Okay, back from my brief break.
I'm also trying to kinda call in advance how long each update will take, or at least how much time I'm planning on investing in it. This should be a fairly small and simple update, so it'll hopefully only take two or three weeks to finish, and then I'll make an update with whatever I have and move on to the next poll. I've been talking forever about how I want to make posting updates and running polls a lot more snappy, so, uh, here is an attempt at that.
It's an Amduscias scholar, floating about. Above the waist, he's a well-muscled unicorn-man, having grey-brown fur and amber eyes. There's a length of silvery chain wrapped in an intricate interlocking pattern across his shoulders and chest, the chains making a muted jingling when he shifts. He's wearing a mess of shredded skirts, fabric gathered up in tighter curls across his hips and abs and then billowing out in overlapping layer on layer, hanging to what would be about mid-calf. But they ultimately open into nothing, just billowing around his body as he levitates about, though rarely they'll catch as if pressed against his hips or thighs, outlining illusory flesh.
He's reading a book, and a half-dozen other tomes orbit around him in an interlocking configuration.
You come across an Asakku.
He's a giant of a man, who would tower head-and-shoulders over the average human. His muscular, with a bloated belly. His skin is leathery and callused all over, almost rhino-like in its heavy, stiff layers. His hide peaks up into blunt horns across his shoulders, down his back, and across his forearms. His skin thickens even further at his hands and feet, grey-brown hide turning mottled black, and his nails are dusty black talons.
His face is a mess, with sharp horns bursting out from his brows, eye sockets, cheeks; it's impossible to tell if he ever had eyes or nose, or if they're simply lost in the gnarled growth. His mouth is a mess of jagged, snarled tusks. His head and hands are wreathed in a pale, rippling fire that billows up like candle flames.
- Crystal golem
There's a massive crystal golem, laboring.
It's made from black crystal, roughly humanoid, and it grinds and cracks as it moves. Its hands and feet are more like pegs, thinning as they extend from its bulk. What it does the lifting with is something like a ribcage and something like a mouth, that tears open across its chest. Under its surface there are flecks of red that catch the light, channeled together in something like a skeleton. The crystal becomes nearly-opaque only a few inches deep.
It's impossible to tell if it can think or talk; if it can, it's not in any hurry to tell you.
- Feral hellhound
It's a feral hellhound.
There's a shape there, but your eye slides off it. It's an opening into a realm with too many angles, one that unfolds into vista after vista, spreading out to infinity. There's a border to the opening, but it's amorphous, beating like a heart, ringing like a skull. It stretches out everywhere, in all directions. There's a blossoming of parts: eyes and teeth and tongues, spilling out into fleshy trees, forming heaving caves like the inside of of a collapsing lung, burrowing in the ground like roots, and yet as far as it spans it never seems to reach anywhere.
It's difficult to parse what you're looking at.
A mighty Humbaba-beast.
He stands on two legs, but runs on all fours. His entire body is coarsely haired, with thick wedges of spiny scales surfacing between the hair in chunky curves across his shoulders, sides, and hips. His hands are immense paws, like a lion's, and his feet are massive talons, like a vulture. He has a pair of wickedly-sharp horns jutting out from his head, swept forward so that he could gore his prey with a savage charge. His tail lashes behind him, covered in scales, and the tip ends with a snake's head, twisting and licking at the air.
His body is covered in brilliant, billowing auras, casting strange light all across the ground, illuminating it with his multi-colored radiances.
- Nature spirit
He's a centaur, with the lower body of a powerful draft horse. He has a pair of massive tined antlers sprouting from his head, wreathed in flowering ivy. His skin is a dark tan, and his coat and hair are shaggy blond, with darker dapples across his flanks and the back of his head. There are coils of thorny vines wound across his shoulders and arms, biting into his flesh. He smells almost oppressively floral, with a heady aroma of nectar surrounding him.
It's a nightmare. The horse kind.
It's a giant, muscular stallion, about 19 hands high. Its coat is a glossy, shining black, and its mane spills across its head and down its neck as a torrent of flame; its tail is fiery as well. It's shod with red-hot iron, and it leaves flaming hoofprints in its wake. Its eyes are burning red.
- Paper rook
The loose pages are folded into the shapes of birds. They perch on the high shelves and make dry, rustling caws. Sometimes they rise in a chorus, sending sheaves of poorly-balanced paper toppling down the shelves in an avalanche; sometimes when this happens a fresh rook rises up from the torrent to meet the flock.
The water churns before the sahagin surfaces.
He's roughly bipedal, with elongated webbed feet that could never walk on land, and hands to match. He has a broad tail with a wide fin at the tip, constantly lashing and churning the water around him. His eyes are twin circles, flat yellow and gleaming. He's covered in greenish scales, a muddier color across his chest and underbelly. His mouth is vast and full of thick triangular teeth, serrated along the edge. Fins sprout from his body: framing his face, sprouting from the outer sides of his forearms and legs, and with one long crest down his back, tapering to lapped scales just below the base of his tail.
There's a shadow here. It has cut off its owner, if it ever had one, and now stands on its own two feet. It's a black silhouette from every angle, an opening into a realm of darkness cut out of the world.
It's dimly humanoid, or like a humanoid-shaped thing in a nightmare: proportions all wrong, hands that are gigantic talons, feet growing into monstrous paws. Spikes erupt from its body like the claws of some strange beast, reaching out from the darkness; some look like they speared it through, jutting through its arms or legs or head.
- Shadow mage
There's a shadow mage here.
