Note: Intelligent species have their names capitalized. Non-intelligent species don’t.
Some time ago, I came up with the Chix species. They’re a small arboreal species. Though they look like flying squirrels, they’re not rodents.
This is a species reference I did.
I’d also had karks around, but I’d never combined the two species. After drawing this old picture of karks, I realized they were pretty big, and Chix are only three feet tall.
I did a character lineup. This gave me a really good idea of what the sizes were on different species. I realized my karks were big enough for the Chix to ride. This helped a lot because Chix need something to ride. Because they glide, they can’t carry much extra weigh so they need a mount. After thinking about it, I realized their large, predatory mounts also make them a much more terrifying army. I figured it would be interesting to have an army of three-foot-tall creatures who were considered a real threat.
Pretty soon, I came up with different kark breeds and tried to make them more feline-like since they’re more closely related to cats than dogs. They are very important to Chix culture and are the only cavalry to make it into the space age.
The two on the right are wild varieties, the ones on the left are domestic.
The warhound is used in warfare. They’ve been bred for traveling long distances in a short amount of time. They’re also able to carry a quarter of their body weight while doing this. These critters can even climb trees, a very useful ability in the thick jungles of Chibbink. They come in many colors, but really light coloration has been bred out of them since it makes them too visible. They are fiercely loyal and easily trained.
The draft kark is used for pulling heavy loads like plows. Though they’re not fast, they can work hard all day. (The one here is probably on the small side.) They come in many colors. Piebald coloration is common. They’ve got a docile temperament and are hard to provoke to violence.
Plains karks are a swift species that lives on the planes of Chibbink. Sometimes, a similar looking domestic variety is ridden since the plains karks are the fastest, but their claws aren’t retractable so they can’t climb trees. They also don’t have the endurance of warhounds.
Forest karks are a smaller species who spends most of their time in the trees. They have retractable claws which are even better for tree climbing than the warhounds’ claws. There are some domestic types similar to them, but they’re not useful for much beyond a guard animal.
A few random fact about karks: They have shark-like teeth used for ripping off chunks of whatever they bite into. They’ve also got five toes, which gives them a good grip in the trees.