Tag: Exalted RPG

[Art] Exalted Character of the Week Vol 1: Rainbows, Abyssals, and Big Hats

You all know I’m a nerd for the tabletop game, Exalted from Onyx Path Publishing (and if not, SURPRISE! Prepare yourself for my weebness).  I help run a Discord server for fans who like to create art, writing, etc. for this particular TTRPG community.  Recently, we started up a community activity where we roll a die to choose a character from a member to create arts inspired by them.  This little collection features characters from our first rounds.

This activity has been an excellent opportunity for me to practice different styles, so strap yourself in for a ride through the colorful characters and styles of my first Exalted Character of the Week collection!

(My gal, Kalara, was chosen for the first round, but that’s a whole other art feature collection for later).

Theo for Jen

Theodotus is a bombastic Zenith Caste who beams rainbows from his heroic anima.  The energetic style of the Hades video game seemed like a perfect fit for him. I absolutely adore this style and always wanted to try it myself!  This style involves clean line work and bold highlighting for a signature look. I definitely want to play with it more, as it suited my own proclivity for line art and elegance very well.

  • Watch a timelapse of Theo’s creation here.

Orchid for MissSunnySweden

Next, we have Leaping River Orchid, a demure noblewoman Twilight Caste who hides her Anathema nature from the noble house she was born into.  She prefers to charm rather than combat and seemed a good fit for testing out a style inspired by the Arcane animated series with her elegant costume.

I’m particularly happy with how this one came out. Despite how rough it is, it feels polished in the right places, which is a valuable lesson to me on balancing detail and value in a composition so I can plan my time and effort with pieces better.

  • Watch a timelapse of Orchid’s portrait here.

Thrice-Fallen Affections for Raefen

Finally, we have the Abyssal, Thrice-Fallen Affections, who serves the Deathlord, The Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.  Thrice-fallen Affections has some rather risque tastes in formal clothing in the skeleton themes of the Underworld.

  • See the uncensored version and watch the full view timelapse of this piece here.  Artistic nudity warning (bare breasts in a non-sexual context) for any who do decide to click through.


It’s my hope that by experimenting with different styles, I refill my creative well a bit, as well as learn about what makes MY style “me” by figuring out what it is I like and don’t like, what feels right to me, and how I want my work to look in the future.  Most of all, it’s just nice to take a break from serious years-long projects to have some fun with casual art!  I have been emulating Mucha for so long with the Birthstone Goddesses series that it’s nice to break out of my shell a bit.

The Exalted Character of the Week Challenge is going to be an ongoing activity in the future, so I’ll probably share quarterly collections from the event from here on out.  It’s been fun to let loose with styles and fashion exploration with all the colorful character possibilities that Exalted has to offer thus far.

Next up, I hope to have a very special bit of fan art inspired by my favorite TV series of 2023 – Blue Eye Samurai!  Granted I can get it done by next Thursday.  We shall see!

Till then, I hope you enjoyed the art dump!

– Ang

Exalted Art Challenge 2022 Collection

Happy Halloween, everyone!  I have a treat for you today in the form of the completed collection of challenge pieces for this year’s Exalted Art Challenge!  We moved right in the middle of this challenge, so I only had time to partake in the weekly topics, instead.  Still, this challenge is always a lot of fun and a great excuse to experiment with different methods and styles!

I created all of these entries in Procreate.

Week 1: Your PC (Player Character)

Rather than draw the same old characters I’ve been drawing lately (cough Kalara), I thought I’d shine the spotlight on Laughing Fox, a trickster Kalara has met in her travels as a young demigod.  Laughing Fox is a Lunar, chosen of the goddess of the moon in the Exalted RPG setting.  He prefers seduction over murder and prides himself on his clever schemes and collection of secrets.  His Tell, or the characteristic that marks him as moon-chosen, is the white tips of his hair which is reminiscent of a fox’s tail.

