Xytych the Planesdrifting Aether Minder
Digital 2D and Traditional 2D
Photoshop, Canon Scanner, Pencil, Inks
Creature Design contest submission # 3.
"Nevermind the goblins and cave ogres, Delvin. They don't liquify your brain like the aether minders do. They come out of nowhere, you know."
Of all the minders that ever existed, drifting through the aether and planescapes, attracted to the minds of magical beings, there was one of such renown that it was feared throughout the multiverse.
It was known as Xytych. A cult had sprung up in the far reaches, beyond the reason and logic of imperial rule. There, they worshipped it, researched it, and some have even said to have communed with it. Through them it had gotten its name, believed to be given to them in some forgotten, dark seance. To instill fear, they spread its name in secret, amongst plain folk, and made it be known that all who would dare use magic had a most awful death awaiting them. Some sects of the cult actually baited magic users to hidden lairs and sacrificed them on open altars to the transdimensional being. The ripple effect of these magical sacrifices would be felt for ages.
Aether minders exist in fair quantities between planes. It is true they feast on the minds of creatures in other planes that are sensitive to the aether or possess higher powers.
But none were as ageless, ravenous, coldly predatory, and relentlessly driven, as Xytych. He was wholly seven times bigger than most, which lent credence to his status as a deity. Some scholars believe he is an elder minder, in existence for many countless ages, many times older than all other free-roaming aether minders. Ancient legends contain stories of spiney horns and tentacles erupting from out of a rip in reality, impaling the skulls and brains of wizards and sorcerers alike, turning the gray matter into pulpy soup. While it appears they were victims of a very real, physical death, they suffered the worst kind of end imaginable - the consumption and snuffing out of their mind and spirit - their eternal essence. Each one adding to the power and monstrosity of the interdimensional creature. Xytych has also been known to drag his prey into his own dimension, a transit between planes, whereas lesser aether minders would drop theirs, not quite able to carry their humanoid size prey yet.
If you were to behold Xytych, you would first see tentacles appearing out of a shimmering hole in the air, above which glide two massive bone-like tusks. The bulk of his body would follow, resembling that of a floating bulbous beetle or tortoise, as it has a softer midsection with an armored shell behind what passes at its head. The eye is massive and multifaceted, much like an insect's. Some believe that is what gives it extraplanar vision, being able to view many at once. Usually aloft in the air or aether thanks to its gas-filled organs, it can look like an airborne cuttlefish or squid of sorts. At its base are tough protrusions and several drooping claw-like legs that are used for grasping its prey for prolonged periods of feeding. Its colors are obscene and bright, often shifting as it moves from dimension to dimension. Usually, after translating into realspace, it can be seen coalescing in a vibrant display of colors like a bubble of liquid in bright light. But, make no mistake, it's nothing but dark, cold, uncaring, death for those who dare toy with flagrant displays of magic.
The cult of Xytych is thought dead now, long since being hunted and eradicated by the Emperor's forces. However, the lasting effect of the message and fear can still be felt and seen. Many have spoken of seeing Xytych in their mind, aimlessly drifting in the aether, after having performed such simple tricks as lighting a candle with a snap of a finger only to swear off magic for good in response to the terror they felt.
It is not known how many victims Xytych has claimed, only that it is many - almost incalculable. Now, those with magical abilities are rare and often in hiding. For Xytych is waiting, drifting just beyond the veil, sniffing the aether, ready to strike.
If you ever see a shimmer or feel a sudden cold behind you or a sharp pain behind your eyes, run. But, it might be too late.
Spike Rot Frost Jaw
Artist Creature Painting Submission
2D Traditional and Digital
Photoshop, Graphite, Scanner
This piece is a digital colorization and painting of an older drawn piece. That piece was heavily and primarily inspired from the old Diablo II expansion. The point when you get to the Mount Arreat area and encounter lots of cold-based monsters. Prior to playing online, like with Diablo III, most of the enemies were randomized, yes, but there remained a finite number of bosses. Once I always remember having the most fun fighting against and getting great rewards was this undead knight or warrior in what looked like Trojan armor. He had a huge, long, sword and lots of spiked armor. However, he was imbued with cold spells and effects that were really hard to overcome. When you did, the loot was supreme. Usually, he was found in some of the ice caverns you would come across and there were moments of atmospheric elements like snow and light changes. This always captured my imagination as a younger person and would remain steadfast in my memories. That boss’ name was Spike Rot Frost Jaw. This is my interpretation of him in his natural environment.
His trojan helm is spiked and topped with a nice, red plume. His armor is now incomplete, but yet imposing, forged in bronze with some iconography inset on his chest. Its flesh and skin has rotted and fallen away in most parts, leaving only bone in some places, and revealing muscle and sinew in others. In one bony hand it carries a large bronze shield, draped in tanned hide, which billows in the cold, blowing wind. The midsection is more of a zombie-like color and appears to be dessicated in a way to make the gorge rise up when looking at it. The feet and right arm are encased in more armor of bronze and steel. The armored hand grips its long, steel greatsword that is now covered in cobwebs and is jagged in parts and pitted in others. Set across what is passing as its hips is a great war belt of hard leather fastened together with a large round idol of some fearsome deity, grimacing at his foes. The old leather armor flows out from below that belt and belies its non-human qualities in its current state. Perhaps the eeriest aspect to this creature is the icy breath and frost covering its now lithe form of unlife.
See below for process shots.
Hope you enjoy!
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