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* SpiderPeople: Arachnes resemble giant spiders with humanoid torsos and somewhat humanoid heads -- they still have arachnid legs for arms, mandibles and multiple spider eyes. One named Amure Ariadne works as the main tailor of the Liverpool Avalon.

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* OurManticoresAreSpinier: Lion-like creatures with tails tipped with poisonous spines. They come in two distinct subspecies, lion-faced and human-faced.


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* SnakePeople: Lamias and nagas both exist, and are rather distinct creatures:
** Lamias are AlwaysFemale, hail from Greece and have little innate magic of their own. They resemble human women with snake bodies from the waist down.
** Nagas come from India, come in the full sexual spectrum and are both highly magical and innate shapeshifters. They can alternate between being fully human, many-headed snakes or lamia-like creatures with additional snake heads sprouting from their shoulders.


* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Dragons are large, powerful mythical creatures who waged a disastrous war with the sphinxes centuries in the past that wiped both species off the face of the Earth or so most people think, as it seems both are survived by at least one individual.
** The war was instigated by the sphinxes' initial refusal to give the dragons the enchanted shapeshifting medallions only they knew how to create, causing the dragons -- who were being steadily killed off by human hunting and saw the medallions as their only hope of survival -- to engage in a series of brutal attacks on sphinx workshops and homes to try to take the medallions by force. These hostilities, driven by the fact that both dragons and sphinxes saw each other as evil and cruel, soon escalated into a war that killed off the vast majority of both species.
** Only two dragons have been seen in the comic proper, but suggest a great deal of physical variability for their kind. One, the only known survivor, is a red-and-yellow creature with the typical six-limbed arrangement, Asian-style barbels on his snout and an erect, panther-like gait. The other, seen in a flashback, has a whitish coloration, only four limbs -- two forelegs and two wings -- a sprawling, lizardlike stance and an elongated, serpentine body, all to an effect reminiscent of medieval depictions of dragons.
** Several variants of European dragons existed, including [[OurWyvernsAreDifferent wyverns]], lindwurms and tatzlwurms. Like [[spoiler:almost]] all other variants, they're extinct.

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* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Dragons OurDragonsAreDifferent:
** Western dragons
are large, powerful mythical creatures who waged a disastrous war with the sphinxes centuries in the past that wiped both species off the face of the Earth or so most people think, as it seems both are survived by at least one individual.
** *** The war was instigated by the sphinxes' initial refusal to give the dragons the enchanted shapeshifting medallions only they knew how to create, causing the dragons -- who were being steadily killed off by human hunting and saw the medallions as their only hope of survival -- to engage in a series of brutal attacks on sphinx workshops and homes to try to take the medallions by force. These hostilities, driven by the fact that both dragons and sphinxes saw each other as evil and cruel, soon escalated into a war that killed off the vast majority of both species.
** *** Only two dragons have been seen in the comic proper, but suggest a great deal of physical variability for their kind. One, the only known survivor, is a red-and-yellow creature with the typical six-limbed arrangement, Asian-style barbels on his snout and an erect, panther-like gait. The other, seen in a flashback, has a whitish coloration, only four limbs -- two forelegs and two wings -- a sprawling, lizardlike stance and an elongated, serpentine body, all to an effect reminiscent of medieval depictions of dragons.
** *** Several variants of European dragons existed, including [[OurWyvernsAreDifferent wyverns]], lindwurms and tatzlwurms. Like [[spoiler:almost]] all other variants, they're extinct.extinct.
** The serpentine, wingless, maned, whiskered and antlered Asian dragons are still around, and are by and large distinct creatures from the Western kind -- besides being big, intelligent magical reptiles (or part reptiles, in the Asian kind's case) they don't really have much in common with one another. They generally get along quite well with humans who know about their true natures, and use their innate ability to shapeshift to pass beneath human notice.


