Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Leovite Archetypal Image and the Leovites' Role Change

Welcome. Today we're looking at Amy Clark's Leovite image -- unfortunately, we're not going to have any space for the Ma'ar, so we'll see them next time.

Efrael lev-Zeron -- a Leovite Priest

This one might be a little tough -- Efrael has leonine features, but is *not* an anthro. The look of Vincent from the old Beauty and the Beast TV show is pretty much perfect. He has a flattened nose, cleft lip, and distinct fangs. He is covered with a fine golden-brown fur, and a distinctive shaggy mane. He is in his early 30s. He has thick finger- and toenails, almost claw-like. He is tall (six and half feet tall) and thick-bodied, well-muscled but not overly so. His eyes are a golden yellow. He wears white robes reminiscent of Old Testament Jewish priests (though without the jeweled breast-plate or hat), with a stylized sun on his chest. He has a kindly, welcoming look on his face.

Okay, let's start with the positive: he looks just lion enough in his face to fit the concept, without turning into an anthro. That was a difficult request,  but Amy pulled it off. The outfit looks great -- Amy Clark even turned poorly-sketched stylized sun logo I designed into something that really works and looks cool. Now the problems: Efrael's face isn't nearly wide enough -- the wide, thick body of the lion is one of the traits I imagine all Leovites to hold. He also looks a little too sweet -- but that's just "kindly, welcoming look on his face" taken a step further than I would have myself. My other problem is the hair. Unfortunately, it doesn't really look like a mane at all, just giant 80s glam metal hair -- and the Leovites are not metal, glam or otherwise. This would probably be the picture I am least satisfied with, in terms of matching what was in my head -- but she got the "leonine but not anthro" facial structure, so that's all I really care about.

So, now let's talk about what's happened to the Leovites now that the Sons of Light are gone. Or rather, always have been gone. They have been wiped from existence, removed like the people eaten by the crack in Amy Pond's wall. Or perhaps they once existed, but left or were wiped out, in classic Precursor fashion, which allows us to keep the Heliotrope Cliffs, at least in one form. Anyway, Leovites. They now will inherit the Sons of Light's high class, their status as Chosen Ones, and their abilities with Lightshaping. Let's look at these one at a time:

Becoming High Class doesn't change the core demographic of the Leovites -- the priests -- all that much, but it does change everything around them. It will change the priests from being dutiful servants of the aristocracy to spiritual and temporal rulers, like the ruling priests and god-king Pharaoh of Classical Egypt. An unofficial theocracy will form -- not that there wasn't one already, it just had the Sons of Light running the show -- filtering all judgment through the mindset of followers of the Light. Additionally, Leovites who are not priests are no longer servants but aristocrats -- jockeying for power and position, coordinating the government, and leading the armies (not that the City has a standing army, but they can dream).

Being the Chosen Ones changes quite a lot about the Leovites, while clarifying a central tenet of their existence. They have always been all about the Light, following the religion and being servants to the Chosen Sons of Light. Now that they are the Chosen, it means that duty to their god makes the Leovites take responsibility for their own actions, staying moral and pure in a way that the other aristocrats do not. It also helps explain their leonine visage -- I've never wanted them to be diluted Kipmen or anything like that, so I originally dodged the issue by saying they mysteriously appeared from another Realm. This way, though, they were transformed by the power of the Light -- presumably some kind of "made in the image of God" kind of thing (though since the Light is supposed to not have a humanoid body, or physical form other than the sun, I dunno -- maybe lions' manes look like rays of sunlight or something).

The Leovites have always had power with Lightshaping, it being reflective of their relationship with their god. However, it was the Sons of Light who had proper light powers born into them, like glowing eyes and such (though, as discussed, it wasn't a regular thing). Now that the Leovites are innate Lightshapers, we can say they... I dunno, have glowing eyes. And their manes shine slightly, so that it always looks like they're surrounded by a halo. And they function better during the day. That sounds good for now.

Whew. A lot on the Leovites. Next time, we'll look at the Sky-Carvers and more on the Ma'ar.