. Often in fantasy the non-human or non-demy-human creatures are little more than something for the heroes to kill. In Horn of the Kraken I wanted to steer away from that. Intelligent creatures will presumably operate from a position of self interest. Hopefully, enlightened self interest where they recognised that a favour earns a favour and that cooperative action can accomplish their goals. This shaped much of how I wrote my Norse, fantasy adventure. I wanted to give the ‘monsters’ something extra to steer away from the whole Viking kill theme.
Thus, late on in the book I have Vidurr form an alliance with several creatures. Working in tandem they each achieve their desired goal. To call them friends would be a misnomer, but allies fit.
Often language forms a barrier to this form of cooperation in fantasy, but with the Snow Serpent the Fate of the Norns Ragnarok system offers up a solution to that issue.
One caution about communication, I think people should pay heed to the dentition of the speaker. It is likely that cats and dogs could speak human language mastering one to two hundred words except they lack the vocal structures to do so. When looking at a “monster” one needs to give some thoughts of what its vocal range would be. An intelligent spider may have a complex language, but it would likely be made up of clicks and clacks because of the structure of the spider’s mouth.
Amazon buy link for Horn of the Kraken: http://www.amazon.com/Stephen-B.-Pearl/e/B00FEOLLIC/