Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => The Santharian Bestiary => Topic started by: Belgarion the Great on 11 July 2002, 10:55:00



Title: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 11 July 2002, 10:55:00
Something weird happenned to the last entry when I tried to add the word Overview. So now I'll just put in this one.

Why the heck not.

Overview. Most people consider sharks as deadly, vicious, evil, and all 'round unpleasant things. These rumors mostly derive from any encounter made with the Ancythrian shark. This saltwater fish lives a lonely life, eating anything that may keep it's company out of the breeding season. Lacking in any intelligence the creature is easily fooled but will usually get it's target eventually. The Ancythrian Shark is the most feared hazard of the average Alvang sailor.

Appearance. The Ancythrian shark tends to have a rather monotonous body. Most people who've seen this fearsome beast agree that it has a dull grey upper half which abruptly turns white at it's underside. It has small holes at the sides of it's head presumed to be ears of a sort and it's eyes are sunk deep in it's head perhaps as an evolved way to protect the orbs. It doesn't range very much in size, around 4.5 peds in length. Although no official weight has been recorded it is generally agreed they weigh very little in relation to size, having no bones and oddly light muscles they seem to be around half the weight they should be. The beast comes equipped with a full set of razor sharp teeth used for... unpleasant things, each being constantly replaced as they are expected to be lost. The males' and females' body stuctures have no noticable differences.

Special Abilities. These sharks have an incredible sense of smell, they can track not only blood through water but sense sweat from passing boaters or the urine of a lost sea turtle all up to two miles away from it's current location. After catching a scent it's will reach an incredible 30 strals an hour trying to reach the creature.

Territory. Very very very fortunatly for everyone, except the sharks themselves, the Ancythrian shark is only located in the sea of the same name, with a few exceptions of assorted rich excentric men who specifically transport these creatures, at the expense of about a half dozen men per shark, into personal pools or moats just for the sake of having them. The Shark does very well in it's sea and it is amazing how any other animal survives in the same region.

Diet. The diet of the Ancythrian shark is preferably, to the shark, meat. It will eat anything and everything it sees, smells, or assumes is alive. That would be the reason it is occasionally sighted eating chunks of wood or perhaps an oddly shaped rock, possibly a reason for it's replaceable teeth.

Habits/Behavior. This shark lives alone. If any animal, even another Ancythrian, enters it's territory there will undoubtedly be a fight, usually ending with a luncheon for the shark. It is very "mean" as the humans of the port cities call it as it will give no mercy or show any fairness, in truth the creature is too stupid to be mean. It lives on a simple instinct of eat everything in sight with the exception of once every ten years. If one is being chased by one of these for example you may throw a chicken leg, or ham sandwich, or a nice steak, off of the ship and away from the shark. The shark will stop instantly and rush off to this new sorce of food since it seems closer and in the water which is it's own environment for the killing. That's provided you see the shark in the first place. The Anythrian shark does not skim slightly beneath the surface as many sharks do, it waits a good 7 or 8 peds beneath and then goes up at a near vertical path and bites into whatever it is attacking, sea turtle, whale, deck of a ship, it doesn't care too much. The Ancythrian Shark is suspected to live quite a good deal of time. Ones in captivity lived 40 years after they were captured but nobody knows how long it lives from newborn to death. A century is the common estimate.

Mating. Once every ten years the shark goes into heat. At this time they stop being as territorial as before and search far and wide for another, of the opposite sex, in the same state. Since not all go into heat at the same time, although in the same season, this is a time when many sharks tend to die. When a shark mates the eggs are lain and the sharks go off their seperate ways for the rest of their lives. With all the other animals in the place about 3 eggs from every "batch" survive to adulthood. As a child they grow rapidly and hit adult size in 3 months. During the time they live as bottom feeding animals which usually get eaten within a few weeks.

Uses. The Ancythrian shark has many uses. The most famous use is by, generally, the insane, misguided, or out in out weird, who enjoy having live Ancythrians inside their moats to deter unwelcomed guests. This business is of course very limited but happens enough to mention. Other uses is that the shark's skin can be made into an extremely tough and versatile leather, sought after by swordsmiths and such to bind handles, or perhaps make very fine shoes. Once the sharks were hunted as a possible way for food but their meat tasted extremely bad to most people, seeming to reek of blood after being roasted or even charred for hours. Capturing of these sharks is a very lucrative business, mostly due to the risk, any part of this shark can easily make enough money for an average person to live off of for half a year.

