Art: PE Steampunk Exchange for Icarus

The final Private Exchange! For my long-time buddy, Sam. This is Papillion, which means butterfly in French. She is a magician, and all her spells are in Latin. I just fell in love with the idea of "linea tractare". I think it's actually a spell for turning things into puppets, but I turned it around and made her into a marionette, carrying her own strings. It fits well with the idea of humans using technology to create dolls in their own likeness, a theme that folds neatly into the steampunk genre.


Art: Mondigan 100 (Color)

So, after three days and another thirty hours since I finished the gray-scale version, we have a color version. Getting a scheme down (when I started with none), with green and gold, at 3 AM, was pretty difficult.

For the record, my character, Rivek is fifteen years old as of yesterday. I obviously don't remember the day I created him. It's just his in-story birthday. But originally, he was a nice, Gary Stu mix of Prince Jonathan of Tortall and Tobias from Animorphs. He, everyone else in the series, and I have come a long way. We grew up together. This will be the cover for when I collect all 100 of these theme pieces. You can check them (and the story) out here: [link]

Again, I really, really, can't thank you followers enough for your quiet, steady, support with my original work. It's months later, and I am still floored by the response to this poll. I sometimes assume people follow me from conventions and expect mostly fanart. I could probably way more popular if I drew Harry Potter all day. But, this is what I'm really passionate about. So it's really heartwarming that so many of you take interest in what create for myself. I do apologize that it's so in-pieces when I present it to you - but I haven't worked my story out entirely! It is getting there, though. :) This project - and what I am learning here in Los Angeles - has been a huge help.


Art: Mondigan 100 (Black and White)

And eighty hours of work later... happy birthday to my fictional character, haha. I'm finally glad to do a piece of this magnitude, especially for myself. Thank you all so much for the support, reading my weird writings and everything. You guys don't know how much it means to me.

This will be the cover for when I collect all 100 of these theme pieces. You can check them (and the story) out here: [link]

Click to full-view on deviantART!

Art: Rivek Genderbend

I can't believe I've managed to post 30 drawings over 30 days! There's more to come later tonight.

But for now - have a picture of Rivek as a girl. Everyone needs a little gender-bend now and then. I tried to give her a skirt, but I just had to make it shorter and shorter. ~finni insisted on giant breasts and a panty shot, hahaha. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a legit gender-bend, would it?

My story would be so much more popular if Rivek looked like this. *sobs*


Art: 062/100 Themes - Magic

"Magikan." Magic. - 062/100 Themes.

Because power is frequently associated with magic, nobles and clergy obsessively maintain their lineages to only include strong mages. Types of magic are passed from parent to child similarly to blood type. There are two alleles - one for light magic and one for dark magic.

Possessing one allele of a certain type will give a person passive magic, such as enhanced intelligence or a particular talent. Possessing two of a certain type will give active magic, which allows for actual control of one’s surroundings. Possessing neither will result in a non-magic person, but so will possessing both. Each allele will cancel the effect of the other. However, they can still be passed on to children, resulting in magical children being born to non-magical parents, and magic children being born an opposite type from magic parents.

Magic, when not outright used, is undetectable without special means. Because of this, some families of mages have cultivated a heightened-awareness ability that lets them detect other mages.

Most magic children will display certain affinities or exhibit unusual behavior associated with their power. However, these displays tend to be uncontrollable as powers do not solidify and reach maximum potential until puberty. After physical maturity, most passive mages are able to keep their powers in check. However, active mages may lose control when in heightened emotional states. Due to the significant population of double-allele dark-mages in the Alisian islands, citizens adopt meditative practices to help maintain order.

Light mages are more susceptible to diseases caused by blockages of the cardiac system such as heart attacks and strokes. Similarly, dark-mages are more prone to ruptures of the cardiac system such as aneurysms and internal bleeding. Mages of both types have, on average, a shorter lifespan than non-magical peoples.

Perrin's father has a single-allele light-mage, and her estranged mother was a single-allele dark-mage. As a result, she inherited dark-magic powers seemingly out of nowhere. However, her ability is 'passive'. While she cannot manipulate the world around her, she can see and feel both types of magic - giving her the ability to pinpoint other, more hidden, users.


Rivek leaned against the wall of the lab. “Perrin should come with me.”

Eamon sat at his desk, ostensibly ignoring the dark-mage who was rapping his knuckles against the door. “No, Rivek. It’s too dangerous.”

