So, the next few posts coming up (and possibly a few previous posts) are going to be a little bit confusing unless you have an idea of what’s going on in my mind. Or can picture what I’m picturing.
Moving right along!
Anya’s main transportation through out her adventures across Europa is Hidalgo. When this whole thing started as a small idea in my head, Hidalgo was a simple horse; nothing fancy. As Anya’s adventures expanded and started going cross continent, a simple horse wasn’t going to cut it, but I couldn’t exactly give her a car to go tearing across the empty plains.
Then, I found the wonderful artist Makani and this drawing. Suddenly, everything was clear; Anya need a badass horse. Not a fanciful unicorn or Pegasus, but a horse that inspired fear. The whole idea behind Hidalgo was a companion that could hold its own they ran into trouble, or hell, even make the enemy retreat in fear.
Hadesus are hunters (obviously; I mean, look at those jaws!) and don’t take no sass from no
pony body. They would be hard to tame, and even harder to breed out the inherent nasty streak, which is why that job was handed over to the serlael. They’ve found it easier to ride normal horses after their breeding efforts have failed (even the half breeds are still too vicious), and usually reserve the “honor” of riding a hadesus to the “elite” officers (i.e. those with a death wish).
That’s not to say that the hadesus can’t be tamed; those that are found in the army stables have developed a “working relationship” with the squishy blue people. The hadesus don’t go hungry during the winter months or have to migrate, and the serlael get an magnificent beast that inspires fear. It’s a win-win situation!
But, since the serlael army guys really aren’t into “scientific research” or any of those namby-pamby disciplines (Pfft, who does art?), they didn’t really bother to try and discover more about the hadesus, so they missed a very big oversight on their part: the polymorph ability. Polymorph allows the hadesus to change its shape, yet retain its own mind and function in this new shape.
There are limitations on the polymorph function, like a limited number of transformations a day and a limited capacity to hold the new shape. It is possible to hold on to one shape for a long period of time, but that takes years of practice and skill. If a hadesus is feeling generous, they can pass on known transformations to one another through a gentle nose bump and horn touch.
Smarter serlael who have done field research on the wild hadesus have theorized that the horn is the center of the beasts power, and not only just used for practical applications like defense and killing.. They’ve noticed that in the wild species, once the horn has broken off, the hadesus is rendered useless to the other members of its species and promptly devoured by the next one that crosses its path. The animals kept in captivity seem to have a better chance at keeping their horn until death, but those hadesus seem to be lacking something that the wild hadesus have.
Going to back to our main characters, Anya and Hidalgo hit it off almost immediately, but they really develop their connection to each other over the course of the series. The best analolgy I can come up with is the difference between dating and living together; yeah, they’re great when they live apart, but living together AND going on a road trip is how you really develop a respect for each other and your little quirks. Like Hidalgo’s tendency to bite through the bit when a bridle is placed on him. (Anya’s switched to a hackamore after the first time.)
Hidalgo prefers his dog form over horse for the heightened sense of smell, and Anya doesn’t much mind either form, so long as he pees away from their campsites. Hidalgo will usually do his own hunting while they are out on a delivery, and Anya will try to buy him fresh meat when they can afford it; otherwise, its hay and oats. The pair have also learned to have Hidalgo hide his beastly nature when they enter into a town, as the local human populace is usually not very fond of the hadesus.
Another interesting note is this: no one is really quite sure where the hadesus have come from. Since the genocide of a lot of the local population, the origin stories of the hadesus have been lost. Perhaps Anya can discover those at some point. (Adventuuuuuure!)
Any ways, I’ll leave you with two more links. A reference picture for height (Anya would start out as the girl’s height, and would eventually end up at the boy’s height) and a link to Makani’s professional site. If you click on the animatic link, you can see the hadesus in action.