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I've designed a race of creatures known as gloomstalkers, avian beings resembling a cross between a raven and an Archaeopteryx, that possess human-equivalent sentience.

One of these is the inherent ability to alter the composition of their bodies, both externally and internally, converting it into a substance identical to candle wax, henceforth to be known as simply wax. In-universe, this ability was bestowed upon them by the deity who created their race, as she designed them in her own image.

As of right now, this ability's sole purpose is to allow a mated male and female to merge their bodies/melt into one another. In this way it acts as a metaphorical and literal means for them to convey their status as united in love, and to get as physically close to one another as possible.

I also opted to allow these creatures, provided they had converted themselves into wax, to be able to do the same to most of their organs. They could then pull these organs out of their own body and hold/manipulate them. They would continue to remain functional, naturally, or things would not end well.

Once I arrived at this point, a glaring issue came up regarding the presence of essential accessory structures connected to these organs, namely blood vessels and nerves. Not only must they continue to carry blood and transmit nerve impulses, they must also be made of wax and immune to harm while in this state.

The crux of this issue comes down to explaining how this is possible. I've wracked my brain, but I inevitably end up falling into a rabbit hole of complexity. Should I even attempt to provide any logical basis for this, or simply write it off as being a god-granted power that is magical in nature, thus evoking the principle of "suspension of disbelief?"

Lastly, how should I address the presence of connecting blood vessels and nerves, which would form an unsightly mass of tubes and strings, when an organ is extracted from the body?

Edit: if I missed anything or any other details are required for clarity, don't hesitate to ask.

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    $\begingroup$ Just confirming - this is completely "magic", in that the skin, keratin etc are converted into a chemically and physically different substance without any scientific explanation required? Are the individual molecules of wax tagged as belonging to one individual or the other, or do they tend to swap bits with each other when they merge? $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2021 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ To answer your first question, yes, the conversion is chemical in nature and effected by their magic, and can be reversed at will. To answer your second, their individual forms, despite being mixed, do not trade mass and are recovered when the shift is undone. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2021 at 23:01

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Astral projection

It is hard to imaging lifting your toilet out of your bathroom, toting it out to the street, and still having it flush. So too the kidneys, or the heart. Those things are hooked up to stuff that makes them work. If you bust them out they lose those connections.

I propose that the physical stuff of your birds is actually not shoggothing around like playdoh. Rather the gloomstalkers can manipulate astral projections of themselves and of their various innards.

Their astral forms join while mating. If an individual wishes to inspect her own spleen (in an endeavor unrelated to mating, but not necessarily so - I am not judging the gloomstalkers!), she can astrally project the spleen out of her body and take a look, or form two projections one of which inspects the translucent other. Her mate's astral form might take a look too if that is part of how things work for them. All good. Astral forms can also be deployed for other endeavors. The astral form may or may not look anything like the physical form of the individual, depending on the goals of that individual.

The warm meat of their bodies continues chugging away on the material plane, intact.

The astral plane in your world is the Gloom. That is how they got their name.

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    $\begingroup$ Using astral projections is an interesting concept, but it's too science-fiction-esque to mesh with the kind of universe these creatures exist in. I probably should've mentioned this, but aside from the presence of magic, their world is much like ours and ruled by the same natural principles. They live in a very primitive age, however, where wood and stone are the primary resources and technology is in its infancy. I can certainly respect your creativity even if it wasn't what I envisioned. P.S., the name gloomstalker is a reference to their nocturnal nature. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2021 at 23:26
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I've got to go with pure magic here. Any "explanation" is going to have holes... at some point you are going to have to depend on magic to make it viable, so you can either build a complicated framework of science-y sounding words that all hinges on a magical anchor... or just don't bother with the explanation and go straight to the magic.

Personally I'd go with the magic on top and spend those extra words on the narrative of the emotion behind the metaphor...

Just out of curiosity... if you took out their heart and put it in a box would they not be able to shift back to flesh? Interesting idea... like reversible angler fish mating.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's what I figured, since any logical explanation would result in a domino effect leading to impossibility. The emotional aspect is what I wanted to place the emphasis on, so simply ascribing the ability as a magical gift works perfectly. I didn't consider that, mostly because this conversion would only be done in the company of trusted friends as a demonstration, or in a private setting with a lover. In other words, one wouldn't have to worry about their organs being stolen. I addressed this by limiting how far an organ could be pulled from its owner. Thanks for your response! $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2021 at 23:15

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