Tag Archives: Dena

Art: The Spirit River

We have a very quick one for you today, folks.  It’s only been a month since we’ve had something from Dena Helmi, but for some reason, it feels like much longer.  We commissioned her for an epic piece that really brings a lot of the established world together.  We give you, the Spirit River:


Spirit River Sized



This is a very stylized version of our interpretation, but I really dig it nonetheless.  The bridge crossing the river would be far different: grey stone, tall towers, and so forth, and the land wouldn’t be so mountainous, but still… really enjoyable piece of art there!

So what do you think of Dena’s latest work for us?

Art: Deep Oasis

Happy Thursday to everyone out there!

It has been an especially long time since we had any environmental art, but all that’s about to change riiiiiightttttt… now.

The Bindings of Fate was a great way to establish a world that had been swimming around in my mind for seven or so years, but it was As Darkness Falls that really let me explore that place.  With three sets of heroes going off in their own directions, there was a lot of ground to cover, from Kaos and his roundabout search for dragons to Steel Tip, taking the first steps into Blacklehn.

What really jumps out at the end of that book was everything in western Raleigh, courtesy of Christopher, Holklund, Adelia and the newcomer, Hector.  Fostervilla was a magical, if tragic, city.  It was surrounded on all sides by either mountains or desert, and yet… somehow it thrived.  That is in no small part due to Deep Oasis, which Dena Helmi illustrated for us.



This version that we show here was the foundation for the piece.  It’s got a very gothic style temple in the background, which the people of Fostervilla would pray to Hudorian, the god of water, for life and fauna to grow and provide sustenance.

While that was all well and good, Dena went an extra step and gave us a version that would better depict the greek/roman style architecture that inspired the Tellest pantheon.  She also added the hellish deathwinds for good measure.



Enjoy this last environmental piece of the year.  We’ll be back with more in the middle of January!

Art: Wispus’ Woods

I’d like to preface this post by saying that there is a bit of a spoiler here, if you haven’t read The Enemy Within.  It’s a very modest spoiler though, so you won’t be too agitated by its reveal.

We return to Dena Helmi after a month to see her newest endeavor, this time with Wispus’ Woods.

In The Bindings of Fate, Christopher and Steel Tip found their way to the mayor of Westwick’s mansion, which was secluded deep in the Spirit Woods.  They managed to break in and steal away one of Wispus’ artifacts, and used it to secure information (and long lasting companionship) from Holklund.

In Dena’s interpretation, we see an almost Alice in Wonderland-esque view of the mansion, which I really dig:


Wispus' Woods Sketch
Coming together…


You can see that the place around the mansion looks incredibly lush, especially as the sketch went into its next phase.


Wispus' Woods Sketch 2
A much more whimsical take.


When the piece was finished, you see just how tremendous that tree is in back of the mansion.


Wispus' Woods



The mansion itself looks a little small in comparison, don’t you think?

Art: Valley of Kathka

And hello again!

Once again, we are back with some lush, beautiful art, this time courtesy of Dena Helmi.  We’re looking, now, at her interpretation of the Valley of Kathka.

In The Bindings of Fate, the protagonist, Kaos, is sent to the Valley of Kathka to investigate the ruins there.  It has long been foretold that a castle once resided in the valley, the last vestige of the goodly races stand against Semia’Laz and his unholy troops during the demon wars.  When he arrived there, it was mostly scattered stones and remnants of a time long past.

Dena did a wonderful job capturing the awe of the place, even when its ancestry seemed diminished.  It still has this almost otherworldly presence.

Valley of Kathka



After a few touch ups following that initial sketch, she really brought the Valley of Kathka to life.

Valley of Kathka complete

Art: Folly’s Glen

Well hello there!  We’ve got a real treat for you today, in showing you the work of a new artist we’ll be working with from time to time. Dena Helmi is going to be illustrating some environmental concept art for us and we picked a perfect first piece for her.

In Mageborn, Adelia Kreegan is just learning the arcane arts.  This of course leads to a minor snafu that requires some restocking of her tutors alchemical reagents.  And what better place to gather these materials than Folly’s Glen?

Folly's Glen complete


Folly’s Glen is a place rife with magic.  Since it was the site of an ancient war between greedy wizards, their powers had a resounding effect on the area.  Streams move about under their own influence, fireflies spin pirouettes around pillars of fire and bio-luminescent fungi grow out of the trees.  Dena did a fantastic job capturing all of that in this painting!