Modifications: [Project Journal]
- Face-up artist(s):
- None Yet
- Body blushing artist(s):
- None Yet
- Modifications artist(s):
- Tattoo artist(s):
- Date of acquisition:
- 12/2016 (head), 02/2017 (body/hands), 07/2017 (bust/feet)
- All items were purchased directly from their respective companies
- Reason for choice:
- This frankendolly is the product of compromises. I always wanted a doll in the Dollshe casting company's honey skin, but the lighter resins are a bit too translucent for me (hence tan).
I liked Arsene's head sculpt due to the details (and potential for teeth), but didn't see it as a guy or with the gangly (and not particularly poseable) body on the Dollshe site (hence hybrid, but with limited matching options, I went with Dollstown--the extra hip joint persuaded me).
However, I hate the Dollstown hands and feet (they look like those of a much younger child--too pudgy), so I purchased Dollshe feet (same length, much narrower and more mature) and jointed hands (Doll Legend has a translucent resin, and extra thumb joint, so that decided it).
- Best Points:
- sculpting (particularly the browline, spine, and abdomen) and extra torso joint
- Worst Points:
- As with most Dollstown bodies, the legs are funky. In this case, the knees lock fine, and the body stands like a rock, but it is severely pigeon-toed.
- ankle narrowing mod
- ankle joint changed shape: more like a saddle instead of a straight cut across the ankle--like the Dollshe joints (this provides better extension and flection of her foot, but limits side to side movement
- chest mod (their Dollstown 17 body has holes for magnets set into the inside of the resin part, and a cut off and filed piece from the Dollshe 26F bust piece has magnets set into it as well
- open mouth mod
- Dollshe & Dollstown & Doll Legend
- Head Sculpt:
- Dollshe Arsene
- Dollshe/Dollstown Honey Caramel Brown (Anti-UV) and Doll Legend Imported (Anti-UV) Tan
- Dollstown 17yrs Boy Body & Dollshe 28F Bust + Feet
- None Yet
- long grey undercut (material is Suri Alpaca in grey ombre from Navy Blue Navel, made by me, @americanseamstress)
- Favourite colours:
- grey, black, and electric blue
- Fashion style(s):
- Futuristic goth, I guess? They wear a lot of black.
- Key fashion accessory:
- Name story:
- I'm not super well versed in Latin, but the verb root of "Secernere" means "to secrete," "to set apart," or "to separate." It's also the root of English words like "secret" and "secretary." I intended the latter connotation for the name.
Basically, Secernere is the secretary for the library of a secret society of Oculists (archaic name for ophthalmologists and also a real life secret society), but they apparently never bothered to hire an actual librarian, so they do that job too (darn budget cuts!).
Secernere keeps the job because they like the idea of a blind person running a library of books they could never read (not that anyone else reads them much either, or even visits them in the basement, hence "Solitaire").
Unlike previous employers, the Oculists didn't seem particularly concerned with whether Secernere is a boy or a girl, just disconcertingly relieved when Secernere assures that they're human. Secernere likes that bit too.
Historically, the Oculists were a spin off of the Free Masons, which died out shortly after their creation. However, in my universe, the Oculists persisted, and modernized a bit faster than the Masons (so open to all genders). The creator of the Oculists, Count Friedrich August von Veltheim, was also interested in alchemy, or the transmutation of one thing for another.
Aside: As humans have a relatively small number of senses through which to perceive the world, and are largely dependent on sight, you'll generally see people explain other senses in terms of seeing. Bats "see" the world through echolocation (really a hearing sense). Snakes "see" (really more of a smelling sense) the world through infrared. Sharks and rays "see" the world through electrical inpulses and perhaps magentism (a different sense altogether and very unlike any of ours).
Therein lies the Oculists interest in Secernere, who, by the age of 13, had transmuted their sense of vision into one of hearing (echolocation) after losing their sight during puberty (extreme early-onset Retinitis pigmentosa).
This ability (echolocation) actually exists in blind populations. One famous example is Ben Underwood.
Since all my dolls have kind of a Greek mythological figure for inspiration, Secernere's is Ariadne. I think of the library as their labyrinth.
Each doll also gets kind of an epithet, and I've been calling them "Black Ghost," because they're sneaky and can "see" just about as well at night as during the day.
