Illustrations from stories and pictures where there's stuff going on - i.e. not just pin-up art, which is in the 'character art' section.
1 Media: Pen and ink, slightly adulterated in Photoshop
Shade finds out his sister Sha'ala is alive. Bad news is she's fused with a demon and now sits on the council of the Lords of Darkness as Lady Scion. Worse news is Sha'ala holds him responsible for their little brother Ged's death and she's out to get him. Following Saragoth's orders she's been planting seeds of dissent amongst the three Daemonslayers (see 'Unforgiven' for what I've written on that so far but it happens in a few stories following that). However, the hatred she's fostered for her brother finally gets the better of her and, against the arch demon's command she goes straight in for her personal revenge.
A large part of her powers are that she can delve into an opponent's mind and bring to life their darkest nightmares, worst fears etc and make them reality.
When Shade goes off hunting by himself she finally reveals herself and confronts him. Reeling from the shock of finding her alive (having been hounded by guilt at her and Ged's deaths for the majority of his existance), the blow of then learning she hates him and wants him dead (preferably with lots of suffering first), starts to give Shade's already fragile mindset a bit of a 'shake up'.
However, whilst Sha'ala's aware that F'lair's undead and a lycanthrope, she doesn't know anything about he came to be this way and when she uses her powers on him she suddenly finds all hell breaking loose - literally. The horrors of his time in the Spirit World Shade had so long repressed in the darkest corners of his mind are unleashed and he cracks, going completely mental.
Finding herself in harm's way Sha'ala makes a hasty exit and it's up to Soul and Blackjack (tipped off to something being wrong by the appearance of a giant tenacled eyeball monster in the sky) to pick up the pieces. Having totally lost it, Shade attacks his own friends and seriously injures Soul before Blackjack smacks him unconsciuos. Without Shade's mind to fuel the chaos, reality is restored. Except now Raven's in control of Shade's body, which would be bad, but the dracoliche is surprisingly well behaved (I won't go into the details why right now) and rather than trying to raise any armies of the undead or anything, he actually helps save Soul's life...
... and there's more but the above should explain Shade's Crazy Guy smile. Oh, and when he finally regains consciousness he's never quite the same again ...
Also, the real pity is Ged's not completely dead either, just neither of them know it :D
2 Characters : Soul (Meccha), Shade (F'lair) and Vorph Beastlord Vorph thinks it'll be fun to hunt down Shade and Soul. However, once they manage to get far enough away from any civilisation, they turn the tables on him and wolf-out! At which point Vorph discovers his control over fell beasts does not extend to lycanthropes. uhoh..
3 Media: acrylics on A3 mixed media paper. Background added in Photoshop.
Werewolves from different worlds meet beneath the full moon. What happens next who knows...
My half of a trade featuring Verres from FA’s character Semyaza (right) and my werewolf Shade. It’s probably not going to end up a friendly meeting given my char’ is basically incapable of reason but who knows. Acrylics with a little photoshop to help at the end with the paper effect Shem (the werewolf on the left) belongs to Verres.
4 Media: Watercolours, pen and ink, Distress ink on A3 mixed media paper. Characters: Alexander Moravsky a.k.a. Reynard belongs to Verres and Blackjack
My part of a trade type thing with Verres where the scope was his char and mine up against some eldritch horror. Can’t go wrong there! Reynard (the fox dude) belongs to him. Some sort of blood elemental there which, clearly, I had a lot of fun painting. And my scanner didn’t completely ruin the reds, so that was nice.
Reynard belongs to: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/verres/
Thundering along. I really wouldn't want to get in the way of these two...
I'm planning to use this as the cover for Chapter 5 of Heritage... when I manage to finish it! I'm about halfway now and have a few more pages planned, just need the time to sit and draw them out properly.
If anyone's interested in the method to my madness, I've done a walk through of this over at the DS Facebook Page.
6 Blackjack having a rough night but then if you go around hunting dangerous things like daemons then you're going to get hurt sooner or later...
Brush ink drawing greyscaled in Photoshop. Funny thing, this was originally going to be in colour but black and white worked much more dramatically.
