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The Kirin Fan Thread

PUBLIQclopAccountant
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice

Pubilq Phirm
Three threads I’ve made that you fellow kirin fans may enjoy:

1. Name for newborn kirin?

kirling, the answer I like most, isn’t one of the poll options. kirlet is another good contender that is also not an option.

2. The best part of the kirin

NSFW. For me, the answer is the tufts on the back of their hocks. The spoiler in the previous sentence was so you can take a guess before revealing my answer and not because it is a lewd body part. The NSFW discussion is in the linked thread.

3. What order do their body parts cool off in when returning from kirin mode?

The only consistent answer I have so far is that their horns retain heat longer than anywhere else and overheated horns impair their spellcasting.
DarkObsidian
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Economist -

Smiling Panzerfuchs 2.0
Well, in the case of reptiles, the scaled skin protects against evaporation (i.e. dehydration). But that says nothing about the heat balance in the body. What I have found is this:
The scales of pangolins are located on protuberances of the dermis that are bent backwards. In cross-section, it consists of three layers: The upper dorsal plate (dorsal plate) consists of flattened, highly keratinized cells. The intermediate plate is formed by less flattened, keratinized cells. The ventral plate (abdominal plate) forms the underside of the scale and is only a few cell layers thick.
The scales of the pangolins, in contrast to those of reptiles, grow continuously and thus most closely resemble the fingernails of primates.
So I would give in to an impulse and guess that the Kirin’s scales are more like those of pangolins. About a special heat-insulating feature of scales, or keratin I have found nothing. Therefore I would say, the scales are to be classified in the same way, as the horn. Maybe even a little less, if you consider that they are probably much more “flexible”.
But since we are in purely speculative territory here, it is hard to say anything more specific. My guess: Tail -> coat -> scales -> horn
PUBLIQclopAccountant
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice

Pubilq Phirm
I had some crazy HC shower thoughts on kirins this morning three days ago and have been working on this post (& its linked NSFW companion) on and off ever since.

1. Kirin Diets

  • Kirins eat fish for their scales and heavy metal accumulation. Fish scales are for natural conditioners in the fluff, the metals are to augment strength in scales and bones.
  • Kirin leg bones are notably denser and more metallic than the rest of their skeleton for balance. Their bodies know to separate the lead and bismuth down toward their legs and hooves and send the aluminum and beryllium up to their back and face.
  • Continuing their metallic diets, they also enjoy taking a nice long sip of mercury about once a month (typically a full moon festival). However, mercury vapors are more toxic and light organomercuries are equally fatal when compared to their respective toxicities and lethality in humans.
  • A kirin in the hospital who needs to regrow half their scales after an attack from an Ursa or dragon may down a nice tall glass of the stuff to help regrow the scales. The mercury, of course, forms an amalgam with the metals and keratin. However, a kirin who is that badly injured typically would have an IV with a specially-prepared solution where the mercury is dissolved in carefully-selected ligands to allow it to dissolve in the blood without breaking down into methylmercury.
  • This diet is the biggest proof of their dragon ancestry. They don’t have the jaw structure to eat gemstones, but they still enjoy raw and rougher minerals than pure mammals.
  • Kirins are much heavier than ponies due to all the metals in their diet.
  • It’s not exactly food, but fits best here: ionizing radiation is significantly more harmful to kirins than ponies; however, kirins are slightly more resistant to gamma rays

