Wednesday 12 August 2015

#RPGaDay2015 - Day 12, Favourite RPG Illustration

This seemed insanely difficult to me - there's a lot of fantastic art out there and a lot of utter dross. But then I thought, I love some of the illustrations friends have done of my characters, and it'd be nice to share them again here.

1. Kella and Reisha (Homebrew: Final Fantasy Noir)
Drawn by my friend Rowan who played Reisha, this depicts the 'epilogue' scene of our game. If you've played Final Fantasy X then you'll know more than me about the long history of summoners who believed they had to sacrifice themselves for the planet. Kella, my character, was a summoner around 1,000 years before the computer game and had become so accepting of her inevitable fate that Reisha was introduced deliberately as a love interest to shake things up a bit. He was a character out of time, found in a chamber when visiting a lost Faythe (Phoenix). He ended up sacrificing himself completely for her just after she'd discovered she was pregnant (which she didn't tell him as she was still set on dying and didn't want him to lose two people); they never found his body.

Of course, there was a way out of the situation that didn't involve Kella's death (just that of another of her closest allies, in another incredibly intense roleplay moment). She went back home to Besaid and a year or so later Reisha fell out of the sky and, in true fairy tale fashion, they lived happily ever after.

I pictured Kella as being somewhat stockier and her hair in thicker twists, but this picture is beautiful to me and summons up strong memories of a deeply immersive game.

2. Jvala (Pathfinder - interlude)

This is my current Pathfinder character as drawn by my friend Abi. It's a great likeness considering how little info she had to go on when I asked for the picture - what I particularly love is the dress, which is pretty much exactly what I picture her wearing to a ball or some such, and I gave Abi no clues in that direction! From the way her hair and skin are shifting slightly in colour, it's clear she's excited about something. Her swords are close by but not in her hands, so she's unlikely to be angry or afraid - I think she's probably trying to hide the fact that she's thrilled to be going to the party she's off too, but she can't control the way her inner flame flickers behind her skin and through her hair!

3. Svetlana (Pathfinder - main)

Again drawn by Abi from very basic info. I love the way she's captured Svetlana's joy and innocence. The dark leaf armour is much nicer and more imaginative than what I'd pictured and I love the plait! 

Svetlana sits jointly with Kella as being my very favourite character, possibly because they share this innocence that they wear almost as a shield against the harsher side of the world. Kella's was ultimately rewarded: she didn't have to die and her beloved was returned to her. Svetlana's is gradually being stripped from her - wrenched from her desperate grasp. Her death and time in Erastil's realm has hurt her badly because it's shown her how little time she will actually with her love and she finds it very difficult to know that once she's dead that won't matter to her: it makes how she feels matter more now. The political circles she is expected to navigate when not fighting demons are also teaching her not all people are as good as she wishes to believe...

Another thing the two share is a sense of duty to a cause bigger than themselves. For Kella, she grew up knowing about summoners and their sacrifice and I think that made it easier for her to accept the mantle when it was passed to her: she knew what she was doing was necessary for the good of everyone and, although I don't think it mattered consciously, she also knew that as long as she succeeded she would never be forgotten and would always be honoured. Svetlana has more internal conflict. For a start, she now has two duties: to Brevoy and to Golarion. For the good of Brevoy, she must try to tame her chaotic nature and learn to play the political game, but that seems irrelevant when placed next to the threats to Golarion she has discovered whilst fighting in the Worldwound and whilst off in another dimension. Here, her life and her love are in danger but she must fight on and not give up for the sake of her world. She does this with more reluctance than Kella, perhaps because this is all newer to her. She's also, unlike Kella, an only child, so I think there is a little more selfishness in her. But she fights on nonetheless.

As always, with thanks to Autocratik.

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