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[CS] Task 5 - Through the Pages of History

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Task 5 for :iconconstellation-senshi:, Discovering Your Past! Wooman this is a doozy, and also expect 2 other submissions after this relating to it. Introducing Gen1 Eridanus! :la:

I recommend the following mood music: youtu.be/4GdtRjKuZFI


 

Sailor Eridanus wasn't exactly sure what to make of the Cloaked World.

Well, for the majority of it, it was quite pleasant! Like someone had cut a hole out of a fantasy world and plopped it in space. It was a little jarring, this whole venture to be honest; finding a ghostly lady in the Thames, followed by her warping up here? But, Eridanus was British. She adapted pretty quickly, even if she would continue to gripe about her teleport pad being at the bottom of a lake. How rude.

But her room was the most confounding thing of all - it looked like she walked into a dark, dimly-lit forest. With a hammock for a bed (her request for a real bed had, so far, been ignored). There was also a contraption not fit to be called a toilet, and a spring of sorts instead of a bathtub! Who lived here before, a heathen? But, something about the room was...comforting. Eridanus wrote it off as it reminding her of her childhood in Wales, though the sheer abundance of frog statures was a little weird.

Still, given her love of exploration of new places and wanting to find out every scrap of history of the place, Sailor Eridanus had taken to exploring. No map was required and she didn't need anyone guiding her around, it ruined the fun of it. Her sandals echoed across the halls, taking in all she could. It wasn't long until she entered a massive museum with multiple exhibits for her fellows' past incarnations. Of course, being the raging nerd she was, Eridanus excitedly explored every nook and cranny...until she noticed she was entering a place quite a bit...more dimly lit then the others.

Gold sconces hung from the ceiling, with blue-green flames burning in them. It pained the entire hall with an eerie light, turning the beautiful blue-and-gold stone mosaics that lined the walls into dimmer, almost haunting visages. Square pillars lined the hallway, reminding her of the Gates of Babylon, if she had to wager. Oddly enough, no windows were in the hall at all, leaving the ethereal flames as the only light source. Water and mythical creatures on the mural danced under the flame's light, and something...drew her further down the hallway. 

It felt...almost like home. Eridanus wasn't sure what this feeling was; nothing in Wales or England reminded her of this. A nostalgic feeling tugged at her chest, nearing the end of the hall.

Slowly, she came to a stop. Before her rested a massive oil painting, slowly chipping and peeling away due to years of lack of upkeep. A large, tarnished gold frame surrounded it, resting against the beautifully detailed mosaic wall. Reaching out, Eridanus brushed her fingertips around the frame, then against the peeling paint. A placard rested directly before her, scanning the passage.

"Sailor Eridanus. Lady Arethusa of Eridu," She brushed her fingers against the tarnished plate, tracing the words with the tips. "Born unto the River, and into the River she shall return..." Reading the passage caused Eridanus' brows to furrow, her heart suddenly clenching in her chest. Strange feelings began to churn in her, feelings she hadn't ever felt before. Blinking in the dim light, Sailor Eridanus pressed the ball of her hand against her forehead, almost seeing a world flash before her eyes.

Dark shadows everywhere, a soft glow cast...of being plunged into a cold lake, sinking further and further down until the light was swallowed up by the murky darkness. Of the dead, of being surrounded by death everywhere, every breath she took, every drink she had, every--

Letting out an audible gasp, Eridanus stumbled away from the painting, her head jerking upwards. Finally, her eyes scanned the cracked painting before her, finally registering what was painted there.

A woman was half-floating in a dark lake, reeds and grass surrounding her. Her arms were partially stretched out, her hands peeking out of the water and her head floating above it too. A mass of white hair covered her face and shoulders, with a small braid draped across one. The woman had both a serene and incredibly haunting expression to her face, but that wasn't the most terrifying part.

Eridanus' eyes widened, staring up at the woman's face. She shook her head slowly, unable to believe her eyes.

"T-that's...that's not possible, is it?" She muttered to herself, her words echoing across the still chamber.

But it was.

This Eridanus, the one who came before her - who know how many years or generations ago - looked exactly like her. Her eye color was different...but there was no denying it. Aeronwy wore Arethusa's face. 

