Cat Transliteration

Kitkat
Kitkat is not fond of cameras

This is my roommate’s cat, appropriately named Kitkat, which I have been pet-sitting for the last week.  She is normally scared of the wind but once everyone left town Kitkat warmed up and has been camping out in my room.  One thing I have learned, a cat is a lot more cost effective than a space heater at night.

Now back to business!  The Kalille are an important race in the world of Shadowdawn, and it should be noted that despite their obvious feline traits they do not think of themselves as “merely” cats.  The reasons for this trace back to the origins of the Kalille as a “divine race”, as they were first simply nature spirits and the force of Balance in the fledgling world of Lexis caught between the angellic Gladiere and demonic Dragons.  They chose their current form as a means to fully embrace their unique position in the world and become more a functional part of it.  What this actually means is something for future stories to explore, but suffice to say calling a Kalille a “cat” is an insult of the highest order to them (and something that Ket endures often).  Humans of Lexis have picked up the less volatile colloquialisms of razorcat (or sometimes, devilcat) based on their metallic bone structures and spear-like tails, but Kalille generally react more strongly to the base word than these human terms.

Ket the Blackwing
Ket the Blackwing

Ket is a highly unique character in the setting of Shadowdawn, even as far as Kalille go.  He is, as his denomination may indicate, the only Kalille ever to have black-feathered wings which quickly caused a superstitious mob mentality to bubble to the surface and his eventual forced exile.  Being an outcast of a highly reclusive society forced him to use his natural abilities in ways Kalille never had to before.

Ket was always fun to think about since the beginning. In his original concept, shortly after the creation of Arashi and penning the first scenario, he actually WAS a normal cat that followed her around but could only communicate with her telepathically.  The Kalille were not fully fleshed out at the time in my writing, so the coincidence of needing Arashi to have a non-human guardian and the Kalille wasn’t immediately obvious to me.  Even though the original concept of the first Shadowdawn was strictly about Arashi in a Dragon Quest I-like scenario with Ket (the cat) in tow, my friend said that a cat was pretty mundane for a familiar and made me reconsider his role.  First I added wings to make it a bit more fantasy, then increased his size to a panther/mountain lion, then I realized (due to the panther analogy) that Ket was essentially a Kalille – a race that had only one representative in my prior writing at the time.  So the transformation was complete and I began to really think about how the Kalille work.

As an artist – and given the people I’ve talked to I’m not alone in this – drawing animals is HARD.  It took years to even get Ket to look the appropriate size and to make matters worse I had to give him wings, which are also not so easy to draw let alone on a quadruped.  I eventually got comfortable with the shape but of course my own style took over so it’s not exactly photorealistic or even typical of how manga handles animals, but I like how he turned out.  I started playing with armor pieces to have him fit with the technomancy-centric setting, but as he is is more know for psychic abilities I didn’t go too overboard on that end.

Finally presenting a new character, Morsett Daikuri, next time.  Thanks for reading and see you soon!

About Nightfox

A long-time independent game developer that was lucky(?) enough to have grown up with the gaming industry. I am a programmer, a game designer, a concept and pixel artist, a music composer, and a novelist. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined to take advantage of every talent I hope I have to make it happen!

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