Elanthian Vogue: Imaerasta 5120 EXTRA!
Editor: Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l
Back in 5118, we introduced the concept of Elanthian Vogue EXTRA as an additional publication to our regular numbered editions and supplementaries. In these "extras" we take an in-depth look at one particular aspect of the Elanthian fashion scene.
This month's regular edition covered the growing trend of exotic styling for the upcoming season in which live creatures could also be considered as an accessory by the more audacious fashion follower.
Elanthia is home to a diverse variety of animal life and we thought it would be interesting to feature a few of the more exotic types that have been adopted as pets, along with some of their owners. I should add that some of those included are not necessarily considered to be "pets" by their bipedal companions and, in some cases, are not even welcome company!
From reptiles and rodents to avians and animates, it seems nothing is off limits when it comes to what people consider to be a suitable companion. And whilst I'm sure many are proud to show them off, we would recommend asking permission of their owner before attempting to approach or touch them - the pet, that is - as some have a reputation for not-so-nice behavior. In fact, so do some of their owners, so consider yourself warned.
Lizards, Newts, Snakes and Worms
an indigo shade-newt ~ Liasandrych Twitching and shuddering at odd intervals, the tiny creature appears to be little more than a shadow lent feeble substance. Its indigo-cored form wavers like a candle's flame, but the shade-newt maintains a rough lizard shape augmented by odd, elongated limbs. Each of the six tendril-like legs spreads into a trio of tiny black talons. Twin pinpoints of cerulean luminescence shine from where the creature's eyes ought to be.
Snakes and other worm-like creatures are prevalent in Elanthia. The recent upsurge in the availability of wearable ophidians has seen the demand increase considerably and lately it is possible to see a wide range of slithering and venomous varieties being draped around shoulders and waists as a fashion accessory.
a copper-traced leaf green viper ~ Kothos Blud The tree viper is a verdant, brilliant green, with her emerald-topped lissom coils contrasted by a lambent yellow underbelly. A large serpent, she is nearly ten feet long, sinuous and supple. Dappled copper scales converge in a diamond pattern around her wedge-shaped head, which is crowned by lustrous, pale amber eyes. Brother Blud's viper called "Rusalka"
a long slender blue coral snake (wrapped around her torso) ~ Kioya The snake has a sky blue stripe running laterally along each of its flanks, lustrous atramentous scales along its back, and appears as if its head and tail have been dipped in dramatic scarlet. When asked for its name, Kioya stared evenly at me and languidly swept her fingertips over her obsidian broken skull symbol. Persevering, I tried for a quote and was met with a withering glance. She then extended her leg forward with a click of her heeled boot, encouraging the snake to slither down her sword arm and rest its head on the back of her hand I chose to beat a hasty retreat as she held her arm out in a graceful, yet threatening, flourish as a stiletto would appear in her hand.
a diamondback rattlesnake and a skinny bright pink leech with a flowery rosette pattern ~ Faerinn "A father and son duo - Longfellow Senior and Longfellow Junior - are for helping me detect the presence of Sheru's dark minions in the dream world. Comes up more often than you think!"
a small bright blue spider (on her shoulder) ~ anon The bright blue spider is a magical spider about the size of a silver coin. I was met with disdain and stony silence. The owner's response was merely to poke the spider, which duly reared up on its back legs in a threatening stance! I foolishly inquired about the gossamer web bag she was wearing. Only to see a black and green spider with sharp white mandibles climb out and scurry down her leg where it skittered over to something on the ground. Spinning a cocoon of gossamer spiderweb around it, the spider dragged it back up her leg and into the bag.
