Counsels and Confessions

I’d like to say I took so long getting this done because re-formatting 5,000 words with pictures every paragraph can take a really long time, let alone drawing the pictures themselves. I’d also like to say this has been waiting as a finished draft, ready for me to press publish, for the year since I was given the text.

The reality is, I’m just lazy, and after getting the two portraits finished, I let this sit for over a year with nothing being done on it.

No longer, however!

This was taken from a roleplay scene in World of Warcraft, shortly after Thorin was detained by the < Stormwind Union > for starting a brawl with another character. Evelos shows that the healing he’s trained in is not just patching someone up physically, but also mentally.

Some word choice has been changed, as the original writing was done in present tense. I also had to remove some artifacts left over due to this being created by two people typing at each other in real time, rather than a single stream of story. Enjoy.

Editor’s Note
Character Icon of Thorin, human.

Thorin sat on the cold, damp floor of the Stormwind Stockades, back propped up against the wall. His head resting against the rough stone, he stared sullenly out between the bars of the cell. The cell block hallway echoed with the soft sounds of dripping water and the quiet early morning rustlings of the other inmates. Across the hall, the man from last night’s brawl slept sprawled on his cot, snoring softly.

Thorin watched him with a small degree of jealousy. How anyone could sleep in a place like this was beyond him. For fel’s sake, he couldn’t even escape the nightmares in his own bed at home. Here, it would be next to impossible. Continue reading “Counsels and Confessions”

Conversion: Chapter 5, Part 2

Living Story Excerpts

His fire magic kept him warm in the cold mountains, but it seemed to Seryth that it was just a little bit hotter, just a little bit wilder than it normally was when he summoned it…

Setting Translations

There’s nothing in this short excerpt to translate, except perhaps a reminder that Sirith isn’t in the mountains yet.

Writing Process

I read through some of the other chapters Continue reading “Conversion: Chapter 5, Part 2”

Conversion: Chapter 5, Part 1

Living Story Excerpt

Chapter 5: The ram finally slowed in Kharanos. By now, night had fully fallen. Seryth was hungry, and there were good smells coming from the tavern. "Stay here and don't get into trouble," he told the imp. The imp followed him anyway. The dwarves didn't seem to mint it, though, if they even noticed, and given the general level of drunkeness in the tavern, Seryth wasn't sure if they even did that. He asked a dwarf that seemed a little more curvy than the others where he could get something to eat. "Ye don't work, ye don't eat," said the dwarf, and handed him a requisition for boar meat and troll shimmerweed. Sighing, Seryth tramped back out into the snow... "Hey, at least you can get the bounty for the trolls while you're at it," said the imp, and then it quickly dodged a snowball.

Setting Translations

Kharanos = Svenby

When I’m stumped for a name, I’ll often look up words in a language that has the right look and feel for the culture I’m trying to name things in. Continue reading “Conversion: Chapter 5, Part 1”

Rose for a Thorn

Part One

This scene has been rolling around in my head for a while now. I particularly like Tyrric’s presentation here.

For references’ sake, this story takes place nearly 3,000 years ago, shortly after the Troll Wars in the World of Warcraft setting. Tyrric and Mirium are maybe 16 or 17 years of age in this scene, while Keelath is approaching his late 20’s. As elves, this means they are all young adults just barely into their maturity, though Keelath has a bit of a gap on the others.

Author’s Note

The moonlight lit the paths leading away from the village square, silvering the hair and hoods of the quel’dorei streaming into it. Its light was overpowered by the lanterns in the square itself however, shining blue and violet, green and gold, from the branches of the trees. Keelath took a sniff of the air, scented with herbs and exotic perfumes and all kinds of food. The Lunar holiday was in full swing.