For once, her unshakable British resolve faded. Slowly, Eridanus raised a shaken hand to the picture and touched the worn paint again, staring blankly up into Arethusa's golden eye. 

She bit down on her lower lip, her head lowering but unable to move her eyes away from the painting of her past life. It was difficult to face who you once were, especially when you had no idea that there was another you, long ago. Everything was rushing in too fast, too quickly; she couldn't put it into words. First, she finds out she's some kind of magical being, sworn to protect this place. Now, she's a reincarnation of someone who came before, someone she knew nothing about. But, Eridanus took in several shaken breaths, pressing her hand more firmly against the painting. One way or another, she would have to accept this and find out about her past. 

"So...I guess this is where you began," She managed to whisper to the painting, giving a short, hollow chuckle. "And where I'll continue our story." 


 

:faint: 

So, I'll be shortly uploading Gen1 Eridanus' reference + Profile, as well as the FULL painting. Because I'm so proud of it  Heart Love 

Believe it or not, I hashed this thing out in only a few days! I'm really incredibly proud of it :happybounce: I've been meaning to do this since I joined CS, especially since I've always wanted my Gen1 to be very creepy (trust me, she is XD). Arethusa and Aeronwy do have some similarities, but they're their own people, despite Aeron being a reincarnation. I'll babble more about the painting itself in it's own upload, because whooman I have a lot to say about it! :XD: 

I also think anyone would be weirded out if they found a centuries (or millennia?) old painting of themselves :shifty: I know I would be! Especially since bits and pieces of Arethusa - and the generations before Aeronwy - will start bleeding through every so often. Some things are always part of her, but the memories will start to return a bit. I haven't though much about the others TBH, maybe one day :3

AND! Flame that burns blue-green IS actually scientifically possible: shuubunni.tumblr.com/post/1398… :love: 

Also: BOOTY :giggle: 

Pose reference for GenX by :iconsenshistock:

Pose reference for Gen1 by :iconeirian-stock:

Photo frame by :iconeveyd:

Peeling paint texture 1 by :iconamka-stock:

Peeling paint texture 2 by :iconkameleonklik:

Babylonian Stone background from a Temple of Ishtar, I believe. 
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© 2016 - 2022 shuu-bunni
Comments11
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nickyflamingo's avatar
I love how you took on such a big illustration and pulled it off. I agree with K that the scale and subject matter looking very Ophelia packs some big punches thematically as well as visually and story wise.
shuu-bunni's avatar
Tomoyo Blushing Icon Awww, shucks you guys! Thank you so much for the kind words :love:
nickyflamingo's avatar
It's a job well done, it deserves lots of praise... just I'm often late to the party and have the sleepy dumbs XD
shuu-bunni's avatar
ITS OK, my brain is kinda melting out of my head today XD
wandering-kotka's avatar
This is amazing.  First off, you did a great job with the photomanipulation part of it, bringing together the stones, the frame, the lighting, all of it.  I love how Aeronwy seems dwarfed by the painting, as if her lineage and her sudden understanding are overpowering her.

And the painting of 
Arethusa is gorgeous!  The Ophelia feel comes across loud and clear and there's something reminiscent of Yoshitaka Amano's work in how you painted Arethusa's face.  I think it's the bold eye and lip combined with the pale, pale hair and skin that reminds me of his work.  The whole painting comes across as otherworldly and slightly unnerving, which seems a perfect fit for her.
shuu-bunni's avatar
OAIDAdfisdjfsIJIFSJ FI was about ready to cry when I read this! Amano is one of my art idols so being compared to him is just IUOADQRWAEHOFREU*(WR*@DKLSJDf gross sob 

Cant even think of a proper response except thank you T______T
sailorx161's avatar
Lady of The Lake ❤

I am all tingly about this one ! 
shuu-bunni's avatar
I was all tingly making it! Thank you :heart:
sailorx161's avatar
You welcomed since the painting has inspired me! 💖

Its meusum ranked piece wirh such beauity to strokes of the water to her expression. 
shuu-bunni's avatar
I'm glad I've inspired you :D 
sailorx161's avatar
😊 then i thank you 
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