of course, their soul animal is legless or has more than four legs) gives them more balance; this means that they take in their surroundings earlier than a young human would.
They continue their growth in a similar way to the human (same general mental changes, physical changes depend on the soul animal). At around four to five years, their parents begin to teach them how to morph. By then most children have already discovered and tampered with this power, but this usually leads to simple games - this discovery has seldom seen disastrous consequences (though it has happened that the child became stuck in an uncomfortable or dangerous morph, or that it was seen by a human and lead to its family being hunted down or chased away), and the parents need to show them how to improve the speed and quality of their morph, and also encourage them to choose a second form, the one they will use most. Some young are more skilled at using their powers than others, but all learn how to concentrate and change specific things in their appearance.
Kuijins reach sexual maturity at around ten years of age, though most choose a mate later on, at eighteen, twenty, even twenty-five years. Some never choose mates, either because they prefer living on their own or because, like certain humans, they discover themselves to be homosexuals. Most kuijins have their young between twenty and forty years.
Kuijins are in their prime from age thirty to fifty, and then slowly lose their physical and mental capacities. Most become too weak to survive or are discovered and so die around the age of sixty.

* When a kuijin becomes pregnant, morphing becomes increasingly difficult, and sometimes an automatic comeback (return to base form) may even occur. This makes a kuijin mother's integration into society very difficult, so they usually hide through this period until the child is born and they regain their strength and stability. The amniotic sack is consequently thicker and so more protective to keep the child from being too badly injured if ever the mother falls during a swift escape.
** It is said that the Gods are the ones who gifted the kuijins with these souls (more on this in Legends and Religion).
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