Friday, 24 July 2015


Hallromm butterflies have thick pelt and long antennae, the six wings have a wingspan of half a meter, and the six legs are equipped with flexible toes that let them cling to nearly any surface. They are generally friendly and easily trained.
Dustships started using hallromm butterflies as messengers long ago, but nowadays they are popular everywhere, especially after new breeds proved to be more cold resistant. They carry letters in strap-on belly bags, and in some places heavy in short range messages the air is fluttering with hallromms. The butterflies insist on their own bushes to which they return faithfully - dustships keep those on one of the floating rocks.
Hallromms enjoy having their bellies stroked, leave tiny marks on elvish skin, and are mildly intelligent, at least enough to play with the omnipresent bugfairies.

"The bugfairies have painted the hallromms again. One almost lost an antenna trying to clean itself, but washing isn't a solution either, I'll break them to pieces. I'd ask the fairies to fix it, but I'm scared of what they'll do - probably paint the original colours back or something."
— Hetcal, Lozirian

Artists' notes
Originally hallromms (German: Hallrömm) were only found on dustships, but somehow a few years passed in Genius Loci while hallromms were around, and then they were popular on the ground as well. This is actually the first painting of them, I had just a few scribbles of their anatomy before.


  1. The bugfaries remind me of some people I know.

    I like the idea of giant butterflies acting as carrier pigeons. Substituting a fantasy creature or other animal for the pigeon is not unheard of in fantasy, but I don't think I've seen it done with butterflies. (I'm not that well-read, though, so I probably just missed it.) Either way, I think it's interesting. Even moreso with the additional details you've added, like the bushes instead of artificial coops and the hallromms' relationship with the bugfairies.

    More generally, I like how much work you're doing to integrate your animals with the humans' (and human-like races') culture. There are great stories that can be told with what's basically a normal civilization of whatever time period, except that there are also dragons over there somewhere, or except the knights ride gryphons instead of horses, or something like that. I don't want to disparage that kind of world. But your version seems a whole lot more creative, and more internally consistent, if you ask me. It's like these creatures have always been around, and that has influenced the way societies have been built up.

  2. Yeah, I know bugfairy-like people too ;)

    Thank you so much for appreciating my amount of exotica. I always try to not make it "our world with different spices". It'd probably be a lot more relatable, and it is fun to imagine such worlds - what if dinosaurs had never died out, or aliens came, or whatever. Kitas is not Earth though, and it feels like plagiarism to simply put Japan or the Wild West or Renaissance Italy into my world, as much as I like some periods, cultures, or traditions.
    I do fret a lot about making it all seem reasonable enough - sure, raganaj couldn't fly, but cities must be able to feed their inhabitants, and so forth.
    Thanks again for the compliments, it's a great motivation to keep going.