I started online life using a multi-user “talker” that someone at the University of Warwick had written. Not sure how I found it, other than I knew a couple of people at Kingston (not a polytechnic, honest) University used it too. I’d become fascinated with magpies since my 2nd year (when I was 13) at secondary school, when in English class we did readings of a play called ‘The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew’, which had a magpie character in it. I also would set lots of magpies around the cemetery that the school bordered (as the school was closely related to and used the church there often, for assemblies and other things)
I can’t remember why prompted it exactly, but I ended up getting a “staff” position on this talker, and changed names to Fox. That was how I was known by for most of my university years, and even when I changed universities from Kingston to Warwick, I was even able to get “fox” as my username for the computer science department network.
This was the name that I used when I first got into the Furry Fandom, back in 1994. At that time, I was using a username of ‘fox’ bac in university, but didn’t fee that ‘Fox’ as a handle would be good to use. Also around that time was a TV series in the UK called the Animals of Farthing Wood, which had been adapted from a book series into an animated TV series. Originally basing the character I used as a “descendant” from one of the foxes in this series, I went for the name Farthing. He went from a regular red fox, to a cross fox to a winged anthro cross fox.
Francisco was originally developed as just a RP character for a MUCK called Sinai, where he was a grey fox kitsune. His history was that he had started out in Japan, and moved west over the course of a couple of hundred years, and ended up in San Francisco, where he decided to use that name for himself. This was partly inspired by my upcoming move to the San Francisco Bay Area in July of 1997. His name was “corrupted” into Frysco by a wiz of the Sinai MUCK (and later RL friend), Lynx. It stuck, and I ended up using that name more than Farthing, and eventually changed over. These days, I think most people still know me as Frysco more than any other name.
Frysco became a gryphon due to my involvement with the Gryphon’s Guild web message board, and the Lorikeet part was (I think) thanks to a suggestion from Lyosha there.
He was a costume that I made for a Halloween one year. I’m not sure that he was originally intended for Halloween, but I got him finished in time for it. I think that I was thinking of the Poe poem Nevermore in part, but of course he is a magpie, not a raven. Though somehow I ended up going from that to thinking about a fictional detective drama show I remembered enjoying from the UK called Inspector Morse, and pretty much pulled this character’s name from that, even so far as keeping the same trait of “while he has a first name, he doesn’t care to use it”. (Later we did find out that the Inspector’s first name is Endeavour, but that’s not the first name of my magpie!) I later retroactively created character history for (my) Morse where he once was human, but ended up becoming a bird thanks to some magical feathers he bought for his hat while in costume at a Renaissance Faire, and ended up somehow getting transported to a world where he somewhat (but didn’t completely) fit in. I’ve tweaked with his background more so that alternatively, he fits into the Karen-verse, where he got cursed by a necklace that turned him into a complete bird for five years, before meeting Karen and finding out about a special plant that can keep him human…for a while, at least.
I needed to get a name for the “critter” I was getting from White Fox (before he used the name Arend Studios), and wanted to get a name that was “uniquely Canadian”. To find such a name, I went looking went looking at online map resources (google Maps may have been around then) and found a First Nations reserve, a small one, not too far away from Chiliwack, in B.C. that appeared on the map as “Tseatah No.2”. At the time I had no idea how properly to pronounce it (though now figure it might be similar to the silent T of Tsawassen), so used a hard T instead ; Te-Say-Tah.
This guy came about because Marylen costumes came out with a griffin costume. I already had bought a red fox and silver fox from them, but wanted the griffin. Yet I didn’t want their standard design. Instead I was able to get them to change the colors and fur lengths to get him to be a little more magpie-like. His name came, again, from Lyosha, as apparently that was the name of some relation that she had in her personal canon, but said I could usethe name anyway with no relation to her. I set out to make this character my hockey mascot type, even getting him a Grand Rapids Griffins jersey. I’ve been trying for years to actually get him at a game that team is the visiting team at, and have come close twice. Sadly, I think that window has closed for good.
