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Week 6: Something Will Come From the Water

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Reblog on Tumblr: magenta-fantasies-illustration…

For the next month or two, I'm going to upload a lot more information about my latest story, House of Cards, Island of Dreams!
Each week I'll upload a picture of some of the characters thematically connected, as well as a short story about one of the characters that week. Most of these short stories will be scenes from the House of Cards, Island of Dreams novel, but retold from a different perspective. Other scenes will be completely unique, but will elaborate on scenes from the novels.

And you thought the people of Areoi were strange…

Aizapal is Areoi’s island spirit. Every island in the Pacific has an island spirit, although they vary greatly in form from island to island. Island spirits secrete pearls each day to remove waste from their bodies. To avoid this trait being exploited, they generally do not show themselves to humans unless there is a reason. Island spirits that have a close relationship with the people on their islands are revered as deities or mythological figures. The larger the island, the more powerful the island spirit. Their health is entirely dependent on the health of their island, and vice versa. Island spirits are born when islands rise from the sea, and cannot die unless their islands sink back into the ocean. Aizapal was born between two and three million years ago when Areoi first breached the surface of the Pacific.

Book 1 ends with the Three Masters, the Arii and the Raatira at a meeting when all five receive the same omen: “something will come from the water.” They recall this vague omen from time to time throughout Book 2, although they’re never sure what it refers to.

Aizapal is a rare case where I had a hard time designing a character’s appearance. I wanted him to be grotesque and beautiful at the same time, and I didn’t want him to look like a merman. His color scheme comes from the colors of sunshine and white sand, as well as pearls. Bonus points if you can name the species of fish his colors and fins are based on.

Accompanying Story: Perspectives of Areoi: Aizapal

Week 1: For a Meadow Ace Servant...
Week 2: ...This Should Be No Problem
Week 3: The Village Inhabitants
Week 4: A Blue Ribbon Bunny and a Blue Harbinger
Week 5: New Help and Old Rumors
Week 6: Something Will Come From the Water
Week 7: One Wacky Island

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When the Three Masters decided to help an injured man who washed up on their beach, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. They knew something was strange about him from the start. Amongst many other things, how could a newcomer wash up on Areoi, with its unusual tidal patterns and coral reef atolls that have kept ships away for millennia? The people of Meadow Ace decided to nickname this wall-eyed stranger “Wally White” because of his unusual, gleaming whitish eyes.

The way Wally talked about Areoi implied he had been there before, and the people of Meadow Ace thought he was delirious from ingesting so much salt water and losing so much blood. They gave him Meadow Ace livery to wear, since they had no other clothes to offer him. All the while, Wally was extremely confused by what they were doing and why.
Once Wally recovered, the Three Masters told him he was welcome to leave if he wants, or that he could stay at Meadow Ace as a servant in exchange for room, board and wages until then. Wally refused, immersing himself in the water and revealing his true form as Aizapal, Areoi’s island spirit. Jackson protested, and Aizapal washed away the Three Masters by summoning a giant wave.

The Three Masters spent over a week aboard their superyacht Royal Flush as they devised a plan to get their estate back. After Rhiannon noticed that Aizapal had reshaped Meadow Ace's coastline to resemble the lagoon, she suspected Aizapal's motives and offered him the lagoon in exchange for returning Meadow Ace to normal. Rhiannon was correct. Aizapal was thrilled to return to his lagoon, which had been left untouched by both groups of people who settled Areoi. After 2,000 years of being away from Areoi, he had thought that Meadow Ace's construction had demolished the lagoon, but the lagoon was actually in a different place than he remembered.

Currently the Three Masters and the Areoi maintain an uneasy peace with Aizapal. He is viewed an authority on the island, much like the Three Masters and the Arii and Raatira. Aizapal will do favors for people on the island, though he expects them to play games with him in return. Aizapal particularly loves dangerous or high-stakes games, and these “games” can vary from swimming through a shark-infested coral reef to getting Hina'huero to steal Rhiannon’s bath melts and warning Rhiannon to make the task harder. It’s not that he’s cruel so much as he forgets that doing the same things he can would likely kill or injure a person. As he once put it, “I always forget how weak and delicate humans are compared to island spirits. They cling to their lives like barnacles on a whale.” Aizapal cannot die under normal circumstances, and he views people as frail, short-lived creatures.

Aizapal is fascinated by both Meadow Ace and the Areoi village. After millennia of seeing people act foolishly, he is intrigued by the two groups on Areoi who can be both very resourceful and very foolish. While Aizapal is extremely powerful, he can also be a bit lazy and doesn’t like to put more effort into things than necessary. He has no empathy for anyone or anything, is bewildered by the way people behave, and is indifferent to their emotions. Even in human form, he doesn’t understand the social norms that people follow and his behavior and mannerisms are unnerving. He fears electricity, and makes a point to stay away from any kind of appliance. Aizapal has no interest in material goods or money, which surprised Maximilian, who suggested that Aizapal would be as rich as the Three Masters if he sold his pearls.

While having humans on Areoi sometimes causes problems for Aizapal, he overall enjoys having them around and admits that life would be boring and more difficult without them. This parallels how the Areoi and Meadow Ace feel about each other and Aizapal. Although island spirits are venerated on many islands and play a major role in the islands’ cultures and development, the Areoi never had this kind of connection with their island spirit because he was away during the time the Areoi arrived. Instead Areoi religion revolves around mana, a type of life force that all living things possess.

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TheOneVeyronian's avatar
Lovely character design! I must admit, at first I thought it was a fish costume he was wearing but after reading the description, it makes sense and I do like the design of his true form. I especially like the seaweed and shell belt. Great design and work, keep it up! :)