Category: introducing the muses

Introducing the Muses – Aurora Adonai

So far, you’ve met the lovable rogue, the faithless Hunter, and the werewolf Prince. For the last of the muse series, I’d like to introduce the first of my character muses, the beginning of my redhead obsession, and the most foul mouthed Elf I know, Aurora Adonai, street samurai extraordinaire.

Aurora’s Artistic Evolution:

The Short Bio: Aurora has little memory of the life she had before she was brought to the Home for Goblinized Children ran by David Becker at the tender age of 9. She grew up plagued by the abuses and unwanted affections of David, who labeled her his ‘Little Butterfly’ and sought to control her in every way. At the age of 18, however, something snapped in this once sweet, unassuming child and David was found murdered one morning with 41 stab wounds coupled with the words “Little Butterfly” cut across his chest.

The home was shut down and the children scattered to the wind, none of them willing to admit just who it was who murdered the home’s owner. Aurora struck out on her own with the help of her best friend from the home, David’s daughter, Natalie. The girls found the only work they could as exotic dancers in the red light district of Seattle.

Their simple life changed forever when the two girls witnessed a Yakuza hit by the famous Elven hitman, Oberon, son of the local Oyabun. Instead of disposing of these witnesses, he took them under his wings, Oberon taking a liking to the young Aurora who had a strange fascination with his deadly trade. He was responsible for aiding her in cyberization. Aurora was tattoed with the tribal style butterfly wings at her own request instead of the traditional Yakuza markings, her way of ‘honoring’ her murder of David, who used to give her the gift of fake cloth butterflies which sparked her obsession with them.

Now, she works the bar by day and does the dirty work of her Yakuza employers by night.

Written Stories:
Jade Tears – | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 |
Jade Tears Character Sketch: Serenade – Available Here

What Inspired this Character?

Aurora came about from my first concerted effort to put deep thought into a character for the purposes of a roleplaying game called Shadowrun, which takes place in an alternative future where magic has begun to re-emerge in a modern world. I didn’t want just another cardboard cutout who was a reflection of myself. I wanted someone different, someone dark, someone with real issues. She was my first step in getting outside of my own psychology and towards a character who was wholly different, an imbalanced, violent woman with little tolerance for others. I was fascinated by the concept of an untrustworthy hero, for that is what Aurora is. She may seem beautiful and like someone you want to nurture, once you see her emotional scars…

…but by the same token, she killed a man…and enjoyed it just a little too much. Aurora is damaged goods and she knows it.

She is plagued by that thought daily, that her soul is stained because she took that slightest bit of pleasure in ending another person, and does it daily for her current employers. And yet that little demon inside of her, the one she echoes with her cyber fangs and horns, delights in that feeling of power and the righteous justice she brings. Aurora stands on the edge of that bloodthirsty abyss, fearing the monster she might become of she loses her humanity, but listening to the little whispers that tell her “Come on. It feels so good. Why not do it again? You have the power now…” A hint, also, that she suffers from a possible Multiple Personality Disorder.

Aurora is a sado-masochist, a boiling angry soul, and someone who is anything but ‘good’. And yet, she still has a basic sense of morality, like many of my characters, an inclination to do the right thing. Perhaps sparing a child after killing the child’s parents, or saving a woman by maiming her abusive boyfriend. Like Melakim, the more years pass without hope, the less she will begin to care. That little light of hope in her soul is why she was named Aurora Adonai, meaning roughly “First Light of God”.

Come to think of it, Melakim and Aurora probably go to the same therapist.

Amazingly, this is the first time Aurora’s back story has seen the light of day outside the little known comic pages and stories, and yet I’ve had so many individuals come to me professing their adoration for this character. I believe this exemplifies how sometimes a visual presence is enough to garner a viewer’s interest, even if I’ve always thought she looks like a reject from KISS.

On a final note, I’ve actually had people ask after reading her story if her life experiences involving sexual abuse are inspired by my own. They are not, thank heavens! But it is the fascinating battle with inner duality and her own off-kilter sense of sanity, morality, and self-worth that echoes so true of those who have survived abuse which make her so convincing. I have known those who have suffered similar circumstances and who have come to fear the strange things they enjoy or the state of their souls after enduring something that no person should. But like Aurora, the ability to overcome these challenges lies within and only needs an ember of love to begin the healing.