He wanders in and out of Kalara’s tale as he pleases!  You’ll no doubt be seeing more of him before too long.

The inspiration for Laughing Fox’s animal shape is the gorgeous cross fox.  Just look at this majestic creature!

Week 2 – A Meal In Creation

Next comes a fun topic featuring food from the setting!  This meal comes from the celebration of Plentimon’s Day, the god of gambling.  Inspired by the real-world King Cake from Mardi Gras, those who find the Plentimon’s dice in their serving of cake will be crowned royalty for the day and have the god’s blessing for the next year.

Plentimon Day’s feast consists of goat kabobs marinated in yogurt and spices, with a almond-based cakes in the shape of a D6 die with slivers of almonds to represent the numbers.  The dice cakes all have different flavors stuffed inside to emphasize the Plentimon’s theme of gambling. You never know if you’ll get bitter or sweet flavors!  Finally, you can’t have a feast day in Gem without an alcoholic drink, in this case, date wine.

I’m a big fan of the aesthetic of the food in Monster Hunter, which definitely shows in my choice of design for this dish.

Week 3 – Fave Charm

This one started off as a Fave Charm (or magic ability), but quickly got off-topic with drawing FX for Kalara’s anima aura, the glowing halo of energy which appears when she channels divine energies at different levels of intensity.  When she’s at ‘fall blast’, a phoenix appears rising behind her, an animal that is part of her personal symbolism as someone who rose from her near-death to take on the world.  This will be my first time drawing an FX sheet and it was quite fun. I will definitely be adding them to Kalara’s proper reference sheet!

Week 4 – Fave Fashion

For the final topic, I was going to keep it ‘simple’ and sketch a concept for glass armor, but the topic ran away with me and I ended up with a full portrait!  The glass remnants of the magnificent buildings of old Chiaroscuro magically retain their luster and strength and are usually used for sturdy, but sleek armor.  I figure why not armor AND a gown for Kalara?

This portrait also provided me with an opportunity to paint Kalara in a more realistic style, as well as test out a new style I’m currently evolving which combines a soft and painterly look with hard-edged elements for a look inspired by Klimt and tarot cards.


Fave Fashion was undoubtedly my favorite topic from this year!  Which one is yours?

As ever, if you like Kalara or any of the imagery I put out for the Exalted Art Challenge, check out the Exalted tabletop rpg from Onyx Path Publishing and Kalara’s stories and art at The Uncrucified or check out the older Exalted Art Challenge collections for art you may have missed!

Now that the EAC is done, I’m turning my attention towards some fun surprises I’m working on for this Patreon’s re-launch and the topic you all chose for me for NaNoWriMo (Flame of the Sultana).

Till next time!  Stay tuned for more writing and art peeks from Rabs’ NaNoWriMo adventures.

♥ Ang

September 2022 Sketchbook – Rabs & Kalara Character Designs

This weekend, we put the first boxes in the new studio and I’m so excited!  Studio pics to follow in the near future.  In the meanwhile, I’ve been using the time between the seams to chip away at the character designs for Rabs and Kalara.  Character sheets have been my happy place lately!

Rabanne Arore, Big Muscles, Big Heart

I wanted to challenge myself with Rabs’ design with a muscular body type and her glowing hair. She’s really captured my muse with her fun tatts, color schemes, and themes, so you’ll definitely be seeing more of her in my sketchbook!  This particular piece was meant to be in the style of a more traditional ttrpg rulebook style source book image, as well as a base for me to put different clothing on.  More fashions are sure to follow!

Watch a time lapse of how I created this piece, along with Rabs’ tattoo sheet here.  She was painted using the Acrylic brushes in Procreate on the ipad.

Kalara Vadras, The Uncrucified

I meant to save this image for a proper release with a full sheet of FX and turnarounds, but our house move is taking forever, so I thought I’d share a WIP!  You guys got to learn a little bit more about Kalara last month via Fantasy Indies August.  She’s been inspiring me for years since our Exalted ttrpg game, so it was about time she got a new look!

