Monster of the Week, #21:

Troll, River Clan

Perhaps the most commonly-known of Trollkind are those of the River Clan. Generally calm, incisive, and infinitely curious, trolls of this variety instinctively seek out places of transition or confluence. True to their name, many River Trolls make their homes along the banks of streams and rivers, the better to be near the flowing waters and the constant stream of new objects and experiences they bring. River Trolls are particularly fond of bridges, not simply for their proximity to water, but also for their metaphysical significance as points of transition, where one place crosses over into another. 

Contrary to what popular tales would have us believe however, River Trolls are generally not malicious or cruel. Rather, long observation has revealed that their obsession with transition leads River Trolls to try to change those who pass through their domains in some way. Some will in fact attempt to do this through violence or some form of martial challenge, but many more prefer to barter goods with visitors to their domains, or else swap stories or information. Reveling as they do in all forms of interpersonal exchange, many River Trolls find themselves drawn to mercantile pursuits, at which they generally excel, even when simply bartering the assorted jetsam that finds its way into their homes.

It would not do to leave out mention of the River Troll’s passion for collecting. Whether by scavenging or exchange, they tend to amass sizable personal “fortunes” of random objects. They have a natural penchant for identifying objects with long and diverse histories, and these are generally considered highly valuable to the River Troll, and given pride of place within its domicile. 
Monster of the Week, #21:
Troll, River Clan
Perhaps the most commonly-known of Trollkind are those of the River Clan. Generally calm, incisive, and infinitely curious, trolls of this variety instinctively seek out places of transition or confluence. True to their name, many River Trolls make their homes along the banks of streams and rivers, the better to be near the flowing waters and the constant stream of new objects and experiences they bring. River Trolls are particularly fond of bridges, not simply for their proximity to water, but also for their metaphysical significance as points of transition, where one place crosses over into another.
Contrary to what popular tales would have us believe however, River Trolls are generally not malicious or cruel. Rather, long observation has revealed that their obsession with transition leads River Trolls to try to change those who pass through their domains in some way. Some will in fact attempt to do this through violence or some form of martial challenge, but many more prefer to barter goods with visitors to their domains, or else swap stories or information. Reveling as they do in all forms of interpersonal exchange, many River Trolls find themselves drawn to mercantile pursuits, at which they generally excel, even when simply bartering the assorted jetsam that finds its way into their homes.
It would not do to leave out mention of the River Troll’s passion for collecting. Whether by scavenging or exchange, they tend to amass sizable personal “fortunes” of random objects. They have a natural penchant for identifying objects with long and diverse histories, and these are generally considered highly valuable to the River Troll, and given pride of place within its domicile. 
"No Trespassing"Oil on paper mounted to masonite, 18”x24”2014
Holy crap, I just realized I never posted this here. Remember when I was rambling about the Illustration Master Class a few months back? Well I went! And I painted! You can see the full ramblings about my fantastic experiences there on my blog, but I’ll leave this guy here for now. Painted for the prompt, “faerie warrior.” Many thanks go out to all the amazing IMC faculty and all my fellow artists from IMC!

"No Trespassing"
Oil on paper mounted to masonite, 18”x24”
2014

Holy crap, I just realized I never posted this here. Remember when I was rambling about the Illustration Master Class a few months back? Well I went! And I painted! You can see the full ramblings about my fantastic experiences there on my blog, but I’ll leave this guy here for now. Painted for the prompt, “faerie warrior.” Many thanks go out to all the amazing IMC faculty and all my fellow artists from IMC!

Hellooo everybody! It’s been a while. I’m getting back into the swing of things after an AMAZING weekend at Gen Con in Indianapolis. After returning I took a week off from Projects to relax, do some fun drawings, get engaged (!!!!!), and lay out my plans for IlluxCon. It’s been a good month so far. :)

Anyway, we now resume our regularly-scheduled monsters.

Monster of the Week #20:
Wendigo
Of the innumerable creatures and spirits that walk our world, few are more terrifying, or more sad, than the Wendigo. Creatures of unending hunger and greed, Wendigos are born from humans who fall prey to cannibalistic urges. Agile, aggresive, and absolutely deadly, the only good that can be said of Wendigos is that they are mercifully few in number. They can be found mostly in the chill forests and unforgiving slopes of the frozen North, being compelled to migrate to these ancient hunting grounds by some unknown instinct. Healers and mages alike have speculated at length as to methods of curing those lost to the Wendigo transformation, some even going so far as to claim success in uncorroborated reports. That being said, there has yet to be developed any consistent, repeatable treatment for the affliction, and those so lost are seldom seen again. 

