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A new world...|...new lands to explore...|...and stories within stories to tell.|Welcome to SJORIA

The Legend of Sjorian Rabbits: A Brainstorm Session

Destyni: Wabbits, wabbits, wabbits... and also, wabbits.




Mae: So, let’s talk about rabbits.

Destyni: Well, firstly, we've talked about how, on SJORIA, rabbits don’t exist. Except in faerie stories. Münshirlings consider them to be tokens of good fortune or peace. Often, in Münshirling folklore, they appear as creatures similar to our own Unicorns: pure creatures of the woodland that are attracted to innocent young maidens. Unicorns appear in Münshirling folklore too, but more as symbols of royalty and prosperity. Typically they are regal, heroic figures with great power. But that’s another brainstorm entirely.

Mae: Sjoria is home to a lot of native flora and fauna, most of which are completely unrelatable to Earth’s familiar plants and animals. But on occasion we do hear some recognizable names, such as horse, snake, falcon, and rabbit. These mythical creatures are representative symbols in Sjoria’s lore, and are not likely to be encountered.

Destyni: ...Unless…

Mae: That does lead me to wonder how Thairyn came to know Chirps however, there’s something very odd about that creature.

Destyni: Shh! We haven't released that chapter yet!

Mae: So, even though the creatures native to Sjoria aren’t ones you know, there are still some relatable characteristics that can help you identify with them, especially while learning their bizarre alien names. So let’s get started by introducing one of the first creatures to ever inhabit the world of Sjoria.

Destyni: The Boinzi Wawa! In a small way, we can thank this humble rodent (or, at least, its Echosan counterpart) for the entire existence of SJORIA.

Mae: Don’t go giving him too much credit, that little rodent will let it go to his head.

Destyni: ….But it’s such a tiny head….


Mae: Destyni, can you tell us about your original inspiration for the Boinzi Wawa? And you’ve got to tell us about the etymology of the name, some people might be quite curious to know.

Destyni: Where to begin? To be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of thought put into the original boinzi wawa. I was five--this was literally the first creature I had ever invented. My teenage uncle and aunt had been talking about something called a chihuahua earlier that day and the only thing that made sense to me in their conversation was that these "wawas" were very bouncy, very small, and very annoying. So, as I lay in bed that night, I tried to imagine what a wawa might look like.  

Mae [laughing]: See, I never knew that.

Destyni: No? I’m sure I told you… hmmm… maybe not. Anyway, as I played with shadow puppets of my hands on the wall, I decided that a boinzi wawa (for that is how my mind then interpreted the name of these little rapscallions) must look like a little pink jumping bean / naked mole rat. And they live in hoards underground (I’d recently watched a PBS special about naked mole rats… they were the most fascinating thing since the tiger).

Mae: Which might be why I was so baffled when you told me that the boinzi wawa native to Novangaard was fluffy, because the version I’m familiar with are the naked, small-eared, short tailed little nuisances.

Destyni: Those creatures are native to the land where the Münshirlings originated, not Novangaard. The boinzi wawa you meet in the Prologue of Book One is a different species entirely. Behind the scenes, that’s because I decided to redesign the boinzi wawas when I was about ten or eleven, desiring a fluffier, cuter creature instead of the naked mole rat based creature that so fascinated me in my childhood. But as far as canon goes, the reason the two species share the same name is because the Münshirlings named the rodent they encountered in Novangaard after the version they were most familiar with from their homeland. But, other than living in underground colonies and being very capable bouncers, the two have relatively little in common.

Mae: Not to drift too far off topic, but you say that the Munshirlings don’t come from Novangaard?

Destyni: Not originally, but that shall unfold as the story plays out. Let’s stick to rabbits and boinzi wawas for now ;) How about I ask you something? When I asked you to draw a boinzi wawa, you asked me for a reference. Of all the Earth-creatures that I could have compared them to, rabbits weren’t one of them. How did you come to the conclusion of drawing relation between the two for this interview?


Mae: It was the large ears and long hind legs described in the prologue that made me think of rabbits, but while drawing the boinzi wawa I also looked at others such as the jerboa, tarsier and deer mouse. Another reason I chose the rabbit is because it offered the viewer a very comprehensive comparison between two similar creatures from earth and one they’ve never met which bears enough of a visual similarity. If the boinzi wawa was native to earth, it would not likely be in the Leporidae family.

Destyni: It might still be a Lagomorph, though. It’s rabbit-ish enough.

Mae: Eh, you never can tell. We’d have to take a deeper look at them to know for sure, but on a visual standpoint from a non-scientific perspective, a rabbit makes a good comparison.

Destyni: They’re also herbivorous creatures that move primarily by hopping and live in colonies… but that’s beside the point. After all, boinzi wawas are not native to Earth, so why bother trying to figure out where’d they’d fit here? Please, continue.

Mae: After I had finished the preliminary sketch of our little rodent friend, you pointed out an emphasis on three of the most defining attributes of the boinzi wawa. Undoubtedly the most bizarre thing about them is their massive ears, three times the size of their head, and their enormous fluffy tails that are easily four times the size of their body. I just couldn’t help but wonder while I drew this guy, how does he keep his ears clean in his burrow, and what on earth is that tail for?

Destyni: See, the tail was the thing that got me. I didn’t really know why they had such big tails until you asked me. Then after a sarcastic comment about skinks, I started thinking that maybe the tail is, in fact, a diversion. See, maybe a boinzi wawa’s tail is actually very small, just with a great bit of fluff on it. When a predator makes a grab for the big bouncy bit, the boinzi wawa can pull free, and all the predator gets is a mouthful of fluff. Maybe the ears are for misdirection as well. Maybe they can swivel those things around to confuse predators as to which direction they’re going. Maybe they’re great backwards runners...?!

The world may some day know. But, today is not that day. We haven't figured that part out yet.


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