First of all: yes, I am absolutely jumping on the 'team name' bandwagon.
In a land where the sun never set and the snow never melts, there once lived a hunter. The greatest of all hunters in fact, a warrior of such might that all beasts fell to his spear. The swift wolf, the ferocious bear, the staunch bison, the cunning fox, the merciless orca, and even the all-powerful eagle, each playing rival and then claimed victim by this most lethal of men. But the ravage of beasts came not without a price. To kill the creatures of the wild, the man had to become of the wild himself, growing more and more bestial with every splash of hot blood his blade spilled onto white snow. After slaying all the creatures of the forest, plains, skies, and sea, the hunter became engulfed by unfulfilled blood lust and turned on the last creature left to hunt: man. The beast took over and slaughtered the man's family, leaving the hunter to awake cold and weary and see the creature's work with mute horror. Grief raging over him as strong as the beast had, the man clawed out his eyes, robbing him of the ability to see his lost family, and then ripped out his throat so that he could not scream at the memory of the forsaken image. Stumbling back into the wilderness, the one place that would accept such savage thirst, the hunter denounced his humanity and gave himself fully to the beast, stealing the face of a passing buck and adopting the name of a grim legend his grandfather had told him as a child, a tale of a man that was animal enough to kill and eat his mortal brethren, for no wretched thing that had committed the same crimes he had deserved a human name.
Sightless, voiceless, and filled with grievous hunger, the hunter- the Wendigo- took up the bones of a past foe, a might ocean predator of godly size that preyed on another many-legged titan of the deep, as a weapon and set out to prove the death of his human soul by soaking his hands and blade in blood. Although his eyes and war cry were gone, sacrificed to pacify the sting of his powerful mourning, his ability to kill remained. Where he was one tenacious and brave, he was now deathly quiet and cruel, his body filled with cold, desperate, gnawing pain that drew from an unquenchable appetite. The fire that had left his soul was replaced with the sensation of eternal starvation, punishment for giving in so easily to his bestial side, making it so that he could never rest, never stop, never spare a life or else suffer the consequences. Killing had become his life, the way he existed, the one thing that kept him alive and in any bearable state. If he were to stop killing, he would fall into excruciating agony, yet never die- a form of earthly purgatory.
But even beasts need company, so the Wendigo crossed a continent to find the one creature whose hunger could rival his own. Plunging deep into the Pine Barrens, the Wendigo found and tamed the latest of the Leeds lineage by eclipsing her savagery with his own. The demon of the Pine Barrens, a creature locally called the, "Jersey Devil," lived a strange life cycle, one that repeated itself once every hundred years like clockwork. Mother Devils, all born the thirteenth child and the sole daughter of their mothers, were destined to birth exactly thirteen hellish pups themselves, twelve of which would be male and perish within minutes of entering the world. To nurture its doomed brood, the mother Devil hunt tirelessly, mangling and mutilating even what it cannot eat so that it can feast upon the carrion later. After a century of mindlessly plundering lives, the thirteenth pup, always a female, would survive and devour its mother, taking her place in the damned line of the Leeds family.
The Wendigo broke this cycle by draining the life of all thirteen pups from his mount, who he named Popuese, ending the curse of the thirteenth Leeds child and making his Devil the very last.
Atop his barren steed and filled with hunger as endless as the sea, the Wendigo does not seek forgiveness or comfort for his deeds, but only to cast away what little remains of him that is good and truly human... to embrace the beats fully and shake away any chains that hold him still to the human world and the weakness that comes with it...
Yep. A Wendigo and a Jersey Devil. A sterile she-Jersey Devil named Popuese.
Because why not?
And also because these are the two myths that actually manage to unnerve me to any degree. I'm not usually scared by stuff like that, as I know it's either flat out not real or very, very unlikely to be real, but these two... eugh, somehow they give me the jibbles anyway. I wonder if it's coincidence that both of them mix carnivorous elements with the image of a hooved animal (deer and horse respectively).
As far as design goes, I am VERY pleased with this pair. The Wendigo is simple and, if I'm going to be honest, somewhat lazy (I dun do humans, so big ol' cloak it is!), but I like it a lot nevertheless. It's a less-is-more type of approach if you will. Some blood and bones wrapped in a ragged cloak. Popuese has a more complex, and perhaps more nontraditional design (like a dino-bat-horse!), and I love her for it. It was just an idea that I latched onto and flew with without much though. I did stuff because it felt right rather than seemed right logically. Thus why she has tiny, hooved T. rex arms and clawed feet, a reverse of the usual Jersey Devil description. I thought it was funny.
Well, hope you guys like this pair as much as I do.
Also: please forgive any spelling or grammatical mistakes I may have made above. I worked all night to finish this and it's morning and I'm pretty tired. And tired Hayes is not exactly the brightest Hayes. He tends to make silly mistakes and then regret them deeply after sleeping and clearing the stupid from his brain.
Also also: I hate that dA uses hashtags now. That's... really not related to this pic at all, but goddammit I hate hashtags, so Imma note it anyway. Again, I'm... I'm sleepy.