Tag Archives: Awake

Character Art – Faradorn

When the first set of Tales of Tellest books came out, we lucked out by finding Hozure, who has done amazing work for us since our initial collaboration.

With the sequel stories now on their way (with Lord of Thunder leading the pack), we wanted to take a look at some of the other characters in each of the series—we already had a look at the younger version of Richard Lener.  Today, though, we’ll take a look at a hero from Arise, who we introduced with his own short story not too long ago.

Faradorn is an elf from an otherwise extinct tribe.  His people could harness the power of light and fire and turn that power into energy projectiles.  Since Faradorn is the only one left, he isn’t sharing that power with anyone, and it’s amplified in him.

Cocky and arrogant, Faradorn doesn’t come off as someone you’d exactly want in your corner—at first.  What he does have, though, is a fierce loyalty once you’ve been properly vetted.  He’s a welcome addition to the crew of Maravek, Venathryn and Vandelas, and that’s important against so powerful a foe as the one in Arise.

While Faradorn’s debut in The City of Light and Darkness was a nice introduction to both this powerful elf and the city of Versali-Virai, it’s nice  to be able to expand on both of them in the upcoming novel. I really hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it!

Awake Released in Audio

Howdy folks.  I come to you with fantastic news today.  Awake has become the fifth and final Tales of Tellest novella to release on Audible.


Narrated by Brandon McKernan, who has done work for us twice before, Awake is the tale of Venathryn of the Whisperwind Elves, who suffers from a terrible guilt made manifest in her dreams.

You can pick up Awake on Audible today for the low price of $6.95!

Character Art – Venathryn

I absolutely love when it’s time once again to announce another set of commissions that we’ve established with an artist who we enjoy working with.  Today is one of those days, as we’re proud to say we’re working with RedPear once again to bring you some great character pieces.

This time around, we’ve got her interpretation of Venathryn, a character who has been getting very popular in recent days. Something about a strong female character who has just the right amount of pluck, pout, and power that does it for people.



Pear started us off, as always, with a set of poses that we could have the character take.  These two would have worked just as well, but we chose a third instead:



We felt that this one evoked a certain sense of power and confidence that the other ones just didn’t catch.  This give Venathryn a sort of pride that we really associate with her.




After that, the details were put into place.  You can see that the ear was given room to change.  She is an elf, after all.  Her armor grew more abundant in this stage of her creation as well, and you can see the markings on her face a little more clearly.




Even more detail really puts this piece together.  Pear was letting me know that she almost felt bad when she was finished with this latest set of characters.  Why, you ask?  Well, she’s always been a great artist, but you can see that her talent has grown, even since 2014.  I wouldn’t change a thing though.  I like seeing her growth across our characters!




And there you have it.  Venathryn in glorious full color.  It almost looks like propaganda.  Vote for Vena, 975!

I’m very happy with how this one turned out.  Venathryn’s popularity should be reflected by the amount of pieces we have to show off, and I think this one really takes the cake as far as our different interpretations of her go.

Tales of Tellest has Released!

Hello everyone!

I’m proud to announce that one of the last few pieces in our first big push—phase one, I’m calling it—is ready for purchase.  Tales of Tellest went live yesterday, bringing together seventeen different stories and four talented authors.

Tales of Tellest Thumb

Best of all, I think, is the price.  At $4.99, you’re making out like a bandit on the deal.  Since each of the stories are $2.99 (less Mageborn and Awake when they’re free), you’re really being given a decent bang for your buck.  The full book is over 600 pages, and this is just the first course of these wonderful stories that feature characters from the Tellest universe.

Be sure to pick up your copy on Amazon today!

Art – Tales of Tellest Cover by DLeoBlack

I am so very excited to show you the last big component of our Tales of Tellest: Volume one push.  I know it should have been a one year enterprise, but the Tales of Tellest grew a little out of control, and I can honestly say it was probably for the best.  You know when you’re expanding, you get those growing pains.  I think the same happens with a series and a world like Tellest, and the delays here and there made it possible to sort of age with dignity.  It gave us the time to really tackle things with the kind of poise and attention that we needed to give them.

There were a lot of ways that we could have gone at this particular cover, which brings all the stories we’ve created in the last 18 months into one package.  We could have had a series of characters all bunched together into one space, but as of stories that are in this collection, they haven’t actually met each other.  It would be disingenuous to put them all together if they’re introductions wouldn’t be made for several years.  So Leo and I determined that there would have to another thread that tied them all together.

That’s how The Keeper of the Void, the final story I’ve written for this collection, came to be.


In Tellest, there are some things that are a bit beyond the existential. We’ve seen the Nexus, which connects the waking world with the afterlife, in addition to serving as a means for the gods to travel about the world in short bursts.  What we decided to do was add another layer of impossible to the world.  Whereas the Nexus affects space and mortality, the Void encompasses space and time.

