skull beasts


#1

it’s been a while since i’ve drawn anything new, so these are all old drawings (sorry) but i’m curious if anyone would be interested in creatures that either have skulls for heads, or wear skull masks. if you’ve seen me around wolfhome you’ve probably seen my character, twiggy, who wears a skull mask:

here’s some other critters i’ve drawn with them:

i know they appear kind of sinister, but i’ve always thought of them as kind of peaceful, or sacred objects. twiggy’s has paint on hers to signify her ownership of the mask, and her connection to it. my ideas for twiggy and her mask have changed over the years, but initially, my thoughts for her is that she wears it when she’s feeling self-conscious or weak. the mask makes her feel strong and brave and she can face her fears when wearing it. it has since become something that she can meld into, the mask becomes a part of her and transforms her into a different creature (in this case it’s sort of a shadow demon-esque spirit type thing that is in my signature. here’s another example:

)

so my questions are:

  1. do you think this would fit into the lore here?
  2. if yes, what would the function of the skull be? is it merely a mask creatures wear, is it a part of them/their head, or a mix of both? if it’s a mask, could creatures wear different kinds (for example, could a fox wear a deer mask?)
  3. would the markings have any significance, or would they merely be decoration? for example, would an elder creature have more markings on their skull than a younger creature? would a baby have an unblemished skull?
  4. is there a specific type of creature you’d like to see with one, or would it be better as a character-by-character basis?

i’d love to hear thoughts on this since i love animal skulls and i love drawing them. i’m sorry i don’t have any more recent art or any character designs to show at this time, but if this is something people are interested in i’d love to start drawing some.

edit: added another piece of art i forgot about oops.


#2

I love this idea! I think they could be decorated with various flowers from Louloudia even, the skulls I mean.
I like the idea of the mask, it could be a sort of a culture the animals take part in even? Like when they reach certain ages and reach certain milestones - they could gain more decorations, etc. We could work this into an ARPG kind of idea as well if wanted? Like draw your character doing x action so they can get BLANK decoration? Just an idea!
Excited to see what others think about this.


#3

i was definitely thinking flowers and/or leaves (or any sort of plant) could play into the skull, too! i just had the idea of a skull with mushrooms and moss growing out of it, i think that’d be cool.

i’m definitely more interested in the idea being character-based skull-masks rather than species-based, but the idea of a species that has a skull for a head is neat to me, too. the idea of there being a culture around it is really neat!

if they’re a mask, maybe they could wield special powers depending on what someone puts on their mask (a certain paint design allows them to transform, or brings a sense of peace to the wearer, or strengthens and heals the body, or something.) i guess it depends on what the limitations are.


#4

These are so pretty!!! I love the deer one <3


#5

creatures with skulls on them have always fascinated me! Twiggy is one of those characters. I like the route you’re going down with this, I think with enough brainstorming and thought we can think of something together to help them perhaps fit into the lore of Louloudia.

I could envision something along the lines of shape-shifting creatures that wear these masks. Let’s say a deer or an elk. Lore wise, if the spirit wanted to change forms, it could find remains/the skull of another creature and apply the mask to themselves, then over time morphing into some hybrid of the mask combined with them. I dunno, just brainstorming. Personally I’d be interested in seeing some type of skull-headed creatures here! Thank you for offering this idea :hboptimistic:


#6

I like the mushroom/moss with the skull mask idea. Its less sinister and more friendly to biology side of forests. Isn’t there a quote around the net somewhere?

“Without life, there is no death. Without death, there is no life”

These creatures could promote health into the forest by using the decaying/dying life forms and harvesting it within themselves as a means to recycle. Just a thought and some ideas to go with the lore :slight_smile:


#7

I absolutely love the idea of having them on the chat. Adding these traits to them would make it easier to have different varieties.


#8

that’s a really cool idea!

thanks for all the comments, guys. i’m gonna keep this stuff in mind next time i draw. i’ll try to have something more updated soon so i can come up with a proper species suggestion thing instead of just my random thought-dump.


