Concept Art and Mental Bleeding

Working on many projects simultaneously may divert attention for some. Myself included, I admit. But I’d have it no other way to be truthful. My attention span is greedy. I become bored easily, and I don’t like to do the same thing over and over again for very long. When I do work, I work. It comes out effortlessly, but 99% of the time I have to dredge creation from the bottom of a deep, filthy lake. It’s covered in shit when it first emerges, you know. Through proofreading and editing, I clean an idea off once it’s free of the mental mire.

99 Cent Novellas: more of a concept project than anything else. I’ve been writing since my last entry, working on concept art and generating what I believe are quality stories. I’ve created new characters, given them their own plots, stories, weapons and quirks- I’ve also created supporting characters that mix with my Protagonists to help move the story along.

Expansion of the entire idea, the whole world of Melias, is what I’ve been doing. My mind and my writing are completely fused together; often spilling into my dreams if not specific instances opposed to central themes- I’m not entirely sure if my imagination is delusion, or if it is actually doing its job.

Doubt is the assailant- we are all victims, defeating ourselves. So in spite of this, create. Speaking of which, I’ve made some new additions to Melias that I think you’ll enjoy. First up? A pair of antagonists called Rezerad (the fat one) and Hectan (the jacked one). After the picture, I’ll explain what they are:

Rezerad_Hectan

Rezerad

An ancient Infernal (demon) that has ruled a universe within the Infernal Plane (basically hell) for countless eons. A cruel, twisted, foul merchant, it uses wealth and trinkets to ply weak mortals into willful slavery. A master at manipulation, Rezerad never leaves the safety of the Infernal plane, and the empire it created. The Infernal uses other Infernals and mortals to do its bidding. Worst of all, Rezerad is patient. It will wait for a millennia if it ensures success, and if one does? There will be naught but suffering. Rezerad is a ruthless, greedy miser as well, hording its own wealth to use across the entire physical plane- it always has just the right thing to tempt an unwary mortals.

Hectan

Mindless and utterly without pity or mercy, Hectan is a destroyer- meant to be unleashed. It is incapable of true rational thought, operating with cruel instinct like that of a rabid animal. If it is alive, it must die, and Hectan is large enough to do it. It towers over most anything (in my novella, he was able to cross an ocean without completely submerging) and raises an army in the wake of its slaughter- the lower half of its body the equivalent of a slug, the mucus corrosive, removing flesh down to the bare bones. The mucus also reanimates these remains as skeletons to fight for Hectan, which creates an ever expanding, indestructible army to ensure that whatever is in the Infernal’s path is raised to the ground, and stomped into complete extinction.

In addition to this, I’ve been working on another system of stories that revolve around a particular Rogue, named Gya. I’m not entirely sure of her backstory yet…anyway, here’s Gya:

 GyaGya

Unsure of where to start her, I am still working on her back story. I considered her defecting from a thieves’ guild, or breaking off from an assassin’s cult. I might mix that shit too, I don’t know yet. Unparalleled dexterity, speed, agility and cunning, Gya is more than capable of depending on her own skills to get along. She utilizes many, many custom gadgets and weapons, all geared to help her disappear, distract, deceive, or destroy. A deadly shot, she also uses a collapsible shortbow that launches her arrows with incredible force and accuracy. The arrows themselves host a whole variety of effects such as poison (of fuckin’ course), hallucination, and explosion.

A master of simple illusory magic, she can deceive and confuse her foes to the point where they are trembling in fear- an easy mark. A dagger and a shortsword are her weapons of choice; Gya’s speed and agility allows her to get in close before her foes can react, sending them to a bloody end. She uses magic to also help close distance and confuse her foes- a short range teleportation spell helps her outflank her enemies, but this ability is only limited to leaping from shadows to shadows. A greedy, driven kleptomaniac, her profession augments her natural tendencies, making her a force that is always underestimated until death is near.

