These pieces are old, done during the time when I was working on the Relk Reference Sheet.
Seeing as I'm opening up
to members, I figured I'd put this together to kick it off and hopefully get people fired up about it.
Quick overview:Color and Marking Variations in the Northern Oceanic Relk
1. Normal Markings:
Females are more greenish, males are usually more blueish. A Relk's markings help it communicate where it is, what it'd doing and the direction it's heading underwater. The white spots are reflective and can use its body motion to 'flash' patterned signals at other Relk.
2. Bleeder Markings:
Bleeders are produced when there is a marking mutation. Markings may 'bleed' down the body, obscuring or confusing the original markings. Cases can vary from slight bleeding (which means they can still communicate) to heavy bleeding, which prevents communication. 1/4 to 1/3 of the Relk population has some form of this mutation.
3. Monarch Bleeder Markings:
A further mutation of the Bleeder gene, Monarch Bleeders are much rarer. Their markings have been obliterated by the bleeding and the addition of a third color usually makes them impossible to read. They are usually ousted from tribes and travel the oceans as outcasts.
4. Breeder Color Variation:
Most Relk tribes have one. Breeder Relk, despite their namesake, are sterile. Their color ranges from deep purple-blues and red-purples to black. They retain their white spot markings and so have no trouble communicating.
5. White/Albino Color Variation:
The rarest color variation is a white/albino. 'White' technically designates anything from a light orange-yellow to dirty off-white, and usually retains most of a Relk's natural markings in a darker related color (in this case, orangeish). Albinos are pure white and posses no markings. Both are so rare that they are usually lumped into the same category, and neither typically are found to be members of tribes.
Edit: Oh, side note. I mentioned on
that you're welcome to make your own Relk. I realize I've posted nothing about their societal workings or tribal behaviors, but I just wanted to make it clear they're not a closed species by any means.