Geisha Mermaid – Charcoal Drawing – Mermay 2020 Illustration

Have you seen a Geisha dance underwater?

Whilst it’s true that there are no ochaya (tea houses) underwater that are operating and hiring Geisha, there is always room in the imagination to invent some. I’ve been working on a series of Geisha artworks and then suddenly, Mermay 2020 was upon me.

Mermay is described by its founders as a month-long celebration of creativity, community and above all… MERMAIDS. People use this month to create a variety of Mermaid illustrations, many people creating one for each day of the event. I’ve never partook in this particular ‘drawing challenge’ so this time around, I made a point to throw out at least one piece.

Now for the artwork –

Continue reading “Geisha Mermaid – Charcoal Drawing – Mermay 2020 Illustration”

Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIX – The Darkness Spreads

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The Darkness Spreads

It felt like a lifetime since Corvus had left Crowshaven in pursuit of finding the Starshade herb that would cure his sister’s sickness. He had found the mystical and somewhat mythical White Raven; learned of an ancient prophecy and now seen it reach its fulfilment.

The Crown of Crows had been obtained and a Ravenking had been crowned after centuries of divided tribal territories.

The battle for Treehold Keep was over and the war won by the Corvids.

Now all that was left was a waiting game. The Corvids knew that the Darkness was going to spread and they were assured by Alwyn, the White Raven, that the castle was a place of safety and sanctuary.

The Darkness slowly swallowed up the landscape; the Corvids kept themselves hidden away and prepared for a long, dark winter…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXVII – The Aftermath of Battle

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The Aftermath of Battle

Whilst the clouds of the Darkness can be seen covering the distant landscapes and slowly causing the deaths of all the creatures it touches, the Battle of Treehold comes to its bitter end.

Death reeks both within the castle walls and without.

The Corvids managed to gain this victory but failing to act fast could cause it to be short lived and bittersweet.

The Darkness was coming…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIV – The Corvids Arrive at Treehold Keep

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The Corvids Arrive at Treehold Keep

The journey from Crowshaven to Treehold Keep was a relatively straight forward affair; but upon arrival the Corvids were aware of an ominous atmosphere around the castle itself. They kept back at a distance at first, to keep an eye on the castle itself. Harfengel sent a handful of Corvids to survey the area and get the lay of the land.

The rumours of the Rattus Rodentius clans moving into Treehold Keep some years ago were well known to the Corvids, so an ambush was to be expected; and Corvids are very curious creatures so there were no chances to be taken.

Keeping their distance across the water until more information was available was the safest play until the Corvid scouts returned with news; whether good or bad…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIII – A Corvid Soldier, Skull Helm Detail

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A Corvid Soldier, Skull Helm Detail

As far back as the great Raven’s Tales go, Corvids famously wear one piece of armour into battle. The skull helm of an ancestor that died valiantly in a previous battle. Other than the helm, it’s just a sharpened beak and talons ready for any grappling needed.

The skull helm gives its wearer an edge, not only is their head protected from their enemies, it adds a massive intimidation factor. Throughout the history of Corvids, the Rattus Rodentius Clans (the sworn enemies of Corvid-kind) have always held a deep-seated fear of the skull helms worn by the Corvids; therefore they have always tried to take the helms away from Corvids they have defeated in battle.

Wearing the skull of an ancestor also gives the Corvid an added responsibility, they want to live up to the great deeds of their ancestors…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXII – The Corvids Assemble for War

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The Corvids Assemble for War

The time had finally come. Preparations were being made. The war assembly was underway

Harfengel the Ravenking had all the Corvids getting ready and dressed for the grand exodus and battle that awaited them. Since the days of the Old Corvidae Empire, such a large Colony of Corvids had been unheard of.

Even now, on the day they were preparing to leave, more Corvids were arriving; Alwyn hatched a plan to leave a a handful of messengers for any late arrivals, they were to leave and fly for Treehold Keep as soon as any sign of the Darkness was apparent.

