ALrighty my homeslice breadslice breadloafs of DA I've been wanting to do one of these for a long time but I have a great habit of forgetting shit totallynotjumpingonabandwagonoranything.
Disclaimer: This ain't me coming back to DA it's me expressing my opinion where it's relevant.
Disclaimer No. 2: I'm not trying to diss peoples characters, I'm just a picky asshole who likes to stick to the lore and world of the original text as well as follow real-world logic. (which the Ga'hoole world mostly follows) any of the characteristics l mention here aren't intended to attack any specific characters out there by any means. Nor am I critisizing OCs outside of the Ga'hoole fandom such as the Strigid dragon critters or personal fursonas. I'm talking about characters tied to Ga'hoole n shit I'm too tired to explain this.
Disclaimer No. 3: SPOILERS
So anyway these are some of the characteristics of Ga'hoole specific OCs I've stumbled across in my journey.
1. Fuckin eyeburners/ unnaturally coloured owls.
With exception to Kraals, Dragon Owls, Hagsfeinds and the Pure Ones from LotG, owls with irregular colours kinda irk me. For one, it's impossible to breed an owl with say bright cyan or red feathers. Owls with dyed/ unnatural feathers should kinda have a reason for going through all the trouble to dye their feathers. Dyes would most likely damage the feathers of an owl which would totally fuck up their ability to fly silently and make them a very obvious target.(Which would present a pretty unusual challenge for an OC) The same goes for owls with unusual eye colours aside from Orange/yellow, brown or black. It's impossible for an owl to have blue, purple or green eyes- not even in specimens showing Albinism, Piebaldism or Leucism (though there are documented cases of screech, long eared and Ural owls having red and pink eyes due to Albinism) which brings me to my next point- Genetic Mutations. Though characters with Albinism, Melanism, and Leucism do stand out from the pack, in the wild animals with these defects do not survive very long in the wild. Not only because of the fact they stand out but because they often die due to additional defects caused by the genetic disorder. These include immune problems, neurological problems, skin problems and almost always eye problems. (I'm not sure if this is the case for Melanism and there aren't very many studies on the affects of melenism in owls specifically) This brings me to yet another point- the probability of an owl hatching with Melenism is about 1/ 100000 and I would suspect albinism and leucism have similar statistics though, Albinism and Leucism are often the result of inbreeding. And again, there aren't many documented cases of these genetic defects in owls. All in all It really depends on your explanation for why your owl bears these colours and keeping in mind the challenges these would present to your character and giving them roles that would best suit an owl with these challenges such as an albino screech owl with the role as a matron in the infirmary at the great tree as opposed to an albino screech owl who is head of the battle chaw who has fought many battles.
2. Hybrid owls.
I am very guilty of having an OC with this quality. Fuckin Bite me. But There are documented cases of owl species interbreeding such as the "Sparred owl" But it's impossible for say a Great Grey owl to breed successfully with, say, a sooty owl. I have seen characters that are part eagle or part falcon which is also impossible. The only way hybrids are created in the Ga'hoole universe are through nachtmagen which is incredibly rare in this particular universe. My character, Smokey, is a Tyto novahollandiae/ Tyto tenebricosa hybrid. He is the result of a nachtmagen experiment performed by his mother and father. One side affect of this include susceptibility to half-hag mites- meaning he has to bathe often which in turn, damages his flight feathers. Though my character still needs a lot of work, I've put some effort into trying to keep him consistent with the Ga'hoole universe. I often see OCs who chuck in a random bird species purely to give their character a specific characteristic (such as size or colouration) to make their character stand out. This to me, comes off as pretty damn half-assed and doesn't really give much room for character development. I'd love to see a Spotted/ Barred hybrid Ga'hoole OC with a good structured personality and backstory.
