The general's daughter has had a personal bodyguard since the day she was born. "Big Barry" as he is often called, would be considered by most people an odd fellow, being so tall and a bit misshapen. Yet despite his awkward appearance, he is probably the most capable soldier on the palace grounds. Some say he single-handedly fended off dozens of enemy soldiers when the general fell injured in the heat of battle. I suppose that's what it takes to be trusted with the life of the master's only child.
While our general has spent the better part of each year away with the troops, "Big Barry" has spent nearly every hour of every day by the daughter's side. He has become both a close friend and caring father figure. At heart he's a very charming man, who through his joyful humor, shares great wisdom. But for fear of appearance, few have ever discovered his true nature.
Today the captain of the guard was replaced by a most despicable man. He's a short angry fellow, who has not looked kindly upon the large deformed bodyguard. So much was his disgust, that he has just ordered Big Barry to the front lines... a destination from which few soldiers ever return.
It's a joy to finally present this story and illustration which has been occupying my 'easel' for a few months now. Although I typically like to complete an image quickly, sometimes it's beneficial to just let things sit for a while and stare back at me.
This is also somewhat of an experiment, to see how it would work to combine so much text and imagery on a single page and have it viewed from the web. The wide format is certainly unconventional, but I feel it was the best solution for this particular image. It is my intention for viewers to zoom in, and to use the scroll bar to navigate the image. If that is too clumsy, you may want to download the image.
--- I owe a great deal of credit to my friend for creative advice and constant critique which helped me take this illustration much further than I would have accomplished alone.
Additionally I would like to thank who reviewed my writing, helped me to take my story to the next level, and taught me a great deal in the process. Make sure to visit her gallery!