2. On the Origin of the Species Kirin

Kirin emerged from population of juvenile dragons who imprinted on loving rather than eating the nearby earth ponies when they reached sexual maturity. Soon, a self-sustaining breeding population of kirins existed without need for fresh infusions of pony+dragon pairings. It is currently uncertain as to where the cervid attributes entered the kirin bloodline. The dominant theory is that it was after the union of dragon and pony, but there is a significant school that argues that kirins are the result of dragon/deer hybrids meeting and integrating with some villages of pony (thus converting most of the village over multiple generations) instead of dragons taking pony brides.
As kirins made further contact with earth ponies, it led to the evolution of the unicorn, as the horn was the remainder of the dragon->kirin heritage on top of a body that was otherwise a horse.
The kirin horns aren’t proper horns, as they are modified dragon crest scales with the branching of deer antlers and not pairs of horns (from either dragons or ungulate ancestry). They do have a nub of a unicorn horn at the base of their horn, but it’s fully covered in both metallic and ceratinous scale. Rather than saying that kirins have an attenuated unicorn horn inside their horn, it’s more accurate to say that unicorns have elongated and fused kirin bony horns.
The spiral of the unicorn horn is indeed a twisted & fused pair of horns. Spiraling makes unicorn horns useless for venting excess heat (when compared to kirin horns) but but allowed fine manipulation of magic as well as firehose throughput instead of gentle diffusion: it took the entire village to carry Fluttershy & AJ while the same task would require, at most, 4 trained unicorns (carring two unwilling unicorns would, however, take considerably more than 4 trained unicorns due to the need for magic surpression).
It is now speculated that pegasi and hippogriffs evolved through a similar interaction between gryphons and earth ponies (first, gryphon+pony=hippogriff, then hippogriff+pony=pegasus), this means that there originally were only earth ponies, which is why their tribe/breed name is the only one with “pony” always in it. The old (but never disproven) hypothesis is that hippogriffs were seaponies who emerged on land (wings are adapted fins) and created pegasi through their interactions with earth ponies.

3. How is kirling made?

Some SFW points about how kirins continue their species (both extracted from the above-linked post and new to this one)
  • What terminology do they use for their males & females? Is it doe/buck, mare/stallion, doe/stallion, mare/buck, or something else entirely? Mare/drake? Doe/drake?
  • Kirins don’t form monogamous family units like ponies. Instead, they pair off until the doe is obviously pregnant, then part their separate ways. While paired, they are highly possessive of one another and are uninterested in most aspects of daily life—they’ll still eat, but it’s expected that a kirin who has paired off won’t have much presence in wider society for at least six weeks.
  • Their pairing instinct has a number of implications, especially since they do not have an instinctual clock to know when to break up if they are infertile.
  • In kirin civilizations, there have developed societal etiquitte that close friends work to break up a long-term frustrated infertile couple: often both halves produce a kirling on their next pairing.
  • Gay and lesbian kirin couples are conspicuously monogamous. The subconscious knowledge that they cannot produce offspring tempers their pairing drive so that they can be paired off for life without stopping their societal obligations.
  • Kirin mares do develop preferred stallions that they will visit again if they’re both available
  • Whether the kirling comes out as a filly or colt is dependent on magical energy flux early in pregnancy (before it’s obvious enough for the breeding pair to split up). Kirins who flashover to nirik often during that development period are much more likely to produce sons than those who stay in kirin mode for the whole time they are with the male.
  • The kirin village has a demographic shortage due to the Stream of Silence pushing the production of males far below the natural ratio. (I HC the natural ratio as ⅓ male and the silenced ratio as around 10% male)
  • Harem-forming is not natural behavior
  • Each kirin mare produces a single kirling at a time. Although their cervine traits allow for up to three at once, the energetic requirements to grow the horn and scales on the baby mean it’s only a single one at a time. Gestation, I assume, is approximately the same 11 moons as a pony.

