Archive for category The Animus Saga

An Animus Bestiary: Draiads

DESCRIPTION:

Close relatives of naiads and alseids, draiads are green-haired humanoids with wood-like skin.  They are native to large forests.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Driope, member of Garuda.

CREATION:

As with naiads and alseids, I found the nature nymph varieties interesting and decided to add them to my imago races, adding males to the all-female mythology.

NAME ORIGIN:

In Greek mythology they are call “dryads,” but I altered the spelling to show their close relation to naiads.

LANGUAGE:

Draiads speak Panglossa and Akhai.

NAMES:

All draiads have Greek names.

CULTURE:

Like alseids, draiads make their living by farming, but unlike their green cousins they are ferocious in battle and have strong command of Animus-based abilities.  They live in small villages far from civilization and the encroachment of human development.

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An Animus Bestiary: Alseids

DESCRIPTION:

Close relatives of naiads and draiads, alseids are green-skinned humanoids native to forests, open grasslands, highlands, and other unspoiled verdant areas.  Like naiads, they appear beautiful to humans, but their natural allure is not as strong.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Agraulos, a traveler Heidrun met in his youth.

CREATION:

I wanted to avoid the most commonly used figures from classical mythology and I found the idea of closely-related, nymph-based races interesting, given their different elemental associations.  As with naiads, I expanded alseids to include males as well.

NAME ORIGIN:

The name was taken directly from Greek mythology.

LANGUAGE:

Alseids speak Panglossa and Akhai.

NAMES:

All alseids have Greek names.

CULTURE:

Alseids are an agrarian people and lack the offensive Animus-based skills found in other imago.  Consequently, they are looked down upon by others and are perceived as weak and cowardly.

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An Animus Bestiary: Djinn

DESCRIPTION:

Flame given form, djinn are comprised entirely of molten energy.  Their shape and size vary widely, but all produce an incredible amount of heat and are naturally gifted at generating and manipulating fire.  They primarily dwell in the deserts of Jinai.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Agnar, member of the Legion of Imago, is a marid-class djinn.

Haidar and Bahij, members of Garuda, are ghul-class djinn.

CREATION:

Djinn have a long history in Arab culture and appear frequently in media across the world.  My favorite djinn has always been Ifrit, the summon from the Final Fantasy series, who personifies fiery destruction.  After a little research, I decided to include djinn of various types in The Animus Saga.  The real-life versions are referred to as “djinni” when singular and “djinn” when plural, but in The Animus Saga djinn is used in both cases.

NAME ORIGIN:

One of the most common spellings of the word, although “jinn” seems to be the most common.

LANGUAGE:

All djinn featured in The Animus Saga speak Panglossa.

NAMES:

In keeping with their cultural origins, djinn in The Animus Saga have Arabic names.  Agnar is an exception, as his name was given to him by Heidrun and thus fits a Norse theme.

CULTURE:

There are three varieties of djinn divided into social classes.  Ghul, the lowest class, burn yellow and are the most common and least powerful.  Marid burn orange and are less common than ghul but significantly more powerful.  Afrit are the elite and strongest class but are incredibly rare.  There is much animosity between the classes and conflict among them is frequent.

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An Animus Saga Bestiary: Shadow Slayers

DESCRIPTION:

Elemental imago born of shadow energy, shadow slayers are short, lean creatures with red eyes and sharp claws.  Their intelligence is usually minimal, though more intelligent individuals can manipulate shadow energy to devastating effect.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Vigrid, a longtime member of the Legion of Imago, is a shadow slayer of unprecedented power and intelligence, able to summon scores of his more common brethren.

CREATION:

Vigrid is based on a character I created in my early teen years.  I wanted a character with an extremely malleable body, something akin to the T-1000 from Terminator 2.  I drew a black-hued character with a long head and an armored vest, his arm converted to a spear.  A few years later, I created shadow slayers as mindless minions serving those skilled with shadow energy, inspired by element-based enemies from Final Fantasy games.  When I was writing Duality, I flipped through an old sketchbook and decided to base a member of the Legion on that old drawing, making Vigrid a more evolved shadow slayer with a body capable of stretching, morphing, and complete dissolution and reconstitution.

NAME ORIGIN:

They are beings of pure shadow energy whose singular desire is to kill anything in their path; the name “shadow slayer” was intended to make that obvious.

