Galaxy Gallery – The Osk

Absence of Blade (Expansion #1) vector art cover. A chasm dominates the foreground while a ruined city and bridge are in the background. An equine alien stands on the cliff looking at the city.
The original cover for Absence of Blade, featuring an Osk in the foreground looking out over a ruined cityscape.

The Osk are quadrupedal, six-limbed beings whom humanity has had several encounters with, few of them peaceful, as the Expansion pushes into their territory. Their homeworld, Oskaran, orbits a white dwarf star which in turn orbits a red giant, forming a binary system.

The extreme weather changes and solar radiation of their home environment induced many evolutionary adaptations in the Osk. These include their dark-pigmented skin, crepuscular activity cycle (that is, they are most active during the cooler periods of dawn and dusk), and their tendency to live mostly in underground warrens.

Although they appear somewhat reptilian, the Osk are actually monotremes (egg-laying mammals). Their lithe, flexible bodies can adopt either a centauroid or fully horizontal configuration. This characteristic has led some humans to use the pejorative term “snake” to refer to the Osk, despite the lack of resemblance.

Some pencil sketches of the centauroid Osk, including a full-body profile study, close ups of the eye with its white horizontal pupil, and frontal views of the long horse-like head.
Original Osk concept art by Daniel Lambert
Some pencil sketches of the centauroid Osk, including head studies with their manes in different hairstyles, and an Osk diving to the floor with the blades on both forearms extended.
Original Osk concept art by Daniel Lambert