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Round 261 - Voting!
Topic: The Ninja's Companion
Deadline for Voting: June 13th, 2012
Requirements this week...
- the creature must be able to hide and travel by stealth.
- the creature must be able to kill human beings, but rather than killing with raw power, it must be able to kill silently. the way it accomplishes this is up to you.
- the creature should be no larger than a large dog.
Last edited by Si_Swe; June 6th, 2012 at 10:01 PM.
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It has retractable poison fangs. Kills in a litteral heartbeat. They are as common as housflies and can become completely translucent. Their expressive faces make them popular like puppies, and kittens. Highly trainable, like messanger pigeons, and normally nonviolent. The best way not to get bit is to not piss them off... and hope no one has it in for you.
~Set A. K. E.
http://bumpytheshroom.deviantart.com/...and on Facebook as Set Elliott
Concept: Shadow Hound
Those cute little fellows have no fur, but do not underestimate them, they can adjust to nearly any climate. A day in the African savannah or some snowy mountains wouldn’t make any difference for them.
Their long claws are mainly used for climbing since they live in trees, but are also used in battle. Their teeth are possessed with a extremely powerful poison, which can paralyze a enemy in less then 30 seconds (but wont kill them since this predator want their flesh fresh.)
They are easily trained, but can only have one true master.
The lopers are artificially bred creatures that mesh the genes of eagles, cheetahs and panthers together in a deadly and mysterious package, named after the manner in which they travel to avoid lights.
Concept: Winged leech
It's a flying creature in the size of a small bird. It lives on blood from other creatures. It stings it's victim in it's sleep, and then circulates it's blood throught it's own body, draining it of all nutrition. The blood is then returned to the victim, though it's now useless and the victim will soon die. Since it doesn't actually drink or store the blood, just drains it, it can "drink" massive amounts at the same time and often drains all blood in the victims body despite it's small size. Since it can drain that much from a single victim it doesn't need to feed that often wich makes it a good companion for the ninja.
The Silent Death. Long rumored to be the ninja's companion, these almost mythical beasts serve a large purpose in the ninja hierarchy. Their snouts are tipped with poison, their wings suited more for stealth and a cloak of sorts rather than flying, a long prehensile tail allows this creature to go where even the ninja fear to tread. All fear the ninja, but the silent death is a being made up of nightmares, and the ninja use this to their advantage.
Each ninja when born is given an opportunity to tame the silent death, sometimes resulting in a lot of dead baby ninjas. But when it works out, when the cards are in the human's favor, he will have a companion, and partner for life. It is unsure where exactly the Silent Death came from. Some say the spawn of old demons and dragons of long ago. Others say that when the mighty Mt Fuji was pushed up through the earth, these beasts emerged from the resulting volcano, born to punish those that deserve to die.
Last edited by scorge; June 5th, 2012 at 08:33 PM.
The oculurker is a being of blood and shadow. It waits in the deepest depths of darkness until it hears the signal of its master. Once roused, the oculurker swoops down on its target and strangles it with its long and durable tail so that its victim can't cry out for aid. While strangling would be sufficient enough to take down most targets, the oculurker prefers to finish off its victims more quickly than this would allow. And so it uses its front appendages to pierce the skull and destroy the brain, usually through the eyes where the skull is weaker. It then flies off into the night, having been neither seen nor heard, and waits for the carrion to cool.
Artist: jon n
the shadowflicker is a non aggressive creature that assists the ninja by cracking its whip-like tail to distract targets.
Concept: Kagemusha (The shadow of the warrior)
One of the best kept secrets of the ninjas were their familiars. Often just cats or monkeys, the Kagemusha was a creature far more useful to its master. Used to scout or watch, the Kagemusha's eye catched every detail. It could control the pigments of its wings so masterfully, that remaining hidden underneath them, in times of stealth was as easy as displaying what it had seen to its master. The ninja used the two neural nodes on its tail to flip through the displayed information, so he could plan the further movement, or to learn from previous (noneleathal) mistakes. The antenna on its head was said to help the creature communicate mentally with its master. The Kagemusha itself had no directly leathal weapons, but by increasing the deadliness of its master, it was a thread to everybody, who knew that a ninja with a Kagemusha on its side was coming for them.
