The next HarnQuest will be printed this Tuesday with shipping beginning shortly after. This release has a nice variety of articles including Arathel Castle, Onden Keep, Ruins on the Silver Way, and Xerle Chapterhouse of the Checkered Shield (an expansion to the Dyrisa article).
I thought I would post about some of the work from Xerle.
"Xerle is a chapterhouse of the Order of the Checkered Shield. The order holds the manor from the Serekela (archbishop) of Kanday. Xerle is home to a commandery, or half-chapter, of five melana (knights) and 10 meken (common men-at-arms). The Xerle chapter is charged with patrolling the King’s Way."
First thing I do, after skimming the article of course, is to load the
map into Google Sketchup and rough out a model of the complex. I do tend to get carried away on these models since it is kind of blast to do, but I am getting pretty fast and have a collection of components stored I can reuse. Sketchup has a cool animation feature which makes it very easy to do a quick fly around of the model.
The idea for the cover page image was to have the Larani soldiers gathering for the morning patrol. Of course "Chivalry, honor, and duty are characteristics of the Order of the Checkered Shield, a fighting order dedicated to the goddess Larani, the Shieldmaiden of the Worthy Cause", but that doesn't mean they are above stringing up some poor bastard in the woods to coax out some answers. I did an image of the patrol questioning a suspect. At first drew him being strung up by the neck. I figured it was confusing and looks too much like they are administering frontier justice.
I changed it to the having him being painfully hoisted with his arms behind his back. Also, it's probably easier to answer questions this way than with a rope around your neck. As the process is sometimes in flux, writing and art happening together. That with my desire to cram art into every orifice of the article resulted in me drawing an image that would not fit into the latest article. So, I had to squeeze that tree down a bit to fit the space. Here is the final image with some color. Pretty sure this guy will talk.