The Sartuk… with Sardiryx as a size comparison :)

Quick sketch is quick. The headshots are simple ‘typical’ head types found within the specie that I created back in 2010 so they’re pretty bad, haha (left to right - a cobra, viper, boa, colubrid). They can vary greatly and mixed bloods can have traits from both parents, even extremes.

(The color shown on the male is from a mixed blood simply to show how varied they can come rather than being limited to certain snake specie color variations)

Gosh, these guys have been with me since I was just a toddler. They raised Sardiryx when she was a fledgling (along with Robeirus), so I guess that should say something? Only one person knows about these people in relative depth (Arfy!), but over the past couple of years I’ve begun to feel more open with my world, Aeris. This is just the bare minimum of information. There’s no way I can fit the thousands of years of history that I have for the Sartuk, their elaborate language and how they have developed their flowing and liquid-esque alphabet, or their spiritual and semi-religious factors rampant in their culture.

Like the human race, they have their own discrepancies, inequality and racism, cultural rifts between the different breeds and clans, military doctrine, government, architecture, political and economical relations with their closest neighbors, the Raskahn, and other Aeris denizens, etc. etc.  There’s just SO MUCH information that I could gush at you guys, but I don’t even know where to begin!

Sartuk Fun Fact

When a pair of Sartuk decide to mate, both of their names are joined together to form a new whole name. Because of this, the Sartuk prefer neutral gender names.

For example:
Male - Velos
Female - Takan

Mated together:
Male - Velostakan
Female - Takanvelos

Since the Sartuk are not privy towards long-term monogamy (they often don’t mate for life), it’s quite common to have exceptionally long names - it CAN be an insult when speaking to/about a Sartuk using only his or her first name if they are mated because then you’re disrespecting their family. It all depends on context.

Geezus, I’ve been getting major Sartuk vibes lately, and the Tar-heel (Tar’heel? Tarheel?? I don’t know how they prefer to have that name spelt in English) have started to slowly rise up out of the murk. ‘Tar-heel’ roughly translates to ‘oil skin, night scale, or aether-torn depending on region and context.

'Oil skin' is more derogatory as the Tar-heel have a bit of an infamous tale surrounding the species. They predate the Sartuk (they're one in the same save for general appearance) and originally saw the aether wells as a source for their own well-being rather than the living planet's (Aeris) lifeblood. Down through history the Sartuk split from the Tar-heel due to differing ideologies after witnessing the corruption of lands due to aether abuse. Siding and receiving aid from the Aeryx (true dragons), the Sartuk were able to reclaim the wells after many bloody battles and skirmishes. The Tar-heel had since slinked away to the ends of Aeris, practicing their religion and ideals without disturbance. The only telltale sign of their existence for thousands of years were the rare pockets of twisted and deformed landscape. So it begs my attention as to what could they be up to now..?

May have to draw one of the Tar-heel figureheads soon as he’s quite distinct even for a Sartuk! And he challenged ME in my last dream. ME. The freaking Creator of their world, their gods, and their deities. Does he know that I prefer not to directly meddle with events? Because if he’s trying to make me rewrite the ancient past he has another thing comin’.

Updated concept I posted to Livejournal many, many months ago about my Bone Chargers — long time watchers of mine will remember these guys, at least the name. c:

I used references of my own horses (Alex, my gelding quarter horse for the Storms and Full Throttle, my gelding rocky mountain for the Swifts) for the bodies and help with the poses and proportions.

