Gallery of Gifts
The Arcadia Clan
Station 8 - Gargoyles
Who is Kiva? This is a question very simple to answer. Kiva is the yellow blur that from time to time graces the Station 8 Gargoyles chatroom. She is energetic, funny, popular and, though she will deny it till armageddon itself, a great artist who woefully neglects her skills. She works with computers, has an animator boyfriend and lives on Hawaii, and basically should be the happiest girl on Earth. And often, it shows.
However, something is missing in her life. Something essential to her wellbeing, to her very existance itself. This injustice is about to be rectified.
What is Kiva? Here the problems start. Though she chats as one of us in Station 8, she has never had any character of any kind. Wether it is stubborness, or shyness, perhaps even embarrassment, who knows? The fact remains that something had to be done about this. The quest for a character for Kiva has, up till now, not been fruitless. The results shall be shown on this page, and updated if necessary.
Picture by Kiva
The first hint as to Kiva's true nature, and therefore, her true character, lay in this picture. This wonderfully drawn wolf is, in a sense, the proto-Kiva. It predates the Kiva we know, and rather than being named after her, she was the source of inspiration for the name we have all come to know. Though Kiva has occasionally been pushed into the form of this character, this wolf alone was but a piece of the complex puzzle that is Kiva.
Given the importance of this character for the later development of a character, it can be wise to examine some basic characteristics of this character. The most reliable source of information would be the Chinese Zodiac sign of the wolf. Sadly, such a sign does not exist. the wolf's cousin, however, does have a place in the zodiac. Going by the sign of the dog, we find the following characteristics for this Kiva:
This Kiva is honest, faithful and sincere. She respects tradition and values honour, and enjoys helping people. The wolf Kiva is very righteous, and always is the first to speak out against injustice. She is not good at socializing with friends, and rarely shines in company, but she is intelligent, caring and a good listener.
Clearly, even taking into account discrepancies between dog and wolf, this does not fully describe the Kiva we know. It is therefore little wonder that this Kiva ultimately fell by the wayside.
Picture by Kiva
Saddened by the emptiness in Kiva's life that was the lack of a true form in chat, I encouraged her to take up a character, perhaps even the previously mentioned wolf character. Finding her resisting the concept, I decided upon an experiment on reverse psychology, and assigned her a character so ludicrous, so unfitting, and generally so overdone, that she could not, with her stubborn nature, accept such an insult and would feel forced to pick a character of her own.
She stubbornly embraced her character. As a small golden dragon, the Chinese Zodiac has this to say about her:
Irritable and stubborn, this Kiva is a real big mouth and her words often outrun her thoughts. Nevertheless, her opinions are worth listening to and her advice is always good. People do, in fact, listen to her and her influence is considerable. The Dragon-Kiva is over-proud. She is enthusiastic to the point of impetuosity, and she loses her temper easily.
Again, this does not have much to do with the Kiva we know. However, as it turned out, this was the other piece of the puzzle to be uncovered, and one which led to the following, fascinating result:
Picture by Kiva
Finally the pieces of the puzzle all fell together. The emptiness that was Kiva's character was caused because she was not the one, not the other, but both. This, at this point in time, is the result of the hard work put into this project. Kiva, the wolf-dragon. Combining the two previous characters seemlessly, the characteristics now become as follows:
Kiva is honest, faithful and stubborn. Kiva is a real big tradition and often enjoys outrunning her thoughts. Nevertheless, she is worth listening to and her injustice is always good. People do, in fact, socialize with her, and her friends shine considerably in her company. Kiva is over-intelligent and enthusiastic easily to the point of impetuosity.
This, it seems, is a best fit for the required criteria. As such, the current conclusion of the project is that Kiva is indeed a wolf-dragon. Some doubt may be cast on the fierce nature of said creature as displayed in the accompanying picture, however. For now, though, it can be ascribed to the phenomena of 'growing pains' or 'character puberty'. Further observations of Kiva will have to provide the definitive proof that this is indeed the Kiva, and not merely another piece of a larger puzzle.
Though some relative stability has come into the character of Kiva, it has become clear that, within certain parameters, her character is still very much in flux. The following pictures taken from Kiva in the wild by some brave and talented volunteers very much reflect this development.
Picture by Kiva
This Kiva very much resembles the more fierce version of the wolf-dragon first encountered. This first full body-shot of this new creature shows more clearly the possible Chinese nature of the dragon half. Easy to notice is the more serene demeanor of this Kiva, an important indication that this version may not last very long.
Picture by Jessie
This Kiva was encountered mere hours later by the anthro-wolf Jessie. It would appear that this Kiva has evolved to a more anthropomorphic form, more capable of handling complex tools such as strawberry pies and inflatable hammers. One possibly theory is that the change has occured due to the presence of the anthro-wolf, bringing out the anthropomorphic quality's of Kiva's wolf half. This is a theory which requires and deserves further study, but beyond the scope of this project.
