Whenever someone asks me: "Matteo-sama, when will you produce some Elf character?", I confess I get a little confused: I've already designed a lot of Elves, actually!
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the ultimate compendium about possibly the most interesting creatures of Inneath: Flonzi!
Nobody exactly knows where Flonzi come from, in fact there are many legends about their origin, but no documented evidences. Not that people are interested about them, at all: they are considered in general nothing but an annoying plague, incredibly difficult to eradicate.
Flonzi are creepy and weird creatures: they look like a mocking parody of humans, indeed, and they act like us, or at least they try their best to be as similar as us, even if no one has ever understood the reason why.
Their bubble heads dangle on their chubby little bodies, while they fly hold up by their lilliputian insect wings, like disgusting cherubs: among all the unbelievable creatures that populate Inneath, surely Flonzi are the weirdest!
However, it is better not to underestimate them, because a light of evil cunning shines in their glazed eyes: in fact, Flonzi love to disturb, bore, persecute and, in general, make life impossible for anyone with the misfortune to attract their attention. They also seem to have a special talent for bringing bad luck to anyone who has anything to do with them.
Yet these creatures are considered, though in a very small circle of individuals, the most precious creatures of Inneath.
A PRECIOUS TALENT
So, you may wonder, why a sane person would want to surround himself with such horrible and annoying creatures?
Flonzi, in fact, have a natural talent to discover any glimpse of Magic, like pigs are able of sniffing truffles in the undergrowth, and are attracted by Magic sources like moths are by light! For this reason, people think that these creatures belong to the so called "Fairy Realm".
Magic, in Inneath, is such a rare resource: it is said that long time ago, there was magic sources everywhere, but nowadays, it seems that Inneath just swallowed it.
Imagine, then, to have a creature that is able to detect even a little magic trace, whether it is a tiny talisman of ancient eras, or an underground deposit of raw magic: would you not accept a temporary misfortune, to gain a fortune that could change your life forever?
However, don't think that it's easy to exploit this talent, not at all!
First of all, Flonzi are incredibly lazy, and they don't want you to be happy: to convince a Flonzo to help you, is almost impossible. You may threaten them or force them, ok, but they are not stupid: probably they'll play ball, waiting the right moment to punish your insolence.
Only an individual with incredibly strong personality can subdue these creatures with fear, on the other hand there is a more effective way to get their loyalty: spoil them!
Flonzi indeed love to be the center of attention, and if you are kind with them for a reasonable amount of time, they could start to become attached to you.
To gain their affection is like a painful, frustrating and humiliating marathon: you have to indulge every single whim of their, enduring their jokes and bullying. In the meantime, you have to discreetly start to train them, generally making them believe that training is part of a game where they are the undisputed stars on stage.
With a bit of luck and an enormous amount of patience, if you play perfectly your cards with them you may gain the loyalty of a Flonzo, that from that moment on he will behave like a familiar.
FLONZI AND THEIR BEHAVIOR
There are two kinds of Flonzi: the Familiars and the wild ones.
A wild Flonzo is nothing but a pain in the ass, for any creature around him: he seems to live just to annoy others.
A wild Flonzo doesn't care at all about anything but himself, and spends a lifetime constantly looking for someone to persecute.
A Flonzo Familiar, however, radically changes personality: the more he becomes attached to his master, the more he becomes "master-centric", till a kind of disturbed relationship halfway between a fanatical devotion and stalking.
A Flonzo Familiar could be extremely possessive, concerning his master, and does not tolerate rivals, unless imposed by the master himself: in that case, usually a cold war begins among the two or more Familiars, each of them committed to conquering the favors of their master with no holds barred!
A Flonzo Familiar generally starts to act and wear like his master, trying all his best to make him proud.
DESIGNING A FLONZO
Initially, Flonzi should have been fairy creatures, cute sprites with a kind of Studio Ghibli style.
However, the more I was thinking about them, the more I was convinced that it wasn't the best I could get from this concept.
As many people out there, I love weird creatures, maybe because I relate with them: not that I consider myself a weird individual, but I I've always had a thing for ugliness.
Think about Bulldogs, for example: they are creepy, if you look at them rationally. But I find them adorable!
With Flonzi, I wanted to design the weirdest creatures that I could imagine, and for this reason I mixed the weirdest ingredients I knew and loved, to obtain a kind of disgusting mascotte that, whether you like it or not, will accompany Durgin Paint Forge!
The recipe of Flonzo is simple: start by taking a large handful of Wario (my Nintendo's most favorite character), then mix it with Eros from Ochamegami monogatari korokoro Poron (one of my childhood favorite anime). Finally, give him the personality of Leo Ortolani's Ratman (my favorite comics, I don't know if it's translated outside Italy, but I warmly suggest to read it).
Et voila: a wild Flonzo appeared!
Obviously, it's kind of disgusting concept, but I can't help but fiery love it, it warms my heart.
Flonzi are designed as a classic comical-mascottes, and they are great to add some funny story-telling to our various characters: obviously, I invented nothing. Goblins and Orcs, or Gnoblars and Ogors,hey have always worked in this way, adding some parodic/humorous vibe to their masters!
Flonzi's duty is basically the same, and I don't want to give their design any limit: the more weird and irreverent they are, the better it is!
Welcome, my friend, to the Age of Flonzo!