The Star Think About Names

Hanuel: My family used to spend a lot of time in Esperant, so I’m pretty familiar with it. My mother said she came here once a little while before she fell pregnant with me, and had her cards read by one of the fortune tellers. The old lady told her that she would have ‘a daughter like the sky’, so when I came along she named me accordingly. Just as well Air’s my element really, or that would have been odd! Speaking of names though, Percival, where did yours come from? It’s not a very magical name at all; it sounds more like a Knight’s name.

Percival: It’s not a very magical name because my parents weren’t expecting me to be magical; I’m the first Mage in our family for several generations apparently.

Lavinia: Well, your mother would have been around magic quite a lot after coming to work for my family, wouldn’t she? Perhaps that held some sort of sway over it.

Percival: Most likely. We’re still unsure how I managed to come about being ‘Destruction’ elemented though…

Colourful Rosario

Rosario + background

So this was hanging around in the same folder as the Cassian one, and although it’s not quite finished (hence the badly-coloured waistcoat), it’s unlikely I’ll ever actually tidy it up, so I figured I may as well just put it up as it is. If nothing else, you can see how much fun I was having with ol’Computones again. There’s another one of November using a similar technique, but that’s even less finished than this one, so I’ll spare you that.

Fun Cassian

Cassie graphic

Found a fun coloured version of That One Picture Of Cassian hanging around, and thought I’d share it. Please forgive me while I take a moment to lament the loss of my screen tone program…

If I can ever recovered my old version of Photoshop, it may make a return, until then I shall just have to look through all the unfinished WIPs and contemplate what could have been…

Alas poor Computones, I knew them, Horatio.

Mzenrich Contemplates T’anasis

“I hate to say it, but I fear you may have to seek the aid of a Maitre… Though I don’t believe his condition to be life threatening, there is sore little I can do to ease him of it…” The healer confessed, apologetically. It was clear that saying such hurt him almost as much as it worried the young Sorcerer, but sometimes the truth was unavoidable.

Mzenrich folded his arms, and leaned his back against the doorframe, his eyes settling once more on the ill man. Any and all attempts at healing him, magically or otherwise, had left little to no impact, and that was even with the adjustments made in accordance to the man’s seemingly Elven nature. Nonetheless, Mzenrich couldn’t help but feel that they were giving up too quickly; that they had missed a piece in the puzzle that would have easily provided the answer. Maybe it was time for him to try his own methods, as unconventional as they were.

“Sir, if I could be so bold as to make a suggestion, I think taking a sample of the patient’s blood might be in order. I have a few pieces of equipment that can help us analyse it better. It believe it’s worth testing before we send them off to Florinye or wherever else that they might find a Maitre.”

A look of pleading came into the young Sorcerer’s eyes at this suggestion. “If you can, please do! Travel even to this part of the city was difficult enough with T’anasis in such a state, I’m not sure how we’d ever manage to get to Florinye..!”

Mzenrich looked back at his superior, as if awaiting permission. The healer folded his arms, his expression one of thought. After a moment’s hesitation, he nodded slowly. “I suppose it can’t do him any harm, we can at least try. Though, Mzenrich, please be careful if you’re going to start dabbling with burners and powders again…”

The would-be Alchemist could only smile wryly. “I will. All right then, can you pass me the syringe please?” His request was quickly granted, and though his approach earned him a growl from the yellow-eyed man at the Sorcerer’s side, the patient himself seemed to have no objections to the needle.

“Be careful it doesn’t…touch your skin…” the pale man said, weakly, his eyes half-lidded from weariness.

“Don’t worry, I don’t think you’re contagious.”

“No…”

As the blood was drawn into the syringe, something about it struck Mzenrich as odd. Although that was due to be expected, given the nature of the situation, he did not think it was simply illness that caused this peculiarity. No, instead he half-suspected that the patient was not an Elf at all, and that this was the blood of a race that they were entirely unfamiliar with. His mind immediately began to race with ideas and possibilities, just what revelations might await them once he’d placed this under the microscope?

“Is that all you need for your tests, Mzenrich?” the healer asked, noticing the peculiar look in his assistant’s eyes.

Mzenrich’s attention snapped back from the syringe as if with a visible jolt, and he nodded sharply. “Yes, this is all I need. I’ll go and test this now, but I think I might already know where we’ve been going wrong, even if not how to make it right yet.”

The healer nodded, slowly. “All right, you do what you must and let me know anything you can. In the mean time, young master Aubin, is there anything I can do for you?”

