This new sketch is part of the ArtOrder Blog Sketch Challenge. Check it out here. The challenge is to take a standard D&D Cockatrice and evolve it 4000 years into the future.
For mine, I thought it'd be fun to put a sci-fi spin on it and stick the creature on a different planet. I came up with a volatile planet that orbits very close to its parent star. The planet is tidal locked to its sun, meaning that the same side faces the star at all times, making one side permanently day (and scorching hot), the other, constant, freezing night. The only part of this planet that can sustain life is the terminator, the zone where day and night meet. To extend its range into the night zone, our cockatrice has evolved a second pair of eyes, able to see in the infrared range.
In addition, the planet has extreme volcanic activity, spewing all sorts of gases into the atmosphere, making the air very thick. As this kind of environment encourages an airborne existence, the cockatrice lives almost all of its life in the air. Its wings have grown to a very large, majestic size, while the back legs have atrophied. Also, to help hunt in mid flight, it has evolved a tongue with the ability to spit sticky silk at potential prey. Large thin teeth help hold on to captured prey.
Many thanks to Dr. Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute who came up with the hypothetical planet which I ripped off for this piece. Also, thanks to Jon Schindehette, the Grand Pooh Bah of the ArtOrder blog.
Well, hope you like it. Color final to come!