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Sprygan-Human Hybrid Anatomy and Physiology

In dissecting hybrids we’ve learned these “gifts” to be associated with brain regions. When the composition of part of the brain is more plant-like, as the sprygans’ brains, the hybrid inherits more sprygan gifts. Similarly, we’ve found that certain personality difference exist with each of these different regions, allowing us to predict behavior based upon the gifts a hybrid has. Following is a list of brain regions and the gifts and traits associated with them.

The Brain

Front-Brain – The gifts of effacer and impartation tend to manifest when the front-brain is more sprygan. In addition, those with a sprygan front-brain tend to be very communal in nature, having a strong sense of loyalty—these are not “deep” connections, rather strong bonds like those in animal packs. If a fellow dies, these sprygans will react in a practical manner as an animal does—to kill the perpetrator if it’s a threat or acknowledge that the fellow needed to be killed.

Impartation being the much rarer of the two already rare gifts, is less studied, but consistently with this we see root tendrils that exist even without head injuries, at all times. They originate in the front brain but spread into the other regions of the brain. These hybrids have a much more emotive reaction to threats against the community than other hybrids. They develop the same pack-like connections, but also develop a fiery passion for each member of their “flock,” even such members that they have only just met and know nothing of. We call this “Arbor Sickness,” as when they learn of the Nameless’ treatment, they become entirely useless to us, even when subjected to great pain. It is similar to the state of sprygans described in the histories when arbors have been burned or violated.

Low-Brain – The sensory gifts, keenears and keenscent are found when the low-brain is more sprygan. These are the most common gifts, and explains why so many hybrids have instinctual behaviors. They exhibit possessive, territorial and hunting tendencies not present in others. This makes them excellent assassins but causes some issues when we attempt to establish laws in their populous. The idea of governance or punishment of crimes is foreign to them. They adhere to “natural law.”

Upper-Brain – The two gifts of sight, heartseer and nightseer, are found when the upper-brain is more sprygan-like. In addition, for those with nightseer, it seems to provide a good sense of direction, and a distinct sense of wanting to return “home,” almost like migratory birds.

For those we have deemed Waiters—having the gifts of heartfire and impartation—when they also have nightseer, are able to guide us to the fallen stars that the Auldtree so wishes us to study. However, the effects these fallen stars have on Waiters is lethal, so great care must be taken.

A sprygan high-brain can also be associated with difficulties learning human language and an averseness to mechanics and complex tools. This can be overcome to an extent if the hybrid is properly motivated, making it imperative to force the bond between Waiters and Watchers, lest we have no leverage to bring them to their potential.

If little enough of this upper-brain region is left human, deep bonds do become difficult to cultivate. This symptom was difficult to see for some time as they are keenly aware of the difference and perfectly able to act as if they have such bonds until it no longer suits them. These bonds can still be forced, usually through isolation.

Hind-Brain – The gifts of softstep and quickstep are associated with the hind-brain being sprygan-like. A small portion of the upper hind-brain is also associated with the gifts of sight. This portion of the brain seems to allow for better coordination and allows most hybrids to “immerse” themselves in memories.

The Flesh

In addition to the anatomical differences in the brain, those hybrids with softstep and quickstep also have anatomical differences in the feet and legs that allow for this increased coordination and speed. A quickstep’s speed is dependent on height and the composition of the bone. Quicksteps with lightweight woody bones and more height will be the fastest. If a quickstep seems promising in youth, care should be taken for more sun and better nutrition so that they might reach the height of a sprygan. However, for those hybrids we think may have a future in matters of discretion, we must still deny some nutrients and keep them shaded, lest they become unable to blend in with humans. The muscles of softstep feet have spongey layers of fat within the musculature, allowing a more cushioned step. In addition, the joints of the ankle and knee have these spongey layers of fat, allowing a gentle and slow distribution of weight with each step.

The Eyes

The gifts of the sight are reflected in eye color. A hybrid with both heartseer and nightseer will have irises that are entirely the color of sap. For those who inherit the gifts in full, the entire eye, including the pupil, will hold the coloring—though this is rare. If only one of the gifts of sight is present, then the color of sap is blended with the human eye color inherited. The result is irises of light brown or various shades of green. Blue eyes indicate that a hybrid doesn’t have either gift of sight.

The Heart

Finally we come to the gift of heartfire. Anatomically we find a heart that is not a measure of human and plant flesh, rather it is a heart that is a measure of hard stone and flesh. The stone is dark in color with flecks of light, much like the fallen stars. Not much of the heart is comprised of this hard stone, only a small central portion. The Auldtree has allowed the dissection and study of his favored children, but he does insist that the hearts are returned to him. He gives no reason for wanting them. If the hearts are not given in proper time, he sends sprygans to collect them—and the sprygans seem able to find them wherever they might be hidden. Those hybrids who inherit the gift of heartfire are more likely to have tainted auras at an earlier age, are quick to anger and have a strong desire for vengeance when wronged.

More Thoughts from the Pen

The Eyes

The Eyes

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