Thursday, April 20, 2017

Matching a WereAnimal with an Assassin

Cape Buffalo
What am I doing? 

Funny thing, that. I was working on the world building details for Salvaging Toby's Heart since I wanted to expand it and possibly rewrite some sections. Once I finished with the details and sat down to write... I got nothing. I was quite disappointed but on the upside, when I am ready to dive into that story I don't have any leg work to catch up on.

So I looked at what else I had available. There are a slew of stories that are waiting for me and nothing held my attention. I quit the day early and proceeded to thumb through books, attempting to read. Again, nothing held my interest and I was beginning to wonder if I was a bit burned out. Perhaps I pushed to write too soon after Molly's passing and I'm back to square one of being emotionally burned out.

Gila Monster
Tuesday night, I was disgruntled with a book I was listening to (forced seduction makes me crazy) and I was just going to give up and go to bed when I had a thought, which lead to another thought (surprising, right? LOL) The ideas were about a super-secret project that I wanted to write but didn't have a good plot for my special character. 

Honey Badger

Happily, Wednesday was a better day. I'm still world building on the super-secret project and thinking through issues with the plot but it's better than being uninterested in anything, you know? I'm hoping that this will segue into me writing the story but I'm not going to fall into a hole if it doesn't. I'll just pick another storyline and start world building again.

Until then, I have a question for the super-secret project I'm working on. I asked in my FaceBook Group for ideas for a beast. If a shifter lost their inner animal and had the chance to get a new animal/beast what are some ideas. There were two stipulations, 1) It needs to be non-mainstream, unusual and deadly. No wolf/cat/bear. 2) Something that would pair perfectly with an assassin.

I've listed here the suggestions as well as attached some pictures of the animals/beasts that are being considered. They are all awesome. I'm itching to find uses for all of them but I have to pick only one from so many great choices. :)

1. Spider - I'm not going to post a picture of a spider. Too many people have a phobia or have issues with these little guys. Honestly, as wereanimal for an assassin I think a spider would be awesome. What better way to make the bad guy/gal piss their pants, you know? Even though I've thought of a way to work such a creature in perfectly, I think that there being a werespider would chase off more readers than draw them in, so Mr. Spider has been placed to the side.

Silverback Gorilla
2. Least Weasel and Mongoose, I think I'm going to have these two as domesticated animals in this fantasy world that doesn't have cats and dogs. 

3. Alligator, Falcon, Owl, Unicorn, Kangaroo, Rhino, Cassowary, Cape Buffalo, Gila Monster, Poison Dart Frog are creatures that I am setting off to the side for now. They are all deadly (I'm actually afraid of Kangaroos) but they would have a hard time fitting into this fantasy world I'm creating or it would be hard to write them in a light that would cause other characters to tremble.

Komodo Dragon
5. Tasmanian Tiger - This is one I can't used because I based many of Dargon's (The Valespian Pact) characteristics on the animal.

4. Silverback Gorilla - Strong, deadly, intimidating, beautiful. This one is among those I'm considering.

5. Hyena, Jackal, Wolverine, Tasmanian Devil, and Honey Badger are all different kinds of predators and are still being considered. The draw is that they are in many ways familiar, being furred and four-legged, but they also have a range of differences that would add to any story they are used in.

6. One suggestion was for an Eagle and my mind immediately went to a Roc. It is a mythological bird of prey. In the 13th century, Marco Polo was quoted as saying "It was for all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous size; so big in fact that its quills were twelve paces long and thick in proportion. And it is so strong that it will seize an elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces; having so killed him, the bird swoops down on him and eats him at leisure."

7. Kutabe - a Japanese guardian whose image is depicted on protective amulets. The appearance is "bovine or monstrous felid creature with nine eyes and six horns, arranged in sets of three and two on both its flanks and its man-like face. It is also commonly depicted as having the body of a lion and eight eyes, known for having a horn or multiple horns on their heads." The number of eyes varies but the Kutabe is intelligent, well read, and understands human speech.

8. A Chupacabra is considered a folklore in parts of the Americans. It's rumored to have a habit of attacking livestock, especially goats, and drinking their blood. It's reportedly the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Myth or not, this is a fearsome creature and just the depiction alone would made some characters tremble. :)

9. Manticore is another Persian myth, similar to the Egyptian sphinx. It has the body of a lion, a human head with multiple rows of sharp teeth, and the tail of a scorpion that shoots venomous spines. Some stories adds wings or horns, sometimes both. With this one, there would be a little more room to play if I wanted to add features onto the manticore and customize it's abilities. Being able to tailor the final creature is a big draw.

