1. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea

    Creating a New race, "Chimerid"

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by stormcat, May 8, 2014.

    To justify a not-vampire attack early in my story, I've created a race of not-vampires I call chimerids. Derived from "Chimera" as they apparently have many animal-like traits. But when I go through my writing these creatures don't seem to "mesh" well as a race. Here is a brief list of traits they would have:

    -Physically similar to humans, only apparent difference being "glow-in-the-dark" eyes like cats. There are internal physical differences such as the lack of appendix and additional brain matter, but such differences can't be seen unless it's during surgery.

    -The ability to transform humans into chimerids through transfusion of blood. Such blood can be easily injected through a pair of retractable fangs.

    -The ability to manipulate external electricity in ways that mimic superpowers (Mental abilities yes, superspeed and bulletproof no)

    These creatures seem underdeveloped when I look back at them. I guess I wanted to add more animal traits. Any suggestions of what to add/take away?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I can't really say too much about your specific issues, but the idea of a new mythical creature is fascinating. Not a vampire, not a werewolf, not a zombie, not a mermaid, not a fairy (or whatever the heck a fae is), not a mage or a wizard. The world needs a new mythical creature. Go for it! Seriously.
     
    Bjørnar Munkerud and sunsplash like this.
  3. Dagolas
    Offline

    Dagolas Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    France
    Don't make them look like humans.
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    I can imagine these sorts of creatures having long bony arms i.e. almost like arms with no flesh, just a skeleton. And if you want to make them more animalistic, have them walk and run on all fours.
     
  5. HelloThere
    Offline

    HelloThere Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    240
    Recruiting humans by transfusing blood through fangs? That's a vampire right there. I would definitely encourage you to avoid vampires, but don't go for half measures. Be creative, do something different, don't just create vampires with a different name - that will annoy people more than simply using vampires.
     
    Tiradentes, Mckk and Wyr like this.
  6. Dagolas
    Offline

    Dagolas Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    France
    Also, making useless changes such as a lack of an appendix doesn't make it a "cool new species". Make it very different from humans, or any other existing creature.
     
  7. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    They have to look like humans because they live amongst humans and can't be detected.
     
  8. Tyler Danann
    Offline

    Tyler Danann Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    6
    So they are kinda like lesser-vampires then?
     
  9. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Could you have them transform into "other" creatures when they feed, such as the Slitheen and the Zygons in Doctor Who? :)
     
  10. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    Not exactly, while they do have fangs they don't actually drink blood. they eat regular foods like us.
     
  11. Wyr
    Offline

    Wyr Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    São Paulo
    I agree with @Dagolas, @HelloThere, and the others. You should really take it farther than giving them a different name and a few superficial changes. I would give them more animalistic physical traits, maybe things that they have to put in a lot of effort to hide. Maybe one of your character always wears hats to hide his goat horns, or keep them clipped down. Another character might always wear turtlenecks and gloves to hide the fact that her torso is covered in snake scales. Or just go whole-hog and have them transform into humanoid monsters with goat horns and hooves, a lion's mane and claws, and snake skin and teeth* (all their teeth, not just the fangs like vampires) in order to bite and infect others. If you want them to blend in but don't want shape-shifters that bite people (maybe a little too werewolf-ish,) if your universe allows it, have them use magic (technology works too if you are going with sci fi/fantasy) to conceal their "true forms" until they want to turn someone. In any event, I would make them work to keep their secret; in addition to making them more believable, it's a gold mine for story ideas.

    If you don't want to make them more monstrous, at the very least I would change the "turns people by injecting them with their blood via retractable fangs" part. I can't think of any animal that injects its own blood into its victims. I would either require your creatures to draw their own blood and inject it into people they want to turn with hypodermic needles, or drop the blood bit totally and make it some sort of venom. If you do go with venom they could secrete it through some gland in their skin or have some sort of stinger on their body that they have to keep concealed. Either way, I would definitely get rid of the biting part. Both vamps and werewolves transform people this way, let's see something new!

    In any case, it's your story and the choices are yours. I just hope I was helpful and gave you some food for thought. :D

    *I used your chimera example as a jumping off point, but any random animal combo would work. Even mixing and matching for different characters would be cool.
     
  12. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    Okay, I agree that I should probably drop the "blood injection" bit and change it to venom, But I have still no ideas as to how to make these people more animal-like other than give them animal abilities like being able to see in the dark and hypersensitive hearing.

    I was thinking maybe some kind of change with the legs? Since my story takes place in a victorian setting the legs could be easily concealed.
     
  13. HelloThere
    Offline

    HelloThere Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    240
     
  14. Wyr
    Offline

    Wyr Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    São Paulo
    Give them weird feet, like hooves or clawed bird's feet. Or give them tails. Those would be stupidly easy to hide under women's bustles and it wouldn't be hard to do the same under men's coats/pants, as long as they aren't too big. Heck, you can even give them a stinger too, like a scorpion or manticore. That would give you a way to have them infect people without having to reuse the vamp/werewolf biting technique.
     
