Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Is It?

I drew it. What should it be? Click to see less blurry.


  1. Some kind of siren type thing. The pretty face entrances the victim, so they can't/won't see the eldritch horror fluttering/squirming behind the pretty visage.

  2. Looks like some sort of cool harpy sphinx. I like it.

  3. A demon, probably with charm.

  4. Some sort of delusional fallen angel that still believes itself to be doing the work of the righteous in plotting the ironic downfall of human idealists.

    Its face is placid and beautiful, but its eyes burn with the divine madness of one who has gazed upon perfection. Its multiple voices sing perpetual hosannas which, if you listen carefully enough, are subtly twisted so as to induce nihilistic despair in the auditor.

    It collects broken porcelain dolls and secretly 'repairs' them with the maggot-picked bones of murdered children.

    WV: plathwal - and that's its name.

  5. i, too, was thinking something in the harpy/sphinx family. Perhaps the mighty Sphynkos - she guards a fell mountain pass, meting out agonizing death to those unworthy to pass (and maybe even granting boons to those she does deem worthy).

    Or, i suppose, it could be something less cliche...but that's all i can think of right now.

    And, like almost everything i've seen of your drawings, i really like it.

  6. Oh, no... the delusional angel thing is much better.

  7. One of the much fabled and sought-after Elementals of Lust.

  8. It looks like a particularly avant-garde Chimera.

    Head of a woman, head of a dopey, cartoony dog with really long ears. Multiple sets of wings from different animals. It looks less like a tail on the back end and more like coattails, like maybe she's wearing some kind of extravagant coat, like a ringmaster of a particularly fucked up circus. The body looks like a rooster's, but instead of standard legs, big black claws. Maybe made out of metal.

    In D&D, I could see this as some kind of planar construct. Most of the parts wouldn't be from real animals, only resemble them in the vaguest sense, like the Wizard who pieced the thing together had never seen real animals, but only seen pictures of them in children's books. Only the woman's face would be a real piece, probably taken from his mother/lost love/apprentice/etc.

    If I ran this monster, the woman would be weeping - constantly - and the cartoon dog would talk exactly like goofy, which I suspect would give him a spot somewhere between 'extremely silly' and 'terribly menacing'.

  9. The face is but a mask, it is a living embodiment of the darkness behind the stars. Consuming the souls and spirits of those it encounters, leaving behind soulless, but not mindless husks enslaved to an unknowable will.

  10. Obviously, it is the dreaded Wingbutt.

  11. Ahhh, but that is quite obviously a so-called Bride of the Void. Sometimes, when a female scholar of the Planes of the Beyond becomes too curious and too daring, she will enter into a pact with one of the alien presences out there for greater knowledge.

    Occasionally (some of those unnamed presences have a strange sense of humor), this knowledge will be granted in the form of a transformation into a creature of the beyond.

    The disparity between the original mortal mind and the alien body it has been forced into invariably drives these creatures insane, which only serves to make them that much greater a nexus of bizarre and alien energies, twisting their surroundings into the same mockery of life their bodies have become.

  12. ..or it's a female Jabberwocky - the dreaded Jabberwockette! ;)

  13. A Shroud Harpy. One of the formerly unclothed D&D monsters caught up in the 2nd edition breeches-making frenzy, along with the Chador Succubus and the Victorian Blouse Marilith.

  14. Wow, first thing I thought was "Harpy", and evidently so did several others, lol.

  15. fairy artillery monster. the black maw upper left emits a laser beam that turns swords into daffodils.

  16. Something with a rainbow colour scheme, but weighted heavily in the indigo/violet end.

    What do you use, anyway? Micron?

  17. Harpy. Or maybe some sort of evil mutant faerie.

  18. It's the nightgaunt that dragged away Aubrey Beardsley after his fifth glass of absinthe. Wearing his lover's face as a mask.

    It's too bad that Ambrose Bierce and Aubrey Beardsley weren't the same person, since Ambrose Bierce really did disappear in mysterious circumstances.

  19. It's a Dread Curtain. It rests on curtain rods, stealthily. By night, it sleeps, undisturbed. In morning, when a normal character/NPC/person would open the drapes to let in the light, it attacks when drawn away from its resting spot. It wraps around the head of its unknowing assailant, smothering her to death in 4 rounds. It is accompanied by a fetid odor of age, dust and stale air. Save for the mask which it presents as a face, it is immune to bludgeoning or piercing damage, but vulnerable to fire and slashing weapons.

  20. I had 2 immediate reactions.

    The first is that this is an angel. Not fallen, not dark and morbid, not angsty and evil, but a real servant of the Lord. That would make it just about the scariest thing that a PC could ever encounter. Which plays well because angels are supposed to be the good-guys, right? Oh God help us! right?

