Finally just decided to compile what I had and slap it down here.
These are some ancient characters.... I mean like.... ancient. Probably the first group of characters I've ever created that had pretty solid character development work. Absolutely horrible designs that I spent an extremely long time reworking.... I wanted to salvage as much of their old selves as possible while "resurrecting them from the dead." They all got name changes too, as little kid me wasn't exactly great at naming characters... It's just embarrassing really.
Originally, way back yonder when, I had created this small band of characters, (There were actually seven of them, I've brought another back as well, though she's not colored and trying to find a good way to work in the other two. Have also created a brand new addition to the fam, but she's not colored either....) Well anywhoo, created these guys with a friend of mine based off Cornelia Funke's "Twigleg" from Dragon Rider. Basically..... some of my first fan characters. XD
I wanted to bring them back for possible use though, so among redesigning, renaming, and redeveloping their personalities, I've also worked them into the same world that my story line Proper Villainy takes place in... not the same story line, just the same world. These guys actually come from another continent. I was almost going to make a whole new race, but given that my fantasy world in these stories is set up to make fun of or play off of existing fantasy stereotypes... I didn't want to do that. So I did some researching into already existing fantasy creatures, and decided that these will be my rendition of classical gnomes. Not the silly garden gnomes... Cassidy will tear into you if you compare him to those... >.>
I was originally just going to resurrect them to play around with character design, and just for the fun of drawing old faces, but I got way way way too into developing them and they ended up with a full story line... :I
But that's okay!!! Because it's made me do a lot of development of their world in general, which helps Proper Villainy as well.
I might go into further detail later, but I'm pretty protective of PV and it's world, so I may not post tooooo much.
The gist of the thing is, there was some kind of clash years and years ago between the gnomes and the dwarves. (Working on how that will play out, I have several different ways to spin it, but not sure what will be best for the historical lore of their world) There's relative peace nowadays between the two races, but the past interactions caused the population of gnomes in their home regions to fall drastically. The current accepted theory is that the dwarves did more damage to their population and cities than had been previously realized, and the current political state of things threatens punishment for possible crimes against life. According to gnome-folklore, there are myths that when things were getting particularly bad, the governmental powers banned together to pull almost half of the population and all of their leading technology, engineering, cultural, medicinal, and historical documents, into hiding. (The gnomes were the most advanced in the sciences until their near complete disappearance.) Some myths go that they all perished in their attempt to find somewhere safe, and others say that there's a whole civilization out there somewhere, still hidden to this day... Of course, these are all just things parents tell their kids to go to sleep.... very few gnomes actually believe it...
Most of them now live in “big folk” cities and find work there, or have developed small, isolated tight-knit communities. There’s no unity among the race, and most of their culture is lost, so they tend to assimilate into whatever culture, language, ect, that they're surrounded by.
Short little blerbs on the "new" kids:
Stanis is a weapons and explosives junkie, currently kicking it in an old abandoned "big folk" castle, where he has enough space to blow things up to his tiny heart's content. Due to his rather... explosive tendencies and personality, he's been bouncing around small communities of his own kind, usually asked nicely to leave.. He has been a sidekick to a local town villain until the their Society requested he leave on account of "trying to kill children's cats is unacceptable by our standards." He's been banned from most Fae kingdoms in the area because he pulled a gun on a prince once... He tried to sell schematics for various inventions once to some humans, but when told they couldn't read them because they were too small.... He cussed him out with exceptionally strong language and told him to try cleaning his @#%*^$ glasses. All dealings with Stanislaus Silverstone are now warned against in that city....
He's very reclusive, antisocial, and just doesn't like people intruding in his space. Selfish, arrogant, and hot tempered, he's never really known any friendships, nor is interested in having any.. or at least he thinks so. Hence why when Twill shows up one night, he promptly forces her out. Stanis is not from the region he's currently in and is not handy with the language they use. He has imperfect grammar and what would be our equivalent of a Russian accent. The other three are constantly correcting him by his misuse of idioms and sayings.... which really ticks him off, because NO ONE corrects Stanis. >:I
Twill grew up with a community of dwarves in a farm land region of Duissuny. Her parents stumbled into the village one night and her mother was extremely sick. They were taken in by a family of gnomes who lived and worked with the dwarves there. Her mother died and her father left her in the care of those who had taken them in, saying he was on a “dangerous mission,” and as soon as he found what he was looking for, he would come back for Twill. He never came back. Twill and the dwarves believe her father was just an ass who saw an opportunity to split and did. The woman who raised her and the daughter of the dwarf family buy his whole “dangerous mission” story though.. Probably because they read way too many epic adventure stories.... The only thing Twill has of her family is a watch necklace that has some strange symbols over it, an odd name and a date engraved, and a small sketched picture of her mom and dad inside.
