Here we have Mad Jakkle, better known across Caevalonia as the infamous ‘Midnight Sorcerer’ and various other names. He’s a staunch enemy of the Empire and particularly its wizards, who view sorcerers, a rare breed as they are, as far too powerful for their own good. Despite dire legends that surround him, he’s not actually evil but he does lacks empathy and compassion on an individual level. He’s a hoarder and guardian of knowledge and the library of his home, the Hidden Tower, is without equal – not that he’s about to share it with anyone as he considers most mortals far too feeble minded to handle the arcane secrets he holds.
He doesn’t like being called ‘Mad’ so it’s best not to call him that to his face.
2 Aerlrys. She doesn't want to be anyone's friend...
Karismacolour and Polychromos pencils on brown paper.
3 Dire unicorns.. Fyre. Not actually that evil (and lacks imagination, like its name) but does tend to burn everything in its vicinity anyway.
Karismacolour and Polychromos pencils on brown paper.
4 Realised I hadn't drawn any of my dire unicorns in a while... so here we are with Ruin. A particularly nasty brute whose hate literally burns him up from the inside... Pencils (Karisma and Polychromos) and Sakura Pigma Micron fineliners... I've been using the regular black ones for a few years now but recently discovered their coloured liners which have filled my head with new and exciting possibilities...
Here’s Moorin, the degarii (cat people) warrior. He’s a mutant and standing at approximately 2 metres is a giant amongst his kind. I do find four arms a bit difficult for the drawing which is probably why he doesn’t get drawn often. That and my last picture of him was so genuinely awful (it’s on the DS site but I didn’t upload it anywhere else) that I was put off trying again for the last few years. Good news is I can draw better now than back then, or at least I hope so but don’t expect any pictures of him fighting the demon knight Geirrodur any time soon… I’d have a meltdown trying to place all those arms!! He’s the fairly typical hearty warrior type which, I know, is really one of those cliché fantasy tropes but that doesn’t change the fact it’s fun to write that sort of character :D Good natured, honest but you wouldn’t want to be on his bad side. He’s friends with Blackjack – something of which his wife deeply disapproves as she considers him a bad influence given how if he’s involved her husband invariably ends up going on dangerous quests/getting involved in bar fights etcetc.
So far Moorin appears in ‘Descent’ when his daughter goes missing and the Daemonslayers help find her – which is easier said than done given the daemon Izael (picture thumb) is involved. And this story I’ve actually completed. Go me.
Sir Geirrodur, captain of Saragoth's elite unit of warriors known as the Agorastra (loosely translates from demon tongue as 'Dread Knights'). Unlike other soldier demons these warriors hold to a certain (if rather twisted) code of honour. They live for battle and will not stoop to the kind of tortures 'lower' demons inflict upon the fallen enemy - at least if you stand in the way of the Agorastra you can expect a swift death - unless they want to get information out of someone... Saragoth's dread knights do not know what failure is and single mindedly pursue a given task. They're the reason Blackjack always has one eye looking over his shoulder for their current mission is to hunt him down and drag him back to Khisan for punishment, preferably killing anyone close to him along the way. Unfortunately for Geirrodur, they lost Blackjack and the punishment was the disgrace of his knights and banishment... until such a time as Geirrodur finds his quarry and brings him back to Saragoth.
The high priestess of the dark goddess Anshu, Nresha is as influential, if not more so, than the Hssaar Pharaoh himself. She is an ancient, wizened creature but her frail physical appearance is in contrast to her wickedly sharp mind and the terrible magical power she can wield straight from her goddess.
Aster is the ‘wife’ (for want of a better word) of Saragoth. She is in charge of ‘training’ magic users and recruits to her army and of torturing and punishment – something in which she takes great delight.
9 Character: Frostbite
Ferath, known better as Frostbite, dragon of the Icy Wastes. As cold as the frozen lands he inhabits, he takes little interest in the outside world. He did once stir himself to fight alongside the cadre of dragons known as the Seven, bringing about the breaking of the Old Empire but even before the dust had settled he was returning south, telling the black dragon Bloodbane he was more than welcome to crown himself Emperor if that was the game he wanted to play, so long as Frostbite's lands were left in peace. Thinking countless miles of ice, snow and permafrost a poor prize, the other dragon agreed but had he known the secrets of the wastes, the treasure-hungry beast may have reconsidered for they hold in their icy heart the ruins of a forgotten civilisation and incredible treasures of ancient knowledge and terrible power. Which Frostbite isn't going to tell anyone about. Yet while the dragon sits in his frozen city lair and counts his treasure the world moves on and it's only a matter of time before someone, somewhere takes an interest in what may be hidden in the frozen South...
10 Character: Brimstone
The red dragon Fiero, better known as Brimstone. Of the Seven he was second in age and size only to the ancient, monstrous sea dragon Maelstrom (one of the last Orphic-Exalted still living on the material plane). As Tymaeran dragons age, so their physical forms may change and evolve to match their temperament and nature. By the start of the Dragon War, Fiero was classed already as an Elder Dragon and had reached a point where parts of him constantly burned like living embers, wreathing him in smoke and flame. His home south of the Dragon Mountains had become a barren, ashen waste under its master's influence. He generally considered the antics and intrigues of younger dragons getting involved with 'lesser' races to be beneath him, something for juveniles, but he had to acknowledge the steady eradication of his species and decided to align with the other dragons to put a decisive end to it.