* TheCallPutMeOnHold: Sam gets harassed because his TransformationTrinket never worked for some reason although he was born (in human form) to a gryphon father and human mother.

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* TheCallPutMeOnHold: Sam gets harassed because his TransformationTrinket never worked for some reason although he was born (in in human form) form to a an inverted gryphon father and a human mother.mother; his older brother transformed into an inverted gryphon as standard when he got his medallion, but Sam did not. He's extremely bitter about this and is convinced that his medallion is broken somehow and that he'll be able to turn once he manages to fix it, but most others think that he was simply born a human like his mom.



* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a [[spoiler:sphinx]] himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.

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* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a [[spoiler:sphinx]] himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though into -- although she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.



%%* FantasticGhetto: A lot of the avalons.%%ZCE



** Ike Sanford gets a lot of prejudice because he's half manticore. Worse, his own mother Lynn is a vicious bigot with no filter. [[spoiler: Ike's girlfriend Rhonda is determined to make Lynn's prejudice as self-punishing as possible, hence the title of the side-story ''Kill Them With Kindness''.]]

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** This manifests most often in discrimination against "monsters", these being mythical creatures such as harpies or manticores who do not possess medallions or natural shapeshifting and cannot thus adopt human form. They're often treated as innately brutish and dangerous by other mythicals -- manticores get an especially bad rap in this regard -- and it's rare for them to be fully accepted within fantastical society without at least some nasty rumors spreading about them.
** Ike Sanford gets a lot of prejudice because he's half manticore. half-buggane and half-manticore. Worse, his own mother Lynn is a vicious bigot with no filter. [[spoiler: filter, and is very open about her disdain for non-bugganes and her disapproval of Ike being romantically involved with a "feline" -- [[{{Hypocrite}} her own past tryst with a manticore notwithstanding]]. Ike's girlfriend Rhonda is determined to make Lynn's prejudice as self-punishing as possible, hence the title of the side-story ''Kill Them With Kindness''.]]



** When Michelle misidentifies Marshall the spirit raven as a crow he replies, "Crows are filthy animals."
** Leah Tanno is Japanese, but as her gryphon form combines two North American animals (red-tailed hawk and bobcat), her gryphon ancestor (who could have been dozens of generations of "false humans" back) must have been a gaijin. While she hasn't complained about overt discrimination back home she still moved to England because [[InternalizedCategorism she never felt like she fit in back in Japan]].

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** When Michelle misidentifies Marshall the spirit raven as a crow he replies, "Crows replies that "crows are filthy animals."
animals".
** Leah Tanno is Japanese, but but, as her gryphon form combines two North American animals (red-tailed hawk and bobcat), her gryphon ancestor (who could have been dozens of generations of "false humans" back) must have been a gaijin. While she hasn't complained about overt discrimination back home she still moved to England because [[InternalizedCategorism she never felt like she fit in back in Japan]].



** In the past, it's shown that Nemean Lions were targets of this as well...

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** In the past, it's shown that Nemean Lions were targets of this as well... well.



* FreakOut: Anthony doesn't take his introduction (specifically, his second visit) to the local {{Masquerade}} very well.

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* FreakOut: Anthony doesn't take his introduction (specifically, his second visit) to the local {{Masquerade}} very well.well -- the sudden and seemingly unexplainable nature of his transformation didn't help. He spent most of it panicked and angry over suddenly transforming into a bird person, and blaming both his friend Blanche (for having introduced him to magical society to begin with) and his mother (for never having told him she was a harpy) for what happened to him.



* GodivaHair: Merial in her full nixie form.

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* GodivaHair: Merial in In her full nixie form.form, Merial's long hair is what helps keep her modest.



* LostTechnology: The secret of making medallions has been lost [[spoiler: ...because the sphinxes were making them, and they went extinct.]]

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* LostTechnology: The secret of making medallions has been lost [[spoiler: ...because only the sphinxes were making knew how to make them, and they went extinct.]]extinct]].



* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Well, Ordinary College Student for Michelle, until she picked up a random trinket dropped by a stranger... [[spoiler: which was actually the shade of her dead father.]]

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* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Well, Ordinary College Student for Michelle, until she picked up a random trinket dropped by a stranger... [[spoiler: which [[spoiler:which was actually the shade of her dead father.]]father]].



** In-universe, the term "monster" is used generally for creatures who have no medallions to assume human form (like Harpies), more specifically for non-sapient creatures like the nightmare and the Momo, and very specifically for those who prey on other sapients like most manticores. The arc ''Illuminations'' seem to imply that the term "monster" was originally used to refer purely to creatures who have no medallions (and in a display of circular logic, those creatures were denied medallions on the basis of them being "nasty" or preying on other sapients).

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** In-universe, the term "monster" is used generally for creatures who have no medallions to assume human form (like Harpies), harpies), more specifically for non-sapient creatures like the nightmare and the Momo, and very specifically for those who prey on other sapients like most manticores. The arc ''Illuminations'' seem to imply that the term "monster" was originally used to refer purely to creatures who have no medallions (and in a display of circular logic, those creatures were denied medallions on the basis of them being "nasty" or preying on other sapients).


* HarpingOnAboutHarpies: AlwaysFemale {{Winged Humanoid}}s who have no medallions and cannot transform, which is both a significant inconvenience and a source of FantasticRacism in the magical community.
** They come in four distinct subspecies, representing different depictions of harpies in mythology and heraldry:
*** Aellean harpies resemble human women with bird legs, tails and wings; they only possess four limbs, and their wings double as their arms -- they still possess taloned, scaly hands, but these are part of their wings and possess limited dexterity; their feet are actually more dextrous and useful than their hands.
*** Okepetian harpies resemble the aellean kind in most respects, but possess distinct arms and wings for a total of six limbs. Abby is an okepetian harpy.
*** Podargian harpies are the smallest kind, and are the least humanoid -- they're essentially birds with human heads.
*** Celean harpies are the most monstrous kind, possessing taloned hands and four wings -- a birdlike pair and a batlike pair.
** Anthony is something of an odd case -- he transformed into an aellean harpy after being exposed to the magic of an Avalon, despite harpies being AlwaysFemale and his transformation not involving any GenderBender. As it turns out, [[spoiler:his mom was an aellean harpy who permanently took on human shape to be with her human husband]], and this combined with humans being easily affected by transformative magic likely caused a weird, unique reaction when he was first exposed to the magical world.



* HybridMonster: Ike is half manticore and half buggane, which is not a natural occurrence. It's implied that [[spoiler:this sort of things happens because of some serious magical mix-up. Messing around with transformation spells is a ''bad idea''.]]
* HybridOverkillAvoidance: Beings of nearly any species can have children together, using medallions if necessary, but unless strong non-medallion magic is involved, the children will simply be one species or the other. Ike is the exception that proves the rule as he is clearly a mixed-breed monster but only inherited a (mostly) compatible subset of Buggane and Manticore features.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Michelle starts out with this attitude, unsurprisingly, though it soon becomes "I just want to be normal, but flying is cool". Jim eventually lectures her (while flying) that it all depends upon your definition of "normal", and Michelle would be much happier if she stopped trying to draw an artificial line between her [[spoiler:sphinx]] and human lives.
-->'''Jim''': On two legs or four, you're still Michelle Jocasta.
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Played with. All mythicals (except Michelle for some reason) become nude in full-form due to the MagicPants effect inherent in their medallions, which makes sense because most of their full mythical forms make some or all clothing unnecessary or impractical.
** Jim mentions centaurs, who can wear shirts but have to leave their "Horse Bits" exposed for all to see, but also mentions that mythicals born mythical are perfectly comfortable with nudity since they couldn't even wear clothes until they get their first medallions. Contrast Merial, who seems quite comfortable nude in her full Nixie form, with Michelle, who insists on wearing a shirt even though she just has to cope with her butt being on full display. Despite this, most mythicals do wear clothes in human and mid-form, either due to practicality (pockets!) or as a means of expression as exemplified by the music scene in the Liverpool Avalon.
** Jim's little brother Colin provides amusing reinforcement to Jim's point: he can hardly wait to get his medallion and assume human form but the interval between being thrilled that he can finally wear clothes and dismay that he's now required to can be measured in minutes. He still likes the opposable thumbs.