Originally the Deathgrip's only use was to prise open over-sized molluscs. They did so happily until their discovery by humans, which of course led to their training in deadly deeds. The creatures were notable for their ability to find the weakness in a joint and exploit it. The powerful suckers grip around the victim's neck or torso while the hands find the perfect way to remove the head from the spine. The swift movement is not exaggerated so as to not cause a mess, as the Deathgrip usually attacks at night the body is assumed to be sleeping until it is aroused.
As a result of living by the sea, a glowing green lichen forms on the chest and arms of the beast, this assists in allowing the Deathgrip to see its victim close-up in the dark and better judge its attack. This naturally occurring advantage means that a ninja must seek out a fully grown Deathgrip to train rather than breed one. For this reason, many ninja have not survived their first night with a Deathgrip. If a bond is successful however, it will protect its owner for life.
: A rare, ancient creature long considered to be extinct; this lost evolutionary link between a slug and a snake is both quick, sticky and poisonous. It's abilities allow it to slither swiftly through the ground, and its sticky underside to transport itself along any surface, even upside down. It bears no fangs, but a long tongue which stabs an enemy's vital organs or injects lethal poison....or both.
This creature has been kept a secret among ninja's, and the breed them selectively, as well as train them and keep them as their lifelong companions.
Concept: Wind Diver
This relatively small bird often trained by ninja assassins, will fly high and dive swiftly like a living bullet, piercing into the bodies of designated enemies. It will repeat this dive until all his master's enemies lie still on the ground.
Armuros are small creatures capable of rolling into the shape of a sphere. They have two states; dormant and active. When dormant they retain their spherical shape mimicing similarly shaped objects, and their dark colouration helps with blending in to shadows, leaving them often overlooked (if they haven't already rolled away) when a fresh corpse has been discovered. Their active state can be triggered with any significant impact, causing them to unravel. Once unravelled the bulbous sensory organ at the tip of their snout detects heat, and causes the Armuro to project it's tongue quickly from it's mouth stinging the nearby target. Containing poison glands at the tip of its tongue, the Armuro injects its target with a large does of poison which spreads throughout the body, congealing their blood and causing death.
While in their juvenile state, the Armuro can be used to promote stealthy movement among practicing ninjas. Because the Armuro is so easily roused, its owner must learn to move fluidly and stealthily to prevent themselves from being stung by the Armuro while carrying it. While deadly in its mature form, the juvenile's poison is significantly weaker, leaving the poisoned individual bedridden for several days instead of causing death.
Concept: Hi no akuma (Fire Demon)
Travel Log of Sir Mortimer Ross. 3rd June, 1867:
Recently, the village I have been staying in (rather illegally, mind you) has been awash with great terror. A neighboring village was burnt to the ground only two days ago, and the people of this village are understandably anxious.The cause of this calamity is said to be due to a feud between rival ninjas using devious magic and even more devious weapons.
Fire Demons are a strange breed of insect that are rumored by locals to be borne of the Devil himself. Through a variety of unique adaptations, these critters appear to be a common firefly from afar, which helps them blend into the night quite easily, but their true nature is far more deadly. It is said that some ninjas of Nippon are given a nest of these demonic bugs upon mastery of the dark arts. Through a mystical ceremony, they are made master of these vile, winged creatures. I must admit that even I, a learned man, am troubled by the thought of a swarm of said beasts. I now think twice when admiring the springtime light shows of the fireflies.
These wretched creatures have the durable, tough wing structure of the beetle, the forelimbs of the preying mantis, and a wasp-like face with mandibles that are rumored to be so strong that they can shred bamboo.
The mysterious ninjas use these creatures to infiltrate enemy compounds, wreaking all manner of havoc without ever being seen. Their most silent and lethal weapon is their poisonous stinger, which, unlike a common bee, can be fired at a target with deadly precision. Also unlike a bee, these stingers regenerate constantly over time, providing a reliable, ranged weapon for the critter, and an opportunity for the ninjas to finish off their incapacitated targets.
