[Art] Custom FunkoPOP – Tauren

This guy used “Andre the Giant” as a base, but he had a LOT of sculpting work added. I think he’s either a shaman or a druid, not really sure. He’s not intended to be any specific character, I just wanted to practice doing something I hadn’t done before!

tauren_34tauren_sidetauren_backtauren_grass

[Story] Story a Week 21

[[ Prompt: A story set on another planet

Well, that’s pretty easy for SWTOR characters… this is how my Smuggler, Tihan, found his pet Ginx. ]]

“Eugh, what’s that smell, Captain?” The mon calamari’s face wrinkled up in disgust. “Was that the wookiee?”

Captain Tihan guided the ship down onto solid ground. He knew from previous experience that some seemingly safe places were actually flooded and would be a nightmare to lift out of. “That would be the lovely aroma of Quesh,” he explained, flicking the controls off. “See those clouds out there? That’s all poison gas.”

Guss grunted. “I think I should stay behind and… clean the cargo hold.”

Risha appeared behind them with several breathing masks. “Actually,” said the Captain, “That’s exactly what I need you to do. Prep the hold for live cargo. Lots of it.”

Risha’s brow arched over her forehead. “Live cargo? Just what are we getting into here?”

The Captain took one of the masks and began to adjust the straps; his montrals always caused trouble with anything meant to be worn on the head. Hopefully it would stay on properly, he would rather not die from inhaling the toxic atmosphere today, at least. On the holoprojector he flipped to a rough map of the area. “See that?” He pointed to a large, long building that looked to be in the center of a compound. The grounds around it were littered with smaller buildings, ramps, a small landing area. “It’s some kind of storage warehouse, and it’s recently been demolished by the Imps. There’s a whole zoo worth of fancy critters in there, rare ones.”

Risha crossed her arms. “You’re joking, right?”

“Do I ever joke?”  She didn’t even crack a grin. Rough. “Look, if anything in there’s still alive — which my scans say they are — it’s worth big credits to collectors. We can unload these on Nar Shaddaa within a week, no problem.”

“Wild, probably dangerous animals in our cargo hold for a week is ‘no problem’,” Risha said, her arms still crossed. “Just what are you going to feed them?”

The Captain paused. Actually, he hadn’t really considered that. “Uh, I’m sure the droid can give them something. Maybe pick up some fish or something at a market somewhere.”

“I heard that,” said Guss, from the cargo hold.

“It’ll work out,” the Captain assured her. “Doesn’t it always?”

The compound was in worse condition than it appeared on the map. No doubt some of the animals were already dead. Maybe that solved the problem of feeding them, Tihan thought. His blaster was loaded with tranquilizing rounds, and Guss was on standby to lift the sleeping critters up into the cargo hold. It was also his problem to get them safely into the cages, though the wookiee and the droid were there to help as well. Even through the breathing equipment, the atmosphere burned their eyes and stung their throats. Best to get out of there as quick as possible. There were some Republic guards around, but not a lot. Hopefully Tihan wouldn’t have to bribe them to look the other way, but he was prepared to if possible.

The Captain didn’t even know what some of the animals were, thankfully Risha did. She was able to tell him which were more likely to fetch a higher price. Some he tagged just because he thought they looked interesting. Many of the pens had been damaged by the bombing, which meant there could be animals prowling around loose in the compound. Tihan kept his fingers on the trigger at all times; thankfully it seemed the tranq rounds worked pretty quickly — but he only had a limited number of them.

He paused to check his barrel. Only a couple left. He aimed and shot into a mottled furnoc. “Call Guss, let’s wrap up in here.” The Captain kept his eyes sharp and his ears open as Risha sent in the call to come pick up the critters. The last thing he wanted was to be pounced and mauled by some Hutt’s expensive pet. At least before he collected, anyway.

Risha closed the comm. “On his way,” she said. “Hey, what’s that?”

Tihan pointed his blaster in the direction she’d looked. He saw nothing there but shadows, but were they the same shape they’d  been a moment ago? He wasn’t sure. The building around them rumbled as Guss maneuvered the ship overhead, preparing the lifts to bring the animals into the cargo hold. As he didn’t see or hear anything else, Tihan holstered his blaster and helped Risha load. Some of the animals were too heavy to move even with the two of them, especially asleep, so the droid helped.

