Saturday, September 13, 2008


Here's the latest image I've made for Creature of the Week on The topic was "Feeds on Sound."
The complete description that I wrote to accompany the image:
It has been known sense prehistory that sound, especially voice, holds special powers in our world. Indeed, many scholars believe that our ability to manipulate sound at a high level of complexity is what allowed our race, when it was young, to triumph over all other species of animal and attain civilization. Through sound, we not only communicate and use language, but also cast spells, charms, incantations, and make use of any number of other Vocal Powers.
In early days, it was believed that man alone had the use of the Vocal Powers. However, in this new age of science and exploration, it has been discovered that many other creatures have magical abilities, though few are as well-developed in their use of these powers as man. One creature with surprising magic abilities is the Sonagama. Lean, quick-moving reptiles as large as a small man, the Sonagama has developed an ability similar to the magical power known as soundleeching. Using this power, it draws all sound in its environment towards itself, just as a powerful magnet attracts metal objects. Using its fantastically enlarged cheek-flaps, this sound is funneled into its mouth, and through a number of both physiological and magical adaptations this sound is converted is converted into pure energy, and it is this energy on which the Sonagama lives. The creature literally eats sound.
Now, let us discuss the natural history of the Sonagama, as far as our current state of knowledge allows. As mentioned, the Sonagama is a reptile, specifically a lizard related to the agamas, hence its name. It is large, with long, muscular limbs that allow it to both run at great speed as well as rear up on its hind limbs to nearly the hight of a man. Its skull is highly modified, with long quadrate bones allowing it to achieve a terrific gape when opening its mouth--the large the mouth, the better ability to consume sound, apparently. Its enormous cheek flaps--the most remarkable physical characteristic of the species--are supported by highly modified palate and hyoid bones, which swing outward from the jaws to hold the flaps rigid. When the mouth is closed, these bones are folded against the sides of the head and neck, with the cheek flaps hanging like curtains around the throat and shoulders. The cheek flaps themselves serve two functions. Firstly, they assist with funneling sound into the creature's throat, much like our ears funnel sound into the skull. Secondly, they make the creatures seem tremendously larger and more intimidating than they actually are, a useful tactic both for establishing dominance within the species and for frightening away potential predators. The Sonagama shares its habitat with a number of species that have rudimentary Vocal Powers. These creatures seem to be the preferred "prey" of the Sonagama, for magical sound obviously contains more energy than normal sound. However, in a pinch, any form of sound will sustain the Sonagama. When the Sonagama deploys its soundleeching powers, the world around it grows suddenly silent, with even the loudest noises seeming to become muffled and distant. Vocal Powers become useless when in the presence of a Sonagama, for the sound is absorbed before it can have any magical effect. For this reason, tamed Sonagamas have become popular guard animals for those who wish to protect themselves from malicious Vocal attacks.


Davi Blight said...

now that's a description man!

Really dig the piece too, very clean style, something i have a very hard time keeping in my pieces :)

Moai said...

Thanks, Davi! Yeah, I try to get my images fairly clean as soon as possible. Having things messy while I paint stresses me out. It makes me feel like I have a mess that I have to clean up.:)

wallasaurus said...

that's a beauty! :D

simon dominic said...

Yep, what Davi said - great how you can get that clean look without it appearing unfinished. If anything I tend to add too much texture and often end up toning it down. Excellent work, and great sketchbook too... :)