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TheLightLost
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PostSubject: The Sphinx design    Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:59 pm

Turns out, this form of Sphinx was already in the wiki..


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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:26 pm

I dunno if Egyptian Sphynx would be a good name, since Egypt doesn't exist in Felarya. I think though instead of just a head, it'd probably be a taur as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:41 am

I want to bump this thread because I'm not satisfied with the descriptions of Sphinxes in the wiki.

As I posted in a comment on DA, from what I could gather by searching the wiki there are three typical forms that Sphinxes come in:

1) those with the head of a human and the winged body of a lion, or other large cat. This is a true sphinx by definition.

2) the Blue Sphinxes with a humanoid body (and I'm assuming this because of the furry forearms and paws), wings, and furry arms and legs with paws instead of hands and feet.

3) and the winged/wingless pantaurs, or something of similar make up. This is not a "sphinx" by definition so the name should reflect that. It can't be simply dubbed a Sphinx.

Correct me if I'm wrong there. I may write some better descriptions, but in the end we may need some visual references for clarity so I may be forced to put some of my horrible sketches out there.


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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:58 am

gt500x wrote:
I want to bump this thread because I'm not satisfied with the descriptions of Sphinxes in the wiki.

As I posted in a comment on DA, from what I could gather by searching the wiki there are three typical forms that Sphinxes come in:

1) those with the head of a human and the winged body of a lion, or other large cat. This is a true sphinx by definition.

Define true sphinx. Are we talking about the mythological derivation applied to Felarya, or are we talking about the Felaryan adaptation?

No, those concepts are not the same.

Dridders in Felarya are not from drows, but they have the similar name - I do not see why sphinxes of Felarya also cannot have a similar vein of approach. I rather like that pantaurs are grouped with sphinxes - it sets the precedent that the sphinx is the hierarchy of the animal family in scientific classification, but mutation has resulted in non-winged variety (layman term pantaur) and environmental/society effects have resulted in different subspecies or 'races' of the breed (I hesitate to use race, as it is more appropriate to use subspecies in everything except human classification).

gt500x wrote:
2) the anthro-ish Blue Sphinxes with a humanoid body, wings, and furry arms and legs with paws instead of hands and feet.

Where does it say that? Reading the wiki, it doesn't say anywhere I can find that blue sphinxes aren't taurs. The only character I know of that is a blue sphinx is a taur. (Tora's character Indigo - she is a blue sphinx/sphinx cross breed that retains human hands/forearms and lacks the same specialty with electricity as her siblings)

Also, the prefix anthro- as correctly applied means that you give human characteristics to an inanimate object or animal - not the other way around - and since nearly all predators in Felarya fall into this description, calling them out as such I don't believe is accurate unless you want to nominate them all as such.

gt500x wrote:
3) and the winged/wingless pantaurs, or something of similar make up. This is not a "sphinx" by definition so the name should reflect that. It can't be simply dubbed a Sphinx.

See my thoughts for (1) above.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:39 am

I believe Sphinxes have always been winged pantaurs. Kind of like the difference between a Centaur, and a Pegasus centaur.

Also, look at the Sphinx wiki entry. It uses a Pantaur pic in it. Also, all the Pantaur species are found within the Sphinx bio. That futher supports the "winged pantaur" theory.

Also
Quote :
Sphinxes are a proud and regal race with the head and torso of a human fused with the lower body of a lion

Winged pantaurs
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:56 am

(That's referring to the common Sphinx, not the other sub-species. Besides, that's not what comes to the mind of the average person when you say sphinx. I understand many of you couldn't care less about some of these other "races" in the wiki, but please try to care for a second and give this some consideration.

I've made just a few very small tweaks to the descriptions in the wiki to emphasize the differences in appearance between sphinxes. Those changes are in bold. I've also done a little reorganizing as you can see.)


Sphinxes

Sphinxes are a proud and regal race of feline-human hybrids. There are two common varieties that they come in...

The Tauric Variety

The Great Sphinx
(For lack of a better name right now. My first choice would actually be Golden Sphinx.)

