As we’ve seen with his Duwende Bridge piece, Ash Ben is a fantastic illustrator. So the second piece we gave him was of a Bukanese Orangutan fighting a kurita. We don’t blame you if you aren’t familiar with a kurita; it’s an obscure creature from Maguindanao myth. The Aswang Project says this about it the monster: “Many limbed monster who eats all of the creatures he can find. Digs claws into hero’s flesh.” We sent this description to Ash and he kicked back some concepts:
When I showed these to our consultant Karl Gaverza over at Spirits of the Philippine Archipelago, he let us know that his research informs him that the kurita is more of a “land-shark-gaping-maw-type” critter. Going back and forth between Ash and Karl, we came up with this much more terrifying interpretation:
The idea for the piece is that an Orangutan druid of the Circle of Nature’s Wrath was blasting a kurita across a two-page spread. Here’s the gorgeous work that Ash hit us with as our intrepid hero confronts the creature in its lair.