D&D/ Character illustration Commissions

I’m open for commissions!

Character Portrait

IMG_0903IMG_0924

Tarot Style £20

IMG_0913

Party/group picture £25 for four characters, £5 for each additional character

IMG_0921

Maps: World and Local, prices depend on size and detail. Drop me a message!

IMG_0513

Archive23: The Knucker Hole Dragon

This summer may be full of weird cult activity and necromancer shennanigans, but the Seaflower Institute still has normal work to do.

Well, comparatively normal, I mean. Like, going to check up on an ancient dragon. That kind of normal.

The village of Lyminster in West Sussex is home to Knucker Hole, a supposedly bottomless blue pool. It was in this pool, the legend goes, that the Knucker lived; a fearsome dragon that tormented the local villages, until it was eventually slain- either by a knight in the traditional fashion, or a cunning baker via a poisoned pie.

Lyminster Church stained glass window depiction the slaying of the Knucker Hole monster


More likely, the dragon activity subsided due to the dragons hibernation cycle, which typically involves napping for a few hundred years.


Aerial view of the hole- thanks google!


We like to keep an eye on the Knucker, so every five years or so, someone goes to check its still alive- and this time it was me and Jesper’s turn. So, armed with dragon repellent and welly boots, we ventured to sussex.

The farmers whose livestock graze in the surrounding fields are certainly taking no chances- as Jesper found out when he accidentally touched the stock fencing.

The pool is pretty secure behind a high gate and barbed wire-topped fence. We were let in, and stood at the edge of the water like two clueless kids on the doorstep of an ancient monster.


One living dragon? Check. Lets not do that again.

Archive22: Kedoaken

‘Look!’ Keeley shoved her handheld ORCID into Lesley’s face.

‘Good morning to you too, Claremont,’ Lesley said, taking a step back so that her eyes would actually focus on the screen. Keeley was practically bouncing up and down with urgency. Lesley grabbed her wrist to keep the handheld still.

sketch1502917498130

It was was a photo of a wall, with a very familiar symbol painted on it.

Lesley groaned. ‘Evelyn is going to be thrilled.’

 

Evelyn was not thrilled at all. She scrunched up her fists, leant back into her chair and went uuuurgh– which, coming from evelyn was basically a temper tantrum.

Then she produced her own photo.

‘This was pinned to our door this morning.’

sketch1502964902736

‘Is that a… corn dolly?’ Keeley asked. ‘It’s kind of cute. Some little cultist probably spent a lot of time on that! Where is it now?’

‘Jesper whisked it off somewhere- I think he’s dissecting it. I took the photos for the archive, if my dear brother actually turns up for work today.’ She peered at her ORCID owlishly, ever the long-suffering responsible sibling.

If it were up to Lesley, she’d just kick him out.

That’s probably why is wasn’t up to Lesley.

‘…I was just about to ask where Bartholomew was,’ Keeley said. ‘Are you sure he’s not just sleeping in the archives again?’

‘I checked the usual spots- besides, I actually heard him leave last night.’

‘Just…with all of this cult thing, it’s probably a good idea if we keep track of everyone. And not wander around Revery in the dark alone, like, ever.’ Keeley sounded worried. 

‘Or,’ Lesley said, ‘We could let him get murdered by ritual sacrifice. Then I wouldn’t have to do it myself.’

sketch1502966860489 copy

Archive19: Blood Donation

A photo diary entry by Thursday Madaki

So, when I joined the SFI no one mentioned the ritual blood-letting. And, since then, it’s only been mentioned in passing- until the other day, when Evelyn said it was time to renew the Whistman contract.

Bartholomew groaned.

‘I’d send someone else,’ Evelyn said, looking unusually sly, ‘but you haven’t left the archives for days and you need the exercise.’

‘Also the guardian will only deal with me.’

‘That too.’

I interrupted then-

‘What contract?’

Instead of answering my question, Evelyn spoke to Bartholomew.

‘You should take her along.’

I hate it when they do that, like I’m the kid in a group of adults. I mean- I am, technically. But I hate being talked about like I’m not there.

Bartholomew was pulling a face like he was going to say no, so I spoke before he could.

‘I’d love to go!’

 

If only someone had mentioned it would involve hiking, and creepy blood drinking goat fairies.

 

Wistmans wood is only half an hour of walking from the main road, but that’s half an hour too much for my liking. I’m not really the biggest fan of the great outdoors, although I can appreciate Dartmoor’s weird brand of bleak beauty.

20170720_115514

The drive to get there had been long, made longer by the fact that Jesper listens to recordings of scientific lectures whilst he drives.

Bartholomew and I played i-spy, but he said I cheated when ‘something beginning with A. M.’ turned out to be ‘abject misery’ because it was on HIS face and therefore he couldn’t spy it.

20170720_115446

The reason we were driving all this way, then walking over uneven, ankle-twisting moorland, was because in the in the middle of nowhere is the kind of place you find a faerie who goes on vicious murdering rampages if you don’t check in on him every once in awhile.

