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[Malazan Fanart] Karsa Orlong

By DeathriS
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The Killer of Kings and Gods, one of the most ultimate badasses in the Malazan series - to the point of being a bit overpowered: Karsa Orlong. :D

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© 2015 - 2021 DeathriS
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iksaxophone's avatar
I like the style, but I'm not buying the Toblakai descent in this interpretation.
Absolutely love the sword though. Haven't seen a better one.

This looks like my old boss actually. Kinda scary.
DeathriS's avatar
O.o Your old boss must've been a very... distinctive man. :D

I've always wondered how to show the Toblakai descent actually - Toblakai are said to be human like, yet not enough differences are present apart from their size. Ublala Pung is of Tarthenal descent (Tarthenals stemming from the Thel Akai, which were also predecessors of the Toblakai) and apart from having 4 lungs, he's also mentioned to have a joined sternum - a sort of a row of horizontal ribs midway through his chest instead of a normal ribcage. But, apart from that, I haven't encountered a lot of other overt physical peculiarities (on the outside at least) that would make a Toblakai distinct.

It is, of course, possible, I missed a passage here and there that mentions them having 6 fingers or something like that, but... Eh. :D

Glad you enjoyed it though ^_^ More constructive criticism will be appreciated, especially if you can point specific Toblakai features that I've missed! :)
iksaxophone's avatar
Yeaaaaaaah, distinctive is one way to put it. XD

This is a really good picture, and I don't think it's missing anything obvious...ahhh, if I were a decent artist I would do it myself....the problem I have is the face. This is a personal thing: Erikson never describes a Toblakai's or a Teblor's face in the Book of the Fallen. My issue therefore is not factually based. He does cover Imass, Jaghut, and Tiste faces though, which each of features distinct from humans. Toblakai are of a similar age to those races, and I imagine they would have some interestingly non-human structures (especially given the other anatomical differences).

This is also a larger philosophical thing about the whole sci-fi/fantasy idea that other species all look like humans with different bodies, or pointy ears if they're lucky. I mean, Teblor descended from an utterly inhuman species- why should they look anything like us?
Same goes of course for, I don't know, Vulcans, dwarves, elves, Guild Steersman (Dune), etc., etc. That's all I'm getting.

My current project (long in the making and probably long in the coming) is on Jaghut. I'm trying to build a unique facial anatomy for them by using mammoth's a base.

I'm just being extreeeeeeeeemely nerdy. Don't mind me.
DeathriS's avatar
heh, no problem :D

I dunno, the faces of Teblor and Toblakai are really not described in detail but I guess I just saw them as human-ish in my mind... Not surprizing, really, human bias and all that :D

Of course, what this lack of concrete depiction in the book means is that, until source material is found/released/unearthed from Erikson's garage and secret note stash (whichever comes first), the Toblakai are pretty much open for interpretation and every version of them is 'correct'. It's just that, I've chosen this one.

Although, I dunno, there's something about it that bugs me as well and it's around the head area. The name itself reminded me of something slightly Mongolian and I kinda wanted to give Karsa an oriental look, I just have to retouch it a little bit.
iksaxophone's avatar
Huh, I looked up Mongol names and you're right.
I sense an influence on Erikson...especially with places and people in Seven…

You might be onto something.
DeathriS's avatar
Thinking about it now, maybe the closes comparison between a normal human and a Toblakai would be like comparing a Warhammer 40k space marine with a regular human...
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