Well, aside from their new mage, that is. She's bored, and curious. Making portals to known places is straightforward enough, with the magic she found, but that's far from the limit of what it can do... so one day, she slips away, portals off to a different cave system - one can't be too careful, after all - and experiments.
Temperature roughly the same... gravity roughly the same... air the same, not into stone or underwater or in a volcano or on top of a mountain... but, instead of patterning it after a place she knows, what happens if she only specifies those things, and lets the innate patterns of the spot she's casting on do the rest? Particularly this one part, which seems to specify the world...
She finishes the spell, and hesitates for just a moment before activating it.
That was a noise. No more pat.
The kobold giggles. "Hatch soon, some days."
"What is kobold imprinting like? Humans basically don't do that."
It's not really like anything, by itself. It's just that whoever is right there when a baby kobold hatches is their parent, according to them, and they'll be very upset if they can't be with that person regularly - usually they don't want to be away from them at all for the first season or so. And every once in a while an egg will hatch without someone right there, and that causes some problems if the hatchling imprints on something that's not a person.
"I wonder if it's gonna be a girl or a boy. Imen sounds like could be either, that's convenient."
...that is relevant to exactly nothing.
"Human names, like so many human things, often divide like that, and speculating about an unborn baby's gender and picking names to go with whatever result is a frequent pastime. Your name and 'Imen' both fall somewhere in the middle."
In animalperson, one only ever acknowledges the relevant anatomy when it's, y'know, relevant. Which is never in the first fifteen or so years of someone's life, and not very often at all after that.
"If it helps we're almost never thinking about how people are shaped. There's social stuff on top of that. Which is admittedly still irrelevant for small children, but we're accustomed to knowing which social category people are in."
That is less disturbing, yes. Still weird, though. 'Social category'?
"It affects things like deciding who to couple with before physical shape is important, and other, small things - you might have noticed Jayce and Aleko wear clothes more like each other than like me - and which jobs, especially in families, people are most likely to want to do. There's exceptions to all of it, but they're useful guesses, sort of like the five elemental personalities - I guess I haven't explained those either, have I - well, that's a separate matter. ...And people feel like the categories mean things. I knew a person once who didn't feel like one or the other, and he let me read him, so I could tell. He felt importantly differently about it than Aleko or Jayce."
...yup, definitely weird. Kobolds don't do that.
"I noticed. But humans do, and human kids usually have a working understanding of 'gender' sooner than they figure out 'property', so Imen might pick it up."
...is there some sort of advantage to this that's not immediately obvious?
"I'm not sure why we do it, but it's very hard to stop when everyone's doing the same thing. A lot of human stuff is like that, really. I can't, say, wear anything that doesn't say something about my gender, even if it's 'look how hard I'm trying not to have a gender' - and if I do that I'm sacrificing important opportunities to use my clothes to say 'I am rich and important and paying attention to all the things that matter to people around me'. Which is important to say for other reasons, but is only ever said in gender-based ways."
Meh. Well, if they pick it up they pick it up, but their anatomy is still not anyone's business but their own, so the humans are just going to have to wait and see what happens with that.
"It's a little more obvious on human babies, but yeah, sure."
How are the portal frames coming along?
She can get started whenever, then.
"I can take us to them. I've been popping in and out to make it less interesting to watch. If the egg definitely won't hatch today you can bring it."
Pretty definitely, and there'll be plenty of warning for her to take it someplace private if it does start to hatch early. Good enough?
"That'll do. Just hold it on the other side of you from me." Kiri extends her hand.