The first contract was made in 2001, after a farmer who walked in the wood came home to find his sheep gone without a trace. Hikers were poked with invisible pins, and a young couple who carved their names into a tree drowned mysteriously in a shallow pool.

Evelyn, just starting out at Seaflower back then, tracked down the creature responsible, and made a deal. A deal that we were now heading out to reinforce.

The woods were beautiful and completely surreal. The entire floor was made up of huge rocks you had to climb and hop between, the trees were dripping with garlands of moss and lichen.

I barked my shins several times as Jesper led the scramble to the far side of the woods, where we stopped before a small cave formed under rocks and tree roots.

Bartholomew took something from his bag, unwrapping it and lying it on the ground. It was a athame- a ritual knife used in witchcraft.

20170720_115348

‘I know you’re there,’ Bartholomew said.

I saw something move in the depths of the dark crevice. Light glinted on a pair of eyes, staring straight back at us.

20170720_115414

To be continued in Sunday’s creature post! Please don’t hate me.

Archive16: Owlmen

What- or who- is The Owl With Tongues?

By B. Moon

The temporary office Elion Okar has set up in the break-room of the Seaflower Institute is a mess, although its creator insists to me it’s a complex system.

‘Each station is a potential connection,’ he says, gesturing to the coffee table as an example. ‘And is broken down into piles- evidence for, evidence against, and what a positive connection would imply.’

He is searching for links in the puzzle of the ‘Owl With Two Tongues’- a mystery that has dogged him since he was an undergrad.

A mysterious amulet found alongside evidence of an ancient sacrificial ritual, dedicated to a being otherwise unheard of, lost to time.

Or is it?

Elion has three favourite possibilities amongst the sea of papers decorating my breakroom floor.

 

Connection Number One: Medieval ‘Owl-faced mad-man’ (Coffee Table)

sketch1498047848692

This woodcut illustration is from the bottom of a page of a 14C manuscript documenting the daily work of a popular bishop.

The accompanying entry recounts the story of a man: ‘for whom his good wife sought help, for he had torn apart his son’s dog, and it he then devoured there upon the ground’.

His wife, understandably concerned, went immediately to the house of the bishop; who accompanied her (along with several strong men recruited from nearby fields).

On their arrival, the party were alarmed at the man’s condition:

“we looked upon an owlfaced mad-man, naked and scrabbling in the fresh turned sod for worms, which he consumed with vigor’.

The man reportedly died after spending several days restrained. The bishop eventually came to a conclusion in his writings as to the cause of the man’s affliction:

‘punishment for a meddling in the occult… serving idols and false gods that are not Him… and bargaining with fairies and devils for knowledge his mind could not hold.’

 

Connection Number Two: Scottish ‘Lightning King’ (Counter next to the sink)

Found in a sealed off cave system, the Lightning King has always been overshadowed by the other paintings in the Blue Worm Cavern. The bold blue dragons distracted from the cracked stick man and his faded throne of skulls.

Its debated what of this mysterious figure is the original etching and what is cracks in the dry rock face- but there is an undeniable resemblance to the symbol involved in the recent Revery necromancer activity.

 

Connection Number Three: The Owlman of Mawnan (Floor to the left of the door)

cornish owlman
1976 drawing of the first owlman sighting

(the-line-up.com)

This connection has the least evidence to connect it, but it’s my favourite because i have a fondness for cryptids.

The Owlman is a folkloric creature sighted in Cornwall in 1976, around a church built on prehistoric earthworks. Reportedly (from several different accounts) the owlman is a feathered birdman with huge eyes, pointed ears, and pincer hands (see Morgawr: The Monster of Falmouth Bay by Anthony Mawnan-Peller).

 

Will we ever find out about this ancient being? Part of me hopes not; but I fear that the Owl With Tongues is not done with this world yet.

sketch1497973352063
Jesper’s moth subjects continue to grow. Ugh.

Archive16: Aftermoth

1

‘Whatever you do,’ Lesley said, announcing her presence in Evelyn’s office doorway, ‘don’t touch Jesper’s sample jars. He damn near tore my ears off.’

‘So that’s what the racket was about.’ Evelyn looked up from her desk for the first time in what felt like hours, and was possibly even longer. She had to blink a few times before Lesley came into focus.

‘What a mess.’

Was she talking about Jesper? The mutating moth corpses? The undercurrent of tension? The political fallout from their open day disaster?

Maybe it was just the state of her desk.

Lesley cleared a space amongst the scattered papers and receipts, and gently plonked a steaming mug of coffee down in it.

‘You need a fuel break,’ she said. ‘Did you even go home last night?’

‘Vale is putting us through the ringer over this,’ Evelyn said, neatly sidestepping the fact that yeah okay, she slept in her office. ‘He wants to get us shut down. He might even succeed.’

‘Pfff,’ Lesley snorted. ‘He’s tried before.’

‘Yeah well, the mysterious disappearance of our guy full of moths might just cinch it for him. They don’t believe he even existed. Without a body…’

She ducked too late as Lesley cuffed her cheek with a gentle hand.

