In it, there’s a pretty cool monster that’s a chimera. It’s almost standard chimera but has some tweaks for the arctic setting. It’s got the heads of a frost dragon, a polar bear and a walrus. Any one of those animals would scare the begeebers out of me.
Got me thinking. If you were going to design an uniquely Athasian Chimera what three heads would YOU use? This assumes you are making as few changes to the chimera stats as possible.
So the classic has…
body of a lion
head of a dragon
head of a goat
head of a lion
Athas has psionic big cats. That’s a no brainer. Elemental (or para) elemental drakes would make sense for the dragon head, though I wouldn’t rule out things like id fiends. The third head, that is tougher…
Love the ideas so far, Chimeras seem like the perfect example of a beast either warped by the pristine tower or created by a cruel sorcerer king.
As for what animals they’d be made from, we see consistently that most beasts people on Athas interact with are some sort of insect or reptile. It seems fitting that a chimera would be made from two such beasts, with the third perhaps being a more exotic or magical beast. I think the inix and crodlu are two good candidates for reptiles, and I can see a lot of fun design possibilities with adding in a scorpion. If you want the chimera to fly a neat 3rd option would be the Roc, given their spotlight in the setting.
People do like suggesting insect and reptile, and some great ideas have been thrown about like that.
With it’s origins, Pristine Tower strikes me as the most likely. Random mutations for everyone! With the sorcerer-kings and queens, I don’t recall any of them being into creating life or forging monsters. They were all about exterminating not creating. To adopt their mind set “We’re trying to rid the world of monsters, why populate it with more?”
This also smacks of Rhulisti Life Shaping. However, that would mean it’s incredibly ancient.
Sorcerer kings are confirmed to have created the half giants, mul, and dray. Those were slave races rather than outright monsters mind you. But that certainly debunks their “exterminate rather than create” mindset. More than one SK has delusions of godhood after all. But I do agree the pristine tower is more likely, if an SK creates a monster it’d be with a distinct purpose in mind (guardians, mage hunters, status symbols, etc).
A fun thought though could be if chimeras came about from all the twisted experiments Rajaat pulled at the Misty Border. From what I remember he’s confirmed to have created all sorts of abominations.
Okay, you’ve got me on the muls and half giants. However, for the sake of fun argument. I would say muls and half giants are essentially tweaking existing models, hybrids. Not wholly original. The dray are a much more radical change. I need to look up to see if that was soully Dregoth or if he used some Rhulisti Life Shaping.
Once again, you whipped me on that argument fair and square though.
In all fairness I forgot SMs were outright responsible for muls and half giants for the longest time
I do agree though that SMs more often tweak existing critters than do huge radical changes, like oh say, creating a fricking chimera. I’ve been on the fence on whether or not Dregoth knows life shaping, but if he does I could only imagine what other dragon themed horrors he could be keeping in the City Beneath the Silt Sea.
I kind of like the idea that chimeras came from the Misty Border and are a tangible example of Rajaat’s experiments, but it’s more likely chimeras would come from beasts living too close to the Pristine Tower.
Survey of the Nocturnal Sea by the Fraternity of Shadows fansite contains feats to create hybrid creatures via occult magics. These feats could easily be used in Dark Sun by the Sorcerer Monarchs and others.