At first it was difficult to picture an aquatic race that didn’t look hideous or cliche. I wanted them to be likeable and civilized, not some kind of frilly slimy monster. I think most people would agree that salamanders are pretty cute and I don’t recall having seen too many salamander inspired humanoid races before, so that seemed like a good choice. The smooth amphibian skin was nice and simple to paint. The only things I found really challenging here were deciding on a colour scheme and making sure I didn’t accidentally make a Murloc out of it.
At this point I actually only have this one pencil drawing of the Hy’lox. I don’t even have any rough sketches, and I honestly don’t even remember drawing this because it went so quick and I was in a frenzy of ideas that day. The legs are a bit off but otherwise I think the body is more or less how I wanted it. It has the elongated body and weak arms of salamanders, and I looked at some pictures of lionfish for ideas on the facial stripes and venomous spines. In the avatar I went with blotchy spots on the face instead, but these will have many different kinds of markings so there will be some with stripes in the future.
The Hy’lox is how I envision a civilized race that evolved along the amphibian line. The name comes from “Hyloxalus” which is a genus of poison dart frogs.
This amphibious race evolved in the steamy swamps and temperate marshlands of their home planet. They excel in botany and can make highly effective poisons and medicine. While their soft, weak bodies would leave them helpless in close physical combat, they prefer to avoid violence and tend to be a peaceful, diplomatic people. However, they have formidable natural and technological defenses at their disposal in the event that diplomacy fails. Their natural abilities include stealth, camouflage, paralyzing venom, and sticky substances that allow them to confuse, stun, or slow their enemies. If they cannot deter or escape from their attackers, the Hy’lox are well equipped with chemical weapons and explosives to efficiently disable or eliminate the threat.