“I can’t imagine how bad the hold is going to smell,” Risha said. “We’re going to have to fumigate it.”

“Maybe,” the Captain agreed. “But we already–”

He paused, looking back toward the shadowed place. He’d heard something, something moving but he couldn’t quite place–

It was bright blue and yellow, shiny even in the dim light. Its mouth seemed to take up its entire head. It had four enormous round red eyes, they looked like lights. “Uh,” Tihan said, reaching slowly for his blaster. “What is that?”

Risha laughed. “It’s a terrifying togruta-eating beast.”

The creature cocked its head, watching them both curiously. It made a sort of burping sound. “Oh,” Tihan said, holstering his blaster again. “I get it. You’re making fun of me.”

“It’s a ginx. It’s harmless, though you shouldn’t lick it. The skin contains mild neurotoxins to protect it from predators.”

Cautiously, Tihan held his hand out toward the thing. It protruded a very large tongue and licked his hand. “Aww, it’s cute. We should keep it.”

Risha shrugged. “You can keep it, if you want. I don’t need a pet. I live with you guys.”

Tihan grinned and patted the ginx’s head. It was cool and sort of damp. “Come on little buddy. I’m getting you out of here.”

 

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Loralinde’s Journal

I can’t believe the day is finally here! Keyalenn and I moved into the little house. Oh, it’s so perfect! The builders did such a good job. I’ll have to thank them next time I see them around the school. There are two practice rooms, and one big study with two desks, one for each of us. And there’s a huge tub in the bathroom, and tons of cabinets in the kitchen — neither of us really know how to cook and we’ll probably mostly eat at the school but I think it will be fun to learn anyway. Or if it’s late at night and we don’t want to go down to the school for a snack. I want to have parties and invite everyone over! All of the rooms are painted in different shades of blue, it’s just beautiful. We still need to hang up the curtains and unpack everything. It’s a little chaotic right now. I didn’t bring that much with me, just my trunk and books from my room, but there’s tons of space to put things. I guess I will need to get more robes! Maybe some little decorations and things, for the living room. I’ll look when we go on our trip to Shattrath. Keyalenn told me there’s a market there with all sorts of unusual things, it sounds perfect for decorating! I can’t wait to go. I’ve heard about the library there too, that’s really the main reason we are going but the Magister always lets the students have some free time.

I want to invite my parents to come over one night, too. They’ve met Keyalenn briefly but I am sure they’d like to get to know him better, and I want to show off our little house! I suppose they’ll notice there’s only one bedroom but I’m sure they figured that out already. I mean, we are going to get married after I finish school. It’s going to be difficult to study sometimes though, I’m sure of it. I was already distracted by him before but now it’s even worse because I can remember instead of just imagining. At least we’re able to be together at night now. That’s the nicest part, just finally being able to be together all the time. He’s so sweet and caring and handsome. He’s even thinking about teaching a music class at the school, on top of the frost lessons. I do think it’s a good idea, he has ideas about all sorts of classes people could do, like hawkstrider husbandry and wood carving and cooking and gardening. It would certainly make the school more well-rounded and appealing to students. I can’t think of any magic school in the city that has all of those things. I just hope Keyalenn won’t be too busy in the evenings!

I wonder if there could be a class about ghosts? Most of it is just theory really though, there’s no way to prove or disprove anything about ghosts, because they are such willful things. Every ghost is different and even then the same ghost can act different depending on its mood. I’d definitely like to make a book about the ghosts here on the grounds, though. Maybe the Magister could add it into the library. I’ve drawn up the family tree of the ones I know about. There are supposed to be more in the woods. Now that I can go out at night, I might try to find out more about those ones. The weather is warm now too, I want to go out walking with Keyalenn. We can walk on the beach or in the woods, and a bit later we’ll be able to go swimming. Everything is so perfect! I’m sure glad my parents made me go to that party in Silvermoon after all.

[Story] Story a Week 20

[[ Prompt: A story written in 2nd person narrative.