The Old Empire didn't fall without a fight however and in a final, daring act of defiance a cadre of wizards made a last-ditch effort to fight the Seven by giving their lives to create a spell powerful enough to doom their assumed leader, Brimstone. The dragon still lives but is frozen, ensnared in a tomb of enchanted obsidian hidden deep in the heart of the Dragon Mountains. Through their individual networks of spies and collaborators, the green dragon Witchblight and black Bloodbane had both gotten wind of this plan and could have stopped it but the Empire was already doomed. Witchblight had no love for the arrogant red, envying his power and Bloodbane had his designs set on the fallen imperial throne and thought Brimstone might endanger his plans so neither lifted a talon to help. In the long run this turned out to be a bad move as the region that once formed Brimstone's vast territory is now home to the legions of demons who broke through the Dreaming Gate. So, whoops, someone really dropped the ball on that one.
11 Characters: Dire Unicorns Aelrhys, Wildfyre and Serpentia
...evil! Well, these ones anyway.
Here we have Serpentia, Wildfyre and Aelrhys; should be obvious who's who. They're three of the dire unicorns (Knightmare's brethren), some of the others I've drawn already, others I have yet to. All twisted up in their own special ways into dark reflections of the gentle creatures of light they once were. Before the demon goddess Shine captured and changed them into the accursed beings they are now, these immortal creatures (I'll draw the rest at some point) were the wardens of the enchanted forests and pristine wildernesses of the lands of Southern Caevalonia, now reduced to barren, blasted wastelands.
However even darkness has different levels. The very worst of the dire unicorns are those with broken horns. These beings are utterly evil and beyond redemption. Those with their horns intact may be open to reason but are generally unable to prevent themselves spreading madness and destruction wherever they wander.
Lightning stock courtesy of me! (I managed to photograph lightning! Couldn't believe my luck!).
12 Media: pen and ink lines, watercolour shading, digital colour
Character: Daemon Prince Izael Appears in: "Descent"
Izael, Daemon Prince and all-round nasty (as well he would be given he manages to string Blackjack up on meathooks in 'Descent';). He was the faithful servant of one of the dark gods... until he got ideas above his station and was subsequently cast out to fend for himself in the underworlds. Turns out he did rather well for himself as he now has his own realm, lots of dead souls to torment and a veritable army of sheekra daemon chums to do his bidding. Dark elves in particular like to call on his aid in return for sacrifices (ideally young virgins - he's a bit unimaginative and old school like that) and stuff. This is his true minus the writhing shadows he's usually wreathed in. He can change his appearance at will though usually favours either this look or that of a beguiling humanoid (I use the 'oid' because it's usually obvious he isn't human).
Once again shaded with watercolours before colouring on PC. Paper texture in bg by the uber-talented Hibbary and can be found here --> http://hibbary.deviantart.com/art/paper-textures-75974801
Acrylics on A4 mixed media paper - pyrrole red, perylene green and titanium white. Ember again. Haven't drawn him in a while so his design has maybe be tweaked a little in this painting... but it's still that one-eyed fat bastard.
14 Character: Azeth the Dracyre
This took forever. So very many little tiny dots; it pretty much wore out my .03 Micron. I didn't have a computer for a while just after I last moved house, so I had plenty of time on my hands in the evenings to get lost in the detail. I still should have plenty of time but the internet's a distraction :D
Azeth, vampire dragon... not the nicest of beings.
Didn't have his original design to hand as a reference whilst drawing this so he varies a bit here. His fangs tuck back like a snake's and are only usually out for a strike or threat display. I assume he's just posing for the picture here as he's terribly vain.
He is a dracyre - a vampiric dragon - a rare and unpleasant breed of creature. Early in the Daemonslayers 'saga' Blackjack and Shade have to turf him our of Black's territory where he has taken up residence. No one likes a squatter.
Soooo many dots. argh!!! Took a week and wore my 003 multiliner SP down to a nub on this! If you want to see the progress images, such as they are, see here: NecroDragonArt on Facebook
Ahri's element is air. Having been trained as a shaman (like a druid +1) she has specialised in magic of one element and with spiritual magic. She's actually not terribly good at it but can summon a good gale or fog spell if hard pressed.
A new (and better!) picture of Ahri. This one does her more justice.
16 Media: Ink, pencil crayon Character: Ymmu 'The Necroclast'
The right hand to the Lord of the Dead, Ymmu has a position of enormous power as second only to the demigod that rules the Spirit World. He's also head of the Necrotoria - the order of beings that keep the Spirit World ticking over. He takes a hands-on approach to his work (that's not just a pun based on his gloves, btw - he really does like to muck in with his subordinates).
