Country of Origin: China
Alternate Names: FEI-LIEN, FENG-BO, FENG-PO
Rank / Role: Wind God
Info: The Fei-Lian is a remarkable creature and is yet a little spoken of deity from Chinese Mythological tales. It is one of the only creatures to not have a set or defined species. Rather, the Fei-Lian exhibits five (5) distinct traits from five separate species.
1) The body and legs of a Stag
2) The head of a Sparrow
3) The white horns of a Bull
4) The tail of a Serpent
5) The golden spotted fur of a Leopard
In some illustrations and stories of Fei-Lian, the beast is sometimes depicted with wings of a Raven, however Fei-Lian is much more commonly draw without wings. While the Fei-Lian is not carnivorous, it has also been depicted as a wingless dragon as it will hunt and kill anything that threatens it.
It was said that wherever Fei-Lian went "its front hooves may touch Chaos, but its rear ones will touch Peace." Supposedly, Fei-Lian would seek out chaotic environments and just its presence would turn turmoil into calm. In Fei-Lian we see a lot of the classic elements of the Yin-Yang however, Fei-Lian was a trouble maker and also had a human form to which he called himself Feng-Bo and carried the wind around with him in a goatskin bag.
Having once tried to team up with the Rain God to overthrow the legendary Yellow Emperor Huangdi, he was banished to the mountains after being defeated by the Emperors Daughter. Being ill of mind from falling into disfavor, Fei-Lian continued stirring up bad weather until another mythological figure; the celestial archer Hu-yi, (often simply called Yi) supposedly shot Fei-Lian with a sacred arrow.
From Fei-Lian we get the origins of the endearing term "Old WindBag."
Ah man I had fun doing this! I spent several days just researching this critter and am really rather proud of myself with how it came out! I decided to depict the Fei-Lian with wings because it is much rarer to see it depicted so and as with a lot of mythological creatures, much is left up to the interpreters vision as well.
I really wanted to try to capture the duality of the Fei-Lian and I tried to incorporate that in some less then obvious ways. Such as the facing opposites, one being warm colors and the other cold. I also tried to represent the two factions of the society this creature would have existed to. The Reds, Golds, and Purples are colors often used to represent the "high class" or royalty while the blacks, greens and browns are often associated with the "lower class" or common people. There is some of each color in each of the directionally opposite Fei-Lians. I also wanted to try to touch on the one factor of the Fei-Lian which really made me curious about the creature; "entering chaos and leaving peace" behind bit, which also denotes further meaning in the leaping forward Fei-Lian to represent the unbalance and chaos while it leaves behind it an equally enthusiastic peace.
Sooooooooooo, all that said, this is my entry for Round 2 of ~SagomeKitsune124's Tournament Contest which you can read more about here: http://sagomekitsune124.deviantart.com/journal/reminder-of-contest-260437329
Round 1 Entry was: http://fav.me/d496l4y
All drawn and textured by hand, color editing was done in CS3 while the colors used came from a pair of 3D Bryce renders I had made; one for chaos and one for peace, having spent 6 hours per render.