Gya, being a thief, knows plenty of fences as well in order to hock her shit and make some money. After she’s done with a score (especially if its a good one), she likes to visit one fence in particular, owned by a dwarf named Urgo, who she has known for years. They are close and loyal friends, and won’t hesitate to protect each other. Take a look at Urgo:

Urgo

Urgo runs a very unique pawn shop / bazaar in addition to being a fence. Taciturn and guarded, Urgo doesn’t just…jump into things. He is calculated, patient, and very intelligent. Gya is far from the first thief to fence Urgo goods- he has a complicated system of thieves all over Melias ready to get gold for their “hard earned” scores. The gun he’s flashing was a gift (that he still had to pay for) from Gya to help keep him safe. It is the only firearm he, or Gya has ever seen (which shows how rare they are). The cartridge is a solid steel slug packed tight with a hornet’s nest of smaller shot compressed into a tight paper wad, ignited by a substance called Deathpowder. It’s like black, or gunpowder, but five times more powerful and backed by powerful alchemy. A supporting character, Urgo helps Gya stay focused- and to help move the plot forward with sensibility; a trait Gya sometimes lacks.

Urgo and Gya will also be facing a powerful enemy in the novella they’re locked in- a sentient flesh golem named Hevitus. A powerful mage, Hevitus stands to propel his own agenda forward which is to basically rule where he roams. What gives him the power to do this? Well, let’s start with his portrait first:

Hevitus

Hevitus

As a construct, Hevitus doesn’t have many weaknesses, like mortality, or even a heartbeat. An extraordinary mage, his magical ability rivaled most Spellslingers in Melias when he was human. Now, there is nary a force that can match his power. Hevitus transferred his terrible will into the construct you see above. Once he gained control of the golem, he brought it to life with powerful magic from the inside, utilizing only the four elements as his basic weapons. The golem itself amplifies his abilities, making him all but unstoppable. If left unchecked, he would simply crush whoever opposed him, able to raise entire cities to the ground as his power builds.

With these characters, especially Hevitus, I tried to think outside the box and really attempt to create something I had never seen before. I want to twist the fantasy genre together with reality and fiction all at once, creating a living story that reflects many aspects of humanity, government, and fiction. Regardless of what agenda or ideals I decide to push forward, I will always make a good, entertaining story. That’s the goal, anyway.

In my fervor, I created another Protagonist, one that utilizes the supernatural in her abilities. A cleric, she uses her martial skills and divine magic to banish evil and the unhallowed, along with bringing rest and guidance to lost, or tortured souls. Here is Genesis, who prefers to be called Neesi:

Nesi

 Neesi

 A cleric of high standing within her order, (I do not have a name for it yet), Neesi follows the same path most clerics do- she wanders Melias to destroy evil and help the innocent- whether they are alive, or restless spirits. A powerful psychic, she constantly hears the whispers of spirits from the Ether (spirit world) to guide her toward places of darkness or suffering. She is a white light for many- living, dead and otherwise, offering guidance, peace, and sometimes death.

Her armor is too big for her because they refused her a custom made suit at the cathedral she is based out of (it’s a real man’s world where she hails from). Often, she looks like she is swimming in it! However, a skilled and capable smith, Neesi created her own under suit to pad the armor and make it fit perfectly. But make no mistake, Neesi is a band of steel; a lithe machine of muscle, conditioned by years of training with heavy weaponry and equipment. Enemies that underestimate her by merely looking at her stature are often gutted or bludgeoned to death because she can easily overwhelm most with her strength.

Her blade and most of her shield are made from Lumite, a strange metal that sometimes falls to Melias from one of her three moons. A rare material, Lumite is almost indestructible, and holds a keen edge for a very, very long time, in spite of what it may be hacking through. Her abilities are driven by her inner will and compassion; she can destroy the unhallowed (undead), exorcise those possessed, help beings cross over, and a whole host of other offensive and defensive spells. I think for the first story I will write…Neesi will be exorcising an Infernal from a young boy, or girl. She is tough, stoic, powerful, dedicated, and vigilant.

Alright, that about does it. I’ll check in from time to time here on out.

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Shitload of Concept Art

Creation of a new story means fresh concept art, something that I truly enjoy almost more than anything else involved within this process. I am working on a new story, just like I said, and it involves a new character, Modus (I posted about him earlier) and also a new villan, Ranin. He’s a vile, greedy, sadistic merchant who uses unholy magic and brute force to get whatever his heart desires. Miserly as well, Ranin keeps a close eye on his massive fortune and make sure he gets the most bang for his buck. Ranin is the one that murdered Modus and imprisoned his wife’s soul.

