A Commission for murky-depths13.deviantart.com/
The authors' description:
"Triphons are one of the dominant sentient races on the densely inhabited ring planet Sor’. Unlike earth’s sentient race humans, Triphons have not traded in as much of their own physical capability for intelligence, due to their immensely dangerous home world. That is to say unlike humans who since achieving sentience are now physically frail creatures, Triphons are fast and agile sprinters, are armed with razor sharp claws and posses a raptor like head containing four rows of dagger sharp teeth – although they do not have an immensely large cranium in their skull as a result of this, their brains are still large due to the fact they extend all the way down their necks, wrapping around the base of their spinal chords.
These ruthless creatures live a nomadic lifestyle on the edge of the bizarre, predator infested forest covering most of Sor’. Large heavily fortified war camps are set up whilst the Triphons “harvest” the forest – that is to say suck it bare of life and resources. When they have drained all resources from a large area of forest, they reduced it to ash, pick up their war camps on wheeled platforms and move them miles in towards the newly created forest edge and the cycle repeats. Over a slow process they are wiping the planet bare leaving only a barren wasteland in their wake, although rumour has it large settlements lie on the other side of the wasteland from which the Triphons originate.
Triphons are a war like brutal race, driven by the need to survive and gain good harvests to make profits to fund a large war taking place elsewhere on the planet (most likely on another continent entirely), with an unknown similarly advanced sentient race. Achievements and kills are displayed through piercings and tattoos, and rank is shown via plume colour. The “Boikar troops” depicted here have clipped their plumes to make them immensely shorter than the length possessed by infantry as part of their uniform. Even the lowest ranking soldiers capable of riding the incredibly difficult “Boikar” vehicles are seasoned veterans, with the unmasked purple plumed Triphon being a very high ranking officer known as a Boss, hence his right to wear slightly longer (but still considerably short) plumes and the heavy tattooing and piercings adorning his armoured body. Their culture is not entirely restricted to fighting and status though – they also have a love of substance abuse (of which the forest has much to offer), gambling, drinking, blood sports, tattoos, sex and are fascinated by creative technology – that is to say making useful weapons and gear with limited resources and by melding together scraps.
The vehicles shown here are designed to be steered one handed, the other hand free to either operate the harpoon launching and net casting turrets or fire the tranquiliser pistols that all these specially trained Triphons carry. Spare dart clips sticking out the side of the bike means an emptied pistol needs only be slammed into the side of the bike over a fresh magazine to reload. As an elite corpse this branch of Triphon society has two primary roles - scouting ahead through new areas of the forest, on the look out for various threats such as one of the Triphons primary enemies the ever more scarce growing “dragons” (which are far from anything like typical fantasy dragons) another sentient tree dwelling race to which they are distantly related, and for directly hunting down large “game” as they call their prey, when all other tactics such as trapping, ambushing and surrounding their enemies have failed.
These three soldiers are perusing an unseen foe through the less heavily fortified and slum like outer living perimeter of their own war camp, where soldiers not on duty reside. Whether that foe is an intruder or an escaped victim who had not yet been “harvested” (a slow and horrific…though not intentionally so, process) remains to be seen but evading the Boikar soldiers all the way to the forest edge and through the dense forest itself for which these lightening fast vehicles are designed to travel through will require skill, guts… and a lot of luck…"
The Shades of Red saga is in the second stage of editing, after three years of being written, and a website with more information will be up soon. All elements of the Shades of Red world, including the Triphons are copyright by Alex Hatton. For additional information as well as to see the rest of the sketches for the saga contact firstname.lastname@example.org