[Art] Ice Dragons – Fala

I’ve got a bunch of new Ice dragons since the last time I drew, so I figured I should start drawing them too. This one is named Fala! You can’t really see the wind on a white background though.

dancinghare_fala

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[Story/Art] Character of the Week – Auryanne

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[[ This week’s character is Auryanne the sun dragon. She has actually had three incarnations: I originally created her as a character in a D&D game in high school. As the rest of the party were very powerful high-level characters, she was allowed to be a gold dragon who assumed a human form. Then, for many years she became a sort of personal avatar for online and drawings. This is how she appears in the drawing on this post — she is a cross between a traditional western dragon and an eastern style dragon, and is allied to the sun. Lastly, she became the avatar of the sun god in Ka’arthadia, my fantasy setting. That is the version I decided to write about! ]]

“Look, Sacha, she’s coming.” The little kiraal, scarcely old enough to walk on her own, squinted skyward. In one hand she clutched a brightly colored pinwheel, tied with ribbons that fluttered in the warm summer breeze. Their little market was crowded with people, all dressed in white and gold in celebration of the festival. The delicious smells tickled Sacha’s nose — roasted meat, sun-warmed citrus fruits, and sweet fried dough. As the hour approached noon, the brightest point of the longest day, every face turned skyward for a glimpse of her — Auryanne, exalted of Aurilahn.

Sacha had a book which showed a picture of the dragon, her lithe sinuous form wrapped in scales of purest gold. Her shining coils, wrapped around one another, formed the sun, her eyes bright and gentle. This was the first year that she was old enough to go to the festival and see her — really see her, not just in a book. She’d been counting the days for weeks, and now it was about to happen.

A rush of air announced the dragon’s arrival, then her shadow briefly eclipsed the village below, racing over the tents and buildings as she soared overhead. Sacha couldn’t even breathe, so taken was she by the size and majesty of what she was seeing. She didn’t know something so big could even exist in the world, her massive leathered wings outstretched nearly covered their entire village. Then, just as quickly, she was gone, her gleaming form receding into the horizon. The villagers cheered and shouted, waving their banners and ribbons, but Sacha continued to watch the dragon as it flew further away. One day, she vowed, she would become a priestess and her warmth would bless her every day, not just during the summer festival.

High Priestess Sacha lay a hand carefully on the resting dragon’s side. Each overlapping scale was larger than her hand, with the appearance of perfectly burnished gold, the edges fading to brilliant white. A gentle warmth emanated from her enormous body, coiled in and around itself as she rested. At Sacha’s touch, the skin beneath the scales flinched and shuddered slightly. “What troubles you, Empress?”

The dragon’s head lay behind her on the cool floor of the temple, and the eyes slowly blinked their double eyelids to regard Sacha.

“Forgive my asking,” Sacha said, lowering her gaze. “But I thought–”

She spoke, her voice deep and rumbling as a distant storm, yet still gentle. Sacha thought she sounded like her mother’s voice just as she was at the edge of sleep — calming, and comforting. “I cannot hide anything from you, can I?”

Sacha smiled despite herself, and the dragon stretched, her head lifting from the floor to better see the priestess. “You are right. I worry about many things. I worry that my son will not be prepared to take my place when I am gone.”

There had been many meetings among the priests on that subject, many theories and papers Sacha had read attempting to explain the phenomenon. No dragon could bear young, but Auryanne had undergone the Concordance while egg-laden, and thus her unborn hatchling was ascended as well. Arakhet was young, brash, and impetuous, and while some of that was surely due to his age, it concerned many of the priests as well. Where his mother was serene, gentle, and soft, he was harsh and loud. His midnight black scales were tipped in gold, a bold visual contrast to his mother’s as well. Sacha did not wish to appease Auryanne with pleasantries, for the dragon would surely see through them. “Yes,” she confessed. “It troubles many of us as well. I can only hope that age tempers him.”

The great dragon exhaled a sigh, sending the banners fluttering. “Do you know of the situation in the south?” she asked Sacha.

“Not in detail,” said the kiraal. “I know only that the temple of Miraluna stands empty.”

“They scrabble and claw over each other like insects for the opportunity.” The dragon’s bright gaze was focused somewhere in the distance, far outside the temple. “I worry we may not yet have seen the end of it.”

Sacha turned an ear back, puzzled. “But the gods must choose. It doesn’t matter what the uhlkhem try.” At least, that is what she and all the other priests believed, had been recorded for centuries past. But a dragon’s knowledge was far greater than all of theirs; after all, she had lived it first-hand.

“The gods must choose, but that does not mean their hand cannot be forced. There are some among my kin who would stop at nothing to seize hold of the southern plains.”

The kiraal’s eyes widened with the realization of what the dragon was saying. Such an attack was unheard of, would surely escalate to warring among the dragons. “Please, say nothing of this to anyone,” the dragon rumbled, laying her head down upon the stone once more. “It is only the rambling of an old woman. Please, let me rest, Sacha.”

She nodded, bowing low before the dragon. “As you wish, Empress.” She hurried out of the chamber, her heart heavy with worry.

 

[Story/Art] Character of the Week – Tsi Ku

[[ Tsi Ku is a pandaren shaman who hasn’t done a whole lot storywise, though she is friends with Aranae the elf monk. This is a story from when she was younger! ]]

weekly_tsiku

 

Tsi Ku gasped in surprise as the spark of electricity leapt from her fingertips. The air around her crackled with it, setting her fur on edge.

