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  • #76
    My next batch of Challenge topics are out of Patreon Early Access so I can finally share them here. Enjoy!

    14 - Anima Banner

    Kalara expresses her banner with a phoenix that rises from behind her, signifying her own rise from the ashes of her would-be execution on the cross, which is alluded to in the golden spikes through her palms. Chains of energy appear on her arms and legs, the links falling off one by one as she 'unchains' herself from a mortal fate that would have kept her a slave.

    The phoenix wasn't in her original anima banner design, but I'm so happy I've added it for this new design. I can't imagine her without it, now!




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    • #77
      Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Limit Break

      Wooo this is officially topic 15, the halfway point of the Challenge! I made it!


      Kalara's Great Curse manifests as a paranoia that her enemies are out to get her. She has nightmares of the night her father was poisoned, fearing that she, too, will meet the same fate he did in his battle against the Guild. She even starts to doubt her friends, who are the only people she's let close enough to assassinate her.


      In our campaign, I never saw her in this state, but I was always dreading it (and also relishing the roleplay opportunity). Perhaps it will happen in her story I've been writing, instead!







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      • #78
        Exalted Art Challenge - Reasons to Have Ox Body

        When you start playing Exalted, the book suggests taking a level or more of Ox Body so your freshly made character is just a bit more tanky in a world where people can punch gods in the face.


        Take Ox Body, they said! Not me. I started our game with Kalara having maybe one level of it, if any. I learned the hard way when a spoopy tree creature nearly one-shot my gal towards the beginning of our game.


        This is what happens when you ignite your bag of firedust on the tree spirit's face and get its undivided attention! It critical rolled and punched a hole right through my squishy Eclipse Caste. Our Night Caste, Night Locust, wasn't near this amused in-game, but I've dramatized the moment for comedic effect.


        And to add insult on top of injury, she still had to translate languages for everyone for the rest of the scene with a gaping hole in her torso.

        (If you're wondering why Kalara looks different, she was in disguise as Koh, a rebel bandit leader, early on in our game.)







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        • #79
          Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Magical Materials

          I'm less experienced with environment and object art, so I was excited to push my comfort zone with these next few topics!

          Solars resonate best with Orichalcum, gold that has been infused with the radiance of the Unconquered Sun, himself.

          For this topic, I explored different approaches to portraying this metal, from a manuscript page talking about the alchemical processes involving mystic mirrors you can use to create it to the natural quarries high in the mountains where the sun's radiance blesses the 'blood of the earth' (magma) to create naturally occurring orichalcum.

          I also chose a more Hindu-inspired depiction of the Unconquered Sun, as he's usually more Roman-inspired in the setting.




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          • #80
            Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Favorite Weapon - The Eyes of Lord Automeris

            In one adventure, Kalara and her Circle of Solars faced off against their dark counterparts, the Abyssal Deathknights of the Walker in Darkness. Kalara's opponent in this battle was Crown of Thorns on the Head of the King Who Never-Was who wielded warfans.

            Called the Eyes of Lord Automeris, when Crown of Thorns activated his weapon, the souls trapped in the soulsteel would writhe and wail silently on the surface while a conspicuously closed eye on the fans would open fully, revealing a terrible red eye that allowed him to impose his will on others, while also filling them with fear. The fans were inspired by the Automeris moth with its shocking eye markings that look like a starry sky.



            Thankfully, Kalara was able to use her strong will to shrug off Crown of Thorns' mental attack and end the Deathknight in a flurry of shots from her prayer piece guns before he could impose his will again. Despite their short battle, I never forgot the sheer coolness of this Deathknight's fans created by my Storyteller.






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            • #81
              Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Warstrider

              We never discovered the Warstriders of our characters' First Age Incarnations in our campaign, so this was an opportunity to let my imagination run wild!

              The sketches explore moments in time, from Kalara discovering the warstrider enshrined in a hidden temple where she meditates to bond with it, to her finally being accepted by this sentient weapon.

              The warstrider itself was a very spontaneous design inspired by Kalara's connection to fire, the warstrider having fire hair and other elemental connections in its ornate swirls. I imagine in battle this warstrider sends her floating wings out for slashing damage or to use as a mechanism for ricocheting energy shots in normally impossible angles. She is as yet unnamed (I'm open to suggestions!)

              I had to stop myself from making more thumbnails because I can see so many more moments spent earning this warstrider's trust or other scenes of derelict warstriders blended with the low tech world that has sprung up around them.




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              • #82

                My next Exalted Art Challenge compilation has arrived a week early for Patrons! Explore imagery for a most unexpected Familiar, the mischievous Peacat, and more.

