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Glibmark's Reclamation

By ursulav
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The city of Glibmark was, in its heyday, one of the greatest metropolises on the continent. Like many cities, it suffered badly from urban decay, and so it expanded constantly outward, growing new suburbs for those fleeing the rotting urban core. Despite this, it was hailed as a city rich in culture and art and innovation, full of bistros and street cafes and urbane delights, famed for its poultry dishes and artful omelets.

Then the great plague of '48 swept the city, possibly caused by a tainted omelet. By the end of the summer, seventy percent of the city-dwellers had succumbed, and Glibmark found itself a metropolis without a populace. The city had been built to last--the people, not so much.

The forest moved in. Weeds found cracks in the concrete and pushed them wider. Sacks of chicken feed got damp and sprouted. Saplings grew in gutters. Vines crept up buildings and slowly, the woods swallowed the edges of Glibmark whole.

The survivors of Glibmark began a peculiar slow-motion retreat towards the urban core. As the edges of the city were reclaimed by the voracious woodlands, people moved inwards. They would live in an area as long as possible--years, even decades, maintaining their shops and homes--but eventually the forest would creep in around them. Those so inclined stayed in the woods, clearing saplings and vines from their dwellings and henhouses and watching the city slowly fall away from them. Those who were not so inclined would pick up and move inward, to the more civilized zones closer to the core.

Everyone knew that eventually the forest would devour Glibmark. Surviving a plague of that magnitude makes one inclined to be philsophical about such things. The population of Glibmark felt that they no longer needed so much of their city, and the woods were welcome to it. The roads were kept clear, life went on as normal in the core, but the city was on the retreat.

Travellers to the woods around Glibmark today may notice the lampposts, built long ago by the finest magelectricians, which remain lit, despite roots and vines and upheavals...and of course, the feral chickens.
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Fooling around with a very loose rendering of a cityscape--it's pretty slapdash, obviously, but I was in a mood to get the visual meat down, and not much for sweating the fiddly bits. Painting so loose is a struggle for me--I keep wanting to go "Wait, let me just detail this one bit here!"--but it's probably healthy, and I really just wanted the idea slapped out and down and out of my brain.
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© 2006 - 2021 ursulav
Comments198
anonymous's avatar
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RedDoktor's avatar
Great atmosphere. I only dream I could create something like this one day...
raptoregg64's avatar
For some reason, I imagine this as belonging in Henrietta Featherkins's story. ^_^ Might just be because of the chickens.

Once again, I envy your artful talent! This is great- I wish I was as good at drawing urban decay as you are!
Aaron-Gillespie's avatar
I love the atmosphere you've created
DragonCid's avatar
A bit Bill Tiller-esqe! I love it!
CelestialWingedLion's avatar
LoopyWolf's avatar
What a lovely scene
helmmanodehierro's avatar
i had a dream like this!!!
Marstorm's avatar
Beautiful, but I'm afraid the feral chicken is after me.
bonvillain's avatar
I really like this piece a lot. The color scheme is great, and I like the whole nature encroaching on civilization thing.
Namerak's avatar
interesting... I love your avatar BTW
killthewaitress's avatar
oh how i enjoy your writing, nevermind the great art.
feralferret's avatar
Very nice! I love the colors. The back story is great as well, your writing skills definitely match your great painting skills!
aurianfae's avatar
Strangely, that world sounds a lot like a roleplaying game that I ran for about a year and a half, where most of the people in the world died, and without the pollution, the trees took over.
JacquiJaxx's avatar
Fantastic! :) Fav + Watch :hug:
DaughterofFenris's avatar
Your art makes my day everytime I look at it...
Its creative and has the same sense of humor I do.

Therefore: I must snuggle it.
ScottishRose's avatar
I love the stories you attach to your works. The painting is wonderous, and mysterious, and then you add a full story, which makes it all the more real.
Muse21's avatar
My, the chicken is something to fear isn't he?
Patosia's avatar
fantastic!chicken rulezzz!!!
zwil's avatar
beautuiful colors. i really love the feel of this one.
Laurianna's avatar
I really like this work!^^
MONSTEVR's avatar
This is one of my favorite things. Ever. Thank you for creating it.
MizuJitsubutsu's avatar
I love the colors you used. x3
RetroHotline's avatar
wow its really amazing :heart:
daniellemasucci's avatar
sounds like heaven. and that chicken is a nice touch.
anonymous's avatar
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