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TitleA is for Aquamancer
UserTrakis
RankingWinner
Post Date (Visible)December 2021
Content

A is for Aquamancer

Written and illustrated by: Trakis

** A small, watercolor doodle of a golden retriever at the beach accompanies the author and illustrator’s byline. He has left a trail of wet pawprints in the sand, giving the impression he has recently returned ashore from a swim. **

A is for Aquamancer. Aquamancers use the element of water to help their friends, and heal those who are hurt.

** An illustration of a young Merian woman, wearing a set of simple white robes, and wielding an Aquamancer's distinctive coral staff covers the bottom half of the page, below the large font text. Warm, inviting water splashes around her in gentle waves, drawn to give the reader a sense of playful motion. The water is colored the light green-blue of the shallows of the Inner Sea, and three tiny smiling jellyfish can be spotted in the trough of the waves. The faint trace of a smile plays across the fine features of the Aquamancer in the illustration, seemingly on the cusp of breaking out into a radiant expression of joy. **

B is for the Basin of Life. In ancient times, Hallifax, Gaudiguch, and even Magnagora all worked together as part of the Holy Celestine Empire. The Basin is also home to many peoples who live in the forests of Serenwilde, and Glomdoring.

** A large map of the Basin has been drawn on this page. A thick blue outline surrounds the outermost edge of the Basin. There is a large drawing of Pool of Stars, used to mark the location of New Celest. The locations of Hallifax, and Gaudiguch have been similarly marked by smaller drawings of the Matrix and the Eternal Flame. The Serenwilde, and Glomdoring Forest have been marked clearly as well. The Mother Moonhart Tree and the Master Ravenwood Tree have been carefully drawn in their approximate geographical locations, each surrounded by a large shaded area (colored grass-green for the Serenwilde, and a darker shade of green for Glomdoring Forest). The Inner Sea has been colored a light blue-green, while to the east, a smaller sea has been shaded a dark midnight blue. Although the Inner Sea has been labeled clearly, there is no label for the darker sea on the map. In the area north of Glomdoring Forest, and east of the unnamed sea, the map has been colored a putrid green-brown. Curiously, the artist has made no indication that anything of note exists there at all. **

C is for Celestia, home to the Light.

** Fine, white sand stretches far into the distance in the illustration for this page. The artist has used many shades of white and gold to give the impression of brilliant light radiating from everything drawn on the page, to the point where the uncolored portions of the page look drab in comparison. A laughing cherub hovers several feet above the ground, his small wings opened to catch the wind off of a pleasant breeze. He has the appearance of a child no older than four or five, and the outline of a faint, golden halo can be made out slightly above the curly brown hair of his head. **

D is for Dolphins, the princes and princesses of the sea.

** In contrast to the white sands of Celestia depicted on the previous page, this page is almost completely blue, depicting an underwater scene. A sleek, majestic-looking dolphin is the focal point of the illustration, its body rippling as it uses its powerful muscles to speed through the shallows. Upon closer inspection, you can see a necklace around its neck. The hanging seashell charm trails slightly behind the dolphin. The tips of brightly colored coral formations peek out from the bottom of the page, which provide the drawing (and your eyes) a welcome splash of color. **

E is for Elohora, Lady of the Eternal Light, and Supreme amongst the Supernals.

** An illustration of a regal throne room with walls of white marble accompanies the text on this page. Drawn from the viewpoint of someone standing before the Throne of Brilliance, readers who have witnessed the presence of Elohora in person will notice that many smaller details have been faithfully rendered, such as various cherubs, devas, and archangels carved into the frame of the throne. Rays of golden light have been drawn radiating outwards from the large throne, drawing your eyes to the brilliant silhouette seated upon it. The well-proportioned feminine figure has been outlined slightly in golden yellow, to make it easier to distinguish the silhouette of the Lady of the Eternal Light from the other bright elements in the illustration. From the outline, Elohora is seated upright in her throne, holding command over the throne room with a noble bearing. One arm is extended outwards, in a welcoming gesture. **

