Tag Archives: Mageborn

Character Art – Adelia Kreegan

Hey there folks.  We’re back with another Hozure redux today, with arguably the most popular character he’s ever worked with.  Adelia was also one of the first characters he did for us, so it’s great to see her freshened up a little bit.  It’s actually amazing how good a job he did with her as well.

As is always the case with our collaborations with Hozure, we started with some poses:

He gave us more this time than usual, which made it extra hard to choose.  But choose we did.

Our new Adelia just looks more complete.  Hozure’s always really good about choosing the little details, and in this particular piece, he gave her plenty, which you can even start to see in the WIP shot.

Everything gets more impressive with the completed version of Adelia.  Her spell, her staff, her belt, her footwear, the design of her dress.  This is probably one of my very favorites from Hozure, and it’s easy as anything to see why!

That little bit of background color adds a bit of contrast to the character, and you can see her in all her glory even better.


We’ve almost wrapped up the “redux” series.  By now, you’ve got to know who comes next and last.  Catch us here again in just three weeks!

Character Art – Gaston Camlann

The renowned sage, Gaston Camlann, has been one of the longest running characters in my series.  He’s mentioned in The Bindings of Fate, and I used his name in a few “about Tellest” articles because I needed an in-universe scholar to talk about various things, like the world, the Strain, and so forth.

When we first brought him into the limelight, in Mageborn, he became one of our favorite characters.  He speaks to the world almost as if he’s outside of it.  In a lot of ways, I feel as though he’s an extension of me.  Gaston has all the right qualities you’d want in a person, but he’s still somewhat flawed.  Think of him as your grandfather all those times you made him mad.  He doesn’t want to get angry, but sometimes you see it!

In any case, we had a few instances of Gaston already on display thanks to our “generic” short story panel that you see from time to time.  But when we asked Hozure to give us a version of Gaston that belonged entirely to him, he didn’t disappoint us.

We had a lot of interesting poses presented to us, each with their own sense of whimsy.  But one of them stood out more than the others, because it also had more of a sense of Gaston than the others.

Here, you can see Gaston with one of his favorite things: his books. As much a scholar as a sage, Gaston’s love of knowledge and wisdom is a base thing for him.  It’s what makes him tick.  It felt like it would have been a lost opportunity not to feature him moving those old words around like that!

As things moved around, and lightning was implemented, our spectacular sage jumped off the screen even more.  Everything about him seems scraped right out of the back of my mind.

And here you have our final look at Gaston Camlann.  As we said before, Hozure did a magnificent job of capturing this incredible arcanist, giving him a delightful feel and sense.  This isn’t the last you’ll see of Gaston.  Keep your eyes peeled in the weeks and months to come as we reveal more characters in this great fantasy world!

Art Reveal – Transformed Cover

Hello all!  It’s been an exceptionally long time since we had a cover to show off here, and we’re going to make amends today.

Though we’re still a long way off for Transformed, the sequel to Mageborn, it’s about time we show off the cover.  We’re kind of going out of order here, because Dragonspeaker is the next one that’s up after Lord of Thunder releases in March, but we don’t actually have that cover done yet, so you’ll just have to wait!

Another interesting thing about this cover is that it’s probably the one that went furthest from where we started, out of all the covers we’ve done yet.  Let me show you what I mean.


One of the more important places in the series is the gardens.  This is one of Gaston’s favorite places, and it’s expanded to become one of Adelia’s favorites too.

In this first attempt at the follow-up cover, you can also see two new characters.

Ultimately, we decided it was a little too bright and cheery.  We asked Leo to see if we could do something darker instead.


Rather than give up entirely, we made the gardens look a little darker at first.  Our lady in the back looked more like a villain than we were happy with, and we decided to try and start over with a different locale.


Moving indoors brought us back to the study that Adelia was playing in for the cover of Mageborn.  She’s a little older and more experienced now, so we aged her up a bit.  We also have a back cover now, so we were able to include Gaston and that new character, Lucinda on the back.