I had gotten to know Lance Ikegawa, who was well renowned for his costume creations already during the relatively early ConFurence days. I had really wanted to get something by him, and after Dark Natasha got a maned wolf (which I had considered myself too), I wanted to get something unique and a challenging, so went with an African Wild Dog instead. At the time, he was the first AWD fursuit out there, and I remember getting a test fitting of the undersuit down at San Diego Comic Con (the first and only time I’ve been) and then debuting the costume at an AnthroCon back when it was at the Adam’s Splat/Mark in Philidelphia. I wanted to set him out as a hunter/warrior, and I believe that Lutalo does mean that in some African dialect.
This hyena started out named Bhob and was part of a set of three made by Lance back at ConFurence 8 (maybe 9). I loved it back then and when I found out that he was the only surviving member of the trio, made an offer to rehome him. I had no idea of his name, so renamed him Napier, with some cunning. He was a hyena, and hyenas are renowned for laughing, as if they’re in on some kind of joke. going from there, I remembered that the name of the Joker in the Batman movie (which my uncle-by-marriage had worked on) was Jack Napier. I thought that was clever at the time.
This snow spotkat was named for my original intention for him, not what I ended up doing with him. I wanted to get a Russian military officers uniform for him, as I somehow thought that would be appropriate for a snow leopard, and the name Nikoli sounded Russian. He almost was named Rasputin, because of a particular song.
After seeing a gryphon (the Neopets character, Lord Kass) made by Lance Ikegawa, I was inspired and wanted to make my own. Working with Scribblefox, he produced some art design for a hippogryph, and I took this and with the help from Diadexxus worked up some color designs. In the end, I went for a black/red/orange scheme, which I felt gave him a kind of fiery appearance. In choosing his name, I wanted something exotic sounding which appropriately described him. I found the word “Lasrach” in Irish Gaelic which meant “flaming” or “blazing”, which seemed quite apt. Jax the bat (who has since disappeared) ended up making the head, and I got help from White Fox on making the fiberglassing used in attaching some piping to some bike gear armor that formed the basis of the wing harness.
After seeing Cobb the blue jay, made by RedXIX with MikeYote, I was inspired to do my own bird. At the time I was still around the #fursuit channel on IRC and had a habit of light hearted and fun mocking of things folks said. So, the idea for a mocking bird was formed. I wanted a name that seemed appropriate to the idea of a”mocking” bird, and Cackle seemed like a good idea.
This tiger was made with two goals in mind: to be something I could use for events with our local community event mascot group, HelpingPawz, and also to fit in with whatever the current theme was for the Mountain View (California) spring parade. I think the theme was something to do with jungles that year. As for his name, for some reason I thought of an old UK Saturday morning kids show called Tiswas that ran from 1974 to 1981. Manipulating this name a little bit into Tiwaz made it sound ‘right’ for him.
I’ve already mentioned Cobb the blue jay by RedXIX, and now they had made Caspian the tern for Orzel. I really wanted to get a bird from them too, but what? I wanted to stick with a corvid, because without a doubt – of course, dating back to magpies – these are my favourite family of birds. I decided to go with a Steller’s Jay, because I live now in British Columbia, and that is the provincial bird. I also figured that I could bring him to some of the community events, and people should recognize what kind of bird he is. Hah! Of course, many people just have no idea. As far as his name, I felt inspired by a street names again. I was originally going to go with Ioco, based on Ioco Road in Port Moody. But, in the end I figured that people could read his name as Loco depending on the font his name was written in. I decided to use a name I’d seen on another sign on my drives into work; Kootenay. I think that given that he’s a “representative of the BC province”, having a name of one of the regions seemed more appropriate. Also, someone else is now using the name Ioco for one of their costumes.
This guy is still relatively new, and doesn’t exist yet as a costume – but will do by mid-year. I wanted to go back to my roots again with magpies and get a new magpie costume. Even though I still hold Morse in fond regard, Morse is very much specialized to the Renaissance Faire outings. So, I wanted something a little more toony for convention and other appearances. Figuring that I am going back to my roots on this, I wanted a name that reflected that. I looked for names that were around the school where I first became fascinated with magpies, but couldn’t find anything appropriate. Then after that, I looked at where I lived, but in the end went with something connected to where I first was an ‘online’ magpie – back at Kingston University, which was on Penrhyn Road in Kingston. Manipulating the name again a little, taking out the ‘h’, I chose Penryn.