Scale Colors and Magic:
Red = Fire, including ignition and suppression, and breathing it. Their scales are resistant to burning (and they are relatively fireproof as long as they are alive, conscious, and able to work their magic). This is why the scale-less bottoms of a victim’s feet (and sometimes hands) are burned during torture.
Gold = Light, summoning and creating light, and manipulating light waves; they are best at anything related to light waves: illusions, invisibility, and can look directly into the sun. Gold Grysaille never need sunglasses
Green = Life – includes subsets of both plant life and (rarer) healing.
The botanists are good at preventing and curing plant diseases and viruses, limb breakage, increasing crop efficiency and yields, and speeding the growth rate of crops (important in a land with a very short growing season).
The healers can curb infections and diseases, heal bone breaks and organ damage, but at great energy cost to themselves. To do this well, they must apprentice to other healers to learn anatomy / physiology / diseases.
Blue = Water: Purification of water, condensing water from humidity, some control of waves, strong swimmers and ability to hold breath for longer periods of time, and increased sensitivity to red color wavelengths (perhaps to the degree that they can perceive heat [infrared] as a color, very useful for hunting on those long, dark, winter nights). They can also create a small airspace in front of their faces, so they can see clearly under water, and it can give them an extra breath before coming to the surface. Used aboard ships to provide water, ship repair, and some protection from storm waves, etc.
Brown = Earth; all are able to detect specific minerals underground; mining specialists. Grysaille with a strong double brown gene are drawn to the earth, are excellent miners, and can ‘feel’ the ground stress of an oncoming (local) earthquake before it happens.
With red flash undertones: specialist in metals, shaping, forging and making alloys. They are superb sword makers
With green flash undertones: specialist in soil types, and soil health; used to revitalize fields that have been sown with salt from collateral war damage.
With gold flash undertones: specialist in jewels/crystals/vibrations. In modern San Diego, some of these Grysaille are working in crystal/electronic research
With blue flash undertones: these Grysaille understand the properties of liquid minerals like no other, and can control flow and shape during the process of casting metals, glass, and ceramics. They are experts in ceramics (and tightly hold the secrets of brilliant glazes, each shop passing down their secret glaze recipes from master to apprentice), and glass blowing and glass colors.
Black = Darkness (rare); can manipulate darkness and shadows, and muffle/control sound waves. They can see in the dark with the clarity of daylight. Sensitive to bright light, and on Earth, need to wear sunglasses on bright days.
White = Weather (air / lightning); can manipulate weather, and are impervious to electrocution; also used frequently aboard ships to calm storms or bring on wind, and by farmers to bring rain during drought.
Silver (aka “Black Pearl” on Earth) = Dark Weather; Black Pearls can influence both weather and sound waves, but not as strongly as either white or black Grysaille, and their specialty is storms/thunder/lightning, but their ability to calm storms is only slight. Like white Grysaille, they are also impervious to electrocution, and hired by farmers to bring rain, but usually only early in the growing season, as they tend to bring sleet and hail as often as rain, and can cause damage to crops. For this reason, sometimes used as an offensive weapon by the military.
Blue-green = Ocean-life; powers similar to blue mages, but cannot purify water, and have more power over wave control. They can also detect ocean life, schools of fish, and on the Eeria, are frequently hired by fishing vessels to tell the captain where to cast the nets.
Purple = Magnetic Fields; as telekinesis experts, they can levitate themselves, and can also levitate heavy objects. Hugely valuable on Eeria and often hired for major building projects.
The Genetics of Scale Color
Red (Fire) = dominant (R)
Gold (Light) = dominant (Y)
When Red’s mate with Gold’s, and the RY chromosomes line up together, it’s a crap shoot as to what color the child will be, either randomly Red or Gold. Unlike the blue/green combo, the children aren’t flame or orange in color; it’s either Red (RY) or Gold (YR).
Brown (Earth) = partial recessive (b)
Recessive to red and gold, but dominant to blue, green, black and white. Iridescent under-flash color determined by the parent’s dominant color gene, or the recessive green or blue gene, that it is paired with it; Marko is Rb and Elia is ww; Marko’s first son Derrik is red (Rw) and his second child is brown with red flash undertones, or b(R)w. White and black are the only recessive genes that do not seem to have any influence on the brown gene.
Blue (Water) = recessive, but a plentiful gene (c)
Dominant to white and black recessive genes, and equal to green.
White (Weather/electricity) = recessive, and only occurs on X chromosome (w)
True white Grysaille (ww) are always female, but males can be carriers, and pass it on to their daughters. It is also affected by the more recessive black gene, and so a Black x White (wk) Grysaille has a silver or pale ‘black pearl’ appearance.
Silver, (Dark Weather) = Rare, and not a true color unto itself. This is a recessive white gene that is influenced by the more recessive black gene (wk).
They can be either male or female. The silver males, which are quite rare, are the only male Grysaille that can work weather. A white female Grysaille mating with a black male Grysaille will result in all silver children. But Silvers can also be ‘surprise’ babies, as one or both parents might be unknown carriers of these very recessive genes.
Green (Life) = recessive and not a common allele (g)
Ratio of botanists to healers is about 3:2
Blue-Green (Sea Life) = double recessive of equal strength (cg)
A direct cross between a blue and green Grysaille.
Black (Darkness/sound): recessive gene (k)
Occurs on x and y chromosomes, but black genes on the x chromosome are paired with a fatal genetic allele, that when doubled (as in two female x chromosomes) will cause death of female fetus at around 4 months of pregnancy. Therefore, there are no female black Grysaille.
Sandozon’s first wife, Tamíra, was a deep crimson red, His oldest son is also dark red, his youngest is black (with dark hair). Between his first and second child, Tamíra miscarried, so probably was a female child. She has since re-married to a gold Grysaille, and happily has a new female gold baby. Tamíra=Rk; Sandozon=kk; first son=Rk; miscarried daughter=kk; second son=kk; Tamíra’s new baby girl = Yk or YR
Aryk is gk, and his recessive black gene makes his green coloration very dark, and also gives him his unique multi-color iridescence that most black Grysaille have, obscuring his true coloration to the casual observer.
Purple (magnetic fields): super rare, probably a mutation. (p)
Average percentage of colors in a group of 100; this is just an average, based on a much larger group; a room of 100 Grysaille probably won’t come up with these actual numbers:
17 Brown (5 red flash, 5 gold flash, 3 deep brown, 3 blue flash, 1 green flash)
6 White, all female
5 Green (3 botanists, 2 healers)
1 Silver “Black Pearl”
1 black, male
Purple’s occur about 1 per 1000 births
Hair color has its own set of genes, but Grysaille have a slightly stronger magic potential if hair and scale colors match. Hair colors run the entire spectrum, with varying saturations and combinations (pastels are possible). Pure white hair, regardless of scale color, is a mutation.