#9

that is a nice way to see it, eth!!

i really like them and i think we can find a way to wiggle them into the lore too, im excited to see what else you come up with twiggy


#10

I love this idea, especially if it were character-based. I absolutely adore the thought that of the masks being something for creatures to use as a means to build themselves up when they’re feeling fragile or weak. I feel like these masks could definitely be some type of cultural celebration too.

as for it feeling somewhat sinister, Louloudia does not have to be a strict place of peace when it comes to lore or the creatures that dwell there. entertaining the idea of having darker creatures or even those that hide in the shadows is entirely welcome, so please feel free to play with that idea if you’d like to.

thank you for sharing this idea, I think that these masks could have a really special place here.


#11

ohhh yay, i’m glad! i’ll try to come up with some more designs/ideas soon. i haven’t drawn in a really long time so i’m pretty rusty, plus a lot of materials have since disappeared/dried out. but regardless, as soon as i manage to finish some more drawings i’ll post them here.

eta:
i did some quick brainstorming for some ideas for the lore/culture to maybe play with:

  1. for a more cultural approach: potentially there is an “elder mask” that the oldest member of a group wears. it can be “earned”/passed down from elder to elder, or it can be that member’s own personal mask that is then decorated/put through some sort of ritual/initiation. they are heavily decorated, often with old/faded paint (and new painted over top), string, grass, leaves, feathers, beads, etc. basically anything. regardless if they are passed down or their own mask, the mask is made unique with different decorations.

  2. for a more magical/potentially sinister approach: a mask/some types of masks are capable of “corrupting” the wearer. maybe the masks have magical/spiritual powers of some sort (healing powers, or the feelings creatures get when wearing them are in part due to the mask’s energy or power, and not just a placebo-esque effect.) some masks maybe have darker energy than others and those are the ones capable of corrupting, or every mask can corrupt. the process is the same either way: wear the mask too long and you risk it becoming a part of you/you it, unable to be separated.

however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. either. some masks may have a more positive energy (or rather, if the wearer has a positive energy and wants to use their power for good rather than bad) and the wearer, while still turning into something else, becomes a “good” spirit (for lack of a better term) rather than a bad one. they still can’t turn back, and perhaps part of their “being” gets stripped away so they still change, but they do no harm.


#12

that is the raddest thing i have ever heard

the second option gave me the shudders but i love the idea of it just as much as the first!!!


#13

OKAY SO i’ve read through all of this a couple times now and i have to say i really like the idea of the masks “corrupting” its wearer. I wasn’t entirely sure about having an actual “skull beast” as a species per say, but i thought this idea would be really nice in the swampy/dismal areas of Louloudia. Perhaps maybe there could be a “skull tribe” of mystics who have their own lore & purposes for the skulls they wear, they could be vague or detailed, really, depending on how much time you (or we) would like to spend on their lore that way!

these were just some of my thoughts on this!! i love this idea, though, i definitely think it could be something to build on in the future, too.


#14

I love the idea of a more grotesque aspect to the species of our world. And their inhabiting the swamps or run down forests would be very cool. Perhaps they were the skulls to represent those lives lost in the specific areas they live. Maybe they have a specific, almost eerie, connection to the spiritual domain.

I like the idea of the skulls/masks becoming a part of their being over time.


#15

ahh those are all super cool ideas! i love the idea of them being swamp-dwellers, too. that really fits with the vibe, i think. and them having a special/eerie connection to the spirit world/domain would be super cool. like, maybe they’re not spirits themselves, but they’re something close to it, kind of liminal creatures between the living world and the spirit world? and if they wear their masks too long then they creep closer to the spirit world, or something like that.

i keep meaning to post drawings here - i will soon when i get some time!


#16

i love it, the idea of them being in the “in between” kinda, very cool ideas & concepts here. I would really really really super duper love to see more concept art!! i might have to do some doodling later myself…


#17

I really really like that concept ^!!!


#18

I looove things involving bones and plants and oddities and I can think of a lot of reasons why these would be great for Louloudia. I definitely like these!


#19

i’d really love to see these fleshed out at some point in the future, i might do some conceptual work for them, i really love this idea still!!


#20

i really really REALLY like the cultural side of this and also the possible corruption side of this… aaa