“Korats? You mean those pretty silver-blue housecats from ancient Siam?”

Um, no. I mean these:

That, my dear readers, is my kind of Korat. (The fact that they share a name with an admittedly nifty breed of cat is completely accidental. My Korats got their name years before I ever found out about Korats-the-housecats.)

Korats are my favorite and one of my most-often-featured fictional species. They reside on Lavana, one of my primary worlds. Lavana is slightly larger than Earth with proportionately stronger gravity and a similar range of terrains and climates; its sky is pale violet, its clouds rosy pink, its sun – Ghrayu – a bold orange, and much of its grasses pastel blue. Don’t let the fanciful color scheme fool you, though – Lavana is a hostile, deadly world, filled with strange and dangerous creatures.

Quadrupedal predators, Korats are often regarded as the ‘average Lavanian,’ for all that they seem to be one of the most successful species. Korats have canine heads, shark-like teeth, round-pupiled eyes, and lupine ears. Their necks are a few feet long and held tightly in an S-curve, almost jointed; it takes a muscle spasm for them to ‘unlock’ their necks, and it’s also rather hard to slit a Korat’s throat, as their necks are thickly-muscled. They have deep chests and narrower waists. Their forelegs are slender compared to their hind, ending in forehands with small V-shaped palms and two retractably-clawed ‘fingers’. Their hind legs are powerful with a three-toed paw resembling that of a Velociraptor; their innermost toe is held upright, off the ground, and totes a ‘longclaw’ – a scythe-shaped claw usually 6 inches long. Males have long, fast tails with a curving ‘tailblade’ made of bone branching off near the tailtip; some females can have this as well, though it’s rare. Most females, instead, have shorter and very muscular tails.

Korats are small for Lavanians, standing at 3-6 feet at the withers. They’re striated into five distinct breeds – lean and swift tans, graceful and toned blacks, sturdy and muscular reds, tall and powerful whites, and tough and shaggy browns – as well as a genetic mutation, a striped that combines two breeds. Koratian breeds determine not only the physical appearance, but also the body’s strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, and agility, as well as the mind’s general temperament and sociability. Korats tend towards a pack structure, with a leader and a few secondary leaders guiding the group’s activities and drawing the bounds of territory; they don’t use tools and many abhor the scent of metal objects.

The complete biography – including full physical description, breed details, history, society, and culture – can be found in the Bestiary under ‘Korat’. I have all the details I could think to write on that single page, so it’s fairly long (and why I summarized, rather than copy-pasted, in this entry). You can also check out the Korat Gallery for some illustrations by various artists.

I’ve written (but not finished) one Korat novel so far, entitled Outcast, and I’m contemplating either completing that story or starting anew for my third writing project. I figured now was a good time to get you used to hearing about Korats; I’ll see if I can’t find a little piece of fiction to toss up shortly. Besides, the Korat biography is a good glimpse of how detailed my creature-building can get – and perhaps an inspiration for other worldmakers to write their ideas down.

What kinds of creatures have you come up with to populate your fiction?