Occasionally his work takes him to the prime material plane where he never ceases to be amused (and sometimes bemused) by the 'quirky' and nonsensical ways of the mortals there since he has never been one as he was never alive. Usually it's to bring down an escapee or to meddle in mortal affairs on behalf of his master since demigods aren't spared the intrigues of Tymaera's Pantheon.
Given his station, Ymmu could dress in impressive robes and lots of spangly bits of decorative jewellery and armour... but he's the practical type and so chooses not to especially since impressive flowing robes wouldn't last five minutes around his claws.
17 Character: Finegar
He's quite attached to his father's skull. By metal hooks, in fact.
18 This was supposed to be Zha'Dane the witch elf from 'Descent' except her skin is blue-grey, unlike here...
19 Species: Dire Unicorn Character: Dusk
Like most of the other dire unicorns, Dusk has no memory of her former self prior to being twisted into the evil being she is today. She travels through darkness appearing to melt into and out of the shadows and cannot abide sunlight. When she can, she will drag a victim back into the darkness with her to who knows where.
I've posted pictures of Knightmare before, but he's not the only unicorn to have been destroyed by the Demon Queen's evil. Other dire unicorns stalk the land, each accursed in a unique way. Shown here we have Aerlrys, a creature of purity and life warped into a monster that brings death wherever she goes. Where her bleeding hooves touch the land plants whither and nothing ever grows again. Her eyes are empty sockets and blood runs from every orifice. Aerlrys's horn still contains magic, but only to cause harm for shes endures unending pain and wishes to share it. Since she's blind she uses it to 'see' by detecting the lifeforce of all around her.
Like normal unicorns she can call out to the minds of others but she sings a siren song, its sad, haunting but beautiful melodies entrance those who hear, leading them from safety and to their death for Aerlrys feeds upon living flesh, preferably that of the innocent.
21 Character: Frenzy Species: Dire Unicorn
When the Demon Queen captured seven unfortunate unicorns and twisted them with her dark magic into evil, perverse reflections of their former selves, not all of them turned out to be appropriate mounts for the generals of her demonic armies. The dire unicorn now called Frenzy was one of these... wherever he goes he is constantly surrounded by a blood-red mist and any who breathe this are overcome by a temporary madness. Riven by the spirit of pure violence and blood lust their eyes turn red as the mist and they turn upon their fellows and tear one another apart. Not even Shine's chaos demons were immune so Frenzy could serve no one as a mount. However, a use was found for this beast; he would be let loose amongst enemy forces where his influence would have devastating, blood-soaked consequences. Those who survive and regain their senses often lose their minds anyway, tormented by the memory of the things they saw and did when affected by the rage.
When the Demon Queen was driven from Tymaera and her armies collapsed, Frenzy wandered free. Compared to the other dire unicorns Frenzy was a much more peaceful creature, and despite his fearsome outward appearance retained much of his former self. In fact, he is the only one of the nine who remembers who and what he once was except for his original name (which is the key to undoing the curse upon him and all other creatures Shine transformed against their will). Even now Frenzy will not harm other mortal beings except demons, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately seeing the effects time and again of the horrible curse of rage and destruction that travels with him caused him to slowly lose his mind and he is now quite, quite insane.
Since he does not wish to deliberately do others harm, Frenzy stays far away from the races of men and half-beasts. He haunts lonely places but despite his best efforts is occasionally is sighted from a distance by the unwary who spy the glowing cloud of red mist. Those foolish enough to investigate do not return.
Sidenote: There are certain artefacts, particularly items blessed by the gods of light, that allow immunity to Frenzy's influence to their bearers. Also the rage does not effect the other dire unicorns.
22Catsulek, looking a bit 'playful'. Drawn for Daddyfox's (http://daddyfox.deviantart.com) competition a while ago.
23 Media: Karismacolour pencils, inks, on bristol board.
Character: Ymmu Ymmu, the right-hand skeleton to the Lord of the Undead. He meddles in mortal affairs on his master's behalf and enjoys his work. The gauntlets he wears cut not just flesh, steel, magical armour etc (actually there's nothing that'll stop them) but they also shear apart souls as he commonly has to undertake the task of tracking down escapees from the Spirit World. Not all of them want to come back and so must be dealt with by other means. He is also an unsurpassed necromancer. He's not actually evil. In fact, he's quite an eccentric with a decent (albeit very droll and unsurprisingly morbid) sense of humour. Sadly people tend to be too terrified of him and his reputation to find out or understand when he's actually joking. But that's ok 'cos he has his little pal the yellow Butterfly of Happiness to talk to. Aww.
The story of the great silver dragon Madrukh Jakara and the evil black dragoness Nihilerax Derios is a tale of a doomed love that was never meant to be.
It is rare for lawful metallic and anarchic chromatic dragons to become lifemates yet it is not unknown for dragons to fall for one another so deeply that they can put aside the ancient, ingrained traits of their colours and bloodlines and become one. This happened between Madrukh and Nihilerax in a relationship that began, surprisingly, as a war between the two over territory with Madrukh defending not just his land but the people that lived on it against the marauding black. Each being ancient wyrms possessing vast and powerful magics seemingly equally matched the war went nowhere but their respect for one anothers' abilities outgrew their animosity and gradually a relationship formed.
