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Me Instead by Altalamatox Me Instead by Altalamatox
Three hour paint vomit from last night.

Master Daubenmire takes one for the team. Merely a hypothetical situation! Spawned by a mind that was listening to too many sad songs too late at night. I like to think Morgan'd be smart enough to become something armored before placing his vital organs between an arrow and his best friend. Sometimes our hearts move faster than our heads.

He probably fantasizes about doing this kind of thing, so he can spend a few weeks in bed being fussed over and adored.


This seems a fine place to drop a note on Morgan's mortality, as some people've rightly expressed concerns over Morgan's god-like shapeshifting making him too powerful. Let us play a round of Kill Morgan, a game he loves to hate me for. C:

First, we'll show his ace. Morgan's unshifted 'true' form is an organless, bloodless, generally impossible bit of slime. It 'lives' because he is a corrupted degenerate being of black magic, nuff said. (Morgan is arguably undead, but another story.) Normally if Morgan is injured his injuries carry between shapes, but since this thing has so little resemblance to anything biological taking this form 'clears' wounds.

The price? If he does use this shape while injured he must stay in it for hours at the least, typically days. His bodily injuries translate into general agony and crippling weakness.

The bad thing about slime Morgan (for him) is that he's about as strong as a wet noodle, near-sighted, has no sense of smell or taste, and is pretty fugly. On the other hand, it can be a fairly resilient form. By merit of having no conventional insides, he can survive being stabbed and shot and squashed and can't be suffocated. You can kill him with fire, freezing, by splattering him across enough of a distance, possibly poison, certainly starvation, and with some breeds of offensive magic.

So if the shapeshifter sustains any kind of deadly injury- if he has presence of mind and happens to be conscious- he can try to save himself by unshifting. Doing so means he's immediately helpless and at the mercy of his friends and enemies. Not an ideal back-up plan. If Morgan is for some reason knocked out, paralyzed, or in shock, Magda is able to force him into unshifted form... if she's around. Otherwise, he's toooast.

If you wanted to dispatch Morgan, any manner of sudden death will do the trick. Any snipe attack, broken neck, broken back, axe between the eyes, giant falling boulder, fast-acting toxin, trodding his little mouse body flat, etc. Morgan is resourceful, quick, unpredictable, capable of becoming immensely powerful within seconds and not particularly stupid, so while a strong team of fighters could hold him off for a while and maybe wound him enough to make him flee, it's foolish to take him in a straight, unrigged fight. Because it won't be very straight or even very much of a fight. But just a tiny bit of bad luck on his part would end him. Giant dragons respond similarly as men to a bullet to the brain. And are much bigger targets.

(Ah, and yes, travesty of travesties, the gun has been invented in this high fantasy world. They've not got them down to an art by any means but they're fully capable of blowing the life out of enemies, if you can get them to connect. Many people still prefer crossbows when accuracy counts. With things like Morgan out there, I had to give them firearms. It was only fair.)
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AbysmalSecrets Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Student General Artist
gksofr! oh my goodness, that's looks painful... I didn't see this before, though...weird. :o
Shralana Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Wouldn't a dragon skull be loads thicker?
Altalamatox Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
Not through the eye sockets, I wouldn't imagine, or up through the soft palate. The only reasonable places to shoot a dragon in the face if you intend to remain in its general vicinity within the next few seconds. ;)
0NAW Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
" he can spend a few weeks in bed being fussed over and adored."