"Her humanity was shed in an instant, cast away easily as an unwanted robe. Her cloak flowed upward to become a pair of tattered skeletal wings, ragged black membranes enveloped in a ghostly glow while her face contorted into an awful mix of human and vampire bat and her jaw distended, gaping open to reveal wickedly sharp curved and grooved fangs. With a bloodcurdling scream she rose up like an angel of death from a tomb. Her legs seemed to have disappeared for her dress trailed incorporeal and wraith-like in the air.
The vampire’s fingernails extended into cruel hooked claws and she lashed out with fearsome speed. Blackjack swayed back to dodge the blow but her trajectory changed at the last moment and she raked her claws across the end of his muzzle, tearing out his lip ring in the process.
Blackjack snarled in fury and launched his own attack."
************ She really ought not to have done that...
8 Scene from "Descent" (see stories page!). Blackjack and Shade find themselves facing their first sheekra daemon in the hell dimension ruled by the Daemon Prince Izael.
Even these formidable assassins are given to reconsider their route when they crest a ridge to find a socking great dragon is up ahead.
10 Media: Digital Blackjack and Soul perhaps should not be worrying so much about that spider as they're about to be 'reminded' (and not for the first time - you'd think they would have learned by now) why it's a poor idea to stand and argue for too long in unfamiliar places. Also, let's just say that neither of them is exactly a big fan of spiders...
11 Media: Pencils
Shade, loping through the Caevalonian night in his dire werewolf form (only when Isel, the silver moon is full though as lycanthropes on Tymaera are not affected by the light of the world's gold and red moons) comes across the lair of an efirvir demon (an intelligent two-headed water-dwelling demon whose skin slowly crawls with the writhing souls of its victims).
note - werefolk and lycanthropes are different races on Tymaera. Werefolk can transform at will but lycanthropes are governed by the silver moon. Lycanthropes are also much more dangerous when they transform as fullbloods have very little control of their wereform. Dire werewolves are a form of undead lycanthrope that were originally the guardians of the Shadow Realm.
There's a few mistakes that I'm aware of, but I liked the overall image so I'll stick with it.
12 this would be an illustration from 'Descent' except there's not nearly enough detail in the background to indicate this is the hellish underworld ruled by the Daemon Prince Izael. I might touch this one up in Photoshop - it could look a lot better!
13 Saragoth, the Arch Demon. Lord of the Lords of Darkness and the Daemonslayers' arch enemy - especially Blackjack's... Saragoth rides a dire unicorn (like Knightmare and Aelrys), called Nahir which means 'corruption' in demon speak.
14 Media: Digital
Why? Because the Daemonslayers are the last people I'd expect to actually succeed in saving the day (come on, they're hardly grade-a hero material, are they?).
From another story that'll be a long while in finishing. The Daemonslayers arrive too late to warn the inhabitants of the Elven keep of Tanaril of the horrible doom about to befall them.
16Blackjack never liked Weasel Firefox but he kept him around as a dragonthrall (i.e. in his service in return for longevity) since he was a useful source of information. Up until the point Weasel struck tried to double-cross him. Black' wouldn't have taken it quite so personally if Shade and Soul hadn't been dragged into the matter and the three Daemonslayers almost killed. He bides his time and eventually takes revenge on Weasel: cutting his throat and leaving him for dead. What he doesn't realise is after he leaves, Saragoth turns up and makes Weasel an offer he can't refuse... I'll probably put a better explanation on my site once I get Weasel's bio done.
The Necrotoria, those who hold power in Spirit World (or who have been deemed suitable to be gifted with one) ride Steeds known as slavekkes. These are not natural creatures and were created through magic. They are shapeshifters and transform into the most suitable form for the environment they are in, but all have a chosen form (which differs from slavekke to slavekke) which they remain in unless they have to change.
Though they are sentient and possess intelligence they are little more than automatons, They are always at least partly or fully armoured (this cannot be removed) and some appear as undead with rotting flesh or are completely skeletal whilst others look like fairly normal mounts save for the non-removable armour.
