Giants are a sad race. Hunted endlessly for the fearsome presence they impose, they are unable to congregate and form any semblance of community. Their huge statures create a demand for food that they can never meet. Constantly malnourished, they are forced to scavenge and raid small settlements and outlying farmsteads, which only acts to further daemonise them.
While physiologically they have the capability to match humans in intelligence, they are invariably rendered feral and moronic by social isolation and a lack of sufficient nutrition. Giants are ostracised by their fellow Fey Folk for their bestial decline, and fearfully butchered by all others. Adorned in the pillaged accoutrements of a culture that glorifies those who slay his kind, this giant masks his face and binds his scarred and oft-besieged feet with the shields of felled soldiers.
Stooped and bowed by gravity, the giant has become victimized by the fear his size instills.
Sickened by radiation and scarred by biological and chemical weapons, this Bison Moose spends its short life madly attacking any living creature it comes in contact with. Drunken with pain and maddened by neurotoxins, this sad beast bays at the dusty sky where the sun could once be seen.
An untrusting skittishness is prevalent among the communites surrounding the mountainous regions of the King Filipinas archipelago. The skewed, furtive glances exchanged when family members ask to be accompanied somewhere are a habit formed from fear of the Tikbalang. Often eerily mimicking the appearance of victims’ relatives, this forest spirit will lead lone people out to the heavily wooded depths of the mountain ranges, occasionally breaking the increasingly uncomfortable silence with short bursts of reassurement, and stilted gratitude for the assistance.
The suddenly pungent aroma of tobacco and drunken swaying motion adopted by the false family member is noticed before their face blurs into something that resembles more that of a horse’s than a human’s.
Delirious town folk who have stumbled their way into town after long absences tell of how this apparation pushed and slapped them, often knocking them over and not allowing them to right themselves; all the while shaking with nervous, childish giggling. People say that the cessation of resistance or protest will suddenly lead a victim to find themselves alone in the woods, plunged into darkness; the sun long set.
The path home, recalled by the few who return after a disappearance, is hampered by a severe sense of disorientation and a forest that seems to curl in on itself repeatedly.
Invaluable to the theurgical community, the scriveners rotate their pelvises to give each pair of legs resting time during their relentless task of producing the reams of glyphs and charted incantations demanded of them.
Bred and infected from an extinct chain of Argentinean pit dogs for the purpose of killing encroaching werewolves in an urban environment.
The plastic milk jug holds water that he can guzzle as his metabolism is so accelerated (he sweats profusely and pants simultaneously) that he constantly needs to re-hydrate and eat. The baseball bat has sharp strips of jeweler’s silver hammered into it with wire wrapping around to prevent the bat from splitting. This tool is specifically used on werewolves.
AIRSHIP GUARD BEAST
Creature design for the Iron Grip game series from Isotx.
Long ago the god Loki, in the form of a white mare and impregnated by the horse Svadilfari, gave birth to Sleipnir the eight-legged. When Loki reverted to his natural form he gave Sleipnir to the god Odin, announcing that the steed could carry his rider swifter than any horse, by land, sea or air and had the power to enter the land of the dead and return.
Key Features: The tail is not bobbed, but tied up on itself to prevent it being used as a handhold in battle. Heavy iron shod shoes for dashing the heads of ice giants. Runes instill the steed with protections from ice giants and the grasping hands of the dead. The six legs at Sleipnir’s front can lay down a vicious barrage of Levades during an airs above the ground Mezair maneuver.
Formed in a steel womb fitted to a female necromancer, the Collect is composed of souls captured at death and contained under high pressure with liquid aglaophotis.
These souls were condensed into each other until enough life force was coalesced for the birth of a unified entity.
The Collect now hangs in the upper stratosphere, a collection of uncountable eyes overseeing the earth and influencing world events. As humanity is led towards war and strife, the souls of the dead rise in large clouds which the Collect drifts through, absorbing more and more souls into its fold and growing ever stronger for it.
Many commanders panic as the Allied forces press on to Berlin. Some disappear, others commit suicide, and most don blinders to the future, continuing their tasks regardless of the futility. A select few however begin to pull back from directionless rationalism and pore over the occult texts so commonly passed around among the officer classes.
This infusion of unwholesome study coupled with the inventiveness of a strained weapons industry has seen soldiers unable, or unwilling to continue defense of the Fatherland return to the front cinched into obscene contraptions. These mutilated puppets are often left behind during controlled retreats, erupting from piles of corpses amidst the oncoming Allied troops working their way through the wreckage.
While not undead themselves, these corpseherds bear down on the aftermath of battle fields, reanimating the strewn dead and consuming the irreparable. These beings loom up eight feet, headless with unreadable faces set in their chests, mumbling to each other as they collect their cattle and return to the hills.
“And portance in my travels’ history; Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven, It was my hint to speak- such was the process- And of the Cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders.” Othello -William Shakespeare
While the pillis hail the coming of the deity Quetzelcoatl in the form of the white bearded man who calls himself Cortés, others in the higher echelons of the Aztec Empire believe the visitation to be that of mere men from foreign lands.
Cadres of elite panther warriors are sent out into the wild to hunt the pale imposters. Driven by apocalyptic visions, these warriors degenerate into frenzied murderers, eating the flesh of their victims to gain their strength, forgoing the confines of humanity. Depraved and twisted with flesh stoked potency, the wendigos decimate the conquistadors in a bloody harvest.
As crops fail and famine wracks the land, those who turn to the last resort of cannibalism contract kuru, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, and their brains become pitted like sponge.
As they degenerate the ghouls form into familial packs which whoop and laugh uncontrollably as they pull down the healthy in mob attacks. However they only feast on the bodies after weeks of decomposition, as the notion of consuming fresh meat disgusts them.
The ghouls numbers are disproportionately comprised of pregnant or child rearing mothers. They are particularly resistant to the pull of despair and suicide, if only to care for their single child; the greatest number a desperate mother can afford to care for in such conditions.
Keith Thompson uses a 50/50 mixed media technique to create his artworks, all lines are drawn by hand, then the drawing is scanned to a computer, and the colours and shading are layered on with different glazes in Photoshop.
Mr Thompson has two books (Drawing and Painting the Undead, 50 Fantasy Vehicles to Draw and Paint) and a DVD (Character Design Techniques) out, and fine art prints are available for purchase on his website.
Here is a close look at the imaginative process involved in Keith Thompson’s character development.