Month: December 2021

Exalted Art Challenge Collection 8 – Demon, Manse, etc.

We’ve finally made it to the penultimate collection in the Art Challenge!  I only have a couple of topics left and then I can declare myself a victor!  This was an interesting set of topics ranging from the inhuman to more challenging environments.  Again, I had a ton of fun inching out of my comfort zone, which is exactly why I wanted to do this Challenge!

23 – Demon

In Exalted, demons aren’t necessarily the fiends we’d imagine, but a wide variety of alien and humanoid beings which populate the otherworld of Malfeas, the prison of the fallen gods.  Sorcerers in Creation often call on demons for their useful purposes as aids, givers of arcane knowledge, or brute strength, binding them to their will.

One might summon a Neomah, elegant pierced fleshcrafters, to create unimaginable life with their morbid ability to mold flesh in any form, or to see the wonders their notaulus dwellings can conjure from the minds of its visitors.  They must pay the Neomah’s price of flesh for her purposes of creating a child of her own, however, or risk the Neomah’s ire.

One might summon Mara the Shadow Lover to learn her deadly sorcerous arts.  The Shadow Lover appears to the summoner in the guise of a beautiful woman from their native land with the feet of a deer hidden in her long skirts and bright blue eyes.  She marks those who learn her sorcerous arts with a spiral tattoo formed of one of her misbegotten souls, granting the bearer dark powers.

27 – Manse

Manses are wondrous buildings erected atop convergences of magical leylines in the land.  They can be harnessed to create all sorts of magical wonders within their walls.

At the heart of the city of Dinas Rhydd lies the ruins of a great Solar manse complex where the campaign involving Kalara and her friends took place.  Despite the war that had reduced the once-great city to rubble, the central control room remained a marvel of engineering and splendor.  The day our band of disparate outcasts sat in the thrones of their Castes was the day that marked the beginning of the city’s revival from its ashes.

The Manse of Verdant Wyrm’s Heart rises from atop a Wood-aspected demense.  This great tree’s roots produce a priceless green jade, while a bustling city has risen within its branches and in the shadow of its great canopy.  The Heart is ruled by a powerful Outcaste Dragon Blooded Wood Aspect who has ruled for generations, providing his citizens with safety and wealth.  This is yet another location invented by our Storyteller for his game where we got to play a different cast of characters.

28 – Location/Landmark

One of my favorite locations in Exalted is Chiaroscuro, the city of glass that rises amidst the inhospitable sands of the desert.  Built atop the ruined stained glass towers from the First Age, Chiaroscuro hosts a bustling port with famous lighthouses enhanced by magic blue glass breakwater barriers that protect the city from even the most powerful storms.  From above, the city resembles a great crab, with the blue breakwater glass the crab’s arms.

Kalara spent her formative teen years as a slave in this city of opulence where she served a lord and lady of House Cynis and learned to love and hate them by equal measures.  (If you’re curious to learn more about this story, I’ve been sharing the beta draft of it here!  I’d welcome any new readers who are not required to know anything about Exalted to read and understand it.)

The image for this landmark and the next topic are all on one page, so scroll down to check it out!

29 – Signature Character

Exalted’s rule books tend to feature ‘Signature Characters’ in the art which act as example characters for the various kinds of Exalted in the world.  For this topic, I chose Novia Claro, one of the signature Night Caste characters.  Not much is known about Novia Claro, but I chose her almost purely on how cool her design is, alone.   Just check out this art by Mel Uran!

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And now I only have one topic left (including the bonus meme topic) and it’s going to be a doozy!  The final topic is Favorite Stunt (or over-the-top roleplaying moment).  

I want to send this Challenge off with a bang, so I’m going to attempt to create a comic of a favorite scene from our game session!  It’s going to be very experimental, but I’m looking forward to giving it a shot, since comics are something I’d like to make more of, but I’ve always been too intimidated to do more of them.

Stay tuned!  I hope to have it done by the end of the year, if holiday vacation doesn’t distract me too much. 

I’ve set this post to go public a day before Christmas, so enjoy the present, everyone!  