Having the head and torso of a human fused with the lower body of a lion, and great feathered wings on their backs they are truly awe-inspiring. They often have long hair and passionate, fiery eyes. The Great Sphinxes of Felarya come in a range of sizes from 8 feet (head to ground) to 100 feet or more. They often have golden fur, hair, and eyes, and walk with a self confident swagger.

Sphinxes can be surprisingly emotional, and are known to quickly switch from one mood to another. In spite of this, they are intelligent and think very logically, albeit rather rigidly. They tend to see themselves as superior to everyone else, and can be quite self-righteous at times. They are often used as symbols for justice because sphinxes seem to hold that particular value strongly. They often act as a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner, in matters that they see fit to preside over. Sphinxes are prone to defend causes with great passion, which can sometimes lead them to fanaticism. They are very prideful, and a sure fire way to commit suicide would be to insult one of them or their ideals.

They are skilled warriors, being especially proficient with blades, and many make a living guarding places, people, and things that they feel is worthy of their protection.

In spite of their size, larger specimens are not as voracious as one would expect. Most sphinxes like hunting alone and will, if possible, get their prey from a group rather than cornering a single victim, as they feel it is more of a fair contest if the prey is allowed to counter their physical weakness with larger numbers. They also strongly despise sneak attacks and will always openly announce themselves before engaging an enemy.

Great Sphinxes store food they eat first in their human stomach, but once it becomes full, its contents are transferred to a second, much larger stomach, situated in their feline torso.

Great Sphinxes are dangerous on both the ground and in air, and some of them master a powerful healing and protective magic. They tend to live near mountain ranges and open fields, where they can make good use of their great, majestic wings.

Like one could figure, sphinxes absolutely despise harpies, their main rivals as the dominant avian race of Felarya. The two races have often waged war in the past.

Canopy Pantaurs

A wingless species of tauric sphinxes living in the summit of the gigantic trees of Felarya. They largely make up for their lack of wings with their great speed and extraordinary agility. Climbing a tree is as natural to them as walking is to humans.

Pantaurs are a lot more easy going than other sphinxes. They are social creatures and usually hunt in small packs of 3 to 5. They don't hesitate to attack large groups of enemies or prey, confident in both their combat skills and speed, two traits that rarely fail a pantaur in spite of their great recklessness. Pantaurs are very curious and don't like to stay in the same place for very long, loving to travel, explore, and see new things. Pantaurs are fearsome hunters. Their senses are very developed, especially their hearing. They love to play with their prey, much like a cat will play with a mouse, and when in a group they will often sensuously feed their prizes to each other.

Stone Sphinxes

A species of sphinxes living in the Lamina mountain region. They are usually 80 feet tall from head to ground. Their appearance is basically the same as a Great sphinx, but their fur, skin, hair, and eye color are darker, usually black or brown. They also give off the distinct smell of wet stone. Stone sphinxes are solitary creatures, dwelling in the various caves of the Lamina region.

One of their most remarkable abilities is that they can turn themselves into stone statues at will. While in statue form they absorb nutrients from the ground in order to quell their appetite. Their metabolism in statue form is extremely slow, in order to conserve energy, and their bodies also become incredibly tough and utterly immune to non-acidic poisons and venoms. Stone sphinxes in statue form are completely aware of their surroundings, and can be considered to be in suspended animation.

Stone sphinxes are the least voracious species of their kind, only needing to hunt once per year. They spend most of their time in statue form, absorbing nutrients from the ground to stay healthy. However, if prey comes near them, they have the habit of suddenly breaking out of statue form, gobbling up the prey, and then returning to their previous state, as if nothing had happened. Stone sphinxes are obviously very patient creatures, and have the curious, and sometimes unnerving, trait of speaking very slowly.


Non-Tauric (or Anthro) Varieties (busted for misuse and abuse)

Blue Sphinxes
(By my description they are essentially giant nekos with paws and wings. I'm sure they have wings given they have battled with harpies.)

A species mostly found in the great rocky fields. They have a humanoid form covered in blue fur, blue hair, possess cat ears, paws instead of hands and feet, and finally wings.