“Very good,” said Tao Yin, stroking his grey whiskers. Tsi Ku was pleased; she knew he did that when she’d performed her lesson well. The old pandaren shuffled over to a large rock and sat down on it, leaning on his cane. “Can you tell me, what is lightning?”

Tsi Ku crinkled her nose in thought. “Well, it’s — I mean, if there’s a storm, sometimes there’s lightning.” She gestured skyward, toward the dark clouds.

“Hm,” said Tao Yin. “That is when, not what.”

“It’s–” Tsi Ku paused, biting her lip. “Electricity. That comes suddenly.”

“And?”

She wasn’t certain what she was supposed to say. The other elements were much simpler; they simply existed and you could see and feel them at all times. She could dip a toe into the cool water and watch the ripples, feel the stones beneath her paws, the warmth of a cooking fire as it danced and leapt over the coals. Lightning, though, was a rarity. It was an event, a sign from the heavens, a dramatic flash that shook the ground around it. It could be destructive, but so too could all of the elements. A flood, an earthquake, a wildfire, these could destroy and consume just as readily as lightning could.

Tsi Ku shrugged. Tao Yin was always wanting answers like that, something that sounded really deep and thoughtful instead of the first thing that came to mind. Tsi Ku preferred to keep things practical. “And it can be dangerous, but also beautiful.”

If that was the correct answer, Tsi Ku couldn’t tell. He didn’t scratch his whiskers. Instead, he hoisted himself onto his feet and started down the path to the noodle house. “Keep practicing,” he said, as he made his way down the path.

She didn’t need to be told that. Today she’d actually -seen- the spark, felt it crackle over her fingers and into the tip of her tail. She hadn’t just imagined it, the spark had been real, and she’d called it. That morning, she’d knelt at the shrine of Da Feng, the air spirit. She lit the bowl of dried herbs, letting the fragrant smoke waft up into the swirling currents overhead. She’d prayed for his blessing, and now it seemed it had been granted.

Her brow furrowed with concentration, Tsi Ku tried again to call the lightning from her fingertips. But maybe she’d grown too cocky — no matter how she tried, she couldn’t create a spark. She worried that she’d never see it again, but perhaps she was just tired. And hungry. She was definitely hungry. She gathered her totems, and hurried after Tao Yin toward the noodle house.

[Art/Story] Character of the Week – Zevida the Pale

[[ I know absolutely nothing about Guild Wars lore so hopefully the picture makes up for it. This week’s character is Zevida the Pale, a charr ranger. ]]

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A bone-chilling wind rushed past Zevida, carrying stinging snowflakes that clung to her mane and whiskers. Ahead, through the swirling storm, she could just make out the form of the white owl that flew ahead, guiding her. Back on the plains, her pale coat had been a liability — it was near impossible to sneak up on anything, charr or not. Some whispered that she had been cursed, ghost-touched, while still within her mother’s belly. And maybe it was true. Zevida had never quite felt a part of her loud, boisterous clan, always preferred to hang back and observe. When she was old enough, she left without a backward glance — she had no ties to them, and she thought of them infrequently. Did they still whisper about her now? She believed it was unlikely. They had probably just forgotten.

Here among the sharp snowy peaks, however, Zevida felt she belonged, a sort of warmth and kinship with the land that she had never felt back in her clan. She traveled it daily, often moving her camp depending upon the weather and the movements of prey. Zevida knew the ground and rocks, the trees and brush, the animals that grazed and nibbled on the mountain’s growth, the clouds that skirted overhead, brushing the peaks. And here she was able to develop her skill at hunting — her white and grey spotted pelt disappearing among the snowy rocks and cliffs. She used a bow for mercy and efficiency, learned to compensate for wind and distance, the best place to aim for each particular prey.

And, to her great surprise, Zevida even made a friend. She came across the little owl, still downy with chick feathers, after an especially bad storm. The bird, frightened and in pain, at first mistrusted Zevida and clawed and bit her. Zevida built a little nest of warm clothes near her fire, and brought the owl little scraps of meat. As the days passed, her wing grew stronger, and so did their bond. When Zevida took the owl out to release her, she refused to go. They hunted together from that day; Whisper the owl scouting ahead and alerting Zevida to anything interesting — or dangerous — up ahead. She knew what every cry and chirp meant, whether it was hunger or curiosity or danger.

Today, Whisper’s call was urgent, a “come and see” with the shrill edge of danger. When Zevida finally crested the peak, snow crumbling beneath her paws, she could see why. There were tracks. Not those of an animal, and not even a charr — she would have recognized those. Whatever made these had been wearing something on their feet. A human, perhaps? Zevida raised her muzzle to the wind, scenting it. She could smell nothing. But the snow was recent, these tracks could not have been made long ago. Zevida unslung her bow from her beck, ensuring the string was taut and her arrows were straight. Whatever was here on her mountain, she would find it.

[Art] The Last Ice Dragons

With this batch, my art goal is complete! (At least until I get another Ice dragon.)

Trying to decide if I want to try to do an art shop, not sure if there’s a big demand for cute cartoon dragons.

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[Art] More Ice Dragons

40/42

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[Art] More Ice Dragons

37/42 done! Only a few more left.

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