Mzenrich did not stay to hear the Sorcerer’s response, he was far too eager to begin his experiments. The more he considered the syringe’s contents, the more he began to contemplate what approach he should actually take.

The Voice Of Hectaythe, Hyperion

Ruby trailed behind Hyperion at a comfortable distance, established after many long years spent trying to avoid treading on the hem of his robe. It was perhaps not the best distance for conversation, but it had never been much of a problem for them. Besides, it was only on the narrow walkways of the Conscitionis that it was even necessary. She glanced down at the city below them and wondered not for the first time why it had been built in such a way, seemingly hazardous for the sake of it. But sadly, unless she found herself a dragon, it would be a question she would never hear the answer to; not even Hyperion was old enough to remember the city’s founding.

“Say, Hyperion, I have a question for you. Forgive me if I’m over-stepping my bounds, but are you actually immortal? I’ve always wondered.”

Ruby didn’t need to be able to see his face to know that she had made the Sorcerer smile. “No, not by any means. I am simply… long-lived.”  There was nothing simple about it, from what Ruby understood, but that was hardly the direction to press in if she wanted any answers from him. Conversations with the Sorcerer were a complicated process, not many people had her patience to pursue them.

“But you are human?”

“You already know that I am.”

Ruby suppressed a sigh, and reconsidered her question. “I mean, she hasn’t done anything to physically change you, has she? Sometimes, when she’s…with you… you look as though you’re in pain. It had me worried that something was actually happening to you, and that that was why you’ve lived so long.”

Much to Ruby’s surprise, Hyperion glanced over his shoulder to see her. “You were worried about me?”

There was a quality to Hyperion’s expression that made Ruby smile broadly; a vulnerability that served to remind her, and anyone else who should chance to see it, that for all his splendour he was still a person of his own. She took slight pride in bringing it about.  “Of course. I’m not one to question a goddess, but if she’s hurting you, I’m still not going to take kindly to it.”

“She doesn’t hurt me. It is simply a little overwhelming sometimes. I doubt any mortal could ever really serve as host to her. Why she did not choose from among the Elves, I don’t know…”

“Have you ever asked her? Why she picked you?”

“I…did not see it as my place to do so…”

Ruby paused in her footsteps, a look of conviction on her face. It was something Hyperion had always admired about her. “Then I’ll ask her, if you like, the next time she’s with you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that she shouldn’t have. Heck, I would probably have never met you had she not. I just, well, one can’t help but wonder about these things.”

Tefrakles

Tefracles

Another one I found from the Inktober stash. Sadly, I think that’s the last of them. Guess I’m just going to have to try a bit harder when it comes around this year!

Aubin Ink Sketches

So I was rummaging through the archive box the other day, and I found some of last year’s ‘Inktober’ doodles. Needless to say, I completely failed at the target of drawing every day, but I did, apparently, get some rather nice little images out of it. Including, it seems, this set of Aubin.

Aubin-Rough-03       Aubin-Rough-02

Aubin-Rough-01

As someone who normally draws everything out in minute detail in pencil first, drawing straight in pen without being able to correct any mistakes was a massive challenge, as I just had to kind of ‘go with it’. So yeah, there’s a whole host of different issues with them, (for a start, I don’t think even Aubin’s waist is quite that thin!) but what the heck, I like them enough.

 

Sealed Sorcerer – Progress Report

Things currently included in the Sealed Sorcerer demo:

Sealed_Sorcerer-Progress-June

(This only includes things that have actually made it into the programming document, so although I’ve written the first four chapters, I don’t get to include them here!)

(Also, the ‘Spells & Attacks’ value is probably a little misleading at the moment, as although four of Aubin’s sorcerery-level spells are included, there’s currently no MP or cool-down system, which has made him more than a little bit over-powered!)

Writing Prompts – The Paladin King

“Can I have this moment forever?”

The great castle town spread out before them with a splendour like nothing either of them had ever seen. It was like every image in every fairytale Matthieu had ever read was painted in its likeness. Even from the pair’s high vantage point, the castle herself stood proud against them, her towers tracing the clouds.

Matthieu stared in awe, and sank to his knees.

When he made no move to stand again, Jaromir went instead to sit beside him. The ground was wet from continued heavy rain, and above them the clouds threatened to end the current reprieve, but now wasn’t the time to suggest they returned to camp. Matthieu was troubled, and it wasn’t hard for Jaromir to guess what might be on his mind. One way or another, tomorrow would change his life.

Silently, Jaromir draped his cloak around Matthieu’s shoulders, and Matthieu leaned a little closer. When at last he broke the silence, it was with a voice full of quiet fear.

