Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Subspecies and Shrikes

I don't know about you, but every now and again something happens that gives you a little burst of inspiration. Feels a little like someone just opened up a window to a whole new set of possibilities you hadn't noticed before.

This happened a little while ago when talking about my Crows and someone mentioned the idea of subspecies.

Yeah. Dead cool idea. Lets get to work!

So I've come up with two at opposite ends of the viciousness spectrum. The first is the rather nasty looking critter up top!

When walking in the woods you find,
A body hung from branches high,
Your wits about you must you keep,
For shrikes around their larders creep.

-extract from the Edda Óvættr (An Ode to Monsters)

Crow-kin, but don't mistake them for flighty scavengers. These are the ones they abandon at birth. Mutants. Vicious things.

Yes, I'm aware of the irony of mutants abandoning mutants. I'm informed it's a matter of perspective, although as far as I'm concerned we should purge the lot. 

The second are these little critters :)

They're mudlarks. Grounded crows. Pathetic little things.

I don't know really. Probably out scavenging when their landers broke, or were attacked I suppose. Some of them are intentionally abandoned I think, but lord knows why.

Most of them wander around in little bands, looking for other Crows to barter their way back onto their ships. Sometimes it doesn't take too long, but some have been here for generations. You get little villages of them sometimes, when they know they're in for the long haul. Some of them have been there so long they've forgotten they were crows to begin with...

For those who don't know, a mudlark is a name for scavengers in the Victorian era who made a living grubbing through the mud of the river Thames for discarded valuables, and a shrike (or butcher-bird) is a morbid little bird that catches lizards and small rodents and impales them on thorny plants for later consumption.

The difference in the mudlark models is subtle, but I've tried to make my mudlarks slighter of build and more earthy in tone than their space-borne brethren. I've also left their skin a little darker by not drybrushing over the Druchii Violet wash to give them the impression of having spent more time in the sun.

I'll have more planned for both, but for now the high-res photography marches ever onwards!

The crows trade, sometimes, with the elk-men. Fellow nomads, wandering through this icy plane.

Hope you like them!

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