Blue sphinxes are fearsome creatures. Not only are they totally immune to lightning, but they can absorb it to heal themselves as well. They store it, in a manner similar to stormseekers, although they keep it in their bones and can't blast bolts of lightning at targets. Thus, any hostile or unwanted contact with a blue sphinx results in a powerful, stunning shock. Even when the sphinx is standing idle, small arcs of lightning can be seen coursing along the length of their body. They can control their shocking ability though, so if you are on good terms with one, touching or being touched by that individual is perfectly safe.

Blue sphinxes are vain and prideful, but slightly more lascivious and naughty than the rest of their kind, and are less inclined to follow strict codes of honor. For instance, they have nothing against sneak attacks, having lost countless battles against the fierce harpies of the zone when they announced themselves and their intentions.

They are also on friendly terms with nekos and will very rarely attack or feed on them.

Sphinx Sentinels
(I'm assuming this sub-species is not tauric. We need to get in touch with Chroias to see what he had in mind when he created them. I see Sphinx Sentinels being similar to the common versions of Sphinxes from mythology-- having the body of a lion and the head of a human.)

Sphinx sentinels are an uncommon species of giant sphinxes, mostly found in dungeons, mazes, and temples. They receive very special education, learning the traditions, history, and laws of their race, as well as an impressive number of riddles. Then, at some point early in their life, young sphinxes sentinels receive the two curses that have been passed down among them since time immemorial:

The Geas of Guardianship: on their one hundredth birthday, a sphinx is given charge over a great secret, usually a treasure or extreme magical power, sometimes a gateway or passage a hero would be expected to survive. They must guard this place for 5,672 years or until an adventurer wins the prize.

The Geas of Riddles: the second prohibition laid down upon a sphinx, given after the geas of guardianship is cast. During the 5,672 years of guardianship, a sphinx is forbidden to consume any sentient being unless they have asked them a riddle and the being has failed to answer or answered incorrectly. If the being answers correctly, they must be allowed to pass and gather treasure unmolested by the guardian.

Recently, however, a lot of younger, less patient sphinxes have begun using tricks and technicalities to get around the geas. For example, a hero answers a riddle correctly and passes the sphinx to get the treasure, but there is too much of it, so he figure he will simply take multiple trips. Hungry and impatient, the sphinx will allow him to fill up his arms with loot, and then force him to answer another riddle to be allowed to pass again. Most adventurers are so flustered by this that they fail, and are promptly devoured by the tricky sphinx.

The origins of these two curses and the reason why sphinxes pass them on to each other is an absolute mystery. They're believed to go back to a time before Sphinxes first set foot in Felarya itself.

As one might imagine, sphinx sentinels are extraordinarily patient creatures. They pass the time with mind games, solving complex mathematical problems, or conceiving new riddles. In Felarya, some sphinx sentinels have been known to link themselves to dryads, in order to keep in contact with the outside world. Sphinx sentinels possess a formidable memory and near perfect concentration, thus making them excellent spell casters, proficient in many types of magic, from dimensional magic, to telekinesis, to transmutation. With both this magical ability and their natural physical strength they are frighteningly powerful opponents.

Once in a while, another sphinx will come to replace the one currently guarding an area, to allow them to feed if the number of adventurers has been scarce. The sphinx then gate themselves to another world where they enter a feeding frenzy. For a few hours, the calm and composed creature turns into a ravenous and insatiable predator, devouring prey by the dozens and stuffing themselves until their two enormous stomachs are so bloated the sphinx can barely walk. They then come back to their post, ready to stand guard once again, and digest their copious meal. This is the only time a sphinx sentinel doesn't ask riddles.



(So the question is, is this doable? I believe this set up eliminates much of the confusion surrounding Sphinx physiology.)


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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:59 am

The wiki is very confusing when it comes to Sphinxes. Not to mention barely anyone touches the damn thing, so it's not surprising nobody ever bothered to clean up the damn entry.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:23 am

The vagueness of sphinx definition was an issue I raised recently on DA with this image here: http://globfish.deviantart.com/#/d3k69js

I raised three existing definitions here. I think it would be simplest just to refer between the Greek version, and what I'm for now calling the "Winged Pantaur," version. Now, I'm going to just deal with each of your versions at a time, to make sure we understand each other properly. And these are just my thoughts.

