Welcome to my character portrait gallery

For anyone who is wondering, Wednesday became 'black Wednesday' for me because I cannot draw mid-week!
In fact I'm sure the rainforests mourn Wednesday too by the amount of paper I tear through in frustration... so this is a blog for all who know what like it is to regularly shout at their pencils
Oh yes it's also all about fictional characters plus interviews with them, yeah, that too :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fedura Sarayn

Concept credits once more to Dan Johnson - thanks so much for allowing me to do this! ^_^

Fedura is a whore.

Now those are her words and not ours.

A bold admittance from an extremely bold lady it seems almost fitting that our last interviewee is as striking in personality as I myself am. Some might call that statement conceited but like Fedura I prefer to call it a beautiful truth. By species and height she is a 5ft 9” drek elf. Average in height only.

Now I am not forgetting I haven’t introduced myself yet, in fact the co-workers here have been feverishly trying to take my photo and draw or interview me. I took a couple of weeks (sic: months) off sick, since, well, upon my return and this last interview I know my sentence and hence life will end. Dues then, I am dragging the end out.

Back to feisty Fedura…well she certainly knows how to thrust her assets in a delightful manner to anyone who likes breasts and she is more than capable of switching tactic when it comes to conversation. A wily one indeed. We here in the studio still don’t understand her relationship with the very demure Dioxa. We get that opposites sometimes make good matches or foils but Fedura skips locations as much as she does lovers. Dioxa, her faithful friend, is on the other hand, very sullen and the type who would most enjoy being settled and coddled. Since Fedura offers none of those options we are baffled at the pairing. We would understand it more if they were lovers but, contrary to some wishful thinking here they are not. On query of any romantic relationship between the two all staff were greeted with a disgusted snort from Fedura, followed by an acidic glare and a blunt 'No.'

Still Fedura is an open prostitute. We cannot avoid sex in this interview since it is her profession. She laughs at the little colloquialisms we throw at her and then we nervously laugh back. She is far too open for even my liking yet sarcastic and egregious enough to hold my interest rather keenly. 
It came as a bit of a surprise to us to learn that, in addition to her choice of 'paid hobby' as she calls it she's also a somewhat talented mage. Some of us daydreamed if she could combine those interests in the workplace. *ahem*

Having primarily taught herself magic rather than learning it from another it is clear her skills in this area are undisciplined. She tells us she has a tendency to throw all her muscle into a couple of attacks instead of pacing herself through a fight but she considers this as a tactic and an issue of reserves rather than lack of talent. She cites several instances where this overkill saved her life, several of them in colorful language.

During her off-season, a thing we were previously unaware her profession had, Fedura enjoys traveling and exploring, often hiring herself out as a support mage for caravans or travelers. She describes these encounters as uneventful but enjoyable since she loves seeing new places and being out in the wilds of nature.

She recants her most interesting adventures in lewd detail. We learn that she likes to make body jewellery from found trinkets. This led to averted eyes as she stripped to show us her favourite concealed jewels and tattoos. Clothing it seems is optional for Fedura. True she has an interesting set of tattoos, all inked in places I wouldn’t want a needle.

Do not make the mistake of thinking she is two dimensional however, despite a profession that makes the majority of us shoehorn all those that work in it into one narrow-minded category. Fedura is a go-getter. She is striving, and has personal life goals just like everyone else, one’s that have zero to do with her profession.

We asked what her goals were but she was shy to reveal the answer. Only something close to the heart could make such an outward woman shy. In dancing around the question she did spout, ‘well I have some small hopes for the future, just like you.’

 In closing I would say Fedura is an entertaining lady in more ways than you could imagine. I hope the best for her, she might be scathing and scalding but overall she seems genuine and sincere.
Out of all the interviewees I, Mordas, might have a crush on this one. 
A fitting end she is then and a pleasure for my last days.

Sadly I must sign off now and meet my fate.
If our Lord sees fit I may get a new job and write to you readers once more.