Someone help; I’d forgotten just how fun toned paper is X(

Monster of the Week #20:

Wendigo

Of the innumerable creatures and spirits that walk our world, few are more terrifying, or more sad, than the Wendigo. Creatures of unending hunger and greed, Wendigos are born from humans who fall prey to cannibalistic urges. Agile, aggresive, and absolutely deadly, the only good that can be said of Wendigos is that they are mercifully few in number. They can be found mostly in the chill forests and unforgiving slopes of the frozen North, being compelled to migrate to these ancient hunting grounds by some unknown instinct. Healers and mages alike have speculated at length as to methods of curing those lost to the Wendigo transformation, some even going so far as to claim success in uncorroborated reports. That being said, there has yet to be developed any consistent, repeatable treatment for the affliction, and those so lost are seldom seen again.

Someone help; I’d forgotten just how fun toned paper is X(


Monster of the Week #19:
Yeti
Yeti are among the most mysterious and least-understood species of giantkind. Standing an average of 14 feet tall, they inhabit remote mountain ranges, living in tightly-knit tribes among the jagged peaks and icy storms above the treeline. The harshness of their habitats combined with their relatively small population sizes make Yeti difficult subjects for study indeed, but much has been learned from what limited contact has occurred. 





While religious practice is relatively common among giantkind, Yeti are by far the most devout and spiritual. Despite their small population, the various tribes known to modern researchers display a stunning variety of beliefs and praxes that vary widely from tribe to tribe. The spiritual practice of Yeti tribes runs the gamut from polytheistic to monotheistic, in addition to a multitude of animistic beliefs. Opportunities to study the particulars of Yeti theology have been few and far between. This is due both to scarcity of contact and the immense complexity of Yeti language, which despite its relatively simple syntax is deeply couched in metaphor and religious analogy, and so varies greatly between tribes. 



Yeti are occasionally mislabeled as “Frost Giants,” and so are often confused with the semi-divine Jotunn. There is no known biological connection, although the latter do feature prominently in the cosmologies of several Yeti tribes.

Monster of the Week #19:

Yeti

Yeti are among the most mysterious and least-understood species of giantkind. Standing an average of 14 feet tall, they inhabit remote mountain ranges, living in tightly-knit tribes among the jagged peaks and icy storms above the treeline. The harshness of their habitats combined with their relatively small population sizes make Yeti difficult subjects for study indeed, but much has been learned from what limited contact has occurred. 

While religious practice is relatively common among giantkind, Yeti are by far the most devout and spiritual. Despite their small population, the various tribes known to modern researchers display a stunning variety of beliefs and praxes that vary widely from tribe to tribe. The spiritual practice of Yeti tribes runs the gamut from polytheistic to monotheistic, in addition to a multitude of animistic beliefs. Opportunities to study the particulars of Yeti theology have been few and far between. This is due both to scarcity of contact and the immense complexity of Yeti language, which despite its relatively simple syntax is deeply couched in metaphor and religious analogy, and so varies greatly between tribes. 

Yeti are occasionally mislabeled as “Frost Giants,” and so are often confused with the semi-divine Jotunn. There is no known biological connection, although the latter do feature prominently in the cosmologies of several Yeti tribes.

Monster of the Week #18:
Troll, Root Clan
Elusive and mysterious, trolls of the Root Clan are compelled by nature to seek out beginnings and places of creation. They make their homes in the roots of mountains and deep in ancient forests. Obsessed with the potential of things that grow, Root trolls will often spend their entire lives in quiet observation of their domains. Some will spend years in the caves beneath mountains, quietly listening to the shifting of the earth around them, while others will adopt small portions of forests as the self-appointed custodians of the new-growth trees and other flora. 

It is worth noting the Root troll’s preferred choices of food. Calm and peaceful creatures, they abhor the taking of life, for they see it as putting an end to unrealized potential. The only exception is perhaps the harsh, even vicious manner in which they deal with interlopers who disturb their habitats—battles between Root trolls and cave orcs, for instance, are relatively common. They subsist almost exclusively on carrion (unless it has already become a source of new life), but have a curious and inexplicable taste for mushrooms.

Monster of the Week #18:

Troll, Root Clan

Elusive and mysterious, trolls of the Root Clan are compelled by nature to seek out beginnings and places of creation. They make their homes in the roots of mountains and deep in ancient forests. Obsessed with the potential of things that grow, Root trolls will often spend their entire lives in quiet observation of their domains. Some will spend years in the caves beneath mountains, quietly listening to the shifting of the earth around them, while others will adopt small portions of forests as the self-appointed custodians of the new-growth trees and other flora.
It is worth noting the Root troll’s preferred choices of food. Calm and peaceful creatures, they abhor the taking of life, for they see it as putting an end to unrealized potential. The only exception is perhaps the harsh, even vicious manner in which they deal with interlopers who disturb their habitats—battles between Root trolls and cave orcs, for instance, are relatively common. They subsist almost exclusively on carrion (unless it has already become a source of new life), but have a curious and inexplicable taste for mushrooms.
Monster of the Week #17:
A Word on Trolls
Several words in fact, for the creatures commonly referred to as ‘Trolls’ are a complex and diverse bunch. 