Although their happy to have intercourse for fun, dragons will mate to procreate very rarely. In the millennia they were together, Nihilerax became pregnant with a clutch of eggs just once but this time of joy spelled the end of their time together. Unlike most mortals dragons do not age once they have reached their prime so age is no enemy to them however they can still contract disease and such happened to Nihilerax. She realised she was dying but had no desire for her life to end and resolved to use her magic to harvest the lifeforce of her offspring to banish the disease and bring her back to health.
At first, desperately wanting his love to live and frustrated that his own not inconsiderable power could not heal her, Madrukh agreed. But as time passed he realised he could not condone for his innocent young to be sacrificed. He could not tell Nihilerax of this for such was her selfish will to survive at her youngs' expense he suspected she would flee to some hidden place to give birth and then steal the life from her own hatchlings without him to stop her. He waited, gathering his strength until the day Nihilerax laid her eggs. Teeth bared Madrukh gathered the eggs to him and told her he would never, could never condone such murder.
Nihilerax had not suspected this betrayal from her lifemate, thinking egotistically his love for something as wonderful as herself would know no bounds. Something inside her snapped and the centuries of inherent evil she had withheld for the sake of their love was unleashed. Screaming she flew at him and the two fought more fiercely than ever before. Of the eight eggs laid, seven were destroyed in the battle. Choosing to save a life rather than fight to a bloody, bitter conclusion, Madrukh took the last egg in his talons and fled, using his magic to teleport across the continent, not caring for the destination so long as Nihilerax would not follow too quickly. His magic brought him to the Evermoors, a seemingly endless wilderness of fen, marsh and moor. Here he hid the egg, casting upon it spells of protection and concealment before he flew on, hoping the dragoness would not expect him to abandon the egg and so track him.
For a time Nihilerax did hunt Madrukh but her weakening state soon stopped that. Death was close and without having any young with her blood - her lifeforce - running through them for her to reclaim as her own, the disease would kill her. In her long life Nihilerax had studied many forms of dark and black magics and in her final hour she called upon an incantation she had read in the crumbling and mouldy pages of a book on necromancy believed to have been stolen from the Necroclast himself. She altered her Word of Being, thus changing her state from alive to undead and became a dracoliche.
Nihilerax now haunts some of the world's most ancient peaks, the hoary Grey Mountains and guards the ill fabled House of Dusk. Madrukh's whereabouts however are unknown. He lives somewhere in Caevalonia with only the deep and horrible facial scars he received in their confrontation as a reminder of what he once had and lost. Each secretly dreads the day their paths are destined to cross for one final, bloody battle.
26 Media: Photoshop digital painting, lightning photograph (by me!), rain brushes by ObscureLilium. Character: Orth 'Vortex'
Orth, the great blue dragon of the Stormdrake Pass. He's of a similar age to Bloodbane, though considerably smaller at about 350ft when shifted to full size. His common name is 'Vortex', earned by his tendency to cause the skies to rage and bring forth tornadoes when he attacks. He's perfectly capable of spitting lightning but prefers to have the weather do the work for him, battering and weakening his enemies before he swoops from the torrid skies for the kill.
Fortunately this doesn't happen often. On the whole Orth is laid back, patient and more interested in the study of magic and other races than wanton destruction. Orth's curiosity does not equate to sympathy however and when Bloodbane and the green dragoness Witchblight chose to attack the human-dominated Empire, he sensed a turning point looming where perhaps the steady eradication of their kind could be halted. So he was more than willing to assist in defence of his species, becoming the third of the Seven. After the War of the Seven ended he retired back to his mountain home. It is assumed he resides there still, but Orth has learned to shapeshift and could well be anywhere...
27 Project link: "The Daemonslayers" Character: Saranath Prints: Available on Zazzle.com Photoshop over pen and ink lineart. I'm sure I spent as long fiddling with layer settings as I did colouring and rendering this!
Known better as Twilight Shadow, or just Twilight, Saranath is a big, mean dragon who terrorises a remote part of the Northern Reaches despite the populace's best efforts to dispose of her. She likes treasure and visitors, provided she can have the latter for dinner. She gets on surprisingly well with other dragons (unusual given most dragons are solitary) probably because large, dangerous dragons are few and far between so far into the Empire.
Having seen what happened to many of her unfortunate kin within the Empire during the dark days leading up to the Dragon Wars Saranath, unless challenged, will not show hostility to other dragons. If necessary, she will even go out of her way to help them. Provided she's in a good mood, she'll extend this lack of hostility to dragonkin and dragonthralls (individuals magically bound for whatever reason to the service of one dragon), but not so much those known as dragonfriend, since there are no bonds forcing such people to remain loyal to a dragon and she has seen that loyalty betrayed. With these exceptions aside, Saranath's hatred for humans, elves and those who fought against dragons alongside them has remained unabated throughout the centuries.