If not I hope the artists and I have at least given you some entertainment.
Until next time then dear audience may I bid you farewell.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ifryn Macier

So we’ve been on hiatus here for a bit at Black Wednesday’s trying to locate the last few interviewees for you before my job here comes most literally to an end.

It should be perhaps be no surprise then that the most recent bedraggled thing we managed to convince to visit our studios is one severely diseased vampire. I’d say our scouts were scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one but Ifryn Macier is a stubborn old geezer who they have been trying to persuade since our doors opened. 

Ifryn, like most of his species, is of ord origin. This is mostly due to the fact that the vampire species germinated from ords and vampires fare best when they feed on similar blood types. Vampires sired from other species such as fae or anthropomorphs tend to die younger unless they feed upon those of their origin species. Worse still, some insist on drinking sugar-water and thus sentence themselves to a slow and painful death, dying as young as 50 which is a considerable markdown from the extended lifespan these beings are meant to have.

A reasonable height then for an ord at 5ft 6in tall Ifryn is still the most horrible mess of a vampire. He is 137 years old and wow it really shows. Put in stark comparison to Eyzith who is 150 and still fresh-faced you can tell how much his ills have ravaged his body. His sunken face, hollowed eyes and accompanying scowl however say more about him than his sickness because as it happens Ifryn really is a grumpy old git. 

Speaking to him it is clear that he dislikes everything and everyone. The epitome of a nasty and nosy neighbour, your business is his business and you’d better keep out of his affairs. A haggard limping and outwardly offensive individual in all ways it’s difficult to even hold a conversation with him. He gripes and snipes at every possible opportunity and generally makes it impossible to communicate. Yes Ifryn hates you and us and life and the universe. We tire quickly of trying to ask him questions, for someone so elderly he appears sapped of any wisdom.

His sickened state has no doubt left him vulnerable and likely angry; that is understandable. That said we get the feeling that he’d probably be the same awful person even if his skin were not slightly sloughing from his bones.

Alongside Eyzith, Emmus and Dro’Zar, Ifryn is one of the few remaining old vampires who recall the now obsolete way of siring and raising their kind; an outdated, well documented and draconian method for selecting children to join the species which has since perished. Due to its brutality it is hardly surprising to learn that the old system was replaced. 

This extreme method for choosing new vampires technically didn’t exist when Ifryn was born as an ord and certainly was not meant to be in use by the time he was sired. Of course, the practice was still being illegally used at the time of Ifryn’s siring, and to this day there are reports of similar set-ups occurring outside of organised society. But then maintenance of population control for a society such as that of the vampires has never been an easy thing to micro-manage.

Ifryn is then both blessed and cursed by his illness. In one respect he has become a bitter, withering old man far sooner than he should for a member of his species, in the other he has been granted immunity from their laws of population control which means he doesn’t have to pass any tests to validate the reasons he should be allowed to keep living. Incapable of breeding they are quite happy to let the man live out the remainder of his days in whatever agony the sickness brings, how nice of them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rae Iys

A wise and twinkly-eyed old welkin Rae is a fae who has seen her share of magic and expanded her expertise well beyond normal. She trickles energy, much in the same way Dirzryn affected the electrics of our studio when he visited, so the lights tick in uncertainty when Rae enters.

Standing at 4ft 10in she is at the upper end of height for her species but by no means tall. Externally she better epitomises our expectations of what a welkin should look like than previous interviewee Karyf. Rae has tortoiseshell wings, atypically brightly coloured butterfly wings are what we think of when we think welkin and after all, the erroneous dubbing of them as flower fairies came about for this very reason. Equally, Rae has long flowing golden curls and as a younger woman, we imagine she glowed with the kind of radiance and sparkle we inherently associate with anything bearing the name fairy.

That said Rae confesses she tidied up her hair for this interview. She relates that her curls are usually tangled with twigs and assortment of bracken and flowers, not because she puts them there but because Rae loves nature and rambling. She is the kind of woman who goes blackberry picking and forgets to wash because it takes time away from turning those blackberries into pies. Yes, Rae likes her food; she loves to cook and loves alchemy. Turning ingredients into remedies appeals greatly to this master mage, if medicine can be made from any plant she makes it.