I still have many plans for this character, despite the fact my tabletop roleplaying days are long over. A web comic is on the horizon and I fully intend to push her story as far as I can go with it. My ultimate dream is to see her animated or portrayed cinematically.

How do you get inspired to create for this character?

Movies with Angelina Jolie tend to get my juices flowing for Aurora. This character was NOT based on Jolie originally, but over the years I was attracted to this actress’ self-destructive beauty, her seething intensity, and her propensity for bladed weapons. Consequently, Aurora began to echo Jolie’s looks more closely, though I’ve recently tried to bring her back to her non-Jolie roots. Kill Bill‘s story of bloody revenge and sword swinging action also lend themselves well to portraying my foul-mouthed muse. If there was ever an Aurora movie in my lifetime, Jolie would star in it with Tarantino as the director.

Aurora’s Playlist: Available Here

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse at the characters playing poker in my head and that hopefully next time a piece of character-centric art pops up in my gallery that your first reaction won’t be “who the heck is that and why should I care?” I hope as well that those of you who have mentioned that you don’t have any characters will read this series and be inspired for your own creations.

May the muses guide thee just as you guide them.

Introducing the Muses – Ramah Sirhaan

In weeks past, you’ve been introduced to the dark Hunter angst pot, Melakim Fahre, and his kooky womanizing thief pal, Ry Phirunaden. Today, I’d like you to meet his majesty, Ramah Sirhaan, the werewolf Prince and wayward soul…and probably the closest thing I have to a benevolent hero in my stable of rogues and miscreants.

(For all of you waiting on Aurora, she will be the next and last character for this series. Look for her introduction and the end of this series next Wednesday!)

Ramah’s Artistic Evolution:

The Short Bio: Prince to a desert land founded by gods, Ramah lived in the lap of luxury, spending his days in battle for his country, or indulging in the mindless delights of the palace. He was a wild youth until witnessing the public execution of an innocent man made him realize the state of things in his very own kingdom. He began to become more sympathetic to the common folk and grew into a just man at the influence of his betrothed, a free willed noblewoman named Syvillia.

However, when a cry for assistance against a beast that was slaying the populace in the poor quarters rose up, Ramah was the only one of his class who saw fit to take action. When he could garner no support in the matter from the others, he rode out personally to slay the beast, thinking it no more than an animal of some sort. He could not be more wrong after a tussle with the beast left him bitten and infected with one of the world’s oldest curses.

It was the first change into the Wolf in which he slaughtered his caretakers that caused him to flee his beloved country. For, not only had he murdered kinsmen, all werewolves were viewed as anathema in their culture and seen as spiritually corrupt. How could he serve as the future ruler of his country being the monster he had become?

Now, he wanders the countryside, a Free Knight of the Untamed Land, aiding others where he would and seeking to make amends for a life he views as unclean.

The Long Bio: Available Here
Written Stories: Mark of Cahim (Character Sketch) 

What Inspired this Character?

To reveal a dirty secret of mine, he was inspired by taking a fan character of mine from Dragonball Z and dumping him into a fantasy setting. The Saiyan ability to morph became lycanthrope and the debauched vizier to King Vegeta became the debauched prince of a desert kingdom. (Yes I know I’m a COMPLETE dork for liking Dragonball Z in high school…)

Soon enough, however, I found that Ramah evolved from his roots in my mad social experimenting into a character who had a most charismatic presence about him. By all seeming, he was a charming and sensitive fellow who chose his fights carefully, who was calm and understanding, and who could possibly rip your head off with his bare teeth if you knew what triggers to press.

The concept of battling an inner Beast that threatens to sap one of their own humanity and soul was one I found fascination with ever since I was introduced to it in the Vampire: The Masquerade, of which I was an avid player up till my high school years. Even more, it’s fascinating to see how a man put in Ramah’s position adjusts to life anew, whether by succumbing to his base primal urges or the soothing presence and possibility of hope that a very special lady might bring. It’s a paranormal romance waiting to happen and one of these days I may indulge that urge with this character.

In the end, Ramah is destined to succumb to the Wolf entirely as the years pass, but it is not this curse that will define him, but rather how he lives the rest of his years as a man. That is why his name, Ramah Sirhaan, roughly translates to Sublime Wolf from Hebrew and Arabic.