This new look captures more of the elegant merchant negotiator she becomes after her years on the run from the Guild.  

Kalara’s old look as a reminder:

More to come when I explore the rest of her character sheet!  I’m especially excited about drawing the phoenix on the back of her jacket.  The redesign was also created in Procreate using the Studio Ink Pen for color flatting to achieve a comic book feel, as this design is meant as a precursor to a prospective webcomic for the character.

Both Rabs and Kalara utilized helpful stock poses from the awesome Jookpubstock, who has been an excellent resource for inspiration!


Art is going to slow down even more over the next month while we move our small boxes over to the new place ourselves, with the big stuff being handled by the movers.  There’s a light at the end of the tunnel finally and I’m excited to really settle properly into a new permanent studio art cave!

♥ Ang

Time Lapse - Kalara's Shirt Cut Meme

[Narrated Time Lapse Video] Kalara’s Shirt Cut Meme

Sharing this a few days early for my Patreon fam!  This article doubles as a transcript for the narrated video I did for this collection releasing to the public next week and a tour of each piece in the meme.  Enjoy and let me know your favorite outfit in the comments!

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared much art (or videos for that matter).  Life has been a little crazy with the house move and a pandemic, but here we are!  I hit a bit of art block along the way, but you know what drew me out of it?  This silly cheesecake art challenge – The Shirt Cut Meme.  Curling up with the iPad to paint this image in Procreate was just the therapy I needed during a stressful time!

What is this challenge, you ask?  It was started by @druzsea on Twitter and challenges artists to create different types of shirt collar cuts for your characters (aka. It’s a boob-drawing meme).  Not something I usually draw, but this seemed fun and different and I liked the idea of showing more of my character, Kalara’s playful and elegant sexy side!  Without further ado, enjoy a tour of each entry topic!

Outfit 1 – Sideboob

For those who are new to Kalara, she’s my Exalted tabletop rpg character, a smooth-talking diplomat and merchant who rose up from the slums of a desert town.  She was chosen by the sun god to bring nations together with her words, but she chooses her own path of revenge, first.  If that sounds up your alley, you can see more of her over at www.theuncrucified.com

Another purpose of this challenge was to get to know my character in a more realistic style. Up until now, I’ve drawn Kalara in a more anime-inspired style, but now I want to match the art style of the more recent edition of Exalted. Anime doesn’t always translate to realism well, however, so it’s been a bit of a struggle for me!

All that aside, my gal loves to dress up! This first outfit was inspired by the sheer fabrics and inlaid turquoise of ancient Egyptian fashions.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

Outfit 2 – Inner Sideboob

This second outfit was inspired by a less traditional star collar shape I’ve spotted in modern haute couture fashions. Kalara wears a woven waist sash with golden threads and chandelier style gold wrought earrings to pay homage to her homeland in the South, a desert region in Exalted. She sports small swirls of fire in her jacket trim showing her kinship to fire, the ruling element of the South. I’ve also hidden an Eclipse Caste symbol in her jewelry, which is a scandalous thing to do, considering Solar Exalted like her are seen as anathema by the ruling kingdom.

This pose is my favorite of the bunch! I’m so pleased with the perfect pose reference from Adorkastock and the fun I got to have with her layered eye makeup.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

Outfit 3 – Boob Window

I call this third outfit Kalara’s “Merchant Queen” look.  I had more trouble with this pose, which you can see in the time lapse where I drew two alternate ideas.  In the end, I went with a different pose so I wouldn’t have too similar of a facial angle to the other poses and a concept that had a more comfortable wrist angle for the gun she’s wielding in this entry.

I leaned harder into a desert-inspired design with her head wrap and layers for this outfit.  I imagine she might wear this outfit when she’s dressed to impress high ranking merchants at important meetings on the route.  The circles in the trim are a call back to her hometown of Gem, which specializes in the export of precious gems. 

