The Egg Pools
The Osyatao, like fish, lay eggs which are fertilized externally. When an Osyaba and Osyat wish to have children, they need to find a body of water to lay and store the eggs. In Kakaisda, the safest spots to lay eggs are known as the Egg Pools. They are a set of deep, coral filled pools fed by a freshwater waterfall. The cascade runs through a shrine of the cloud god, Ulapu. The shrine blesses the water and rids it of spiritual impurities. To manage physical impurities, certain Osyatao are tasked with working in the pools. They are primarily cloud priests, especially those in training. They are tasked with the upkeep of the shrine and ensuring the new generation of Osyatao is born safely.
A healthy Osyaba will lay between 2-4 eggs, around the size of an orange. After the eggs are fertilized, they will incubate in the waters for 7 months. After birth, the newborns will need to remain in water for roughly 2 more months as their surface lungs develop. Once they emerge from the pools, they are roughly the same size as a human 2-month-old.
When Kakaisda was an independent island, the process of egg laying was extremely taxing. It was not uncommon that the Osyaba would die during the birth. If not, they would be sickly for the rest of their lives. To the Kakaisdans, this was because the mother was giving her energy to her children, much like how the god Ulapu would bear the burden of the sun to let Arawa rest, even if it burned his back and caused him to cry (rain). In actuality, this was most likely due to the lack of nutrients in their diet, primarily vitamins derived from fruit (e.g. vitamin C).
In the case that the mother of a clutch dies, it was not uncommon for a homosexual pair to assist the widower in raising the children. They would babysit as the Osyat worked. This is counted as work worthy of Arawa’s blessing. Because of the mortality rates, female Hepes (Chieftains) do not typically have offspring in order to live a long life and serve the people well. This makes the chieftain system relatively democratic, as it isn’t always that a Hepe can produce an heir
After creating a union with Kisaevin and establishing trade routes, their intake of vitamins improved, and childbirth mortality decreased. It’s still viewed as an honorable sacrifice, even if it isn’t as intense anymore.
How do the Osyatao determine where to place the Egg Pools?
@Kalo Good question! Different “schools” of Osyatao would determine this differently but the main criteria is deep pools, with some sort of drainage into the ocean so the water isn’t stagnant. Besides that, they could be anything!
Are there some pools that are more well regarded compared to others? Would some Osyatao take pride in their birth from Fancy High Class Pool as opposed to the Dingy Low Class Pool?
@Kalo Okay this one is interesting. In Kakaisda, the island is tiny so there’s only really one set of pools which is deemed worthy of birthing. So everyone is born in the same place. BUT I have said it’s possible for other Osyatao schools to exist, so they could have that system.
@valishap So a group of Osyatao is called a school? Are there other names for groups of certain size? Are children called a different name, like hatchlings or tadpoles?
@Iokastos I’m calling them a school because that’s what you call a gang of fish and haha funny. As for the kids, I think “fry” works for them, so I stick with the fish terminology