How do you get inspired for this character?

Movies and music, my eternal muse supplements. In particular, Kingdom of Heaven with its vistas of Jerusalem, haunting music, and tale of a morally conflicted character seeking redemption is one of the few that get me in the Ramah mood.

Ramah’s Playlist: Available Here

Until the next Muse, what character do you love who battles with an ‘Inner Beast’? Why do they inspire you? How do you prepare yourself to write or draw for your own creations?

Introducing the Muses – Ry Phirunaden

Last week, you were introduced to my dark Hunter, Melakim Fahre, this week, I have the pleasure of introducing the gentleman thief, coinessuer of the female form in all its variations, and sometimes cross-dresser, Ry Phirunaden.

That ONE cross-dressing incident only happened because he needed a creative way to avoid the Law, honest!

Ry’s Artistic Evolution:

The Short Bio: Ry likes to play up being the mystery man by pretending his past is more complicated than it really is. He will often lie to sensationalize it, but what can be told of the truth is that he was a child of a destitute noble family. His family saw more potential in their heir, his sister Ciela, and so put his needs second to hers to the point of neglecting him utterly. He ran amok as a form of getting attention, womanizing and getting into fights around town until he was finally enlisted in the Elvish military by his parents as a way to somehow bring honor to the family. It was their hope also that he might be killed at the front lines as a way to be rid of him for good.

In the army, he found a family amongst the other misplaced grunts and descended into a world of drugs, women, and atrocities, returning home as a war criminal instead of a hero. He and his other comrades earned the name Wing Cutters from their habit of taking the dismembered wings of faeries as trophies. Each bares a tribal tattoo that marks them as a Cutter.

The Cutters were put on trial for their crimes, made scapegoats by their government, and Ry completely disowned by his family. Instead of dying at the gallows, however, he was offered a position by an up and coming duke as a secret mercenary for the Elvish government. Ry opted to live, though someone was sent to die in his place. There is not even a grave marker placed for him at his family tomb.

Now when not in the covert service of the government, he spends the long years of his Elvish lifespan in boredom doing whatever odd jobs come his way and whatever sparks his waning interest in life.

The Long Bio: Available Here

What Inspired This Character?

Ry started out as one of those background characters invented purely as a foil to the main character, who was in this case, Melakim. He was to be the thorn in Melakim’s side, his stalker, his rival as a fellow Hunter, and the culprit for getting poor naive Mae addicted to smoking weed. Since those days, however, he’s found a place in my heart as one of my all-time favorite characters to write for and has far surpassed status as merely ‘supporting cast’. Ry comes easily to me and I never have to think when he is on scene, which is perhaps a bit disturbing when I think about it overly much.

Ry is one of those characters that I can toss into a scene anywhere and something fun or unexpected will happen. In one story line, he returns to his home and slaughters his entire family, with the exception of his sister. While in another completely different storyline, he falls for a lovely lady strong enough to kick his butt who then inspires him to reform his ways (if only for a little while). Anything can and will happen when a character has the moral flexibility to be good or evil.

Again, I think he emerged as a reaction against all the wholesome characters I invented in the past and evolved into yet another hero with a skewed sense of morality, for as much as he enjoys playing the villain. A villain is never a villain without something in his past that made him want to kick the dog. Perhaps he was attacked by a dog and scarred as a child? That’s how I like my characters and what interests me in any story…finding out the why.

Unfortunately for Ry,the endless years of his near-immortal life have caused him to take on jobs solely out of boredom. He’s been a circus performer, a waiter, a deck hand, a bodyguard, and oft-times, a Hunter. His stories are endless, but there will always be that hint of his unspectacular past that haunts him and reminds him that his life isn’t really worth much at the end of the day, and he knows it.

Which is why I named him Phirunaden, an amalgamation of a name which means those who walk the rainy path with Ry being a spin on the Gypsy name Rye, meaning Gentleman. Ry is yet another character awaiting novelization.

How do you get inspired for this character?

For Ry, Afro Celt Sound System rings in my head channeling the Celtic feel Elves in my stories have. Not to mention that the lead singer sounds a lot like how I imagine him to sound. Anything with a smart, slippery gentleman thief in it (mainly fantasy novels and games like Thief) gets my gears going for him.

