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- 1 Fandom involvement
- 2 Banrai the character
- 3 Behind the screen name
- 4 Art
- 5 Characters
- 6 LiveJournal
- 7 Fursuiting
- 8 Games
- 9 Convention attendance
- 10 Controversy
- 11 Themes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Banrai became a member of the furry fandom in 1995. She discovered furry through various otherkin communities, however Draconic.com was where she had the most exposure to the fandom. Throughout high school she immersed herself in the artistic and social aspects of the fandom. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts from 2002 to 2003, where she met her husband, Kasan. She founded the NC Furs LiveJournal in 2003, and is the creator of the sci-fi/fantasy world Astian.
Banrai worked as a freelance artist in the furry and fantasy community, specializing in draconic artwork. She also lightly delved into fursuit construction and craft work involving furry characters. She was usually open for commissions for any type of artwork.
In 2008, due to several events happening in her life, she chose to withdraw from the furry community but still continued to do some furry related work. However, she has found, as most do, that it's more difficult to assimilate yourself from the fandom than it would seem. In mid-2009 she 'returned' to the furry fandom, and is currently an active participant in the community at large. She has contributed to Flayrah.
Banrai the character
In any form, Banrai retains many of the same characteristics. She has her labret, septum, right eyebrow, and her ears pierced several times. In her ears, the bottom-most hole is a 1/2-inch pink plug, while the others are 16-12 gauge hoops and studs. Another feature that she retains in both forms is her pouch, which is very similar to a kangaroo's. She can often be seen storing things in it, however she also has a set of tentacles which will occasionally creep from it to cause mischief.
Banrai does not have scales, and instead is covered with a soft hide with thin fur. She also has a small 'beard' on her chin in both forms, much like a goat.
Feral Mastan Dragon
Banrai's dragon character is a blue and yellow Mastan Dragon (an original species), who is seen in feral form almost as often as she is in anthro. Her base color is a grayish blue, with her points being a golden yellow. Her eyes are bright orange with cat-slit pupils.
In feral form she has a mane of bright green hair. Banrai is a small dragon, she stands only 4" at the withers. Her horns are slightly serrated on the top, they grow from her skull and curve gently back over her neck, very similar to a goat's. Her tail has a similar-designed spade on it. At one time her tail held two inward-curved spikes, however one was broken off and so now she only has a small chunk of bone left on one side. Her feet have three primary toes, with a 'dewclaw' on each side of the foot.
Her wings, which she only has in feral form, have a four-fingered paw in the crook of each wing. The evolution of her wings is such that her species originally had two sets of forelegs. The hind-most pair of limbs eventually mutated to have a deformity of the ulna, whereas it separated from the elbow and grew out to become one of the radial supports of the wing. The second, outer support grew from the mutation of the outer dewclaw of each paw, extending out and forming a webbing between the two radial supports, the elbow spur, and eventually to the torso. The structure of her wings is such that she can not only fly with them, but if she finds she must carry something she can hold the object with her forelegs and walk with her wings as they operate on a ball-joint shoulder similar to a primate's.
As an anthro, she stands just at 5'10. She is heavyset, weighing around 280lbs, and has no head-hair in anthro form. She is solidly built, with broad shoulders and a figure that is not quite lost with her weight. Her legs are digitigrade, and just as in feral form her feet have three primary toes, with a 'dewclaw' on each side of the foot. In this form she has no wings, instead being shown with either scars where they would come from her shoulders, or with input jacks in a vertical row of four on each shoulder blade and down her spine.
Banrai prefers baggy pants, but not necessarily 'Hot Topic' style. Generally she wears whatever is comfortable and allows easy movement; almost always a tank top, as she finds sleeves too constricting. She never wears any shoes, having large, digitigrade feet.
For reasons far beyond her control, Banrai occasionally becomes a gigantic horrible monster. This form is gigantic, shaggy and twisted. It has rows upon rows of long sharp teeth, tentacles that come from seemingly nowhere, occasionally far more eyes than any creature should and it's insides are exactly one-quarter-inch larger than her outsides. (That's probably just a case of someone's bad math.) More often than not, this form is drawn with deep symbolism drawn from horror literature, including elements of Lovecraftian Horror and the Slenderman Mythos.
Behind the screen name
Banrai spends her days working on freelance projects, chatting with friends, or playing video games.
Banrai grew up in Marion, NC. Her parents divorced in 1997, and she and her mother moved to a farm with her mother's best friend, and she lived there until she was accepted to the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her time spent at NCSA was a positive turning point in her life. She met her now-husband Kasan through a mutual friend and made several other friends that she still deeply confides in to this day. After graduating, she returned to her mother's home, only to leave again in late August after a severe argument. Banrai was homeless for a period of a month, living from her car in Winston-Salem, NC until Kasan and she could find an apartment together. The two were married on 1 November 2003 in a beautiful park, with a small ceremony that included only their closest friends.