  15. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    I'm really not digging the stinger bit. With the tail, it would have to be very long and large to reach out and sting someone. Unable to hide it. The feet would also be difficult as most animal feet can't fit into a human's shoe.

    I was thinking giving them scales on their arms and legs. Those would be covered and my main character would discover them under her nightgown after the transformation. But what else to add?
     
  16. desert rat
    Offline

    desert rat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    10
    The term "animalistic" comes up a bit in this thread. yet I can see you are walking a fine line as you want them to superficially resemble humans. Some cool examples of what animals can do (actions rather than appearances) are "see" using infra-red (pit vipers), generate electricity for a number of purposes (shocking prey, electrical fields to "see" their surroundings), generate light (many deep sea fishes, fireflies)... there may be some inspiration in the animal kingdom for your Chimareds. Perhaps they see in wavelengths we cannot? feed on the energy of fear? control the electrical energy of another person? And then there is the whole realm of animal mythologies (e.g., salamanders invulnerable to fire - that would be a cool attribute for a character). A chimaera is a mix of animals though (e.g. horse and goat, man and lion, lion and eagle, horse and man, etc.) and so I think if you want to call them chiamerids they should be a mix of human and a creature, and then you exaggerate that feature. For example, a chimaerid of a snake and human may have vertical pupils in its eyes, born with a forked tongue that is surgically modified so they can fit into the human society, and heat sensitive pits behind its lips in the jawbone - these pits allow it to sense the infra-red environment. It would look largely human but the chimaerid features are there upon close examination.

    My 2 cents worth
     
  17. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    I'm well aware of the "Animal superpowers" and was hoping to add more of them. If I could just make a list of them, this would be really helpful. It's gonna take a while to compile the "powers" i want to use. Definitely want to use the electricity though.

    Anyways, these chimerids are supposed to be uniform as a species. If one has cat eyes, they all have cat eyes. If one has scaly arms and legs, they all have scaly arms and legs. Can't have a snake-man married to a cat woman, if you catch my drift.
     
  18. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    "Animal powers" make me think of a terrible little piece of 80s nostalgia...

    Eyes of the hawk, strength of the bear, speed of the puma!

    On a serious side:
    Sticking to contact magic, that is "transformation of others into its own kin by means of touch/bite/venom" is almost always going to take you into warewolf teritory. Is it important for the story? If they are just a species, a biological species with sexual organs that can reproduce (unlike undead vampires or demonic posetions which are warewolves), why do your Chimerids need this trait in the first place? You mention pairing two of them - why can't they just have little Chimerids in the good ol' fashioned way? :) I know that vampires and warewolves and even zombies (?!) can fuck and reproduce (!?) in pop (idiot) fiction, but c'mon - that never had and never will make no sense at all :)
     
  19. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    In the beginning of my story, my human main character is transformed into a chimerid. By the end of the story, she's popping out chimerid babies.
     
  20. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    @stormcat yeah, but what purpose does this double way of reproduction serve? :)
     
  21. Tiradentes
    Offline

    Tiradentes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    26
    How are people with eyeshine supposed to blend in? That is highly visible unless one were to wear shades, which I remember vampires doing a lot in the Blade movies. Wikipedia claims that they were used for syphilis treatment in the 1800s, though, so wearing those would also make one stand out.

    Why not just write a story about vampires? It's obvious that you want to, or else you wouldn't refer to these people as "not-vampires" and give them nocturnal attributes.
     
  22. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    Evolutionary takeover you might say. Originally there was only one chimerid (an alchemist whose experiment went horribly wrong... or right) and the only way to reproduce without a female chimerid was to inject them with his venom. He got a population of about one hundred individuals before he died, and among those individuals they discovered they could reproduce the old fashioned way.
     
  23. stormcat
    Offline

    stormcat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Somewhere beyond the sea
    Because I want these creatures to be responsible for every "myth" that europe has ever faced. they have attributes of vampires, werewolves, witches, even zombies. But when I show the reader an intimate look at who was responsible for those myths, they would appear sympathetic and it is us ugly humans who were to afraid to understand are the bad guys.


    Edit: also because vampires were ruined ever since they started to sparkle.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  24. HelloThere
    Offline

    HelloThere Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    240
    A Zombwolf-Witchpire, I like it. If your story is about how most European myths are based off of this creature, then base your creature off of European myths - adding animal parts to them will only make it less believable that these creatures inspired a completely un-human creature such as a witch. I like your idea, keep at it.
     
  25. Burlbird
    Offline

    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Somewhere Else
    @stormcat if you squeze in a scene where a Chimeroid stings a sparkling vampire to (second?) death, I'm totaly buying your book :D
     

Share This Page