“I’m sorry, Jaromir. I just… Seeing it like this… It suddenly all feels so real, and I… I don’t want tomorrow to come…”

He didn’t look at Jaromir as he spoke, his eyes still transfixed on the land below, but he moved in closer towards him, and rested his head on Jaromir’s shoulder.

“I want to stay here, like this, with you. Just as we are, before it all changes. Can I have this moment forever?”

Jaromir said nothing, but placed his hand on Matthieu’s own. He knew he couldn’t offer forever, but there was no reason for them to hurry back. And he knew they couldn’t stay here, but there was no reason he couldn’t stay by Matthieu’s side. They didn’t come this far together for Jaromir to turn back when they got there.

However Matthieu chose to interpret the gesture, it seemed to be enough, and when the rain started to fall once more, he was smiling again, however slightly.

A Myth of Mortality

In the first days, Esselgrim worked in secret, and only The King knew of his true purpose. He started small, taking what he could to lessen his sister’s burden, but he did not touch the crafts of the other gods.

It was the dawn of many ages, not just those of the Dragons and the Elves. And in that time, Esselgrim kept his distance. But he continued to watch the world of the living, and to monitor Namessali’s creations. And as he watched, he witnessed many things; acts of cruelty that he could not forgive. He did not blame the world’s young mortals, for it was not they who were at fault. The blame lay with his fellow gods.

Every now and again, there happens a night where there is no moon, where the air and sea are quiet and still, and no creature dares to act. It is on these nights that the gods assemble in meeting, and it was in one such meeting that Esselgrim made his move.

“Why, Esselgrim, you are so quiet today, has something made you sad?” he was asked by Fionn, and although he had not wanted to upset the sun god, Esselgrim knew he must be truthful to him.

“Yes, a great many things have made me sad, and you are one of them.” And of course, Fionn has never wanted to upset anyone, and so was quite confused, and Esselgrim was forced to explain it to him.

“When you burn too brightly, the living cannot grow food, which makes them weak and unhappy, which makes my sister and I unhappy as well.”

Fionn of course did cry, for he hadn’t known that he could burn too brightly, though Esselgrim tried to comfort him.

“It is not just you, Fionn, but a good many of us. Why, Samar’s work follows yours, and he has hurt many with his flames. Lupelle pushed her followers too hard, and makes them do things they would rather not do. Even Queen Hectaythe causes her followers pain, by giving them powers that they cannot control.”

At Esselgrim’s words, the other gods began to gather around him. With a frown, he looked at Stremis to his right.

“Stremis’ temper is whimsical and fierce, and he causes people to become lost and separated, cold and hungry.” And Stremis could not deny this, and said nothing.

But it was with anger that Esselgrim turned to the rival gods, Arach’lor and Tellor’ich.

“And you! You are the worst of them! You make your people fight and wound each other without end! You drive them to acts they would never dare of without you, and bring out the worst of them! They lie and cheat and hate on your orders!”

Now Tellor’ich did not take well to this, and the two began to argue fiercely. For the first time, Arach’lor sided with the balance god, and when Hectaythe also spoke, it was alongside them. Esselgrim hurt, but he did not back down.

At last, Dhies raised a hand, and all fell silent. He spoke in all his gentle wisdom, and looked only at Esselgrim.

“What do you wish to do about this, my son?”

Esselgrim turned his back on the other gods, and looked only at The King.

“I wish to stop the pain of the mortals, to bring them under my protection when their own gods have injured them.”

“You wish to bring them Death, as you do to Namessali’s creations?”

Esselgrim was steadfast and unblinking.

“I do.”

And Dhies closed his eyes, and all the world did stop, as he thought long over all Esselgrim’s desire would mean. At last, he came to a conclusion.

“Then it shall be done. You will be the guardian of the wounded and the aged, the sick and the hungry, and they shall become the fallen. Treat all with fairness and gentleness, and the living will love you and fear you, and seek ever to evade your grasp. Do you think you can bear the burden, my child?”

As before, Esselgrim did not falter, though he knew his words would pain him.

“I do.”

All remained silent, for several long moments, until at last Dhies spoke once more.

“It is done.”

And so death was brought to the races of the world, and the gods would learn the consequences of their actions. They could never change their ways, but they would learn the value of the life Namessali had given to their creations.

And true to Dhies’ word, we shall hold Esselgrim in contempt, and fight to escape the peace he brings us. But it can never be done. Even the Elves themselves are not undying, for Dhies ensured that his own creations be treated the same as all others.

But we must never forget that it is for our sake, and that a world without Esselgrim’s mercy is one of everlasting pain.