The Faceless Summoner Entry #10: Gilded Feather Diyara

As mentioned previously, the story of the Faceless Summoner continues today. This mini-arc centers around the "Four Gods" and will build upon the universe from both a character and lore perspective. Here's the first entry, Gilded Feather Diyara:

As with the previous entries in the Summoner series, here is Diyara's lore:


We slowly made our way down from the mountains over the course of two days. The main path took us through winding cliffs that were blasted with constant dust storms. All around, I felt like eyes were on us. The lawless packs of demons that roamed the wastelands numbered in the thousands but none attacked us. I think the fearsome aura of my traveling companion was keeping them at bay.

Finally, we came to a large temple surrounded by jagged blade-like rock formations. Crafted from a deep black metal and adorned with numerous reflective jewels, the twisting structure was sealed with an intricate runic character bearing a four-colored jewel pattern. I watched Ardelrius walk up to the seal and place a single hand upon its surface. A glint of light illuminated the rune and the massive doors to the temple swung open.

Venturing further in, the light was cast by pale blue torches that burned endlessly in the walls. A central open area was our first stop in the temple. Etched into the ground was a gold seal very similar to the one on the door. It was then; a terrifying presence manifested itself and appeared before us.

So far, most of Ardelrius’ foes have been monsters or demons with the exception of K’taerthos. The creature that appeared in the temple was a blinding visage wrapped in gleaming scales and a sort of holy garment. Its face was covered in bladed plates and it had vaguely bird-like features. The creature floated in the air before us despite having great feathered wings adorned with jeweled chains. Ardelrius stood before the holy creature and announced its arrival. In an ominous tone, the light-shrouded entity introduced itself as the goddess Diyara, one of the Four Gods of this temple. Diyara spoke to both of us but primarily addressed Ardelrius. She spoke of a great trial and told my companion that it would have to offer proof of strength before the Four Gods would grant an audience. With little warning, Diyara moved to attack.

The fight, while again brief was seared into my memory like all the others. Diyara struck from the sky with a relentless hail of bladed feathers. Each volley cleaved effortlessly through the walls and floor. I watched Ardelrius use the tree-like staff to summon floating stone blocks to deflect the projectiles. The Faceless Summoner traded blows with the Goddess before conjuring a deep blue broadsword with a crimson blade. This must be the power of the Netherspawn, Thalgre for the weapon called razor gale blasts of wind that forced back the bladed feathers of Diyara. Finally, Ardelrius was able to counter the assault and struck a mortal blow with the sword. The goddess was brought to the ground and her strength appeared to vanish before us.

“You possess strong resolve for a creature wielding one of the forbidden relics,” she spoke to us. “If you truly seek to acquire the treasure sealed here, proceed to the next trial.”

Diyara vanished in a blinding flash of light. I suppose like any other gods, she couldn’t be killed but either way, Ardelrius was victorious. Without any hesitation, the summoner started further into the temple. What would the next trial be? What is our goal here? I hoped to find these answers as I followed after the mysterious traveler.

Front/Side View
I thought I'd try this condense format for the final pictures of the piece. Diyara's mask was a bit of an experiment. In the construction phase, I used a layering of individual plates to create the look you see here. This was actually the most complicated part of the skin phase since I had to try to apply the cloth layer to both the plates and the surfaces beneath. I added the signature glass stones for contrast and I think they work well with Diyara's color scheme. I was going for a sort of firebird look but focused more on the yellow-gold blending rather than orange. I think it turned out well.
Diyara's emblem
I didn't go with concept sketches this time, instead choosing a more complex realized emblem for each character. Diyara's emblem shows her regal appearance and the divine ring construct behind her helps add some color distinction. Because this is a full-body image, it's harder to make out the details of her face but I wanted to focus on the rest of her design since the mask is meant to capture the face more.

Stay tuned for the next entry!