"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. >_>
“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.
”I teach you much, my child, yet one lesson I wish you to learn well is that sometimes fate makes survivors of us, whether we will it or not. Whether we ever live it, though, is another thing; we must always be prepared for any eventuality... all that is unforeseen.” -- Kaethyr
In Myar’s travels among distant stars, there was one world she came upon that almost sealed her fate as a permanent resident to it. Following a lead she acquired from a wizened scholar loyal to the Imperium of Man, Myar was able to win his confidence enough to learn the whereabouts of ancient ruins that were alien in origin and boasted Eldar familiarity. It was in the scholar’s interests that Myar would learn more about the ruins than he ever could in multiple lifetimes, so he arranged transport for her with a rogue trader to seek out the planet, make land near the ruins and organise a small expedition that would investigate it and bring back anything of worth that was never found centuries ago when initial scans of the planet’s surface by a passing Imperium vessel brought nothing to the table in the minds of those who had the resources to spend on colonising the planet. Its worth to anyone else but eccentric archeologists was well known and a testimony to forgotten dreams, distant romances.
Of course, there was one other reason colonisation efforts never began. Aside from the futility of colonising a planet that was beyond the reach of the Imperium’s normal interests, there were rumours that pirates went about unmolested in using the abandoned space as a safe haven to launch raids against neighbouring sectors. What the scholar failed to divulge in detail about this knowledge to Myar or the captain of the rogue trader, Illiza’s Courage, however, was that the pirates were not all human. As the Illiza’s Courage began its descent for the planet’s surface, they came face to face with an Imperium Lunar Class Cruiser that had long lost its former colours for that of those piratical Orks wildly flew. The resulting confrontation from it was deadly.
Although the Illiza’s Courage put up a brave fight, it found its last resting place within the dense jungles of the planet it was sent to learn more about. Yet the Ork vessel it faced off against hardly escaped destruction itself, breaking in half as it plunged through the atmosphere. (Which technically was a good day for Ork engineering...) After the battle, the Illiza’s Courage, while it crash landed mostly intact, was damaged beyond repair and of the thousands of brave men and women who served onboard her, her survivors were only listed in the hundreds. Fortunately, Myar was among them, but unlike them she found herself alone after the captain, in an act of pure selflessness, escorted her to a drop pod while he and others near fought off an Ork boarding party as their ships danced in the planet’s orbit before a broadside salvo from the critically damaged Ork ship's batteries ripped apart the rogue trader's main engines with surprising accuracy. It was at this point of the story that Myar did not know if anyone had survived the conflict as she emerged scathed but unbroken from the drop pod that was wholly lost to the environment when its landing did not find dry soil but that of a large lake the lone Eldar woman was able to rise from with barely any breath to spare.
Fortunately, Myar survived the months she wandered the planet’s surroundings, braving its dangers in search of survivors and the ancient ruins she was determined to learn everything about. Several years would pass, though, before she would travel the stars again by her will. She was a creature surviving a fate even she did not foresee, yet it was a fate she gladly welcomed. It was how she escaped it that she detested most, but that is a story for another day and one involving foes she met never before.
Edit: Thanks to some helpful offshore feedback from `ukitakumuki, I made some slight changes to Myar's face and added a little more detail here and there elsewhere, too. Should be finished now... or so I hope anyway.
Phew~! To be honest, I did not think I would have this drawn in time to honour the first anniversary of when Myar was conceived in ’11. There’s no sense beating around the bush, either, so I’ll just say PlanetSide 2 has been keeping me enthralled for the last week and a bit. It’s great fun and while there’s definitely some things about it I’d love to change, its current form is still groovy enough to keep me away from my creative passions. (Unless you count rewriting the first chapter for Seeds of Arcadia... which currently has 7 pages worth of new content. I think I may just rewrite Chapter 2 entirely at this rate....) And as for drawing more Eldar... well...
"Terrific... One moment you're dreaming of the Rains, and the next the heavens open up to scare reality back into you..."
"Saul... you may want to take a look at this."
"I'm sure that, whatever it is, your lovely lips can describe for me, Zuri."
"Well... remember what that 'Takan priest said about the Valuan ship patrolling this area?"
"It is here."
"Ah, right. About time it showed up."
"Only problem is the priest was wrong about some... minor details about it. He said it was a Phantom."
"Only it's a Gunboat?"
"... how did you know that without even looking?"
"Simple. That bloody thing is noisy. Takes a decent engine to keep one of those in the skies without dropping."
"But this changes everything."
"This changes nothing."
"We came here to commandeer a vessel. Personally, I like the idea of owning a gunboat. More stern."
"You are not asleep anymore, Son of Elias. This is not a fish you can even think about catching."
"You are delusional."
"Which is why you love me, right?"
*sigh* "I know Blue Rogues are meant to take on armed ships bigger than their own, but this is ridiculous..."
"Hmm... speaking of: a lifeboat against a gunboat. Ha, at least we'll have the element of surprise."
"Let us just hope they die laughing before we come into firing range of their canons..."
"That's the spirit!"
-- Saul & Zuri
Avast~! Ye scallywags 'ave stumbled upon a new treasure of me doing! And were I be a Black Pirate, I'd 'ave ye walk the plank in fear of stealin' it! But I be a good man, a sober man, and one with a perchance for keeping ya alive to appreciate life and talk better than any emo-centric 'inja ever could... Ye do not see 'em 'aving a day dedicated to one's delicacies of a most pleasin' language, arrh?
Well, alright. It is that silly annual day where people talk like pirates, so I just couldn't ignore an excuse to draw something piratey.
Originally I was going to draw an illustration of Vincent from Skies of Arcadia, but it ended up a terrible failure to what I had in mind. So I scrapped it and started anew with something landscapey...
Anyhoo, rejoice SoA fans. (If you're still watching me...) Hopefully some more game related art is on the horizon.