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Frank Shrine

I see you've found the Frank Shrine!

Who is Frank? Frank is one of my characters. He's my little guy! He's kind of a mascot, I suppose. He's part of an open species called Ealegs (By Sindonic, over on DA) which are part of an ARPG called Griffia (Also over on DA).

Art by griffsnuff

What does he do? Frank is a little eel-thing who as a species has roughly the same sort of behavior as a seagull. For some reason, he's sapient, and has decided to use this strange gift to make a traveling baking business. He bumbles all around the world of Griffia with his food cart in tow, selling comically small pies and pastries to people.

He goes on all sorts of adventures both hilarious and perilous, and meets all sorts of people on his journeys.

Art by myself

How did I come about him? Picture this: I'm almost done middle school and I've newly discovered the magic of closed species and adoptables. As someone who'd always had a passion for creating creatures and critters, it was awesome to see communities online doing just that, gaining followings for their specific designs, and also making money from it. I discovered one such species called Bagbeans who were very popular at the time. A lot of these designs had a clear base animal that their anatomy was influenced by, for example many of them were dragon-like beings or dogs with special features, but Bagbeans were very cool to me because they were a whole unique fantasy race, and I was instantly obsessed with them. I spent many many hours reading everything available about them and dreaming up what I'd do if I had a bagbean of my own. The problem was, though, that a bagbean averaged 100 dollars and I was 12. So, I just sort of spectated the community for a while.

How could I become part of this? I thought hard. There was a mascot bagbean available to draw and use for the group activities, but I wanted my own design to play around with. Instead, I got an idea. I'd make one of the open species which can be created for free, and then explore the world that way! Here's Frank's very first piece of art:

He originally had a "cherry blossom" sort of theme but I quickly simplified his design into the one you see around the site. So, I began cranking out art of Frank, hanging out in the bagbean world with the other characters and doing all of the character building activities as if he were one. Behold some of my early Frank art from 2017!

Art by myself

The thing was, though, that because Frank wasn't a bagbean, he couldn't officially participate in any of the activities for them. I could draw him, yeah, but he wouldn't get anything except for if I drew something specifically designed for the pets to do. Frank became sort of popular among the community, which brought me a lot of happiness knowing that people were fans of the guy.

One fateful February evening, I was shocked to find that not only were the group admins also fans of Frank, but they'd given me two bagbeans (or more specifically a bagbean and a perfaunt, which is sort of a sister species to bagbeans) with their designs taken straight from my wishlist, at the same time. It was a dream come true!

Art by griffsnuff & Sindonic respectively

So, newly armed with usable characters of my own for the ARPG, I began developing their characters and drawing them for all the group activities. Over time I collected more and more bagbeans & other species from the game, and developed quite a cast of designs to play with. And it was all thanks to Frank! I couldn't just discard Frank after gaining more expensive & exclusive designs, and so I didn't. He'd continue to be included in the majority of my art made for the game and personal purposes too. I don't participate a whole lot in Griffia and its activities these days because I have my own ARPG to run now and that's on top of other stuff like studies and work, but these characters will always be near and dear to my heart.

Most recently, the stuff I've been doing with Frank's original iteration is called "Frank's Town Tours" which I started several years ago, and involves me infrequently posting art of Frank visiting one of the towns in Griffia and writing up a mock script for an episode of his fictional food review show. They always end up being cut short though, because runtime is expensive and he's just a tiny eel who sells pies for a dollar each.

What about now? Just because I can't find the time to participate in his original ARPG anymore doesn't mean I can't find the time to have fun with Frank. He's also one of my prized DVS ponies on ponyisland!

He was won in the annual Christmas DVS slot raffle. I have some personal stock that I breed to him and give away to my friends.

And there's also that time that I made a Jojo's Bizarre Adventure version of him. The jist was that he'd be a stand-using seagull. It was a fun thought experiment.

Actually, that brings me to my next point. My friends and I sometimes enjoy doing exercises where we transmutate our characters into other franchises or concepts. I have a rule when it comes to doing this with Frank, which I call Frank's Law. The rule states that Frank cannot be the most dominant species of whatever universe he inhabits, but must have the same level of sophonce as them. So he shouldn't be a human when his friends are humans but has to be as smart as one, and so on. This is mostly to keep his origins in mind as a humble ealeg in a world full of bagbeans. This doesn't apply for ponyisland because the only species that I can make on ponyisland are... ponies. I imagine his pony self as a really tiny pony, though. Like the size of a hamster, that kind of tiny.

I also turned the above seagull version of him into another sister design, where the setting is a somewhat DnD-esque, TTRPG high fantasy world, and he's the stereotypical faceless wizard (who is actually a seagull using his magic skills to form a humanoid body to stand upon) with a fancy robe and such. The whole shebang.

He's like a hydra who keeps growing heads. It's fun to have a character with a million designs and alternate versions. And that's pretty much the story of Frank!