On the absence of antennae…

So it’s been noted that Zaganit, the ice devil that lead Igon through Baator over months for the site, is lacking the antennae that all ice devils are typically depicted with. This is confused more by the fact that in more recent appearances, with other ice devils, they have antennae.

Let’s gaze into history and I’ll explain why.

When I was first making Zaganit’s design, he was pretty much the only Ice Devil I was specifically intending to have, because at this point it was still middle of Book 1. I looked at the appearance of the Ice Devils in official Dungeons & Dragons artwork, and gradually broke it down into the basic shapes that make up a stick figure.

But then it came to the intricate details that distinguish the design from anything similar, and in a grander frame from the original style of Rich Burlew and my own. So I saved myself the agony of drawing in the scales, and in drawing each segment of the eyes, but kept the facial crest and the grasshopper-esque legs and the mandibles (Even though I depict them as having near-regular mouths when gritting their teeth).

But then there was the antennae.

I tried a few different ways, mostly involving multiple shapes, to draw the antennae, but couldn’t get it to look right, and so gave up. As a result, my stance at that point was that Ice Devils in my artwork didn’t have the antennae.

And then I actually started drawing Book 2 and writing Zaganit’s character, and figured I could make the antennae look right, but didn’t want to retcon him because the lack of antennae had become almost a part of his character. You can see in page 54 that he even intentionally covers up the missing antennae when bluffing past some barbed devils.

So here’s my official declaration:

Ice Devils, aka Gelugons, have antennae. Zaganit the Ice Devil does not.

And now here’s my official explanation:

Zaganit has spent much of his devilkin life working as a gopher, moving discretely between the different layers snatching souls and other valuable things to return to Stygia with, in the hopes of getting a promotion eventually. He was especially pleased with himself as the Imp, “Benivova” (Different stages of devils usually have different names), when he managed to steal an entire barge of souls in one evening from Belial’s minions.

Unfortunately, this put him on Belial’s radar.

So when he was finally tracked down, over a century later, after ascending at last to Ice Devil status, it was no surprise that Belial’s troops had very specific ideas for him. Zaganit was captured, tortured for information, and finally when Belial thought forces might be gathering to retrieve him the big blow was thrown.

You see, various devils have different aspects, but with Ice Devils their antennae are a big importance for them. They’re very expressive (You’ll notice they often line up with eyebrow emotes on other gelugons) and they’re very sensitive (Like insects they also work towards detecting smells, but not to the point of being sniffer dogs or anything).

So naturally, the people he’d ticked off, cut them off at the root.

Zaganit was dumped on the shores of Stygia soon afterwards, and later served in battle against his captors when Belial attempted to invade Stygia centuries later, but he has no ability to regrow his antennae. This does make him visually inferior to his gelugon peers, but he’s lucky enough to not encounter them very often, and when he finally makes it to Horned Devil he won’t be missing anything.

This has contributed in part to his “Keep them genial whilst in transit” protocol and to his rather unpleasant personality.

And so there you have it.

Posted by: Lying

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>