The glowing glands located at the bottom of the abdomen are even more peculiar... if a fire demon so wishes, it can expel a small amount of combustible liquid from this organ, and then, rubbing together its strange hind legs, it causes a spark that can turn a whole fortress into a smoldering heap. Seeing as though the Nipponese build most of their structures out of wood and paper, it doesn't take long for the fire demons to ruin a village. All the poor souls within either meet a fiery fate, or are quickly dispatched by the insect's shadowy master as they attempt to flee. Being evil, shadowy creatures, all that exists to document the fire demons is a rough sketch created by our cook and amateur artist, Roland.
It is advised that all travelers to the Land of the Rising Sun be wary of any village where fire demons have been spotted, and to always sleep with a large vessel of water nearby, in case a fire needs quenching.
-Sir Mortimer Ross
Last edited by Prometheus09; June 7th, 2012 at 05:13 AM. Reason: literary reasons, nuff said
Concept: night dweller
this bird is not fit for combat instead it will provide smoke cover when needed, ninjas will only get one bird in there lifetime as a partner.
The bird is blind and more optimized for operating at night, there are two antenna on its head for vision.
(edit: forgot my signature and somehow does not want to upload here)
Last edited by Grievous_666; June 6th, 2012 at 09:14 PM.
Poll is up.
Cuts this week:
Sethlene - reason: failed quality check. Creature felt incomplete/not enough design done.
voted albino-Z - great illustration, detailed description.
hard decision between albino-Z and Jornum, whose creature i could imagine fitting a ninja´s companion very well!
Please nobody take personal any of this, i highly appreciate honest and direct feedback, so that is what i'm triying to provide here. If you feel like i'm wrong in the appreciations, just dismiss my comment since it actually might be wrong.
Voted for scorge because the achieved balance between quality, design, and faithfulness to the brief to follow.
The Albino entry is stunning visually, but regarding the brief, it looks like a very inteligent and self-sufficient creature, so i see it more like a character. To me, it dosn't convey the idea of being a ninjas companion, looks more like this guy could have a ninja as a pet actually.
So, not a critique, just saying why i felt i couldn't vote that stunning piece.
@Prometheus09, the quality of drawing is excellent, if you don't mind an opinion, i think it looks just like an insect, maybe it dosn't exist and you create it, but try to push yourself a little more and create something more unique and with more appealing, keep in mind is not about trying to make good drawings, but interesting designs...wich is a lot more dificult, but more rewarding too. Also, is difficult to relate a insect as the companion of a ninja. When i was thinking about making a concept, the choices i thought were related with animals with some degree of intelligence, as monkeys, dogs, eagles, felines, etc. Intelligent creatures, but a lot less than humans.
@jon...nice as always, but a little hard to see the creature, also you worked more in the ninja than the companion, that ninja is cool by the way.
@Jornum, i think you nailed the design for the description, with a little more rendering work and details it would have been difficult to me to choice between you and scorge entry.
Last edited by elephant´s stroke; June 7th, 2012 at 11:51 AM.
I will do some critiques later, cause I'm just on break at work, but I will addres two things.
First, @Barefoot... I didn't realize that about poison vs. Venom... that's really interesting and good to know!
@elephant's stroke: thank you for the critique, and I basically agree with you. I am trying to develop a variety of skills that i overlooked as a kid, such as composition, but also the ability to draw fast and loose. I am too detail-oriented, and I am trying to find a balance. I am probably going to take a break from COW and start doing the 50 gestures a week thing. That will help me with loose, spontaneous sketching, which will help me improve a lot overall I hope.
Okay, more critiques later... there were some really good designs this week.
yeah, I learned it watching Steve Batchel as a kid, ha!First, @Barefoot... I didn't realize that about poison vs. Venom... that's really interesting and good to know!
congrats to everyone who joined, awesome entries all around!