"Have you ever wondered what stories the outside world must have as we hunt and play... play and hunt... and love? Do you not wish to know them?"
"You ask if there is an answer worth more than a single word from my lips? No."
"Yet it is where you once belonged... where we both--"
"Do you miss it?"
"Then our hearts share the same beat."
"Even so... do you think there will be a time where we will see... hear those stories?"
"If God wills it, though to be truthful I much prefer the story I live here each day."
"You sound content."
"When am I not?"
"When we are apart?"
"Which is why I already have all I want.” -- Zuri & Saul
It goes without saying Saul and Zuri have all they want for Christmas.... (Yeah... I know, that was lame. XD) Hope everyone is having a great Christmas and may there be many more to come for you all!
In other news, I've been making plans that if I manage to survive next year, each month will hopefully have a chapter and piece of art dedicated to this couple. I've decided I'm rewriting the three chapter story so far, too, see where it leads me and hopefully with some support this will be fun for all, but early days. That's unless people want to see me show such devotion to other characters I've created... which may just happen. (Like Klaus & Shae, Evaryr & Kalysia...) There's even some nobody here have heard of before, but they've been-- yeah, let's just say I've been busy pondering on this and that.
Slight Update: My friend Gaf made mention that he felt Zuri's skin tone wasn't quite right. He was right, though it was intentional as a border experiment. The more I looked at it, though... well, I decided to just ditch it.
Well, it goes without saying that I've been pretty reclusive these last couple of months. Despite Guild Wars 2 playing some small part in this, some issues in life made me as creative as a brick and I believe that if you don't learn or feel anything for what you're creating then you shouldn't be drawing at all. So I've been merely lurking around here, but ever since yesterday I've decided to try and make up for lost time, tackle my inbox, and get some new stuff drawn... even if they're not overly ambitious projects. For now I'm just glad to draw anything, so here's some more art for Zuri! Enjoy!
Anyhoo, what's sad is it was during this month last year that I was infinitely more productive and having the time of my life. (Drawing Zuri, no less, heh.) So let's try and make up for it this October...
“Curious... Are you familiar with this one... lonely... lovely little tale; spoken of by the locales here with whispers of an age most romantic?”
“If you mean that I’m aware of the history of this room; it’s telling of forbidden love, broken oaths and tragic decisions, then yes.”
“... does this mean you’re not fond of role-playing? And to think I was about to ask if you’d like me to be your Lady of Roses ...”
-- Shae and Klaus
In an age when the lusts of power and glory in the northern realms of Elshanae, (also known simply as the northlands to those who have dwelled there), were sated and withdrawn for more peaceful endeavours within their reach, many romantic tales bloomed on the lips of bards who lived when they unfolded. But of all these tales there was one so great that it became almost a myth: the passion between a nobleman and a mysterious woman kissed by fire. The fabled love story of Naithen, Lord of Elsest, and Kalyna, the Lady of Roses.
Nevertheless, according to a series of old building letters, it is believed that before Naithen took Kalyna as his second wife, she was given a bedchamber in Elsest’s main keep that once served as the personal living quarters for one of Raleigh King Rurik the Maker’s closest retainers. The room was not extravagant back then, but its closeness to where Rurik and his family once slept centuries ago offered certain comforts that were not properly visited upon in that age till Naithen had the room refurnished for Kalyna’s wellbeing.
Among these, none spoke greater kindness than a bath Naithen had masons build with the aid of a personal friend of his, who was a practitioner of moonstone magic. To the untrained eye the bath was built with stone collected from a riverside quarry, but beneath the bath itself rested a chamber for triggered, uncut red moonstones, placed beneath smoothed stone tiles that eased the strength of their naturally generated heat. The tiles absorbed it enough within themselves that the bath's water stayed at a comfortable, fixed temperature, which was something of a heavenly luxury for those who called Elsest Fortress home during long winters. A luxury few among even nobles understood.
Kalyna was blessed with her lover’s ingenuity, yet it can be said Naithen was no fool and knew he created their newfound favourite place of romance. There were few nights after it where they cared for the support of a good bed and, by the time the two married, Naithen ignored his original quarters in favour for the one he furnished for his beloved Kalyna. Ironic, given his former place of rest was King Rurik’s own and was fit for the concern of travelling royalty.
By the time Naithen and Kalyna’s love became a topic for bards, centuries later, few people ever called the Lady of Roses’ bedroom their own. Even those who inherited Naithen’s title as Elsest’s ruling lord over the years hardly ever used it for personal use, (though that is possibly debateable...), leaving the room to the interests of dust and, on very rare occasions, a place for esteemed guests loyal to House Raleigh's lords and their once powerful sovereignty.
That was how Klaus came to call the room his own when he travelled to Raleigh lands in search of answers few were willing to tell. In some ways it can be said the room was given to him as a good-humoured jest by his good friend, Rhys Raleigh, who alike many other minds among the young would-be king's fellow northmen there believed all Klaus really needed was a woman’s passion to settle his mood over things and remove his depressing outlook on life.
What none knew at the time, however, was how one woman may have seemingly read their minds and knew the history behind Elsest Fortress nearly as well as the stone of the forthright had.
"Dreams are all some need to live in this world. Some may even seek them in reality, if their hearts know its worth and want it so." -- Shae
Wheee... I did not think I was going to be able to finish this on time, but as fate would have it, I did! There are some things about this I think I may still work on, however, so only time will tell if this receives an update eventually. There's also a lot of symbolism involved here between Klaus and Shae and their possessions, but... bah! No time! I may discuss some of them if people are interested!
Anyhoo, may you all have a Happy Christmas, everyone! God bless and take care.