Aeris Horse God Origin story

Posting this here before I forget about it - from a dream I had last night about the origins of the Horse god of Aeris. It’s super condensed because I only have my phone nearby to jot it down. May make a speed paint of it later, it was incredibly vivid (well, most of my dream visits to Aeris are, but this was in striking detail).
Born a sickly silver dapple foal with a severe aversion to sunlight. Only allowed to eat, run and play alone at night while the rest of the herd slept in stables. His handler would stay up every night to keep the foal content, even teaching the basics of riding while under the gaze of the moons. On his seventh year the stallion grew uncommonly agitated and burst through his sartian handler’s hands into the daylight. His skin melted like acid the second his foreleg saw the first few rays of sun. He kept forward, dashing into the fire, his body melting almost instantly as his skeleton remained in motion.
Then his body began to take form - a golden shimmer surfaced around his bones, gaining solidarity as it created new muscle and sinew. His flesh mirrored the sun as his skin and fur trapped its golden color. His body appeared as molten chrome as he dashed around the pasture in a renewed sense of what it was to be alive.
He halted suddenly to peer back at his sartian handler. Trotting towards him, but making no more noise than the whispering wind, he bowed his head as his handler reached to stroke his chin and jowl.
And with a nicker he vanished as golden dust in the wind.
Yup, fun dream.
The horse deity oversees the bonds of sartuk rider and bonecharger, granting the then-dead horse a second chance at life with his handler in a life-bond state just as his own handler tried everything he could to keep the sickly foal alive and healthy. Horses are incredibly sacred to the sartuk, so much so that they are revered and treated as nobility. They are seen and treated as brothers and sisters in arms during war and dear friends at heart and home.

Sartuk, Raskahn, and Aeryx Crossbreeding - A Note

Thought I’d mention the mechanics behind interbreeding of the different species on Aeris.

As far as I know only the Aeryx, Raskahn, and Sartuk can interbreed with each other, but only to a point! The amount of aetherblood in each parent is paramount to the outcome of the offspring or lack there of. This does not include the Lesser Aeryx, like Sardiryx.*

If both inter-species parents lack aetherblood, or sport an extremely low content, they will not produce any offspring at all. Offspring can be birthed by parents whom have an aetherblood content as low as ~40% each. The percentage is loosely based on the blood’s color (I’ll have to make a chart for it later). Aether alchemists have the ability to measure the content in each parent via a scrying technique — a helpful ability for hopeful parents as well as a look into what their future offspring may look like!

Aetherblood dominancy - If one parent has a higher content of aetherblood compared to the other, the offspring has a higher chance of resembling that parent. Due to aether’s chaotic nature, it is not a guarantee however. You can still result in a Sartuk x Raskahn infant, where the Raskahn has the higher content, to appear more or purely Sartian. Because of the presence of normal science-based blood in the equation, this prevents the aetherblood from producing purely chaotic results as seen in purebred Aeryx offspring (where infants do not share traits with the parents, their physical form and attributes are governed by environment and reigning elemental deity(s), etc.).

The Half-Aeryx - These offspring, for the most part, are highly celebrated in Sartian culture. For any Aeryx deciding to mate with another race is a momentous occasion (the spreading of higher aetherblood content into the population and the inherent elemental abilities that result from that amongst other things, evolution of aesthetic appearances, etc.). Half-Aeryx appear more draconic than their Sartian or Raskaelian peers and have a minimum aetherblood content of 75%, the content will never reach 100% as seen in a purebred Aeryx, however.

Half-Aeryx are rare but most prevalent in Sartian society. It’s extremely rare in Raskahn society due to heritage tension (Raskahn are descendents of the Rog, a species resembling gryphons and are still a hostile/rival race to the Aeryx despite nearing extinction), but it can happen! The rarity behind the Half-Aeryx is due to the ritual required for consummation - a daunting process where the fusing of each parent’s aetherial essence is required as well as temporary transmogrification on the Aeryx’s behalf to suit that of their mate. Several days may pass while the Aeryx grows competent to use their temporary new body, slowing the consummation ritual.

*Breeding with Lesser Aeryx is seen as strictly taboo. Lesser Aeryx are seen as a lesser race despite their level of sentience and sapience; they are still seen as a somewhat feral race. Having sexual intercourse with one is seen as bestiality and is punishable by death in Sartian culture.

Sardi’s original home sees tropical weather and very mild winter temperatures all year long; however, she’s been involved in helping the Raskahn transition thanks to the Sartuk invasion. The continent up north is currently seeing one of the harshest winters, so she’s continually a fluff ball as she provides logistical support and helps with the transporting of rations/essential materials to the more rural and isolated villages. She scouts ahead for safer passage while the transports below trudge through the snow covered terrain.

The Sartuk have no intention to harm the Raskahn, more of a final push to end the countless wars and feuds between the two countries. Needless to say the Black Talons may or may not have provided the necessary intel to the Sartuk to oil the gears. One of their original missions was the unification of the two peoples, the original mission of His Majesty King Durahan so many centuries ago before the Great King was struck down by his son.