Wild Elephants of Africa – Charcoal Drawing on Toned Paper – Wildlife Art Illustration

So it’s been a little while…

Having spent the last three months of 2019 working on my currently unfinished graphic novel ‘Corvus’ it has been nice to spend a bit of time in the first month of this year working on some other bits and pieces, new sketches and drawings, and even finishing up a painting that had been on the easel for some time.

Those other pieces can be addressed in a post for another time, this one however is dedicated to my latest charcoal drawing.

Continue reading “Wild Elephants of Africa – Charcoal Drawing on Toned Paper – Wildlife Art Illustration”

Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXV – The Rattus Rodentius Army Awaits

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The Rattus Rodentius Army Awaits

When the Corvid scouts returned to Harfengel the Ravenking with news, it was as expected.

Grim.

The Corvid scouts spotted the Rodents inside the castle and in turn, they too had been spotted and the Rodents were quick to raise the alarm and prepare for a siege.

It was hoped that the castle was empty but the Corvids had left Crowshaven with war in mind as the most likely outcome.

This was it.

This was the culmination of a long history full of rivalry and vengeance; deep seated hatred that had been passed down through the generations.

This was the beginning of the end…

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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 XXXI – The Last Corvid Colonies Arrive at Crowshaven

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The Last Corvid Colonies Arrive at Crowshaven

A Ravenking had been crowned. The Corvid world was changing, and changing fast; which was a necessity with the Darkness coming. The word had spread across the many lands that Corvids inhabited in the days following the crowning of Harfengel, there was a constant stream of incoming new Corvids.

Only so much time was left though, it was very nearly time to leaveCrowshaven and head to Treehold Keep and the newcomers were still arriving at a steady pace.

Harfengel announced that within the week they would be leaving Crowshaven and heading off to the new land, ready for war in order to claim the only safe haven…

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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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