An ongoing project by Blanca Martinez de Rituerto and Joe Sparrow.

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010


The Marzanna appears as an old woman, frostbite-blue and dressed in torn rags of animal hide. Despite its relatively humanoid appearance, the Marzanna is far beyond human - viewed by villagers as a personification of death and winter, she wanders the snowy wastes, tricking stray travellers and feasting on their cold flesh. Tales tell that if you can trick a Marzanna, you can fool death himself.

Merry belated christmas! Both our monsters this week come from the Frostburn book, something of a nod towards the fiendishly chilly climes we currently find ourselves in. Hags are some cool creatures, and the Marzanna is one of my favourites. The name actually comes from an old Russian goddess of winter which in some parts of the world is still venerated each year by burning, then "drowning" her effigy to bring winter to an end. Cool, huh? My picture this week is sort of special in that the inking was actually done with a pen by hand. I still used photoshop to comp it all together but I think i need to at least start more stuff by hand! Using a computer still feels like the quick-and-easy route. Maybe that can be my new years' resolution!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Snow Weird

The Snow Weird is a diviner hailing form the Elemental Plane of Air. Her face is so bright it can't be looked at, and her whirling lower body tapers to pool of rumbling snow. She's is able to predict fortune and destruction, much like an Earth Weird. However, she's more powerful and fickle than her stony counterpart. She sometimes decides to surround her territory in snowstorms and whirlwinds for the sake of it, regardless of who may get trapped in them.

Enjoy your winter-related festivities, y'all.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Fire Giant

The Fire Giants are the second smallest of the true giants, next to the oafish Hill Giant, but they don't share their cousin's low intellect. They're a highly organized people, merciless, militaristic, and almost always at war with their neighbours. Their invulnerability to fire leads them to make lairs in volcanoes and use flaming weaponry.

Special treat! A (kinda) animated post!

This was animated in After Effects, which is something I sometimes have trouble coming to grips with. I'm more used to using more traditional methods or Flash. Hopefully there'll be more animated posts in the future. Hopefully they'll be GIFs because this whole having to upload a video thing is pretty tiresome.


Also an image, because the quality of that video isn't what it could be.

Rust Monster

The Rust Monster is a squat quadrupedal creature covered in thick chitin of a dirty orange colour. It gets its name from its diet - the two long antennae protruding from beneath its eyes are capable of instantly rusting and disintegrating any and all metals they come into contact with, even those with magical enhancements. The Rust Monster then proceeds to devour the oxidised scraps which are its main food source.

The Rust Monster is an infamous creature and the bane of many an adventurer - that nice, shiny new +2 enhancement sword of impaling you picked up in the last dungeon? Disintegrated in seconds. The funny part is the creature itself isn't even that strong. Trying to go for a more gouache-ish effect in this one. As requested by /tg/!


A Defacer is an undead creature formed when the spirit of a shapechanging creature, such as a Doppelganger, is animated by a necromancer. Most ordinary creatures, once risen in such a way, will generally keep the form they held in life. Shapechangers, however, barely having a definite form or identity to start with, are brought back as dark, blank, faceless creatures, and their utter absence of identity compels them to "steal" the faces of those around them, a horrific ability which leaves the victim's face featureless. The many faces they "collect" in this way swim about their body, keening frightfully.

Been working a lot in what I guess would be called pixelart lately, essentially eschewing anti-aliasing of any kind and getting down and dirty with each individual pixel. It's really satisfying, it actually feels a lot to me like painting but there's a really nice, economic feel to it because you can only get so much detail in, every pixel has to be in the right place. anyway, another quick one this week, I'm actually a week behind now so I'll probably be doing another one tomorrow!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Violet Fungus

The Violet Fungus is a man-sized, flesh-eating mushroom that primarily dwells in subterranean caverns. The mushroom can move, albeit very slowly. It's common to find it living among patches of another variety of predatory mushroom, the Shrieker, which can attract prey by emitting a sound like a person or animal in danger. This lures them within striking range of the Violet Fungus' poisoned tentacles.

Yup, plants can be enemies in D&D. You're never really safe. This is another request, suggested by Slagger the Chuul of the Wizards of the Coast forums.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Century Worm

The Century Worm is a rare giant creature that can appear in any part of the world. It's a mindless creature, uncontrollable, born to eat and moves across the landscape making deafening screeching noises. It's large enough to swallow a horse whole, and anything it eats will be broken down by more than stomach acid; the Century Worm's stomach carries millions of its young.

This creature is one of the more high-level encounters, where a character needs to be at Conan levels of strength and Merlin levels of magic. It's a pretty slow creature, so it's always possible to run away.


The Couatl is a legendary winged snake native to warm forests. They are highly magical and innately good, making them excellent creatures to run into in most situations (unless you happen to be evil). High-level spellcasters have Summon Couatl available to them as a spell, which, if learnt, can be used to greatly bolster the magical power of any band of adventurers.

Couatl, is, of course, a reference to the mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl, who (typical of aztec gods) has some really cool primitive artwork of him. I took inspiration from the colours commonly used to depict him (green/blue) but otherwise tried to do something a little more abstract. Also drawing lots of feathers takes a long time D: This weeks' monsters were both requests, this one being the request of forum user Serpentine.