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I'm yours to command.

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About the picture:

This is a fake DA screenshot with NWN characters. The PC is Nalu Blackwater, my Half-Elf Rogue-Shadowdancer, and Valen Shadowbreath, the Tiefling, Weapon-Master that accompanies you from chapter 2 of the Hordes of the Underdark campaign.

Took an actual DA screenshot to have as a reference for character’s poses, background and ambient light. By the way, this is the first decent background I made :dummy: I know, I know, it’s not for a museum but it’s a start :lol:

About the armors, I had no problem with Nalu’s, but Valen’s was a real headache. First I wanted to make a realistic-looking one, like those of DA, but then I thought that it was better to keep the D&D feeling. Then I tried to draw the one that he’s depicted with on his portrait but it didn’t make damn sense, so I finally chose his 3D model and went with it. Doesn’t look so bad :D

Just when I was finishing the lineart I came across this announcement: [link] This is what spurred me into working my butt off into finishing it, not only in time, but also as best as I could. I don’t know if I’ll be winning anything at all, or even if I’ll pass the initial cut, but I don’t care. All the fanart I’ve seen is either about DA or ME series, and I thought that NWN needed some love too. For all those who already know Valen, just imagine the lovey-dovey scenes with him :faint: And for all those who don’t, read my rant after the disclaimers ;)

Leather texture: [link]
Scales: [link]
Metal texture tutorial: [link]

DISCLAIMER:
Valen Shadowbreath belongs to BioWare.
Nalu in mine.



RANT TIEM! :dummy:

Valen: “I’m yours to command.”

:iconhurrhurrplz:

Every time I heard that particular line I giggled, and then I “awwwww”-ed when he changed it to “Yes, my love?”.

I know, I know, I’m being a little too nostalgic but I felt that Valen needed some justice done to him. I mean, I’ve played Baldur’s Gate II, NWN, KOTOR and DA: O (I know there are more, but I’m poor and I can’t afford everything :lol: ); in every single one of them I pursued the available romances for female characters, but I always came back to Valen.

When NWN came out it was an era on which graphics were very limited in comparison to what we have now, so you had to rely on what the narration on the speech window said and the voice-acting quality. Things got better with time, graphics improved and voice acting remained top-notch, but they still lacked “something”. In the later games since Bioware stopped working on Forgotten Realms-based stories, romances have changed and upgraded, to the point that now you get from a kiss to a full-blow bed scene, and, what about the elaborate facial expression? (Alistair’s puppy eyes, maybe? Zevran’s brief heartbroken expression, anyone?).

So, since I played DA: O I said: “Wow, look at those graphics! What would NWN look like if it was made today?” Then I remembered Valen’s romance and how it’s barely remembered by the gaming community (if one takes a look at the sheer amount of art and fanficts about DA and ME’s boys), maybe because he was born too soon, back when gaming was not so widely extended among ladies (some years ago it was rare for a teen girl to spend her free time with videogames. Things have changed a lot in a very brief span of time). However, Valen served as an example for what future love interests should be.

Part of his traits include, but are not limited to (spoilers ahoy!):

:bulletred: Snarky attitude, translating into hilarious party banters and conversations.
:bulletred: Deep, somewhat raspy voice.
:bulletred: Gets embarrassed and blushes deeply each time a racy subject is brought up.
:bulletred: His mother was a prostitute.
:bulletred: Never met his father.
:bulletred: Orphaned at an early age.
:bulletred: Belongs to a race that it’s generally despised.
:bulletred: Forced into slavery when he was a kid.
:bulletred: His master trained him to be a perfect killer.
:bulletred: His first love was murdered while he watched. The sense of guilt would accompany him for a long time, if not forever.
:bulletred: Turned against his master.
:bulletred: Very, VERY sweet, delicate and loyal to his lady.

I’m sure many of these attributes rang a bell when you read them. Yes, that’s right! It seems like Bioware took note of all the feedback about what make fans squeal reeeeeeal loud and put it to good use (and how!).

But, as I said, I still miss Valen: I miss how he laughed like a madman in the heat of the battle; his “Might we speak?” and his “I’m yours to command.”; I miss how much of a tone-deaf tiefling he was and how terribly he sung, and still managed to sound cute :XD: ; and how well his voice actor delivered his emotions: the hurt if you rejected his love, or the unsuspected gentleness that he was capable of. Not that Steve Valentine or Jon Curry are bad, but I still miss Valen’s purring voice. If you don’t believe me, just listen to his love confession: [link] Headphones are strongly advised for this one :giggle:

But I think I’ll have to be thankful for not having him around in DA. If I had to choose between him, Zevran or Alistair, my head would explode (I still have serious problems choosing between those two). That, or I would install a polygamy mod :lol: But, oooooooooh, the endless snark with Valen and Zevran; and, what about Morrigan hitting on him? Poor tiefling :rofl:

So, if after this long comment you are still reading and I picked your interest about him, my mission will be accomplished. Actually that’s how I got two of my friends into Valen’s fandom :iconteheplz:. Speaking of that, I have to thank them, :iconnobuddy-else: and :icondarkqueen3: for their encouragement and advice on this one :thanks: :hug:

Come and join our sisterhood! We have a red-head hottie! :iconteheeyesplz:
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Hey!
I really like your picture and your long comment (read it all). Actually I already 'joined' this sisterhood long ago ;) But I never thought about looking for pictures of him until recently. So I stumbled across yours. Well done!
And I like your comments on Zevran and Alistair (although I have more problems NOT romancing Alistair when I plan to romance Zev ;) ) Yes, Bioware knows how to create characters :) Plus: Same here, I always come back to Valen :)
So: Thanks to you for picture and text and to your friends for their encouragement :)