Recently Browsing 0 members
- No registered users viewing this page.
I've been having fun lately painting base discs up as planets and moons. Hard to have too many of those for space pulp backdrops.
Also! here's Princess Auriate, from Bombshell's Babes line. The elaborate headdress and boots, plus the saber, make her a perfect fit with her imperial sisters Azeemah and Khoshta.
Turnaround, but not in great focus, sorry.
Here are the sisters together:
An Imperial Princess lives a life of extreme luxury, but not one of ease. She must be prepared to prove her superiority over any subordinate humanoid (trivial) or savage beast (depends on the beast).
This is a challenge: a poisonous Desert Worm. It's also venomous!
Couple of bonus shots:
Irresistible fellows, these. Shaggy, bulky bodies like a ROBOT MONSTER or a moa; long, bendy necks; beaks somewhere in the hornbill-flamingo-shoebill-Skeksis-vulture range. From CP miniatures. They came in 3 packs: Soldiers (4 riflebirds plus a squad leader), Diplomats (3), and Auxiliaries (3 riflebirds with hats). The skin color scheme was based on blue, red, and yellow boobies; the beaks were inspired by a number of large birds. I added some headgear for fun and in homage to the dandelion-headed Looney Tunes "Instant Martians."
I get the idea they are of a highly organized bureaucratic culture with expansionist tendencies, unlike the tribal Venerian Amazons (Hydra Valkeeri).
The Hydra Imperials, below, are also from an expansionist imperial culture, but the Terror Birds are less centralized and more impersonal in their cruelty.
They get around. Seen here with Hydra's Slishans, who have little culture and almost no technology but DO know from mineral resources.
And seen here engaged in diplomatic negotiations with the highly-cultured Andromedans/Neirans. Both species have a great appreciation for the arts and for manipulation. You wouldn't call either culture "decadent," because of the railguns, but 'Baroque' might be appropriate.
Notice that the Bombshell Neirans are towering statuesque specimens. Vavoom to a point that makes the Venerians look puny.
Trade talks with a chieftain of the Mole People from Sirius B.
and theological disputation with an Exalted Proselyte of the Yoggs.
The Brain Squids are an esoteric lot and require a delicate touch.]
A disputed claim of precious nuclear resources on the border of the Robot Hegemony. The Robots are prohibited by First Law to harm humans, but your beaky bois here do NOT qualify.
A Martian delegation, bearing the wisdom of aeons of progress and aeons of rust. A culture this antique requires more than one specialist.
The Krodox are one of the few spacefaring species to outmass a Terror Bird, They are willing to trade ceramic goods for new and exotic meats, and respect bigness in a fellow-sentient.
Humans are not known for their bigness, but are slippery customers. Tricksters and clever dodgers.
Lastly, a diplomatic summit with representatives from most sentient, spacefaring species.
As always, C&C welcome! What do you think their alien avian civilization is like?
All Of Them VVitches: A Grave Mistake, feat. Headless Footman, Grave Minions, and Bones Punkin-Headed BugbearBy Rigel
There are those that say that the monks at St. Fiacre's should not plant their vegetables so close to the churchyard, that it is unseemly to fatten the marrows, squashes, and pumpkins so close to human bones filled with human marrow.
Of course, the same voices don't complain when those same vegetables come to market, ripe and full of rich flavor. But that is another tale, and...
...wait, what is this?
Who comes here at this hour?
A ruffian in disguise, bent on disturbing the bones in the cemetary?!
Nay, ruffians plural! Grave robbers, here to trouble those at long rest under stone!
And who is this?!
A sinister figure, clearly the ringleader.
"Go now, and find me that wizard's grave!"
A little foxfire around the eyes and mouth of a carved pumpkin will frighten the superstitious into thinking these grave-robbers are haints.
"Not one stone in ten is as it was in the old times; be sure where ye dig!"
"Wait, lads--what is that light?!"
"That's no sexton's lamp! Take to your heels, boys!"
