Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who Is This?

Last time I drew something I couldn't identify and asked what it was, the answers y'all left were a lot of fun. Let's do it again.

Click the picture to make it bigger.


  1. Some kind of creature who can create realities with strings? Or could alter the reality surrounding himself with strings? For some reason I'm reminded of the string dude from Vampire Hunter D.

  2. That is an undertaker from a large city with very strong and specific beliefs about death.

    They believe their city has been "sold" to a malevolent god or demigod called "Waiting Death", and that the resources extracted from the city by Waiting Death are the souls and bodies of anyone who dies within the city's walls. (There is some debate as to what "in the city's walls" means, there is an "Old Town" that is ringed by an ancient wall that is poorly maintained but refuses to crumble, and a "new city" that has grown up around the walls). The very wealthy and very feeble usually travel very far away in their last months, to avoid dieing anywhere near the town. Some very wealthy families even have specific towns they've been taking their ill to for generations.

    It is believed that those who die within the city can still be saved by being attended to with a specific series of rituals. A monk-like caste of morticians, who are reviled when absent and feared when present, have evolved to attend to the dead and service these rituals.

    The only part of the rituals observed by the laypeople is the gathering of the body. The morticians all wear the same uniform: a bulky cloak covered in geometric patterns to hide the shape of their body, and an elaborate wicker headdress shaped like multiple screaming raven's heads. The townspeople believe that this fools Waiting Death into believing the corpse has been eaten by crows, and so Waiting Death won't take revenge on the family of the dead for denying him his due.

  3. The bird-headed wizard Starveling. Who constructed a decoy head for herself.

    She traded her left arm for a thing of outline and indecision. When it touches you, it defines you.

  4. The Squawking King? He's the puppetmaster behind the every day. He's the villain that nudges the PCs rolls up or down one...Right in front of their eyes. He is the DM's hand coming out from behind the screen & CHEATING!

  5. The Gannet-Diviners of Pelagorn are known to construct a second head for themselves so that they might always observe the skies. Their raucous debates are made all the more so by the interference of their argumentative twins.

  6. Puppet maked.

    This strange creature rise from pile of junk under magical influences.

    A kind of conscience gather and try to get an appearance from the non-rotting stuff of the junk pile.

    The aspect off this entity is constantly evolving, so manypeople who saw then describe them as junk frameworks covered with textiles, leather, metal plate etc.

    Their conscience is mostly basic, but old ones can communicate when they learn (mostly by themself) to build and use a mouth.

    They have learn to value their life and can fight to stay alive.

    Physical attacks can't kill them totally, the conscience just leave the body structure and try to rebuild a new one, the time to rebuild depends of the environment and its magic saturation.

    (please excuse the spelling, i'm French and at work so it's tricky to get it right)

  7. I keep seeing Lovecraft monstrosities in your pictures, and this one reminds me tremendously of the Great Race of Yith (but much cooler than the classic, silly version). Have you ever thought about doing illustrations of HPL stories? Because that would be fucking awesome.

    "It sought likewise to fathom the past years and origin of that black, aeon-dead orb in far space whence its own mental heritage had come – for the mind of the Great Race was older than its bodily form. . . The beings of a dying elder world, wise with the ultimate secrets, had looked ahead for a new world and species wherein they might have long life; and had sent their minds en masse into that future race best adapted to house them – the cone-shaped beings that peopled our earth a billion years ago."
    —Lovecraft, "The Shadow Out of Time"

  8. The only thing known for sure about what is alternately called the Star Lich or Felled One is that it is - as best as can be defined - undead. It's difficult to make that call for certain, as it calls into question what defines *alive* to begin with.

    When traveling remote and empty wildernesses, one may happen upon a sudden barren patch of wasteland where no plant grows and no animal ventures forward. The foolhardy may travel hence, stepping amid petrified echoes of trilobite remains, and come upon a great blasted out hole in the center, large as a town and deep as a cathedral. Those born with neither foresight nor luck may spy a strange, platinum surface partially exposed near the center, and wish to investigate.

