Ninth Age Concept Brainstorming

Due to burnout this first post is a placeholder of sorts until I can post everything later. Not least @Uther.the.unhinged 's glorious ideas from old CDO. In the meantime, here is the latest update for Gavemites, namely Ethiopian fantasy Dwarves and nemesis of bull-worshipping Infernal Dwarves:

Kegiz Gavem Art by Paulus Indomitus

The artist Paulus Indomitus accepted a commission from me to give us his vision of Ethiopian fantasy Dwarves. Paulus is a skilled artist with a most inspiring blog that made me put aside time to draw frequently again a few years ago. His primary fantasy outlet is a mirror world of our own history, centered around the declining Arcanea (Constantinople) during the middle ages. He has documented the process of his creations on his blog. Be welcome to leave a comment for him under the artoworks on Deviantart or his blog. He has a deft hand at historical styles, colourwork and dark shading, as can be seen in his gallery!

You can find out more in detail about his ideas and work with creating these pieces of art in two blog posts of his, for those who can read Swedish or wish to dare a translator program: Dwarves on the Warpath I & Dwarves on the Warpath II

Note that several Nubian and Roman elements have been put to use in these designs, together with a slew of traditional Ethiopian references:

Here are the pencil drawings before painting:

And finally some early sketches before Paulus decided on what to do:

Cheers

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Fantastic illustrations. Great to see your ‘creations’ on the page:screen.

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@Uther.the.unhinged : Indeed!

Last Ride of False Prophet Yuzhadaraf

Following the obliteration of an outmaneouvered Infernal Dwarf host on the Sacred Coast, popular Gavemite tales tell of how its cruel leader succumbed to wroth frustration and darkest despair. Surveying the field of corpses on land around him from bull-wings on high, and seeing nought but hostile ships and sea monsters devouring his scattered men driven into the salty waters, false prophet Yuzhadaraf let out an abysmal howl, echoed by his horned mount. So fell was this bellow from deep pits, that Daemonic hellfire sprang forth from the tusked mouth of the enslaver king, and the eyes of the vanquished warlord turned to burning coals in his unhinged fury.

Driven mad by the fullness of his defeat in battle, the flayer of the innocent bewailed his bitter loss of power. In hellish wrath did the trampler of prisoners lash out at his own dark deities, blaming them for withdrawing their favour from his victorious head out of fickle ingratitude. Had not he loaded the pyres with plenty of sacrificial victims? Had not their screams risen along with smoke to the high heavens without faltering? Had not the altar fires consumed the flesh of impure foes?

A tall flame rose out of the throat of the maimer of slaves, as he tore at his beard and cursed his triumphant enemies and heathen gods alike. Lo, how the mighty shall fall! His last words amounted to a furious prophecy of damnation, so heinous that those who heard it all dreamt nightmares of distant doom that night. And so false prophet Yuzhadaraf rode out one last time, consumed by baleful anger, and flung himself and his mount into the frothing sea. And the waters extinguished his fiery breath, and the waves devoured them whole, and so all was good along the Sacred Coast.

Thus was the first war between light and darkness won by the righteous.


Art inspired by my friend Igor Levchenko, a masterful artist. The leftmost and rightmost Dwarves in this drawing are directly based on two of his paintings, namely Proclamation Against the Infernal Dwarves and Dwarven Sicarius.

This fantasy scene is based on the fate of the last Himyarite king Dhu Nuwas, who commited suicide by riding his horse into the Red Sea after an Aksumite army (transported by the Roman Red Sea fleet) had conquered his kingdom in Yemen. This led to two wars over Yemen between Aksumite Ethiopia and Sassanid Persia, which saw the Persians victorious, in no small part thanks to their mastery of horse archery and siege artillery.

The parts of the rosary border with black background were the result of a mistake. The plan was to colour the background grey, as in previous Gavemite iconography. However, the grey felt pen had too similar a tone to the purple and blue, and so I tried to work in more contrast by colouring over the grey with black. Dark green would have been better, In hindsight. At any rate, here is the empty border for anyone who wants to use it for anything of their own (open source, no need to ask), and here is the lineart for anyone who wants to recolour this particular piece.

Summary

Reference Images

Summary

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Fantastic & evocative lore and artwork @Admiral.

Big fan of Igor’s work since his Renaissance-style Morrowind art. Did not know that he is also involved in The Ninth Age.

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A wonderful tale, as always, that you’ve come up with.
Your clever combination of historical influences, wildly wrathful quotes and tragic endings (often accompanied by a comic wit) have always been solid and true hallmarks of your storytelling.
You give credence to the philosophical quote “The pen is mightier than the sword”

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