LANGUAGE:

Aside from Vigrid, shadow slayers do not possess the intelligence necessary to speak, communicating purely through snarls and other basic sounds.

CULTURE:

Destruction and slaughter is all they know.

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An Animus Saga Bestiary: Naiads

DESCRIPTION:

Humanoid imago with blue skin and black hair, naiads are deeply connected to the element of water.  They have strikingly beautiful features and often possess a near-hypnotic hold on humans they come into contact with.  Though they are rarely aggressive, their mastery of water-based attacks make them formidable enemies when pushed toward confrontation.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Heidrun, leader of the Legion of Imago, is a human/naiad hybrid.  His elder half-brother Heimdal was a full-blooded naiad.

CREATION:

When I began compiling a list of imago races, naiads were one of the most intriguing to me.  In Greek mythology, naiads are always female and portrayed as more of a nuisance than a threat, more dangerous because of their allure than anything else.  I expanded the race to include males but incorporated that attraction into Heidrun’s character, as it plays a role in his relationship with Sundari.  I also combined oceanids (saltwater dwellers) with naiads (freshwater dwellers) into a single race since their connection to water would not change depending on salinity.

NAME ORIGIN:

The name was taken directly from Greek mythology.

LANGUAGE:

Although most naiads speak Panglossa, many also speak Akhai, a language shared by closely-related imago such as alseids, draiads, and anemoi, all of which are taken from Greek mythology.

NAMES:

Aside from Heidrun and Heimdal, whose mother took their names from the old gods of Dravigia, the majority of naiads have Greek names.

CULTURE:

Although naiads are generally peaceful, many have borne a strong hatred of humans since the destruction of Aurinko, their cultural capital and symbol of their power and achievements.

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An Animus Saga Bestiary: Gamriels

DESCRIPTION:

Bipedal reptilian imago renowned for their physical strength and their near-impenetrable skin, gamriels dwell primarily in mountain caves.  Their bodies have dual rows of spikes along their backs and exposed spines, joining long bony tails easily wielded as lethal weapons.  Most have little skill in Animus Activation but compensate with their brute force and durability.  Their skin becomes tougher with age, becoming bulletproof at full maturation.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Bolverk, member of the Legion of Imago.

Kodarab, member of Garuda.

CREATION:

I needed a race of physically powerful and intimidating imago to serve as foot soldiers and guards.  They were originally called Basilisk Demons.

NAME ORIGIN:

From the Norwegian words gammel (ancient) and grontareale (green).

LANGUAGE:

Gamriels speak Panglossa.

NAMES:

Since Bolverk was the first gamriel I created, I extended the Norse theme to include all gamriel names.

CULTURE:

Despite their menacing appearance and frightening strength, most gamriels live in quiet seclusion.  Family is paramount in their lives and any harm done to family members must be answered with the blood of the perpetrator.

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An Animus Saga Bestiary: Lokivi

DESCRIPTION:

Feline quadrupeds no larger than housecats, lokivi are powerful Animus users specializing in mimicry.  While they cannot generate complex attacks on their own, they are capable of copying difficult techniques created by humans and imago.  This skill can either be employed as offensive support or to defend allies from harm, but they must be trained and commanded to do so.  However, all lokivi will utilize their mimicry in self-defense when necessary.  When using Animus Activation, a small jewel emerges from its tail and glows according to the element it is using.

NOTABLE MEMBERS:

Saigo, Cyrus’ constant companion.

CREATION:

In terms of design, the lokivi are an offshoot of the aeneid race.  Originally, it was the aeneids who had glowing tail jewels that emerged when using Animus Activation.  When that idea was discarded for aeneids, I decided I wanted a more wild race of feline imago that could mimic the skills of their allies, much like Gogo, a mysterious character from Final Fantasy VI.  Thus the lokivi were born.

NAME ORIGIN:

From the Finnish word jalokivi, meaning jewel, referring to the jewels in their tails.

LANGUAGE:

Lokivi do not speak and communicate only through squeals, purrs, and other feline noises.

CULTURE:

Although lokivi do not have their own culture, they are ingrained in Djangrilian culture as longtime allies, acting as battlefield support when Earth Guardian numbers were insufficient.  Nonetheless, Djangril has only a few individuals qualified to train lokivi.

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