Ultima Online, again

The interior of the Pyramid was only three stories high... the forth was used to create the illusion of three or four more stories on top of the actual living space.
The first floor was the working space, with crafting equipment for blacksmithing and tailoring, the two main professions in UO. There was also a mock stable with a stable hand, and in the kitchen, there was a cook. You could purchase NPC's and give them things to say in response to keywords spoken in their presence... the cook and the stable hand were that sort of NPC.

This was an early shot of the second floor... the dining room and seating area remainded the same, but the rest of the area was eventually filled out with more homey appointments as well. In UO, there was no global Auction House system, but you could place personal vendors in your home to sell your stuff at prices you set. The suit of armor was one such vendor. I always sold reasonably nice stuff I looted off my victims or stole at rock bottom prices to the benefit of my friends (who were the only ones who would visit my god-forsaken corner of nowhere).

The third floor was largely decorative and went thru many itterations. The entire floor eventually became a library designed to show off my collection of system generated and player-authored books, as well as a lot of the curiosities I had accumulated.

The one element of the third floor that always remained the same was this garden terraced room... the glowing orbs made the room a very nice space to be in at night. The Pentagram in the center concealed a teleport-pad that would send people to the 'top' of the forth floor.


Heir's Folly- the doodle

Most of my larger works started as a doodle in the CoT. Heir's Folly was no exception:


Heir's Folly

Properly scanned and uploaded now, This is probably my best 'completed' work so far, in my opinion at least.

This is actually a second piece based on a previous, the subject of which can be seen as a silhouette against the moon in the background. Unfortunately, this drawing took center stage in my mind and the other fell by the way-side... a story most artists can tell many times over. I still work on the other drawing occasionally, but it lacks the sense of urgency this drawing had.


Ultima Online

One of the coolest things about Ultima Online was the custom homes.

The biggest houses had only four floors, but if you were clever, you could make them appear to have more than four, and if you worked at it, you could create the illusion of features like a working dock too.

The Pyramid was my main residence. It was also only four floors, but it looked like it was seven stories tall. The interior was comfortable and homey, unlike the dock-house. The Dock-House was just a warehouse for my ill gotten gains, so the 'feel' of that place was never important.


King of Pain

The words KING and PAIN are mirrored images of each other. The dagger forms the word 'of '. This was done about 10 years ago. In the animated version, the KING/PAIN revolve around the dagger.


The Banquet

The lavender clad porters bowed out behind golden doors as the spectacle we had all long awaited began with the ceremonious music's first reverberations filling the hall, our heads, and indeed, our very souls. Seemingly solid wave-forms of sound emerged and engulfed, drawing us into the haunting tones of the spectral composition that dominated this, the grandest of all halls in the palatial estate of the Forever Non-Existent-but-Always, Master of the Infinite-Nothing, The All-at-Once-and-Never, Lizard King.

This was his affair and our expectations would doubtlessly be exceeded as the festivities intensified through-out the evening, always seemingly at their greatest apex, only to rise to higher and higher levels still, until the lightening of the eastern sky would signal the coming of the Dawn Beast. The fiery golden orb would herald the conclusion to the chaotic splendor, and our bodies, minds, and souls would embrace the gentle lull of the dreamless, death-like slumber that we would come to so richly deserve.

The invisible servants brought out a tray of immense proportion, made of an opalescent material, refracting a myriad of lights, shimmering with the beauty of the Aura-Borealis in the most violent photon rage of the Dawn Beasts history. Without the slightest disturbance to the carefully laid out table settings, unseen hands placed the giant covered platter in the center of the huge table.

Scents of seasonings so perfect and exotic that they inspired an erotic and nearly orgasmic reaction from those present wafted across the great hall. The undulation of pleasure from the mere aroma of this feast was already in excess of the loftiest critic’s expectations, and, in fact, the feast had yet to begin. Intonations of the ascension in mood and spirit were carried through the shimmering, pulsing air on waves of sound that teased and alluded to a crescendo, a climax to be long and rich, an eternity made of a single perfect moment.

A silhouetted hand slid through the steam pressing out from beneath the smooth rounded cover, feeling along the surface to find a hold by which to raise the throbbing, sweat-shrouded dome. In a raptured daze the party collectively took a deep breath of anticipation as the tempo aligned to the soft pulsing aura of the platter. With the luminous throbbing, the tempo gained from the driving roll of long ocean waves to the ready pulse of expectant lovers. A susurrus wave of hastened breaths and soft panting began in the guests as the steady acceleration of the tempo reverberated through us all, caressing our bodies, wooing our souls.

