It’s almost Halloween, and like many in Fantasy, I love Halloween. Every year, I add a few new pieces to my leather armor set. Maybe someday, I’ll splurge and go for plate armor, but what I really want is a heavy studded battle rod that could double as a walking stick. Anymore, you can’t bring but foam stuff to events and the battle rod would look cool and pass muster at Renn Faires and what not. The bodacious hats are what always tempt me.
Going through my files, I came across some draft art for Malcor’s Story. It took me back to almost a year ago when I was getting ready to release Malcor’s Story in Nov 2016. You see, Malcor’s Story was actually my 2nd foray into writing. My first died a terrible horrible death. It was an epic story I wrote back in 1997. Without good ways to save and transport files, the files got lost and eventually 600 page paper stacks got lost in the shuffle. I remember that as a learning experience full of meandering side tangents. One of these days, I may retell that story. Malcor’s Story began in 2014 as a Notepad file in which I began outlining and then writing about Malcor. In my imagination, Malcor was always the reluctant king… put in a position where he could not say and frankly, did not have good reasons to say No to the dragons. I wanted to change the paladin archetype from Lancelot (had he not fallen) to divine fighters who wage war by revelation from their god.
The story took shape and when I was getting close to feeling I was ready to publish, I sought out cover art. Some of it was so laughably horrible that I cringe when I look at it now. Others were good, but not great. Eventually, I met Darko… who’s art is almost exclusively featured on ForsakenIsles.com. His work blew me away and I said, “Yes! Let’s make it happen!” His first draft was really good, but I wanted Malcor to be a bit more visible. The shadow dragons exist in UV and purple light and so I needed more of a purple palette. Also, Cor’tanos, the Shadow Dragon Patriarch, was not clearly recognizable as a dragon. Our discussion prompted a total revision to the current cover but I still love this early draft.
If I ever invest in armor, I’m going to look for someone that can make this for me. Though I do not see myself but vaguely in Malcor (mainly persistence in the face of many reasons to stop persisting), Malcor is one of my heroes. I often try to imagine what and how my life would be different if, at a young age, people in power and with influence had tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is your path. We’re going to equip you with everything you need to walk this path.” Like Tania, they wouldn’t force me to walk that path. Like Malcor, maybe I would wholeheartedly embrace that path and sprint – not walk – it.
Shout out to the Galra from Netflix’s Voltron. “Vrepit Sa!”