At present, he’s a spellcaster, mostly because he is too out of shape to do anything else. During the exaggerated gesticulations sometimes utilized for spellcasting, he will break a sweat, and often soak the front of his robes. He is impatient, and learned magic through dealing with the Infernals.

He is a cruel child with a machine gun. Wanna see?

Ranin

 

Sick little fucker, ain’t he? Modus also fights an Infernal in the beginning of this novella that calls itself “Eye.” A dangerous beast, it seeks to spread carnage and chaos by conjuring intense hurricanes and tornadoes wherever it may tread. It never fights fair- often attacking by stealth or ambush all while exacerbating the storm it conjured as it fights. Eye has a gullet filled with thin, razor sharp teeth, all crooked and twisted. Its breath is highly corrosive, and capable of breaking down almost any substance. Here’s a picture of Modus staring eye to eye with Eye:

Modus&EyeI also created a creature that I want to use in war scenes. It’s called a Salk:

AdultSalk

Salks are strange creatures, able to think and feel along the same mental level as a horse. They are hearty, covered in dense muscle, thick hide, and coarse hair. It’s front legs are quadruple jointed in every joint, allowing a salk to articulate itself into almost any position to navigate any terrain. It uses its powerful hind legs and to leap from place to place on terrain that might not accommodate hooves, but have plenty of hand holds for their front legs. They are omnivores, eating just about anything that they can swallow whole. Its teeth are actually a defense mechanism- when it needs to clear the way, it lowers its teeth and uses them in a similar manner as the front end of a locomotive. They can be taught to attack enemies with gusto, using any and all parts of its body as a weapon.

Alright, that about does it. I’m currently busy and motivated, which is a pleasant change of pace to say the least.

 

 

New Character Born from Self-Hatred

Modus is his name, the latest addition to the heroes of Melias in 99 Cent Novellas.

He is a Death Knight, a being of his own strange creation, a good being twisted and tortured for what he believes in. When alive, Modus belong to the order of Hallan; a sacred collection of Priestesses with Knights as their guardians. To ensure a bond of the highest order, men and women who wish to enter the order are encouraged to form relationships and eventually get married. Those who do not find a mate, cannot continue their training, and must try again when the order is accepting new disciples.

They are an organization dedicated to bringing peace and light into the world, seeking pain, misery, and illness and cleansing the planet of such mortal agony. You see, the a Hallan Priestess is the wife of her guardian, a member of the Knights of Hallan. Hallan disciples view marriage as the top tier of human relationships- a bond where two beings are linked completely as one, one the protector, one the healer, both sides coming together for a greater purpose, the purpose of healing pain wherever they may tread, and repelling any threats with extreme and violent prejudice.

Hallan Knights are men of exceptional combat ability and willpower. They push themselves far beyond the limits of any normal human being, always having their Priestess at their sides, healing them as they become wounded or maimed during the intensive and cruel training process. Hallan Knights are taught to harness the pain that automatically accompanies such a lifestyle and use it as fuel to drive them forward, relying on sheer willpower alone when the body is almost completely shattered. They are ferocious in battle, but are even-tempered, calm, and sympathetic to those who are innocent, or in need of help. They aid the weak, the poor, the sickly, the elderly, they are champions of the underdog.

Hallan Priestesses are women of extraordinary healing talents, grasping and mastering an entire branch of magic in mere months. They are prodigal- almost able to erectness the very dead with their incredible knowledge of healing and restorative spells. They can reattach severed limbs.  Heal severe wounds, heal disfigurements, disabilities, diseases, you name it. They train alongside the Knights, watching their loved ones get hurt. And sometimes, they must save their husbands’ lives if a training exercise goes wrong. Hallan Priestesses play mother to all the people of Melias. When they are seen in their flowing white gowns and light, elegant armor, they are flocked to, and in some circles, worshiped. But none get too close- her Knight is not far behind.

