Tag Archives: Bolt Thunderfury

Character Art – Bolt Thunderfury

Hey there folks!  My do we have a treat for you today.  It’s been just under a year since we began working with Hozure (formerly Skence), and we’re so lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with him all this time.  He’s become one of our most prolific artists, and it all started with a piece he did on Bolt Thunderfury twelve months ago:

Of course, since then, his art prowess has increased tenfold.  We asked him to go back and try his hands at making our characters pop even more than the last time the characters saw the light of day.

Now, it should be noted, Bolt was a special piece for us.  When we told Hozure we wanted to tackle these characters again, he was all about it.  He even did Bolt for free for us—he was the last one, and we technically didn’t have it on order.  So when we received it, it was a complete surprise!

Comparing the two makes it incredible to see how far Hozure’s come.  It’s like night and day, and that’s an incredible feat considering how good his art already was.

And here you have our Thunderfury adoptee in all his glory with a nice background behind him.  Hope you liked seeing what a year’s worth of increasing talent can do!

Lord of Thunder Released

Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce the official launch of Tellest’s phase two.  Lord of Thunder has released today, and I’m excited to bring a follow-up to Bolt Thunderfury’s first adventure.

We’ll see how the book does on Amazon, but just remember, every ten weeks from here on out, another Tellest adventure is coming your way.

Once again, this is just the beginning…

Bolt and Keilana

Hey there folks.  We’ve got some cool new art to throw your way. Our collaboration with Horace, AKA Skence, AKA Hozure has grown to include more than just characters.  Today, we’re showing that off firsthand with the first of three scenes we commissioned from him.

Each of these pieces of art is a “VS” scene.  We decided to start with Bolt, the hero of Son of the Storm and the upcoming Lord of Thunder. His first big challenge was against the beautiful yet vicious harpy arcanist Keilana.  What we decided to capture here was the feel of that encounter, but with a kind of quantum twist.  What we’re about to show you didn’t happen in the canon of the books, but it very well could have.

9_Tellest Vs Bolt_150test

Horace started us off with a test, so that we could see what the battle could have ended up looking like.

9_Tellest Vs Bolt_150

From there, we had almost a storyboard situation, where he gave us a couple different options for the way the scene could have progressed.

9_Tellest Vs Bolt_150 1

What we ultimately decided was to use basically the test version that he came up with, and expand upon that from there.

Bolt VS Keilana

In the full version, with feathers flying around and dwarves in the background, the scene truly does look as chaotic as the encounter in the mountains were.  Bolt and Keilana meet here a little more on even ground, but it’s gorgeous nonetheless.

Stay tuned for more from this series in the next couple of months!

Art Reveal – Lord of Thunder Cover

Well folks, the time has finally arrived.  It’s time to make things official.

We’re working on a new book.  Yes, yes, I know.  It’s quite a surprise. Actually, it’s “at least” five new books, but we won’t get into that just yet.  Suffice it to say, we’re ready to draw back the curtain on one of these books, and this one will serve as the relative flagship release for our other books in this set.

These five books are going to be sequels to the Tales of Tellest that we Kickstarted two years ago.  As such, we knew we needed a face that was going to be… electrifying… to introduce us to the new stories.

That man is—no, not Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—Bolt Thunderfury:

Lord of Thunder Front Cover

The protagonist of Son of the Storm, Bolt has already had an awesome story in his life, but he’s got more.  This follow-up, Lord of Thunder, is the tale of how he and a group of ragtag heroes managed to save a group of people from annihilation.  We’ll be getting the full details of the book to you soon, but for now, we’re really excited to show off the beautiful cover that Leo made for it.

Lord of Thunder 1

Here you can see the rough sketch we began with.  Leo knew what we wanted right away, and there was very little that we needed changed from one form to another.  Seeing as this was the initial sketch, you can only tell very basic things, but it’s starting to come together as to what might be causing the mysterious people issues.

Lord of Thunder 2

Alright, so things are a little more clear here.  That big guy front and center?  An ice giant.  The guy in the top left corner is an avarian, a birdman in the world of Tellest.  We’ve got a dwarf in the foreground, who may be a little familiar to readers of the first book.  In the background, two more folks.  And on the right side, our hero, Bolt Thunderfury.

Lord of Thunder 2-point-5

Leo made a slight change that we ultimately opted out of here.  He thought that Bolt and our dwarf looked a little too similar in their poses, but we didn’t mind.  We wanted to see that dwarf’s face, by gum!  And then you can also see our other two characters with more clarity.  One of them is called a delver—they’re the dark elves of the Tellest universe.  The other is a haudron, a half-giant.  But whose side are they on?