10. The Questing Beast. I know the bare minimum about King Arthur legends. That story was so popular when I was growing up that everywhere I turned it was there. I
Questing Beast
ended up avoiding the story like the plague. I would have overlooked the suggestion by the husband because I thought he made up the name, Questing Beast. Last night he brought it up and filled me in on the lore. The beast came from the medieval understanding about tales of giraffes, which is fascinating, but oddly the depiction of the Questing Beast is quite ferocious. Since there is little known about it, I could twist its lore or add some of my own which would be awesome.

11. Lanomia is something that I could definitely roll with. It is a highly venomous caterpillar. I could give this creature greater size and speed but there is an additional thing to consider. My shifter could have two shifted forms. This one where he could run on the ground, huge and unstoppable or in the second mothlike form where he could fly. That second form could be deadly as well but also beautiful and alluring.

12. Pabilsag is a Babylonian man-beast where he is both a creature and a god. His constellation is Sagittarius. He has the tail and multicolored legs of a scorpion, his lower body is that of a bull, and from the waist up he is a man. He's like a centaur, but not. Again, there isn't much on his background and what he's capable of or if he had any weaknesses. It would be interesting to insert something like him into the story so I'm still holding onto him.

13. Hellhound - I came up with this one this morning. This is either an evil creature or simply misunderstood. They are found in mythologies around the world. They are associated to death in many ways. From it's stare to guardian of the land of the dead to hunting lost souls there are a variety of aspects to choose from. It is also associated with fire so may have magical abilities.

14. Kelpie - This is a creature that can be beautiful but deadly. I'm not sure about the water aspect, though it is something that comes to play in the story. The downside is this creature does have a set of rules that I'd need to follow, hence my worry about the water. I'm on the fence about this one and it was my own suggestion!! LOL!

15. Basilisk - There were numerous suggestions for different snakes. Black Mombas, Boomslang, Feathered Serpent, and a variety of other snakes ended up on the list. I added the basilisk because in Greek tradition/mythology it is reputed to be the king of all serpents. It has a crown-shaped crest, has poisonous breath and a killing stare. Some say that it leaves behind a venom trail. In myth, these creatures can either be humongous or only a foot long, with or without four legs.

And that is all of them. It's a hard list to choose from. What do you think? Which creature/beast would you choose to be a shifter?

Before I leave, if you want to follow this secret project, here's the Pinterest board I'm building for it. :-D

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!


  1. I like the Roc or the Questing beast. Both would make great shifters and be extremely deadly without being gross to look at Lol.

    1. LOL! Yeah, being gross is one of my worries, too. The needs to be something that appeals to us and make us sympathize.

  2. The Roc sounds gooed, but so does the Hellhound :-) . Personally I think i'd like to be an Golden Eagle Owl, agile as hell and a silent killer.

    1. What I like about the Hellhound is that, "They are said to be the protectors of the supernatural, guarding the secrecy of supernatural creatures, or beings, from the world." I'm still on the fence. :)

  3. I would love to see a Honey Badger. Vicious, highly intelligent and NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. They are also resistant to venom (hence the ability to get honey). Check out honey badger escapes on youtube to see some of their famous escape artist antics.
    I also like the mongoose (I'm a sucker for Rikki Tikki Tavi) or the wolverine.
    As a suggestion for a non-traditional animal there is also a crab. There are species of crabs know as tree crabs who live in forest environments.

    1. Honey Badge sounds so innocent... LOL! I've seen some things on pinterest that talk about how the Honey Badger just doesn't care how deadly the opponent. :)

  4. I'm a big fan of hyenas personally! Those or wolverines would be pretty cool companions to an assassin!

  5. I like the hellhound and Kelpie very much. The kelpie in particular is not one you see used much, but I think you are right in that the hellhound gives you a bit more freedom.

    Perhaps you could use a Kyubi no kitsune? ot just a kitsune if you don't want to go the whole nine tails, this are supposed to be extremely inteligent and beautiful spirits, some say that they have infinite wisdom, omnipotence, and they are some texts that say they can actually shift into any human form they want, they are not limited to only one. You could definitely play with wich abilities you want, and if it's a bit too goodie goodie you can add some Kumiho characteristics, it's the korean version of a nine tail kitsune but usually evil. Although from what I've read the kitsune it's usually morally ambiguous, so that's has lots of potential.