Elaphe the Nguruwhattu Picture

Oh look, more monsters! This time, though, it's one from my own brain and kind of a specific character too. The Nguruvilu is actually a real mythological creature, but Wikipedia (... and the rest of the internet) only offered one short paragraph stub on them, with the fleeting physical description of "... a river-dwelling creature [that] looks much like a strange fox, with a long body, similar to a snake, and a long tail with fingernails that it uses like a claw; but it's a water-being. Nguruvilus live in and are the cause of dangerous whirlpools which kill people who try to cross rivers" ... and no images.

I decided that it all sounded like a really cool idea for something and used it as an excuse to further "invent" and flesh out the species as I imagined they might be. Thus, the following blurbs happened:

"The Nguruvilu (or "Fox Snake") originates from the native Mapuche mythology in Chilean folklore. They are an aquatic, river dwelling species which boasts a long history of surviving in the human world, conjuring whirlpools to antagonize (or even drown) swimmers and feeding off the fear it produces. Legend dictates that the only way to rid a river crossing of the animal is for a blessed shaman to snare and threaten them with a knife, banishing the creature further down the current, never to return.

There is an unfortunate grain of truth to the mythos, as all Nguruvilu are born with a curious and largely inexplicable fear of sharp or knife-like objects, but beyond the necessity of sustaining themselves on human terror, they are, in fact, a fairly passive species. Most individuals prefer to live quietly around whirlpools or freshwater riverbeds, and rarely venture far from the shore unless absolutely necessary. Like true foxes, they are omnivorous feeders, subsisting for the most part on fish, bivalves, and crustaceans, with the addition of local fruits, vegetables, or even small mammals if they can access them easily. The highest Human World concentration remains around Chile and South America, Nguruvilu can survive in any moderately temperate (ie: no arctic conditions) region around the globe... though most surviving current day have relocated to [RP relevant world lol].

Adults, on average, measure approximately six feet from nose to tail, but may grow as long as eight, and typically weigh 30-40 pounds depending on bulk. On land, though they can strike quickly and move with short bursts of speed, their proportionally small legs make extended travel difficult, clumsy, and eventually very exhausting-- but in the water, the Nguruvilu becomes a completely different locomotive animal. Their swimming ability far exceeds any land-ambling in speed and grace, cutting through the current with a quick undulating motion somewhere between that of an otter, a crocodile, a snake and a seal. Their lungs can process oxygen both in water and on land with equal efficiency.

Fur patterning can range across a wide spectrum of various serpents, though most come in various shades of blue, brown, or beige, regardless, with spine membranes or "sails" sporting a brightly colored eyespot for various display and scaring purposes. Most rely on the brute strength of their prehensile tail claw to drag victims under, but very rarely, venomous mutations may also occur."

Elaphe's own design is based on a banded sea krait coloration wise mostly because I think they're just friggin' cool. His proportions are still somewhat flexible in rendering (... I've drawn him a lot more since this initial work), but he's about 3 feet long in total, if that gives a sense of scale to him, with maybe 6 inches of ground clearance. His ribcage is probably about 4-5 inches in diameter at its widest, and I'd say he's... maybe 8-10 pounds despite already having hit puberty. In short, he's a runt, and it's given him a hilarious small-dog/Napoleon complex.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Character and particular species interpretation are mine, please don't yank the image, et cetera, et cetera.
Sophie and Meredy :)
2008 August 16 Torii Dusk
Elaphe the Nguruwhattu
KHAL941 - Year Of The Rabbit