LILLIANA -- Year 206
"There is still something of himself - something of the Wolfbane who would always love her - that rallies against the slime. It says, 'lie in the bed you’ve made'. So he gathers the covers and tucks himself in." -- Wolfbane, written by Calcifer
Every horse in the Beqannaian universe has two more genes than the average horse. These two genes are the Magical Trait Gene and the The Trait Expression Gene, often abbreviated MTG and TEG.
The Trait Expression Gene
The Trait Expression Gene (TEG) is the simpler of the two. It is a simple recessive gene. There are three possibilities for the TEG, and all horses will have one of the following genotypes:
TEGTEG or TEGteg or tegteg
The Magical Trait Gene
The Magical Trait Gene (MTG) is somewhat more complicated, mostly because there are so many traits existing in Beqanna, and because while expressed traits are obviously visible, some traits can sometimes “hide” in the horse’s genes, and they can pass down a trait they don’t even know they have.
A horse can either possess a trait, be a carrier for the trait, or not be a carrier (i.e. have no trait at all). So for example, Bob has wings, meaning (obviously) that he has wings. Linda’s mom had wings, so Linda would be a carrier for wings. No horse in Tina’s family has ever had wings, so she is neither a carrier of wings, nor does she express them.
If a horse has wings, it is written in their genetic code as [WINGS]. If a horse is a carrier for wings, it would be written in their code as [wings]. If a horse neither has wings nor is a carrier, they wouldn’t have anything about wings at all in their genetic code. The MTG code of a horse can be super short or very long, depending on what traits the horse has. If a horse has no traits and carries no traits, its MTG code will be blank.
But what if a horse has a lot of traits? Let’s take Louise as an example. Louise has wings and a horn. Her father had immortality, and her mother had firebreathing, but Louise doesn’t have either of those abilities herself. Louise’s MTG would be: [WINGS][HORN][immortality][firebreathing]
A horse only has four active spaces on their TEG gene, meaning that the traits they express can only take up four spaces, and some traits are “larger” than others. They can carry an unlimited number of traits. If they currently (as of January 2016) express traits that add up to a total more than four, you may choose which trait will be inherited by their offspring as a carried trait.
For example, if fairies determine that Anastasia’s genetic code was tegteg [WINGS][TELEPATHY][HORNS][SCALES][immortality], her active traits add up to 5, and her player will need to choose which trait will act as a carried trait. She will still express all traits, but one will be written as [TRAIT*], with the asterisk indicating that the trait, while expressed, will act as a carried trait when it comes to inheritance.
A list of traits and the number of spaces they take up on the gene is available at the bottom of the Genetics Guide.
Non-genetic traits are still non-genetic, though they will be displayed in a horse's TEG according to the following rules. A horse's offspring will not inherit non-genetic traits.
If a Fluffy joins Beqanna, his Trait Expression Gene is, by default, TEGTEG. But what if Fluffy saves a princess in a quest and gets a nice pair of hawk wings as a reward?
Fluffy’s TEG will not change, but the genetics for wings will appear in his genetic code as [wings*]. But that’s not right, you say! If a horse has a trait, it should be in all CAPITALS. That’s true, if the trait is a traditionally genetic trait. But since Fluffy’s wings are non-genetic, they will be written in lowercase, with an asterisk to signify that they are expressed despite the TEG.
Since traits are, in essence, little bits of magic, they can sometimes combine in unexpected ways that seem to contradit what we know of Beqanna genetics. Don't be surprised if a horse with wolf shapeshifting and a horse with a fish tail have a baby with fish shifting, or if a horse with Heat manipulation and an untraited horse have a baby that has flames instead of a mane and tail. A horse with shapeshifting, telepathy, and wings might have a foal that can speak telepathically with birds rather than inherting all of thier parent's fancy traits. Consider it a fun, random, combination that adds more excitement to Beqanna!
Larger traits, since they contain more magic, are more likely to mutate than smaller traits.
How does it work if a parent has magic? Magic is fickle, and it is not inherited the same way other traits are. Magic always mutates on the gene and becomes a random trait that is either expressed or unexpressed (depending on the TEG of the foal).
So two traited parents will always have a traited baby, right? Not at all. Two traited parents can still have a baby without traits.
A genetic trait will always be passed down to a foal, but it can be passed down as an expressed trait OR as a carried trait. So if Winged Derek and Shapeshifting Paige have a baby, the baby will always express any traits it has, but it won’t express traits that it is just a carrier. So Derek and Paige’s foal will be tegteg[wings][shapeshifting], and will be able to potentially pass down Derek and Paige’s traits to their own children, even though they don’t express those traits themselves.
See the below sections on determining TEG and MTG to see how fairies will determine breeding stats.
Aka "will my foal express traits or not?"
We use the percentages from a calculated Punnet Square. Parents that are both either TEGTEG or tegteg, will always have a foal with the same TEG. The other possible combinations or TEG genetics are listed in punnet squares below, with the percentages of each cross directly below them:
Aka "what traits does my foal inherit?"
If a horse has a genetic trait their foal will always inherit the genes for that trait. What we calculate is whether that inheritance will be as having the trait itself, or simply being a carrier for the trait. All foals have a 50% chance of having the trait, and a 50% chance of inheriting the trait. If two parents have the same trait it will be rolled for twice, and therefore has twice the chance of inheriting the trait as a foal would if only one parent had the trait.
If a horse is a carrier for their trait, they have a 50% chance of passing on their trait. If we roll for “passing on”, we then roll again (50/50) to determine if the foal will also be a carrier like their parent, or if they will express the trait. This means that a horse that is a carrier has a 25% chance of having a foal that expresses their parent’s carried trait.
For non-genetic traits, there is no inheritance.
How do i figure out my 700 pre-existing characters' TEG and MTG? The short answer is, you don’t have to!
Trait genetics is going into effect for a temporary trial period (that may be extended depending on feedback). For those of you that would prefer to use the traditional trait determination method, you are more than welcome to do so.
Each player may request “genetic tests” for up to ten of their characters through this forum. You will need to provide both genetic and nongenetic traits (or lack of) for each character, each character's parents (and the time of their character’s conception), and each character’s grandparents (at the time of their character’s parents’ conceptions). The officers will then give you the genetic code for your character. This code cannot be changed or altered, and anyone caught doing so will receive a warning.
If you have the genetic code for both your character and the character they are breeding with, the faeries will perform in depth genetics during breeding..
Reading Genetic Codes