Rodents and Hedgehogs
a bony sewer rat ~ Bittz (a rather unsavory looking gnome dressed in filthy rags) In amongst the grumbling and babbling, I caught the words, "Why 'ood I name it? Just curled up wiv me one day," and then she ambled away.
an obese drunken chinchilla ~ Maylan Nearly lost in the furry folds of its round face, the chinchilla's beady black eyes bear a glassy sheen of inebriation echoed by the waddling stagger of its movements. Rolls of fat nearly obscure the rodent’s stubby legs and comparatively delicate-looking paws. Though the plush, dark grey fur covering its rotund body and bushy tail is dense, its lighter, speckled belly fur is by contrast sparse, stretched thin over splotchy pink skin and no doubt worn away by dragging on the ground. "Chinchilla friends are an essential component of Land Pirating. If you do not have a chinchilla friend, I deem you unworthy of the title. Chinchillas are created when a cat falls in love with a rat and they have a baby. Here is a true fact about chinchillas: they can unhinge their jaws in order to cool off their heads. This is why they are called chin-chillas. My chinchilla friend is my very best friend in the world, and I keep him good and healthy by feeding him table scraps." ~ extract from our interview with Maylan in 5119
Although it's not technically a rodent, the hedgehog is however similar in size and also a much sought-after pet. Like their rat counterparts, they are also prone to fleas but, when well-cared for, they make adorable pets and, let's be honest, who could fail to be charmed by the prickly little things?
a diminutive cream-bellied hedgehog ~ Rohese Small enough to fit into the palm of the hand when tucked into a tight ball, the pudgy hedgehog boasts a fine array of chocolate brown prickles tipped in ivory. Flanked by a pair of dark ruby red eyes, a glossy black nose twitches curiously at the end of its snout, beneath which a soft, creamy white belly is revealed between its tiny little pale pink feet. His name is Tibb and I adore him!
Cephalopods and Fish
One would think that water-loving creatures could not be so readily adopted as a pet or even as fashion accessory but this hasn't stopped the determined few. With the ingenious use of bowls and bags, they can easily be incorporated into any outfit. Some have even been known to wear them as headgear!
a dwarf octopus ~ Ysharra Nagorn Its skin glistening, the octopus appears to be quite small, no bigger than a halfling's fist. Tiny beady black eyes are slightly upraised from the rest of its bulbous, round head, and a tangle of tentacles branches off in eight directions from its main body. Spirals of deep green ring the creature's sucker-lined arms, imparting a slight alternation from the mostly dark brown hue of the creature's skin. Stretch (yes, that is indeed his name) is apparently a very useful and long-lived octopus having resided in his fish bowl for twenty years (when he's not being worn on his owner's head) Don't ask. Or do!
It is often said that owners take on the appearance of their pets. This was clearly demonstrated to me by this particular fishy - or should I say, "Fithie"- specimen!
a tiny vibrant blue betta with dull black eyes ~ Darcena When asked, Darcena described "Mister Scalykins" to me as a tiny betta with unusually large teeth in its oversized head, a vibrant blue body with black-ombred scales, and oversized, yet delicate, fluted amber fins that float all about him in the brackish water of his translucent sack. With a playful growl, she added, "Mister Scalykins and I are pack. We both devour meat with intense focus, deliberately cause kittens distress, and brook no nonsense from those around us." Glancing down at her fish in its sack with a fond grin, she then snaps her head up abruptly and mimics the exact expression of her pet, glaring at me with deliberate menace and baring her unusually sharp canines.
"Fithies" are rare but if marine life is something that appeals to you, you can always pick up a little fishy friend at Morayna's Pet Shop in Solhaven or from Fish Friends, the speciality shop located on the Sandy Peninsula in Mist Harbor.
a brilliant tiny silver glimaerfish (inside a small glass fishbowl) The glass fishbowl is a perfectly formed glass sphere that provides a suitable home for any aquatic life that wants to take up residence within. Blue-green pebbles are scattered across the bottom of the fishbowl, providing a suitable crawl space for a singular snail that treks from one end of the tank to the other. The very top half of the glass fishbowl slides off of the sphere to allow food to be placed within. Swimming inside the glass fishbowl is a brilliant tiny silver glimaerfish. The glimaerfish appears to be quite tiny, likely only a baby in terms of size. The scales of the glimaerfish resemble sheets of glass whose surfaces are swirled with a faint, subtle sheen of metallic blues, golds, crimsons and pale greens -- their hue barely visible to the eye. Two thin whiskers branch off from the sides of its mouth, their long, tapering length surpassing the fish's own tail. A large sail-like dorsal fin stretches along its back in a razor-like fashion.
