Anger and Expectations

Those who boast that they live without regrets are liars.

What’s in a failed expectation? Is it more personal, or is it more observed or inflicted? These thoughts are what drives forward the inevitable response- idle. Idle thoughts. Stagnant. Time continues to pass regardless of  consequence. Time passes and with each second it drags on, it takes a fraction of life with it. A grain of vigor, slowly it takes them one by one, millisecond by millisecond until there is aught but dust.

Time appears to have come with a goal. Or an expectation. One who is short on time desires more and vice-versa. It is something that visits everyone, takes from everyone. Living in the moment is an insult to those who live truthfully. To exist in a moment is better, far better. Imagine existing in the moment. Imagine the power of living in one place at one time: sentience, physicality, and faith, all aligned in one spot. Aligned and ready to exist.

Expectations are forced upon the living and the dead from the day air rushes into our lungs for the first time, and then after the final breath struggles free and beyond. There is no time because we measure it.

As life progresses, one often accumulates problems and baggage. It is expected for the well to become sick. It is expected for the sick to die. It is expected for the dying to live. The phrase, the word, the concept; it’s the expectation that ruins everything.

There will never be a way to make another person satisfied with personal progress not tied to their own. There will always be a lingering feeling of repair and dissonance. And as this distance is confirmed with fear and suspicion, the motive may be different, but the damage has been done. Accomplishment is no longer lauded among humans. It is envied and demeaned. Failure is never seen as a learning experience. It as seen as the worst possible thing one can ever suffer. Accomplishment no longer paints with a broad brush. Rather, a system of “modern” accomplishment is inflicted, forcing others to adhere to what is generally accepted as “progressive.”

Singular people must gauge their progress based on what is accepted. A personal struggle means nothing. It is overlooked because overcoming such a challenge is often not tangibly lucrative. If one is not making money through work or personal progress, one is failing as far as this planet is concerned. Expectations. They are unrealistic. The only thing that can be expected in this life often comes too quickly to be avoided. There are no. Real. Expectations in this world except for the ones that we invent to guide ourselves.

Tide of Violence

Humanity is founded on the base need to hate and kill. All civilizations were built on bones and blood, their histroy hailed and celebrated and taught as something just and righteous. History is not written by the victor, it is simply written. There are versions of history all over the planet that change on bias, intelligence, and tradition. Human history is pointless simply because there is nothing to be celebrated outside of the overshadowed compassion and hope that our species sometimes personifies.

Violence is in human nature. We have “advanced” intellects and brains, along with strong and able bodies, and when we disagree, we turn toward violence. There is nothing more natural and hideous. It is everywhere. Consider yourself peaceful? You are not. Violence teems just behind your eyes, locked away within the primordial memories of the subconscious. It is all you ever want, and it is all humans can aspire to.

Urges are natural, correct? Even though humans are usually suppressed when it comes to sexuality, we are exposed to violence- even told that some forms of it are good, or lawful, or even righteous. Violence and fucking are the same act with different outcomes. The hate in our brains is distracted by hopefully love at the most, and pleasure at the least. Humans eat, drink, fuck and sleep not for sustenance, but for entertainment. We are merely looking for distractions, distractions to keep us safe from our primal sides. Our only side.

Civilization and manners are tricks. Parlor tricks, akin to what you’d teach a dog. Humans are just animals that can learn really complex tricks. What’s driving a car? Shooting a gun? Following orders? Cooking a meal? Assembling a nuclear power plant? Designing a rocket? Diagnosing an illness and treating it accordingly? Advanced. Human. Tricks. Nothing more. Strip that all away and there is nothing but the beast, the being that we are all afraid to be. And its this suppression that makes cooperation, civilization and global teamwork impossible.

Hiding behind words, laws, terms, phrases, beliefs, facts, fictions- we aspire to be an elevated Human, a person of great skill, success, and popularity whether in general, or in their own sphere of existence. Truth is we are humans, a species of animal, no greater in importance than any other creature by default on this planet. Humans are everywhere because we are feral, uncontrolled. We breed without plan or morality, we neglect our children in hopes of making more, maybe getting it “right.”

Suppression will always lead to outburst. When we bury our dark desires opposed to examining, understanding, and learning from them, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over, acting in the folly that this time! This time…will be different. It won’t be. The reason for this is simple- humans are unhappy because we are animals covered with clothes and bombarded with social constraints and ideals. Imagine putting your dog in a suit and then screaming at him when he doesn’t meet the sales goal for June. If you wouldn’t do that to a dog, why a human?

When did we decide we need all the technology and extra population to survive? When did we decide that murder must be suppressed, except when it isn’t? Like in movies, art, video games, and crime? What changes? Nothing.

We are a suppressed species, denied our own urges and thoughts for so long that we are evolving toward apathy. Suppression, and the choice to be civil, are not the same.

 

 

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.

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.

Inspiration through Editing

Creation of story requires an active mind and a steady stream of thought, akin to a dam with a tiny hole at the bottom.

It is difficult to simply pull more content out of your ass. When I force myself to add words to my work, the work? It blows. I catch myself being lazy, using too many short sentences, stupid grammar errors, blah blah blah. The process is enough for me to hide from the piece I am working on, be it poem, novel, short story, name it. At present I am working on a new 99 Cent Novella featuring my two favorite characters, Thas and Gruun. At the present, I am adding more content into the story to beef it up. No, not to pad it for length- actual, real writing.

I’ve been dry.

But that’s okay! And I’ll tellya why. See, I thought writer’s block worked one way and one way only. Your ass sits at the computer/typewriter/notebook and you piss, moan, and pout when the story don’t come out. So, that’s the method I’ve been using forever. Only until recently did I discover a way to still work on your piece and fight back against writer’s block.

Years would pass in between spurts of writing or art for me. Years! I just accepted it as part of the creative process, my creative process, but this is bullshit. I don’t have to accept anything I don’t want to, and by sheer luck alone, I’ve found a loophole. When I used to write, I would complete a piece without even thinking about proofreading/editing until I was complete. Then, I would print it all out on hard copy, proofread, and then edit. Fuck THAT.

As of late instead, I found myself driven to read the pieces I have already completed. Before long, I noticed the unconscious tweaking of the content here and there. At first I spurnned myself, saying that it’s just a minor adjustment and I should wait until I am finished with the piece. That may have worked at one time, but no longer. Eventually, I just said fuck it, and started to edit and proofread all my work before I had finished it, and I stopped printing out my manuscripts (a task I do not miss).

During the editing session, I found myself generating new ideas about where the story would go, and what was needed to move it forward. I also learned where the language was weak, along with countless other weak points. This is helping me shape the story into something I can be proud of. Little did I know that for me, editing generates fresh content in my brain. Why?

My best guess is that maybe editing turns over my ideas inside my head and refreshes them. As I gain more confidence in the finished product, I can write the piece and finish it more quickly, and perhaps produce a result better than my previous method could create.

Hey, your writing process is your own. Everyone had habits and routines, but all I’m trying to say now is don’t get blinded by them. Every once and awhile, try something different, or better yet completely new. You’ll be surprised with how much thinking your brain is capable of.

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.