    Secondly, I thought that this would be a nice creature to have in the background. The PCs are in a new city that might be a little... weird. You pull that picture out and tell them that these things are around -- not a lot but a few. They appear to be carrying groceries and doing shopping. Walking pets maybe. Playing with kids. Just doing ordinary things. I can easily see an already paranoid group of players hearing that and going insane with fear and wonder.

  21. It is the Flensing-Muse. She drifts between the planes in search of exquisite aberrations for the menagerie of her unknown master. For particularly glorious monstrosities she will trade a kiss granting several decades of rapturous exultation to the receiver. She is one of the reasons "mad" wizards are constantly creating bizarre chimerical entities.

  22. I'm going with my first reaction as well...I could be mistaken and most assuredly am but it appears to be the great chimerical bow known as 'The-Flight-of-Fancy'.

    Legend has it that a drunken angel and an Unseelie faerie fell in love and sought to create a work of art and war that symbolized their feelings. Though the end result is what you see before you, no one can truly say if they succeeded in their goal.

    Not so much a creature but a living, enchanted composite long bow, sized as such that only ogres or giants can use it assuming it lets them. To fire it, one must pierce the back of the artifact's 'head' with an arrow so it appears to come out of the 'mouth' of its mask-like 'face'.

    Upon striking its target, the arrow erupts into phantasmal flames. The attack curses the victim with a delusion that he, she or it has spent a year and a day with its greatest love only to have them die horribly and painfully in the final hours of the aforementioned span.

    In truth, the entire experience lasts only a few seconds. Another arrow is then notched and ready...

  23. It's an Ephialtê, a psychic monster that comes into existence when someone is murdered while having a nightmare. It cannot be seen by waking eyes (including those of elves in their elf-trances if they do that in your campaign), but for anyone asleep and dreaming when the Ephialtê is near, it will always appear in their dreams. /True seeing/ will detect one; at your option, other nonvisual methods of detection might work as well.

    Ephialtai are driven by the desire to finish the nightmare they started in the original victim. Since the original target is dead, Ephialtai use dream-attacks to cause insanity in a new victim to enable them to remold his or her psyche to allow them finish the nightmare.

    It generally only attacks sleeping victims, draining sanity and psychic power. After being attacked by an Ephialtê, a character has a -1 per consecutive day penalty to Will saves, psionic-based abilities, and any kind of sanity checks. Once the attacks stop, the psychic injuries heal only slowly, with rolls increasing by +1 until they return to their normal level. If the attacks are not stopped, after 5 days, the Ephialtê will try to turn the victim's mind into that of the original target, or at least a close approximation. This involves an appropriately-penalized Will Save. If the player is unsuccessful, one point of his or her Will Save score is permanently moved to the other personality. This represents an incremental of the psychic transformation. Once the other personality's Will Save is higher than that of the original character's, the character has the rest of the interrupted nightmare and the attacks cease. The batshit insanity, however, stays.

    If detected and confronted by waking entities, an Ephialtê will try to flee (those they fly/levitate, they move somewhat slowly), and failing this attack its opponents with flashes of nightmares based on dreams or personal memories. An affected character must make a Will Save or be stunned by the vision for 1d6 rounds. On a subsequent round a stunned character can be put to /sleep/ (save is modified by cumulative Ephialtê penalties, as well as an additional -1 for each round of stun remaining) and attacked as listed above.

    For some reason, Ephialtai can attack vampires and other corporeal, intelligent undead without their being asleep, with double the effects.

  24. It's a dribble of a god. The longish, squirming filament running up from the top of it is an umbilical/ silver cord that stretches through all of the planes between this one and where it comes from. Most of it is an unformed, shapeless mass, but it's "face" is where it starts to enter this plane more fully, and creates a more appropriate shape.

  25. An Elephant Hawk. A horse - sized magical beast created in arcane experiments or some wizard war. The details of this gruesome process are considered to be lost (and many are thankful for it.)
    Elephant Hawks are extremely cunning hunters with sharp eyes, a highly developed sense of smell and voracious appetites.
    In fact, they are expecially fond of arcane spellcasters, and they can smell wizards and other beings capable of arcane magic up to two miles.
    They form herds of 2 - 16 creatures, invariably led by the most powerful female.
    Male Elephant Hawks that reach maturity are usually expelled from the herd, except for the strongest one, who usually guards the nests and the hatchlings (2d6 eggs and 1d6 hatchlings are usually to be found in the area where the Elephant hawks lair).
    Their Wings and mutated ears allow them limited flight and gliding capabilities, but are excellent jumpers and swimmers. They usually attack by jumping onto their targets, rending their victim with their sharp claws. In a Herd, Elephant Hawks usually rely to hunting tactics not unlike those of wolves.
    Hunting packs usually consist of adult females only.
    It is said that Elephant Hawks are more resistant to arcane magic than most creatures, and the sound of their trumpets can cause enough distraction for any spellcaster to fail at their spell.
    Theoretically, Elephant Hawk hatchlings can be trained as guardian or riding creatures, but is unpractical to do so.
    First, the Herd will not rest until the missing hatchling is found, and the captors decimated. Second, there is a 5% chance per month that an Elephant Hawk will turn on his owner.
    Elephant Hawks are of normal intelligence and usually have a neutral evil alignment. Though they collect no treasures for themselves, their lairs are usually littered with the remains of other humanoid beings, especially spellcasters.

