Sunday, March 6, 2011

Courtesan or mystical warrior? You call it!





So much about art is interpretational. Here's a series of male nude fantasy renders, and I put this to you: Mystical warrior? Or courtesan? Here's two scenarios, and I'll leave it to you to pick the one you like best.

The evening before battle ... the sky is smoky with the fires of a thousand camps, and below the hillcrest where stands this ceremonial throne are eight thousand warriors waiting for battle, which will commence at dawn. There's a legion of the enemy encamped just on the others side of the river, and it's going to be blood before the sun is up. Our forces are led by a great warrior mystic whose battle strategies are predicated on the visions that come to him when he meditates, and tonight, he looks within, to see the course of the morrow, and plan to win. His sword is oiled, sharpened and set aside. He goes through the ritual of bathing, drying in the soft summer air, combing out the hair which -- as is customary for the mystic -- has never been cut. Then he sits down to meditate and bid the visions come, haunt him...

And here's the question: is this the great victory at the end of the novel, or is it the great defeat that begins the story?

Then again, try this:

The evening after a great victory. The sky is smoky with the pyres that are burning a thousand dead, and the air is still heavy with the reek of battle and the cries of the wounded. Below the hillcrest where stands his ceremonial throne is our battle camp, and it's been said, "Next to a battle lost, is there anything more miserable than a battle won?" The great king-general of our army has won several victories this summer, and after each of them he will take a hostage, a wife or a courtesan ... perhaps even a "warprize," who will be held to guarantee the fealty of the conquered people. One of them is a fair young man with hair that -- in the manner of his people -- has never been cut. He was trained as a warrior in his youth, but all that was taken from him when he became a hostage, courtesan to the king-general. Tonight, after the battle, the general's blood will be stirred by another conquest. He'll hold court at this ceremonial throne, his enemies will be brought before him in chains, and then he'll send for wine, and food, and his favorite.

And here's the Really Big Question: does the courtesan despise the king-general, or has he fallen in love? And a lot depends on who you cast in the part. If I were to say, it's Brad Pitt as Achilles, or maybe Kevin Sorbo as Kull ... well, after you picked your jaw up off the floor and put your eyeballs back in, the whole story would take on a different flavor! (Then, feel free to cast the other part to suit you! You want Orlie Bloom as Paris, or Ben Barnes as Caspian, or is this played also for laughs, like a fantasy-romantic-comedy (which I don't think has ever been done), in which case think about Brendan Fraser in George, or Johnny Depp in Don Juan de Marco...!)

There, that gave you plenty to think about. Have fun!

Nice little fantasy, innit?! And this is worth seeing at full size:

You know this is post #489, and I still have absolutely no idea, none whatever, what I'm going to do for #500, which ought to be a milestone, a celebration...! ideas, anyone...?

The set is new from DM, Kerrigan's Throne (the sword is part of it) from Renderosity. The skinmap is Raphael; the hair is Elven Price, set to burgundy. The background is one I use a lot ... in fact, you're probably about to say, "Awww, Jade, paint yourself a new bleedin' background, will you?" So, okay, I will. [sticks out tongue]

Jade, March 7
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