To survive so long, so deep within the Empire (the Northern Reaches are only a few hundred miles from the capital, Fortune City), Saranath is a canny beast. She moves around a lot, always taking care to raid settlements far from her lair, keeping the pattern of attacks random. She knows some magic and takes care to steer well clear of wizards. The reason for her name, besides her dusky colour, is that the runes engraved on her wings are activated by daylight to cast an aura of invisibility about her. A slight imperfection with the spell means the gentle glow of her runes can be seen, but it's difficult to spot unless you know what you're looking for. Only as the suns set will she become visible. The spell is permanent, so she can't chose to become visible during the day (unless she's in a cave or some such, since obviously sunlight won't reach there!).
****************** (this here excerpt is a rough draft, hence the present tense and poorly formed well, everything. - the story's a work in progress since it occurs after the epic (as in stupidly long) I'm writing at the moment).
They are confronted with a large dragon, perhaps 50ft long, filling the cave. Its scales are a deep slate, shining purple where light hits. A row of spines start at its head and run down its back, getting larger at the shoulders. Smaller spikes run in dual lines along its flanks. Along its neck they are joined by membranes, the same light grey-green as the underside of the wings. The glowing runes on the wings, fading now in the darkness, are striking. Blackjack stares at them, mind working fast and a name swims into his consciousness. The dragon, pale glowing eyes narrowed, is drawing breath, yellow energies of dracofire crackling about its jaws, Black jumps protectively in front of Shade and Soul and yells out in a language they cannot understand; Ancient Draconic, "Hold! I do not challenge you, Saranath."
The dragon cuts its breath short, letting the power leach out gently rather than in lethal, exploding fire. Clearly taken aback by this dragonkin speaking a language known only to true dragons. Not to mention it knowing its name, "Who are you to speak my name, Dragonkin?" it snarled, the tone of voice revealing this dragon to be female.
Blackjack stares her in the eyes, this is no time for deference, Saranath is now achingly familiar and he takes a gamble "Look me in the eyes, and call me dragonkin again." he hisses. Their gaze holds. Suddenly recognition and surprise bloom in Saranath's eyes and the fires of rage die, "Bloodbane?" she gasps, incredulous, "I heard you were-"
Blackjack cuts her off, "Gone? Yes, for a while." he elected not to speak of his curse, knowing the danger of showing any indication of weakness to another dragon, "The Empire does not know I'm back.. this form lets me keep it that way. For now." At last he put his finger on the dragon's usename, Twilight Shadow, and with it a flood of memories, hazy but recognisable as the fall of the Old Empire. This was one of the dragons that helped bring the Old Empire down in flames, allowing Bloodbane to rise up and proclaim himself ruler, for as long as it still amused him. The dragon seemed satisfied by this - it was not unusual for dragons to adopt different forms, sometimes for extended periods of time, to suit their purposes. However her gaze fell upon the two werewolves and became distinctly less friendly, "Why are you with these mongrels? They are not your thralls."
Shade and Soul have so far understood none of the conversation, all conducted in dragon tongue. The relief at the dragon's apparent calming as Blackjack continued to speak to it was shortlived, for the beast turned to them and its threatening tone returned.
"They are under my protection." Blackjack growled, meeting the other dragon's gaze aggressively.
Saranath was quiet a while, apparently considering this. Finally she shook her head and looked away, "Your affairs are your own. Your werewolves are not welcome but I will not harm them." The last sentence was spoken in Common Tongue for Shade and Soul's benefit.
On Tymaera stone circles mark weak points in the fabric of reality and are sometimes used to keep things in... In this case the evil dragon Nightfang. Before the days of even the Old Empire he terrorised the population of the great plains in the north eastern part of Caevalonia.
Unable to take any more, the disparate nomadic tribes banded together. At dusk on the winter solstice their shamans and magic-workers gathered about a sacred stone and summonded the dragon, using his true name (dragons have three names. Their true name is kept secret as it can give power over the dragon) to bind him from harming them, whilst they cast an enchantment, creating a gate to another world within the circle they stood in. Nightfang was drawn through it and imprisoned on one of the lower planes, ridding the tribes of his terror. But the magic was not without its cost and the magic-workers were turned to stone, forming the circle as eternal guardians about the gateway.
It is said that, at each solstice, the dragon is briefly released from the underworld and appears at dusk in the circle in the hopes of tricking a mortal into pushing over even just one of the stones to break the circle and release him.
The evil dragon who jealously guards the fallen Elven city of Uth Sarthan and the secrets it keeps.
You can skip this bit if you want ... Years after the Separation of the Elven races, the Solaris (the High Elves) still maintained their rule over the fabulous fortress-city of Uth Sarthan. But they became greedy and haughty and in their decadence imposed heavy taxes on all goods that came up from the south through the trading route their fortress protected. But greed drove other peoples too and a great hoard of barbarians, both human and ranwulf from the plains of the Tenra plataeu behind Uth Sarthan attacked the city seeking to plunder its wealth. The better trained and better equipped elves won though, and the barbarians retired to lick their wounds. But one particular chieftain had the bright idea to forge an unholy alliance with an awful dragon who was known to terrorise that region. Motivated by greed, Thrax Morthrul agreed to ally with the barbarians (although secretly he had no intention of sharing the elves' bounty and planned to destroy his allies once the city fell.
