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 :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Xiaz DeVagrant


The eldest and shortest of the DeVagrant brothers Xiaz DeVagrant is 101 years old and a sturdy 4ft 9in tall. He’s about average height for a male drow of his years and aged enough to be a respected member of his community without being so old as to be seen as decrepit. 

That said from what we can gather most people do think of Xiaz as a bothersome old fart.
He’s temperamental at the best of times, apparently never smiles and has the marked expression of a man forced to suck down daily on a mouthful of angry fire ants.

I guess if we had to use only one word to describe Xiaz it would be bitter, but seeing as we don’t here’s a few more to explain exactly how bitter the old prune is: in short he is a crabby, caustic, sarcastic, vitriol of a man, who is embittered, austere, sour and resentful of everything and everyone.

Xiaz is the kind of guy who thinks life owes him something for all the hard work he’s put it, he’s done his share and it’s about time he had some recompense for all the toil and sacrifices he’s had to make. He’s also the type of man who doesn’t realise that his sharp, hot-headed and over-bearing nature is the reason most folks don’t like him.

Now Xiaz is certainly hardworking and not a selfish man, he has after all, dedicated his life to caring for his elderly parents, running their meagre business, and supporting his younger brothers. The problem is that he cannot understand that those choices were his to make and that he doesn’t win instant recompense because he chose to live a life of ‘sacrifice’ to others.

His bitterness exacerbates at the mere mention of Dirzryn's existence. Allowing him to rumble irascibly about the ‘easy-life’, he thinks his brother was given, and caw loudly about how unreasonable it is that some illegally born brat should be, ‘showered in riches.’ He also considers it ‘highly unfair’ that Aezlyn grew semi-pampered with an education and was encouraged by their mother to chase after his ‘silly daydreams’ of cultivating alchemic ingredients because none of those things have anything to do with the family farm, business or their heritage.

Which begs the question what would he do with his life if he had this freedom of choice he thinks is so sorely lacking?
His answer; ‘well I certainly wouldn’t go chasing after a bunch of medicinal herbs or waste it on flitting about rubbing elbows in some high and mighty brownnosed aristocracy.’  Which suggests he quite frankly doesn’t have a clue what he would do but can’t see far enough past the end of his shrivelled upturned nose to realise it.

Fair to say then that Xiaz is not fond of change, even slight changes to his daily routine, such as being dragged half-way across the globe for ‘some ridiculous interview,’ as he deems it, though his sturdy voice falters slightly in its conviction as he makes that utterance so we know that he secretly likes the attention. In reality he probably enjoys having the opportunity to wax lyrical about how wronged he has been, to set the record straight about his family’s involvement or lack thereof with the notorious Dirzryn and just generally have a good moan at a group of people who aren’t already sick of listening to his incessant gripes.

A shame then that we can’t repeat some of the colourful language used to describe his feelings towards the young master DeVagrant, nor do we plan to write any more on the subject since we covered it in detail enough when speaking to Aezlyn and Erynai. Which is merely another irksome point for Xiaz no doubt and another thing that casts disparity on being the eldest child, in fact this should tie in nicely to his victimised belief that he is the sole provider, the responsible one continually ignored but forced to hold the family together.

No Xiaz, no one has forced you into this position other than yourself.

The reason your marriage failed is probably because you are an arrogant, militant, narrow-minded and callous man fixated on preserving a non-existent stability instead of interacting with those around you. We here at Black Wednesday’s are in fact astounded that you were ever wed, seeing as not one person here was able to put up with your constant bellyaching for more than twenty minutes at a time. Being so self-involved we are also assured that you didn’t notice the staff slipping away for cigarettes and coffee at regular intervals because that would involve realising that the universe doesn’t revolve around you or depend or your sagacious insights to get its own coffee.

Just for fun, because we can and we know Xiaz in particular will hate this comparison, here’s their four portraits pinned together:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Aeric Bauer

And where there is one Fae more are sure to follow as they say…

Aeric Bauer then is 5ft 5in tall and is of the Fachin variety, all of these Fae possess the ability to grow a feathered mane and many are able to sprout wings or flight feathers. This transformation is considered a second physical form much like that of a lycanthrope because the occurring alterations are static to one particular shape however unlike lycanthropes this form may be held indefinitely until the individual chooses to transform again. This second shape is known as a definitive or hard copy switch, meaning that once the feathers are sprouted they are fixed and removing them to appear as per the ‘original’ state, is actually a separate transformation rather than a reversion.

At 35yrs old (which in Fae terms is the equivalent to an 18 yr old) Aeric is a quiet soul, a humble and somewhat shy individual who rather appropriately shades away from the limelight. A pleasant enough young man who at first glance appears to be a bit of a sap and a touch on the weedy side, we instantly peg him as the nervous kind, the sort of lad who dons a large blazer to overcompensate for having a slight stature without realising that it merely highlights how scraggy he is.