Lord of Thunder 3

And there you have it.  That’s our final version.  You can click on it to see it embiggened.  We’re so proud of it being the first big reveal for our next big push.

We also wanted to give a shout out to Matthew DeAngelo, the man who ultimately inspired a lot of what Bolt Thunderfury is.  His birthday was yesterday, and we’re proud of him too!

Art: More Bolt Thunderfury

We’re back again with the last bit of artwork for May – another piece on Bolt Thunderfury.  A couple weeks ago I told you that we commissioned two pieces of art from RedPear.  This would be the first time you’d actually see the character with his weapon (though we did give Skence the opportunity to see this piece, which informed his work).

Bolt’s weapon of choice is a chakram.  He can use it to channel his electric energy, but I haven’t really had much course to demonstrate it over the course of his current stories.  In Son of the Storm, he was just coming to terms with being a human, and in The Enemy Within, he was just trying to survive.  In the stories that will be coming out that feature him going forward, we will bring a little more focus onto that weapon choice.

So, this first sketch shows what we would have when we put a weapon in Bolt’s hand.


This particular one is a little vague, and with that in mind, we had to really determine what we were going to do about giving him a chakram that he really enjoyed using. Pear was decent enough to give us some choices.

Chakram Choices

We went with the one at the top there. It may seem a little Xena-esque, but it made the most sense for someone who was good at throwing a disc, but was also brutally efficient enough to use it in hand to hand combat.

Once we had our chakram all picked out, Pear went ahead with the second sketch.

Bolt 2nd Sketch

You can see here that the chakrams we went along with were integrated into the sketch.  He’s got a stern look about him, too. Maybe the need to work with his weapons means he’s encountering an enemy that requires his utmost attention.

Bolt 2nd Black and White

With the enhancement of the final polish, the clothing is more layered, the chakram has some more sinister blades, and there are some special effects in regards to the lightning.  As as we’ve come to expect from the excellent RedPear, we’ve also got the version completed in color.

Bolt 2nd Complete

After Bolt, we’re now completely caught up with Red Pear.  It’s a woefully depressing notion, but we hope to work with her again very soon.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Art: Bolt Thunderfury Figure

I always jump at the opportunity to work with a new artist, and as it turned out, the stars aligned recently, and I was afforded the chance to work with Skence, a fellow I met on DeviantArt.  He has a line of League of Legends art pieces that he’s been working on that I thought was incredible.  Naturally, I reached out to him about the possibility of working a collaboration between his style and my characters.

We’re happy to show you the first product of that collaboration, just in time for Bolt month.  Here were Skence’s initial sketches of the lightning powered hero:

Bolt Sketches


As you can see, it’s a slightly different take on the character than we’ve seen before.  He’s more angular and skinny.  Not an altogether bad look, though, and I certainly don’t mind “different.”  Skence’s take on the final piece was equally new in approaching Bolt.

Bolt Thunderfury


In a lot of ways, it doesn’t even look like what you’d think of Bolt. Still, I’m in love with the style, and as I mentioned above, I’m 100% for a different take on an established character if it gets people thinking.  That said, it has got you wondering if that’s actually the Bolt that we know.  Hmm…

Art – Bolt Thunderfury by RedPear

It’s been a while since we’ve had any love for Bolt gracing the pages of Tellest.com, but that’s all about to change.  May is Bolt month,as far as I’m concerned.  Today, and the next two Thursday to follow, we’ll have some Bolt flavored artwork for you, including one piece from a brand new artist.

Today, we’re looking at a piece from an established collaborator of ours.  RedPear has always done a wonderful job for us, and the work that she’s done on Bolt is no different.

We started, as always, with some sketches.


This one seemed a little too “kung-fu” for what we were looking for, but we did approve one other one, which we’ll show you later this month.

Instead, we went with a third option:

02This one, I thought, more accurately depicted the kind of arrogance that Bolt had, while simultaneously demonstrating his cool powers. We gave RedPear the go ahead to move forward with this particular sketch.

11A rough pencil sketch later had us even closer to a finished product. Bolt looks more like himself here than we’d ever seen, and we were really impressed by what Pear did.

12With an extra coat of paint, our artist made Bolt look even more impressive.  If you knew who the character Bolt was inspired by, you’d nod in agreement when we said this is the spitting image of him.  Finally, as she’s ought to do, RedPear gave us a full color version of the character.


