Pencil Illustrations from Ao’tir

I just wanted to post some images from a world I’ve been working on for some time. I’m still trying to decide what the best format in which to produce this world at the moment, though it seems that it will probably branch into many different branches.

The lesser god fleeing his kin.

This is Kur’loc. His story is a sad one, but to truly understand it, one must know a little history.

In the beginning the world was not but dead, undefined matter. Sun there was none, sky was but the absence of substance, and yet life did stir. From the dry husk of the land rose two beings, the first Partor’erras; known to the Druid Folk of the West as Aurt, and then came Mar’ell. Together they brought substance to the world; by his arms Partor’erras rose earth and land, and Mar’ell conjured the seas, and matter did exist.

They then brought into the world two children, Trya and Lay’foras. By these two children the mountains were made, the Sun was given the name Aoth and the Moon, An. Life’s breath brought first seeds of life and for a long time the new world they called Ao’tir was beautiful.

As time passed, one by one the crafters of the world did perish. Partor’erras fell first; in denial he broke after standing on top of the world, giving form to the first Colossus, then the Mother Mar’ell and Trya. Although long did Lay’foras dwindle between life and death. He witnessed what became of his family; from their remnants new life that had never been conceived was born. They would come to be known as the Argholi, Remnants of the Crafters, Lesser Gods, or most notably Dwellers of the Hollow. Before joining his kin, Lay’foras took a new name, a name that would have him remembered above all of his kind; Noth.

Once a Dweller of the Hollow; Kur’loc governed the shadow cast by fire. Among his residents he would gather and store the food that they would eat throughout the colder days when the trees slept. One gentle night, under An in her bluest veil, the Dwellers gathered by the river bank where something wonderous had occurred. The fairest of their kin; Oareene had brought to them the first of mortal beings. Kur’loc wishing to make life decided in secret to try to forge his own creature. Unfortunately he not only inherited laws from Noth, but also his innocence and malice. For many nights; until the evenings faded into days and the air became warm he failed at his creations. Below in his cellar he cast the shattered husks, neglecting his jobs in the community.

Kur'loc attempts to make life.

On a warm summer night, An sailing gracefully with her guide Iarun watching her path; there was a great tragedy. A child of the Hollow found them; the first life dead and over it an abomination, red-eyed, with baring yellow fangs, the blood of many matting its mane. Just as it would strike the earth-bound the beast to the ground. Long into the night this monster was examined until there was no other answer, this was the work of their own Kur’loc.

Upon finding out what he had done he fled. Across the known world he ran, his old friends forever seeking justice for the crime. Sailing across unknown seas he came across black mountains. Finding refuge inside he rested; maybe they would give up and leave him. This they would not do. By the power of their kin they did not waver, and with them they brought a new power from distant lands. A great giant standing as tall as the hills did curse his flesh. For his punishment he would not die, nor would he ever, his body would forever grow till there was land that would carry him, and skin would become of stone.

Kur'loc finds the entrance to the mountain

For three hundred years the Dwellers waited outside the mountain. Waiting for the day that the cursed would no longer be able to leave his sanctuary that now became his prison. Alone in a world without civilisation, without redemption, the deep seeded shadows inside the once loyal part of the Argholi twisted, and blackened.

In time the mortal realm bloomed, the Argholi faded away, giving life to others. Along the bordering seas across from Noth’s ancient lands the Human kind grew, the Druid people came to be in the remains of the Hollow, then spreading themselves across the land, one kin becoming many. From earth and stone golem and dwarves joined men in their future battles against the Druids.

Meanwhile the giant in the mountain mastered his skills in malice and the creation of beasts, to bring the first united enemy of the mortal races. Residing on his Stone Flesh Throne, his will asked that the remnants of the Argholi perish from his world; a world he once loved.

Kur'loc during the time of the Stone Flesh Throne.

In the early days of the Third Age, a young scholar took a piece of the god’s heart to further his skills and teach future disciples of knowledge. Little did he know how the stone would change the course of his future.

In time the mountain would no longer hold Kur’loc’s body, he would meet his demise, and become part of the land, his body no longer his, and his spirit trapped in the dark.

Travellers find Kur'loc's body.

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