You asked what kind of creature this might be. I would suggest it could be an amphibia like creature that lives in caves, maybe watercaves under the sea. Anyway, it looks kind of interessting. You really seem to have a great imagination. Good work!!!
"the holy"(hiero) + "naus"(ship)"nautes"(sailor). so this sort of needs to be plausible, if you stick with the - admittedly rather cool - name. So, the name could either be attributed to it by observers (i.e. humans and other sentient races) or it needs to describe its function within its own society. Any number of reasons could be plausible here, e.g. the travelling patterns on its birthing or dying places (much like a pilrgrimage, and hence the "hiero" part of the name) or some sailors first witnessing the luminous birthing grounds (as in, for example, it spreads its young-egg in a sand bank which becomes bio-luminous due to any number of plausible reasons) near a place identified as holy and hence the name sticking ever since, albeit rather mistakenly. Or it could be a social function (more on this later). so, its obviously aquatic, about 50' long judging from the relative size of the dentures and the biological structure plausibility of its body, and it evidently exhibits characteristics of adverse marine biological groups (like lobster-carapace, tentacles, multiple eyes, shark-like fins, anemone-like luminous appendages, etc). So, based on this appearance and its name, it could be something like this: an organism birthed in great numbers in a weak anemone-like form (the luminous sand banks of birth etc) and gently "herded" by its parent to gradually consume and imprint other forms of aquatic life, perhaps even land-based as well), as it is some sort of creature that absorbs and utilizes genetic advantages from diverse life-groups (an overplayed trope, but a good one if done well). So, the "parent", like the one depicted here, are the ones who actually managed to survive this "quest" so to speak, of absorbing traits and defeating antagonistic creatures, and thus managed to evolve into something formidable. Playing the game flow ( [link] ) would absolutely get the idea of consuming-evolving in you head. So, in a sense, this "congregation" of younglings, this veritable flock of lesser creatures guided by a greater one of their own race could be interpreted as some sort of holy-guidance-towards-evolution arrangement, and thus the name "hieronaut" becomes applicable. It could be known because of someone of this species once acquiring characteristics of speaking mammals (i.e. humans) and emerging into the world (possibly in a relatively small island society) as some sort of "propher" for its racial evolution. You can really go anywhere you want after a while, the chaining of ideas carries you on. So, that, i hope it helps. And, dude, mind if i steal this for my campaign P btw, i like your attitude about fantasy monsters, yes, they should be justified and plausible and detailed, the appreviative player/reader will appreciate this.
Many thanks for the highly detailed suggestions and thoughts about the creature. Interesting ideas. I have now posted the creature and a description of it at the blog: [link] I hope it still deserves its name.
If I could be one as to make a suggestion for a description...
Based upon your description you already posted, this beasty would be a marine animal, likely very large - ranging in size between about ten feet tall to at least almost Godzilla-like in height. Based upon the color of the landcape I'd have to say that its marine origins lie somewhere beneath the arctic. It would be a large and hungry carnivore whose metabolism means that it doesn't have to eat very often but will be forced to ravage the surrounding countryside once every set period of time in order to get the proper nutrients it needs. Its fins on its back could be used either for attracting a mate or to intimidate rivals in its territory due to its need to feed over a wide area. Its tentacles could be used for grasping prey and pulling it into its mouth as its tremendous arms could likely do little in the way of feeding save for crushing food into a gooey paste...
That sound good? By the way, this is a great picture. I love the color scheme - it matches the marine theme very well.
Wow, where do you get all ideas from anyway! This looks really interesting. Large underwater monster with tentacly thingies on it's... tail. Are those to lure pray in close underneath it so it easily can attack and kill it? I like the colours!
Do you mind if I ask: are you self-taught, and do you know of any useful resources for learning techniques in digital painting? Someday I'd love to put my ideas into fantastic illustrations like these. They're always good fun to look it!
It looks fantastic!! Although it's pretty clearly an enormous aquatic creature, I could also see it swooping through the air, or at least leaping out of the water and soaring over a ship full of potential victims!
And are those tendrils on its tail something like a jellyfish's? Maybe it can paralyze it's prey or poison them with them.
Anyways, it's fascinating. I can't wait to see what it turns into!