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Before I begin, a little history. The Relk got their start in 2003, when I decided to try and put as much effort into creating another creature as I did the Locks. By 2005 I had finalized the design, and over the next few years made a good deal of progress on making them a solid, meaningful creature in my headworld.
The above reference sheet was made February 2008. I was working on it around the time I had my heart surgery. There are several inconsistencies, which I hope to eliminate as I pick the Relk apart into tiny pieces.
Basic Relk Anatomy Sheet
This is a brief overview. Details will come on separate sheets, if/when they are finished and uploaded.
Relk have pretty hefty skeletons. They are big-bodied and barrel chested. Weak points are in the shoulders and hips - as a Relk reaches full maturity, the combination of muscular atrophy and increased bulk makes them susceptible to dislocations, particularly in the shoulders.
Relks are heavily muscled, and are extremely powerful. They are not the fastest things in water or on land. Young Relk have a fairly low, even distribution of fat, which allows them to move about more easily on land. They also do not need the extra insulation until they begin to spend more time in the deep ocean. Mature Relk develop large deposits of fat, particularly around the torso and neck, to help keep their innards warm in the cold ocean.
Fin & Membrane Attachments
Note - inconsistencies in fin attachments - head and hip attachments were not completed.
Relk sport 3 bundles of fins, which allow them the ability of complex communication underwater with other nearby Relk without having to make sounds. As Relk are NOT the top of the food chain on their homeworld this comes as a plus. They can also detect nearby electrical currents and changes in the water with them.
Membranes are primarily for protection both against their own species and primarily against their main predators the Avatta and the Kiliokeo. The membranes are tough, thick, and stretchy, and will regrow if damaged up until a Relk reaches full maturity. They primarily prevent predators and rivals from hamstringing or otherwise disabling a Relk during a first attack, allowing the creature a chance at escape.
Skin Color & Patterning
The skin color and pattern shown is that of the Basic Oceanic Relk, which make up most of the Relk tribes on their homeworld. Several other Relk races exist, which I will elaborate on later.
Color and marking variations for the Basic Oceanic Relk do exist, to a certain degree. They can be broken down into Basic, Bleeder, Monarch Bleeder, Breeder, and Albino. More information will be available on these at a later date.
Non-mature adults stand at an eye height of about 6-7ft for females, and 8-9ft for males. There will be more on size comparison later, as a Relk goes through several stages of growth and can end up pretty big.
Thanks for looking guys. I apologize for the strange watermarking, I will work on something a little more slick after deadlines are met.
Artwork, Relk, Writing (c) Allison Theus 2009