Coupled Concepts

Okay, kids. Now that the galley is out of the way, I can finally show off some pretty pitchars – concept artwork I made during writing to help me visualize things that were in my head, along with some random doodles I did so I didn’t feel like I was just working.

Karamia engages a "Freak" soldier

For those of you who read Sample 3 (Situation 0 -Precursor-), this here’s a fairly detailed design of the fight Karamia has with what the characters in the story affectionately refer to as “Freaks.” This was a bit before I had settled on changing when Karamia actually got that sword she’s holding there, so it’s different than the one depicted in the short story. It’s way more artsy than it is to show off how the fight went down, but it does give you an idea of how awkwardly nimble the freaks are…

Speaking of Karamia’s sword, this is the one she’s actually using during Situation 0 -Precursor-, as well as for 98% of her military career. The Wolf Nail itself is a generic weapon: a nondescript zweihänder (two-handed sword) that’s standard-issue for the ARA forces. As such, it’s not very flashy, and the idea in mind was to give it a very “mass-produced” look. Visible bolts and a boring hilt help bring that idea home. It’s not much to look at, but it’s a reliable length of sharpened steel. Karamia herself spruced her sword up a bit with a giant tattered piece of cloth, which can be seen above and on the cover art.

Another from Situation 0, Quintin’s weapon of choice is called the Skeggöx. A hybrid of both a regular combat shotgun and a large, bearded axe (from which its named is derived), it’s a weapon that requires special training to make sure you’re holding correctly, and handling it appropriately during fire. The idea I had for this totally originated from my childhood, specifically Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and the Black Ranger’s Power Axe/Mothbreaker, tweaked slightly to work more like a shotgun and a bearded axe.  When used exclusively for melee combat, the wielder holds the weapon firmly by the grip on the stock with their main hand. One can also swing the weapon upward to strike with the blade while it’s raised as a firearm as well. The use of the weapon, and its name, also allude to Quintin’s military call sign “Viking.”

Last but not least for Situation 0 is Arimathea’s weapon, the long sword Avalon, dubbed “the blade that slew a thousand soldiers.” Being a personal weapon, Arimathea’s is much fancier than Karamia or Quintin’s. The guard has sort of a Master Sword kinda thing going on there with the tiered wings. There’s always that struggle to make something look both practical and still pleasing to the eye, and the Avalon admittedly took me a bit. Astute people may notice some nods to the Arthurian legend with the sword’s name, and its wielder. I can assure you that they go beyond just those, as well.

There’s more of course, but I don’t want to give away too much, since there’s plenty that won’t be seen until the book itself is released. Play your hand close to your chest, right? Lastly, a little doodle…

BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!! A character destined to show up at some point in my work, since I keep dabbling in his adventures when I’m not writing in what I’m currently supposed to be. Let’s just call him the “Riot Hound” for now…

Hope you enjoyed the artwork and the ideas coupled with them. Until the next post, Keep Yourself Alive.

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