* ItsPronouncedTropay: Meee-shell, just like the Beatles song, which her father loved to sing to her as a child.



* HarpingOnAboutHarpies: AlwaysFemale {{Winged Humanoid}}s who have no medallions and cannot transform, which is both a significant inconvenience and a source of FantasticRacism in the magical community.
** They come in four distinct subspecies, representing different depictions of harpies in mythology and heraldry:
*** Aellean harpies resemble human women with bird legs, tails and wings; they only possess four limbs, and their wings double as their arms -- they still possess taloned, scaly hands, but these are part of their wings and possess limited dexterity; their feet are actually more dextrous and useful than their hands.
*** Okepetian harpies resemble the aellean kind in most respects, but possess distinct arms and wings for a total of six limbs. Abby is an okepetian harpy.
*** Podargian harpies are the smallest kind, and are the least humanoid -- they're essentially birds with human heads.
*** Celean harpies are the most monstrous kind, possessing taloned hands and four wings -- a birdlike pair and a batlike pair.
** Anthony is something of an odd case -- he transformed into an aellean harpy after being exposed to the magic of an Avalon, despite harpies being AlwaysFemale and his transformation not involving any GenderBender. As it turns out, [[spoiler:his mom was an aellean harpy who permanently took on human shape to be with her human husband]], and this combined with humans being easily affected by transformative magic likely caused a weird, unique reaction when he was first exposed to the magical world.
* HybridMonster: Ike is half manticore and half buggane, which is not a natural occurrence. It's implied that [[spoiler:this sort of things happens because of some serious magical mix-up. Messing around with transformation spells is a ''bad idea''.]]
* HybridOverkillAvoidance: Beings of nearly any species can have children together, using medallions if necessary, but unless strong non-medallion magic is involved, the children will simply be one species or the other. Ike is the exception that proves the rule as he is clearly a mixed-breed monster but only inherited a (mostly) compatible subset of Buggane and Manticore features.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Michelle starts out with this attitude, unsurprisingly, though it soon becomes "I just want to be normal, but flying is cool". Jim eventually lectures her (while flying) that it all depends upon your definition of "normal", and Michelle would be much happier if she stopped trying to draw an artificial line between her [[spoiler:sphinx]] and human lives.
-->'''Jim''': On two legs or four, you're still Michelle Jocasta.
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Played with. All mythicals (except Michelle for some reason) become nude in full-form due to the MagicPants effect inherent in their medallions, which makes sense because most of their full mythical forms make some or all clothing unnecessary or impractical.
** Jim mentions centaurs, who can wear shirts but have to leave their "Horse Bits" exposed for all to see, but also mentions that mythicals born mythical are perfectly comfortable with nudity since they couldn't even wear clothes until they get their first medallions. Contrast Merial, who seems quite comfortable nude in her full Nixie form, with Michelle, who insists on wearing a shirt even though she just has to cope with her butt being on full display. Despite this, most mythicals do wear clothes in human and mid-form, either due to practicality (pockets!) or as a means of expression as exemplified by the music scene in the Liverpool Avalon.
** Jim's little brother Colin provides amusing reinforcement to Jim's point: he can hardly wait to get his medallion and assume human form but the interval between being thrilled that he can finally wear clothes and dismay that he's now required to can be measured in minutes. He still likes the opposable thumbs.
* ItsPronouncedTropay: Meee-shell, just like the Beatles song, which her father loved to sing to her as a child.



* TheLastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Michelle is the last sphinx, and since the sphinxes apparently shared a mysterious "source of power," it also means that Michelle has inherited ''every last bit of the '''entire''' sphinx power source.'']]

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* TheLastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Michelle LastOfItsKind: Michelle is the [[spoiler:the last sphinx, and since the sphinxes apparently shared a mysterious "source of power," power", it also means that Michelle has inherited ''every last bit of the '''entire''' sphinx power source.'']]


* OurBugbearsAreScarier: They're saber-toothed bear-like creatures with really long claws, glowing eyes, the uncanny ability to know where a person is at any given time, teleportation, and a habit of scaring people for shits and giggles. They also seem to possess an affinity for "creepy" animals -- spiders in the case of one bugbear character, bats for another -- which they can seemingly control or even create. They mostly use this ability as another way to creep people out.


* ConfoundThemWithKindness:* Ike's mother Lynn is toweringly racist and narcissistic, to the point of telling Ike that he should break up with Rhonda and find a more suitable girlfriend ''while the latter was right there.'' Rhonda handles this by watching the argument in silence, then sending Lynn off with a cheery handshake and a comment about how nice it was to meet her and how sure she is that they will become fast friends... then waiting until she and Ike are out of earshot to [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/kill-them-with-kindness-11-poison/ start cackling about how much her friendliness had creeped Lynn out]].

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* ConfoundThemWithKindness:* ConfoundThemWithKindness: Ike's mother Lynn is toweringly racist and narcissistic, to the point of telling Ike that he should break up with Rhonda and find a more suitable girlfriend ''while the latter was right there.'' Rhonda handles this by watching the argument in silence, then sending Lynn off with a cheery handshake and a comment about how nice it was to meet her and how sure she is that they will become fast friends... then waiting until she and Ike are out of earshot to [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/kill-them-with-kindness-11-poison/ start cackling about how much her friendliness had creeped Lynn out]].


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**Ike's manticore father disappeared before he was born, which is why his mother Lynn is especially racist toward felines.

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* ConfoundThemWithKindness:* Ike's mother Lynn is toweringly racist and narcissistic, to the point of telling Ike that he should break up with Rhonda and find a more suitable girlfriend ''while the latter was right there.'' Rhonda handles this by watching the argument in silence, then sending Lynn off with a cheery handshake and a comment about how nice it was to meet her and how sure she is that they will become fast friends... then waiting until she and Ike are out of earshot to [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/kill-them-with-kindness-11-poison/ start cackling about how much her friendliness had creeped Lynn out]].
-->'''Rhonda:''' I forced her to ''touch'' me. I could practically smell her revulsion.


* PettingZooPeople: Midforms generally resemble this.


* OnlySixFaces: A lot of the characters had the same beak-nose and face at first, but the art improved rather rapidly; this is especially obvious when the artist switched from traditional pen-and-watercolor to Photoshop - compare the first page to the latest one, in which the characters have distinctive noses and jawlines.

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* OnlySixFaces: A lot of the characters had the same beak-nose and face at first, but the art improved rather rapidly; this is especially obvious when the artist switched from traditional pen-and-watercolor to Photoshop - -- compare the first page to the latest one, in which the characters have distinctive noses and jawlines.



** Several variants of European dragons existed, including wyverns, lindwurms and tatzlwurms. Like [[spoiler:almost]] all other variants, they're extinct.

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** Several variants of European dragons existed, including wyverns, [[OurWyvernsAreDifferent wyverns]], lindwurms and tatzlwurms. Like [[spoiler:almost]] all other variants, they're extinct.


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* OurWyvernsAreDifferent: Wyverns were one of the various types of western dragons once present in the setting. Like all other variants, they were driven into extinction during a vicious war of mutual annihilation between the dragons and sphinxes during the middle ages.