The timing though was unfortunate for just as Thrax was attacking the city a great earthquake occurred, opening a ravine beneath the city into which all of Uth Sarthan, its people and the dragon fell. This earthquake was caused by the opening of the Nine Gates, brought about through a chain reaction caused by the first demon incursion into Tymaera through the Dreaming Gate in the lands far to the south. The fissure in the earth closed up, trapping the dragon who was the soul survivor of the calamity.
Now Thrax Morthrul jealously guards the ruins of the city, and his hoard formed of the countless treasures it once contained. Occasionally treasure-hunters find ways through the labyrinthine caves beneath the mountains to find the city, but all they encounter there is death at Thrax's jaws. But more than just guardian of Uth Sarthan, Thrax Morthrul is custodian of the Shadow Gate, which leads into the Lower Planes. Not only does he stop foolish mortals from entering the Gate, he is also the world's defence against any of the creeping horrors that try to come out of it. It keeps him occupied..
Quite possibly the most evil and feared dragon ever to have existed on Tymaera, Winterheart's name is spoken as if it were a curse even by the gods. An ancient beast even in the Age of Immortals, she followed the lesser deity Laythren, god of Vices. Until her own arrogance led her to think she could do a better job. She challenged Laythren to battle and won. Defeated he pleaded for mercy but, true to what her name suggests, Winterheart knew nothing of mercy. She slew him and claimed his status and godhood for her own. The other gods were furious at this mortal's behaviour and refused to acknowledge her Ascension. Moreover, they demanded of the Patron of Dragons, the demi-god Kalganos, that she be punished. Privately rather pleased with Winterheart's actions, he was lenient compared to their demands... The 'False Goddess', as she became known, is cursed to sleep only awakening briefly once every ten thousand years when her ragged shadow will cover the land and her dreams of destruction become terrible reality
The ancient dracoliche, before he lost his physical form. I was so proud of this at the time I drew it. I'd like to have a go at repainting this sometime.
32 Character: Witchblight
Witchblight, one of the infamous Seven, a group of (wait for it) seven evil dragons, Bloodbane included, who surfaced during the dark time of the Dragon Wars. Together they ravaged much of Caevalonia and brought about the collapse of the Old Empire.
Uhm. She's meant to have forearms but I ... forgot.
33 Media: Digital Characters: Ember Appears in:Heritage
Ember, a big, mean dragon of the Tor Gatha bloodline. Tor Gatha are typically red dragons but Ember is of mixed red and black heritage and seems to have inherited the worst characteristics of both. The northern border of his territory is the Marsynder River... which happens to be the southern border of Bloodbane's lands. The two dragons have a long-term rivalry.. Ember's the one who gave Syrax those fetching claw marks on his face but he got his licks in too and tore out Ember's right eye. However when Bloodbane rose to power following the fall of the Old Empire and basically had the whole continent at his feet, Ember decided to back down and offered a Terage (a territorial agreement between two dragons sworn under sacred oath to Kalganos) to put an end to the fighting. Of course, Ember's kicking himself now that Syrax has been cursed because the Terage must be upheld and so he can't take advantage of his old rival's weakened state. However Blackjack and his friends are only safe on Black's territory, if Ember were to find them elsewhere then they will have quite a fight on their hands.
34 Character: Azeth
As the title suggests he's a vampiric dragon i.e. a dracyre. They're slightly more common than dracoliches and are equally despised by normal dragons for being an aberration to the species.
Azeth features early on in the Daemonslayers and gets a mention in 'Heritage' ... he was the creature that moved into Uth Nagor during Bloodbane's 'absence' and Shade and Blackjack (with a little help - it's also the story where Raven first shows up) have to get the unwelcome squatter to move on.
Those fangs there flick forward when he bares his teeth to strike, otherwise they are swept back against the outside of his upper jaw.
35 Character; Typhon
Most Tymaeran dragons see other intelligent races (humans, elves, half-beasts etc) as something to be avoided, eaten or as pawns to be made use of. Which of the three usually depends on the dragon's size, age and their level (lack of) of respect for other species. However, some work with other species as friends and allies. In some cases stolen eggs are hand-reared (sometimes over generations amongst shorter-lived peoples eg. the dragons owned by various heads of state in the human Empire), in other cases the dragon's respect and loyalty is somehow earned. Or the reasons might go entirely unknown. Either way, it's these people that make armour for dragons, since dragons aren't known for their metal working skills. This here is Typhon, who is ridden by the Emperor himself. The Imperial house has a number of dragons but he's the biggest and has enjoyed his exalted role as the steed of successive emperors for only a few centuries so far since his predecessor was killed by Bloodbane when the Old Empire fell.
36 Media: colour pencils on A4 bristol board Character: "Dawnbringer"
Dawnbringer. Legendary as one of Kalganos's first 'children'. Tsingsagroth was the first goldren dragon. To start with, legend had it that the first twelve dragons were of no colour and only earned their colouration through their actions. They then passed their colour on to their offspring and so the different colours of dragons were created..