This one was tough, I really don’t enjoy this perspective very much and I was stumped as to what to write about. I once had a very vivid dream of being a dragon, and this was kind of inspired by that, I guess. ]]

You awake in a cave. It smells ancient, of minerals and cool water. You can hear it dripping somewhere behind you. You stir, and you sense that your body is much larger than you expected, coiled over itself on the stone floor. You hear the whisper of scales against the rock’s surface. You rise, feeling the muscles tense and coil. Your claws clack with each step as you move toward the cave’s entrance, the light almost blinding in its intensity.

The air is sweet and smells of greenery, carried on a breeze that sweeps past the cave. You are high on a mountainside, and you can see down into the valley, into the village beyond. The houses look sturdy, but humble. The forest below you is dense and green, the ground hardly visible through the canopy of branches. Birds and squirrels chirr busily among the branches, unaware of your presence.

You step out onto the crag, your claws gripping onto the rough stone. Here you spread your wings, feeling the sun warm the leathery skin. You have only one fleeting moment of doubt as you leap from the mountainside, that one moment before your wings catch the air and pull you aloft. You are strong, skilled at flying. It takes little effort to keep you aloft, gliding over the trees that rush past below you. The wind is invigorating, and you want to go higher. Pointing your muzzle toward the sky, you flap your great wings, feeling the rush of air beneath them as you ascend. Not even the birds dare fly this high, this sky is yours alone. You can see what seems like the entire countryside from here.

Your belly rumbles. You haven’t eaten, and you’re suddenly aware of how hungry you are. You survey the village, but you sense it would be dangerous to attack them. They would surely seek you out if you took a villager, and you’re not big enough to defend against an entire mob. Soaring over a hilltop into the next valley, you see a herd of sheep grazing. Their shepherd is nowhere in sight. It’s far easier prey than you are accustomed to, one dive and you clutch the sheep in your claws, carrying your bleating prize to a safe spot to eat. It’s only one sheep, surely the villagers will allow you that. Its meat is warm and rich, and it’s enough to fill your belly for now. Sated, you stretch out upon the warm rock to sun yourself. The light plays over your shimmering scales, and you tuck your muzzle beneath one of your coils to rest.

[Art] Custom FunkoPOPs – Valjean and Javert

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time working on these guys lately. Customizing these is really fun and I  have tons of ideas! I have more in the works as I type this, but here are the finished Valjean and Javert from Les Miserables. Their costumes are based on the stage version, in Act 2. The bases used were Sirius Black and Draco Malfoy, they had very little done in the way of sculpting, they were more or less straight repaints. But I think the result is very good!

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[Story] Fairsong Academy – Irael’s Letter

Dear Mother,

How did you like our first fancy party? I bet it was fancier than most of the ones in the city. I still can’t believe how much food they made! Tik and Terellion must have been cooking for weeks beforehand. I like how all the foods were like little miniature versions, like the tiny sandwiches and tiny cakes. And of course the rolls. I’d heard about those beforehand, so I knew I had to try them out. They weren’t kidding! It sounds kind of gross to put fish inside a roll but they were really good. There was some kind of cream or something inside. I even tried a little wine. I know, I shouldn’t have, but Zalindri kept saying how good it was and I wanted to try it. But then she said I should be careful because of how strong it is. I don’t want to drink too much by accident and look bad. I don’t want to get sent home for drinking too much. The Magister is already checking up on us, I’m sure that means he’s also watching us closely. I’m sure if a rich kid did it, that would be okay, but not if I did. That’s just how things are, I understand. I don’t know much about wine, but it tasted pretty good. I didn’t finish all of it.

I didn’t get to dance. I guess that boy forgot or he got too nervous or I think maybe someone told him. I don’t know who it might have been. Maybe Zalindri. I think she’s a little annoyed with me, because of what I said about her fiance. I just think it doesn’t sound like he is very interested in her, if he won’t even take a few hours to come and see her. I wouldn’t like being married to someone who didn’t even write me letters or anything. But maybe that’s how arranged marriages are supposed to be, I don’t know. But then, she did dance with me a little bit. I think I didn’t dance very well, but as far as I know I didn’t step on her feet, so that’s good. She also told me that the two girls that Magister Fairsong adopted are both from the Row. Can you imagine? I’ll admit to being a little jealous. Not about being an orphan, of course, but getting adopted to live someplace like this. I’m glad they won’t have to live on the Row. I guess I won’t have to either, at least for a while. Magister Firewind said if you want to, you could live here at the school. It would be longer to get to your job, but there’s dragonhawks. It’s something to think about anyway. You’d be safer and you could keep an eye on me!