Yes, time travel is a part of Tellest now.  In a lot of ways, it always was.  But we’ll get to that more later.  You can see that draft of the cover up there.  That’s the one we passed on.  We gave Leo the opportunity to create a character from scratch here, and he gave us two versions of a kind of “mad wizard” or “mad crone” to choose from.  We ultimately settled on our crone:


This is Nyrshia, the eponymous Keeper of the Void.  She’s not really female, but beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.  She (it?) chooses to represent itself the way it does so that she can interact with us on a level that we would understand.

You can also see the orbs in the cover as well.  These are the ways that we’ve bound all our previous stories together.


Here, you can see that idea beginning to take shape.  Since time is all relative, events sort of float around in the Void, ready to be observed—but rarely manipulated.

In this version of the cover, Nyrshia has been fleshed out a little bit more, and we’ve added the other big character to the story, a lad named Rhys who is a capable soldier that happens upon the Void.

The orbs are filled, as well, with the covers of the stories that we’ve written before.  You’ll see that The Bindings of Fate is in there as well, though it doesn’t fit in the Tales of Tellest collection—if we threw that in there, we’d have to put the other Child of the Stars trilogy books in there, and we’d be looking at around 1,800 pages worth of content, and this collection is supposed to go to paperback!

Orb Legend

We took a step back to our monochrome cover just so that we could indicate which stories should have gone where.  We kept our most popular stories in the biggest bubbles, and eagerly awaited the unfolding of Leo’s own brand of magic.


This was the finished version of the cover, sans filled orbs.  Nyrshia is a bit more imposing in her finished form.  Leo captured the look of this character so exquisitely as someone who could be so disarmingly fragile but so powerful to behold at the same time. Rhys, meanwhile, looks a bit more brooding.


Now this is some beautiful work.  The orbs are being used in their entirety here to great effects.  And the stories inside them? Magnifique.  You can also see that Leo did some redraws of some of Kimirra’s older story covers for The Littlest Kobold and Remembered in Gold.  We thought that they didn’t quite stand up to the rest of the thumbnails on this cover, and asked Leo to spruce them up a bit.

Funny enough, we still have some times translating between Leo and I from time to time.  It’s very far and few between and he does some quick turnarounds, but you can see here that we accidentally used As Darkness Falls instead of The Fall.  You can tell that I have too many opportunities to use that word, especially when you consider that another short story in this very collection is called Fallen.

Tales of Tellest Complete

And here you have it.  The final version of our final 2014-2015 project.  Obviously we have to slap the title and back matter on there, and are working with Paul Davies to do so, but this is the Tales of Tellest in all its glory.  We hope you liked it, and we’ll come back at you with more great content in the weeks and months to come!

Art: Awake Cover

Hello everyone!  With Awake about to release next week, I thought that there would be no better time than today to present to you the full cover of the novella and the process that we took to get to our great final piece.

As we are known to do, we relied on Leo for his expertise and great eye, and he did not disappoint us in this regard.  Awake was interesting in that it was a very confident, strong leading lady, who didn’t really have to stand in the background and sling spells to really get her point across.  Venathryn is an in-your face kind of heroine, even though she does prefer to use a bow and arrow.  With that in mind, we wanted to really put her into the thick of it.  Surrounded by enemies, sorely outnumbered – it’s just the way she would truly operate.  As always, Leo lined us up some sketches.


Rough Sketch 3


This one could have been perfect.  It would have brought a lot of focus to Venathryn and I know it would have really popped, but we weren’t sure we liked this best when we saw the other ones that followed.


Rough Sketch 1


Now this one was more our style.  Though Venathryn is more ranger than rogue, she’s not averse to hiding in the shadows and dealing out the damage covertly.


Rough Sketch 2

Very similar to that second sketch, this one seemed to evoke more of a “we know she’s here” vibe.  It almost carries a sense that she’s already done a bit of damage to the goblins, and that they are doing whatever is in their power not to be set upon.  With our choice made, we moved onto the next phase.


Follow-up Sketch


At this point, we started marrying ideas from both of the second sketches.  She’s a little more discreet, but she’s still ready to pop out at the last second and inflict a little pain on her pursuers.  And of course, by now, we saw just how formidable her foes were.



There we go.  Now we really had something.  The cover for Awake was nearly completed, and everything came together wonderfully.  When this goes to virtual print on Amazon, it’s really going to gather up attention.  There was just one last change we had to make.




Venathryn is a brunette!  It probably wouldn’t have been too jarring, but we wanted to make sure Venathryn wouldn’t be confused with her cousin Narallyndra, the other big female presence of the story.  With her hair dyed, we finally had our cover completed, with the exception of the titling, with Paul did an amazing job on.  Check out the book on Amazon next Tuesday!