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Author Topic: New Vulture  (Read 11432 times)
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #15 on: 04 October 2011, 10:51:28 »

Ta'lia, I think the simplest way to solve the problem is to make the southern limit of its range the Narfost Plain, which I will do shortly.
Alyr, I really appreciate your kind words and helpful suggestions.  I'll rework the sentences you highlighted, to clarify them.
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #16 on: 04 October 2011, 11:03:20 »

Ta'lia, I looked over the Narfost Plain entry more carefully and found that although it is wild and remote enough for this bird, it's not hot enough to show its adaptability to a wide range of climates. I think your idea of making it extinct in the desert is a better one, although we'll need to come up with a reason for it dying out.
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #17 on: 04 October 2011, 14:30:09 »

Jacob, I was very busy the last days - I have not forgotten your submission. I will have a look at it this night or the night after. Don't worry.
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #18 on: 05 October 2011, 01:33:38 »

I made some changes, which I think address all of the comments which have been made so far.  I went ahead and limited the southern part of its range to the Narfost Plain, and don't think it does any harm to the viability of my bird.  Alyr, I did in fact mean for 1 fore, 1 palmspan to be the length of its neck, so we should be okay there.  I corrected the other sentences to address your concerns, but would appreciate it if you checked to make sure that they were corrected properly.  All changes were highlighted with a different color for each person who made suggestions.
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Mina
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« Reply #19 on: 05 October 2011, 02:01:11 »

Quote
Observers are reluctant to get too close to a Stink Bird, which makes reliable details hard to come by.
Given this, the nailsbreadth measurements feel like they might be a little too precise.  Perhaps they could rounded off to the nearest palmspan or fraction of a ped? 
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #20 on: 05 October 2011, 05:53:23 »

Okay.
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #21 on: 05 October 2011, 05:58:23 »

The reason the length is 70-90 nailsbreadths is that it is estimated to be similar in length to an eagle which - according to the bestiary - is 70-90 nailsbreadths in long.
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #22 on: 06 October 2011, 01:13:13 »

Hm, the change you made with regards to the yellow colouring still doesn't solve some of your misplaced modifier issues! Perhaps I can help: "Its appearance is accented by splashes of sickly yellow colouring its large, hooked bill, as well as its legs and feet. The latter is equipped with curved, black talons that help it rend carcasses or perch upon an idle branch" or something like that. Feel free to modify this to suit your means!

Also, I wondered, how many birds fly together in an average flock?
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #23 on: 06 October 2011, 03:57:08 »

Hi Jacob,
My internet is broken and I have now only a very limited connection over my ipad, so checking your text and integrating your vulture into the Rahaz-Dath has to wait till tomorrow night where I hopefully will have access again. (the guy is supposed  to come tomorrow morning). I'm not very fit yet with typing on the ipad either...

sorry!
Talia
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Jacob Peace
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« Reply #24 on: 06 October 2011, 09:46:00 »

Ta'lia, I was able to move them out of the desert altogether, so I think that problem is solved.  Rayne, I'll take another shot at it with your new suggestions.
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seth ghibta
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« Reply #25 on: 06 October 2011, 19:01:15 »

Right, we finally have internet here, so I can read this through properly!
I love it. Quite apart from my conviction that we need more scavengers, detritivores, and similiar unglamorous but necessary creatures, your great stink bird stands up as a brilliantly conceived creature in its own right. I don't have any corrections or anything to make, only a suggestion: you don't have a usage or myth/lore section. they aren't compulsory, I know, so please feel free to ignore me on this, but I always like to see them, as they're two sections that tend to integrate creatures very closely with existing cultures and peoples.
for instance, you make it pretty clear that most people view them (understandably) with complete revulsion. how's that filtered into popular beleif? maybe they're associated with disease, or even beleived to be able to smell out death? it has to be a pretty bad day for a herder if he or she sees Great stink birds circling over his flock, I'm guessing. ;) And as for usages- feel free to discard this, but I had a thought about them being used as a sort of chemical warfare- sort of an ultra-stink bomb, for clearing rooms, or unnerving opponents. that may just have been my just-woke-up brain though. :P
anyway, applause and aura for an excellent first entry, sir!
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #26 on: 07 October 2011, 01:51:22 »