You looked so beautiful in your new dress! I saw you were talking a lot to Magister Firewind. I hope it was mostly good things. I’m trying really hard in my lessons and I hope he can see that.

Love,
Irael

[Story] Story a Week 19

[[ Prompt: A story set in a theater

I went back to my very first fandom for this one! ]]

The boy crouched in the shadowed curtain, awaiting his cue. His name was really Pascal, but he was Souris to everyone at the Opera. As soon as the orchestra paused and the lights dimmed, he scurried across the boards and collected the flowers from the stage. It was very important that he wasn’t seen, it was why he’d been chosen for it. He was smaller and quicker than everyone else, and he could move without his feet being heard on the boards. It helped that he wore soft shoes. Behind the stage, he set the flowers carefully into their bucket of water. They could probably be used again for another day or so. The dancers were out on the stage again, beginning the finale. The opera would be over soon, and then Souris’s other job would begin.

There was a little spot he could sit and just catch a glimpse of the dancers through the curtain. They made it all seem so effortless, like fall leaves twirling down from the branches. But he knew how much they practiced, saw their blisters and bloodied feet. Backstage, there was nothing beautiful about it, but they did it because they loved it so much. People said that Souris’s mother was a dancer, but he didn’t know for sure. He’d never met her, he suspected that some of the old people probably had, but they wouldn’t tell him. Once he got one of the ladies who sewed costumes to tell him that she’d gone away to a small town after he was born, but that’s all she said. She wouldn’t say what town, or anything else about her. It didn’t trouble him much, however. He loved living at the Opera. He took lessons during the day from Madame Giry, who was in charge of the dancers. She gave lessons to all the young dancers in addition to himself. They wrote arithmetic and sentences, and read books aloud. During performances he cleared the stage and made sure props were in place, sometimes he fetched costumes too if something was needed. At night, Monsieur Lambert gave him jobs to do. For all of this he received his little room to sleep in, his meals, and some money every week. He saved it in a little metal box that he hid beneath a brick in his floor. Souris did not yet have a plan for what he would buy with it, but he thought one day he might travel to that small town to look for his mother.

The curtain fell, and the stage echoed with applause. Some people would toss flowers onto the stage, and he would have to fetch those after the curtain went down for the last time. He always tried to make sure that every girl got one so she wouldn’t feel left out. It wasn’t fair that the same people always got them every night. Tonight was Saturday, so there would be no performances tomorrow. Monsieur Lambert had given him a list of jobs to do, instead. He especially liked Sundays, when he was alone in the cavernous Opera. It made him feel that he really was a mouse, in some much larger person’s house.

Sometimes, though, he felt that he wasn’t really alone. At first he’d thought it was only one of the cleaners or the stage crew, but even they weren’t awake late at night. Sometimes he heard things — someone speaking or faint music from somewhere far away. He’d once spent the whole night trying to find whoever was playing, because he was curious and because he wanted to know what music it was. He’d never heard it before, not in any of the operas that had been performed while he’d lived there. Souris never did find it, and when he asked about it that following Monday, they’d all looked at him as if he was mad.

Whoever — or whatever — it was, they seemed to be curious about Souris too. While he was oiling equipment or touching up paint, sometimes he’d sense that someone was near. If he pretended not to notice, they would get closer. Sometimes he could even feel the rush of air from someone passing. But he never saw anything, at least, nothing more than shadows. He started to think of his mysterious companion as a ghost, and even thought up a story about what might have happened to him. He was a stage worker, just like him, and he’d had a terrible accident. But he, like Souris, loved this place too much to simply leave it and his spirit remained behind. Or maybe he’d died in a fire, or drowned in the channels underneath. There were a hundred possibilities. Souris wished his ghost would tell him what had really happened, but he never did. He told the ballet girls that there was a ghost, but they didn’t believe him at first. Later on, he heard them telling stories about it, so they must have believed him after all. Souris was a little annoyed at that, because it was his ghost, he’d found it first. He was the only one who saw and heard it in the still of night. But so long as it wasn’t hurting anyone, he supposed he didn’t mind sharing.

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