* InnocentFanserviceGirl: Played with. All mythicals (except Michelle for some reason) become nude in full-form due to the MagicPants effect inherent in their medallions, which makes sense because most of their full mythical forms make some or all clothing unnecessary or impractical.
** Jim mentions centaurs, who can wear shirts but have to leave their "Horse Bits" exposed for all to see, but also mentions that mythicals born mythical are perfectly comfortable with nudity since they couldn't even wear clothes until they get their first medallions. Contrast Merial, who seems quite comfortable nude in her full Nixie form, with Michelle, who insists on wearing a shirt even though she just has to cope with her butt being on full display. Despite this, most mythicals do wear clothes in human and mid-form, either due to practicality (pockets!) or as a means of expression as exemplified by the music scene in the Liverpool Avalon.
** Jim's little brother Colin provides amusing reinforcement to Jim's point: he can hardly wait to get his medallion and assume human form but the interval between being thrilled that he can finally wear clothes and dismay that he's now required to can be measured in minutes. He still likes the opposable thumbs.



* NoNudityTaboo: Played with. All mythicals (except Michelle for some reason) become nude in full-form due to the MagicPants effect inherent in their medallions, which makes sense because most of their full mythical forms make some or all clothing unnecessary or impractical.
** Jim mentions centaurs, who can wear shirts but have to leave their "Horse Bits" exposed for all to see, but also mentions that mythicals born mythical are perfectly comfortable with nudity since they couldn't even wear clothes until they get their first medallions. Contrast Merial, who seems quite comfortable nude in her full Nixie form, with Michelle, who insists on wearing a shirt even though she just has to cope with her butt being on full display. Despite this, most mythicals do wear clothes in human and mid-form, either due to practicality (pockets!) or as a means of expression as exemplified by the music scene in the Liverpool Avalon.
** Jim's little brother Colin provides amusing reinforcement to Jim's point: he can hardly wait to get his medallion and assume human form but the interval between being thrilled that he can finally wear clothes and dismay that he's now required to can be measured in minutes. He still likes the opposable thumbs.


* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: lampshaded by Michelle when she complains that learning to deal with six limbs (four legs, two wings, and nothing remotely resembling a hand) in her sphinx form has been a bit of a trial.

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* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: lampshaded Lampshaded by Michelle when she complains that learning to deal with six limbs (four legs, two wings, and nothing remotely resembling a hand) in her sphinx form has been a bit of a trial.


!!Provides examples of:

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!!Provides !! ''Skin Deep'' contains examples of:


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** Only two dragons have been seen in the comic, but suggest a great deal of physical variability for their kind. One, the only known survivor, is a red-and-yellow creature with the typical six-limbed arrangement, Asian-style barbels on his snout and an erect, panther-like gait. The other, seen in a flashback, has a whitish coloration, only four limbs -- two forelegs and two wings -- a sprawling, lizardlike stance and an elongated, serpentine body reminiscent of medieval depictions of dragons.

to:

** Only two dragons have been seen in the comic, comic proper, but suggest a great deal of physical variability for their kind. One, the only known survivor, is a red-and-yellow creature with the typical six-limbed arrangement, Asian-style barbels on his snout and an erect, panther-like gait. The other, seen in a flashback, has a whitish coloration, only four limbs -- two forelegs and two wings -- a sprawling, lizardlike stance and an elongated, serpentine body body, all to an effect reminiscent of medieval depictions of dragons.dragons.
** Several variants of European dragons existed, including wyverns, lindwurms and tatzlwurms. Like [[spoiler:almost]] all other variants, they're extinct.


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* {{Youkai}}: Yokai are a type of magical creatures related to North American spirit animals -- they're not immediate relatives, but they're closer to each other than either is to, for instance, European mythical. They tend to be highly magical and long-lived, and known varieties include {{Kitsune}}s and tsuchinokos.

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