No way, Jacob!   azn The Narfost is my baby also! Internet is back and tonight you will be my victim ermm, I mean I'll come and help you!  :D

( Have you been warned, not to engage too much with me? ;) )

I just have to get used to that trackpad!
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #27 on: 07 October 2011, 02:24:57 »

I though this was supposed to be the dead wing from the Mists?  :(
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #28 on: 07 October 2011, 05:10:32 »

That would require a different approach/comment. Now I don't know, what to do....
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #29 on: 07 October 2011, 07:15:48 »

Hello Jacob, RL did not allow me to comment on your bird, but now I‘m here. As Azhira seems to have thought it would be a creature of the realms she is looking over, I do not comment on territory.  I did have some ideas, how to incorporate it into the Rahaz-Dath though (the Narfost does not really work, it is not so remote and without people as one might think), I gladly share them with you, but if you decide to move them north, it is fine with me also.

You have a already fine submission here, but there are a few things which are still unclear or not fitting together. I know it is your first entry and you surely are already sick of having to go again over it, but it will be more rewarding if we are going to polish it a bit, right?


Great Stink Bird

This bird has surely more than one name, maybe depending on the tribe (myth?), or the location? Also, I don‘t think, that this is a good name for a formal compendium entry, it sounds to me more like a name the common people gave it. I have no idea yet, how one could name it officially , but maybe you have an idea? Maybe it is known as stink bird all over the continent, but I would like you to think about other possible names also.
 Is there a smaller stink bird also, for it is not exceptionally big.(which s good)


Overview – The Great Stink Bird is a large vulture, renowned for its offensive odor, which resembles a battlefield of rotting corpses after a couple of weeks in intense summer heat.  Multiplied by ten. It is large and powerful, with a beak capable of breaking bones, and its primary means of defense is its foul smell and ability to spew its toxic stomach contents.

Appearance - Observers are reluctant to get too close to a Stink Bird, which makes reliable details hard to come by. Females are estimated to be similar in length to an eagle (70-90 nailsbreadths), with a magnificent wingspan of about 2 ped.  Its (--> females) feather’s (plural) are black, with a pronounced ruff around the base of the neck. The head is bare and red, as is its neck, which is about 1 fore, 1 palmspan in length. I"Its appearance is accented by sickly yellow colouring its large, hooked bill, as well as its legs and feet. The latter are equipped with curved, black talons that help it rend carcasses or perch upon an idle branch.   Its eyes are orange, and glow eerily day and night. Males are identical, but smaller, approximately 50-70 nailsreadths in length with a wingspan of about 1 ped, 12 nailsbreadths.

Is the neck 40 cm long, the whole bird 70-90cm? ?
If you write „about“, you should not be as precise as 112 cm. Why not 114? If I understand it correctly, this bird stinks so terribly, that not even the bravest biologiste would go near, apart from the fact that they live remote. So how can you have so exact messurement? I think it would fit better, if you say, that it looks like the bird has approximately the same size as an eagle, but that its neck makes up half of its bodylength. That tells you all you want to know.



Special Abilities:  The Great Stink Bird can soar for hours at a time without a single wing flap.  Its eyesight is remarkable, able to detect a carcass from over a stral in the air.

How can you know that? Tell us about an observation (a bird soars high above and dives directly to a corpse e.g.)

They perform an important service, because there are few scavengers that can devour a large, rotting carcass as quickly as a flock of Stink Birds. Its most unique characteristic, however, may be its ability to vomit foul smelling digestive fluid at its enemy’s eyes, causing temporary blindness and an irremovable odor which lasts for weeks.

I wonder, what for enemies it has. If it stinks this much and nobody wants to get near, how will it be able to spit its digestive fluids in a predators eyes?