Three cheers to RedPear for doing an amazing job with this character.  And happy birthday to my brother Matthew who inspired this awesome character!


Art: Tatiana Concepts

One of the things that I think sets Tellest aside from a lot of other fantasy outlets is the inclusion that we have.  It’s not about restricting people from being part of the world, and offering them only a sliver of a glimpse inside.  It’s not meant to be just words on a page.  The world is in your hands, after all.

To that extent, one of the things that I was happy to offer through the Kickstarter campaign was the opportunity to have a hero created for Tellest.  Joman Mercado worked at a price point that could not be beat, so when my brother asked if we could make a character for his girlfriend, I knew we were onto something.

Enter Tatiana.  She’s interesting in that I had very little to do with her conception, and she had no prior engagement in the Tellest world. Still, we wanted to give her an awesome introduction, and that included making a character like no other.  Here was our process:

Tatiana Poses
As always, we had to select our pose. We knew that she was going to be part of a larger, ensemble piece as well, and that helped us to narrow down our choice. We eventually settled on #3.


Tatiana has the ability to communicate with a fierce canine companion, Otto.  Here she is giving him commands.
Tatiana has the ability to communicate with a fierce canine companion, Otto. Here she is giving him commands.


It is impressive how much work goes into creating these awesome characters.
It is impressive how much work goes into creating these awesome characters.


Of course, these pictures barely scratch the surface for how awesome the final piece looked.  I hope you come back next week to see how Tatiana turned out.  You won’t be disappointed!

Art: Son of the Storm Cover

When Mageborn was being flaunted in front of people, it was during some very tense moments for me.  The Tellest Kickstarter at the beginning of this year was the first big push I’ve made for the series and the brand for quite some time.  I knew that I wanted to take the next step – I could always be a writer, and even one that faded into obscurity, but there was a need to try and do more.  More for Tellest, and more for the fantasy community.  That Kickstarter was a roaring success, and we had to race to put something together for the second book.

Mageborn was a very tame book, and so it had a very tame cover.  It was whimsical and colorful, beautiful for sure, but since the story doesn’t highlight a lot of action, we didn’t want to focus a lot of it in the cover.  Son of the Storm, the second book in the Tales of Tellest series, has a much grittier theme, and culminates in a lot of darker, colder tones.  On top of that, it focuses more on the alien races of Tellest rather than the magical veil that surrounds the world.

We knew that we wanted to focus on the human protagonist, Bolt Thunderfury.  It’s a tale that is ultimately about him, even though its told from the perspective of his adoptive father.  But we also couldn’t set the dwarven people by the wayside.  So, too, we wanted to focus on their ancient foes, the harpies.

As with Mageborn, we had a terrific amount of options and wiggle room.  Here is a selection of sketches that we loved but set aside.









As you can see, they were all pretty fantastic.  There were a lot of choices to be made, but we finally came to a decision.




There was something about that selection that spoke to me more than anything else.  It had a brilliant focus, and we could bring more of the novella into the cover.  After some further sketches, we knew we were onto something great.


cover_second copy
It’s always so cool to see where Leo starts to where he ends. Practically magical in its own right.


Finally, we arrived with our finished product, which is just breathtaking.  Check out the final piece below.

Warning: if you click on the picture, it will take you an uncensored version.

Son of the Storm


Art: Bolt Finished Piece

Bolt was a character that was very near and dear to me.  Toward the end of The Enemy Within, I knew there weren’t going to be too many new characters that I was going to introduce.  The trilogy was coming to an end, after all.  But at the same time, Tellest exists as a kind of grand narrative.  Bolt fits into the world a lot better than you’d think upon first read, and even if you read the Son of the Storm novella first, you’d get the first hints of this.

Therefore Bolt was brought to the front line for new art.

Our first "finished" piece.
Our first “finished” piece.


I should also mention to you that as much as Kaos Kreegan was loosely based off of me, Bolt was based off of my younger brother – my initial audience.  Had I not had a younger brother, Tellest might have grown in a completely different way.  When he found out that I had developed a character on him, it really made his day, and he went the extra mile, commissioning this character’s artwork, as well as two others that you will see in the future.

You'll notice here that Joman changed the lightning to a more jagged, electrifying style.
You’ll notice here that Joman changed the lightning to a more jagged, electrifying style.


Here’s to Bolt, who we certainly haven’t seen the last of yet.