For a woman of so many years Rae is still quite beautiful. She is 110 she tells us, cheeky little liar we know she is actually 121 according to the in-link database. The difference in energy, the pressure of her presented presence to that of a man like Dirzryn is quite stark. Her energy is calm and clean. The ‘magic’ she brings almost feels like new light. Yet we are wary, one such as Arian could cast an illusion like this, a sense of serenity and calm that isn’t there. Thus, we are cautious of her claims.

However, after speaking with Rae for some time we become more convinced of the energy she lets us see. The power of serenity and calm she exudes is intentional but as she informs us, it is also an extension of what she feels most deeply. She tells us that she is a lover of people and has a heart brimming with compassion. Even as a wiser and aged woman, she maintains a great love for others and feels no bitterness to those that are misguided. She tells us she does not judge the youth; their inexperience cannot be a point of judgement. She considers herself the hand that turns faults aside and she wishes to draw others in to her peaceable way of thinking. At the same time, she rather humorously rants, ‘harmony is bullshit, harmony is a song of notes that string together and people don’t do that!’
So we had to question, ‘what do they do?’

‘They argue,’ Rae laughs, ‘they debate and conjecture and if they are lucky they enjoy it. I am not here to refute anyone just teach what I know. If you want peace, you will find it. Same if you want war. You will find what you seek no matter what it is.’

So we goadingly question, ‘if we seek vengeance and wrath and a bath full of blood?’
‘Yes you will find it, but if you go looking for stupid more stupid will find you. Better to look for some good in this world because all similar things propel towards one another.’

Fair enough.

This might go some way to explaining why she trained Dirzryn when he was a younger man. Despite the fact Rae is a follower of Evyn she has no gripe in training any student so long as they adhere to a few basic rules of magic usage. To Rae it matters not what religion of belief a person has, particularly with magic, all she wants from her pupils is respect for the discipline.

Since we are quite curious how a powerful follower of Evyn ended up tutoring a powerful follower of Luk we have to wonder, ‘who has more power?’

‘We each specialise in different things,’ Rae elucidates, ‘elemental magic mostly. I simply teach what I know and how to use it, how it is used however is up to the student.’

We nod in false understanding because there aren’t any magic users in our studio so we can’t pass comment.
‘Dirzryn was an excellent student actually,’ she informs us, ‘not polite I don’t suppose,’ she laughs, ‘but he understood the rules then and despite his choices still uses them now.’

‘Ah I see,’ a few of the studio members profess. Actually, none of us see anything at all because we don’t have the slightest idea about magic or the rules or anything Rae is talking about.

Rae slight smiles at our inept admission and we confess if we thought we were out of depth with terrifying mind twisting people or spiders we were naïve, truly we came unstuck here.

Rae’s old face wrinkles, she has a very pleasant presence we cannot deny but the nervous among us are on edge with such an intense magical energy filling the room.

Rae does not have any empathic abilities; she cannot affect our feelings or thoughts directly. She does however possess record-breaking elemental magic abilities, we know she could freeze us where we sit in seconds, or worse flame us. Actually, after some debate we can’t conclude whether being frozen or burnt would be worse. The conversation is a little debunked and default however because good old Rae doesn’t have a bad bone in her body, she’d rather bake a pie or three and go walking in the woods than unleash holy hellfire on anyone.

Her sense of serenity stays with us for some time after she leaves. Even if several pens went missing (looking at you Tarene) we almost don’t mind. It feels like we had a clean swim in the sea and the freshest breath of air floated in to our very stale studio space. We keep looking for sparkles of fairy dust. Alas, fae and magic don’t produce sparkles as much as we wish they would.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays! :D 2013

So here’s a snapshot of all our elves in one place (excluding Dirzryn’s three brothers), the party invite cited fancy dress as a requisite with the theme of ‘atypical elves,’ however it seems the interpretation and effort made by various individuals varied greatly.