4. Are they ponies?

Kirins view themselves as a full-blooded fourth breed of pony: to them, equines are either unicorn, earth ponies, kirins, or pegasi. They think of zebras as a heritable striped coat pattern among the other three breeds and of donkeys as a weird tribe of earth pony (thus assuming that zebracorns exist and donkeycorns don’t). They may have never heard of zebras & donkeys at all, though.
If we want to acknowledge the Asian heritage of the idea of the Qilin, while kirins may be unfamiliar with E. Asinus donkeys, they would know of E. Kiang or the Onagers, depending on where they lived.
Ponies view them as a separate species of creature but still use “everypony” to address a group of kirins because they are the same size and have similar skeletal proportions to ponies. Ponies of Celestia’s day view earth ponies, unicorns, and pegasi as tribes of pony while ponies, donkeys, and zebras are different breeds. Ponies do acknowledge that Kirins, like hippogriffs, have equine ancestry, but they are every bit of a distinct species of creature as a dragon or gryphon. By the time of G5, even donkeys & zebras have been forgotten and what were different tribes are now different breeds of the only sapient species.
I will repeat the above question in this section as well: how do kirins refer to their males & females? Do they use deer, dragon, pony, or some totally different terms?
PUBLIQclopAccountant
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Magical Inkwell - Wrote MLP fanfiction consisting of at least around 1.5k words, and has a verified link to the platform of their choice

Pubilq Phirm
@Speedwings
Good catch, I didn’t even think of that.
I’m making a table for nomenclature. Will edit this post as more suggestions pour in.
Species Female Male
Pony Mare Stallion
Dragon Drake
Deer (modern) Doe Buck
Large cervid Cow Bull
Deer (archaic) Hind Hart
Stag
Juvenile Filly Colt
Does any Markdown master know how to make this table restrict itself to fit the text instead of spanning the entire comment column width?
Back on topic, I like the sound of saying “Doe/Drake” but that may be significantly less consistent with the rest of the HC lore I just dumped as another option.
@PUBLIQclopAccountant
A few more things I thought of last night after I went to bed.

5. Kirin Atavism in Unicorns

(this could’ve been a long digression in point 1, but I digress)
Due to the ancient ancestry of the unicorn being of the union of kirin and (earth)pony, unicorns rarely will take the appearance of a classical unicorn with at least one of the following physical attributes:
  • Curvier horn
  • Leonine tail
  • Split hooves
  • Massive bursty magic throughput
Unicorn mares affected by any one of these conditions have a 50/50 chance of being infertile. Stallion fertility is unaffected. Likelihood of infertility is not correlated with how many of the attributes she has.
For a foal to be at risk of this condition, both parents must be unicorns. However, the risk does not rise above negligible until at least 14/16 great-great-grandparents are unicorns.
The distinctive look and busty magic makes unicorns with this condition popular as shock troops and unsuitable for tasks requiring the steady application of medium-strength magic.

6. Interactions with Humans

In an established HiE setting (a.k.a. not a first contact story where these lessons are learned the hard way), kirin+human romance is forbidden for the protection of humans, who are every bit as notoriously weak to fire as changelings. In fact, humans are even weaker than changelings because more or less all kinds of magical fire burn them equally as bad as physical fire. Changelings resist or are outright immune to several varieties of magical fire (one of which they use to change form).
Equestria’s ponies use their coats as light fire protection just the same as IRL horses. They can take singed ends of their fur to run through an advancing flamefront of a wildfire to reach the safety of the burned-out side where there is no fuel left for the fire to spread to. Humans don’t have that option (unless they dress specifically for that occasion). A zero-magic changeling test is to singe a pony’s coat with a torch: enough to light a few hairs but not enough to burn the skin. If they’re a pony, it’ll smolder and extinguish quickly. Disguised changelings burn to ash because the fire spreads throughout the coat. It’s a huge mess to clean up, so the practice largely stopped long before it was considered taboo for being barbaric.
DarkObsidian
Non-Fungible Trixie -
Twinkling Balloon - Took part in the 2021 community collab.
Ten years of changes - Celebrated the 10th anniversary of MLP:FiM!
My Little Pony - 1992 Edition
Economist -

Smiling Panzerfuchs 2.0
Show style eyes and normal tongues, I think. Not that the other things to choose from don’t sound really interesting. I could even imagine that there are variations within the Kirin population that correspond to that then. Not to mention the artistic aspect and creative freedom. But within the (little) lore of the MLP G4 universe, I would just stick to my selection. For example, if I would create a Kirin character within a G4 based roleplay, then he would have show-style eyes and a normal tongue. ;-)
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