Genius, haha! Love the personality you put into all your characters! <3
myoneandonly Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Oh, Mistah Daubenmire. There IS a bit of the hero in you, even if it's the sort of hero that expects a welcome home parade.
SilveryBeing Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The lighting in this is crazy! So awesome and dramatic! I could easily see this as a screen shot from a movie or show. And Morgan does have a heart! Who knew?
Susiron Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man oh man, this is stunning rghtrnhg < 3
And I love the description. Your characters are always fun to learn about, particularly the interesting beasties~ CB
Quarter-Virus Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Filmographer
So I've had this open for the past few days trying to think of a comment that could at least half-decently encapsulate the way my eyes bulged out of their sockets in envy at your skills with the digital medium and colors once more ... but I'm afraid "SDJLKZSJDLKJKLLKSJDASKGHjkhskjhdkjahdjkashjkhhhhsssssssss ..." is still about the best I can come up with.
Illusioninme Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
NO! you don't kill awesome characters!...even hypothetically.
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Aw, but he gets a hypothetical week of bed rest hypothetically being served his favorite foods by his favorite ladies smothering him with hypothetical praise! Fair enough, I think.
Illusioninme Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
hypothetically...this is true XD
Moonstar37 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student General Artist
................. It's like when the Grinches heart grows, you just want to cry.
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Excellent way to put it, I think that's just about right. :)
Moonstar37 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student General Artist
Phageous Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This hurts me in a way that I really enjoy. I love the movement in Morgan's pose, as well as the fact that you can only just barely see Magda's face. Very epic.
Audisey Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student General Artist
What a beautiful but sad picture, especially since I've always loved Morgan! That's true friendship right there, I'd say. I really love the depth and development you've put into each of your characters (I only have one, and any others I create tend to be nothing more than cardboard). Out of curiosity, though, and I'm sure you've already explained this time and time again, why did Morgan choose an older male form as his regular ruse when he had a healthy (as far as I can tell) female form already?
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Woo! A million years behind on this response, sorry!

Glad you like Morgan and the rest! And with characters... mine are always flat as pancakes when they're new too. My advice is not to give up on them, let them stew for a long while and take them out on little adventures so you don't forget them. If they're really based on a concept you find fascinating you'll keep revisiting them and perhaps find your subconscious has been working on them in the meantime. Like, seriously, before I've shared most of my peeps they've hung out in my head alone for around a year or three. Morgan, actually, is an exception to this but lookit how he turned out.

Morgan: Eheehee.

Morgan cooked up the Daubenmire persona when when some dire events in her life lead her to believe she could singlehandedly change the course of war in Hellecker by terrorizing the continent and generally taking war to new levels of misery. She concocted this form specifically to look unpleasant and frightening. It's the face he became infamous with, and today if he wants to be recognized it's basically how he has to appear. (Someways into his story, once he's more or less a reformed monster, he starts experimenting with a new default body that's a little easier on the eyes and doesn't tend to incite riots on the streets.)

Morgan doesn't often use her original birth shape because of memories. There is also the tiniest chance of someone recognizing her, something she's dead set against. This is not to say Morgan doesn't frequently take other random 20-something female forms, because she does. Partly because it bothers other people so much.
Audisey Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Ohoho, I see! Morgan earned a special place in my heart -- he is definitely an awesome exception. <3

Thank you for quenching my thirsty curiosity! While he may strike terror in the hearts of the public with his Daubenmire persona, I find it quite classy (although I'm terribly biased). Coincidentally, my own character decided to do the same for similar reasons (transforms between dragon and human, but stays in her natural form -- dragon), and she refuses to switch whether or not she must worry about someone recognizing her human persona, as it's laced heavily with painful memories. I'd go so far as to say that it'd take some intense torturing to get her to change into a human! Very interesting similarities; I wonder how they'd react towards each other. Muahaha.
Shenachie Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
This picture appeared a little dark on my screen but that did make the lighting quite dramatic.
Morgan continues to fascinate - which must truly be his most natural state! =)
A question - Does he actually *need* vital organs in any shape? I would understand possibly requiring proper framework and musculature to move certain shapes appropriately (two vs four legs, tails and wings, for example) and making the proper equipment for Dragon-Morgan to, say, breathe fire (the capability to spark, exhale, and not scorch his own tongue), but otherwise, why would a shape-change be much more than surface shape? (Aside from hamming up an injury, etc.)
Or two questions - Has Morgan ever had the nerve (probably a stupid question right there) to shift into Magda? I can't see anyone else being safe but she just might whip his hind-quarters for such effrontery - or worse, level that devastating Frown of Disappointment at him. :XD:
As usual, your artwork is amazing and your characters remain endlessly intriguing! =D
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
So behind on messages! Sorry!

