Percy the chicken perched on my hand like a falcon getting ready to launch. Since there will be falconry in my fantasy series, I have taken inspiration from the experience. She gripped my fingers tightly, pressed her belly on my knuckles, and gently pecked my pinky. I was afraid she was going to peck me on the head because I saw an Animal Planet show in which a giant harpy eagle pecked on a guy’s head while perched on his hand.
One of the most iconic mythical beings are mermaids. Mermaids have been regarded as beautiful creatures who tempted sailors and more recently became one of the most beloved characters in Disney. I am thinking of including mermaids in the second volume of my fantasy series, but they will be like nothing like the traditional version. I will be turning my attention to the evolution of both dolphins and humans and see how such a connection would be possible. There is a theory called the aquatic ape theory, which describes the possibility of an offshoot of humanity evolving to life in the ocean millions of years ago.
In terms of appearance, I can picture mermaids to resemble humanoid dolphins. They would be hairless because hair only creates drag underwater. Their skin would be leathery like a dolphin’s and be dark on their backs and light on their bellies in order to blend in with the deep sea like a great white shark. Their faces would seem human except their eyes would be larger for low light conditions and their brows would be thicker to accommodate the same organ dolphins and whales use for sonar. Their hands would be webbed to give additional thrust while swimming yet have enough dexterity to grip objects. In terms of diet, mermaids would feed on small fish, mollusks, cephalopods, and crustaceans. With locomotion, their legs and lower spine would fuse into their tails, but I imagine them resembling the shape of a wide paddle. Like other hominids in the past, mermaids would make tools and weapons from whatever they can find on the seafloor.
Overall, I am going to be scientific with mermaids in my fantasy series just as I was with dragons.
I went to the Fall Festival at Concordia University and visited the petting zoo. At the petting zoo, I encountered a frisky chicken with an afro I named Percy. Here is a picture of Percy on my shoulder like a parrot on a pirate’s shoulder.
Here is one of the anti-villains of Numen the Slayer, Emperor Autem Sylva III. Autem is the current emperor of Gradaia and is a complex and morally ambiguous character. A politically astute young man, Autem is obsessed with securing his dynasty’s future and status and is willing to eliminate members of his own family or tamper with unholy magic to achieve that goal. He covertly commits a number of atrocities to secure his position as emperor and yet is plagued by a sense of guilt when he sleeps at night. In battle, Autem wears gold armor and wields the Ferruman metal sword, Gryphclaw. When creating Autem, I drew inspiration from the historical Richard III as well as Macbeth. As the series progresses, Autem’s character will evolve as he continues to fight for the future of his dynasty.
I had an interesting idea for my second volume of my fantasy series. One of the most famous sea monsters of all time is the Kraken. According to legend, the Kraken was large enough to drag ships into the sea and had tentacles so long that they reached to the top of a galley’s mast. Some say the Kraken resembled an octopus while others say it resembled a squid. I will be doing my own interpretation of this legendary beast in my second volume. According to my calculations, the distance between the sea and the top of the mast is around one hundred feet, which would mean that most of the Kraken’s tentacles would be one hundred feet in length. Therefore, the Kraken’s body would need to be just as long. So far, that would make the Kraken around two hundred feet in length. To make it even longer and larger, the Kraken would also have the two feeding tentacles that are longer than the rest. Because legends cannot decide between squid or octopus for the Kraken’s appearance, I will be combining features from both squid and octopus when depicting the Kraken and give it the super-aggressive behavior of the Humboldt squid, which some people call the Red Devil. Imagine something this large and aggressive battling another type of sea monster while two large fleets battle around them during a violent storm.
Here is what an average Umbran soldier from House Baal looks like. I drew inspiration for their appearance from the Normans and Anglo-Saxons from the 11th century. As loyalists of House Baal, they bear the sigil of House Baal, a red skull on a purple field, on their shields and surcoats. “Flesh Is Power!”
Gramfyre is the weapon of choice for Numen Magnus. I named it after Gram, which was the sword the Norse hero Sigurd used to slay the dragon Fafnir. I also drew inspiration from Excalibur from Arthurian Legend and the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings. Just as Excalibur and the One Ring answer to no one except King Arthur and Sauron respectively, Gramfyre answers only to the descendants of its creator, Vaegar Dragonsteel or Vaegar the Mad. Instead of having Gramfyre in a stone like Excalibur, I had it in something else that rhymes with “stone”. Like the One Ring, Gramfyre has the ability to influence the mind of its wielder in order to fulfill its desires. While the One Ring influenced its bearers to return to Sauron, Gramfyre influences its wielders to satisfy its desire for conquest. As a result of this influence, Numen’s personality tends to shift from his normal personality to one of an ambitious and ruthless conqueror, often on a subconscious level.
In terms of appearance, Gramfyre is a hand-and-a-half sword that was forged from the organic metallic ore of a dragon scale. Its blade is pitch black with ancient runes engraved along the fuller. Its crossguard is cruciform in structure, made of gold, and decorated with rubies. The grip is made from polished ivory from dragon bones. Finally, the pommel resembles that of Narsil from The Lord of the Rings except it is made of gold and has a big ruby embedded in the center. Despite its size, the sword is so light that it feels like it’s not even there, which gives it a scary nature, yet it is virtually indestructible and sharp enough to cut through castle-forged steel like a hot knife through butter.
When wielding Gramfyre, its master tends to perform deeds that would be considered impossible by most. Most of the time, Gramfyre constantly influences fate so that its wielder could achieve its desire for conquest. In combat situations, it grants its master the strength, speed, and fury of ten men as well as a high tolerance to physical pain. The only drawback of these abilities is that Gramfyre requires the life force of its wielder in order to fuel its magic. The Civil Folk call Gramfyre the Sword of Power while the Welts refer to it as the Sword of Miracles. Overall, Gramfyre is a selfish, bloodthirsty, and capricious sword that is both a benefit and a liability.