You are Cordially invited to the place of Edited by: Belgarion the Great  at: 7/12/02 9:46:01 pm



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 11 July 2002, 15:55:00
Did you add HTML without enabling html? That wouldn't make sense amyway, though. Hmmm. Confused as you.

It still wouldn't be the sailor's worst problem, as the shark shouldn't get much chance to dine on the sailors.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 11 July 2002, 15:58:00
Oh it would be. The shark isn't smart. It'll notice this thing moving and think "Hey it's alive" and not notice it's a boat. It'll probably bite a few holes in the bottom of the ship and then it'll sink before it sees land. The Ancythrian sea is fairly large. Besides what other problems would they have? There aren't waves in the sea. And the weather isn't especially difficult to deal with. Sharks are the only wild card out there.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 11 July 2002, 17:40:00
The weather isn't bad? I guess it might be tropicxal: I never checked. And generally, I don't think sharks have the ability to bith through the hulls of ships. I'm definately not sure about this, though.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 11 July 2002, 17:42:00
Maybe not. It's a fairly large shark though. It might be able to. And like I said there isn't much else to be afraid of.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 11 July 2002, 21:29:00
Well, generally ships don't have much problem with animals at all, mainly reefs and weather. Which presented enough of a problem anyway. What do we know about this ocean, anyway?

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Wilen Cloverheart on 11 July 2002, 21:30:00
Do you think the ~3 shark young surviving to adulthood will be enough to replenish the ones that die off during mating season, wander into another's territory, and kill themselves eating rocks? It sounds a little dubious :)  



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 11 July 2002, 22:31:00
They're fine. More than three sharks survive each mating season. Other pairs have others too. Let's say there are 100 new sharks each year. And a 200 of them kill themselves and there are less sharks. Well next time there is more territory so more sharks make it through and that replenishes the population. It probably has a 20 year cycle on it that has a 10 year slump and a ten year rise. Let's say at the moment they are in a slump.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Bard Judith on 12 July 2002, 19:16:00
A few possible uses....


"Sailors attempt to harpoon these great fish, not only in revenge, but also because their carcasses are fairly lucrative.  The skin is often in demand by swordsmiths, who use the tough strips with their slightly roughened surface to wrap weapon handles.  The flesh can be cut into steaks, and if rushed to the larger cities will fetch a good price among the jaded nobles.   Certain oils found in the fat layers can be collected and refined to provide a smooth emolient lotion which is often scented with herbs and used to protect the skin."



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 12 July 2002, 22:11:00
No, they have enough things killing them as it is. I forgot to write this down, partially because I was unsure where to put it, see this shark I had made was supposed to be a disgusting thing to eat, by most sentient tastebuds. The reason the sharks eat each other with no second thought is well... they eat rocks, I don't think they care. As for oils, I'm sure that people aren't going to risk hunting these fellows for mere cosmetic purposes. The tough leathery skin for swordsmiths is possible. Only for extremely rich swordsmiths of course but it would work. Maybe they are too tired to wait by the evil mages moat and wait for one of his specially imported Ancythrian sharks to die and will just hire someone to catch him one.

I'll add what sounds good to me then.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Tarquet Galbar on 13 July 2002, 10:51:00
Put that under a 'Uses' heading then. It mentions the lack-thereof and also some uses.

Tarquet Galbar,
BeastMaster Of Santharia
Creator of Weavers
Chronicler of the Rahaz-Dath Mercenaries



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 13 July 2002, 19:10:00
I think there's a problem with the wrapping weapon handles with sharkskin. Shark skin is too rough: it would cause abrasions, not the most comfortable thing, especially when having to handle a weapon that's defending your life. I'm sure of this one; a sword with a sandpaper grip - not a good idea. Leather works a lot better.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 13 July 2002, 21:38:00
I see *Glares at judy* well the point I was kind of going for was that the shark skin could be treated like cow skin and be transformed into a kind of super tough leather, similar but stronger than cow hide. Would that work or is it just a useless shot?

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 14 July 2002, 02:31:00
I've already prepared the entry, seems fine with me. If you still want to add/change a thing or two, please add this as a reply to this thread and don't edit the entry anymore.