In my headcanon, I like to think Gem clothing leans on circle motifs that mimic the look of gems (or actual embroidered and embedded gems for the truly fancy outfits).  I took a chance on an unexpected color palette that once again harkens back to Kalara’s homeland kinship to fire with the bright colors of a hot and cold flame and the little flame buckle in her sash.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

Outfit 4 – Underboob

Kalara’s fourth outfit also has hints of the swirling flame motif in the collar and a bright sunny fire color scheme balanced by a complementary blue-green accent color.  Her belt buckles also swirl in a shape inspired by stylized Chinese motifs in the form of a flame.  Once again, Kalara’s all bling in this one with gold lipstick and shimmering eye makeup!

You can also spy her crucifixion scar in this pose, something she usually hides behind gloves when she’s in more proper meetings where she doesn’t want people to be distracted by the question about its origin that the scar tends to raise.  I like to think she might also leave it exposed when she’s intimidating certain parties who know that the scar symbolizes her survival of an execution her adversaries in the Guild tried to engineer.

I also had help with this pose from Grafit’s amazing photo reference packs on ArtStation. Highly recommend them if you’re looking for affordable, well-lit, and inspiring refs for your art!  I’ll link all the references I used in the description of this video for those who might be interested.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

Outfit 5 – Free Space

For the fifth and final outfit, I was originally planning a more revealing lingerie Kalara might wear to one of the sexy celestial parties she attends, but I ended up exploring a completely different idea instead.

Meet Koh, the male disguise Kalara donned to evade her Guild pursuers at the beginning of our tabletop campaign.  Koh was known as a dangerous dissident, a smooth-talking criminal, and a master thief…all things Kalara wasn’t necessarily good at, but she had enough charisma to convince everyone through rumor and charm she could do these things! In this pose, she’s letting the look slip a bit with her shirt open to reveal her chest wraps and the dye covering her fiery red hair fading out.

I spent a lot of time on the Prayer Piece guns in this one, as they’re the high level guns Kalara spent a lot of time with in our campaign and I have somehow never drawn them before now!  So it felt really good to finally solidify a look for these weapons.  These jade and orichalcum weapons contain miniature shrines to small gods that speed the gold prayer inscribed bullets to their targets.

For Koh’s outfit, I went with a leather and woven threads aesthetic for Koh, who is more earth tones for her life on the road traveling with bandits.  The little bottles on Koh’s belt hold reserve firedust for her other guns, while you’ll also notice one single golden bullet around her neck, just in case she comes down to needing that one last shot.  Finally, Koh’s spectacles were inspired by designer Francis de Lara’s amazing snake and apple glasses.

Click here for more sketches, inspirations, etc for this entry.

Sometimes we get inspiration in the most unexpected places.  I’m excited to have gotten the chance to try something different and have such fun with my character before I return to working on more serious projects.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this booby costume exploration as much I enjoyed creating it! 

I’ve been exploring a new format for my time lapses with the debut of this video and am really excited to bring you more!





  • “Lift Motif” by Kevin MacLeod
  • “Mystery Bazaar” by Kevin MacLeod
  • “Eastern Dreams by Tom Kent
  • “Vadadora” by Kevin MacLeod
  • “Jalandhar” by Kevin MacLeod
  • “Feral Angel WaltzFeral Angel Waltz (feat. Alexander Nakarada)” by Kevin MacLeod
  • “Inspired” by Kevin MacLeod

Help share the love!  If you enjoyed this piece, help me get the word out about my art by sharing it:

Fantasy Indies August 2022 – THE UNCRUCIFIED

I took part in the Fantasy Indies August event during August, so I thought I’d share a little bit about that here with folks!  While you all mainly see the Artist side of me, I also love to write and have been dabbling with several novel ideas between the margins of life over the past few years.  