Ry’s Playlist: Available Here

Until the next Muse, who are your personal favorite characters of your own creation? Why do they inspire you? How do you prepare yourself to write or draw for them?

Introducing the Muses – Melakim Fahre

It occurred to me recently that there are a repeating set of figures in my art that most of you may recognize, but only a handful really know. As a storyteller and an artist, my art is driven most strongly by character-centric work, particularly characters which I have been writing about for years, yet have never really shared with the general populace. I wanted to shed some light on some of these characters that have been featured in my art and who continue to inspire me to this day. More than merely sinking into the background, these characters have endured themselves to my imagination, tempting me to distraction when my mind should be occupied elsewhere.

Without further ado, I present one of my most recent muses: Melakim Fahre, the Shadow Hunter (or ‘Mae’ for short).

Melakim’s Artistic Evolution:

The Short Bio: The nihilistic bounty hunter with a distrust of people. As an infant, he was found birthed from the body of a dead woman, an inauspicious omen to the clerics who took him in, as well as his strange, seemingly blind right eye. He lived life as a servant before their fear of him drove them to extreme measures and a botched exorcism. He escaped and lived life on the rough streets of the city before being taken in by a rich patroness, Siin Fomori, who has since raised him as an assassin for her organization, Blood Meridian. He spends most of his time as far away from the organization as possible, much rather preferring the simple life of a woodsman hunter.

The Long Bio: Available Here

What inspired this character?

This particular character started with the simple flash of inspiration that began with the eyes. Even before I had a concept, I knew I wanted him to be devoid of an eye. In earlier versions of the character, he was burned by an angel who took his right eye in battle. I created him as a character to be roleplayed in a past online roleplaying game with nothing more than a wish to portray a character that was not likeable, and therefore a break from my general leanings towards charismatic, moralistic characters which were merely reflections of myself in the world of Dungeons and Dragons (which I played in high school and college). Melakim started out mean, tired of the world, and more apt to stop and help someone only if they offered him money. The one simple exception to this auger was that he could never resist that annoying urge to help a child in need, which is the origin of his namesake, Melakim, the guardian angel of children’s safety.

Melakim is and has always been one who lacks general faith in humanity, and yet at the same time, has a burning need to be accepted. He teeters on the edge of falling in to that darker side, while being tempted by the hope that perhaps everything is not as he has perceived it in his experience, a fact which has made him most intriguing for me. Perhaps he is a reflection of my own past? Moving around with my family for the military left me with many days by myself pondering if it was worth getting involved in emotional connections with people at all. It hurt so much to say goodbye, it hurt to have issues with others, and yet, oftentimes it is only by interacting with others that we learn just how beautiful the world really is.

Melakim also presents a way for me to examine the psychology of the half-breed, or one between worlds. In his early incarnations, he was half angel and half mortal, yet never quite accepted by both, a stigma I can empathize with, being half Puerto Rican and Caucasian. In his latest incarnation, he is plagued by being always half tuned in to the spirit world, and the feeling of never quite being part of the living or the dead, especially with the way he is ostracized by superstitious individuals who view his white eye and and extra-sensory perception as evil. Melakim in all incarnations often felt lost and confused with no place or people to call home.

Despite his moral lack of faith in people, he still has compassion buried deep down, though it is a question of how long this compassion will remain. Roleplaying games have come and gone since his inception and now he exists in my imagination, beckoning me with the thought of novelization.

How do you get inspired to create art and writing for this character?

Music is a large part of my artistic process. Certain chords and lyrics strike a certain vivid image in my mind’s eye which helps me when I’m in the mood to create. I listen to a lot of music by VAST, Jon Crosby’s dulcet, soulful tones being as close to how I imagine Melakim sounding than anyone I’ve ever heard.

EDIT: Now that Melakim has undergone a gender switch for novel purposes, I’ve been drawn to different vocalists, including Florence+The Machine and Ellie Goulding. Funny how that works!

I must also admit an affinity for other long haired hunters, such as the Vampire Hunter D and Yasha, the demon slayer from RG Veda. Watching these anime flicks always get my juices flowing for Melakim.

Playlist for Melakim: Available here

Until the next Muse, who are your muses? Why do they inspire you? How do you prepare yourself to write or draw for them?