Avianscompanions. Many are majestic to behold and can often assist in their owner's magic as familiars.
a ruby-crested greater bearded vulture ~ Elaejia Silithyr Massive in size, the ruby-crested vulture scans its surroundings with predatory zeal. A thick stripe of black feathers encircles each red-ringed golden eye, with long plumes trailing down beard-like below his hooked beak. Shifting restlessly on long-toed feet, the vulture flexes his talons with audible clicks. Now and again, he displays his expansive wingspan with an impatient air, revealing more of his mottled white and blue-black coloration. "No comment!"
a snow white raven ~ Ysharra Nagorn Regal and imposing, the wintry plumage on this corvid is starkly set off by her beetle-black eyes and ebon talons, showing her to be a true white raven, rather than an albino. Her dark eyes are flecked with violet specks, which glimmer with intelligence as she stares back at you. Her large head is covered with long, silky feathers that span out in a spiky ruff around her throat. Her wings are nearly six feet long when extended, and marked with silver-blue tips on the long flight feathers. "Munin"
a pale-faced coppery barn owl ~ Magister Raelee Svala "Why are you inquiring about 'pets'? The owl is not a pet, it is a familiar. It has a functional purpose ... which is neither companionship nor my entertainment."
CaninesWerePuppy, there is no doubt that canines are a popular choice for companionship. Much can be determined about a person when you witness how they treat their four-legged friend.
a brindle hyena ~ Herem Meshal'eja (of the Dhe'nar) The large canine is obviously closely related to her domestic cousins, but her vicious growl and the feral gleam in her intelligent eyes speak of her far wilder nature. The brindle hyena is a dog of large size, with a body that is square, compactly built, muscular and powerful. The fierce animal is elegant in appearance, of proud carriage, reflecting great nobility. Almost three feet tall at the shoulders, the brindle hyena is among the wild's fiercest hunters. A black-tipped brindle hyena would make a difficult opponent or a powerful friend.
a tufted-eared copper-furred kitten ~ Alisaire Frey The small, sleek kitten has a short coat of rich copper-colored fur with a lighter cream neck and underbelly. It has striking black markings above its eyes and at the sides of its muzzle, and the tips of its dark ears bear long, ebon tufts. The kitten stares out at the world with large, inquisitive hazel eyes as it flicks its half-length, bristly tail to and fro. Alisaire has apparently been training her caracal for several years now in anticipation of someone killing her shrike.
a sleek dark lavender kitten ~ Lucrecea Ruin Covered in scant, downy soft fuzz, the kitten seems nearly hairless at first glance and takes its dusky lavender hue more from its visibly wrinkled skin than its sparse fur. Wide golden eyes peer outward from beneath oversized batlike ears which flicker to and fro at the slightest sound. Lean and lithe, the kitten's gangly limbs match its long tail, and it proudly wears a tiled golden cloisonne collar inlaid with turquoise around its slender neck. "Sphinx"
a tiny snow leopard ~ Orthir Duranel Covered in thick, downy soft fur, the snow leopard is a misty, silvered grey blending to warm ivory, with dark sable rosettes giving her a sun-dappled appearance. Large, expressive pale green eyes regard you with obvious fascination above a bewhiskered pink nose before she abruptly looks away, her attention already diverted by a new curiosity. Diminutive in stature, the snow leopard seems barely past adolescence, her paws and ears oversized and her exceptionally long tail twitching with playfulness. "Because there's nothing like adorable exotic cats to get all the ladies, and half the men!"