Rivek ripped the paper he was staring at out from under his nose. “We’re all going to be in danger if we don’t stop Sorian, and she can do just that.”

Eamon turned around to break eye contact. “My daughter - my only daughter - is fifteen.”

“And she is a lot more capable than I was at that age - and I was capable of a lot.”

“Capable of getting into a lot of trouble!” He stood and thrust the chair under his desk.

Rivek crossed his arms and planted himself between Eamon and the doorway. “I know it’s hard for you to accept, but Perrin has dark-magic. She can find others like her, like me. Like us. And as much as you hate it, you said it yourself - we need black arts to win this war.“

“You know that if we lose, we burn. She and I both.” He set a map on the table, a chart had been marked for his estranged homeland, the Alisian Islands. “If you care for her at all, Eamon, let her join my mission. Let her have what she wants.”

Art: 061/100 Themes - Fairy Tale

"Istoria." Fairy Tale. - 61/100 Themes.

Argh, this is the only one I haven't posted on time. But yes - this is how she started to like him in the first place, stupid stories.

Rivek sat at the side of the bed. He had changed out of his guards’ uniform. Without his bandages or boots, his sleep clothes revealed the scars that traced his hands and legs.

Willow climbed in amongst the emerald pillows and wrapped the blankets around herself, burying deep underneath until only her eyes showed over the tops of the covers.

“It’s spring, you don’t need that,” he clicked his tongue.

“Says the man who’s a living, breathing, energy-sucking icicle.” He reached out to touch her forehead, causing her to hide her face completely.

“Tell me a story,” she said, her voice muffled through the covers. “Like you did when we were kids. One of your Alisian fairy tales. But not one of those depressing ones where everyone gets placed under a curse and dies at the end.”

Rivek laughed. “That’s almost all of them.”

“Tell me the one where you got your name.”

“I think I can do that.” He walked into the other room and retrieved his journal before he climbed onto the downy mattress. He put his arm around her shoulder, and she yelped.

“Goddamn. Icicle,” she said, throwing the blanket over both of them.

He opened the book and thumbed through the pages with his free hand. "Once upon a time, the god of War went out to battle to a far away land."

“He sounds like an ass.”

“That he was. He had to leave his beautiful daughter, the Princess of Clouds, at home. After all, she was one of those skinny sorts who couldn't hold a sword. She had eyes the color of the sky and hair the color of ripe wheat.” He turned the page.

Willow tucked her hair behind her ears and reach over to flip back the page he had just turned.

“What’re you doing? You can’t read it.”

“I know, but the letters are pretty.” The Alisian script was Rivek’s neat handwriting, a collection of brushstroke swirls that had been invented four hundred years ago. It had been derived from the Common language as a way to obscure military documents, but it had long since evolved and blended with other languages to become its own system of writing.

"Anyway, with a girl that pretty, of course someone was going to try and steal her away. And an evil prince did. He came with his men and raided the tower and took this girl to his mountain home. You can imagine what he did there."

She yawned, “I thought I said nothing depressing.”

“You said no depressing endings. I haven’t reached the middle yet.” He flicked her ear. "Locked amongst the cliffs, the girl didn't know what to do. So she sang, hoping someone would hear her. And she cried rivers, upon rivers - that is, making the rivers that flowed down from the mountains. Grass grew in the valleys where her tears collected, and animals started appearing. These animals longed to see the face of their creator, so one day - one of them grew wings."

He made an idiotic bird gesture with his hands. "So, the eagle was born, and he flew to the tower.”

He looked down. Her breathing was soft and rhythmic, and her eyes were closed. “Well, you can kind of guess what happened next. Girl befriends eagle. Eagle eats evil warlord. Girl rides eagle back to her dad."

He combed her hair with his fingers. "And that's what my name means. 'Eagle'. Sort of. It's a conjugated form of the word, rivekron, which means 'to soar.' Technically, it's what the girl said as she told the eagle to fly away from the mountain hold."

He laughed softly and kissed her on the forehead as he got up to leave. “Why do you care that no one dies in the end if you’re just going to fall asleep halfway through?”


Art: 060/100 Themes - Rejection

"Envitalio." Rejection. - 060/100 Themes.

Three in a row where I'm just beating the crap out of Rivek. I'm a bad person.


