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Saffron Skies

By azhrarn
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Well. What to say...this picture sat in my head for weeks and refused to go away until I painted it. So I did. Not sure if I'm particularly thrilled with the end results, but I think I did learn quite a bit off doing this one, so hopefully the time spent was worth it.

A closer look if you'd like.

EDIT: Since I've gotten so many requests for the stories behind these three, here they are, brief bios. From left:

Claris lived his former life as a palace courtesan, famed for his pristine beauty, who nevertheless clawed and schemed his way up the ranks of the imperial hierarchy. It became inevitable that his many enemies would catch up with him, and force-feed him a taste of his own poison, in the form of a venomous philter. His perpetrators (too cowardly to finish the act of murder) were ready to toss his unconscious body out to sea when they caught sight of Vierstein's ship -which had arrived unsuspectingly in the nick of time- and fled.

Mistaken for a forsaken damsel in distress by crewmates who then thanked their lucky stars or sundry deities, he was brought onboard for Vierstein's 'inspection'. Initial hoo-ha aside from the discovery that -she- was really a -he-, Claris was allowed to stay on the Lorissia for his novelty; a living curio. The philter had a potent side-effect, and he has no memory of who he once was. It is ironic that he is now as pure and virtuous as he looks. He acts as Vierstein's confidante, and occasionally, uncalled-for conscience. And yes, he really can't use that gun to save his life.

Renard Vierstein helms the Lorissia, and he and his crew scour the seas looking for the vessels of the rich to loot. It is not uncommon for his ship to leave, laden with all manner of luxurious goods, a tableaux of a trade vessel left high and dry, glorious in its nakedness, a puffy-faced, spluttering merchant, and many a mooning daughter. Vierstein who apart from sharing the plunder equally with his mates, often indulges in his vagary of distributing a portion to the poor, at the villages and settlements the ship docks at. Hence, a cheesy, popular title he became christened with, -Robin Hood of the Seas- is not entirely without merit.

He is not a -pirate- per se, not being truly a part of this motley sea-bound fraternity, but there is a grudging respect between them. He does not (unbidden) intrude into their territory and neither they in his. Those unsuspecting few (having a lack of foresight in addition to the lack of one physical eye), who make crude remarks regarding faggots and the like, learn quickly, for nothing teaches a lesson faster than a cleanly severed limb. Vierstein himself has perfect eyesight in both eyes, and wears the patch as a fashion statement, perhaps to taunt his fellow 'brethren".

It is not known exactly what manner of thing drove him to a life of piracy, but it is rumored he was once a nobleman's swordsman, or even of noble blood himself.

Kieri likes to say he was orphaned at an early age, and is good at the invention of various sob-stories with regards to his short, wretched(?) existence. In reality, he was the only son of a fairly well to do peasant farmer, who ran away from home, boredom and his destiny of tending crops for life. He snuck onto Vierstein's ship bundled with a sack of potatoes, discovered only after the Lorissia was well out to sea and having nearly asphyxiated to death.

In exchange for not being shark-bait, Kieri began life on the high seas by cleaning up the slops and performing other manner of menial tasks. He, however, quickly displayed a true aptitude (in addition to his natural enthusiasm) for various forms of combat. His slight form and instrinic deftness would have made him a perfect candidate for reconnaissance, or other stealth-related tasks, however his overzealousness for danger and any sort of -action- usually means he's often used as "the bait" on land, to provoke and lure away would-be security from whatever clandestine activity his crewmates might be doing. A job he thoroughly enjoys.
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© 2003 - 2020 azhrarn
Comments2161
anonymous's avatar
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Ryn-Tak's avatar
beautiful AND a fantastic story to go with
MBO13thXundergroundX's avatar
Absolutely amazing picture, the details are awesome, very well done...Clap 
krazycon's avatar
Danone-chan's avatar
Pikachus nuzzles cheeks Big La. Big La. Big La. Big La. Big La. Fox Emote hi hi hi 
Oksana1's avatar
I also thought that blond and red-haired ones were girls... Very beautiful. I'd love to read a story about them!
FantasyBoudicca's avatar
Nice story and epic art, but I thought Claris and Kieri were girls truth be told.
HungerGamesGirl12's avatar
Your art blows! I'm serious this is great
DJaked's avatar
This was in an amazing mod called Fall From Heaven. Your art is amazing.
zevranarainai1's avatar
This is just awesome! I love it. The colors, the characters, everything is just perfect
xXRedSunBlueMoonXz's avatar
this is beautiful i could see myself reading a story about these three men or boys.. keep it up
GarnetRedverne's avatar
wow! i wish i could draw like this...
debbiegirl's avatar
Seriously love this and the biography of the three boys. Wish there was a book of them that I can read. They seem so intriguing...
LoveEqualsArt's avatar
Okay, I have to admit it. I thought the blonde and the redhead were girls. This picture is very beautiful, though. (:
Velvedere's avatar
Not gonna lie.

When I first got a DeviantArt account, one of the first things I did was find this picture and favorite it.

I don't even remember how I found it (probably stumbled across it in a Google search) but this picture has been at the top of my favorites' list since...oh...2006?

Even without the descriptions you gave (which I also love) there is such a sense of character here. All three of them look so different, but complimentary because of their differences. I can just imagine this being the cover to a book series I would read about the trios' various misadventures.

The fact it's gorgeous besides doesn't hurt, either.

Fantastic job. And thanks for enriching my life a little more. =)
EnkerZed's avatar
they're ALL men! :eyepopping:
IdaLarsenArt's avatar
This art work has been featured in my latest 'Pirate Art feature' news journal:
:pointr: [link]

- If you prefer not to be featured, drop me a note and I'll remove it asap :)
oushida's avatar
Fantastic piece and a truly interesting story.
ibdreamy's avatar
Beautiful..and I love your characters.
RB-Illustration's avatar
I know you submitted this YEARS ago and haven't been seen on dA since. But on the off-chance you do ever come back, I just had to say that I LOVE this. :heart: I read all the profiles and they all sound so interesting - if this was a book I'd read it in a heartbeat. Also not complaining that they are three very sexy pirate men! ;D Your painting skills are amazing. :D
kumoriNox's avatar
The painting is just beautiful, but I was wondering if you are going to or working on a story about these characters?
dragonssilver's avatar
I want to read the story behind this picture. Seriously, the backstory is so complex and interesting, and the image gives an excellent sense of depth and character to the three that you just want to learn more. I am severely disappointed that this is not a book that you are illustrating a cover for or something.
anonymous's avatar
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