The story goes that during the stuggles of the gods in the Age of Immortals, the dark gods banded together behind the God of Dusk and sealed the sky with eternal twilight, Six of the twelve first dragons did not care, but the other six did. The strongest of them flew up to touch the sky and, with his great claws, tore the veil of dusk, sundering night and bringing light to the world once more. As the sunlight streamed through it's rays touched his scales making them shine like gold. And so the first goldren dragon came to be.
Darkclaw's a nice guy - witty, charming, generous... but it just so happens he also kills people for money (large amounts thereof). In fact he's one of Tymaera's most efficient killing machines but then he's had a long time to perfect his art. The bastard son of a lizardman slave and a female hssaar noble, he would have been killed at birth had it not been for his striking colouration, which the hssaar priesthood took to be a sign from their dark goddess Anshu that he was destined for greatness. He was taken in by the High Priestess Nresha herself, the most powerful individual (second to the Pharaoh) in hssaar society, to be trained in the ways of death. Unfortunately Darkclaw also had a mind of his own and did not much care for the ways of the dark goddess Anshu and abandoned his post, striking out for himself and building up a fearsome reputation across the continent of Caevalonia. Eventually he ended up working for Bloodbane and became a dragonthrall in exchange for longevity and still remains a loyal friend to Syrax and also to the other Daemonslayers.
38Catsulek, whose name very aptly means 'devil feline'. She's an assassin, infamous for her habit of only taking contracts on men. She is quite, quite mad but she cannot be entirely blamed for her fall into evil having suffered a brutal and abusive past from a very young age. (see her bio for details)
Whatever the reasons for her cruelty and lust for the death of men, this does not stop her from being a monster.
Otherwise known as Mad Jakkle. He doesn't appreciate the 'Mad' bit but it's an unfortunate abbreviation of his real name that somehow stuck.
I was thinking about a story involving him which I need to finish (just a few paragraphs and corrections to go) and since I had pencil and paper to hand at the time, doodled him up. Then when it came to colouring I wanted to do just simple cell shading... but failed XD
The hearty warrior Moorin is Katlinia's lifemate. More than that, he is a loyal friend of the Daemonslayers. He served Bloodbane and as one of the dragon's lieutenants took the Dragonlife potion, granting him extra long life. His military days are long over but his lust for adventure is far from gone and he's more than happy to team up with the Daemonslayers so long as Katlinia doesn't get wind of it... (she doesn't approve). He is currently a little preoccupied with his willful teenage daughter Crislana who has a habit of getting into the worst kinds of trouble.
41 Character: Warlord Vorl Warlord Vorl is another of the Lords of Darkness. He is in charge of training and marshalling the anthropoid demonic (i.e. the non-feral demons) armies of Khisan he is also Saragoth's brother but that's about where the similarity ends, Though not thick, he is not particularly imaginative or forward thinking, but he makes up for that with brute force and a boorish attitude.
42 Character: Lady Pscion (Sha'ala)
Shade thinks his sister Sha'ala was killed when he, his brother Ged and she were attacked by vampires outside their village. And he's right: she did die. But as she died she was given a second chance when the disembodied demon Pscion offered her new life. Now she and the demon are melded: one and the same (unlike the Shade/Raven situation). She has awesome magical powers at her command, and sits on the council of the Lords of Darkness. She too thinks her youngest brother, Ged, is dead and blames F'lair for it so along with conforming to the goals of the LoDs, her personal agenda involves doing what she can to hurt him for abandoning her and Ged to their fate.
43 Character: Archdemon Saragoth The demonic Lords of Darkness start out fairly indifferent to the Daemonslayers: they find them a thorn in their sides more than a real threat although that changes over time. But for Saragoth and Lady Blood (Aster) it's personal right from the start (see 'Endings and Beginnings). Saragoth particularly hates Blackjack for turning traitor and killing Aster and wants to see him suffer for it. But he's more than happy to take it out on the other two.
44 Character: Vorph
Beastlord Vorph Quick, ferocious, cunning and intelligent, Beastlord Vorph holds sway over the lower, more bestial species of lesser demons: the pure demons, known as hellbeasts (eg. hellhounds, hellcats, kelpies, nightmares etc) and of fellbeasts: once-natural creatures that have been mutated by the damaging magic pervasive on Tymaera to become demonic, evil creatures (eg. necaxa, scratin, dire wolves, trethaks). Unlike many of the other Lords of Darkness, he does not spend much time at the dreadful city of Khisan in the Wasted Lands to the south of the mountain ranges that form the Land's Spine. Instead he travels the wilds of northern Caevalonia, particularly liking its ancient, haunted forests and its dark, steamy jungles. As such he is a menace and a sworn enemy of those peoples who are typically dweller in these places: silvaris (wood elves), the degarii (Caevalonia's feline half-beast race) and even the fay races (both good and evil) all of whom Vorph finds great amusement in plaguing with his minions. A particular 'hobby' of his is hunting unicorns (not the dire unicorns though since they're already demon-tainted). On the rare occasions he wears armour (warfare and certain ceremonies) his is adorned with the silver horns of those he has slain.
