Bukana Illustrated: The Markupo

I mentioned Last Time that one of the first things I did upon starting the Bukana project was to trawl Artstation for Filipinix artists. I discovered an illustrator that was already making truly stunning images of indigenous creatures. I quickly recognized the name Brian Valeza from Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons artist. Brian is a freelance illustrator for even more big names like Paizo’s Pathfinder, Elder Scroll Legends and other tabletop and mobile games.

As you can see: his creatures are straight fire. I was ecstatic when he was available for work. The first piece that I assigned him was one of the many serpents of the islands: the markupo (aka marcupo, magkupo).

Said to dwell on the volcanic Mount Kanlaon, the markupo dwells in and/or is attracted to a flowering “Kamandag tree.” Apparently, this is some sort of balete (ficus/fig-family) tree, whose shadow kills all life. There certainly seems to be some potential for a lair ability for this snehk.

The beast is said to have a red crest, rooster’s crow, forked tail, and tusks. Here’s what Brian sent us:

At the time, I wasn’t aware of its connection to the balete, so I asked him to add some dank tree.

I think that it’s safe to say that we’ll be using Brian for as much work as we can get out of him. No wonder they got him to do the moon-eater beasts in the Sina Una 5e book – I’m so jealous of that spider!

Check out his art at Artstation!

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