He had been to the midwinter celebration a few times since their family had moved to Thalas’talah, but his younger brother, Tyrric, had not. Keelath grinned to himself as Tyrric dashed from one vendor to the next, giddy as a boy half his age, and the young quel’dorei didn’t seem to know what to pay the most attention to first: the food, the girls, the drink, the crafts, or all of them at once. It was a haphazard version of the latter he chose, as far as Keelath could tell. He glided along behind his brother, making sure Tyrric didn’t get into any trouble while also sharing the experience with him.

A train of wagons was pulled into the center of the square, though they looked like cheery little houses on wheels more than wagons, painted in reds and greens and yellows. Four of them were pulled into a half-square — two on either side and two forming the back — with their awnings stretched out to create a sheltered space between them. A crowd was forming outside it, waiting with a tense air like they were forming lines for tickets to see an exotic beast. Then someone began to sing, clear and piercingly beautiful.

Tyrric paused in his sampling of a wine older than he was, but Keelath walked around the wagons, craning his neck. On this side, under the awnings, someone had draped curtains, painted and sewn in fanciful colors: a backdrop to a stage. A silver-haired woman stood on a hastily constructed deck, singing older hymns of Elune interspersed with newer songs celebrating the Sun and the quel’dorei’s journey into the Light. This singer was better than many of the priestesses Keelath had heard, though she struggled with some of the pronunciations: not a true believer, or so Keelath took it to mean. She was singing instead for the benefit of her audience, as the dwellers of Thalas’talah were known to be especially devout. Keelath folded his arms and listened appreciatively.

“You know, they’d get more attention if they hired someone younger to take the role,” said Tyrric, suddenly appearing at Keelath’s side with half a pastry in his mouth.

“You’re spitting crumbs all over me,” said Keelath.

“It’s an improvement,” said Tyrric, then seemed to make his best attempt of choking himself by shoving the rest of the pastry in his mouth at once.

Keelath smiled, putting a hand on Tyrric’s back in readiness for having to knock his throat clear, then turned his attention back to the stage. The woman had ended her performance and was taking her bows, and other elves were filing out on stage, preparing it and themselves for a play. It seemed they had taken Tyrric’s advice, as one of them was a young woman, taking the center in a gown that showed off her slenderness without quite being inappropriate.

Then she began to sing, and it was Keelath who needed the help to keep from choking, as his breath caught in his throat.

Child of Light

digital art portrait of Mirum, blood elf paladin, holding Aubraan, her infant son, upfront of a light-filled window

Here is Mirium and her infant son, Aubraan. This image was inspired by my writing a scene in which Aubraan was nomming on Mirium’s pauldron. Someone said I should draw it, so I did!

Getting the color balance on this one correct made me want to pull out my hair. The background started out as blue, then green, and now purple. I also had to over-saturate the characters’ skin tones so they would pop out properly among the rest of the busy picture.

This is one of the first pictures I attempted adding sun glow and reverse shadows to, too. If you see purple shadows on an object instead of a darker shadow of its normal color, that’s the reverse shadow effect.

If the future, I should probably remind myself to smooth out the shading.

Art-Making Streams!

I have finally figured out how to use OBS Studio! Prepare to see more art streams making their way to the Locals and YouTube FoxFireFiction communities in the near future!

For now, have a partial stream of the clean-up phase of the Mirium Sketch (better title to be determined). Fuller-length streams I plan to include on Locals in the future, for the price of $2 a month. You will also get access to an exclusive fans-and-devs community besides just supporting me to continue more work like this. I hope to see you there!

Locals link: https://foxfirefiction.locals.com/post/1139119/lines-clean-up-mirium-sketch

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/lre60dMZxBA

Cog Railroad on Top of Pikes Peak

photo of the cog railroad at the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado, USA

This was one of the first images I had taken using a new cell phone. The image comes from the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado. The railroad here is a cog railway: the little teeth running down the center line are able to catch and hold the train to help gain traction going up steep slopes as well as keep it from running backwards down the mountain when the train stops. Some cog railways are no more than two feet wide to get through narrow mountain passes; this one is more like four.

If you’re interested in buying a print of this, you can get one through DeviantArt for around 20-60$ (depending on size).