The Uncrucified has been at the forefront of my endeavors as a Writer and you all have probably noticed the muse inspiration overflow with all the Kalara art that’s flooded here lately!  She’s been the comfort subject for my muse while I’ve been on this long hiatus for shoulder surgery / burnout / life chaos.

The topics for August:

Rather than bombard you guys by pasting all of these topics in, I figured I’d tease you with some of my favorite topics I answered during the event and invite you to check out the full thread.

Introduce Yourself & Your WIP

I’m currently working on The Uncrucified, the tale of an upstart from the desert slums named Kalara. She was chosen to lead a world in chaos, but she has scores to settle first!

Yup, it’s a TTRPG story inspired by the Exalted RPG, but I hope to make it readable for more than just Exalted fans!  There’ll be romance, grudges, gunslinging, & more.

WIP Mood Board 

I’m an obsessive board maker! These are just a few of the images I’ve drawn of my MC Kalara plus location inspo for the stained glass ruins of Chiaroscuro, the magitech desert of Exalted’s South, & her hometown, the underground city of Gem.

If you’d like to see more of THE UNCRUCIFIED’s in-depth mood board, I host it on  Pinterest where I’ve been adding to them for literal years. Sub-divided by character, locale, etc. because this soothes my artist brain!

Book BFFs

I’m open to suggestions! A beta reader for my story has told me Kalara gave them NAME OF THE WIND vibes (which I haven’t read). I’d love for my chars to have the same larger than life charisma of the chars in THE LIONS OF AL-RASSAN (which I have read & loved).

I have a much easier time comparing THE UNCRUCIFIED to anime instead. Sinbad from MAGI mirrors Kalara with his wish to build a trade network & navigate political waters using his amazing charisma, while trying not to lose himself.  Not to mention MAGI’s combat is VERY Exalted!

I’m also looking to Fog Hill of the Five Elements for combat vibes. It oozes over the top stylish badassery!

BLOOD OF ZEUS also strikes me for being very Exalted with its sexy elegant character designs, warring gods, interpersonal drama, & pissed off ancient imprisoned deities.

Toss me more inspiration suggestions, fam! Especially my long-suffering beta readers. What does THE UNCRUCIFIED make you think of, as far as inspirational book/media BFFs?

I’ve already gotten some amazing suggestions from fans for Book BFFs for my story, so I’ve gathered them into a wishlist. Feel free to mine it for inspiration and good reads!  Featuring clever protags, underdog heroes, geopolitical drama, & more.


Read the full topic list + my answers here for the full effect of posts, memes, and animated GIFs.  I’m sure this won’t be the last time I talk about my stories here.  I hope you all enjoy this glimpse at the other Muse in my brain!

♥ Ang

New Art! The Crucified Dreamer

I’ve been enjoying my hiatus so far by catching up on studies and allowing the muse to wander where she may.  This has resulted in some interesting art that doesn’t quite fit in with my Goddess gals, but that’s ok!  I thought you all might enjoy it, regardless.

Vicky Pandora hosted an online masquerade ball called the OC Gala, inspired by the over the top fashions of the Met Gala.  All original characters were invited to attend with the theme “Vampire Masquerade”!  This was the perfect excuse for me to indulge in more fan art of an alternate universe version of my Exalted character, Kalara, who lost herself to the dark side of being a Solar.

The Crucified Dreamer’s Story

Her delighted laughter rings in the ears of those she has marked for death. Many revolutionaries have fallen to her seductions, The Dreamer delighting in watching their ‘beautiful deaths’. All in service of her Deathlord, the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.

For she was once a revolutionary herself, one who dreamed of reform until The Guild crucified her for a murder she did not commit. Between life and death, The Lover saved her, gifting her the power of an Abyssal Deathknight. The Dreamer wears tears in devotion to her Deathlord, her skin the blue of a corpse. Her crucifixion wounds adorned by henna and chain will never heal.

