Monday, 1 October 2012

Minor Project - Characters of Robert E Howard

Here are some of the ideas I had about character/creature deisgns, I may or may not be using these though.  

The Akaana, from R, E, Howard’s ‘Solomon Kane’ series

The akaana are a winged race of humanoids who dwell in mountain caves. Pure carnivores, they prey on a wide variety of small animals, including goats, pigs, and if they can get away with it -- people.

Normal animal motivations. The akaana are highly intelligent, having their own language and even a king of sorts.

Well-equipped with sharp teeth and talons, the akaana like to swoop down on a target, grabbing it with their prehensile feet before tearing it to pieces with with claws and teeth.

An akaana stands about six to six-and-half feet tall, with a lean, muscular build. The head is long and narrow, with narrow yellow eyes, a thin hooked nose, and a wide mouth filled with wolf-like fangs. The shoulders are broad, with a deep chest and a sternum that juts out from the torso. This helps support a pair of leathery moth-like wings that measure a full eighteen feet from tip to tip.

The Black Ones from Conan: The Pool of the Black Ones.
The Black Ones are a race of beings who live on an otherwise empty island far out in the Western Ocean. They are not men, but seem to be some sort of demonic or diabolical beings made in the shape of men. They dwell amid a series of semicircular stone walls, each enclosing courtyards carpeted in green grass. At one end of this layout is a tower, and near the center is a deep pool of green water.

The Black Ones are apparently the servants/slaves/priests of a pool of greenish liquid. They will capture anyone who ventures onto their island, sometimes tormenting them by playing a pipe or flute-like instrument, causing their captive to dance uncontrollably. Once done tormenting their captive, one of the Black Ones will then thrust him into the green pool, where the hapless victim will then shrink down to about the size of a man's hand, transformed into statue of (apparently) petrified bone. The resulting statue is then placed on a ledge in one of the courtyards.

Even the smallest of the Black Ones stands about seven and a half feet in height, with the tallest at least nine feet tall. They are immensely strong, and can carry a man (or two) with ease. Although they seem to have no knowledge of weaponry, their long, talon-like fingernails make for excellent weapons, as do their sharp teeth. The priest of the Black Ones possess a pair of pipes that can cause a victim to dance uncontrollably. This artifact is used to torture captives.

Black Ones do not (or cannot) speak, but seem to communicate by a form of telepathy.

Black Ones have the appearance of tall, rangy, well-formed men. Their skin is as black as ebony, while their eyes are a tawny gold. They have no body hair, while their faces are said to be diabolical in appearance. Black Ones don't seem to wear any clothing.

The Pictish Swamp Devil, Conan: Beyond The Black River

Pictish swamp devils are beings summoned from the Misty Lands, which lay on a plane separate from Earth's. They are brought to this world "with incantations and sorcery and [the sorcerer's] own blood" where they are "materialized... in the flesh of [this] planet." These beings are then sent out to hunt down and slay the enemies of the sorcerer who summoned them.

A Pictish swamp demon can apparently only kill those who they are told to kill. To quote one demon: "My brother had not painted a skull black for you and hurled it into the fire that burns for ever on Gullah's black altar. He had not whispered your name to the black ghosts that haunt the uplands of the Dark Land. But a bat has flown over the Mountains of the Dead and drawn your image in blood on the white tiger's hide that hangs before the long hut where sleep the Four Brothers of the Night. The great serpents coil about their feet and the stars burn like fireflies in their hair." However, once given the task to kill a target, a swamp devil will waste no time in getting the job done. It will usually use its ability to mimic voices to lure the target into an ambush, at which point the swamp devil isn't above toying with its prey. Swamp devils tend to be supremely confident in their ability to eliminate a given target, and may engage a foe in conversation, explaining in exact detail what the person did to be marked for death at the hands of the devil.

Swamp devils combine great strength, speed, and agility, with powerful claws (capable of ripping right through mail), an uncanny ability to mimic any voice, and the power to create unnatural magical fire, in order to hunt down and kill their foes. Interestingly, they don't seem to be particularly resilient to damage, and can be killed with normal weapons. Because a swamp devil is a summoned being, they maintain a direct connection with their summoner. The devil and the sorcerer are one in many ways. As one devil puts it: "We are one, tied together by invisible threads. His thoughts are my thoughts; if he is struck, I am bruised. If I am cut, he bleeds." Thus, killing the devil will almost certainly kill the sorcerer, and vice versa. This damage is shared via the Mind Link.

Normally, a swamp devil maintains a brilliant aura of flame about its body. While this makes the devil easy to spot in the dark woods, it also makes the devil hard to see, and thus hard to target directly. If they drop the flames, a roughly humanoid form is revealed. Swamp Devils are between eight and nine feet tall, with a humanoid face marked by oblique eyes, pointed ears, and thin lips. The arms are long and end in razor-sharp talons, while the legs are akin to a crane's and have three-toed birdlike feet. The body itself is covered in scales akin to a snake's.

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