Blackwood Gazette #262-Lord of Amaranth Rodahn Despartes Vanishes from Imperial Custody

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

27/9/2016- A mere week after his arrest for desecrating the grave of Sir Rigel Rinkenbach, Lord Rodahn Despartes, son of Duchess Amelie of Amaranth, has vanished from custody. The young Lord was being held in the cells below the Imperial Palace.

“It is with great embarrassment that the Palace Guard must admit that we have no idea where he went,” said Francois Coulver, Captain of the Palace Guard. “There is no sign of escape; the cell was still locked tight when we went to check on him. It’s like he just vanished into thin air.”

Duchess Amelie isn’t buying that story.

“A likely story, indeed. Never mind that the palace cells are underground and surrounded by nothing but earth and stone, with a single corridor leading out that is constantly guarded by a platoon of the best guardsmen. A lord does not simply go missing. It’s a travesty that he was even being held down there to begin with. I swear, if anything happens to my boy, I’ll…”

Duchess Amelie didn’t expand on her statement, though we are sure it was made in a moment of grief and suffering.

Despite the brief amount of time that has passed, several theories have already cropped up as to Lord Despartes fate. They range from the banal (and most likely), such as the boy was killed in custody and Empress Bastian is trying to cover it up, to the outlandish (and ever more interesting) that the entire affair is a ruse concocted by the Subterfuge Society to help bring an increasingly unruly Amaranth to heel.

The story gets stranger, however, as several witnesses are said to have seen a young man matching Lord Despartes description being placed into an unmarked carriage in the small hours, accompanied by four men in black uniforms bereft of any insignia or rank. One might be quick to dismiss this rumor as the machinations of night walkers seeking attention. However, a single dockworker is said to have seen a similar carriage approach the river bank just before dawn.

According to this dock worker, a woman briefly entered the carriage. Muffled shouts followed afterward. The woman then exited the carriage and spoke to the driver and several others before leaving. A moment later, the men pulled a limp body from the carriage and placed it in a motor boat that headed east down the river, toward the Sea of Wrecked Beginnings and Bitter Ends. The dock worker did not field questions on whether he thought the unconscious man was Lord Despartes, and refused to discuss the matter further once the name was mentioned. I can’t say I blame the man, given the nature of such events.

Advertisements
Blackwood Gazette #262-Lord of Amaranth Rodahn Despartes Vanishes from Imperial Custody

Book Trailer Update

A few weeks ago, I posted the beginnings of an illustration I planned to use in a trailer for a novel. Well, I’ve been hard at work and thought I’d share how it’s coming along!

Pixie_deskNewshirt_armsI know that it’s taken a while, but I lost about a week’s worth of work when I decided I wasn’t happy with the initial line drawing and tossed it. I’m still finding little things to obsess over (I spent most of yesterday completely re-doing the window in the back ground and just this morning I changed the position of her right arm and some of the detail on the vest). I’m hoping that now that I have a workflow locked down and a firmer concept in my mind of what I want the art work in the trailer to look like, the other images will come much more quickly.

And I just noticed I haven’t shaded the cuff of her left sleeve. Wonderful.

Hope to have more soon!

Book Trailer Update

A Little Preview…

I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to lately, and it looks like my posts will be scarce for a while. I’m about to start my final quarter at the Art Institute of Houston, and I need to focus on polishing and putting together a sizzle reel for potential employers. I’ll also need to focus on my upcoming internship (a requirement for graduation).

I’m also trying to focus on wrapping up some rewrites for a novel I hope to publish by the end of the year, so most of my writing energy is going into that project. As a result, The Shroom Job will be going on hiatus.

The Shroom Job was my first attempt at doing a serialized story, and so far I feel like I’ve failed at it. I was posting as I was writing, and as a result, the story wasn’t as polished or developed as it should have been. It also spun out of control a bit…I intended a five or six part story, and it has gone way past that. Any future endeavors I take in serializing a story will be completed before hand.

In the meantime, I’d like to share some of the first line art and a text template from a new motion graphics project I’m working on, a book trailer for the novel I mentioned above.

Early line art featuring the character of Pixie Sinclaire:

PixieThe completed shot will be painted digitally and feature Pixie, sitting behind a cluttered desk with her feet up. On a separate layer will be a background shot of her office. The shot will feature a slight parallax to give it some dimension, and various animated effects will be composited into the scene to give it some life. Pixie’s an adventurous sort, and a bit of a rogue. I’m aiming for a bit of a noir feel, except in this case the femme fatale is also the private eye.

Proposed template for text inserts (I need to update the map):

vlcsnap-2013-09-15-11h45m19s228These text plates feature animated text over a moving background (the map). The clouds are animated as well, using a turbulent displace effect. I’m unsure of the typeface, as in some shots it looks a little thin and hard to read. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has them.

A Little Preview…

Video-Blackwood Empire Prototype (Keylight Exercise)

Hello, all! This was a project I made for school about a year and a half ago, and it was my first real experience using Keylight in After Effects. We had to come up with a theme, build a matte painting around that theme, and composite ourselves into the scene. I had been kicking around the idea of doing something in the steampunk sub-genre for a while, and came up with this.

This video was also the genesis for ‘Blackwood Empire’, and the character that would eventually become the disgraced Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre. My initial idea was to do something like a kid’s show, complete with catchy songs to earn the eternal ire of parents everywhere, but I have absolutely no idea how to write for children, especially when the protagonist is a drunken pirate, and I don’t have a musical bone in my body, so that was out. So now I’m aiming squarely for that golden PG-13 spot occupied by such pulpy adventure movies like Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Video-Blackwood Empire Prototype (Keylight Exercise)