I’ve spent the last few nights cranking out more of the monster doodles to get them ready for the harrowlands site and future game-play. It seems I can get two or three done in a night when I have time to sit for a while, I’d guess each one takes me about an hour to sketch, ink, and color.
So far, I have fourteen monsters drawn out. I made my way through all of the walkers (undead), and am into the wargs (bestial and trollish monsters). I’d guess I have another 40-50 to go before I get through the current catalog of monsters. I probably won’t try to do those all at once, but space them out with other content and get a few done every week.
Hungry dead: ghoul, vampyr, barrow wight
Lonely dead: draug, mummy, wraith
Grieving dead: ankou, banshee, revenant
Cold ones: fekst, white maiden, valraven
Teeming: orco, red cap
As I complete each drawing, I am uploading a portrait and thumbnail to the site. When all of the monsters are completed, I’ll convert the existing pages to show a thumbnail of each one next to their description.
Having the illustrations completed will make it a lot easier for me to work on making the custom moves, mannerisms, and precautions for each monster. This will allow me to have a whole library of monsters ready to go for any game. Creating my own monster manual has been a fantasy of mine since I was a kid, so I have the added benefit of making 9-year-old Matt very happy.
There are many books on the legends of bloodthirsty warriors filled with such rage that they fight like wild animals and can slough off blows from weapons that would kill any normal human, but there are far fewer tales of the type of warrior–or killer to be more precise–who through sheer cold detached brutality become so adept at taking life, they exude an aura of invincibility. When such a person is mortally wounded, if their hubris and will be strong enough, they become a Gangr known as a Fekst, or Fext.
The Fekst is an impervious revenant, immune to all martial weapons. They tend to continue on in death as in life, becoming unstoppable soldiers, warriors, or generals. The Fekst is devoid of all empathy and emotion, but for pride. They see themselves as better than all others and stronger than death itself. They have one purpose, to conquer and defeat enemies without mercy. All who are in their way are put to the sword: soldiers, prisoners, civilians, and even allies.
There is but one way to kill a Fekst. One must shoot it with an unusual projectile, such as a button, a stone, or a piece of glass. The throwaway quality of the projectile and its uselessness is what makes it a suitable weapon against the Fekst, for these cold-hearted and disdainful monsters are superior to all and only the most symbolically insignificant weapons may do them harm.
Though the Fekst’s complete lack of humanity and seeming invulnerability would be sure tells of its monstrous nature to the observant weirder, there are a number of tales where men followed a Fekst into battle believing him to be protected by the gods. However, the longer a Fekst exists in its un-dead state, the more grayed and stretched it’s demeanor becomes, until there is no possible way to hide its true being.