These are a little messy but I needed to get these character ideas down on paper and my blog, to free them from my minds grasp and put things into a perspective i can work on them from.
The first thing i needed to decide on was what is my character, is he Human, a Reptile or even an Alien, I decided early on i wanted it to be based around earth, and not an alien world or species. Because i would like to have a War of the Roses type story, but not a war of the worlds.
Now i just happened to have the tv on in the background yesterday when Planet Earth came on a featured 'pack' animals like Lions and wolves, but also things like Ants that work for the good of the group colony. This and the movie La Belle et La bête (1946) that we recently watched as part of the Mise-enscene film programme got me thinking of humanoid type characters. I felt this approach to my Emperor would be interesting because even though they would be living on earth possibly with humans it wouldn't necessarily mean that all of their technology would be human in nature.
The above is a mind map i made while watching various TV shows featuring pack animals, or other creatures I felt worked together rather well.
My two initial choices where the Ant and Wolf, I did not really get any feeling of excitement with birds, because I imagine them being incredibly spiffy and all over the place. With lions I really couldn’t see them working as a humanoid race because they can be rather aggressive in nature and prone to attack each other for leadership roles within the pack or pride as its more commonly known.
This left me with Ants and Wolfs, below is a summary of why I think either one will work and which one I have decided to move forwards with.
Wolfs: I imagine them being very noble race, having great respect for the pack leader (In this instance the Emperor.) As humanoids, they would obviously have features and skills that relate to their original wolf ancestors, such as their nose, eyes, ears, tail, feet and smell. Standing on two legs rather than four, would mean their legs would still have the joints and pushing power of a wolfs leg, but in an upright position ideal for running at high speeds and jumping incredible heights / distances.
Ants: Thinking of ants I get a sense that they can seem rather alien like in how they look and move. This could play to an advantage because naturally they life underground in nests so it would tie in well with the subterranean lair. Ants typically fellow a Queen, but I think I could work around this with and Emperor that is ranked higher than the queen is. In addition, all of the other ants do his bidding, Like some kind of evil villain. Ants Bodies could be an interesting road to go down because they have 6 legs, and are capable of lifting 20 times their own body weight