Willow huddled with her stomach against the ground. She felt something soft grace her cheek. As the dust settled, she turned her head and saw barred, gray feathers. Gingerly, she lifted Rivek's wing off her shoulder and struggled to her knees. He collapsed on top of her, and she felt hot blood run down the front of her shirt. The ground crunched as she rolled him off and leaned his limp form against a broken pillar.

She looked at her chest, where she felt the blood. She was fine, just scrapes and bruises. She turned her attention to her newly hired bodyguard. From what she knew about his powers, maintaining his form halfway between man and bird was the most taxing ability he could use, and he had done it for her with no second thought. When he eyed the first fuse being lit, he brought her to the ground with superhuman speed and shielded her with his body, turning them into massive wings to increase his surface area. The avian limbs he'd protected her with shrank back into human flesh, scratched and bleeding from shards of glass and stone. His left sagged, and she could see the sundered collarbone peeking out from a wound by his neck.

He spoke softly, between short breaths, "Just. Doing. My job."  A thin, wood beam protruded from his chest. Black blood pooled around the opening, nibbling at the timber before running down his side. He muttered, "Fucking. Hurts."

She put her hand on his cheek and looked around as she ran it through his hair. She needed help. Her only experience with severe puncture wounds involved people who were already dead. The explosion had taken out much of the castle wall, flooding the room with rubble. People emerged from the dust, recovering from shock. An armored man threw a door off of himself so he could stand. A woman crawled out from under a table. She heard a moan.


Fenne lay a short distance away. His lower limbs had been crushed, trapped under a piece of ceiling. Blood slowly ran out from under the rock. He met her gaze, his eyes pleading and red dripped down his nose and into his mouth.

She turned to Rivek. He nodded in Fenne's direction. The wood moved up and down in time with his heaving chest as he muttered.

She met Fenne's gaze again, and her heart quickened. She could not attend to two fatal wounds at once. She looked around again in panic. A bevy of medical staff members, dressed in white and guarded by a squadron or soldier, ran into the room.

Rivek's skin had turned pale, and his lips were now blue, moving without sound. Willow hoped it was not some kind of final prayer. The color had gone from his eyes, from vibrant blue to lifeless gray. The group of nurses settled around Fenne, and he disappeared from view. No one else would do it. No one else could do it. When Rivek signed that contract, he became her responsibility alone and, if she helped anyone else, he would die.

She put his lips to his and breathed the threads of her magic into his collapsed lung. It seemed useless. She tried again, reaching deeper his time, past the trachea and into the tiny branches in the lungs. Her knees shook as the air rushed out of her body, pushing against the collapsed walls of the tissue. They moved. She gripped his torn clothes to steady herself as she exhaled once more into his body. The invading air in his chest cavity bubbled out through the wound, and the lung expanded to fill his ribcage again.

The wooden stake, finally burned through by the acid blood, clattered to the ground in two pieces. The now-open wound sputtered, the blood fighting and losing against the hastily forming tissue. As the hole closed up with a keloid scar, she felt him breath on his own again. She re-positioned his fractured clavicle and coaxed the shattered bone back together with a sewing motion. Cold sweat ran down her forehead. There would be more to attend to later, but the important part was taken care of. He swallowed the blood in his mouth, half a smile crawling onto his face. She ran her bloody fingers through his dark hair and rested her cheek against his neck. He would live.


Art: 059/100 Themes - No Way Out

"Ni Ebitus." No Exit. - 59/100 Themes.

In Mondigan, magic is the ability to manipulate the world around you through human thought and emotion. Although strength and aptitude is determined by genetics, the exact talent that manifests specializes depending on individual personality. For example, aggressive people will have literally, explosive powers.

There are two ways to manipulate the energy around you - by producing more or by absorbing what exists. The former is called 'light' and the latter is called 'dark' because of the similarities to actual light (darkness being the absorption or lack of light). Production and absorption of energy is usually a subtle, almost unnoticeable presence that increases in strength closer to that magician. That falloff is roughly quadratic, with more powerful magicians possessing a greater radius of influence.

However, as people tend to assign prejudices to things, light magic is heavily favored to the point of religious fanaticism - and dark magic is considered heresy. Traditionally, they are burned at the stake. However, there is a more severe punishment reserved for the most petulant criminals.

