The Ambush: A Tribute
The final version, with added detailing and more functional armour.
Full size version here: http://mythologicdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-ambush-final.jpg
Draft here (Different armour): http://mythologicdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/ambush.jpg
North of the Cholanti the hills rise wild, and ancient forests stand inviolate in isolation; nest and shelter to brutal powers older than time.
The Uz call it Dagori Inkarth. It is a deadly land, beyond understanding, filled with secret trails known only to the Wind and the unseeing eye of Darkness. Darkspore and whipvine fester there, no tula stone claims boundary with the wilderness, no herd or crop contends against the tyranny of branch and rock and water. Shadows fester that are servant to neither sun nor chaos moon, and the air itself whispers chill and turgid, battered by the unceasing torrent of the Sky Vent.
The Lady walks there, and the Old Bear, that one, but of the human tribe only the odaylans dare its sunless weald, and they seldom, in solitary secrecy and fear.
Braggi flat refused to lead the Lunars north, even after threats against his kin. He had earned his honour name in that shadow-haunted wild, and mead and poets’ praise in plenty, but even he refused to walk there after the season of harvest and falling leaf.
The Lunars, wrapped in silver and false confidence, headed north without a guide. A mere file, some twenty spears, and only six on horseback. Four weeks they said, to journey to the lake beneath Skyfall and to return. Four weeks.
Three seasons on, and neither word nor tale. Like so many before them, they have been swallowed by the wild.
And white-faced, Braggi returns from the Ring. By flickering flame, soft-spoke and fearful, he whispers that we must go and find them.
– Ironspike, Fire Season, 1618.
‘The Ambush’ depicts a Lunar hoplite ambushed by a troll in the wilds north of the Cholanti River. It is offered in part as a tribute to the work of Luise Perrin, who gave us a certain classic book cover, and to a splendid cover yet to come. And yes, the Lunar is left handed.
By coincidence, as I was writing this post, a friend returned my original print copy of Cults of Prax, now home after many a year. Ah, RQ2, Greg, Steve, Luise, Lisa, Ray… salut!