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2020 Reader Question 10

2020 Reader Question 10 published on 18 Comments on 2020 Reader Question 10

Heradlic animals are kind of like the way more magical animal spirits found in the Americas and Africa and other places, but they are also pretty different! They aren’t nearly as inherently magical for one, and while some look like mundane animals, some uhhhhh super don’t. Who named that a tyger????


The one I like is the Camelopardel, Cameloparadlis, or Cameleopard. Apparently at some point a giraffe was described as a sort of camel/leopard mix, with antelope horns. And a long neck, but not quite giraffe-long, so there was one part of the beast that was less fantastical than the actual animal.

Now I wonder if two-headed eagle heraldic animals exist. Those go all the way back to 16th century BC. Probably not sapient, and probably very bitey…. Oh so bitey.

I’m pretty sure those got shown in a previous reader question. Pretty sure they weren’t sapient.

Apparently the Heraldic Lion of the UK is spotted like a Leopard. And are there Maltese Tigers?

Interesting. I thought they were referred to as leopards because you can’t have more than one lion on a heraldic piece, and there are three lions on the UK coat of arms, so they are canted as leopards…. The arms definitely do not show any leopard spots, even as daipering (decoration which is not listed in the cant). A cant is a verbal description of a coat of arms.

Eustace and Marshall – I understand there are more Totems of a certain type the healthier an animal’s population is, but I’m curious – are individual Totems “born” as other beings are, thus growing from infancy to adulthood and, even at a different rate, pass on, leaving things to a new generation – or do they simply manifest, immortal as long as their population is doing well, fully formed and aware? If so, what triggers the manifestation or “birth” of a Totem?

…I’ll be honest – this may be, to a small extent, an excuse to see baby versions of our favorite Totems. Crow chicks and Fox kits, please?

So how do you make the executive decision, as the author of this world, to decide if a creature is a unique entity or a species? We’ve seen Totems as individuals, but we also know “Pegasai” are an entire race with a single individual making up the human idea of them.

If there’s multiple individuals of a species mentioned in real-world mythology, do they generally represent a race at large, like gorgons? And when would you decide if their powers are a trait of the race, or just the exceptional powers of known individuals?

NGL I’m totally curious about Thriae and if they are all oracles.

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