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!