thanks! mainlanders don’t really look all that special. they have very generic faces like they’re all built off of a pretty strict template. same eye shapes, same teeth, same general face shapes. weight and height fluctuates but they’re generally taller than rabbits and lean towards waspish waists no matter their weight or gender. species is more like an accessory.
those two adorable blobs at the top are their eggs (yup) and their newborns (yuuuup). they only look like that for a little while as long as they have contact with their parents. while the lil’ darling will hatch with some features from both parents (implemented in…interesting ways), it needs that contact to pretty much learn how to be a person. what limbs to grow, how many fingers to have, how to generally be an aesthetically pleasing mixture of its mom and pop. sometimes mistakes are made but most of the time things go well. some eccentric upper-class families introduce their infants to divergent stimuli on purpose resulting in things like small useless wings or horns.
mainlander/rabbit offspring have a few difficulties. something about rabbit genetics doesn’t sit quite right with mainlanders. the children don’t form ‘correctly’ or fail to form certain bits all together. theirs bodies can also seem oddly stretched out in places. they rarely have health issues past sight and slight mobility issues and can live full lives but other rabbits avoid them. rabbits can somehow tell the difference between a ‘full blooded’ rabbit born with disabilities and a mainlander hybrid. the kindness they show to disabled rabbits is shown to hybrids but there’s always and edge of fear and otherness there. meanwhile, mainlanders fetishize the hell out of them. being half rabbit is a super exotic ‘thing’ and a few generations of breeding makes perfectly ‘normal’ rabbit mainlanders who are hardier and way more adept at magic than regular mainlanders. its a rough gig.
yup. but its weirder than that.
mainlanders have no idea that this is a thing. they think that they give live birth and that their life cycles are identical to the mammalian creatures they look like. something about laying or just being around the eggs and ‘unfinished’ young puts them in a kind of fugue state. that’s why they’re so puzzled when rabbit parents of hybrids freak out. this was probably used as a brood parasite tactic long ago and it seems to have worked a little too well and backfired when they started raising their own young.
rabbits get over it eventually. the process is very quick, whatever pheromones the young give off are very strong, and their mate is usually Very persistent about keeping them close to the new bundle of joy. a couple of hours to days later and they love their new weird little kit.
this whole thing is a very behind closed doors affair. home births are the norm for mainlanders and only the parents are present. they are very defensive during this time and entering the house is a bad idea. a mistake could really hurt the development of the child and there are rare instances where it doesn’t take. the fugue only lasts so long.
parents turn newly clear eyes toward bassinets and cry out in terror.
their babies have been cursed! stolen! replaced with this…thing.
they pray and weep.
tiny squeaking bundles go mysteriously, abruptly, quiet in the night or are left out in the wilderness near the great walls.
they’re always gone the next day.
no one talks about it.