All too often tales conflate these creatures with ogres and giants, when in reality they share naught but the most distant of ancestors, and then only in uncorroborated speculation. Theories abound as to the origins of trolls. Some have posited that the race was first created or “elevated” by mighty wizards in distant antiquity (a notion which most trolls contest as false and downright insulting). Others, including many trolls, believe that the first of their kind (called the “First Breath” in the language of the elusive Wind clan) were born fully formed and sentient from the base elements of their ancestral domains.

Whatever their origins, trolls of all varieties have a deep and instinctive connection to currents of natural magic. This is not to say that they are sorcerers, for trolls of that sort are relatively uncommon. Their connection to magic runs much deeper, on a level where many are even unconscious of its existence, and yet it is as essential to them as the need for food and water. Trolls thrive on a connection to certain forms of natural magic—complex metaphysical qualities found in particular locations that define the essence of a place. They are drawn inexorably to such places and often make their dwellings there, as close to the wellsprings of these magical qualities as possible. The individual “tastes” of trolls seem to vary by species or clan. For example, trolls of the Stone clan prefer places of great age and permanence, where the essence of a place has remained unchanged for hundreds or thousands of years. Trolls of the Root clan are compelled to seek out beginnings and places of creation, whereas those of the River clan seek points of change or transition, and so often make their homes beneath bridges or by the banks of rivers. 

Regarding the various varieties of trolls known to arcanozoologists, the word “clan” is the customary nomenclature, though it is widely acknowledged to be a misnomer. Most trolls are solitary creatures, and so the word “clan” would perhaps better be replaced with “species.” However, the term is derived from collective words in several of the trolls’ own languages (perhaps indicating a sense of brotherhood or unity among trolls of the same sort, or else referring to a time in ages forgotten where they did not lead such solitary lives). Therefore, by widespread and long use, it has become the generally-accepted term to refer to different species that fall under the umbrella term of “Troll.” Numerous troll clans are known to modern arcanozoologists, including Stone, Wind, Root, River, and Storm, with various legends and unconfirmed sightings hinting at the existence of many more.

Monster of the Week #17:

A Word on Trolls

Several words in fact, for the creatures commonly referred to as ‘Trolls’ are a complex and diverse bunch. 
All too often tales conflate these creatures with ogres and giants, when in reality they share naught but the most distant of ancestors, and then only in uncorroborated speculation. Theories abound as to the origins of trolls. Some have posited that the race was first created or “elevated” by mighty wizards in distant antiquity (a notion which most trolls contest as false and downright insulting). Others, including many trolls, believe that the first of their kind (called the “First Breath” in the language of the elusive Wind clan) were born fully formed and sentient from the base elements of their ancestral domains.
Whatever their origins, trolls of all varieties have a deep and instinctive connection to currents of natural magic. This is not to say that they are sorcerers, for trolls of that sort are relatively uncommon. Their connection to magic runs much deeper, on a level where many are even unconscious of its existence, and yet it is as essential to them as the need for food and water. Trolls thrive on a connection to certain forms of natural magic—complex metaphysical qualities found in particular locations that define the essence of a place. They are drawn inexorably to such places and often make their dwellings there, as close to the wellsprings of these magical qualities as possible. The individual “tastes” of trolls seem to vary by species or clan. For example, trolls of the Stone clan prefer places of great age and permanence, where the essence of a place has remained unchanged for hundreds or thousands of years. Trolls of the Root clan are compelled to seek out beginnings and places of creation, whereas those of the River clan seek points of change or transition, and so often make their homes beneath bridges or by the banks of rivers. 
Regarding the various varieties of trolls known to arcanozoologists, the word “clan” is the customary nomenclature, though it is widely acknowledged to be a misnomer. Most trolls are solitary creatures, and so the word “clan” would perhaps better be replaced with “species.” However, the term is derived from collective words in several of the trolls’ own languages (perhaps indicating a sense of brotherhood or unity among trolls of the same sort, or else referring to a time in ages forgotten where they did not lead such solitary lives). Therefore, by widespread and long use, it has become the generally-accepted term to refer to different species that fall under the umbrella term of “Troll.” Numerous troll clans are known to modern arcanozoologists, including Stone, Wind, Root, River, and Storm, with various legends and unconfirmed sightings hinting at the existence of many more.