F is for the Festival of Lights

** Bright lights from fireworks overhead illuminate a lively festival. Children holding hands run excitedly from stall to stall, holding delectable looking snacks, while their parents trail behind, conversing amongst themselves. Carefully designed fireworks explode in the sky into intricate patterns, forming stars, various critters of the Inner Sea, and even a decently recognizable approximation of Lady Elohora. Music notes have been drawn in the air, floating away from the bustling scene on the ground, and up towards the firework and star lit sky. **

G is for the Collective of Glomdoring, home of the Wyrd, and our steadfast allies. To its enemies, it is known as the Forest of No Mercy, but you do not have anything to fear.

** A dark, shadowy forest has been drawn here, with a color palette much darker than most of the other pages in this book. Fifty shades of browns and grays form a dense forrestal scene, with dark, twisted trees stretching endlessly into the distance. All manner of vines, fungi, and vividly colorful flowers grow in the shade of the forest floor, or the few spots where there is enough of a break in the canopy for some sunlight to seep through. If you look carefully, you can see dozens of shadow faelings flitting about on bat-like wings above the forest floor. One of the faelings that has been drawn closest to the artist extends a hand towards the reader with her mouth turned upwards to form a mischievous smile. **

H is for the great city Hallifax, home to our friends, the Lucidians and the Trill.

** An array of floating, crystalline geometric shapes comprise an interconnected matrix of structures in this illustration. An enormous amount of effort has been spent on rendering the geometric patterns that form the surface of the crystal surfaces, and approximating the way the light refracts from the mirrored surface of each structure. Small walkways connect the structures at various levels. The effect is a dazzling cityscape that strains believability, if not for the fact that it exists in fact. **

I is for Inquisition, the way we judge right from wrong.

** The illustration that accompanies this page is the scene of a trial in progress, but nearing its conclusion. A kneeling human in soiled prison garb prostrates himself before a wise looking merian, clearly asking wordlessly for mercy. A crowd of observers look on expectantly; their faces are equal parts pity, and concern. The merian judge holds a thick tome in one hand, perhaps a code of laws. The book is closed, likely already having been consulted. The judge’s other hand is outstretched, as if he is about to absolve the penitent of their sins. His mouth is open, ready to deliver the verdict which will either set the prisoner free, or condemn him to burn in the Light of Celestia. But which? **

J is for Japhiel, one of the five Holy Supernals. He teaches us the importance of wisdom, justice, and enlightenment.

** Japhiel, the Illuminator of Merciful Justice has been drawn on this page, standing on the familiar white sands of Celestia. This artist’s interpretation of Lord Japhiel depicts a kindly old man, gazing at the reader with benevolent eyes, colored blue like a clear summer sky. His right arm clutches a thick tome to his chest with an ornate, gilded cover. He wears a simple white robe, matching his mane of silky white hair, and luxurious white beard. A braided golden cord is tied around his waist. Despite his apparent age, his exposed arms are well defined with lean muscle, and he stands with the self assurance of one who is confident in his own strength. **

K is for the Keeper of the Pool. Day and night, Meleris keeps watch over our Nexus.

** An ancient looking merian has been drawn from the waist up. Large, orb-like eyes the color of the wine-dark sea stare intensely into the distance. It is sometimes said that Meleris looks somewhat Lucidian, and though this is not exactly true, his body gives the impression of being carved from marble, and that quality has been faithfully depicted here. Flecks of starlight shimmer in the uncovered portions of deep blue skin, resembling the glimmering of the Pool of Stars. His rugged features are fixed in a motionless look of concentration, and it is likely the artist did not have to work very hard to get his subject to stand still. Finely detailed robes containing threads of gold and platinum hang from the Keeper’s body; not a crease or wrinkle in sight. **

L is for the Light of Celestia, which shines down upon us, and blesses us.