                See the full lore write-ups and more images for the topics at the post:
                https://www.patreon.com/posts/44933499




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                • #83
                  The next batch of Patreon Early Access art from the Challenge has gone public, so begin the next flood of Exalted Art Challenge topics!

                  Familiar - Mice of the Sun

                  I thought I'd end up drawing something flashy like a phoenix or some other impressive mystical animal, but the Mice of the Sun stole my heart because I enjoy the contrast of such a small creature with such loyalty to the Solar and unexpected power in their tiny forms.

                  I decided to make the sun on their backs more prominent and to also give them a little flame shrew tail when they're using their powers.



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                  • #84
                    Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Beastpeople

                    I'm not very experienced in drawing animals, so this was a tough topic for me. It ended up being pretty fun, in the end!

                    I couldn't resist drawing Beastpeople of the majestic Secretary Bird and a very fancy Orchid Mantis gal. (How many of you noticed her eyes are her hair buns?)




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                    • #85
                      Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Animal - The Peacat

                      Now we have the mischievous Peacat, an original creature of my own creation! These fickle creatures prowl the streets of the city of Chiaroscuro at night stealing food and causing general mayhem. It is said they are beloved of Luna for their night-time activities and beauty, a connection echoed in the moonlike feather markings in their tails and crests.

                      Local custom tells that if you leave food offerings for a Peacat, it could bring you luck and blessings. It could just as easily make a home of your dwelling where your most beautiful things may end up destroyed because the Peacat would prefer to be the most beautiful thing there. Either way, better to have a Peacat's favor than naught! However, it is a sin against Luna to try to domesticate them.

                      The Delzhan honor these creatures too, for once upon a time, a Peacat led the Tri-Khan's ancestors out of a night-time storm in the desert, even if some say it was because of the promise of food from the caravan.

                      Though they can be a menace, they are accepted as a fact of city life.

                      Storytellers, you are free to use Peacats as background fluff! I hope to one day add them to the STV along with other The Uncrucified-related story resources, but that's a long ways out still. Perhaps once that happens, toss a few bucks my way then once they've been properly statted, otherwise, have at and have fun!





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                      • #86
                        Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Demon

                        I chose Mara the Shadow Lover and a particularly crafty Neomah for this topic! I've shown Mara in the great tree in Malfeas that serves as her home, along with a concept for the spiral she marks her disciples with.

                        This particularly crafty Neomah appears in The Uncrucified, a sorceress and self-proclaimed artist practicing her craft in the dark parlors of Gem.



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                        • #87
                          Exalted Art Challenge Sketches - Manses


                          At the heart of the city of Dinas Rhydd lies the ruins of a great Solar manse complex where the campaign involving Kalara and her friends took place. Despite the war that had reduced the once-great city to rubble, the central control room remained a marvel of engineering and splendor. The day our band of disparate outcasts sat in the thrones of their Castes was the day that marked the beginning of the city's revival from its ashes.

                          The Manse of Verdant Wyrm's Heart rises from atop a Wood-aspected demense. This great tree's roots produce a priceless green jade, while a bustling city has risen within its branches and in the shadow of its great canopy. The Heart is ruled by a powerful Outcaste Dragon Blooded Wood Aspect who has ruled for generations, providing his citizens with safety and wealth. This is yet another location invented by our Storyteller for a game revolving around Sidereal hopefuls preparing for their new destinies in the Celestial Bureaucracy.




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                          • #88
                            Exalted Art Challenge - Landmark & Signature Character

                            AHHH can't believe I'm almost done with this challenge! Only a few topics left now!

                            This one's a 2 for 1 topic collection. First we have the harbor of Chiaroscuro with its famous dual lighthouses & blue glass breakwaters. Kalara spent a lot of time overlooking this place during her time in the city as a slave.

                            For Signature Character, we have Novia Claro, a mysterious Night Caste. I don't know much about her, but I love her look and wanted to try my hand at drawing her.




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                            • #89
                              The 2nd to last topic for the Exalted Art Challenge is "Favorite Stunt". I decided to go Extra by doing a mini comic to show Kalara's stunt of initiating combat in the most rude way. In the climax of our campaign's first season, The Walker in Darkness invaded the town of our Circle of Solars by building a Shadowland right under their noses beneath the earth. After dueling his Deathknights, we were 'cordially invited' to dinner with Walker where this stunt began.

                              Some WIPs of this comic's storyboards:









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                              • #90
                                Another WIP of a style test with screentones using Clip Studio Paint:



                                WIP of one side of the dinner table of Solars featuring Demi the Dawn Caste in her power armor and Night Locust the Night Caste sniffing the glass for poison.




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