He's ghoulishly pale, white skin webbed with dark veins, blue-black blood clear under his skin. His shadow has wrapped itself around his body and sunk in teeth. It scours him like a burn, covering him in splashes and streaks, coating nearly the entire left half of his body. Where it feeds it has grown substance and form, teeth and eyes and tongues in grotesque relief, full of zigzag curves and whorling circles, dots of red eyes in lines and curves within the deepest folds of shadow. His shadow-burn splashes across his face, and his left eye has become a burning circle of pure red.
- Suited demon
A demon encased in a heavy, rubbery suit. It's not entirely clear if the suit is part of it.
It's demonic in shape: legs with an elongated ankle, like an animal's, with a leathery, reptilian clawed paw for a foot; a twining spade-tipped tail; and hands that end in sharp, shining claws -- but all sheathed in the clinging material of its suit, outlining every curve of its musculature. Its head is obscured: the suit has a helmet, and the upper half of it is clear and bubble-like, but the inside is full of a dense red gas, constantly fuming, and nothing can be seen within.
The suit itself is off-white, marred with ash and black streaks, with parts of the material etched in blotches as if from acid. There are pearls of fire embedded forcefully into the suit -- there are scars and burn marks surrounding each one -- and the only reason why they couldn't be interpreted as more damage is the regularity of their placement: three around the mound of their shoulders, connected in a circle, and a line down the inside of each arm, ending with a fat, burning lozenge in the palm of their hands; and then a more complex geometric design in loops and circles down their chest, with pearls on each pectoral, the outside of the hips, the crotch, and then down their legs to the ankle.
- Tarpit demon
Demons crawl up from the tailing sludge. They're so slathered with tar and grit it's hard to make out their shape, or if they're not just formed entirely from sludge.
They have a shape beneath, though: this one is a mangy rat-shark demon, with his rasping hide slathered in filth and his wormlike, curling rat-tail cutting lines through the inky murk. He has the head of a feral, diseased rat, with bloodshot, frenzied eyes and yellow teeth; and heaving gills down his sides, thickly-rumpled frills that flutter and thump as they strain to filter out the ooze he's immersed in; with a wormy rat-tail, knotted over itself in kinked snarls.
An ugallu-demon. A demon of days; they are lion-headed and bipedal, with vast wings and clawing talons for feet. This one is a crackling thunderstorm: it's bursting with blue-white electricity, streaming in rivulets down its body.
It's hugely muscular, with thickly-vascular skin visible through its sparse greyish fur. Its mane wreaths its head in a fuzzy halo. Its fur covers its entire body, gathering in thicker tufts across its chest and shoulders, but painted beneath that, in thick lines across its muscular hide, are vivid tattoos in an electric blue, glowing with the crackle of its lightning. Its wings keep it aloft, spinning out electrified dust devils with each flap.
A unicorn is grazing in the glade.
Its coat is a shining white, with silvery dapples across its haunches. Its hooves and teeth are both silvery as well. Its horn is made from translucent crystal, twisted like a conch shell, and glows faintly. There's a rippling hum that follows it wherever it goes.
An ethereal demon. Its body is hazy, shrouded in a constant layer of scintillating gas -- rainbow colored as it spills up its form, drawing out into flamelike points at its shoulders, or on the tips of its horns.
It's got a humanoid upper body; at the waist it fans apart into dozens of fat, churning tentacles. Its entire body is covered in thick, rubbery skin, with a gasoline-like sheen to the flesh.
Its upper body, though humanoid, is very inhuman: it has three eyes in its face, no nose, and no mouth. It has two horns, sweeping upward in dramatic points, but they're shaped like octopus tentacles, complete with fat pulsating suckers. Its arms are more like tentacles: too-long for its body, branching at erratic, asymmetrical intervals down their length, each split braided into the main mass until its 'hands' are simply the disparate tentacle-tips all fanning out.
The haze seems to seep out of its rubbery skin, billowing up its body in ripples and folds. Until you get close, it has the overall appearance of being a colorless, rippling flame.
You come across a zombie.
It's a thing that was at one point a dead body. Its muscles are overgrown, and it moves with a shambling, inhuman gait. Its skin is a faded grey, and streaked with ash and silt.
There's a squirming thing wrapped around its head, all leathery purple-black flesh: a central mass that covers its face and then long octopus-like tentacles that fan out across its shoulders and back.
Its tentacles trail down its body, clamped tight to the skin like grotesquely-gigantic veins. They bite deep under the skin across its shoulders, chest, and back, the skin around them piled up into dark, oozing bruises. Its grey skin blossoms into vivid bruises where the bones are close to the surface: purple, green, and yellow tinges down its spine, at its elbows and knees. Glowing green fluid pulses in its veins, feeding its muscles with unnatural energy. A single loose tentacle extends from its face like an enormous proboscis, tapering in wormlike rings to a squirming tip, slavering with shed ichor.
- Zombie Hierophant
It's a zombie hierophant. It's bigger even than a regular zombie, body swollen with muscle to grotesque proportions; it shambles around gorilla-like, using its knuckles, its arms oversized even compared to the rest of its giant body.
Its skin is grey and ichorous, and its flesh is thickly webbed with bulging veins, glowing green, giving it a sickly illumination. Sunk into the flesh of its meaty back are big glass tubes filled with concentrated green ooze, six of them in pairs of three, below its shoulderblades going down its back. They whirr and gurgle sometimes, pumping more ooze into its flesh.
Like a regular zombie, it's got a squirming tentacle-thing covering its head, a mess of shuddering purple-black flesh. But where a regular zombie has only a dozen-or-so tentacles, all clamped to its flesh, this has dozens upon dozens, so much so that its head resembles something like a sea urchin: a mess of tentacles sticking stiffly out in all directions, waving like fronds. They ooze tarry black slime, sheening down its neck and chest, coating its flesh in streams.