The first painting of The Dreamer for the Gala.  After as cool as this came out, I couldn’t resist doing a second image with her full outfit:

And a close-up of The Dreamer’s face because I think this is one of the best faces I’ve drawn in awhile.  It seems I have finally mastered the nebulous mystery that is the nose at a 3/4ths angle!

I’ve also released a treat for my Patrons!  If you’re pledging at any level, you can see the narrated video timelapse of the creation of this piece in Procreate.  This video will become public next month (March 11th), but everyone pledging at any amount here will get to watch it early here!


I hope you enjoy this foray into different territory!  I have another painting I hope to feature next month that’s another divergence from the norm here, though March pledges will still be paused now that I remembered to do so.

Then it’s T-minus one month to my shoulder surgery.  Eep!  I’m not sure what I’ll share here at that point, but perhaps a bit of the writing I plan to do and my progress with my marketing and art classes in the meantime, should I be able enough to write!

Till then, enjoy the Dreamer!  And if you’re so inclined, feel free to share with me in the comments what YOUR OC might wear to the Vampire Masquerade!

♥ Ang

Narrated Time Lapse & Art – The Crucified Dreamer’s OC Gala Outfit

It looks like I forgot to pause my billing cycle for February!  I wanted to treat you all for your continued support here since I’d feel bad if you guys got nothing this month.  And so my dear Patrons get an Early Access sneak peek of this narrated time lapse I made of my recent art!  Everyone else will have to wait till next month before they are able watch this on my YouTube channel.

I worked extra hard on this time lapse to add more in-depth narration, effects, and chapter bookmarks so you can browse through exactly where you want to watch.  I really felt like I had to share my journey with this piece as I almost gave up on it!  I had pretty bad art block in the middle that I was eventually able to overcome.   I wanted to share that journey of discovery with others who might be helped by seeing another artist struggle through a piece and how it was worth pushing myself the extra mile.  

I hope you enjoy this extra polished video!  Definitely let me know how I can improve future videos like this in the comments, if you have any thoughts.

I’ve been taking it slow with art lately and indulging some different styles and aesthetics to refresh the muse.  Vicky Pandora’s OC Gala event with its “Vampire Masquerade” theme gave me the perfect opportunity to indulge in a dark elegant fantasy aesthetic I love so much, which led to the creation of this piece!

The Crucified Dreamer’s Story

Her delighted laughter rings in the ears of those she has marked for death. Many revolutionaries have fallen to her seductions, The Dreamer delighting in watching their ‘beautiful deaths’. All in service of her Deathlord, the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.

For she was once a revolutionary herself, one who dreamed of reform until The Guild crucified her for a murder she did not commit. Between life and death, The Lover saved her, gifting her the power of an Abyssal Deathknight. The Dreamer wears tears in devotion to her Deathlord, her skin the blue of a corpse. Her crucifixion wounds adorned by henna and chain will never heal.

Final Art

Both of these pieces were created in Procreate, which I’ve been favoring lately because working on an iPad is less taxing on my shoulder tendon.

The Dreamer’s full outfit:

I do believe that’s one of the best faces I’ve drawn in a long while!

I’m not sure how much art I’ll be able to do between now and surgery, so I’ve made sure to pause the billing cycle ahead of March so I don’t forget again.  I may still share some art here, if I happen to finish it.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of something different!

♥ Ang

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!

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

Exalted Art Challenge – Collection 6 – Magical Material, Fave Weapon, etc.

I was really worried about these next few topics, as they’re definitely out of my comfort zone!  I have never drawn a mech in my life, for example!  I’ve always wanted to try more object and environment art as I think this could be great fodder for building my own worlds and also for portfolio pieces for Magic the Gathering and more.  

I gotta say after pushing myself with these, they’re some of my favorites from the challenge list thus far!

18. Magical Materials

There are a number of magical materials in the world of Exalted, all of which resonate best with the Exalted.  Solars like Kalara resonate best with Orichalcum, gold that has been infused with the radiance of the Unconquered Sun, himself.

