This is an idea I had a while back after seeing the mimic octopus on a nature documentary ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimic_octopus ) for an experimental terror of the Sunken World – a shape-changing Thulhid assassin. These creatures are fortunately few in number; the product of the Thulhid scientists experimenting on their own kind.
Once an assassin has slain a human (or humanoid) and consumed their flesh it can change its form to be an identical copy of the unfortunate victim. I imagine it can only form crude-looking clothing though there is always the stolen clothing of the victim and perhaps other clothing can be acquired by their slaves or even Thulhid-worshippers.
Another page of characters from the Sunken World. These are slave guards who accompany the Gurgus (an amphibious race of fish-men bred to interact with humans; acting as merchants, ambassadors and slave traders). These creatures were inspired by blobfish (Psychrolutes Marcidus) and handfish (Brachionichthyidae ); I had previously doodled them in May 2011 with my Thulhid designs.
The humans and other races that the Thulhids prey upon are enslaved by having horrid magically-modified crustaceans attached to their necks that allow the Thulhids to control the host telepathically. The stress from this eventually means the host dies; so periodically the Thulhids and their fish-men servants need to acquire more slaves.
Here are two bounty hunter or mercenary characters I’ve been drawing on an off for years and I decided they’d fit nicely into the Sunken World environment. On the left is a race I’m currently calling Raktos; spikey-headed people with a sinister reputation for sorcery which is sometimes justified. The other is an Yrdin; a troglodytic race whose cavernous dwellings were flooded when the world was inundated with water from the invading Thulhids.
Updated 2012 with names derived from Jeremy Unitt’s ideas!
Here are some ideas I’ve been working on for non-human races living in my Sunken World. (Apart from the giant manatee-like Tritons and the fish-men and Thulids.)
First we have a red gollum-like goblinoid. I’m not quite sure about these guys yet, they’ll need a bit of work before I’m happy with them. I think maybe as well as the horns on the top of their heads they could have extravagant hairstyles depending on their affiliations (scribes, messengers or technologists).
And then I have a humanoid pangolin or armadillo like race. These are based on ideas I did for a Warcraft 3 race which I animated in 3DSMax 4 many moons ago. I liked them and wanted to put them into one of my fantasy worlds.
Finally is a djinn or demonic fellow. I wanted to draw a different kind of race than your usual elves and dwarves (not that I mind them) and this guy seemed to fit. I’m not sure about his head (looks a bit too much like a Githyanki). I like the skull, very much like Zanbar Bone from Fighting Fantasy City Of Thieves (a great cover by Iain McCaig). The second version has a face based on a jade votive axe head from Mexico (a postcard of which I have from the British Museum).