I noticed that most of my paleoart pictures implied some kind of background context, something that was partly made on purpose. Most of the time the creatures represented invoke a story of why they're there, what they're doing. So I finally tried to do something that some of you skillfully do - write short stories that would have taken place millions of years ago. I may try to do that for at least some of my pictures; Who knows if one day these stories, in conjunction with their respective illustrations, can be turned in to a book or - and that's wishful thinking here - a 'mockumentary'
So, below is the first story I made, for my last illustration featuring Inostrancevia alexandri
. I refrained from using scientific names for the animals and plants, as well as naming the place where everything took place (hint, Russia), but I believe the context allows you guys to figure it out. Post in the comments what creatures you think I described, and feedback is also appreciated
(Also, please excuse any grammar mistakes; you guys know english is not my native language
The sun rose lazily, warming up the land after a freezing night. The dried landscape acquiring a pinkish hue, the scorched soil reflecting dawn. Another day begins in this once lush land that is now gradually covered in dust, as if cursed by an unknown force above it all.
For the mighty black predator, self-declared ruler of this kingdom, it's time to wake up once more. Day and night pass by mechanically, his behaviour following accordingly. This one beast never witnessed the years of abundance, since by the time he was born, as blind and passive as the soil he now steps on, famine and heat were already taking place around him. He never had the chance to feast upon the flesh of the living rocks that wallowed in the slow waters and fed on the greenery; those had already perished or moved away. The degenerate king had to sustain himself on the scraps of others, or run after the little burrowers that barely made up for a meal.
If he had to compete with his brethren for the right to inhabit this region, his abnormal black coat and smaller size (no doubt due to lack of proper nutrition) would cost him his life. But, by sheer luck or a quirk of chance, this one was the lone survivor in a litter of six, most of which were eaten by his starved and confused mother. He was allowed to live by hiding from the adults, living in the shadows to avoid predation until he was big enough and lonely enough to not worry about competiton. Now there was no one else to challenge him, for he had not seen others of his kind for many summers. Nor was there anyone to mate with; all of his calls were left unanswered. The king would leave no heirs.
The instinct of self-preservation, the urge to leave death behind, kept him going day after day, even though he was in a less-than-ideal condition. As the new day began, so did the search for nourishment. The carnivore walked for a few miles, placing one clawed paw in front of another without any rush - he had learnt to conserve energy by being lazy unless needed otherwise. He passed by dry riverbeds, random patches of brownish plants, tiny crawlers that rushed towards their little holes in the ground as the king's shadow passed by, until the great mountains could be seen at the distant horizon. He knew this area, a mostly flat terrain with odd hills and the occasional tough shrub, right before the land raised itself to touch the clouds. And he remembered - memory being an important factor in this times of severe drought - that there was a colony of burrowers living here. The little pests were swift and made loud noises before quickly disappearing beneath the earth, but with short bursts of speed, the Black King was capable of capturing the slowest of the family. And so, approaching silently as ever, he saw one of them exposed on the surface.
The tiny creature was looking for something to eat. In ancient times, it's kin could live almost solely underground, feeding off roots and crawlers; When the big drought first came, they started to go out of their dens at night to avoid the scorching sun. But now, they had to take turns to gather food at any time of the day. There was no other choice. Taking advantage of this moment, the last of the big hunters prepared to strike. He would get as near as possible and then run after the prey before it could notice that was being observed. But before he could even move, the little burrower stopped what it was doing, as if it had heard something. It then proceeded to bark sharply and dart back into it's burrow before the predator could have a chance to grab it beneath his heavy paws. Frustrated, the king didn't notice that the reason his prey was startled wasn't himself.
After a moment of silence, small rocks began vibrating under him, and soon a crack appeared. The crack joined other crack, and other, until the ground beneath the beast seemed shattered. Finally realizing that he was in danger, he tried to run away in the opposite direction; his mind couldn't quite figure out what was going on but that didn't stop him to flee. The cracks became a fissure, which became a chasm and then a ravine. The fragile land, hollowed out by thousands of years of tunneling and burrowing, easily gave up to the forces coming from below, and from the opening arose a cloud of dust and steam. The black beast couldn't see, for the particles quickly blocked his vision, and he couldn't smell anything besides a putrid stink that made his eyes go red and wet. The air around him became barely breathable. By all means, he was completely defenceless as the pup he once was. When the tremor stopped and the dust settled, when the creature could finally see once more, then came a flash on light that almost blinded him again. A few moments later, a great thundering noise that was normally heard when the rain washed the land; but there was no rain to be seen. Still, a huge dark and stormy cloud emerged from the tallest of the moutains that surrounded the region, both rising high into the sky and rushing down the moutainside, spreading in all directions and engulfing his kingdom.
Lonelier than ever, the king ran away. He would not live to witness another sunrise. Many generations later, the burrowers would inherit everything that once was his, and some of their many descendants would find the hardened remains of what was once the last of the gorgonopsids.