Only living beings (organic cells) contain consumable energy, so the most horrible way to kill a dark-mage is simply to lock him or her far enough away from other, living beings. Their black blood is the single bodily aspect that does the actual energy absorption. Tissue contains energy. So, the blood will eventually erode the tissue to extract its energy, effectively killing the mage by eating them from the inside out and reducing their body to a soup.

This is super not how Rivek wants to die.

Rivek could not tell if his eyes were open. It was so dark, closing them would not have made a difference. Light could not reach six feet under ground. The last thing he remembered was Sorian gloating in front of him - and being hit squarely in the back of the head. He gingerly touched his hairline at the back of his neck. It was sore. How long had he been here?

He knocked his fist against the roof of the coffin.


That was worrisome. It smelled like dirt and dead wood. He coughed. How long before he ran out of air? He needed to shift. A bird form would buy him time to think, conserve his energy. He tried to focus, and a few feathers sprouted at his wrists.

A cough broke his concentration, but this time it was wet and burning. His lungs felt heavy. He tasted iron and acid.

He heard a whining sound that faded into high-pitched ringing. He twisted his arm up to touch his ear lobe. Something wet. It trickled down the side of his skull. The trail it left behind stung.

He writhed. He felt something warm in his chest that slowly built to a fiery burn. Every heartbeat was just a minute shudder away from an explosion. What was happening? He counted his breaths, trying to keep them slow and shallow so he could think.

This was an execution.

His father once told him that dark mages needed to take energy from living things to survive. Unfortunately, when buried alive, the only living thing would be the mage themselves. Their insides would boil, and blood would leak from every possible opening, often carving its own exit wounds. When the bodies were exhumed, there would only be a skeleton floating in red soup. Bury them underground until their own demonic souls ate them alive. He would die alone, in the last place a bird would ever want to be, enclosed in a box with no sky above. Being burned at the stake now seemed comparatively humane.

He blinked away something wet and stinging from his eyes, and he knew it wasn't tears. The air began to smell like iron. No. Please, no. He whispered a prayer as the blood burned through the thin skin on his fingertips. He dragged them on the coffin lid, leaving a sizzling, black trail in their wake that he could smell but not see.


Art: 058/100 Themes - Kick to the Head

"Kiatro per kapo." - Kick to the head. - 58/100 Themes.

Rivek doesn't particularly enjoy when his breathing is cut off. Challenging pose is challenging.


Sorian pressed his foot against Rivek's trachea. "Next time, dog, you'll think again before you try to do something like that. Now run back to your master."


Art: 057/100 Themes - Sacrifice

"Zuplikon." Sacrifice. - 57/100 Themes.

Sometimes trying to be a good person means you'll end up doing bad things. Bohren sees being a knight as a route to manhood, but really it depends on what kind of person you serve.


For once, the throne room of Aneral was quiet. The Brennan Royal Guard which had protected the Auster family for generations had over a thousand men, but only the most trusted would be selected to attend to the crown prince. Fenne wanted this ceremony to be private. He thought it would be best to keep the identities of his personal bodyguards secret.

He stood and drew his sword. "Thank you, all of you. I am sure you understand why you are here today," he nodded. "Today, I am no longer a schoolboy but a true prince in my own right. You have all demonstrated your skills, but more importantly, you have demonstrated your loyalty. Therefore, I am going to reward you with the most elite, military position you can possibly obtain - my personal guard."

Bohren shifted in his military uniform. This should be an honor. This was the moment he had been waiting for his entire life. Yet all he could think about were his fingers. Even with his gloves on, they were so cold. He wrung them together to try and keep warm as Fenne called names of the other twenty men in the room. Each approached the throne in turn. Bohren knew many of these men. Although they differed in skill, they all came from the longest lines of Brennan nobility.

Fenne called his name. Bohren clutched his hands, walked down the center aisle and knelt at the prince's feet. Fenne touched the sword to his left shoulder. "Do you swear your allegiance to your kingdom?"

"In all trials, you highness," he nodded, repeating the same words the other men before him had said.

He touched the blade to his right shoulder. "Do you swear your first loyalty is to myself, your prince?"

"There is no other."

Finally, he let the tip of the weapon rest on the crown of Bohren's head. "Do you swear that, should the day arise, you will sacrifice all that you have and are for the state?"

"On my life." He forced a smile.

"Rise, Bohren, as Lord of Tabir, member of the Order of House Auster."

Bohren made the god's sign across his chest and joined the others in line.