The Corvids donned their skull helms with pride, sharpened their beaks and hoped for safe passage to their new home…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXX – A Ravenking is Crowned, Ascension of Harfengel

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A Ravenking is Crowned, Ascension of Harfengel

After such an exceptionally perilous and wearisome adventure, Corvus and the others would naturally have wanted to rest; however, the fulfilment of the prophecy only laid the groundwork for the rest of the journey.

Retrieving the Crown of Crows was the important part that needed to be done in order for the Corvids to be saved from the coming Darkness, but that alone wouldn’t be enough. A Ravenking needed to be crowned, all of the Corvids rallied together as one Colony, and to get to the Treehold Keep and battle the Rattus Rodentius hordes; the long-sworn enemies of Corvids.

All those that had already arrived in Crowshaven and those that has been living there already, gathered together at the Divine Slab of Forefather to see the Ravenking crowned.

Fittingly, Alwyn the White Raven conducted the ceremony and crowned Harfengel making him Ravenking and Chief of all Corvid Colonies, thus giving him the power and authority to bring them all into one Colony.

The glory of this occasion took everyone’s minds away from one thing.

War was coming…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXIX – A Reuniting of Siblings

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A Reuniting of Siblings

When Corvus had accepted the quest to fulfil the prophecy that the White Raven had told him about, he knew that he was leaving his ailing sibling to a certain death. This was not a decision that was taken lightly however, it was a decision that he had to make.

She was distraught by the news that Finbar hadn’t made it back home, he would be greatly missed, especially with the major changes coming to all of the Corvid Colonies.

The first major change would begin tomorrow, with the crowning of Harfengel, making him Ravenking…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXVIII – The Corvids Arrive at Crowshaven, a Surprise Welcoming

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The Corvids Arrive at Crowshaven, a Surprise Welcoming

The group manage to get through the rest of their journey through the Grimwood without any further problems or delays, and after what feels like an age of being away, Corvus returns to Crowshaven; without Finbar but with four others.

Upon arriving, Corvus was most surprised by the welcoming committee that awaited him at the foot of the Great Tree.

Alwyn, the White Raven alongside Harfengel, the Chief of Crowshaven who is soon to be Ravenking; and the sick relative of Corvus, fully recovered and eagerly awaiting her reunion with her brother.

Although he hadn’t left his Ancient Watchtower in over a century, Alwyn knew that he had to in order to pay his part in the fulfilment of the prophecy; he had sent Corvus on a quest that stopped him being able to save his sibling so Alwyn assumed responsibility to get the Starshade herb to her.

There was now a lot of catching up to do, but more importantly, a lot of planning to do. Every Corvid Colony needed to be moved as one Colony to the Treehold Keep to escape the coming Darkness.

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXVII – An End to Sibling Rivalry, Corvus Settles the Dispute

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An End to Sibling Rivalry, Corvus Settles the Dispute

In those tense and emotionally charged moments of Munin and Hugin swooping at each other and viciously fighting over a future that was an illusion of trickery shown to them by the Mirror Pond; Corvus joined the fray and powerfully split the two brothers apart.

“Of all that we have lost so far, the many leagues we have covered together and how close at times we have come to death, you two think it right and acceptable to kill each other? To fight over that of which you have no right? We have come all this way to fulfil a prophecy that doesn’t result in either of you becoming Ravenking!”

Munin & Hugin see that Corvus is carrying the pack that contains the Crown of Crows; they discern that he has no ambitions of wearing it himself and he also spent time by the Mirror Pond. The pair realise that they have become seduced by their own greed and ambition and this was enhance by visions that they saw in the water, but visions that already existed in the depths of their own hearts to begin with.

They heed Corvus’ words, they make their peace with each other and vow to see this quest fulfilled in the right manner.

The Corvids settle down to rest for a while longer before heading back into the Grimwood

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