Arcturion said:Shi shi lion dogs, to be exact. They're all over the place here on Okinawa, and almost always encountered in pairs (one male, one female). A peculiar combination of lion, dragon, and dog, which is strange considering that lions are not native to Japan nor Okinawa. Definitely an influence of Chinese and Korean mythologies mixing with Japanese as Okinawa/Ryukyu Island(s) was an independent sovereign up until fairly recently, and served as a focal point of trade between all three countries and more besides (Thailand, etc.).
I actually haven't thought of shi shi as being dragonne before but now that I think more about it, it does make some sense (minus the wings and adding in a more dog-like tail). For some reason the desert climates favored by dragonne brought to mind some sort of Arabian or ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian/Sumerian vibe to me. Must be a subconscious thing as I selected a dragonne as a cohort/mount for a DMPC, heh.
An old friend of mine from junior high school and a professional comic book artist and inker is originally from Burma and identified the Dragonne image right away as a creature from the folklore of Burma/Indochina and similar to the Shi Shi/Foo lions. He said there was once a winged Shi Shi Lion statue on top of a temple in his country until it was vandalized or stolen at one point in that nation's history. Two 'traditional' creatures sat outside the front entrance to that same temple and remain there today as far as I know.
My friend once played a Human Paladin PC who gained the ability to transform into a Dragonne. The character was given a Holy Avenger that was +3 (instead of +5) by his mentor before said elder died. The elder transformed into a Dragonne upon his death, revealing his true form, and bestowing the transformation power upon his former student.