Quote :
1) those with the head of a human and the winged body of a lion, or other large cat. This is a true sphinx by definition.

We can probably count this one out. The Egyptian is the only one which fits into this category, and it presumably won't be wanted for Felarya, as it just isn't humanoid enough.

Quote :
2) the anthro-ish Blue Sphinxes with a humanoid body, wings, and furry arms and legs with paws instead of hands and feet.


It doesn't actually say anywhere that Blue Sphinxes have a humanoid body. The only thing specified is the lack of hands and furry forearms. With the "Winged Pantaur," idea we end up with an odd looking thing I've depicted here; http://globfish.deviantart.com/#/d3k9327 and with the Grecian design simply is the same but with bare shoulders.

Either way, the description wouldn't appear to make that much sense. I've asked Karbo about this and it should be sorted out soon enough.

Quote :
3) and the winged/wingless pantaurs, or something of similar make up. This is not a "sphinx" by definition so the name should reflect that. It can't be simply dubbed a Sphinx.

It can, as it's close enough to be regarded as one by the definition of a different universe. My question would be why to alter the standard Grecian sphinx into the Winged Pantaur version in the first place.

Now what I really need to say is that Karbo has already confirmed that the "Winged Pantaur," is the current form of the Felaryan Sphinx.

I personally dislike this design as it seems cumbersome and awkward, and also pointless, as the harpies and nagas have not been changed much at all from their mythological roots, so I don't understand why Sphinxes have been. Still, though, it's not up to me.

I also would suggest that if "Winged Pantaur," or "Grecian," either way all sphinx varieties should retain a similar basic design.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:28 am

Does it need to have a logical explanation as to why a more centauric look for a sphinx is bad when you compare it to a six legged wolf-like creature with poisonous claws, huge ice worm with wings, two-headed dragons that can only speak in rhymes, birds with a serpentine neck, and parrots with antennae that can somehow intercept radio signals? Logic has been thrown out the window years ago, mate.

Given that the Sphinxes' entry have never been touched since its creation, I'm filing it under the "outdated" section.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:37 am

Sean Okotami wrote:
Does it need to have a logical explanation as to why a more centauric look for a sphinx is bad when you compare it to a six legged wolf-like creature with poisonous claws, huge ice worm with wings, two-headed dragons that can only speak in rhymes, birds with a serpentine neck, and parrots with antennae that can somehow intercept radio signals?

Well, yes, because all these other things you're suggesting are completely made up, or only loosely based on things. Sphinxes are existing and solid in Grecian mythology. The logistics behind their "tauric," Felaryan design are slightly more important than random examples of Felaryan fauna.

Quote :
Given that the Sphinxes' entry have never been touched since its creation, I'm filing it under the "outdated" section.

Possibly because Sphinxes haven't been used much? gt500x IS planning on using Sphinxes. Bringing up the specifics of their design is relevant right now.

Not to mention the fact that parts of the entry are potentially misleading.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:38 am

gt500x wrote:
Non-Tauric (or Anthro) Varieties

The examples above are just as anthro as the examples below. I don't know why you keep clinging to that term, it isn't a sufficient descriptor for what you are attempting to deliver. Said what I would say already regarding the rest.

Edit for double post shenanigans:

GlobFish wrote:
Possibly because Sphinxes haven't been used much? gt500x IS planning on using Sphinxes. Bringing up the specifics of their design is relevant right now.

Not to mention the fact that parts of the entry are potentially misleading.