Christmas Elves

Left to right, top to bottom we have:

Alanor (bottom left, pregnant woman, sitting in left chair)
Dioxa (left, shy lass with piercings and stripy top in front of fireplace)
Orin (left, the lad with bright blonde hair who is stealing a candy cane)
Tor (top left the tall pale blue fellow who is propping up the drunk)
Fedura (top left, the drunk)
Tahl(upper centre, fellow with red hair who is trying to appear interested in the conversation)
Saffron (upper centre, the woman talking AT Tahl)
Lady Vay (right, the woman stood in front of the tree sneering down on everyone)
Mathiaas (right, he’s holding up a glass, almost hidden below Vay)
Riaf (right, the blonde very stoned looking lad on the sofa)
Ungus (centre, the tubby one in the santa hat)
Tomor (centre, the lass who is holding mistletoe and giggling)
Dirzryn (centre, sat on sofa wishing he were anywhere else but here)

Wishing everyone a great festive season and good elf for the new year 
- sorry just couldn’t resist that pun :P

See you all in 2014! :D

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tarene Nahge

Now imps are one type of Fae we have yet to interview, they are also notoriously difficult to locate. As it happens, we have our very own in-house imp here at Black Wednesday’s so this is our first interview with a staff member.
At 61 years old, Tarene Nahge is just under middle age for an imp and she stands at an average 5ft 1in tall. Her height is actually the only thing we might describe as average about Tarene.

Before being sentenced for major larceny, she dealt in antiquities and precious artefacts. Since imps are considered trustworthy individuals and are revered amongst the fae as nocturnal protectors, you could say Taryn was born with the ideal cover for her crimes.

A reserved yet charming woman, many have made the mistake of assuming that she is introverted or terribly shy. The opposite is closer to the truth; Tarene is highly observant and clever enough to know when to play her cards close to her chest. Smart enough to take a day job and embezzle her cash but like the majority of us here not smart enough to not get caught.

Interesting as Tarene comes from a middle wealth background; her family have never been poor which begs the question why did she choose a life of theft? The answer is simply that she likes the thrill of stealing. She explains the lure, how enticing breaking and entering is, how out-smarting technology and making a clean get away with someone else’s valuables makes her feel alive. Tarene also has a clean set of rules; she loftily affirms that the things she steals have to be of great value. A careful opportunist, she is not a risk taker outside of her ‘job,’ and even then, she plots and treads with caution. She is, as she likes to remind us, ‘no petty crook.’

Handy that her father is a locksmith working for a security company, tinkering with locks and alarm systems is therefore second nature to Tarene.  Her first job was for this same company, a job spanning enough years for her to learn all the tricks and ticks of the security systems they were selling. Shifting to sales was likely the beginning of her career, since those who refused to buy would find their homes broken into shortly after and would immediately call to get security installed.

Knowledge of antiquities came later in Tarene’s life, after meeting a crooked dealer seeking particularly rare items. She would always deliver, so it didn’t take him long to figure she was a thief.  Once clarified, he asked her to get rarer items for the black market and so their lucrative yet illicit business relationship began.

As far as criminals go the length of Tarene’s record is quite impressive if we do say so. She managed to evade capture for a good seven years before they tracked her down and shipped her off to Black Wednesdays like the rest of us.

Tarene is not a lover of material possessions; she never owned a grand house and her coin never went on jewels or lavish goods. She used her profit modestly to keep her family, a saver in fact the majority of it remained tucked away in several accounts. Saved perhaps for the time she might need to make a quick getaway and escape the authorities. Shame for Tarene then that her accounts were located before she was, preventing any great escape she had planned.

Her one self-expenditure over the years has been on her looks. Yes, Tarene is the vain sort, one who proudly plays with her ‘flowing locks,’ daily and spends hours preening in the mirror. In fact, she gets quite offended when we point out that five clumps of hair doesn’t equate to flowing locks. Still, as most imps aren’t blessed with any hair on their heads we can appreciate her pride, in the same way we appreciate stale bread after three days without eating.

