So, I got around to making those "Tsatsi Hounds" I mentioned on my character bio for him
, and I gotta say, I'm pretty pleased with them! I sort of misjudged how much of the body I could get onto the page, but the smaller Size Comparison thing kinda shows you what I was going for. Anyway, lemme tell you a bit about these beasties!
*They are based from lyons, of course, but have elements from a Warthog and Sable Antelope thrown in. The coloring is primarly the Sable, with all Sabres -- regardless of original pelt color -- being some shade of dark grey, dark brown, or even black. The nose and eye color of the base remains, however, the same. The horns come from the Sable as well, but the face pads and tusks are from the Warthog. The mane is a combination of Sable and Lyon, having the Lyon's length but the Sable's distribution. Sabres have hooves on their hind legs, but paws on their front legs. Their claws are a strange combination of talon and hoof, thick, curved, and ever-protruding from the paw. They are robust animals, with the compact, rectangular shape of the Sable and Warthog, but flexibility of the Lyon.
*Since Tšatši didn't believe in forcing people to do his dirty work, a lyon would keep their sanity and personality upon awakening in their new body. Once transformed, a Saber could only be transformed back into a lyon by Tšatši, however changing back carried with it the possibility of death, a fair possibility: about 50%. Many don't risk it and stay in their new forms.
*Unlike the Hounds, Sabres -- females in particular -- could possibly keep their fertility upon changing to their new form and even breed successfully with other lyons. However this is uncommon; many lyons (males in particular) find the appearance of the beast off-putting and those that can see past it find actually doing the deed tricky for several reasons: the size difference, for instance. Female Sabre often absorb any fetuses or their bodies abort them and what does
manage to make it alive is often premature. Male Sabres have better luck impregnating female lyons (or any of the Panthera really), however the lyonesses in question run the very real risk of dying in childbirth. More of them die than not (60/40). However, successful Sabre Lyon cubs bring the surviving parents great honor and standing and have a far easier time mingling with lyons than their Sabre parents.
*A Sabre is over twice the size of a Lyon, standing 7 feet at the shoulder. However, they are smaller than hounds, who stand about 9 feet at the shoulder. Though they're not as big and affect a more regal appearance than a monstrous one, a Sabre could possibly take a Hound in a fight. They are faster than Hounds and more maneuverable, even if they don't quite measure up in strength. Two could definitely take one hound; one is a more uncertain battle, leaning in the hounds favor if it's head-on.
*Sabres function dually as head-on attacks and ambush predators. Their black coats make them excellently suited for stealth missions and attacks. They are also scentless, and so cannot be tracked by any beast by nose, only by the marks they leave upon the ground. They typically hunt in prides, but are dangerous alone.
*A Sabre can carry two adult lyons on it's back without issue.
*After Tšatši "dies", many Sabres take a dark route and use their size and power to bully other lyons into submission or simply go about raping, pillaging, and killing because no one can stop them. The aforementioned Saber Lyons take a stand against this havoc and many normal Lyons point out the black pelts of the Sabres as "compelling" them to evil. They believe with Tšatši's death, there was nothing holding their "inherent wickedness" in check. The Lyon prides come together and erase these creatures -- there aren't very many; it's just a matter of courage and cooperation -- but then debates begin over if the Saber Lyons are similarly "tainted" and predestined for evil. Some don't wait for these debates to end; they just start killing, and so the Saber Lyons go into hiding. Whether or not they're still living or were found and exterminated is unknown.
Phew, alright that's all I can come up with right now! Tell me what you think!
Sabres (c) Werebereus, unless Erin wants to use them
Iron Lyons (c) EMK