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Anne Radcliffe

Imagining the Peoples of Pirate101: Watermoles and ‘Electro-sensing‘!

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So what other biological traits of the platypus might be attached to the intelligent Watermoles? I would like to think of them possessing the next characteristic:

4) Platypuses have electroreception. This is an extremely unusual trait! Electroreception means that platypuses can sense other creatures near them, knowing exactly where they are (electrolocation) by detecting the tiny electrical impulses given off by their muscle contractions (and how cool is that!). Like our noses and detection of smell (and taste), the platypus’ bill is very sensitive to detection of electrical impulses, as well as touch.

Even if the Watermoles are not as deeply sensitive to electrolocation as the platypus (for reasons which will become clear later), it still would be hard to sneak up on a watermole. Our pirate captains would quickly realize this, and prize the watermoles on their crews to serve on watch or as scouts. Assuming this is true, then in consequence how do watermoles sense the Armada? The clockworks have no musculature to sense, after all.

It all depends on how the Armada works. If they work on a sort of battery, feeding electrical impulses through their bodies to operate, this would lack the sublety of muscle contractions of an animal. A watermole upon ’scenting’ an Armada soldier would be overwhelmed by the massive quantity of electricity in their systems. The effect would be rather like rotten fish temporarily ruining the scent capability of a hunting dog. Watermoles would be revolted by them, just for that trait.

If however, the mechanisms of the Armada are not electrical, operating under perhaps some alchemical means, the Watermoles would not be able to sense them at all by electroreception. This would be terrifying! In a real sense, Armada soldiers would be invisible until they ‘suddenly’ appeared. To a watermole, this behavior would be more like a ghost or some sort of ‘living’ dead, and objects of horror even more than humans perceive.

But which way is it? We won’t know until we find out more about how the Armada clockworks operate. Right now, if I were to write a watermole’s reaction to an Armada soldier, they would be horrified and repulsed, but not discuss why. And after all, we are all horrified and repulsed, especially by the Armada’s behavior.

Out upon the winds, Watermoles would further utilize their electroreception senses. In thick cloudbanks, where vision is nearly useless, they could detect the presence of other living creatures, and variations in the atmosphere itself. They could sense the safest routes to navigate, perhaps even be able to sense where the boyant aether is more abundant, and detect treacherous ‘holes’ in the atmosphere. Furthermore, they would be the first to realize when a storm is brewing, and where.

It is possible, however, that an active storm might be painful to watermoles. While your watermole companions may be excellent in sensing the storm, during the storm, it may be beneficial to have your watermole friends go below decks, where hopefully the intensity of storm is muffled by the framework of the ship.

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