3. Missing bodyparts.
Realistically, if an owl were to lose a limb at all in the wild it would most definitely perish. Examples of mutilation/ amputation in Ga'hoole are Kludd, Ezylryb and Coryn. Kludd/Surtr (movie) replacing his missing beak with a mask is relatively realistic following the logic of the Ga'hoole universe. Metal Beak is able to eat and drink with minimal problems (that shit would be fucking uncomfortable) though he would not be able to hunt for himself due to being a noisy flier and his hearing impared by the metal mask. This problem could theoretically be resolved due to him being the leader- he could possibly have servants hunt for him. Ezylryb however is barely affected by his missing toes or his messed up eye. Again he would have trouble hunting BUT in the text it states his main diet is dried caterpillars and cooked meat- all catered for by the Ga'hoole tree. Coryn, however, succumbs to his wounds. Compared to Kludd and Ezylryb his wounds are very severe and he bled out within minutes of having his wing torn off. There are cases of owls recovering from losing toes in the wild and some birds losing parts of their beaks, it is near impossible for an owl or any bird to survive missing a wing or parts of their wing without human intervention. Which in the world of Ga'hoole is possible though very unlikely. This brings me to my second point; The use of prosthetic bodyparts in OCs. Aside from Kludd and I suppose Ezylryb in the movie no other owl uses replacement bodyparts. (I don't count battle claws or swords prosthetics) Most depictions of prosthetic limbs I've seen in OCs are made of metal, which I find pretty unrealistic for a few reasons. For one, all birds rely on being light as a feather. Though the blacksmiths have discovered Mu Metal, a "nickel–iron soft magnetic alloy with very high permeability suitable for shielding sensitive electronic equipment against static or low-frequency magnetic fields. It has several compositions. One such composition is approximately 77% nickel, 16% iron, 5% copper and 2% chromium or molybdenum. " and are able to use nickel and brass (which seems very unrealistic based on the smithing technology presented in the Ga'hoole books) They could possibly make light nickel claws or something. But for say an entire working wing or foot it seems very unrealistic. The weight difference would cause a lot of difficulty flying and would make a hellavalot of noise. Plus it would be impossible to create a fully articulated foot or wing that works just like the original limb based as well on the technologies presented in the original Ga'hoole series. For a foot, referencing early human prosthetics (late victorian and later) would be a good place to start researching for a character like this. Wings on the other hand are better off without prosthetics and the character in question would be better suited for an easy lifestyle where they can be taken care of instead of being perhaps an assassin who uses their metal wing to shred enemy owls.
4. Relations to Canon characters/ Self Inserts
Ahh yes the first sign of a marysue. I personally dislike self inserts in general. Especially characters who are direct descendants/ mated to canon characters. It is incredibly difficult to make it work without creating an AU (Alternate Universe) or trying to fill in the gaps in the story. Unless you know what you're doing it is usually best to keep your OC as far away from the main plot and events of the text but still give them roles relevant to the universe. For example a male Snowy who is in the Ga'hoology Chaw and enjoys tending to his collection of various mosses. This character has no relevance to the plot of GoG whatsoever which makes him seem less of a Marystu. But if I went a little further and explained that during the first Pure Ones attack on Ga'hoole he helped weave the giant snares, that's venturing more into self insertion. The final more extreme step is to also mention that he's half Barn Owl due to being Nyra's 3rd hatchling after she bred with a Pure One sympathising Snowy Owl after Kludd was killed. It doesn't really work. My character Smokey is part of my own re-imagining of the Ga'hoole Universe (which does not follow the canon of the Wolves of the Beyond where Soren is long dead and the Sacred Ring self destructs) whereas alot of the characters I've encountered try to follow the canon or are more ship-based (oddly most revolve around Nyra??)
In conclusion, I guess I'm just disappointed that the fandom has been reduced to the much younger members who aren't as experienced in writing and developing characters. I mean that in the nicest possible way, we all start off like that (Dear god some of my old Ga'hoole characters from when I was 13 need to just burn) and I do see a lot of potential in many of these characters. Unfortunately the fandom (On DA anyway) seems pretty dead BUT I'm always willing to critique anyones OCs (as long as you're up for True and Honest™ criticism and my personal opinion) I'd also love to create somekind of RP group in the future if any of the old fans are interested though I am very busy with college.
Salty ramblings over, I apologise for my fucked up punctuation and wording, it's like 1am here and I'm pretty fuckin out of it and dyslexia is a bitch.
>>>SEND ME YOUR OCS I WANT TO HELP