They take love and transform it into something much greater than just a union between two people, strengthening it as they see the good that they can do in each other’s company. They turn love into armor. Determination. And they are devout in their goals to the death. Modus used to be such a Knight, until he and his wife were captured by a vile and twisted merchant that uses dark and terrible power to assert dominance in any field of his choosing. Modus was cursed with Undeath, his soul sent into the Infernal Realm where it remains imprisoned, constantly tortured by the evil that dwells there. His wife was murdered in front of his eyes, the blood from her neck splashing his own face and armor, her soul banished into the locket that she herself gave him on their wedding day. But enough back story. Here’s what he looks like after decades of being warped by the dark magics that made him:

 

Modus

 

Once a slave to he and his wife’s murderer, he is now free, still carrying out his duties. Only now, he has a connection to the very darkness he seeks to destroy, and he exploits his condition whenever he can. I created Modus out of a time when I was mired in self hatred and dread. Anxiety. Basically, he is a supernova contained within an evil shell, a good, holy being wielding the dark and hideous power that was forced upon him. When I drew Modus for the first time, a felt free from a terrible gravity that I had yet to realize I had been carrying.

I have more concept art coming.

Concept Art and MORE

Explaining why I’ve been lax in my activity would be boring and egotistical, so I’m going to jump right in and get to stuff people might actually wanna hear.

I’ve been working a lot of the 99 Cent Novella project, in particular focusing on two characters. One, a barbarian half-orc, and the other, a human Warrior Shaman. Anyway, I’ve been writing a novella where these two team up to smack the shit out of a powerful Infernal (picture evil, demon-like creature). Then, on a whim, I decided to get a little artsy fartsy and sketch Gruun’s face:

Gruun.ConceptArt_99CN

No nonsense motherfucker, right? Anyway, he and Thas (the Warrior Shaman) are fighting a being calling itself Sycahiss: a creature that not only has an unsettling appearance, but is also a master of decay, death, and necromancy. It is an Infernal that can tear a hole into our world through the agony and pain of those sacrificed in its name. Like a moth to the flame, the beast is drawn to such profound pain and misery, and when the veil finally pops, Sycahiss takes form as. Well…take a look:

Sikahiss.ConceptArt_99CN

See that little face inside its chest? This Infernal is not as powerful as one might think. Once Sycahiss is ready to enter the material plane, he latches on to a human infant (provided by its cultists) that he keeps inside of himself. Sycahiss draws from the life energy of the child, aging the human without it ever getting any bigger. When the child is used up, Sycahiss must find another, or he will not be able to maintain his corporeal form. Also, his cloak is just a load of bullshit. Here’s a piece of concept art that details one this vile creature’s many captives:

SikahissThrall.ConceptArt_99CN

But that’s not all. Basically, Sycahiss is summoned upon a mass grave. Hundreds upon hundreds of people are tortured, killed, mutilated, and thrown into a large pit by his fanatic cultists, who will eventually add their own bodies to the pile. As Sycahiss emerges into the corporeal realm, he rises up out of the dead, and then rallies these unhallowed creatures to do his every command. Each one is different, but all are savage, mindless, and disease infested- all working as one via telepathic command from Sycahiss. Basically, this Infernal is a miserable and disgusting defiler, searching to spread misery and destroy lives, but unwilling to soil its own hands if unnecessary. Naturally, Thas and Gruun had to stand in its way.

Alright, I think that’s enough for now. I’d like to post some more about the races and creatures of Melias (the world where all my 99 Cent Novellas take place for now), describing what they are, and posting more concept art. I’ve been away from my craft for too long, and I aim to place my heart back where it belongs.

 

Living in Constant Fantasy

From time to time, I feel as though I am just fabricating an intricate scope with which to view my world in a hue of constant fantasy.

Writing is the obvious outlet. So is art- it is all relevant. Not just to me, mind you.

Reality can be a harsh pill to take. Often, it’s taken as a suppository and forced into your life’s rectum with a cold, ungloved hand. I am well aware that reality also hurts, and can be boring at times. I think that’s why I write. Or at least that’s part of it. I write because I am bored of reality, and I want to create a new one to fuck around in. Last time I checked, I didn’t possess world-altering powers, so I guess writing and drawing will work. Perhaps there are others like me out there. I’d sure like to think so.