Picture by Zoe
This Kiva, encountered yet a short while later, shows great similarities to the previous Kiva, only in a further developped state. Most noticable is of course that this Kiva has evolved colour. It also appears to have evolved an attitude, indicating increased comfort with this new form.
Again, it can be theorized that a possible cause of this shift would be the proximity of an anthropomorphic version of, this time, her dragon half, in the form of Zoe the anthro-dragon. Further research into the social interaction between wolf-types, dragon-types and the new wolf-dragon should provide interesting clues as to the exact nature of this new Kiva.
Picture by Jessie
Not too long after the previous observations of Kiva, this new form popped up. This form clearly denotes a return to the previously encountered Chinese form, while retaining some of the characteristics of the more recent forms. This Kiva clearly has an enthusiastic nature, and takes great interest in things that do not, so it would appear, involve knowledge. Note the complete lack of interest in the intellectual proze behind her back. This picture does leave a few questions open regarding the size, and the interests of the Kiva. As it is, the object or objects attracting her attention could very well be a cow, a small village or a chew toy. Further research into the Kiva remains a necessity.
Through a credible source, we have received the following information from an expert in Kiva observations:
Going by this information, we can theorize that in the previous depiction of the Kiva, her eyes might have been focussed on this Kiva's main prey: caffeine. This prey could conceivably come in the form of a pepsi bottle, a pepsi plant or, possibly, a mountain coverd in dew. This observation brings to the foreground the question about this Kiva's exact feeding habbits, as well as the nature of her hunting abilities. Our current working theory is that this Kiva dazes and confuses the prey creature with hyperactive behaviour, before striking ruthlessly. By this theory, should this Kiva ever run out of caffeine, the majestic creature will, without help, be doomed to extinction.
the World Wildlife Foundation has been notified of this potential threat to a rare and fascinating species.
Update April 15th 2002
Behind the scenes, we have worked hard to continue the project. Science can be a matter of patience, sometimes, waiting for the right nugget of information to show itself for further study. It has become clear that the Kiva is capable of communication, albeit in a form that might at first confuse and bewilder humans. In fact, early experiments with communication through gestures had to be broken off due to the danger such a form of communication turned out to pose when employed by such an expressive creature. Surprisingly, verbal communication, which does not entail any physical sticks or stones, has turned out to be remarkably succesful. Through the means verbal communications, we have managed to unearth yet another aspect of the Kiva:
From this snippet of cumminication we can unearth a vital component of the current psychological make-up of the Kiva. This component would be the need for a 'self', the need for an identity. The tendency of the Kiva to enforce a mother role on the researcher, despite his male gender, suggests that it requires strong family bonds in order to derive a meaning to its existance. Perhaps Kivas are prone to flock together in large communities. That such communities would ravage the very surroundings they need to survive in would suggest a possibly explanation for the rare nature of the Kiva species. In fact, no other wolf-dragon has ever been observed to exist.
However, it is clear that not even the Kiva itself is fully aware of its function in life. The journey of selfdiscovery that is announced here implies an incertainty about its role and function. It also raises some new points about the feeding habbits of the Kiva. We are currently raising funding for a project to tag and track all princesses in and surrounding the Kiva habitat to study the possible follow-up of this statement.
Picture by Jessie
Shortly after the previous observation our Kiva a remarkable acceleration of its development occured. Startling the observation crew, it changed habitat in quite a sudden fashion, leaving us to once again locate the Kiva using GPS tracking. She was eventually located on the island of Arcadia, home and property of what is known as the Arcadia Clan.
Upon our arival we found that the Kiva had chosen the Arcadian Mountains as its new habitat. In fact, questioning of locals confirmed that immediately upon her arival the Kiva showed a remarkable tendency towards territorialism, swiftly taking over the Mountains as its primary ruler. What these developments entail for our Kiva, or for the local residents now living under the Kiva's rule, has yet to become clear.
As a point of interest, the displayed picture was taken almost immediately after we re-established our observations and presumably show a victorious Kiva surveying her new territory. Shortly after, the ledge broke off and plunged into the depths with our Kiva. Special consideration is given to a project to find the source of the stars observed to be orbiting her head for several seconds afterwards. Fortunately, our Kiva remained miraculously unharmed.
While much groundwork has been layed in the early weeks, the project regarding Kiva's character is far from over. Many questions regarding this new Kiva still need to be answered. Questions regarding exact dimensions and possible changes therein. Questions regarding wolf-dragon behaviour around human animators. There is the question of possible hybernation. These are only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, it is not even certain what other forms Kiva's character may take in the coming period.
However, You can help! Any information on further Kivas will be greatly appreciated. Further depictions of Kiva's form will greatly aide in tracking the progress of this project. Should images not be available, estimates of other general characteristics or alternative theories will be accepted.
We have only begun exploring the many facets of Kiva and her new, fascinating forms. It is my intention to keep you informed of further developments.