Tora has already used sphinxes though, and accepted the previous design/Karbo's design. I personally didn't find the text misleading because I always just envisioned it being like how Reya's forearms are done, only in addition to that they have paw hands instead of human hands, but I wouldn't argue against more detail being added to the sphinx entry as it isn't as well delivered as the other 'major' races are. Additionally, I also think the tauric design is fine; though I do believe the wings should always be on the lion/cat body rather than connected to the human analog.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:55 am

Hence why I said it's outdated and needs a revision. Also, sticking to one root and one root only is pretty conservative and boring, not bringing any spin or twists to anything, not even appearance. So what? If I took something from mythology, let's say a Griffin, and slightly altered its appearance, would you instantly dislike it on the ground that it's not the appearance from the original myth?
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:08 am

aethernavale wrote:
Tora has already used sphinxes though, and accepted the previous design/Karbo's design. I personally didn't find the text misleading because I always just envisioned it being like how Reya's forearms are done, only in addition to that they have paw hands instead of human hands, but I wouldn't argue against more detail being added to the sphinx entry as it isn't as well delivered as the other 'major' races are. Additionally, I also think the tauric design is fine; though I do believe the wings should always be on the lion/cat body rather than connected to the human analog.

"Paw hands," definitely makes more sense than literally just paws. Which was the image I had in my head. xD

Agreed, I think just making the entry clearer and more specific here would smooth it all over.

Sean Okotami wrote:
Hence why I said it's outdated and needs a revision.

Sorry, I misunderstood.

Quote :
Also, sticking to one root and one root only is pretty conservative and boring, not bringing any spin or twists to anything, not even appearance. So what? If I took something from mythology, let's say a Griffin, and slightly altered its appearance, would you instantly dislike it on the ground that it's not the appearance from the original myth?

Well, that would depend entirely on what you did to it. Small twists would be fine, provided that they actually enrich the creature.

Certainly I dislike this, because it seems pointless. The original version is more than fantastical (and noble and majestic ect) enough to fill all the roles that are needed by the Felaryan Sphinx. I simply am confused as to why it was so altered in the first place, as Harpies have not been (and have a similar lack of human limbs.)

All the "tauric," Sphinx variation brings is flight visualization problems and added problems for combat between them and Harpies. (The Harpies would already be at a disadvantage even following the Grecian design.)

I'm not necessarily suggesting we change it, but I can't help disliking it. xD
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:09 am

aethernavale wrote:
gt500x wrote:
Non-Tauric (or Anthro) Varieties

The examples above are just as anthro as the examples below. I don't know why you keep clinging to that term, it isn't a sufficient descriptor for what you are attempting to deliver. Said what I would say already regarding the rest.

I don't agree that they're "just as anthro." But maybe that's just me letting terminology curb stomp me again.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:15 am

gt500x wrote:
aethernavale wrote:
gt500x wrote:
Non-Tauric (or Anthro) Varieties

The examples above are just as anthro as the examples below. I don't know why you keep clinging to that term, it isn't a sufficient descriptor for what you are attempting to deliver. Said what I would say already regarding the rest.

I don't agree that they're "just as anthro." But maybe that's just me letting terminology curb stomp me again.

Anthropology is the study of humans. Anthropomorphism (long for anthro) is applying human attributes to inanimate objects or animals or in context with forces of nature. So yes, they're 'just as anthro' as the rest.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:26 am

Just so that I can be sure I understand your thought process and eliminate any confusion; you would describe a walking and talking cat as being just as anthro as a pantaur, or even a neko?


Edit: scratch the "walking" part. That doesn't come across the way I want it to.

Edit 2 (just for kicks): I want to make it clear that I'm not arguing against your viewpoint. Just making sure that I understand clearly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sphinx design    Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 am

Yes. The animal can talk (and I assume you meant walk upright) when it shouldn't be able to; you applied the principle to it. Nekos and pantaurs are the same way, though to a greater extent than just giving a cat the ability to talk. The 'furry fandom' /whatever you call it/ involves anthropomorphism, but instead of giving human traits to an animal you take an animal and make it human-like.

I would consider Reya and Triela to belong simply to anthropomorphism whereas I could see someone making the argument for Ryrja or Neare being 'furry fandom' (even though that isn't my intent, I do concur that their chimeric attributes make them more animal like than human like in terms of physique - I'm honestly thinking about changing that though). Ryrja and Neare stand, talk, and walk like humans, but their physique is more animal like and their facial construction especially. Whereas Reya and Triela, while having the attributes of animals are still more 'human-like' than not.

Edit: I really am torn over the Ti'Glath/Saurians... on the one hand I don't want them to be too human but on the other it just makes a mess of things.
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