In August 2004 Banrai and Kasan moved back to the mountains of North Carolina. They now reside in Old Fort, North Carolina. She is currently taking classes, and working toward a degree in Fine Arts. On the side, she used to work with animal rescue teams in the Western North Carolina area, mostly rehabilitating feral cats so they can be placed in homes. She has, however, been known to take in other more severe cases, most of which become permanent pets. In 2005 Banrai was declared disabled due to issues with chronic pain and several herniated disks in her lower back, and as such has been unable to work a steady public job. As such, she now rarely takes commissions for artwork due to the extended period of time it can take her to finish projects.
Aside from her namesake, Banrai has many other well-known characters in the fandom. Her most popular are Augenti, a bioluminescent dragon, and Tias Macase, a black, cyber-mechanically enhanced avian. She also has minor characters including Crimnos the eastern dragon, Iseo the golden cat, generally depicted only in sexual situations, and Reauin, a Foxxis. She also has several Teknikat characters, the only one still in any sort of use is named named Ashathe. Another of her notable characters is a purple feminazi otter named Duchess, who was created with the help of several friends as parody and was the mascot of the failed Furry Zine project. Banrai has numerous other characters, however most of them have fallen into disuse over the years.
Saule dragons are a species of land-dwelling, bioluminescent dragons created by Banrai for her fantasy world project, Atladean.
For a short time, Banrai created fursuits. Her first suit was of her character Augenti, while her second fursuit was created for her husband, Kasan. Her third suit was an Australian Shepherd suit named Conch; however this fursuit has since been sold to a private buyer.
Ravell created the first fursuit of Banrai, completing it in February of 2008. The suit includes a balaclava and foam head with movable jaw and custom LED lights for each of the piercings.
Banrai is an avid gamer, and has been ever since she got her first Nintendo at a young age. Anymore her games are limited to online/PC games and hand-helds. She almost always has her Nintendo DS with her.
Banrai's first experience in the MU* world was with The Lion King MUCK, where she played a hyena character for several years. After a hiatus from text-based worlds, she started playing Dark & Shattered Lands MUD with Kasan. Her character there was a one-armed Leonine Felar named Kanamara CopperWing. However, she left the lands when her in-game mate Dagiona committed seppuku after an argument with the king over their marriage. At that point Banrai, with her husband and several other friends from DSL worked together to form their own MUD, based on story lines that Banrai and Kasan had been creating for several years. This MUD, named Astian after Banrai's world-project, on indefinate hiatus. Banrai can also sometimes be found on FurryMuck, under the name 'Banrai'.
Banrai is on Second Life as Banrai Nolan. In the past she could most often be found in Drum at StarCity, where she was the Events Manager as well as the coordinator of all live acts. Banrai was also a DJ at StarCity, playing a selection of top 40, remixes, and any requests that the patrons might have. When not in Drum, she could usually be found in Baku with some of her other, more nefarious friends.
Some of her antics, along with the rest of the w-hat/weekend adventurers club's excursions, have been featured on the Something Awful front page under the Second Life Safari section. Many look down on her for her involvement in this group, however she is adamant that it is 'all in good fun', and that she 'simply tags along to poke fun at the overly-serious tone that most of the areas of Second Life seem to breed'.
Banrai is an amateur builder on Second Life, however no longer sales any of her creations in-game. Due to private personal issues, Banrai resigned her position as StarCity events manager, and has since stopped playing SecondLife for any extended period of time.
Furry Cruise 2005: Bahamas
The first convention Banrai attended was the Furry Cruise, where she roomed with Junkupshowup. She made many friends on the cruise, including Eagle Beagle, Icy Wolf, and several others. She had a grand time on the cruise, often joining some of the other furs in excursions off the ship at various ports of call, as well as joining amidst partying, sharing art, and partaking in a little drinking. On the excursion to Nassau she went snorkeling with her roommate, and two other furs. When they landed in Key West, she went on a search with a handful of others to find a beach. Sadly, there was not one to be found so they settled for shopping and grabbing a bite to eat.
Upon arriving home, Banrai realized that her sketchbook was missing. She immediately posted to the Furry Cruise community asking if anyone had seen it, however no one had. She also frantically called the Cruise Line, as well as the Airline that she flew home on, however neither had seen her sketchbook turned in to a lost-and-found. Banrai has misgivings that someone from the cruise might have taken the sketchbook, but as is has never turned up it is unknown what happened to it.
Banrai attended Furry Weekend Atlanta 2006 with her husband Kasan, as well as Korrok and her mate Ravell. At the beginning of the convention, there was some silly drama that ended in someone spreading rumors about Banrai. Thus, the meme that Banrai is 'violent' and that people are 'scared of her' was born. Throughout the convention someone attempted to ruin Banrai's sales by warning people away from her; however, this tactic did not work -- it instead caused many people to come over and investigate Banrai's work for themselves, causing a rise in sales. Glowsheep sat with Banrai and Korrok and swapped con badges and conversation. Banrai and Korrok spent most of the weekend in the Artist Alley selling their artwork, only leaving their table to eat and sleep.
