Because the continent of Atlantis is technically in our timeline–and has magic–deciding on what the flora and fauna balance should be has been a struggle. On one hand, I want it to fit in with the rest of the world and have some of the normal things found natively in other biomes, such as squirrels, bears, turtles, etc. On the other hand, I want it to have its own indigenous species, because, well… in a land that still has magic–and races evolved from being near that magic–it only makes sense that it would be home to things you wouldn’t see anywhere else.
But since I want to keep things from becoming too ridiculous, there is a fine line I need to tread between fantastic and… absurd. That means I am overthinking things again. [Which is probably a good thing.] I had a small bestiary in my notes, but I discovered that I wanted to sketch out some of these creatures, to get a better feel for them. This led to the creation of the Bestiarum Vocabulum. I’m doing this mostly for me, but I thought I’d share the first entry with you guys as well, since it came out decently.
Two characters end up facing down a berserk one of these in volume #2. They look kind of cute, right? They’re supposed to be based off of a bear, with a bit of fox added in. [and yes, I realize that with the grey and black coloring it looks like a weird raccoon.] But being able to see other animals in it is what I wanted. I thought it would be jarring to see something completely alien when it’s supposed to be in our own current world.
It’s interesting too that there are no dogs or cats as pets on Atlantis, so I’m probably going to have to make up creatures that would be considered as domesticated in their place. I imagine birds are a popular pet, [in fact the new character has an avian companion] and some other kind of small mammal would probably fill in for the feline… maybe something similar to a ferret? And what kind of animal would be a shepherd’s companion if not a dog? It’s something for me to think about.
World building is a lot of work–but it’s satisfying work.