** The interior of the Deep Blue Cathedral has been drawn below the text on this page. Though the inside of the cathedral is quite dark, Light shines through a prominent stained glass window decorated with the Star of Celest, casting rays of blues, whites, and yellows on a spot near the altar. At the center of the star, a merian paladin in shining armour is kneeling. Her hands are stretched outwards, holding a large greataxe in front of her. Her eyes are closed, lips mid-whisper, as she dedicates her weapon in service of the Light in a fervent prayer. **

M is for the Mantle of Starlight, given to the Anointed of Celestia.

** The drawing on this page features a jet black mantle, adorned with dazzling constellations. The celestial bodies shine in stark contrast to the darkness of the mantle. Despite being captured in this moment by the illustrator, slight trails of light have been drawn behind each of the stars, providing a sense of motion as they move slowly across the surface of the mantle. An ivory brooch has been used to fasten the garment at the neck, adjustable with a cord of brilliant white thread **

N is for New Celest, our beautiful city of Light.

** Drawn from a high vantage point, a stylistic drawing of New Celest sprawls across the entire page. Sharp pencil lines form the outlines of buildings in the bustling city. The entire scene has been colored with a pastel palette - creamy browns and ivory tones for the majority of the buildings, occasionally broken up by patches of light green. The Lodestar Athenaeum takes up a significant portion of the foreground of the picture, its distinctive coral columns drawn with great care, suggesting the artist who produced this drawing was looking to the northeast. Slightly behind this structure, towards the middle of the drawing, the Pool of Stars occupies a large, open plaza. White, cobblestone streets extend outwards from this central plaza, each leading towards the outer wall of the city. The four story tall Deep Blue Cathedral looms in the distance. Though the cathedral is small in the page due to its distance, it is still clearly larger than all of the surrounding buildings. Dozens of small figures have also been drawn into the scene, giving the illustration a sense of life. **

O is for Orphans, the charges of Saint Gathlyn.

** Several children wearing matching brown habits are drawn on this page, working together to clean a large chapel. The children have similar haircuts, and dirt covers their hands and faces, but their expressions are happy. A little merian boy can be seen scrubbing away vigorously at the wall with a brush, while a pair of young human girls work a set of mops across the old hardwood floor. A tired but smiling Priestess oversees the cleanup effort while holding a broom. She wears a set of offwhite robes, likely faded from their original snowy white after countless washes. In contrast to the muted, worn nature of everything else in the chapel, the ceiling has been painted brightly to resemble the white sands, stretching endlessly into the horizon. **

P is for the Pool of Stars, our Nexus of Power.

** Several white stones surround a pool of water, perfectly spherical, and glittering with traces of the immense power radiating from deep within the pool. One stone is larger than the  others, and has been inscribed with some text, though the artist has not reproduced it in this illustration. The surface of the water is as dark as the night, punctuated with myriad stars, gleaming like jewels. The stars are a dazzling array of color, ranging from bright whites, to deep reds, vibrant blues, and warm yellows. Swirls of light have been drawn around the Pool, as an approximation of the motes of light that drift upwards from the surface of the Pool. **

Q is for Queen Zenobia, the Queen of Queens

** An illustration of a large kephera queen has been drawn below the text on this page. Though she is the only figure on the page, the relative narrowness of the tunnel sells her enormous size quite effectively. Her carapace shines with a slight multihued sheen, from her powerful, vice-like mandibles to her bulky abdomen, likely filled with eggs containing the next generation of her hive. Two of her arms are raised, as if beckoning for you to approach. **

R is for Raziela, the Loving Radiance. She teaches us to love everyone, and that no one is beyond redemption.

** A young girl has been drawn, standing alone among the white sands of Celestia. She cuts a striking profile, with a white dress that floats behind her, as if lifted gently by a warm breeze. The plain white dress wraps the soft contours of her body gracefully. Long, golden hair frames an angelic face, arranged carefully in tight ringlets. Red, yellow, and white flowers have been woven into her hair, adding some splashes of color to the drawing. Her arms are spread wide, and mouth open, in the middle of singing a glorious hymn. **

S is for Sacraments, the holy rituals of Celestia.