On Sunday evening on her way up to her room, Banrai ran into Mix, whom she had previously been at odds with online because of his 'no signature' preference. Having agreed to leave the 'interwebs drama for the interwebs', Banrai joined Mix in a visit to his friend's room to drop off some things, and to browse over Mix's sketchbook. Then he gave her his infamous Something Awful shirt from AC05 as token of a new but short-lived real-life friendship. Later that evening Banrai was seen in her Conch fursuit, sporting Mix's shirt, much to many people's amusement.
Banrai attended her first Mephit Furmeet in 2006, where she roomed with a large number of other furries, all from the Carolinas and surrounding states. She received much recognition during the weekend, having many people come and chat with her and tell her that she's nothing like others make her out to be. Most of the weekend was spent between working on her commission queue and attending room parties, the most notable of which was the #450 suite room party, of which the only advertisement was 'Free booze'. On Sunday Banrai had trouble from a fur that goes by the name ShadoWolffess. After hours of listening to his rambling, Banrai was finally rescued when security asked him to leave the area due to harassment of several of the artists and patrons.
Banrai returned to FWA once again in 2007. She arrived at the convention on Thursday evening, here she hung out with some of the furs that had also arrived early, including Beowulf, who roomed with her group for the first night because his roommates had not arrived yet.
Most of Friday was spent with Korrok in the artist's alley, socializing with friends, doing art trades, and making new acquaintances. The day was slow so Banrai chose to go socialize in the convention space instead of stay chained to a table all day. She enjoyed meeting new people and renewing old friendships, as well as trading art with Growly Genet and The Tak, of Ringtail Cafe fame.
On Saturday she participated in the fursuit parade while wearing her Oontz fursuit, however she did not stay around for the after-parade photo op. That evening after a large dinner party with several other furs, including Evol, Exodite, Anjel Kitty and Crowe Basalt, Banrai attended Anjel Kitty's room party, and had a great time with everyone there. She had a chance to get acquainted with Growly and several other furs, and made several new friends. After a fun romp of drunken debauchery, Banrai went down to the dance with most of the other party attendees, several of whom were in fursuit. After becoming separated from them in the crowd, she hung out with Rikkanis in the convention space until Chyra had his incident with the outside stairs, at which point everyone was ushered out of the conspace. Upon returning to her room Banrai and Rikkanis realized they were locked out and had to wait for Kasan to bring them a key. Banrai made Rikkanis stay in their room that night due to the fact that he had to walk back to his hotel and it was very late, and she didn't want him to get mugged.
Most of Sunday was spent recovering from the previous night's endeavors. Banrai chose to do little art that day due to not feeling well, however she still picked up a few post-con commissions. Banrai and her mate, along with Korrok and Ravell chose to leave the con just before closing ceremonies due to the long drive home.
In 2007 Banrai returned to MFM to stay once again in the Carolina Furs suite. Along with her husband Kasan, her roommates included Rikkanis, Loki, Anjel Kitty, and Lacrimas. They spent most of the weekend relaxing and hanging out in the evenings and working in the Artist's Alley during the day. On Sunday night, Banrai attended the official Carolina Furs after-con party.
FWA 2008Green Reaper and dragging him all around the con space, finally a group formed and after closing ceremonies they ventured through Atlanta to try and find some pizza. Afterword, Korrok, Banrai, and Green Reaper ventured to the dance, but since the music wasn't the best they ended up just sitting on the patio for a while before calling it a night.
2009 Found Banrai at a Dealer's Den table with her partner in crime, Korrok. As usual, they were together most of the weekend causing their usual havoc. Her weekend was mostly quiet, and filled with good friends and good fun.
Banrai and Korrok returned to Furry Weekend Atlanta as dealers, vending various artwork and glow-products.
Many, if not most artists start out by duplicating the works of those that they admire. In Banrai's case, an artist called Aido was her inspiration. Banrai began drawing Aido's characters in 1998, and continued to do so until 1999, at which point she began to assume her muse's works, style and identity under a similar name.
When confronted, Banrai at first denied the allegations, insisting that she was the real Aido whose account had been stolen. She took the names of characters from Aido's comic, Fallen, and later wove their lives and backgrounds into a previous incarnation of her husband's MUD - including the original name of their world. She also claimed a character identical to those created by Pokketmowse, a former school roommate.
The continued art and character theft and the arguments that followed were not without consequences. Banrai was banned from Elfwood, thrice suspended from the VCL (the last time not for theft, but for supposedly drawing 'hate art'), and lost several close real-life friends who had supported her against previous accusations.
In March of 2005, Lukadia made an extensive public LiveJournal post charging Banrai with numerous counts of art theft from Aido, Pokketmowse and others, and giving detailed evidence to back up the claims. That year, Banrai sought a settlement with Aido, and in November 2005 made a public apology for the theft of her characters and artwork and the ensuing deceptions. She subsequently took steps towards proving herself as more than just a mimicry of others, primarily through the creation of original art and craftwork.
It is a running joke that Banrai is 'violent', due to rumors started by people that have personal issues with her. Banrai claims many who have actually met her will vouch for her kind, caring nature, but that she enjoys 'playing up' that she is 'so violent', often requesting that artwork done for her include this theme. Other themes that run through work of Banrai include music, dancing, and internet memes.
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