These are some concept art pieces for the character behind “The Nameless Accounts, also known as… er, minor spoiler, Ezran. I explain some of the concept process for each image.
This exercise was more to stretch my understanding of facial structure then it was to make character concepts for Ezran. The lower middle image is his most accurate structure, though I am rather fond of Dwarf Ezran in the upper right, and the upper middle feels like an Elder Scrolls Bosmer. Meanwhile, the lower left has the facial structure of Neddryn from “The Hottest Day of the Year”, though not his hairstyle.
For a while, I have been making use of Living Story Roleplay in World of Warcraft to map out the plotline for Seryth/Sirith. This spawned three short series including “The Story of Seryth“, explaining Sirith’s origin as a baddie, “The Shaping of Seryth“, acting as a sequel to Story and detailing what happens to Sirith after his defeat, and then the unfinished “The Search for Seryth“, which introduces Ezran and his quest to try and redeem the broken warlock. (Regarding the confusion of the name: “Sirith” is the character’s actual name, but it was taken on the WoW server I rolled him up on, so he became “Seryth” for the Living Story. In this post, he is back to being Sirith, since the setting is also back to being Talmenor, not Azeroth.)
However, when it came to Ezran and Sirith’s final meeting, where Shaping and Search were supposed to collide, I couldn’t make it work out: the scenarios available to me in-game couldn’t carry the weight or significance I needed.
Sirith’s tale in particular petered out, while Ezran’s threatened to overshadow him in a way I felt wasn’t fitting for the overall theme of the plot. Ezran is a larger-than-life character already, coming out of a series of his own (more on that later) yet somehow Sirith must transcend him, as the student always surpasses the master. So, it wouldn’t do for Sirith to come crawling back to Ezran without achieving some kind of heroics of his own. “The Shaping of Seryth” still has some moments I like as far as character development goes, but it doesn’t really go anywhere as a story, and I knew that needed to change.
Finally, I distanced myself from the Living Story Roleplay entirely and let these scenes write themselves without the guidance. It’s a fast-paced read for what feels like a novel worth of plot, much like the Living Stories, and when it comes to writing the fuller book there are many spots I will need to fill in.
I will probably still end up stealing some of the better moments from the Living Story series as well, particularly Ezran’s. It had some good timing.
He came from Svenby, he said. It was one of those towns no one had ever heard of, except that one tavern drunkard who only talked about it when he was deep in his cups and reminiscing about the war. “Reminiscing” was a polite word for it; those were often the nights the bouncer had to drag him out in the morning, barely conscious and still begging for more drinks to drown the memories. Given this effect on the drunkard, no one asked him to elaborate either. Continue reading “The Setting of Sirith”
“O Scourge of the Sea! Though long you have stalked me, no more shall you withhold your truth from me…
“…O Scourge of the Sea! I see the curtain has parted, your true form at last revealed to me.”
Thorn of the Rose
By A. Broadhead
The moonlight lit the paths leading away from the village square, silvering the hair and hoods of the wuyon’mari 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 white-barked trees. Keelath took a sniff of the air, scented with herbs and exotic perfumes and all kinds of food.
Then there was a soft spitting noise, like a match flaring to light. Evelos glanced between his fingers, and there was Keelath, the wuyon’mar’s angular face twisted in rage, holding his sword in one hand and a ball of furious Light magic in the other.
“Take your claws off my son,” his father growled.
The Will of the Whip
By A. Broadhead
“…this life, witho-o-out you.”
Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as her small audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, the wuyon’mar stepped down from the Halfmoon Tavern’s stage and sat down between her two adult children, Medi and Evelos.
“What did you think?” she whispered.
“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”
“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.
“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again and Lana took to stage to call out for the next participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”
“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.
“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’talah, away from the Dawnmist manor. It was years before you were born, though.”
Medi leaned back in disappointment. “Really? That sounds bore-ring!”
You may see some things disappear or break over the next few days. This is because we’re in the process of re-hauling the website structure in order to launch the FoxFireFiction and Talmenor brands. No content will be taken down, but some of it might be (intentionally) harder to find. Thank you for your patience!
“No!” said Croatius, snarling. So close, so close… “It’s I who am sorry for the rest of you! We saw through that pretty outer layer of life, through the gaudy makeup on your faces and down into your dead, burnt-out eyes. The world is only a machine, Evelos; our sympathies only the hallucinations of mortal minds that cannot comprehend it. Yes, I am weak and foolish; you are right. A bit of flesh clothed around what was once perfect, but at least I see the corruption…!”
Whenever I get around to turning these characters’ stories into a book, I might break these two scenes apart. For now, the first scene ties off the fraught relationship alluded to in “Son of Silvermoon” and “Crestfallen”, while the second helps explain why Croatius made the choice he did, abandoning his lover and son to the Illidari.
It’s a good feeling when I finally come to understand a difficult villain’s true motivations. It’s always those damn idealists, man: when they fall, they fall the hardest.
“Come to kill me, Evelos?”
A shadow detached itself from the wall, slowly, like water sliding down an oil-treated window. It paused up front of Croatius, reforming itself into an elf, but unlike most elves, its eyes didn’t glow in the dim light. He was like one of the Wretched instead – or like one possessed by the Shadow – dark holes where the eyes should have been.
Talthan didn’t look up, still going through his daily mail while he ate from the bowl of porridge she had fixed for him early that morning. He was relaxed, but she was not, her stomach flipping as if it had seen a lynx crouched in the brush. Mirium focused on a new stain on Talthan’s shirt, and tried to find the courage to go on.
“Yes, my dear?” Talthan asked lazily, when she hadn’t elaborated for several more minutes. That spurred her to continue where her whirling thoughts couldn’t.
Krest is named after and loosely based on Crestaen, an old roleplayer and PvPer in World of Warcraft. He was my guildmaster for a brief time while Evelos was a blood elf on Horde-side, sometime during the Burning Crusade expansion. His character taking Evelos fishing in the old Forsaken zones is one of my favorite memories, and this helped serve as inspiration for how Evelos behaves in this series.
It was a bead forming on the ceiling. It followed the ridge of stone until it reached the lowest point, then hung there for a moment, glittering.
It swelled and rounded, colors swirling within it. He saw a face, then two faces as another bead formed just behind it, running along like it was trying to catch it.