** A Celestine, clad in brilliant robes of the purest white stands on a dais, behind a lectern fashioned of intricately worked coral. Readers who have been inside of the Deep Blue Cathedral would recognize it immediately. Drawn from the point of view of one of the members of the congregation, the priestess looks down at you with eyes that convey a sense of love and encouragement. The priestess has one arm extended outwards from her body, and her hand is upturned so that her palm is facing you. Her mouth is open mid-chant, imparting blessings of Holy Celestia upon her congregation. **

T is for the Tahtetso, the monks of the Light. These monks protect our city, and teach us to live with humility, discipline, and sacrifice.

** Several monks have been drawn on this page, lined up in two neat rows, practicing martial arts under the leadership of a fierce-looking Kephara. Each monk in the illustration is holding their tahto in the same position, high in the air, and preparing to execute a powerful overhead strike. Merians, humans, and kephera make up the majority of the participants, though there is a furrikin and a dwarf in the group as well. Faintly glowing tattoos have been drawn on the arms and legs of each monk, peeking out from beneath plain white training robes. **

U is for the Undervault, home to our friends, the kephera.

** The busy scene occurring in the tunnel of a kephera hive is drawn on this page. In contrast to the brightly colored backdrops for the majority of the illustrations, this page has been inked with a more muted color palette. The tunnel walls are covered with a dull white wax, while kephera move industriously through the foreground of the image. **

V is for Viscanti, the unfortunate victims, corrupted by the Taint. May they be sanctified one day, and once again walk amongst the Light.

** Three viscanti who have clearly seen better days huddle around a fire in the darkness of night, as if desperate for its warmth, and light. They wear derelict rags, ridden with various holes. A faint purple mist of some sort hangs heavy above the ground. Their eyes have been drawn to look sad, staring off into the darkness as if they have lost something forever. Grotesque, leathery wings hang lifelessly from the back of one of the viscanti, while the light purple skin of another is mottled with some sort of skin disease, making the trio quite a sorry sight. Far in the distance, the very first rays of dawn begin to illuminate the horizon, heralding the beginning of a new day. **

W is for the elemental plane of Water, and the Tide Lords who rule.

** Vibrantly colored clouds of yellow, orange, purple and red, float lazily above the text, in the top quarter of the page. Below the text, on the bottom half of the page, is a sea of dark, dark blue, which glows with a mystical light. Though no sun is visible, the light from below the surface of the waves illuminates the brightly colored clouds in the sky above, giving the appearance of a brilliant sunset above. Below, gentle waves rolling across the water create bright spots along its surface, giving the impression of midnight under a canopy of twinkling stars, from which the Starry Sea derives its name. **

X is for Xyl, father of the Lucidians.

** The artist has drawn a crystalline figure here, standing against a dark backdrop. Though the figure has the proportions of a humanoid male, his skin sparkles as light reflects off of its fractal surface. His mouth is open, and eyes widened in an expression of wonder as he studies a crystal in his hand, radiating with a pale lavender light. In the background, though she is not the primary subject of the illustration, the feathered form of Trillillial stands by, observing her mate. **

Y is for You, the future of Celest!

** A thin, circular pane of mirrored glass has been pasted into the center of the page, below the accompanying text. Hand drawn waves of dark blue water crash against the edges of the mirror, sending droplets of water high into the air, and serving as an illustrated frame. The color of the water gets fainter and fainter as it approaches the horizontal edges of the page, until the waves eventually fade into the color of the paper. Looking directly at the mirror, the reader is able to see their own reflection. **

Z is for Zzz, the sound you make when you sleep. Good night to you.

** The moon shines in an open window on the sleeping form of a merian child in this illustration. A bounty of dolls, books, and toys litter the floor, ready for the child’s unsuspecting parents to trip over later in the night. The child’s eyes are closed in the blissful peace of untroubled rest. As a dream of a better tomorrow unfolds before the stage of her closed eyes, a faint smile plays across the young girl’s lips. **

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to the people who have inspired me, encouraged me, and read early copies as I slowly made progress towards finishing this book. Yinuish, Enero, Freja, and Azula, this book would not exist without your help. Thank you.