(On a side note, this has been allowed for a contest, hosted by #spread-theArt)
Yes, I do have lore written for Saul and Zuri. Yet... said lore is more like a biography on Saul's history so far than something workable as a description for here. So back to the drawing board...
That said, though, God be praised! I've finally worked out that issue that was plaguing my comp for pretty much this whole year. You would not believe how liberating it is to finally be able to draw again without constant program freezes, and I'm pretty sure the end result here speaks for itself. lol, even when I had a BSOD today and lost a couple of hours of work on this, one could say that's nothing compared to what I was dealing with on a day to day basis. So... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~eeeeeeeeeee~ *short breath* ~eeeeeeee~! x_x
Seriously, I wouldn't even wish this comp on my worst enemies at times. (Well, some of them, at least!) ... so may you never have to deal with it. >_>
"When I first saw her, I was afraid. A wingless monster; that was what the elders of my village called it, warning the children among us to keep away. Yet I was curious. I was naive. I lead my people to despair... into a living nightmare." -- Zuri
While I wanted to write lore behind the history of this vessel, it dawned on me that it's going to contain too many spoilers for my story, Seeds of Arcadia. That said, though, this is the Valuan Gunship Saul and Zuri are imprisoned on in the first chapter, once known as The Adela, before its captain's past exploits lead to it being renamed as Adela's Nightmare. Personally, I'm looking forward to telling the story behind that one, but it'll probably take awhile to reach with what I'm plotting. Still, Zuri's tragic past revolves around it, and that's something that'll hopefully be revealed sooner than latter.
“This... this is all I have left to remember my mother by. It belonged to her, before I was even a seed in her womb.”
“How is it then that you came to wearing it now? Was it a gift?
“Yes... when I was old enough to respect it. She once told me Quetya blessed it long ago, that the moonstones were once cared for by a priestess of Rixis... an ancestor of my blood. They were not always worn like this, though, for it is said when the priestess eloped with a young man, an outsider, who her tribe did not permit her to marry, she took what she could carry and while she did cast aside her priestly robes to blend with common women, she plucked the priceless stones from it and fashioned them into this necklace...”
“Heh, so that would explain your deft fingers...”
“She was no thief, Saul. They belonged to her.”
“And yet the robes did not?”
“...is this really something we must argue about?”
“No, my love. Still, to give up one’s life, one’s duty, honour and family for...”
“She loved him. Be glad she did, too, for I am here, today, thanks to her.”
“And for that alone I would kiss her! ...not intimately, of course.”
“If kissing a woman, who is centuries older than you, is even your thing anyway...”
“Yes... well... I guess I could settle with giving her some flowers instead...”
--Zuri & Saul
Well, I figured I haven’t drawn an item/relic concept for awhile now, so there’s this to make up for it. Those who voted in my last poll might know what’s next in line for me to draw, too, since I’m about done with writing chapters for the time being. With them I just wanted to flesh out the couple’s history a little first before I drew something really intimate. So I hope some folks appreciate that and are looking forward to what's in store...
"Our souls are one. Our bodies are one. Heaven knows the Creator foresaw this centuries ago and inspired our ancestors to walk their path towards it."
"... yet even if this is true, Meiliketh will hunt us for seeking this out. Aren't you frightened?"
"A little. Only for you, though, for I know not where my battles will take me."
"Where they will take us, you mean."
"You'll need me by your side, my love. And with the Three's guidance, may it be even fruitful."
"And when that time comes..."
"I will be your wife, Evy. Yet let's not keep the priestess waiting any longer. She wants to see a kiss."
-- Evaryr & Kalysia
There was no turning back now. Marked as traitors to the Ailyrenai Kingdom, Evaryr and Kalysia were forced into hiding where few dreamed one of the Unseen Ones' greatest military leaders could bear to be as the realms of his kin knew one of its darkest eras in history. Yet after saving his bride to be from the hands of death the Mad King wanted for her, a short, happy moment in the couple's lives unfolded as they sought out the blessings of a priest to see them finally wed. Although they were lovers for many years before, they knew it was time to declare themselves married before God.
And so they did, in secret, as they exchanged their vows in a lake that had long been blessed by the Three Sisters as a holy place where no one questioned Evaryr's commitment to baptise himself and his bride with an exchange of vows, eternal in their meaning and memorised well in their hearts. And so they re-emerged from the waters there as husband and wife, now and forevermore as equals, knowing themselves thereon as one body, soul and mind. There was no way a Phoenix King or any of his blind followers were going to separate them anymore. Only failure found those who dare tried.
Yes, I know... this artwork in itself is nothing particularly amazing by my usual standards, but the purpose for it is to celebrate the original nature of Saint Valentine's Day. It is a nature that has, sadly, been forgotten by most people in this day and age... and why? There are few days in this world anymore that are remembered for what they originally stood for. I'm sure I could inspire an argument by pointing a blaming finger to the soulless, secularist environment that we as a people have long accepted into our world at face value, over the past few decades, but I wouldn't have the patience for anyone trying to defend what 'Valentine's Day' has become, because... just don't. It's a shallow notion and you don't need a special day like this to remind your love how much you care for them...
Instead, learn some history. Learn why the priest, Valentine, became a martyr. Learn why Emperor Claudius II forbade his soldiers from marrying women, to make them stronger men on the battlefield, and how Valentine secretly wedded young couples despite this till a time where he refused to give up his faith in Jesus and was clubbed to death and then beheaded for it. Doesn't sound like what's celebrated for Valentine's Day in our times? Well, who would have thought there was more to it than just flowers and candy? This is why I respect the day's selfless origins, and why I no longer feel need to feel miserable whenever I look to the calendar and mark another year of living only as a single man. There are better things to think about anyway, like writing more character lore and stuff!
Anyhoo! That all said, hope your day was one of happiness and love.