Have a happy and safe holiday!

♥ Ang

Exalted Art Challenge Collection 7 – Familiar, Mutation, etc.

The next particular set of topics proved a real challenge for me, since I do not draw animals often.  Saying that, I am extremely pleased with being able to try something different and had way too much fun drawing cats for this collection!

22 – Familiar

Sacred is the bond between animal and the Exalted, especially the bond between a Mouse of the Sun and their chosen Solar.  The tiny stature of these creatures belies their powerful connection to the Unconquered Sun, as they have been known to swarm the cities and deliver a plague to the unvirtuous.  They can show up in unexpected places to lend their aid, carrying a key or granting a boon of essence.  They fight fiercely to the bitter end for their bonded masters.

I thought I’d end up drawing something flashy like a phoenix or some other impressive mystical animal, but the Mice of the Sun stole my heart because I enjoy the contrast of such a small creature with such loyalty to the Solar and such unexpected power.

24 – Beastpeople

Races of animal creatures with human intelligence are said to have been created by the Lunars who wanted to create a society outside of Realm control. Others are descended from humans whose wanderings into the chaos of the Wyld mutated them to have animalistic characteristics.  In other instances, what strange encounters between man and entities that happen in the Wyld don’t always stay in the Wyld!  

These hybrid races are generally shunned by humans, but even noble and ambitious beings among the Beastmen can become Exalted.

Though, really, it’s just an excuse to draw whatever kind of humanoid animals I wanted to, in my case!  I did not see a lot of insectoids Beastmen in the lore or fan community, so I thought I’d try my hand at a fancy orchid mantis lady inspired by the shapes of ballgowns and wigs (if you look closely, her ‘hair buns’ are actually her eyes).

Next, I couldn’t resist Secretary Birds for as striking as these birds are.  Just look at these eyelashes!  I also have a soft spot for Washimi from the show Aggretsuko, one of the most majestic bird people in existence.

25 – Mutation

Much like Beastmen, those who have been mutated by the Wyld are generally shunned as well.  The chaotic energy at the fringes of Creation has been known to warp the body and the mind in an number of ways.  Lunars tattoo themselves to protect from this energy, while others use magic.  Mutations can be all manner of things, from strange wings, flowers growing from places they shouldn’t, horns, too many eyes, etc. Your imagination is the limit!

The poor soul we see here was a great sorceress, once.  She let herself become mutated in exchange for arcane knowledge.  This won’t be the last you hear of her! I have plans…

26 – Favorite Animal

Finally, we have the Peacat, an original creature of my own Creation!  These fickle creatures prowl the streets of the desert port city of Chiaroscuro at night stealing food and causing general mayhem.  It is said they are beloved of Luna for their night-time activities and beauty, a connection echoed in the moonlike feather markings in their tails and crests.

Local custom tells that if you leave food offerings for a Peacat, it could bring you luck and blessings.  It could just as easily make a home of your dwelling where your most beautiful things may end up destroyed because the Peacat would prefer to be the most beautiful thing there.  Either way, better to have a Peacat’s favor than naught!  However, it is a sin against Luna to try to domesticate them.  Those who have tried have had bad luck.

The Delzhan honor these creatures too, for once upon a time a Peacat led the Tri-Khan’s ancestors out of a night-time storm in the desert.  Though they can be a menace, they are accepted as a fact of city life.

EDIT:  Exalted STs, you are free to use Peacats as background fluff!  I might one day add them to the Storytellers Vault along with other The Uncrucified-related story resources, but that’s a long ways out still.  Perhaps once that happens, toss a few bucks my way then once they’ve been properly statted.  Otherwise, have at and have fun!

You might notice that I forgot the topic Demon!  I ended up accidentally skipping it, so it’ll be in the next compilation, instead.  We have only 6 topics left now (including the bonus topic).  I’m so happy I’ve been able to stick with this Challenge, even when the difficult topics hit.  They ended up being a welcomed foray into something new!

I hope you all have been enjoying this trip as much as I have.  We’re almost to the end now!

More soon!

♥ Ang