Although dragons are generally sworn enemies of chaos demons (their influence damages the very fabric of the world and, since dragons were originally created as guardians of the prime material plane they find the presence of demons abhorrant) there are some exceptions. The evil green dragon Witchblight is one such exception as she has forged an alliance with the Beastlord.
I'm getting a bit ahead of myself with the art because I'm nowhere near the point in my writings (in fact, I'm very behind on them) where Ahri actually appears but she was fun to draw so here she is.
Unlike Blackjack, she's not a cursed dragon; she's a true dracosvulf.
So where does she fit in with the Daemonslayers I hear you not asking. In a nutshell Blackjack eventually gets dumped by his lifemate Tiamat (pretty much unheard of since when dragons become lifemates the only thing that normally separates them is death). Even though it was pretty much his fault he doesn't take it too well, especially when she takes up with an old enemy of his. Then he runs into Ahri and they absolutely hate each other but she knows where the demon-city Khisan (which they're looking for) is and so hooks up with the DS.
Adreena is every bit as cruel, sadistic and evil of nature as her sister Aster. However there is one major difference: Adreena cannot willingly harm mortals. They hate each other and were involved in bitter rivalry over Saragoth's affections. Out of sheer spite, Aster cast a spell on her sister, a curse that prevented her from deliberately harming mortals and therefore preventing Adreena from indulging in her favourite past-time - the torturing and killing of those weaker than her. Adreena became a laughing stock and left the demon city of Khisan in disgrace, swearing terrible vengeance on her sister. Without the magical knowhow to reverse the curse, Adreena now hunts immortals, demons and otherwise in order to satisfy her bloodlust and cruel desires.
The woman known as Panther is the leader of a group of mercenaries with a difference - they are all shapeshifters: werebeasts (not lycanthropes - they're something much worse). She herself is a werepanther (duh). It just so happens that a certain dire werewolf called Shade used to run with her motley crew and the two became involved but Panther was always someone whose head made all the decisions leaving her heart late back and last - Shade's dangerous lycanthrope nature coupled with the jealousy from her second-in-command, Rhaka (another werepanther) caused problems and eventually came to a bloody head and Panther had to boot Shade out for the survival of her team (she puts them before anything else in her life). Her path crosses with the Daemonslayers on various occasions and usually it turns nasty.
Moorin's wife, Katlinia. She was (and still is at heart) an adventurer and a treasure-seeker, which is how she met her multi-limbed husband (he rescued her from a dragon).
She has journeyed far and wide in her relatively short life, and come a long way from the steamy jungles of her homeland. Now she and Moorin have settled down and had a daughter, they live fairly near Southrot so they run into the Daemonslayers more often than Katlinia would like (she thinks Shade and Soul are all right but disapproves very strongly of Moorin's friendship with Blackjack since she thinks he's no good for anyone.
Catsulek, whose name very aptly means 'devil feline'. She's an assassin, infamous for her habit of only taking contracts on men. She is quite, quite mad but she cannot be entirely blamed for her fall into evil having suffered a brutal and abusive past from a very young age. (see her bio for details)
Whatever the reasons for her cruelty and lust for the death of men, this does not stop her from being a monster.
Her greatest enemy and rival is another assassin, Darkclaw (whom I need to get around to doing a profile pic of); He and Blackjack were involved in the brawl in which her mother was accidentally killed and Catsulek has sworn revenge on all those involved as she blames all equally.
A mysterious and shadowy figure of Caevalonian legend 'Mad' Jakkle - more often (and more safely) referred to as the Midnight Sorcerer -inhabits the Dark Tower hidden deep in the haunted forests of Caevalonia's north-east.
Very little is known of him (in fact, most people don't even know he's not human) but he is greatly feared as he has proved himself a constant and implacable foe of the Empire's Council of Mages. In truth, he is not actually evil (in fact, his true nature would come as a great surprise to many) but he's in no hurry to correct this impression.
Occasionally he will help out the Daemonslayers, but he will not reveal exactly why it is he feels he should.
Like Blackjack, Maim was once a dragon but was cursed by Shine and had his identity stolen and remolded so that he became a commander in the Demonqueen's armies. After Shine was eternally banished, Maim took up residence with a clan of Ranwulfs who thought he was a daemon sent by their dark god. They venerated him right up until the point when the Daemonslayers showed up. Maim fought his old rival, Blackjack, hand-to-hand and lost. To prove Maim was a fraud Blackjack (and also out of spite) tore his wings off. Maim ran away before the tribe could put him to death and now his current whereabouts are unknown.
52 Character: Silvala Blackjack's half-sister (same father). She's a pure silver dragon, but like her half-brother fell foul of Shine's curse. She never recovered any memories beyond only the vaguest of her original identity. Although her body was transformed Silvala's nature was not and she remains a force for good. She was found and taken in by the Knights of the Chalice and has become a member of their order, using her fighting prowess and limited magical abilities to protect the weak. As such, when she finally meets Blackjack (they're currently unaware of each other's existence) they don't exactly get on too well .