a baby-laden opossum ~ a portrait of Faerinn's "cat" by Hepit. Inked in a series of heavy greys and blacks, with underlying notes of variegated browns, this image is one of startling depth and realism. An opossum is depicted in full snarl, its beady eyes fixated outward. Its bulbous body is hunched low over a bloody scrap of meat, rendered primarily in a deep crimson, which has also been applied to the muzzle of the opossum itself, creating the distinct sense of a meal, interrupted. "Kitty"
Whilst they are too large to carry or flourish about one's person, a mount can always be relied upon to create an impression. It is now possible to easily acquire a tamed horse or tortoise from Rumor Woods and many have done so. As well as riding in on your impressive mount, you can also "accessorize your accessory with accessories."
a sleek chestnut horse ~ Faerinn's "dog" He stands 16 hands at the withers. He has a sleek body with a glossy chestnut coat. He has a square face, a side-draped, silky forelock, and pointed ears. He has a long mane that flows loose down his neck, and a long, flowing reddish tail. He is wearing a wide scuffed leather saddle. "Altahuan", Elven for "Big, Big, Dog; Captain of Dogs"
Last, but by no means least, there is a category of pets that could be considered to be "otherworldly." We are fortunate enough to be able to share some of these wonders with you.
an ethereal deep blue phoenix ~ Rohese The deep blue phoenix is a creature of pure wonder and beauty, its slender, elegant body wreathed in flames of spectral sapphire hue -- its feathers rustling in an unfelt breeze as they shed tiny motes of glowing blue that dance upon the air like fireflies before fading away. Its gemlike eyes regard everything with a curious nature, and it moves as if it were a painting in motion, constantly redrawn and rendered beautifully upon a living canvas rather than anything of this world. The icy flames swirl about it in lurid spirals and intricate halos as it flows on unseen currents of air, letting loose delicate, barely heard trills that twinkle lightly on the air. Within the nebulous, translucent body of the phoenix are shards of silvery moonstone, roiling throughout its flames and tossed about to catch the light in odd, glimmering angles as they whirl heedlessly in a ethereal dance of beauty within the majestic creature. "Often it's the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self."
a faenor-banded smoky glaesine globe ~ Morah Thin bands of black faenor wrap around the small globe, reinforcing the seams between the thin panels of glaesine. Each pale glaesine panel bears a twisting, darker-hued pattern within its surface, which resembles several interwoven tendrils of smoke. The globe is suspended on a fine copper neckchain, which threads through a small loop at the top of one faenor band. A shapeless blob of pale blue gelatin lies within the sphere, oozing restlessly back and forth within the confines of its prison. Baby v'reen morph from the War of Nations
a small ember red will-o'-wisp (inside a scorched fireleaf seed pendant) ~ Une Naur Faendryl Entwined protectively in filamentous strands of gold is a single fireleaf seed. The ruby red sheen of the paper-thin husk mimics the flammeous radiance of the tree's magical leaves although part of the seed has been badly scorched. The would-be cage hangs on a long length of gold chain offset by a short one attached to the lobster claw clasp at the back of the pendant. This shorter chain sports a tiny gold engraved disc. The fireleaf seed pendant is inscribed with a red horn. Through a slight opening, you see a small will-o'-wisp fluttering about inside the pendant, causing it to glow ember red. The will-o'-wisp is no bigger than your average piece of yabathilium fruit, and glows ember red. The will-o'-wisp appears to be in a very annoyed mood, and it's best to use caution while doing something it might not like. The will-o'-wisp appears to be hungry. Through the ember red corona, an obscured tenebrous core is visible.
a small sand elemental patterned with alternating waves of dark and silver hues (inside a fractured sanguine glaes shard entangled in silver thorny vines) ~ anon The elemental is a miniature swirling storm of multi-hued sand, its millions of sparkling granules constantly shifting and spiraling in ever-renewed patterns of ethereal brilliance. Its surface melds and constantly reforms in undulating ripples, while each granule appears to shift through the myriad hues of light and dark in a heartbeat.
If none of these options are available to you and you would still like to adopt a pet accessory, you could always try to catch a firefly and name him ... I'll leave that part up to you!