Over the next little while, I will be posting portraits of characters from my novel "Vale of Odin." Like many writers interested in fantasy and sci-fi, I have a pile of writing that awaits the golden treatment of being published and presented in print form to masses of adoring fans. Since this is unlikely to happen, I decided to use their concepts to illustrate my art portfolio.
"Vale of Odin" is about the inhabitants of a low-key Viking settlement fighting off raids by a corrupt sorceror and his dark-fertility goddess worshipping cult. A pastiche of Robert E Howard style fantasy, Dungeons & Dragons, Norse history/mythology and a dash of H.P. Lovecraft myth-making. Like a lot of fantasy novels in this day and age, it was based on a Dungeons & Dragons 4e campaign that I ran back in 2008, when the new edition was brand new and "fresh". In the novel, I essentially transcribed the story of the campaign and expanded it toward servicing a trilogy/series of books, which I'm still writing off and on.
The novel takes place in an alternate world that is mostly similar to ours, set shortly after what would be described as the "Viking Age" in the "Vale of Odin" a large island that is basically Iceland, but with more pine and yew forests. The characters are unassuming people leading normal nordic lives, only to be forced to fight for the lives against a potent fertility cult that has made pacts with the chiefs of the island clans for his own nefarious purposes. Enter his cronies of cannibal warriors, otherworldly elemental beings, dark gods of ancient yore, and the idea that the enemy desires to lay waste to the entire world of course, by bringing those dark gods back to this world. At this point you can chuck in the elves, dwarves, kobolds, dragons, trolls and what else you like from D&D.
My goal when I wrote the initial D&D campaign was to challenge my experienced players with things they wouldn't expect, so it wasn't just "another starting adventure" with new rules. I wanted them to come up against any and every monster, ally, enemy, magic item, with a sense that whatever they thought it was, it likely wasn't and to second guess themselves. The novel went the same way, hopefully subverting expectations whenever possible, and alienating them at times so they discard their expectations, just like the characters are, and have to look toward the "everyman/woman" characters for safety.
Is it good? I'm not going to say. At this point, it just is.
Listening to: Magic Sword Vol.1, Melechesh, The Sword
Reading: D&D 5e rulebooks
Watching: Farscape season 3
Playing: Monster Hunter: World
Eating: my own soul and RRSP plan.