A cacophony of shattering crystal and intense screams rang through the hall as the tempo broke into a blanket of hard white noise, the now lurid crimson dome shot skyward, releasing a thick fog of succulent vapor, and staining the hall blood red. The aroma of the feast was full upon us, and the intensity of it was far beyond mortal pleasure's comprehension. The intensity of the screams belied more than mere orgasm, they were our efforts to remain cognant and aware of who and what we were, to not yield to the absolute darkness of release. The chaos ensued for what could pass for a lifetime--for a score of lifetimes. In the haze of the feast an innumerable orgy of pleasures gripped us, each intensifying until it became an unbearable Hell, and salvation was only a new pleasure, another wave crashing on our over-stimulated bodies, minds, and souls.

This was indeed no ordinary gathering, that was already quite certain, and as the mist dissipated and the ocean's waves ebbed, the realization of exactly why began to dawn on us all. This was to be the grandest feast, the most intense of banquets. Every bite was to be a new apex, every morsel a transcendent high. No words would pass as the entire congregation devoutly devoured the sacrament in abandon, reveling in the experience. This was the Lizard Flesh Banquet, and the main course, there amidst a garnish of exotic fruits and delicate blossoms, was no less than the elusive Broiled Host.

With the arrival of dawn, and the passage into a dark and forgiving slumber, we quietly and for one last time, thanked our Immaculate and most intensely Now-and-For-Never Friend, Host, and Main Course, The Lizard King.


Horns of a dilemma

Always wanted to do this as a finished piece.


The Gate (incomplete)

Streaks of wispy white clouds smear across the early morning sky. Gold, rose, and violet hued auras dance along the eastern horizon as the fiery dawn-beast emerges from a dark and silvery sea. The crisp smell of mountain pines and rocky scrub comes alive in the thin air as calls of morning birds filter up through the sparse conifers of the rocky spine from the lush oak and maple choked saddles below.
Two dark, cloaked and hooded figures stand still in this grandeur, seemingly afraid to break the spell of the moment. The first stands tall and strait, arms akimbo and legs planted shoulder width and solid, facing the rising sun and basking in the refreshing warmth of newborn day. The other, hunched and leaning heavily on a gnarled, capped staff faces northward, catching only sidelong rays from the sun. A trap of logic, an equation of power, draws his attention away from the splendor of dawn.

Following the gaze of the wizened figure northward, a menacing black edifice is seen to loom some 40 yards distant. All signs of life dissipate near the linteled arch. It is clearly an anathema to things living and natural. Not even the mottled lichens that cover the stony ground grow near it. Yet there are black and twisted remains of chaparral that dared grow to close in times past. But did these ill fated plants grow there by the whims of the whispering breezes that play across this bleak peak, or did they court the danger… for there is an attraction in this thing, as much as it repels.
The monument stands as high as three men, with harsh, irregular angles and sharp, precise edges. It is comprised of two inclined columns and a heavy horizontal beam, cantilevered one against another. As immovable and solid as it seems, there is a sense of frailness in its construction that suggests it could topple at any moment. Numerous glyphs and sigils that reflect the dawn's light break the polish of the arch's dark marbled surface. A feeling escapes from it that hints of a power that should not be contained, a dark and viscous aura that is a poison to innocence.


While I am at it:

I used to be a forum moderator, and made signature panels for myself, and some of my colleagues and friends, for use on the old Stratics forums Almost all of these are just stolen graphics that have been collaged or sampled to fit the format, but I am none-the-less proud of the effort.

Signature panels I used:
The first three were stolen graphics with my text and some fancy edging.
This one was a single image with recomposited components for the desired effect. The text was carefully skewed to give it a carved look.The 'blood' pouring out of the skull and coating the knife were recolored green to give it a 'poison' look. Text applied and some fade on the edges... the trick here was to find a typeface that would compliment the curves and lines already present in the original artwork.This one was a challenge. The original image had an elaborate skull motif on the helm, and other dramatic embellishments on the armor.
Signature panels for friends:
I spent a great deal of time selecting and collaging the various images together, selecting a typeface, and tweaking the text for the desired effect. Also, the man on the right began as a color photo, and was tweaked into a 'woodcut' image.The next three were never used, despite the effort of compositing background elements and giving the text a rich depth.These two were cropped, bordered, and text applied. Slam Dunk.These were for the same person. Subtle differences in the filtering on the image, and text, but basically a two-fer for me.Another one never used... the background was heavily tweaked to get a desirable effect. This was for an obnoxious girl who tried to get a bunch of 'free' signaturesby having a contest. I submitted one done in MS paint that looked horrible... it won. Shame drove me to make a decent signature panel for her.Unused Starters:
These were formatted with the intent of applying text as willing victims were found. Most have had their dimensions stretched or image components repeated to fill the width of the panel. A couple were just cropped. Arranged in order of most-to-least work.