Very good question. I've flipped back and forth a few times on whether Morgan is goo to the core or if he really is taking the shapes he appears to be. I think I've settled on the latter. It presents some problems, but Morgan is one a giant, horrible problem. I keep telling myself not to over-think magic in the Hellecker storyverse, which I'd intended be far more whimsical and loose than in the Network, but I guess like to over-think things. XD

Part of why I don't want him just using surface shapes is so he's more typically biological, and needs to breathe, digest, and avoid having sharp things stabbed through him. Otherwise he'd have all the benefits of his corrupted form without the drawbacks of being a helpless goo trail. Gotta build lots of checks into Morgan, he tends to the overly powerful side otherwise.

Haha! Nope, you called it. Yes, he's been stupid enough to shift into Magda's shape and yes she's held it against him ever since. You could imagine fully inhabiting the body of someone who's self-conscious to begin with is extremely unwelcome behavior. Punching her own self in the face seemed too crazy at the time so she just unpacked a few jars of hate on him until he got the message.

And thanks! You always have the most lovely things to saaay. <3
Shenachie Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
It occurred to me not long after I hit the 'Add' button that to breathe dragonfire, he'd have to have lungs and you have depicted him with a tankard and getting tipsy, so I felt a little stupid for not putting 2 and 2 together. In Morgan's case, though, that could add up to any where between 3 and 42, but even all-mighty Morgan must needs exist within a framework of logic! =)
Lol... Speaking as someone who even refuses to be the object of 'Happy Birthday' serenades, I completely understand how Magda might have found that 'clone' prank totally unacceptable. He must be a wily devil indeed to have weaseled his way back into her good(?) graces after that. At least now we know why Morgan proudly trots behind her with her bag! Although that might attract a great deal of awkward attention as well, I suppose she simply got used to it with him.
My words are but poor attempts to convey the awe and emotion inspired by some of the most lovely and delightful work on DA. :ahoy:
Blackiebelle Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
My heart skipped a beat when I clicked on this. Not sure whenever its because the sheer beauty of this piece or the subject.
DmShotts Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Holy crap dude so much talent!
Dapper-Rabbit Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012   General Artist
Ooh really enjoyed reading about him, I should make the effort more often to read your little Bio's :) This is really nice
Calick Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow, that light... just wow...
Paillot Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
:nuu: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !! T.T

DARaabe Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student General Artist
I love the lighting in combination with all the dark colors! Really amazing and beautiful. It also seems very vivd to me, as if it is in motion.
skeletalgrin Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I love this picture showing sacrifice :I
quargon Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012   Digital Artist
phoar, beautiful lighting and movement. i love how cinematic this is.
TwistedPerfections Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
-gasp- I LOVE IT! <3
Leonca Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I still fondly remember the doodle of his squishy-form staring at an apple and thinking “Waaant!” :lol:

Interesting survival mechanism. I’m kind of surprised he could last very long like that. I’m sure most people’s reactions to seeing it would be to set it on fire.
Redfeathyrs Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student General Artist
Nooooo, Morgan! :iconflailplz:

I'm glad this is just hypothetical. :phew: And for the record, the idea of his 'true' form is somehow incredibly adorable to me. But I tend to find sentient, amorphous blobs cute.
LlamaDoodle Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Filmographer
Oooh, hazy glowy lighting. It really brings out the dramatic effect of the scene, in a sort of time-freeze.
Oh, Morgan. I'm sure that even if you were to take one through the vitals for Magda, you'd still do it with style. And a dash of attention.
I love the details about Unshifted!Morgan. He's cropped up a handful of times in your brainspews and such, but I think he (it?) is adorable. In a grotesque-cute way, I suppose. There's something fascinating about a shapeshifter's true form, and the part about injuries translating into different shapes is very interesting!
...I can imagine Magda trying to feed soup to a sad-looking wet noodle. :XD:
Captain-Peanut Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
whoa. I have no words. this is just amazing.
beastofoblivion Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Professional Artist
Hfff love your art so much!
Skulleton Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Digital Artist
*quietly cries in a corner*
Nina-Lupus Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
WOW. That is all.
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