I’ve been playing with Zovy’s design a bit.
He finally has little hoofed hippo-like toes that work. I been trying to draw him hippo feet for a while, but they were always too clunky and didn’t look right. Why hippo toes? Because I’m trying to bring in more variety into the designs of the Detark, that and his design is already slightly influenced by the Egyptian deity, Ammit.
I kept trying to incorporate his wings with his forelimbs, but it didn’t look right, then I thought that I would just get rid of them all together, but obviously that didn’t last. He can’t actually fly though.
I decided to change the cartilage projections coming off his head into feathers so they’re lighter weight and more flexible.
Actually, he’s primarily covered in feathers now. Originally he had fur that deteriorated into a fine black powder, but I found out that feathers deteriorating into powder is actually a thing, so he’s mostly covered in powder down type feathers now.
Why? Let me back up. When I make up creatures, I like to start with a theme or idea and build from there. I take these themes to an extreme with the Detark because they engineered entities whose features and abilities are more influenced by aesthetic and/or task, rather than just survival in an environment. I like to figure out how these abilities might work with biological structures, not so much to make it more realistic, but to bring in quirks, weaknesses, and unique features I might not have otherwise considered.
Zovy is the Detark that embodies the theme of consuming darkness. I wanted to make him seem sooty and dirty, casting darkness wherever he goes. When he moves the black dust is thrown into the air. The dust is a fine powder that can hang in the air and form clouds. It’s generally not opaque enough to block out light entirely, but it’s enough of an eye irritant not to matter.
With the exception of the feathers located on his head and neck, most of his feathers break down into this powder. Those further from his head more readily deteriorate. The feathers in his wings are structured more like flight feathers, but they still deteriorate fairly easily, so they can’t really be used for flight. There are some white feathers on his body, but most of them are too dirty to distinguish from the black feathers.
He does have adaptations to combat coping with excessive amount dust, like a nictitating membrane, long eyelashes, nostrils that shut, and fuzzy ears that can twist shut.