Just went through my dA gallery looking for fanart I hadn’t crossposted (but still think is good enough to do so)…and, wow, there’s a lot more than expected. From the big fandoms as well as a sweep of miscellaneous ones.
Queue is up to three posts a day for a while. If you’d been hoping for more Hellsing, fake news, Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica, or Doctor Who, you’re in luck.
"Defying Management" (Cecil, Maureen, Tamika, Strex Security)
Cecil, listen to me. Just do some groveling.
Like you groveled to the Spire, and
Other entities before
I’m sure that you can still appease them
But I can’t please them
No - I won’t please them anymore
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of my new bosses’ game
No more self-censorship here
No hiding who I support
I’ll just hotwire the tower, patch in, and…report
It’s time to try defying management
I think I’ll try defying management
And they can’t shut me down!
Can’t I make you understand?
You’re having delusions of grandeur
I’m through accepting limits
'Cause Strexcorp says they're so
The people need a Voice
That tells them what they need to know!
Too long I’ve been content to
Leave the fight to our heroes
No more of that! It’s time to make our feelings known
Starting with my defying management
I’ve picked a side, I’m defying management
And they can’t shut me down
Night Vale…can you hear me? Don’t keep waiting on heroes. Take action.
Together we’re unlimited
Together there’s nothing we could try that has to fail
Nothing we can’t weather
If we work together
There’s no fight we cannot win
With you and I, defying management
Our battle cry, defying management
They’ll never bring us down!
Listeners, if you’re there…
I might go “missing”
If I get caught at this
I hope I won’t be missed
You don’t need my assistance
To be starting a resistance
It’s up to you to make the choice
It’s up to you, not your Voice
If you still care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As I read somewhere lately:
It’s not of a cold that I shall die!
And if we’re flying solo
At least we’re flying free
To those who’d ground us
Take a message back from me
It’s not just I who’s defying management
Come join our side, defying management
Until we’ve taken back our town!
And nobody from Desert Bluffs
No company that is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!
I hope you’re happy!
She’s that girl who’s missing!
Bring me down!
We care for the missing
So we’ve got to bring her
Okay, really long theory infodump incoming, so hold on to your hats….
I figure daemons can only settle as an animal that’s in existence at the time. So if your daemon settled in 2005, it could have become a Baiji river dolphin, but not a velociraptor.
It seems most likely that daemons settle as animals their human is familiar with. Going by the list of canon daemons on bridgetothestars.net, for instance, the gyptians all have local animals: crows, ferrets, squirrels, cats, hawks, frogs. The witches (and the one shaman) have birds found in temperate-to-arctic climates: a tern, snow goose, snow bunting, osprey, robin, but no cockatoos or birds-of-paradise. The one character specified to be from Africa has a cheetah. And the humans with daemons from climates they didn’t grow up in tend to be the ones with money and/or more formal education — Lord Asriel with his snow leopard, Mrs. Coulter with her golden monkey, that woman at her party with the macaw, the Bolvangar doctors with the baboon and the marmot.
But it isn’t an absolute limit! Lee Scoresby was familiar with local Texan hares and rabbits, but he didn’t realize Hester was specifically an Arctic hare until long after she’d settled. Possibly a daemon could settle as a member of a completely unfamiliar genus, too. There are probably some cultures where that’s treated as a sign of divine blessing…and others where it means you’re clearly a changeling, and need to be abandoned in the forest so the faeries will take you back.
In the modern world, I figure daemon-identification is a big thing. Like with baby names, there are websites dedicated to helping you identify the exact species of your daemon; like with genetic testing, there are companies who will take photos and X-rays of your daemon and send you a packet of information about their exact species, and how they compare to the average wild specimen. Every layperson has a personal reason to be invested in taxonomy, so it gets more funding and press than it does in our universe.
All of which leads to the possibility of a scene where some kid turns up in a local biology department with a freshly-settled takahe or mountain pygmy possum, and the scientists go “whoa, those are totally supposed to be extinct, time to mount a research expedition and figure out what forest the surviving population is hiding in.” There could even be species that are totally unknown to science except for one person’s daemon.
…and this is going way beyond what you asked, but a couple more limits that it would make sense for daemons (outside of weirdness-magnet locations like Night Vale) to have:
(1) Biological relation to humans. All the daemons we see are animals, no plants or fungi or anything, suggesting there’s a certain common-ancestor cutoff point. (This means no extraterrestrial daemons. Also, a daemon from Lyra’s world couldn’t settle as an animal from the mulefa world.)
More specifically, all the canon daemons are either insects (in the phylum Arthropoda) or birds/mammals/reptiles/amphibians (vertebrates, in the phylum Chordata). Which are in wildly different branches of the subkingdoms of the animal kingdom, opening the door for other creatures that are genetically far from vertebrates, like octopuses (Mollusca) and earthworms (Annelid). At the same time, they’re at least close enough that we can probably rule out sponges (Porifera), or corals and jellies (Cnidaria).
(2) Size. Lyra has a few worries about how Pan might settle (e.g. as a dolphin, so they’d be permanently stuck near water), but nobody ever worries that they’re going to settle as an elephant and not fit through doors any more, or to settle as a rotifer and be impossible to see. (There’s nothing definite about the limits in canon, but for reference, the largest daemon in-series is a cheetah and the smallest is an unidentified beetle.)
(3) Behavioral similarity to humans. Lyra also worries about Pan losing the ability to fly, but never about him losing the ability to move — so you probably can’t settle as, say, a sea squirt. Even though they’re much more closely related to humans than beetles are. At first I was thinking of mobility as the relevant factor, but it’s probably a whole range of things. Since daemon form reflects your interests and temperament, it would have to be a creature with behaviors humans can relate to on some level, like looking for food, hiding from bad weather, or trying to make themselves attractive to potential mates.
In conclusion…Night Vale residents’ daemons probably include not just dinosaurs, but killer whales, algae, cacti, moon jellies, barnacles, trichoplax, and tribbles.