‘Chin up Evie. Henry Vale might be holding your soul hostage, but we’ve got his balls in a vice. If he gets us shut down, he’s got to foot the bill for his own occult special unit. And that means less money to slip into his own pocket.’

From upstairs came the sound of raised voices. Lesley rolled her eyes.

‘Damage control to the first floor,’ she said into an imaginary walkie-talkie. ‘Seriously, love. We’ll be okay.’

Evelyn hoped she was right.

2

 

Archive15: Open Day Part 2

Capture

(Warning: This post contains horror elelments)

Bartholomew was showing a disinterested audience how to feed a mottled bee-eater, and getting progressively more irritable about it.

‘Eat the nice, crunchy bluebottle please!’ he said through a forced smile, waving said snack, dead and impaled on a cocktail stick, under the bee-eater’s nose. The creature was far more interested in escape, or maybe rifling through the visitors’ bags to see if they had any actual bees.

‘I guess she’s not hungry!’ he said, trying to be heard over the chattering group. ‘I’ll put her back in the cage and… ‘

Honestly, why were they even here if they didn’t want to listen? He rubbed his brow, trying to banish the beginnings of a headache.

‘Okay, come on,’ he said, when the noise just increased. ‘Chanting, really? Is now the time—‘

Okay, in hindsight?  Perhaps he should have been a bit more alarmed by the chanting.

He caught a brief glimpse of the chanter before everything went to hell: young man, gaunt, sickly looking, eyes bloodshot, black sweater with a red decal on the front.

Their eyes made contact. Bartholomew was going to say something witty about not needing a note to leave his class.

But instead the guy’s chest burst open and a swarm of moths emerged, which changed the mood considerably.

The sheer force and volume of the moths knocked everyone off their feet. He could see nothing but a whirl of bloody wings, soft fluttering bodies knocking against him all over. His mouth and nose burned with a smell he couldn’t begin to identify.

He hardly noticed the bee-eater claw herself from his hand and, with a delighted shriek and a gaping mouth, dive into the fray.

Bartholomew covered his face with his arms, and tried to move to where the door should be. Maybe. He thought? He tripped on something- on someone, nearly losing his balance.

A man stared up at him, a cut on his forehead and unfocused eyes, wheezing for breath against the godawful stink. His hand grasped at his shirt pocket. Probably where he kept his soul, Bartholomew thought, coughing as he hauled the man up onto his feet. Protecting their soul was normally the first instinct in a situation like this.

Bartholomew touched the locket hanging against his chest beneath his shirt. It was little comfort.

Bartholomew shoved the man in front of him, hoping he was steering in the right direction. The moths made it hard to tell what way was up, even, with all their swirling and diving and black spots yawning like mouths coming to eat…

Hmm, no. That part was probably him losing consciousness? And that would explain why the floor was suddenly under his back instead of his feet. It helped with the spinning for a moment, but then he realised the moths were landing on him, on his face and his mouth and the smell, the smell
Continue reading “Archive15: Open Day Part 2”

Archive14: Open Day Part One

sketch1496338338815

 

As she did every year, Evelyn spent most of open day waiting for something to go wrong.

The flow of people coming through the doors was steady, but not overwhelming. Evelyn had done her welcome talk, and lead two of the hourly tours. She’d made a hundred teas and coffees, nipped out to the bakery next door to replenish the biscuits, and so far had only had to apologise to one visitor for Jesper’s… abrupt demeanour.

Ruffled feathers had been soothed, and Evelyn was feeling rather good about it all.

It was then she noticed the smell.

‘Oh my- Lesley, do you smell that?’ It snagged on the back of her tongue, she fought back a cough. On second thoughts, it was less of a smell and more of a hand shoving something rotting down her throat and squirting lemon juice in her eyes for good measure.

Around her, other people started coughing.

Lesley grabbed her shoulder.

‘Get’emout,’ she told evelyn between hacking coughs. Out of the corner of her eye, Evelyn saw that Thursday was already herding visitors to the front door.

‘The others,’ Evelyn said. ‘Jesper. Barty—‘ as she spoke, she heard footsteps on the stairs, then Jesper appeared in the doorway, shirt pulled up over his mouth and looking more pissed off than usual.

Keeley should be out in the greenhouse, and she’d hopefully have the good sense to stay there. Which just left Bartholomew, who… was currently running the feeding demo in the archives.

Downstairs.

‘The cellar!’ she said to Lesley, who nodded and as one they pushed through the panicking bottleneck of people to the stairwell.

As they went down, the smell got worse. Like old blood, curdled milk and piss and… superglue.

Trust her little brother to end up in the middle of the chaos. Typical Barty.

Lesley came to an abrupt stop at the bottom of the stairs. In the poor light, Evelyn thought at first that the archive door was shut. But no, it looked wrong- like it was rippling, heaving, wriggling.

She switched on the light, and it caught silver on a thousand twitching wings.

The doorway was full of moths.

sketch1496344617325

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