Their first epithet is related to animals who share novel senses, both the Ghost Bat (echolocation), from Australia, and Apteronotus albifrons (electroreception), a type of fish with a type of electrical sensing ability from the Amazon, which, conveniently is also called the "Black Ghost Knifefish,"
I encountered these fish in a 9 hour Neurophysiology Lab and filed them away for future use. After nine hours I better have something creative to do with the names!
- Character age:
- Character gender:
- WAT? Agender (Secernere is moderately disconcerted by the fact that most seeing people seem so concerned with the contents of everyone's pants, and whether their social role matches said pants contents--You all can't see everyone's genitals all the time, right?)
- Offsite roleplay:
- This doll's character is not available for offsite roleplay.
Secernere has a "superpower" that can actually develop in real life--I've just sharpened it a tad. Echolocation is the ability to create a visual map of the world with sound, like bats and dolphins. It works by hearing 1) the change in frequency (pitch) of a sound and 2) which ear it comes to first (so it requires 2 ears) to back-calculate where the sound came from. I think humans have the ability to determine things which are like 15 degrees apart and owls are like 2.
A famous person with this ability is Ben Underwood, who had an eye cancer which resulted in the removal of his eyes after he saw in early childhood. The seeing in early childhood bit is important because it wires the visual areas of the brain to think in 3D maps of the world--so it makes echolocation easier when these regions are later "rewritten" to interpret hearing instead of vision. Therefore, Secernere needed to lose their vision after being able to see as a child, but before the critical period of visual development ends (gradeschool years), so my choice is 5-7. Because the "critical period" in visual development isn't over, Secernere can still rewire their visual brain areas to receive sound input.
Secernere has something called Retinitis Pigmentosa. So basically, they lost their vision in increments, peripherals first. The mutation resulting in their disease is caused by a late, but still premature, stop codon in a gene called Cone-Rod Homeobox Transcription Factor, which is necessary for the cells inside your eyeball that allow you to see (rod and cone photoreceptors) to develop and function properly in adulthood. The full protein is 299 amino acids long, but Secernere's is somewhere between 168-253 amino acids long (so screwed up).
However, unlike Ben Underwood, Secernere needed to keep their eyeballs to maintain another cool sense that all of you have: the ability to wake up at about the same time every day, even without an alarm clock (other things happen at about the same time too: peaks in metabolism, energy, wakefulness, mental quickness, etc.).
Your body (most likely) has something called a circadian rhythm, which means you sleep and wake on a roughly 24 hour schedule (24.25 hour if you are average) even if you were in total darkness or total light for days on end. The thing that tells your brain "it's daytime" is located in your eyeball (melanopsin intrinsically photosensitive retinal gangion cell) and is sensitive to blue light (why working on the computer--blue LED screen--at night is bad). So while Secernere can't see (consciously interpret and react to light through vision), they can involuntarily react to light stimulus. (In this sense, perceiving light ≠ vision.)
Finally, I will be providing theim with some sort of "assistive device" (really they help their with the "super" bit of superpower) to enhance their hearing. Bats can distinguish sounds, their locations, the sound-making object's speed, and "flutter" (characteristic quirks of the prey's movement) partly because they can use higher frequency sounds (and make the chirps very fast) that make their echolocation more precise than humans. Secernere could click like Ben Underwood, but they wouldn't be able to accomplish all that bats do with clicks they can make themselves.
Secernere needs some sort of transmitter (nose ring? circlet?--it needs to be at the front of the face to work) which combines both strengths of different types of bat call: 1) Frequency Modulation (helps with location and is broadband, or multiple pitches/frequencies) and 2) Constant Frequency (helps with speed and is narrowband, or one pitch/frequency). (So basically the tone sounds like a terrible singer who is trying to find a note by sliding the pitch upward until they find it.) They then also need something like hearing aids to pick up the sound and then lower the frequency to something Secernere can actually hear.
Since we're going futuristic with their character, I decided their (much needed) assistive seeing eye device would be a drone. A high school student has already invented a robot which you push and does something similar, but I liked the idea of a drone. This drone has a camera on it which beeps if something gets in it's path or if the floor drops beneath it.
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