BESTIARY DEVELOPMENT RULES
If you're a
member of the Santharian Dream and would like to add stuff to the Bestiary,
please post in the Bestiary
section of the Santharian Development Message Board. People will then
comment on your new addition and if the entry is approved it will eventually
move to the site in one of the coming updates.
However, in order to design animals, monsters, mythical beings etc. for the Santharian Compendium the following necessary sections need to be covered. If you still aren't sure what you should put in certain sections, please read through some entries first and see how others have done their entries.
Describe everything in
Always remember that words like "vitamins", "chemicals", "genes", "fossils" etc. usually are unknown terminology to medieval researchers. So keep away from these things, and also don't try to explain everything in detail what researchers of the 20th century have found out. Researchers of the Middle Ages weren't really "scientists", but mainly investigated what they could see, watch and thus describe. We have alchemists in the "medieval" world of Santharia, no chemists, which is an important difference, as alchemists are still lacking the profound background chemists of nowadays have.
In the same respect I guess we can't emphasize enough that though evolution and belief don't necessarily have to contradict each other in our world of today, it was impossible to think of such things 1000 years ago. Especially in a fantasy world like ours I think that we should forget about evolution in the Darwinistic sense completely. We have other explanations why the original landmass split into various parts (Gods/War of the Chosen) and a typical evolutionary theory doesn't fit too well to our mythical concepts.
Keep it as Santharian as possible
Also try to make your stuff as unique "Santharian" as possible. Why not create things like a giant beetle, a large bloodfly, a strange fish, mushroom trees... - which never existed here on earth? It's good that we use some "earth creatures" (and plants) in Santharia as well, especially horses, cows, deer, some cats, and bees are helpful as well etc. But always keep in mind that unique Santharian creatures should predominate over "modified" or "twisted" earth creatures!
Take a look at the Bestiary Menu and see in which category and subdivision your plant would fit (Domestic Animals, Magical Creatures, Land Monsters etc.). In case the beast would fit in two different categories (e.g. if a beast is a lizard and a monster walking on land, simply put it in both categories: Wild Living Animals, sudivision Lizards, and Land Monster).
Basic Overview of the Beast
Do a short description on the beast, which can be placed on top of the entry and at the general overview page: What kind of beast (category) is it? How large is it approx.? Where does it live? What are its most important features etc. People who are searching for the right beast for a certain territory should only need to read the few lines at the Overview to know if this is something they are searching for or not. So try to keep the things mentioned here as precise as possible.
Do the creatures you describe have any sort of special abilities? Able to withstand extreme cold, run very fast, things like that. And if they do, then how do they do this? A specific muscle structure, or extra fat layer?
Where can this beast be found? Check out the maps we have on the site (Place menu), do some research on the different places, and make the best choice on what you find. A creature with thick fur? Probably somewhere cold. That type of thing.
If you were to see these creatures, what kind of things would they be doing? Challenging the pack leader for control, or wandering by itself? How do they live in general? Get into as much detail as you can.
What do your creatures eat? And if they eat a lot, what is their favorite food? Also make sure that what they eat can be found where they live, otherwise it just isn't practical, you know...
What are their mating behaviors or rituals? At which season, age do they mate? Do they mate at all (well, if not you need very good reasons...)? Is there maybe some sort of dance? Which gender is the aggressor usually? Again, detail.
If there are certain stories, legends, myths related to this beast (historically accurate ones or "fantastical"), mention them here. It may also be the case that there are proverbs and sayings associated with the beast, or that even poems were written for it.
Does the beast come from anywhere special? Especially applicable e.g. at supernatural creatures like demons, ghosts, spirits etc. or mythical ones.
Any noted researchers on these creatures?
In case products or parts of this animal (like milk, hide etc.) have a special use, let us know who uses them, where and why. Also, if the beast itself is of use for people, e.g. for riding, let us know here.
Can you think of any details to make this even better? Further sections can be added of course anytime you see the necessity to have more.
If you follow these guidelines I'm sure developing beasts for the Bestiary is much easier and will produce better results. - Happy developing!
Information provided by Artimidor