For this topic, I explored different approaches to portraying this metal, from a manuscript page talking about the alchemical processes involving mystic mirrors you can use to create it to the natural quarries high in the mountains where the sun’s radiance blesses the ‘blood of the earth’ (magma) to create naturally occurring orichalcum.

I also chose a more Hindu-inspired depiction of the Unconquered Sun, as he’s usually more Roman-inspired in the setting.

19. Favorite Weapon

This topic came easy, as there was always a weapon that stood out to me during our Exalted games!  In one adventure, Kalara and her Circle of Solars faced off against their dark counterparts, the Abyssal Deathknights.  Kalara’s opponent in this battle was Crown of Thorns on the Head of the King Who Never-Was who wielded warfans fashioned from soulsteel, an abominable metal created from trapped souls, among other dreadful components.

Called the Eyes of Lord Automeris, when Crown of Thorns activated his weapon, the souls trapped in the soulsteel would appear to writhe and wail silently on the surface while a conspicuously closed eye on the fans would open fully, revealing a terrible red open eye that allowed him to impose his will on others, while also filling them with fear.  The fans were inspired by the Automeris moth with its shocking eye markings that look like a starry sky.

Thankfully, Kalara was able to use her strong will to shrug off Crown of Thorns’ mental attack and end the Deathknight in a flurry of shots from her prayer piece guns before he could impose his will again. Despite their short battle, I never forgot the sheer coolness of this Deathknight’s fans created by my Storyteller (Exalte’d version of the Dungeon Master)!

20. Favorite Artifact

Artifacts, items of wonder from a lost age, represent some of the coolest flavor in the Exalted setting!  It was difficult just to pick a couple because there are so many interesting choices.  

I chose the Sorcery Catching Cord, which allows its user to catch multiple spells and release them at a later time by untying a knot.  The design for this straw hat sorceress wielding orichalcum cord emerged from an old concept for a sorceress Twilight Caste who has appeared in Kalara’s story and our game on occasion as a healer, demon summoner, and bathhouse owner.  I love her design so much that I’m really going to have to do more with her!

Next, we have the Infinite Resplendence Amulets, amulets of various magical metals that create clothing for the user with various properties.  Orichalcum amulets create clothing constructed out of light, adding to their beauty in the eyes of onlookers.  I couldn’t resist creating a decadent Solar decked out in orichalcum clothing made of pure light!

21. Warstriders

The pinnacle of First Age tech and magic, Warstriders were grand vehicles of mass destruction the Solars of old rode into battle.  Over time, they have been lost to the ages or enshrined and protected.  We never discovered the Warstriders of our characters’ First Age Incarnations in our campaign, so this was an opportunity to let my imagination run wild with the organic mech aesthetic I love in Zone of the Enders 2 and Warframe.  I adore Exalted’s unique flavor that’s taken the scifi mech concept and blended it with mystical imagery.

The sketches explore moments in time, from Kalara discovering the warstrider enshrined in a hidden temple where she meditates to bond with it, to her finally being accepted by this sentient weapon.

The warstrider itself was a very spontaneous design inspired by Kalara’s connection to fire, the warstrider having fire hair and other elemental connections in its ornate swirls.  I imagine in battle this warstrider sends her floating wings out for slashing damage or to use as a mechanism for ricocheting energy shots in normally impossible angles.  She is as yet unnamed, so feel free to suggest a name for her in comments!

I had to stop myself from making more thumbnails because I can see so many more moments spent earning this warstrider’s trust and bonding with or other scenes of derelict warstriders blended with the low tech world that has sprung up around them.  

Here we are at less than 10 topics to go.  I’m almost done!  I hope you all have been enjoying this diversion thus far.  Have you seen any topics you’d like to see more of?  I keep having to cut myself off from spending too much time following a tangent down another story rabbithole (which is always a good sign!).

More soon!   I expect I’ll be wrapping this up in a couple more compilations.

♥ Ang