My next spoopy topics for the Exalted Art Challenge arrive just in time for Halloween weekend! I’m pleased to introduce you to some of the most fearsome and terrifying villains within the world of Exalted!
Abyssal – Golden Lies Spewn Forth From Avarice
No that title isn’t a sentence, it’s this character’s name. Abyssals are the dark reflection of Solars like Kalara. Their once-divine Sun essence has been corrupted by beings empowered by the ancient fallen gods. This character once had a name, but it was taken from him and stricken from the books in Heaven when he was transformed into an Abyssal.
In life, Golden Lies obsessed over material wealth and pursued it to his end. In death (or undeath), he cloaks himself in the finery of a king’s funeral adorned with bejeweled bones. I played with a couple of different color schemes for him and am favoring the white-haired look at the moment! This isn’t the last we’ll see of this fellow, as he might appear in The Uncrucified down the line, if the story goes where I think it’s going.
On the bottom-right, I also decided to draw fan art of another Abyssal who I liked the design of, the Saint of Promised Silence, who belongs to HamSandLich.
Deathlord – Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears
Masters of the Abyssals, the Deathlords terrorize Creation, the whispers of dark gods in their ears driving them forth. Each Deathlord is a powerful ghost who rules over an array of weapons and armies poised to bring about the destruction of Creation for the Neverborn, the remnants of the Primordial gods imprisoned in the Underworld in ages past.
Not so for the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears. She has no armies, nor does she make war like the others. Her insidious claws seep into every corner of her enemies’ territories in the form of spies and hidden knives. She once seduced an entire monastery of celibate monks before transforming their holy land into a Shadowland and building her own fortress atop its ruins. I do enjoy a clever villainous lady and couldn’t resist drawing this particular Deathlord!
I wove the ‘tears’ of the Lover’s name into her design, her dangling jewels mimicking falling streams of tears and the makeup on her face flowing like tear streaks punctuated by a drip of ‘blood’ from her lips. The tear shape even echoes in the cleavage cutout in her dress. For a seductress as high caliber as the Lover, I wanted a sense of high class, of ornamentation. She has bare shoulders to show a tantalizing bit of skin and smokes an opium pipe, which to me embodies her motif of ‘luxurious destruction’.
She really seems to agree with the muse! I am definitely planning to choose one of her thumbnails to turn into a full painting.
Monstrance – The Arms of the Lover
The divine essence of a Solar is no easy thing to corrupt and thus the Neverborn created the most cruel of implements for their Deathlords to use- the Monstrances of Celestial Portion. These sarcophagi are uniquely forged to corrupt and bind the Exaltation of a particular servant and keep it under the thrall of the Deathlord. A Solar thrust into this insidious coffin eventually succumbs to corruption until they give themselves over and accept their new existence as Abyssals…or perish.
As each monstrance suits the Deathlord’s intentions (the way I interpret the lore), I’ve chosen to portray this monstrance controlled by the Lover as being much like its owner. The silk satin pillowing inside makes it seem like a luxurious bed, the soulsteel and jade construct gilded with gold. A prismatic crystalline lid allows one to gaze on the poor soul inside, whose body is trapped in an arc that mimics ecstasy by gold caressing arms that come alive and clasp the victim within. Inserted along the crystal lid, jewel encrusted needles stab into each of the victim’s chakra points, plying the Solar within for corruption. Like the Lover, this monstrance combines a beautiful and terrible aesthetic.
This one’s somewhat NSFW for artistic nudity, suggestive themes, and non-graphic body horror, so click HERE to see the full version:
Despite all my flowy whimsical goddesses, I really enjoy these darker topics and have been looking forward to them since I began this challenge!
Have a fun and safe Halloween weekend, everyone!