It is, perhaps, only fair that those who mock Jack O'The Lantern get to see the original. A variant of Jack In the Green, easily summoned.
"YOU WHO TRESPASS ON THE ROW / YOUR FLESH WILL MAKE THE PUMPKINS GROW"
"'Tis every man for himself, lads, and devil take the hindmost!"
"TAKE THE HINDMOST? SO BE IT!"
"AH HA HA HA HAAAAA!"
As I said, the pumpkins from St. Fiacre's are always welcome at market. Something about the tender flesh and delicate taste, the kind you don't find elsewhere.
Rumors that a wealthy patron of the monastery was a sorcerer are just that--old wives' tales. And the story of a guardian appointed to keep his rest secure 'till doomsday? Obviously also fictitious.
Old wives will talk; this is well-known.
A barren, frozen planet. A pristine icefield, burnished and cleared by constant katabatic gales. Graven in elegant Old High Martian glyphs a meter deep in the never-thawing ice, a mathematical proof of such beauty and elegance as to make a genius weep...and a series of universal planetary coordinates. No advanced species could forbear to investigate further!
These are the work of the Neh-Thalggu, more commonly known as the Braincrabs. Know them. Fear them. Do not trust them.
Rugose and four-limbed, the first instar is little more than a brain-shaped crustacean beast. (Little Nolzur's Intellect Devourers, came with the Alhoon or Illithilich.) They are shed when the parent has a surfeit of brains and wishes to jettison lesser ones to make room for greater.
Most perish, being less clever than their prey. But if one can bring down a sentient creature through luck and stealth and devour its central ganglion or brain...it begins to grow, absorbing the knowledge and cunning of its prey, much as some sea slugs repurpose the stinging cells of their prey and make them their own.
After absorbing a few brains, the instar grows into a juvenile. This involves generating more frontal eyes and a pair of brutal skull-cracking pincers. Recently-added brains are sequestered into thin-shelled bubbles, an adaptation to make sure other, stronger Braincrabs do not kill them when marauding.
The juveniles are very dangerous, acting as psionic predators with the strength of a tiger and the intelligence of three or four sentient creatures, all brought to bear on the problem of obtaining more brains. Depending on its previous history, it is very likely to outwit the average sentient being.
A Braincrab that has assimilated more than eight brains again metamorphoses, this time into a mountainous, many-limbed hulk, a spiny rugose colossus with a first-class think tank worth of neural tissue working for it. Psionic power abounds, and the elder Braincrab can create immersive illusions at-will or psychically dominate lesser wills.
The really unpleasant bit is the way it will out-argue you and succeed. It can make an excellent claim to being a Utility Monster, better at experiencing both reality and pleasure in the cosmos than us single-brained chumps. And what gives it the most pleasure, on the level you and I could never experience? (for so it claims, and has data to back it up--is the data faked? if so, it's too good for us to be able to tell!)? Why, devouring and assimilating more sentient brains! Do you have inconvenient brains in your society? Antisocial or sociopathic ones? It can redirect those energies! Oh, it's a persuasive monstrosity!
The Martians fear and detest them, of course, having as they do great juicy brains practically dripping psionic energy.
But hunting something that is hunting you, while your strongest weapon is their favorite prey--it's not easy!
A Martian High Intelligencer can outwit all but the eldest Braincrabs, but the gamble is a perilous one indeed. You do NOT want a braincrab with the powers of a High Intelligencer. That's how you get a planet converted to a brain farm, which in turn leads to Great Old Ones. Not even once!
Oddly, the best defense against the Braincrab is a hive of the insectoid Mandibulate Commonweal. One has the intelligence of a beast, two of a slightly smarter beast, five of an average human...and a whole hive can rival a supercomputer. Their individual brains are not worth a Braincrab's attention, and yet the hivemind can outmaneuver it intellectually as easily as the workers can swarm and savage it physically.
The Commonweal will not gain knowledge from the reclaimed brains, though. Only nourishment.
Below, how to make a juvenile Braincrab.