If it is killed, this odor spreads over a large area, and is likely to contaminate any creature that tries to touch it.  Few living things will voluntarily get near a Giant Stink Bird, let alone attack it, from closer than the distance of a bowshot.  When dead, the carcass is consumed by other Stink Birds, the only scavenger that will eat it.  Its stench disappears when the carcass is consumed, or completely decomposed.

What living things WOULD come near to get contaminated? And how would this work, how long would they smell?



Territory – The Great Stink Bird is native to South Sarvonia.  An unpopular neighbor and difficult to exterminate or drive away (see special abilities); it has fallen to wizards, with their ability to drive creatures away without killing them, to rid the countryside of them. Stink Birds now remain only in remote areas with few human inhabitants, notably the Tandala Highlands, Shivering Woods, and Narfost Plain.

The Narfost does not work, but if yo decide to keep it in the South, I‘ll work with you on territory.
  
Habitat/Behavior – Stink Birds are adaptable, and inhabit a wide variety of climates and terrain – from the freezing cold Tandala Mountains, to the Narfost Plain.

The Narfost does not have such an extreme climate to serve here as an example for a hot environment
 
They soar for hours, searching for carrion, and keep a close eye on each other, as well their fellow scavengers.  When one descends to a carcass, they all descend and feast – in many cases until there is no meat left.  They are the dominant scavengers at a kill, and eat first unless there are large mammals vying for a share.

 With each other, the hungriest bird is usually the most aggressive and claims the choice cuts of rotten meat.  Their sharp, powerful beaks enable them to open all parts of the carcass, including the bones, and the Stink Birds’ long necks allow them to reach deep inside to the internal organs.  After feeding, they retire to the nearest source of water to bathe and groom. They are often so full after feeding that flying is a challenge.  Large numbers gather, after mating season, in trees and on cliffs for the night.

 Diet – Stink Birds are meat eaters exclusively.  No one has ever seen them kill live prey, but many farmers suspect that they take livestock since they are often seen feeding on sheep, goats, and cattle.  It seems likely, however, that they merely consume farm animals that have died of other causes.

I thought they are all driven away from populated regions?

 Mating Behavior - Stink Birds are highly devoted to their mates, and remain together for life.  Courting males soar over available females at incredible heights, gradually circling lower and closer.  If interested, the female issues a croaking call, which he returns, and then lands by the object of his desire.  The lovers entwine their long, naked necks, and clack their razor sharp bills together, oblivious to the reeking breath and body odor that makes brave men run in terror. Perhaps - to a Stink Bird – it’s sweet perfume.  They then “dance” in front of each other with their enormous wings extended, marching in place with high steps and croaking a Stink Bird love song.  At that point, they’re a couple, and nesting begins.
  
Stink Birds nest in defensible positions that have a good view of the surrounding countryside, such as high cliffs or the upper branches of trees. (Therefore the Narfost would not really fit)  Nest building is shared between the pair, with a separate job for each:  Males bring sticks to the nest, and females build it.  . There is no question that the female is in charge. When a male has the audacity to place a stick in her creation, she promptly removes or replaces it.
 
Two eggs are usually laid in the spring, and the male and female take turns incubating them.  Chicks are covered in purple down, and both parents feed them when they hatch.  Young Stink birds often remain with their parents for a year or two – learning the skills they need and helping their parents raise the next clutch of babies.


That‘s a needed and interesting bird, Jacob. What I still miss most, are the predators, the „why“ they are stinking. That may help you also, to incorporate the bird a bit more in Santharia. So far it could be a bird in any fantasy (or not even fantasy) world, apart from two words in territory.

In addition, I would like you to either create slightly different birds, varieties for the hot and freezing climates or you need to mention, that they seem to be quite similar, that, maybe the plumule which keeps the northern variety warm helps the southern to protect itself against the heat also?

I would recommend also, to read thoroughly through the other comments above again, there is at least one question unanswered, that of Rayne about the size of a flock.

Now we need your decision, where to place it!

« Last Edit: 07 October 2011, 07:20:14 by Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels » Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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