This was just a small change, but we wanted the front and the back to almost be a reflection of one another, so we removed that low wall for the purposes of the art.


With a splash of color, you can see a little bit more than you did before.  In the book, Lucinda is a frisky lady, and Gaston looks like he’s bit off more than he can chew here.

Meanwhile, Adelia is performing her magic for a familiar character from the first book in the series.


At this point, the back has taken shape very nicely.  Lucinda, in her purple outfit is torturing poor Gaston with salacious remarks and “bad” touches.


Finally, here we have the full cover.  On the front, you can see that Adelia is in a more attractive outfit than she wore in Mageborn. She’s starting to come into womanhood (no small part influenced by Lucinda, mind you), and we wanted to reflect that by making her a little easier on the eyes.

She’s also playing around with those butterflies again, only this time, she’s making them out of ice, an element she has an affinity for.

That’s about it for this cover, but we’re not going to make you wait nearly as long for this next one.  It’ll be a teensie little Christmas present!  In the meantime, we’ll just be chugging along, ready to move into this next phase of Tellest as quick as we can.


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: Adelia by Clover-Teapot, part 2

In early September, we showed you a new collaboration that we had with an artist called Clover-Teapot.  She started us up with one of our fan favorite characters, Adelia.


Adelia 4


It’s time, now, to show you the extent of her work, and how awesome a job she did.


Adelia 5


This was a rather subtle change—she altered the way that Adelia was looking within the subject matter.  Our mage is fully aware that she’s being watched.  At this point, it could almost look like this is one of those paintings that watches you, its eyes following you throughout the room.


Adelia 6


The eyes and the shading were changed further here, but the biggest difference is likely the way the magic is presented.  Adelia has a wide array of magical abilities to tap into, so we wanted to present something that didn’t have a particular affinity.  The swirls of colors don’t necessary evoke a specific elemental magic, and that gave us just what we wanted.


Adelia 7


This was our finished piece in its entirety.  The painterly window and each little bit of the portrait pops that much more now.  Even though the changes were subtle each time, they still managed to come together to look absolutely amazing in this last piece.  Adelia has come a long way since the girl on the front of the Mageborn cover—it’ll be interesting writing her from point A to point B!

Mageborn Audiobook Giveaway!

Today, I’m announcing a small contest with 10 winners—with one catch: you have to be a subscriber to the Tellest Newsletter.  Each winner will earn a credit to get their own copy of the Mageborn audiobook for free.  Once you sign up, respond to the welcome email with the name of the floating continent in The Fall (hint: it starts with an S).

I’ll tally everyone up on Monday the 28th, and pick—at random—our ten winners, reach out to them and explain how to receive their free books.

Best of luck to all who enter, and thank you for being fans of Tellest!

Mageborn Permanently Free

As we near the release of The Fall, we’re coming to a point where 8 big Tellest stories are on the market.  One way to get more people reading is to offer some nice freebies.  That’s why Awake is a gift to those who sign up for the newsletter, and it’s also why, as of a few days ago, Mageborn is free – permanently.

MageBorn_Title_Update one half

I want people to be able to enjoy Tellest.  If that means giving away a few books for free, I think that’s well worth it.  Be on the lookout for more deals in the next few months – we’re going to be offering some good ones!

Art: Adelia

I’m at the point now where I’m constantly looking for artists who can take my breath away.  I don’t think we’ve had one that’s worked on Tellest commissions that hasn’t fulfilled that sole duty.

We’ve got a special treat for you today, though.  A new artist, RedPear, is going to be doing some spectacular character portraits, and we start with the hero of Mageborn.  Here is her process:


This is Adelia as she would appear in The Bindings of Fate, so considerably later than what she looked like in Mageborn.


To be perfectly honest, I liked the sketch just the way it was.  And of course, RedPear had to go and blow my mind…


Hwabam! I think that’s the only thing that can really be said here.


I still can’t believe the quality of that there piece of artwork, but I’ve seen it, and some followups from RedPear.  You’re in for a treat on many more occasions!

Oh, and our wonderful new artist also added a splash of color as well:


Complete - Color