[WARNING - Mild Spoilery for people who haven't read Peter V. Brett's "The Painted Man" and "The Desert Spear"]
This is probably my first written credential, however big or small it may seem!
It is an entry in ‘Create a Coreling Contest’, run by Peter V. Brett – the author of the best-selling novel series ‘The Demon Cycle’. First for those who are not familiar with the story (shame on you if this is so) The Demon Cycle follows a set of rich point-of-view characters that all are subject to vicious demons that rise every night; as they cannot abide sunlight. They feast on the living, delighting in devouring all life that come across their path – but humans have learned they can be warded by magical symbols called ‘Wards’. There are many different kinds of demons, or ‘Corelings’, from sand demons who prowl the desert; to wind demons who scour the skies.
Although this is just an entry for fun, I wanted to explain my idea behind ‘Hive Demons’ – a similar process that is within my art. For my entry i decided that i wouldn’t use images, although this can perceived as ‘lazy’ I thought it would not compliment the whole idea behind them. As fear is mostly subjective, visual ‘scariness’ is not as powerful as the written imagining of it - because there is a disconnect between what looks ‘scary’ and what actually is ‘scary’.
So after justifying medium, how do you go about imagining up a demon?
I thought to myself; what do i find creepy and sinister? Insects. I find insects very sinister indeed – the amount of them, the way they move, their overall nature having negative connotations. But the fact is demons or corelings by their very nature are insect-like for many of the reasons I have just described. I thought more carefully about the things that make insect sinister.
Their movement: for most people i imagine, the way insects move is creepiest. The movement is mostly achieved through their vertebrae, so lets add that to this demon!
I then went about breaking down the function of a possible demon, to constructing their capabilities – and how these can be manipulated to make them advantageous.
I thought the breeding nature of insects and demons as confirmed in ‘The Desert Spear’ – mind demons refer to the core as ‘The Hive’. Surely there must be a demon which controls the breeding… so let’s add that!
I then thought about how it could connect to the story, thinking about how to retrofit it to some facts that are left purposefully unresolved – e.g. the human-like demon depicted in the ruins of Anok Sun.
And hey, presto! Hive Demons…
Peter V. Brett’s Official Website
This entry is from Luke Fielding, who has done some stunning fan art in the past. You can check out more of Luke’s work on his website. Here he has painted a demon with his words … and it is just as terrifying as his pictures.
Hive Demons (aka: false demon, the deceiver, snake demons)
These demons go by many names but Hive Demon is one that is widely accepted. This rare humanoid demon, control the breeding within the core. Hive demons rarely come to the surface, as like Mind Demons they cannot abide the false sun (the moon) – hence their name.
Hive demons, although powerful, have no thick protective armour. They have fine light-brown scales, a protection vulnerable to unwarded attacks. Their scales naturally disables offensive warding, making cutting wards and such like it useless. Hive Demons have large lidless onyx eyes and three rows of sharp, small teeth.
Hive demons have been known to come to the surface during the previous Sharak Kar as depicted in the ruins of Anok Sun. Because these demons are human-like in appearance at first sight, they have used this fact to penetrate the human ranks – killing from within. They are slightly taller than an average human, ranging upwards of six feet. Although humanoid in appearance, this demon has a special vertebrae that can help it bend easily in any direction – advantageous as the higher capillaries in the hive have passageways only just big enough for a fire demon. This vertebra extends into an extra, powerful appendage – with the power to hold its own weight. Due to this fact they were nicknamed ‘snake demons’ to those of the old world.
Hive demons have a dislike for human flesh, delighting on vicariously experiencing pain of their ancient enemy – an experience provided for them by Mind Demons. Its meals consist of weak offspring but they do not necessarily need to eat to survive. After the return, Hive demons have kept to the core, concentrating on the breeding within the hive. When the demon lords decide, they will join their kin on the surface – to unleash the dormant combative power of their nature.
Yikes! I wouldn’t want to run into those guys. There is still time to submit your own terrifying coreling. Have your demonic words or pictures in by May 18th, 2012. Check out the guidelines and prizes here.