Ymmu the Necroclast, as right-hand to the Lord of the Undead, has a special slavekke called Ragnok. Ragnok is the most powerful of slavekkes and this is reflected by its chosen form being a dragon. It has also been imbued with an intellect above any of its kind and actually shows signs of personality.
20 Media: Digital
Blackjack and Silvala, Ffom the story 'White Knight' which I will, eventually, write. Maybe. Some day. Silvla is Blackjack's half-sister, also affected by Shine's curse. But that is where the similarity ends. She is a disciplined Warrior of Light, trained by the Knightly Order of the Chalice. At this point, neither has any idea they're related: Blackjack thinks Silvala is still bound by Shine (although she never was) and Silvala just thinks he's evil.
21 Media: Digital, pen and ink
There you are thinking you've found a handy cave to crash in for the night and would you know, it turns out to be occupied by an aracheer and her nest of creepy little four-leggety-spidery-hellspawn arach offspring. Don't you just hate it when that happens? Blackjack certainly does especially since he's not terribly fond of anything spidery to begin with (but don't tell him I told you that).
22 Media: Pen and ink, Tria markers, a little Photoshop
Maim (Ma'im is his actual name, not much imagination this one) was another dragon cursed by the demon goddess Shine (Blackjack
Darkclaw prefers to work at night. It's an assassin thing. So here he is just chilling out, waiting around for it to get fully dark. He's a heavy smoker (bremulen - pretty much the Tymaeran equivalent of tobacco but doesn't stain your teeth!) but isn't doing so here. Maybe he's just thinking about lighting up.
24 Media: Watercolour, digital colour over Lineart Lineart by: Profanebeast
Blackjack andShade not making friends with a mist daemon. Amazing pencils by Profanebeast which I just had to colour!
25 Media: Digital
Inspired by events in one of the opening chapters of 'Feed the Gods'.
26 Media: Digital
Blackjack here finds himself having to play the altruist to get one of his companions out of a bind (already guaranteed to put him in a rotten mood). This involves the collection of some awkward-to-gather spell ingredients for the Daemonslayers' ally the socially inepty alchemist Spur (who is useless at hands-on violence, confrontation, or pretty much anything that involves setting foot outside of his study) in order to break a curse. One such ingredient is the eye of a still-living sarnwog - a particularly unpleasant swamp-dwelling amphibian somewhere between a crocodile, frog and gulper eel. Eye of Newt would have been too easy, it seems.
27 Media: Digital
'Cover' for the short comic 'Moonsong' over on the Daemonslayers site. Mostly an excuse for lots of werewolf drawing!
28 Most folks outside of Blackjack's immediate circle of friends tend to think he's a heartless bastard. In fact, even his friends get that impression from time to time. Of course, it's not true - like his true dragon self, his dracosvulf pseudoform has two hearts (even with his more oxygen-efficient haemoglobin hence his dark blood colour, those wings still need an extra one to supply them). In fact, besides not being heartless, he has feelings too (not that he's wont to show them) and after a drunken arguement with Soul he stalks out into the woods to get some visible evidence of the fact.
The myst daemon he found doesn't look too happy about it.
29 Media: Pen and ink.
aka "An Exercise in Madness". I swear I was seeing dots every time I closed my eyes just after I finished this. Working on this picture reminded me of exactly the reason why I haven't previously attempted stippling for 10 years or ao. Still, many many hours later we have the finished product. I hope you folks like it!
Towards the end of the Daemonslayers saga, Shade comes to accept the truth of his nature. Believing his has lost everything and in order to save the world from an evil more dreadful than the chaos demons of the south, Shade concludes he must fight evil with evil and journeys into the underworlds through the Shadow Gate to find a way to restore the dracoliche Raven to his corporeal form as the time of the final battle approaches.
30 Character: Geirrodur
This is the cover image for chapter 3 of Heritage which, woot, I finished (well almost; there's a couple of pages to letter but the art's all done). Here we have Geirrodur the demon knight, his kuralex mount in the background and the unformed demon curling around the frame.