Like most of his kind, he does not feel the need to walk around with dark feathers sticking out of his ears and as he politely explains, only really uses his second form when hunting or levitation is required. He informs us he does not possess wings per say but that he can sprout flight feathers in a row down each arm. Whilst these flight feathers are sparse and not weight bearing, he assures us that they provide excellent stability whilst levitating by helping him steer, glide, and sharpen his manoeuvres. He doesn’t appear embarrassed when we ask for a demonstration but immediately declines to show us, citing, ‘maybe later,’ with an air of suspicion in those pearly blue eyes.

Now, despite appearing initially meek and limp-wristed it is at this point we notice that Aeric actually has alarmingly hard grey-blue eyes, which tell us life must have been tough over the years and that he probably bites back with more earnest than we imagined. He seems uncomfortable being interviewed and has a generally awkward disposition as though he either isn’t used to socialising or doesn’t trust a single person in the room. The latter, we soon learn is the more likely reason for his standoffish behaviour.

True to say that, the majority of people don’t trust the Fachin, to the point where the word ‘fach’ itself has come to mean curse. This in turn is because the majority of Fachin are born with the inherent ability to alter light: an illusionary talent. In the case of the Fachin this talent is called, ‘shadow weaving,’ because they are capable of absorbing light waves. Why is that good, threatening, or important? Well anyone able to absorb light to the point of appearing black can easily blend in with the shadows of night itself, and anyone able to become essentially invisible whenever shadows are present can easily, well, do whatever the hell they want. Now if the idea of a person capable of sneaking up on you, stealing your stuff or watching you without you even knowing they are there doesn’t give you the creeps then we suggest you seek professional help.

Understandably then explaining you are Fachin means being judged as a murderous thief before you get to the end of the sentence. It also means you are likely to receive a lot of communication from people who actually want to employ you to do their dirty work. In Aeric’s case however, as he hesitantly tells us, the ability to shadow weave is not the talent that everyone covets from him. His one unique ability that he describes as having ‘directed my entire life,’ is quite innocuous, and not apparent unless he tells you or you are actively seeking the information.

The fact is that Aeric is mysteriously immune to all poisons, including the very rare ones such as those possessed by the Aureus family bloodline. Naturally then he has been sought for most of his life by individuals wishing to unlock the secrets of immunity within him. From the innocent and genuine people seeking anti-venoms to extremists who desire to possess the same immunity in order to exact whatever horrendous chemical warfare plot they have been secretly scheming.

Sadly, for Aeric, those he cared about the most were also the ones who suffered the worst backlash. He says he was ‘removed’ from his family home in order to protect the village but that they were then ‘removed’ from existence by the very same people who professed to be protecting them. In turn, Aeric admits he thought it only fair to ‘remove,’ the entire village when the chance presented itself.

In reflection, we can sympathise with his reluctance and hushed tone when informing us of his immunity, even though the very same information is publicly available in-link. Learning of his experiences it seems justified that he might be a touch paranoid we are going to jump him, tie him down, and start sticking him with needles like a bunch of stark-raving mad scientists dissecting frogs.

Speaking of frogs, it doesn’t surprise us to learn then that none other than Staph Aureus himself adopted Aeric. Who better to second this assassin in his work than the only boy known to be immune to his poison? Dealing with Staph’s toxic arrows or indeed shaking his hand on a daily basis isn’t problematic for young Aeric. Being a fellow marksman means they have a lot in common and we imagine the sweet vengeance of ‘removing,’ all those villainous people who murdered Aeric’s family was probably quite a boon if you are so inclined to such things.

We are sorely tempted to make a crack about a bird amongst the frogs, but if there’s one sure-fire, way to offend the Fae it is by confusing them with anthropomorphs, or worse, with elves, even though elves do fall under the same sub-genus. It seems the more closely related the pointy-eared ones are the greater the distance and distinction they want to make between one another. Thankfully, we know better than to irritate a rather dark and angry little soul who can make himself invisible and will likely snipe us with a poison dart in the next few days if we push the wrong buttons.

We did however manage to convince him to show us his feathered mane, albeit briefly, and were somewhat disturbed by the confidence his transformation seems to imbue.

Great, now we can imagine not only will we find Staph waiting in the shadows at the foot of our beds but also Aeric, a shadow himself, hovering above us as we sleep.

Who are we kidding? This is precisely the reason we never sleep.


Seeing as we failed to capture a rendition of Aeric’s flight feathers during our interview, we had our snoops set about capturing his likeness out in the field. This image is a tiny 2.5 x 3.5”, which suggests that our artist was either trying to be discreet when sketching or is in possession of the world’s smallest satchel. Either way here is an art card showing young Aeric’s feathers:

‘Fachin’s Mane,’ (Aeric Bauer), mixed media, 2.5 x 3.5” illustration board.
Currently for sale here :)