I finished the first novella in the Warrior Shaman series, and I’ve been anxious to continue on to the next chapter, but I find my mind disjointed and distracted. I feel like I have to scold my own brain like an unruly child. But no matter- sooner or later it all comes out. I drew a few weapon concepts for Thas, the Warrior Shaman. He utilizes a short sword and an axe, but they are no ordinary weapons. Here’s some art of his sword:

Thas_SwordConcepts

 

I wanted to create something simple, sharp, and easy to use- making it truly deadly in the hands of a master like Thas. It’s not just any sword, either. Of course it’s magic. This sword is made of singing steel; it’s a magic alloy made from iron, carbon, stone, and salt water. It’s created through gravity and intense fire magic, forged for decades in the most extreme heat and pressure, using complex alchemical powders and tars. Magic must also be used to shape the blade; mortal tools simply break, or catch fire. It is forever keen and unbreakable, and its tip is so sharp that it whistles through the air like a whip, but at a much higher pitch. Here’s a close up look of just the sword:

Thas_SwordDetail

 

He holds this weapon in his left hand. The right wields a special axe, also made from singing steel. The handle, however is made from an unbreakable portion of wood from the massive Tree of Hope- which can be seen from almost anywhere on the entire planet of Melias. Here, take a look at some concepts:

Thas_AxeConcepts

 

Sorry it’s bleary…I forgot to draw larger so I could scan it. I kinda got caught up in the moment. Anyway, you’ll see three sharp lookin’ things attached to the side of the axe head. Both sides, actually. These ridges are collectively called a bone wedge. By use of strength and the might of singing steel, this axe will cleave directly through bone, much like a wedge and a piece of fresh splitting wood. If it gets stuck going in, the design always allows for it to be pulled it out with little effort, never letting it get paralyzed in a skull or breast bone. This axe is made to fight with, period. Here’s a detail piece:

Thas_AxeOnce again, I apologize for the shitty quality, but I’m not drawin’ this fuckin’ thing over again. Anyway, I wanted to give him two different weapons because they allow for more options in combat for Thas. He can parry with the blade,  hook and manipulate limbs with the axe’s lip, hack through limbs, or run people through. Thas deals death equally for all.

I don’t know what drove me to draw these two pieces to be honest. I haven’t posted art on my blog for some time now, but something just struck me to do it. Which brings me right back to the main concept of this entry- living in fantasy.

I draw because I can’t create. I tell stories because I cannot make another world. Without the outlet of writing and art, I fear all of my ideas (good and bad and neither) would simply blend together, and I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart anymore. In fact, my grip on reality is based on how long I can steep myself in fantasy per day. But don’t get me wrong- my life isn’t so shitty that I have to spend it all in a hopeless meandering daze, constantly in fantasy. No, it’s more like…free therapy. As much as I love telling/writing/whatever stories just because I find it really fun, it’s nice to get some of these fucking things outta my head and onto paper so I don’t obsess over them in my mind.

Perhaps writing is just my way of coping with a life that can be really boring on occasion.

 

Naturum: A College of Magic in Melias

Melias is a world of high fantasy, so there has got to be magic. I mean, what the hell are we all doing here if there isn’t magic in a fantasy world?

Many of the characters that dwell in Melias wield magic, so I figured, rather than pulling random spells outta my ass situationally depending on plot, I’d split all the magic spells in Melias into four groups: The Naturum, the Arcanum, the Etherium, and the Mysterium. An entry detailing all of these colleges would be long, boring, and dry. So I’ll do one at a time.

You see, each college’s name is a direct refection of the spell disciplines that each college has. Naturum focuses on spells that harness the raw power of Melias itself (the four elements) and at greater levels, a master of the Naturum college can command the intangible forces that govern Melias as well. Like slowing down time, or using the force of gravity to crush a heavily armored foe.

From largest to smallest, here’s how it’s broken down: College – – – Primal Source – – – Energy Source – – – Discipline – – – Spells. Take a look at the picture, and then I’ll explain more:

Naturum_Tree

See? You got the college at the top, Naturum. Then, you have the Primal Source (where all the spells are ultimately drawn from) in a rectangle, and then the Energy Sources which are circled. The disciplines are where we’ll get into all the spells.

Spellcasters in Melias cannot just fling a fireball, or spit a curse. They must channel their focus deep into the primal source of the spell they want to cast and make it manifest into an Energy Source. For example, if I wanted to cast that aforementioned fireball, I would tap into the collective energy of ALL elements, and then make the fire materialize, often in my hand. Once materialized, I can recall the incantation verbally or in my mind (depending on my skill) and then let that fucker fly.