    Inevitably, those born while the gods had their back turned will find a way to enter, and discover a bizarre and lopsided metallic dungeon. Deep within the heart of it, the felled ones scream endlessly in silent tongues heard only by those who have ever looked up at the dimmest stars, felt ill and turned away. Never alive and never dead, they have been trapped in a hell of their own construction - a hibernation gone terrifically wrong.

    Whatever they once were, nothing remains now but steel-like skeletal structures in dazzling adornment that induces pain in anyone that traces the pattern with their eye. Grotesqueries thankfully held in thrall in the binding collars meant to preserve them ages ago for a journey only intended to pass by a landless blue sphere.

    Unfortunately, entering the makeshift catacombs of the Star Liches is all it takes to release them from their torpor, and none can predict the actions of an intelligence wholly unlike our own, driven insane by eons of imprisonment. The skeletal masses surge out, trailing dead realities in their wake as they inhabit and devour new ones like crystal growing on time-lapse.


    If for some reason you're running Spelljammer, it's... uh... just a vampire or something.

  9. Jeppe: I can totally see how you'd get "Yithian" from this. Lovecraft was just trying to make them as non-anthro as possible. Personally, I don't find the original all that silly - it's all in how you render it. I've seen them look awesomely alien, and I've seen them look like a moldy Bugle.

  10. Etrymach Lucian, Hierophant of the forgotten Bird Lord Selar and Herald of His Flock.

    Doom or Salvation may be at his heels. Or maybe just a lot of evocative and obscure ranting.

  11. I was reminded of the Skeksis too. Some even have the same vultureish collar.

  12. It's one of the bad guys from The Dark Crystal.

  13. Holy crap it *is* a Skeksis. Only freaking out like Vigo at the end of Ghostbusters 2.

  14. It's a Broken Man from the Fractured World, an alternate version of the Prime Material where reality itself has cracked, and at the edges has completely shattered. The Broken Men slip through those cracks into the Prime Material, where they attempt to make it like their own world by finding and expanding existing fault lines. Living beings caught in the vicinity of a newly-opened reality crack themselves become Broken Men. Their movements are accompanied by the sound of snapping twigs, and their voices are a cacophony of shattering glass.


  15. The Shroud of Crows--the ghost of a demigod forever dreaming its own death.

  16. Behold and tremble, the Vizier of Chaos!

    A twisted caricature of life from the Lower Planes, this creature serves as advisor to demon princes, slaad lords, and cruel despots alike.

    Gifted for its keen powers of perception and foresight, this creature is lost in the depths of its own vision, following the tangled mass of action and counteraction built upon by fate and shaped by chance. It is deemed mad by most who encounter it, for it speaks of things never been as absolute truths and dismisses the past as myths of whimsy.

    The Vizier of Chaos does not see just one reality, but multiple realities all at once. It sees the possibilities of each reality and how they may play out, or how even actions may twist, merge, or sunder realities if they are carried out. The Vizier of Chaos is lost in trying to discern past from possibility.

    If provided threads of information by the being seeking advice, the Vizier of Chaos stands a better chance of "untangling" his visions and providing useful information to the one seeking advice. However, the questioner may not be immediately aware of the significance of the information, for it may evolve persons and events far removed from the current situation (but may yet yield a dramatic effect on the questioner's life). The Vizier of Chaos merely states what it sees, and it is up to the ones advized by the Vizier to make sense of its seeming nonsense.

  17. Telarxes the Mad, an ancient Atlantean sorcerer obsessed with unlocking the secrets of time, forever cursed to wander our 3-dimensional universe as a being existing in 4 dimensions.

    What you see is a temporal cross-section of Telarxes' true form, with some "loose" parts that are actually continuous only in the 4th (or possibly other, higher) temporal dimension(s), but appear discontinuous from our 3-dimensional perspective.