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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 14 July 2002, 14:52:00
That would probably work nicely. I'm have no clue as to how shark skin would react to trying to be turned into leather, so it sounds fine to me.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 14 July 2002, 18:51:00
I'm as good as done. Anything left now is just minute details which don't matter much left or right.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Bard Judith on 16 July 2002, 07:38:00
I'm sorry, Stormcrow, but sharkskin HAS been used throughout history to wrap weapons handles; I didn't just make this up!

It was the mark of a high-quality weapon since before the Middle Ages - the skin is not like sandpaper - it has minute grooves which create hydrodynamic flow over the body of the shark.  I believe at the last Olympics American swimmers were wearing a new hightech swimsuit which simulated sharkskin for just that reason!

Those grooves or textures create a very good 'grip' when the skin is cut into strips and wrapped around the hilt, or sewn into a hilt-shaped sheath and bound with more skin.  You might also be able to find references to 'shagreen' if you do a search.

So Belgarion, you can stop glaring,  ;)   and either leave it or take it out - doesn't matter to me, as it was only a suggestion to add a bit more detail to your already interesting beastie.    But the day I make a historical error is the day my account has been taken over by aliens (she says with little humility)...

Regards from the shark-toothed bard...



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: pnofxw on 07 August 2002, 14:10:00
I was given (or I took) the task of drawing the shark. One main problemt that I have is how does the shark have teeth and a jaw (that functions well enough to indure such rigorous activities like biting through another sharks hide) w/out the presence of bone? Would help a lot to find out what he's got so I could start sketching, thanks.

BTW sorry for any spelling errors, I suck.  



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 07 August 2002, 16:10:00
Well our shark does have a spine, jaw, and teeth no other bones but those it does have. It has muscles to control the chewing and the biting and oh jeez! Uhhh yeah. So anyways he's got no rib cage or skull or pelvic joint but jaws he does have, like a normal shark.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Erelen on 07 August 2002, 17:16:00
Ok thanks a lot!

Edited by: Erelen at: 8/7/02 1:50:01 am


Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 13 August 2002, 15:48:00
... oh ... sorry, Judy.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 16 August 2002, 12:18:00
Ok, here it is: Erelen's digitial painting of the shark. I have to make that bold, because it looks too good to be true. However, I got proof that this is really not a photo, and that it was drawn only by looking at a shark pic, not painting over it or something.

The pic really is too good to be true, as I already wanted to reject it, telling Erelen that we won't allow photos... :lol  Well, see for yourself:



I thought maybe we can make it look a bit more drawn by adding plants or fishes etc. - any ideas perhaps? I'd like to move a bit away from the photorealism of this pic if possible, so any suggestions are welcome.


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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: SmurfStormcrow on 16 August 2002, 15:30:00
:eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek
*A crowd gathers round, staring in awe at the spiffy photo... er painting*
Wow.

Stormcrow

Psychotic Wizard-Type



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 16 August 2002, 20:45:00
FOR MY ENTRY! :D  :D  :D  :D  :D ! I Always loved this shark, but remember, there aren't likely to be other fish since he'd have eaten them... although an oddly shaped rock would be a nice touch. I gotta say I love this! Just wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Erelen on 16 August 2002, 22:28:00
haha I thought it may have a special place in your heart Belgarion :)  But wouldn't he also have eaten the oddly shaped rock? Or maybe he could be going after it??? Anyways thank you Stormcrow and Belgarion (and Art although it did take some convincing ;)  ) for your kind words.



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Belgarion the Great on 16 August 2002, 23:47:00
Heh, maybe an oddly shaped rock with teeth marks. It's a very good drawing though, But other than the very very cool shark, it seems to be missing something else. Like a plant or a ship, I don't know exactly and it is so cool as it is but for some odd reason we all seem to want more. I don't know why, I mean it's way cool, but... I dunno.

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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 17 August 2002, 00:43:00
Yeah, maybe some kind of sea landscape at the bottom in the distance...


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Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Erelen on 17 August 2002, 13:27:00
I was thinking about just throwing a rock formation in the bottom left corner. Would that work?



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 17 August 2002, 13:55:00
Yeah, and maybe just some silhouettes of something very distant perhaps, not clearly recognizable, like a sunken ship's mast or something... Just hinting at it. And maybe just a few very tiny fishes somewhere...?


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World Development Admin - The Forum where Worlds are born...



Title: Re: Ancythrian Shark.
Post by: Erelen on 17 August 2002, 14:55:00
haha I see if I can throw some lil fishes somewhere in there for ya ;)  I like the idea of some background silhouettes too. I will see what I can do.