Overall Tarene is a quiet soul, not a boisterous persona and one who effectively blends into the backdrop of our offices. You could say we forget she’s there at times but that’s probably because as a doubtlessly intelligent and sneaky individual she’s busy scheming who to steal from next.

So yes, when expensive things go missing in the studio we know who has them.


Editor’s note: After reading her interview, Tarene curtly informed us that she has six clumps of hair not five.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Saffron Agir

Well things are starting to wind down here in the Black Wednesday studios; we have interviewed a wide variety of individuals and given an overview of the many identified species of man currently roaming our Aftlands. 

We cite ‘many’ and not ‘all’ the identified species because interviewing one person from every single type of anthropomorph on the planet would be nigh on impossible. Ok so we admit we are stretching the truth because what we’ve actually covered are a handful of ords and most of the species classified as belonging to the ‘mythic,’ genus. Why has it worked out this way? Well let’s just say our gracious lord has a rather rigorous screening process coupled with precisely zero interest in ‘interviewee preservation.’

Still, we’re not finished yet, which I for one am pleased about because it’s highly likely my life will end when this job does.

Thus without further ado we bring you this week’s interviewee, the one species of elf we have yet to sit down and have a natter with, known as the drenma, or as many of them prefer, ‘the original dark elves.’

Not only that but Saffron Agir, or Saffy as she informally prefers, is the appointed representative of her people. That means of course she spends time rubbing stately shoulders with the likes of EyzithDirzryn, and many other highbrow famed and appointed officials. Yes we can hear the excitement bursting from you at that thought, much in the same way our joy echoed, ‘oh another stately important person just like all the other’s we’ve already interviewed? And an elf, you say?’

In the interest of some terrible fate not befalling our beloved Jeff, (who is the office mascot and the only one who listens because he’s a cactus) we decided to bring our brightest and best gritted smiles to the interview room and a fistful of research.

Our research as it happens was utterly pointless because Saffron is a straight lace woman who we can scarce dig up any dark ugly secrets about beyond a few late payments of parking fines and one instance of rent arrears. At the age of 74 and standing at 5ft 8in tall there is simply nothing unusual or untoward about her. A little young to rule some might cite,  but then Saffron’s job consists of dull liaisons, taking notes in dusty board room meetings and repeating speeches constructed by other people as if they were her own words.

‘It’s all about addressing the people,’ she tells us in a silken voice, ‘keeping the politics in balance between those below and the one above and making sure everyone is happy.’ Being representative of her species Saffron acts as a go-between for the lower council members and the highest governing body who finalises decisions on behalf of all elves. Call us jaded but we assume this means coercing people into believing they are happy rather than granting wishes.

That said, Saffron appears to be the genuine article, a genial calm and welcoming woman. A patient listener, measured speaker and balanced thinker, it is almost a tragedy that she has been elevated to a middle spokesperson for her people.

Now the drenma are quite set in their ways but perhaps are the most balanced of their kin. As a culture, they are no-where near as anal as the drow or arrogant as the lofty draern, they like nature sure but not to the point of worshipping it like the dryads or druics and they certainly have no specific penchant for metals like the drek. ‘Of course all of the above are stereotypical over-views of entire groups,’ Saffron is quick to remind us. We consider it slightly ironic then that her goal in life is to bring unity and equality to the people she serves; a sentiment which sounds about as roughly stapled to the back of her hand as it is.

It’s not clear why the drenma consider themselves the ancestors of all other elves, aside from the fact that like all other elves they have an ingrained dislike of their brethren. Yes, all elves think that their version is best and was first and all other elf species can go suck it because they live somewhere else and have funny skin and ears. 

Drenma ears, as you can see have a dual point to the top, they are the second tallest species and always have dark umber skin. Seeing as brown came before dark blue or grey in the rainbow of external muscle-covering organs we can appreciate why the lesser-known drenma consider themselves as precursors to the far-shorter drow. However, there is zero evidence to support this theory and no one is actually sure what relevance or importance it has to anything other than giving elves something else to bicker about.

Thursday, October 31, 2013