    Of course, the human mind was not meant to exist aware of the entirety of time, even as we perceive the entirety of an object's length or width, which is why he's called the Mad.

    He might approach the PCs in familiar terms and reveal intimate knowledge on their first encounter, while showing ignorance and surprise at a later date. Ah, the joys of dealing with temporally-displaced NPCs.

  18. A high priest of the god Janus, controller of time and the tides. The face on the front of the headdress allows viewing of the future, the face on the rear allows viewing of the past. The strings he holds are the Fates' thread, which gives him limited control over his own place in time and allows for a single-use spell: he can erase or permanently alter a single person's path in life, using your random NPC profession table.

  19. An evil sorcerer/necromancer, summoning raven spirits from the lands of the dead.

  20. Like the Wolfean Naviscaput, the Turriscaput is a titan with the head of something traditionally inanimate.

    Where the Naviscaput is aquatic, walking about on the seafloor with only its head above the waves, the Turriscaput roams the countryside, although it tends to spend most of its life asleep. At any given time, there is a 95% chance that a Turriscaput will be found as an architectural feature, having dug its body into the ground and gone to sleep for decades or centuries.

    Some Turriscaputs have heads not built on the standard round stone tower plan. One such is Nix. A fearsome demigoddess, her heads resemble gigantic bleached bird skulls, mouths agape. When awake, her hunger is insatiable, and the populations of entire regions flee rather than risk being tossed down her gaping maws.

  21. This is a courtier of the fourth rank of the lords of the Tanafu'at, identifiable by the two pairs of protrusions resting on his ceremonial cap. His robe is that of the Lallialali family, who have a long history in the service of Tanafu'a's architect-king. The long copper adornments jutting out along his jawline show that he works in the metallurgical department of the ministry of engineering, and his shoulders are bent from the weight of royal ambitions.....

  22. The Raven Lord. He stalks those about to die, and the last thing his victims hear is the cawing of a lone raven.

  23. Aeons ago, or in aeons to come, a human wizard will penetrate beyond the Veil of Ebholhggua, hurtling into the sensationless maelstrom of the psychovores of the Inverted Uvüm. The psychovores consumed and then vivisected the wizard, rending them apart and then reconstituting their essential components. The psychovores, though unfamiliar with the human mind they were recombining, gave it the old college try. The result was sent back, beyond the Veil, to the world from whence it came.

    Now, the Bicephalous Speaker Clad In Eyes is the foremost expert in alchemy on this or any immediately adjacent plane. It is surrounded by an entourage of sages, fortune-seekers and mystics, who translate its many utterances and analysis for a petty fee. It does not speak of anyone in the singular. Included in its alchemical mastery is the knowledge of how, exactly, to annihilate the self-image of anyone it sees, hears, or reads the words of.

  24. Three pterodactyl heads and a Vorlon encounter suit impaled on a drilling rig.

  25. The Collector was a seriously cracked, rich guy who died when his house and collection all burned down with him inside.

    The sequence of events surrounding the fire and his death *could* be made relevant for plot hooks, but they are not relevant to the description of the sketch. The Collector doesn't care about all that - he barely even noticed he was dead. All he cared about - all he EVER cared about - was building and caring for his collection.

    The destruction of his body and the damage to his collection did not change his nature; it only sharpened it. In order to care for his precious keepsakes, he needed a body. So, he set about building one. He found it easiest to interact with the objects of his devotion, and so he has managed to scrabble together a few shreds and scraps of his precious hoard - a pair of giant birds' skulls (now charred by the fire); a magical halter used to control a gorgon (the magic has warped and faded); some ruined bits of armor, etc.

    But the slow going has driven him even even further into the depths of madness than he was before. His missing hands - that must be what is slowing him down! He has managed to use soot and charcoal from the fire to scribble crude approximations of hands, and thereby effect gross manipulation of matter, but to restore his collection to its former glory, he needs the dexterity only living flesh can supply.

    And the limbs he appropriates never last long...

  26. Flamingo Penguinbane the Ice-Lost Mage