All done in indian ink lineart shaded with watercolour, then tidied a little in Photoshop. The cover version won't be appearing quite like this but I thought I'd post the original since I'm not sure which I like better.
31 Another story scene... sinking feeling that was more experience than instinct Shade and Soul followed the noise to its source; a ramshackle tavern called ‘The Dead Horse and Flail’. The name was unhappily familiar; it had been the Daemonslayers’ meeting point. “Wait here, I’ll go see if Blackjack’s in there.” Shade said, groaning inwardly and not at all enjoying the prospect. More than happy not to get involved Soul did not protest. As Shade stepped inside she quickly dodged out of the way as a dwarf was thrown out the window, “Good luck,” she said under her breath. Inside the tavern’s drinking room Shade would have sworn he’d seen less bloody pitched battles. He could not immediately see any sign of Blackjack and reluctantly moved further in. Keeping low to try and avoid unwanted attention he still had to duck to avoid a morning star-wielding ranwulf then jump and roll to hide under a table before becoming unwillingly involved in a vicious knife-fight. He was hoping Blackjack wasn’t here yet so he could make a speedy exit but beneath the table lay a body with an unmistakeably gaping axe-wound. He had not noticed anyone else with a weapon that large. The coast a little clearer, Shade got up and scanned the brawlers more closely, unable to see his friend until he got a clear view to the bar, at one end of which a small fire was burning. The shelves in the wall behind that normally held bottles and glasses were smashed in one place. Below the point of impact pair of black boots with metal shin-guards and spikes on the toecaps was sticking up, accompanied by a spined black tail. Shade muttered a curse, set his teeth then sprinted through the gap in the fighters, dodging random punches and jumping prone bodies until he vaulted over the bar (having barely recovered from a skid in a pool of blood and spilt beer). His jump was poor and he yelped as he overbalanced and landed on his backside in broken glass. Blackjack, a bottle of dwarf spirits in one hand, his axe in the other, swung his head up to look at him, “Good fight, eh?” he slurred. At some point a particularly large ranwulf had picked him up and thrown him over the bar. The bony armour plates down his back had saved him from serious injury and Blackjack had taken the opportunity to down all the ‘free’ alcohol he could. He took another swig from the square-shaped blue bottle then waved it in front of Shade’s face. “Want some?” The fumes made the lycanthrope cough “No! And you’re not having any more either!” Shade snatched the bottle and threw it away. Unfortunately it happened to land in the fire and exploded, turning the minor incident into a blazing conflagration. Shade stiffened then, very slowly, reached up his back and pulled out a couple of shards of blue glass. Blackjack laughed at him. With a feral growl, Shade grabbed him by the arm and hauled him toward the end of the bar that was not on fire, "Time to leave."
32 As in aerial combat. Blackjack v. fian demons (a type of lesser demon. it's meant to look more gangly than that but meh). Scene from the start of 'The Midnight Sorcerer' (not uploaded yet 'cos I need to finish 'Feed the Gods' first!) Good old Tria markers Played with a little in Photoshop. I like the original too so I might upload that with an excerpt from the story or something.
Check out the comics page if you want to read the story!!
34 Characters : Aarlsag, Yeni and Blackjack Part of an unwritten story. It turns out more dragons than just Syrax were transformed by Shine. Syrax was the first:creating Blackjack, but the spell had not yet been perfected and he eventually broke free of it's grip on his mind, at least. However, other dragons were not so lucky and bred in their new forms to create the race of dracosvulfs! Here Blackjack is explaining this to a sceptical Aarlsag, head of a southern dracosvulf clan. The little one is his son, Yeni.
35 If I get around to it, I'd like to have a crack at redrawing this at some point.
36 Media: Digital
Indulging in some mountain climbing (even assassins need hobbies) Darkclaw. gets to have a laugh at Blackjack's expense when a sudden sidewind botches his friend's landing.
37 At the height of his power, before he grew bored and largely withdrew from the world and before he was cursed, Bloodbane was a monster against which few dared stand. And the foolhardy that did, did not live to do so again.