Nice work jdeegz. I'll probably tell you this over IM anyway, but oh well. I'm interested in what he would look like without those chains etc. Or maybe he created a weapon out of his former shackles, that could make for interesting design. Yeah, your perspective and anatomy is way off. I'd say keep working on it, but I think we should save stuff like that for the finalized char drawing. Focus on design/costuming etc. I'd like us to lock in the designs, and be preparing our finalized drawings by the end of this week if at all possible.
Matte & Sketcheth, great to see more OC stuff. I like your thoughts for our fat mage lady. ;) Some of the thumbs remind me of the witch from Howls Moving Castle, but I think if you tweak enough we can avoid similarities.
And now, I have the first draft of one of our character's short story writeups. Let me know what you think.
"An Evening With The Duke"
A platter, made of silver and filled with various drinks, sat unmoving in the air.
"Some refreshments Sir?"
Giray looked at the waiterboy, then at the assortment of offered drinks, and selected a small, square glass of Relban Brandy. Expensive, but nothing less than expected at such an affair. It was said the Duke always threw great parties. Giray hoped he'd be able to meet him before the night was finished.
He thanked the boy, noting the foreign features above the Hilean garment. The City had it's fair share of travelers, but not many these days since the _____ of __. Commerce, travel, had all but been eliminated, with only a few daring ships a year. Provisions were tight, and new methodologies had to be constructed to combat the overall shortage in resources.
Giray watched as the waiterboy gracefully and swiftly weaved through the hubbub and the crowd, offering all manner of liquids to ease a Noble's spirit.
"Stuck with the rest of us." he muttered, and took a large sip from his glass.
Around him the party was in full swing, literally. From end to end of the large banquet hall, acrobats swept above the tables of the party guests. Near one corner, a slender man dressed in a tight, lizard-skin suit, contorted himself into the most grotesque shapes imaginable. In another corner a magician delighted (or horrified) guests as he appeared to melt into the floor. Giray took another sip, smiling. There hadn't been magic in ages, but parlor tricks could still amuse and entertain.
The musicians onstage played a rowdy, upbeat tune, as people danced nearby. A blue-haired acrobat swooped down and stole the decorative headgear from a nearby Nobleman, who feigned protest and surprise between his laughter. It was a short separation, though, as it was plopped back on his head when she swung around again.
"A happy ending." Giray smiled, and finished his glass.
"Would you like more of the same Sir?" the waiterboy said behind him.
He turned, about to accept the offer, when his arm knocked one of the glasses off the tray. Before he could even exclaim, however, the boy had caught it and placed it neatly next to the others.
"Or perhaps I should cut you off now Sir?" he said, grinning.
"Well handled, but no- I'm not that easily swayed by brandy, Relban or not!" Giray laughed.
"Very well Sir." the waiterboy bowed, and disappeared again.
Carefully, Giray struck a path around the animal-masques and the glittering shawls, over to the eastern fireplace. and settled himself into a large, opulent chair. Sitting there, it occurred to him how fortunate he was, and a warm bubbly feeling crawled through his body, as he continued to take view of the festivities. He never imagined being surrounded by Nobles, let alone in a party hosted by The Duke.
The bubbly feeling again. Perhaps the expensive liquid was affecting him more than he thought. He chuckled to himself, beaming with contentment, and watched the blue-haired acrobat perform a backward flip off her trapeze.
Parties were fun.
He sat there for a while drinking in both the brandy and the scene, when there was some sort of commotion near the entrance. Twisting around his chair, he saw the Duke and his entourage had arrived, and the Duke himself was shaking hands with the evening's participants. Giray's palms started to sweat. He was going to introduce himself and shake hands with the Duke!
His glass was empty. Giray looked around for the waiter-boy, but quickly decided that in this case, less was more, and would help him make a better impression. He stood to leave, but noticed the Duke onstage, preparing to address the partygoers, and fell back into the comfortable chair. Maybe could find a used chair like this one somewhere...
"Noblemen, friends, and honored guests!" the Duke began. The general noise died down.
"I have only a few words for you, for the night is young, and we have much more fun in store!"
The Nobles cheered and applauded, while the musicians struck a few chords.
"I know that this past year has been hard for us all. But tonight dear people, is our answer to such hardships. Like this party -" he paused, casting his gaze about the hall.
"- we will keep this city alive!"
Suddenly, the blue-haired acrobat flew onto the stage, narrowly missing the Duke as she folded like a ragdoll into a crumpled heap. A few of the guests screamed, and everyone drew back in shock. The poor girls neck had been slashed, and half her face was skinned. Blood pooled around her hair.
Giray watched horrified, as a small dark figure dropped onto the stage next to her. What the devil was it? The features were masked by some kind of animal skull it wore, and along its body were pieces of dark, wicked-looking armor. It turned slowly towards the Duke, pulling a slender, curved dagger out from behind the back.
"He's after the Duke!" someone cried, and at that moment, the figure leapt. It moved fast.
One of the guests threw himself in front of the Duke. The small figure ran up his chest, and kicked his nose, breaking it, as the man howled and fell backwards. The Duke threw up his hands and cried out. The knife flashed - and stopped.
A high-pitched giggle rebounded in the hall.
Giray suddenly felt a strange sensation in his chest. A crushing dread. He tried to get up from his chair, but only succeeded in stumbling to his knees. Looking around, he noticed others were just as frozen, their eyes wide with terror. It was as if a curtain were lowering over his spirit.
Giray's eyes whipped back to the stage, as the figure grabbed the Duke by the throat and slammed him bodily onto his back. The Duke gasped for air, blood beginning to seep from the gash in his head. It giggled again, and Giray watched as the Duke began screaming and convulsing. The thing giggled uncontrollably now. Above it, a strange symbol appeared glowing, bathing the hall in red light. The Duke's face began to melt away, his screams becoming distorted as his windpipe and chest caved in. It was a horrible, alien scream that rang in Giray's ears.
The figure stood up, the remains of the Duke nothing more than slop. It hopped of the stage, giggled again, and slashed a woman's cheek to the bone. She screamed, but remained rooted to her spot.
It was getting near him now.
Giray struggled to move, his body refusing to answer to his mind. Fear gripped him as it walked right by him, heading towards one of the large windows.
It stopped. Slowly, it turned and looked right at him.
A world of panic erupted within Giray, as the figure walked right up to him, reached down and giggled.
"Would you like more of the same Sir?" The figure held up the square glass, unmoving.
Giray let out a croak of recognition.
"Or perhaps I should cut you off now Sir?" The voice mocked him.
Even with the mask, Giray could see the boyish grin.
He never saw the knife.