Carnivorous Rianths
Tiger Splices
Image from Bernd Helfert
Carnivorous Therianthropomorphs, otherwise known as Rianths, are genetically modified humans who have incorporated genes from carnivorous animals into their genome. Big cat rianths and wolf rianths are particularly popular genotypes. Invariably the rianth includes some neogen genetic material as well, since simple admixtures between human and carnivore genomes are not viable. Indeed some so-called rianths have very little genetic material taken from carnivorous species at all. The so-called 'tiger splice' bodyform is perhaps the most popular carnivorous rianth type.

The Rianths of Sadalmelik

In distant orbit around the bright, relatively stable star Sadalmelik in MPA space are the seven Rianth Bishop ring habitats of Burning Hunger. The animalheaded local AI overseer Karoo encourages and supports carnivorous rianth clades to inhabit the spacious reconstructed African biome (in total five times the original size of the original continent).

Rianth clades that are common include human-leopard, human/cheetah and human/tiger carnivores, who hunt and kill the baseline springbok, steenbok, impala and duiker that have been lazurogened and introduced.

Also present on these ring-habitats are many fully sophont herbivores, including rianths, splices and provolves which are often very difficult to tell apart from non-sophont herbivores. Naturally the carnivorous rianths often kill, and eat sophont herbivores, most of which take advantage of backup technology and can be retrieved quite easily. The carnivorous rianths on Burning Hunger are forbidden to eat the brain of any of their prey animals, to make recovery more straightforward.

Homicideophiles (both killers and victims) come to the Burning Hunger habitats for recreational purposes. Since 9134 such thrill-seeking tourists have been able to adopt temporary rianth or animal bodies, but they reportedly find predation a wildly different experience from murder. Hunting parties have become a popular extreme contest in recent centuries, where visiting sophonts take the part of predator or prey.

Some visitors choose to be hunted without any backup technology, using the carnivores to assist their voluntary termination (suicide) (one of many methods that are legal in the Terragen Sphere). Burning Hunger also supports non-sophont carnivores of many kinds, and citizens who choose voluntary termination on these worlds may be eaten by baseline predators, native rianths or tourists in temporary bodies.

Nargonn
Image from Steve Bowers
The Nargonn, a Tiger Rianth ship from Sadalmelik
The Tiger Rianths in particular have a fierce reputation as warriors, fighting in many wars in their displacement drive ships, a technology which they were given as a gift by MPA transaps in the seventh millenium.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 31 December 2007.