The dwarf girl, of whom she is very close friends with, and who is obsessed with adventure stories, publications from the Society of Heroism, ect, convinces Twill she should leave the village and strike out for herself, find her own people, figure out some unanswered questions about the watch, and maybe find out where she’s from. Twill meets Stanis when following a lead about a small community of “little people” and takes shelter in “his” castle for a night. He is not pleased. He later joins the team after Twill and Cassidy venture into Fae territory near his castle and he has to save their stupid butts from a border patrol.
Cassidy Smithings is a historian who had to resort to trying to make money with his lyre playing abilities, as there aren’t many job opportunities for historians and scholars among his race. He specializes in cultural aspects and knows just about everything there is to know about their folklore. This is how he gets tangled up with Twill, as after Stanis kicks her out of his place, she goes into town and runs into some of her own sort. Cassidy, always up for a story, has her tell him where she’s from, ect, and she shows him the watch. He’s dead sure he’s seen the symbols and the name in regards to the legend about the half of their people packing up and going into hiding. Apparently, he’s one of the crazies who actually believes there’s a whole civilization of them out there hiding somewhere. Twill decides it’s the only lead she’s got and goes along with it.
Cassidy has what would be equivalent to our “southern belle” accent. This probably happened because Cassidy just seems like a southern name to me, and when I was drawing him, I kept thinking of my old IZFC, Murdoc, who has a southern belle accent. So… think that guy who voices Fix-It-Felix or Wander. And 10x more annoying.
Cassidy is a nervous guy, who likes adventure in moderation. The only think keeping him going is his hopes of proving he was right about the legend to all the people who made fun of him. Anything that could potentially kill him is horrifying, and he HATES Stanis. He’s also perfect and has never done anything wrong in his life and doesn’t quite empathize with other people too well…. Both he and Stanis could work on their social skills a little……
Big spoiler, the legend is true, Cassidy is right. Venczel Weatherly was born into that “hidden civilization,” which is called Nirallis. He grew up there, is married, and has three kids. However, Venczel screwed up big time. See, Nirallis isn’t as great as the myths and legends make it out to be. Holding onto the monarchy, they have a queen, but she’s more of a figure head, and she and most of the population are kept in the dark about developments of the outside world by the military and political elite. The goal is to keep Nirallis hidden in secret, protecting the rigid class system that has developed, ensuring the stability of their current lives, protecting their advances in technology, medicine, engineering, ect, from the rest of the world, and with the current political situation with the dwarves possibly facing punishment for crimes against the gnomes… keep up the theory that the dwarves are responsible for “attempted genocide” as a revenge act. Therefore, no one gets out and no one gets in.
Venczel poses a threat to their stability when he marries the daughter of an elite politician, Aiyla, giving him closer access to a world that’s usually off limits to people of his social standing. He’s a sharp guy, so when he sees oddities, he naturally starts digging and when he gets too close, the higher ups decided it’s time to get rid of him. Targeting a weakness of his, alcohol, that he is not guarding as it hasn’t been a problem for him since he married, a woman undercover manages to get him drunk enough to sleep with her, a very high offence. He’s caught of course, since it was a set up.
Given that such intolerable acts cannot be tolerated in their “utopian society” Venczel was sentenced to banishment. However, given that keeping their civilization a secret is top priority, banishment means being brainwashed with drugs and kicked out in the middle of nowhere. Venczel, however, is a potions/poisons/herb expert, and by many accidents in his experiments, built up a good tolerance to most poisons. He thus woke up with only damage to the events of the past few days and how the hell to get back in. A few years later, the gang runs into him, and when they find out that he’s from the place they’re looking for, he is immediately adopted into the group.
Venczel doesn’t know what he’s going to do if he gets back in, given that he’s not exactly allowed there… but he loves his wife and kids more than anything and just wants to get back to them and at least see them again before figuring out the next course of action.
Venczel is all around a pretty good guy at heart. He’s soft spoken but has a good sense of humor, as well as a nasty bite when angry. He has a bit of a “southern” accent as well, though it’s not super apparent. He has the voice of Tim McGraw. There. That’s a good example.
Not sure how much more work I'll do with these guys. This story line jumpstarted me into working more on developing the world, which I really needed to do for Proper Villainy as well. But idk. I really enjoy drawing these characters (I tried to go more cartoony when developing them, and I love it) and working with them, so I'm sure there will be more in the future. Stanis kind of extremely near-and-dear to my heart..... >.>
Characters, story -
*gasp* and I love Venczel's story. He's exactly the type of character I love. Poor guy...
Also, his little smirk is killing me! (in a good way)