The Bewitchment of The Enchantress
Lady Drocilla, the Enchantress, is known throughout the basin as the last living keeper of the Song of Creation, and as an artist of the Fourth Circle. Add to it Her part in the coterie with the forbidden elixir, and Her renown in very almost successfully freeing Herself and Her compatriots with Her charm and allure, and it's easy to understand why She is both feared and admired.
Such understanding of Her, however, is shallow at best. I revere and admire the artist, in particular the glory in which She painted the sunset, yet to write Her off as simply a creative is to completely misunderstand Her depths and Her greatness. She is a goddess of great power and cunning, one of subtle machinations and also elaborate displays of might. The Enchantress, Who made sacrifices in the name of saving creation, who destroyed countless malevolent beings, who lured and bewitched elders and lesser creatures alike. She is complex, a gem of many facets, few of which, I believe, we mortals are given access to behold.
I could spend much time espousing Her teachings and Her aspects, but instead I have chosen to share something far more personal - an offering once given, my own artistic interpretation of the way I feel in her presence, or the emotions evoked when considering Her. The sense of anticipation, the bated breath, the wonder and awe and knowledge that something -momentous- is happening in this moment - that is but a glimpse into the emotions the Enchantress inspires. Below is a triptych of paintings, designed to invoke a similar feeling in the viewer, even as honour is given to the majesty that is the sunset.
A Momentous Sunset - Left Scene
Arranged as a triptych work, this painting is the first scene of the trio; each image unique and yet part of a greater whole, arranged and presented together to form one complete picture. A magnificent sunset dominates the firmament, uniting the three paintings as the light in the clear sky dwindles and twilight settles upon the land. The upper reach is rich, dark indigo, pin-pricked with the first stars of evening in fragments of silver, the colours fading and changing in majestic striations as they draw nearer to the horizon; violet, claret, lavender, cobalt, rose and orange painting the heavens. This imagery, made to reside to the left of the triptych depicts an imminent execution. A small crowd of figures stand upon the Northern Gate of Magnagora, huddled in robes and cloaks that are whipped and tugged by the wind along with the vibrant pennants and banners decorating the gate, snapping sharply in the unseen breeze. A convicted taurian looms to the centre, his horned head covered in a sack of rough-spun black wool, and a thick noose is looped tight around his bulging neck. The impassive executioner stands with her hand upon the lever used to operate the trapdoor mechanism, face stoic as she prepares to do her duty. The artist has expertly caught the most pivotal moment of the scene, the very second that the door beneath the guilty creature begins to release just a crack. It is the very moment between living and death, anticipation of the inevitable almost palpable as the crowd looks on with a mixture of delight and horror, the taurian's muscles straining, chest expanded on his final breath. A mere fraction in time but one weighted with great tension.
A Momentous Sunset - Centre Scene
A magnificent sunset dominates the firmament, uniting the paintings as the light in the clear sky dwindles and twilight settles upon the land. The upper reach is rich, dark indigo, pin-pricked with the first stars of evening in fragments of silver, the colours fading and changing in majestic striations as they draw nearer to the horizon; violet, claret, lavender, cobalt, rose and orange painting the heavens. In this the central panel, a more romantic scene takes place, located within the gardens above the d'Murani tower. Silhouetted against the twilit sky, two young viscanti lovers stand close together, their hands joined as their heads lean towards one another in a clearly intimate encounter. The flowers within the gardens have begun to furl and shelter their colours, and the expensive fabrics of tailored clothing rests in shadow. A sense of held breath pervades the canvas; the sun pauses in its travels as time stands still - at least for these two - and no breeze so much as stirs an errant tendril of hair. One can almost imagine the breath caught in throats, the racing pulse, the heady rush of anticipation as the lovers have been painted lingering eternally on the cusp of sharing their first kiss, silently yearning, expecting, eyes drifting closed in the expectation of sweet bliss. That moment, that second, before everything shifts and changes, when the longing is soon to be finally reconciled, it has been rendered passionately upon the canvas so the viewer too is drawn into the same sensation of waiting for resolution.
A Momentous Sunset - Right Scene
A magnificent sunset dominates the firmament, uniting the paintings as the light in the clear sky dwindles and twilight settles upon the land. The upper reach is rich, dark indigo, pin-pricked with the first stars of evening in fragments of silver, the colours fading and changing in majestic striations as they draw nearer to the horizon; violet, claret, lavender, cobalt, rose and orange painting the heavens. This right-hand panel shares the same spectacular twilit sky as the others; this time however the sunset is glimpsed through a slightly misty glass window. The Sea of Despair froths tumultuously below as it sinks into shadow, the view beyond the window picturesque and emotive in its raw beauty. Standing before the window is a young viscanti woman in cobalt silks, her hair like gleaming copper as the waning sun catches the neatly coiffed chignon at her nape. A blank canvas has been carefully propped against a delicate crystal easel and a palette prepared with fresh, vivid pigments rests in one hand as she gazes towards the vista with the critical eye of an artist. Her other hand wields a slender paintbrush, the bristles wet with indigo paint, depicted here in this artwork a mere breath from touching the canvas with the first stroke of creativity. A sense of anticipation pervades the moment, the bright blooms within the garden beds even seeming to turn towards the aesthete, and the waves surge and crest, all drawing further attention to the act of creation that eternally lingers, wavering on the cusp of actualisation. The canvas stands blank in this moment but in the blink of an eye it will be transformed into something more, something new, and the artist has taken great pains to inspire that emotion across the entire triptych. Discreetly scrawled in one bottom corner is a cobalt "S" to note the original artist.