For those of you that are interested (that’s like…ALL of you), I’ll explain what kind of spells one can find in each discipline.

Fire

Pyromancy– generation of flames, controlling conjured fire and naturally occurring fire, extinguishing flames, exacerbating them.

Detonation- make volatile substances explode, generate explosions, smash atoms together and then pull them apart.

Ionikinesis- control and generate plasma, change its form to weaponize or fortify

Water

Hydromancy- creation of water molecules, controlling water, changing tides, shoot crushing geysers of water at enemies, walk on water

Frostfreeze water, make stabbing weapons out of ice, ice projectiles, freeze targets

Time– slow down time, speed it up, pause it, rewind it

Fauna

Communion– speak with animals, understand animals, ask animals for help, share vision and other senses, understand an animal’s intentions

Ascension– bolstering animals, healing them, making them stronger, making them bolder

Flora

Vibrancemake plants grow, recede to your whim, control plants, communicate with plants

Alchemy- the distillation of magical properties contained within an object, potion making, salve making, transmutation

Mutation– alteration of natural world via biological manipulation. Generate extra limbs, improve senses, merge species together, splice species with yourself

Earth

Tectonomancy- controlling dirt, sand, rock as weaponized or defensive forms, generate earthquakes, make fissures in the ground

Physiokensis- Controlling physics itself- slowing objects down, speeding them up, tearing them apart, pulling them together, moving them, throwing them

Gravity- crush targets, throw spheres of superdense force, eliminate gravity, multiply it, make targets lighter, heavier

Wind

Aneomancy- controlling wind to push, pull, or smash into targets, compressing air into piercing projectiles and slicing blades, levitation, flying

Electricity- projectiles, protection, arcing from one target to another

Weather- generate/calm storms and other natural disasters, command powerful storms like tornadoes and hurricanes, create tidal waves, rain, sunshine

I think that does it for now. There’s three more colleges to talk about whether you like it or not, so strap on uh, I mean in and get ready to read, or to tell me to go fuck myself.

Writing is a Higher Form of Masturbation

I’m not joking about the title.

When you think about it, what does a writer really do? Just that- we have stories in our heads, so we gotta get them out. Well, at least that’s what it’s like for me, but I must say the whole process from start to finish just makes me stiff. I love writing and comin’ up with shit as much as the next author, so I’ve decided to try out a new idea. All too often (and I’m sure 99.9% of you can relate to this), I have ideas that will never fit into a novel. They’re too small scale, or they’d be good for a scene in a novel, or something like that. And some of them actually aren’t all that asinine. So that leaves me with an overflow of cool ideas that might work together, but nowhere to put them. Until now, bitches.

Thanks to AutoRealm, I can create gigantic worlds as a framework for my ideas. All you do is download this program (it’s free) and you can create massive maps (or small ones) that can be used for role playing, recreation, or whatever. After getting used to the interface, I created a world called Melias, and this is where I will start with my new idea:

99 Cent Novellas.

I figured, what better way than to stroke my brain than putting all these little ideas and scenes into a novella? Like serials. They can be produced quickly (and with quality), and can be sold for cheap. Every single one of these novellas that I will produce will be 99 cents on Amazon. All of em’. And these novellas won’t stop at just Melias. I plan on creating a whole host of other worlds with a whole string of fresh novellas! And here’s the thing. Each novella will be its own story, with unique characters and places. Here, take a look at where the first group of novellas will take place:

99CN_Galivec

Galivec is a relatively small continent in Melias, and will be the stage for my first tale: The Path of the Warrior Shaman. Here’s some concept art of the main character:

99CN_WarriorShaman

Ah, fresh ideas, fresh starts. Love it. See what I mean? How can writing not be akin to pullin’ the mower? I created a skeleton where I can literally write with no limits as much or as little as I want. And since I have another job other than this one, I don’t need to worry about writing being my main source of income. I can focus on the writing and the art, and that’s all I really want. A limitless creative outlet that I can take refuge in.

Too many people see writing as a business. And that makes for shitty writing. More and more authors, writers, whatever need to remember (if they haven’t already) that you must be true to your art form. Take criticism, but don’t ever let it completely alter the fundamentals of your work. Because when we get down to it, who are we really creating novels, paintings, poems, blah blah blah for?

Our metaphorical authorpenis.