  26. Womanticore. As a female, I think she should have a gaze attack. :)

  27. As artist563 said, to me, this is representation of the divine. Either an avatar or an attachment, the human-ish face is merely it's way of presenting something familiar to the humanoid races, as they cannot comprehend its true form.

  28. this might sound dumb, but it definitely needs to fly, wings aside, it just looks too wispy and fleeting to walk the earth with mortals

    i do see the human face, but the head also appears to me like some sort of cannon or gun,

    perhaps a spirit that envelopes humanoids and uses their bodies, souls, whatever as projectiles or deceptive illusions for the nefarious plots of some more evil villain (it doesn't look like the leader type)

  29. A miserable creation abandoned by a asshole of a god. The players give it a name.

  30. a powerful telepathic woodland creature cursed by some cruel entity (a god, a mad wizard?).

    it's natural shape distorted, it's originally soft hands used to lovingly tend both flora and fauna twisted into wicked claws, it is doomed to float above the ground it once loved to touch, but is now unable to, an aura of decay slowly withering all life close to it.

    it's natural, beautiful voice silenced forever, it is now mute, gliding silently through the forest it once cherished and protected.

    it's face forever frozen into a grotesque smirk, it is compelled to use it's vast mind-powers to torment those around it. it paralyses it's enemies (everyone it comes across!) with telepathic attacks and then uses it's claws to torture them, always taking it's time and making the victim suffer for as long as possible.

    all the while the original mind inside the beast is semiconcious, impotently struggling against it's unnatural urges. very rarely, when the mind inside gains "control" for an instant, the normally impassive face turns into a grimace of pain and revulsion, especially during the act of torturing.

    the true challenge lies not in defeating the creature, but in lifting the curse and saving it.

  31. It is a byakhee!

    "Out of the unimaginable blackness beyond the gangrenous glare of that cold flame, out of the tartarean leagues through which that oily river rolled uncanny, unheard, and unsuspected, there flopped rhythmically a horde of tame, trained, hybrid winged things that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember. They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings; but something I cannot and must not recall. "
    - Lovecraft, "The Festival"

  32. Well, it's going in my game as the wraith. Of course, wraiths in my game aren't D&D wraiths. They're semi-physical, flammable, and exactly what turns you into one is something I won't figure out until I do it to a PC.

  33. This is a great drawing, as usual. I often think of Ian Miller's drawings when I see these due to the extremely dense lining. But his work is more sharp and angular, your more dream-like and spiderwebby. I doubt these are the terms used by art critics but I hope you get my drift.

    Anyway I thought Peryton too. I was thinking the human face was either a mask (they are smart!) or ripped from a victim. The Peryton would, presumably, lay an egg after consuming a human heart, and perhaps builds its nest from woven strips of skin rather than twigs and grass. The extra set of wings and prodigious horns suggest this is a high-ranking peryton, whose shadow is perhaps that of an angel of some kind, because like some other commenters I think Old Testament angels when I see multiple wings.

  34. My first thought was the Wilde quote "Woman are sphinxes without riddles," uttered by Lord Henry in Dorian Grey. I could see these being sphinxes which offer riddles which require some other piece of information to understand, and therefore very dangerous. Asking things like:

    "it stands on its head, and evolves out of its wooden brain, grotesque ideas, far more wonderful than if it were to dance of its own accord."

    The answer to which is Table, obviously, to those in on the thinking, and impossible to those out of the loop.

    I also think that this could be some sort of go between for the PC's and some sort of terrible force of nature they don't even want to be near, let alone fight. Like one of Gogol's witches.

    I think the scale of the thing is very crucial. I see it as a little bigger than a great horned owl and twice as wide. The perfect woman's face an animated ageless as an old doll, youthful- forever.

  35. The spindly characteristics make me think something ethereal, along the lines of a wraith or ghost.

  36. Add me to the list whose kneejerk said "harpy."

  37. A myth, a mere whisper of a legend, one of the final breaths of a dying god.

    Mortals know it by no name, for to name it would bring about its attention and those who have been close enough to it to see themselves reflected in its ceramic face have died as their lungs exploded for the breath of a dying god trying to return to a body, any body, even one incapable of holding it.

    Such is the tragedy of a divine remnant, holding within it a spark of its former creator yet cursed to eternally wander until it can be contained by another deity...

  38. This is the astral form of a possessed quill pen.

    It appears solid, but its body is made of tiny droplets of ink suspended on its aura. Speaking only in clever lies and thinly veiled insults, it knows the mind of all who have written with it.

    It is quite adept at forgery, but in any other task will delight in causing misunderstanding and distrust among readers of its work.