The Faceless Summoner Entry #14: Soulsealer Aegis Adrath














The final entry in this chapter of the Summoner's story is the demonic relic shield, Adrath:



To wrap up the story, here is the lore.

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I followed Ardelrius through the broken wall into a dark corridor. A singe row of multi-colored stones faintly lit the way. The end of the hall slowly opened into another large room with a carved metal altar in the center. A large indiscernible object sat on the platform, sealed under deep black crystal chains. Four brilliant columns of light burst around the altar, forming before us.
The first shape was a brilliant yellow-gold light that faded around what appeared to be woman of unknown age. She had deep glowing strands of golden hair and was clothed in a flowing armored robe. A sharp crown-like ornament sat on her head, bound with intricate gold chains. The second form emerged from the green aura. Taller than the first, a large male figure clad in deep green armor made of tangled vines and thorns stood silently, his mouth obscured by a large metal extension of the armor. The third, emerging from the pillar of crimson was another male was slightly shorter but heavily built. His frame was protected by a layer of asymmetrical metallic plates of dark red armor, colors that contrasted against his spiky orange hair. Finally, the fourth ray of blue light shattered around the form of the final being. The male creature looked human but was cloaked in a deep gray cape. An armored hand parted the covering revealing scale-like armor beneath. Two narrow yellow eyes pierced from behind cold blue strands of hair that reached to the man’s shoulders. A black carved circlet sat upon his brow. An odd few moments of silence passed, the four staring ominously at the Faceless Summoner before them.

“So,” the orange haired man growled. “This is the Seed that tests the might of the four gods.”

“Yes,” answered the second in the green armor. “It would that seem the tree very much retains a will of its own.”
“We, the four gods have taken this form since our ethereal bodies were destroyed,” explained the woman. She spoke gently but with little emotion. “I am Diyara.”

“This one is called Ferroq,” spoke the man in the green armor. His voice once again seemed to echo, his mouth hidden behind his armor.
“I am Kulradon,” the orange-haired one declared, gesturing with a plated gauntlet.

“I am the leader of the four gods.” The armored blue-haired being walked up to Ardelrius. He was easily a head taller than the Summoner. “You know me as Sairos.”
“What is this?” I managed to mutter from behind Ardelrius. All five immediately turned to look at me.

“The four gods were once humans that lost their lives protecting something they held dear,” answered Ardelrius, looking over its shoulder at me. “Their souls were given eternal power in exchange for serving as guardians.”
“For many generations we were sealed within this temple,” Diyara explained, her green eyes locked with mine. “It wasn’t until the relic was brought to this inner sanctum that we were awakened.”

“The one who crafted it must have feared its power.” Kulradon offered with a grunt. “We were tasked with keeping the unworthy from laying a hand on it.”
“Many a beast and demon tried to brave our trials,” Sairos crossed his arms. “Their greed and feeble souls were smashed to pieces by our power. Now, it seems one with true purpose has appeared.”

“I am wary of the Tree of Souls,” Ferroq muttered. “However, if the great trial is nearly upon us, it cannot be helped.”
"The time for action is now," agreed Diyara, closing her eyes.
“We, the four gods relinquish the forbidden relic,” Sairos spread his arms. “With nothing more to protect, we shall become the guardians of the Tree.”
Before I could speak, each of the gods vanished into bursts of light. The branches of Ardelrius’ staff resonated, glowing with the same aura. On the main body, four new “eyes” appeared, each matching the colors of the gods. In seconds, the glow faded, everything receding back into the staff. My companion had apparently acquired the gods’ power. We moved forward to the altar.
As Ardelrius stood before the obscured object, the crystalline chains broke, shattering into millions of shards and dissolving. A large rectangular form was revealed on the altar. Looking like the face of a demon contorted into a snarl, the object was shaped like a Great Shield. Bright stones were set into the surface and four twisting extensions spoked out from the corners. The beast’s head was crowned with three black horns. Ardelrius reached down with its free arm and hefted the object. Securing the shield to its arm with a pair of heavy chains, the Faceless Summoner brandished its staff in the other hand.

“You now possess the Soulsealer Aegis, Adrath,” we heard Sairos’ voice echo. “It will awaken when in the presence of one with unbreakable conviction.”
With that, Ardelrius turned and started out of the temple without saying a word, carrying the shield on its arm. I followed after.

“Where are we going now?” I asked the Faceless Summoner. Ardelrius stopped and glanced over, burning through me with hollow eyes.

“To find its owner.”
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Front/rotated view
Adrath was an experimental project type I haven't attempted up until now. I've made many different weapons but this was the first shield. I wanted the main shape to be rectangular like a tower shield but still light enough to carry as part of an outfit. The end result is large, enough to obscure the area from the chin to about the knees approximately. Some of the more intricate tower shields from movies or games would probably be as tall as a person but I don't think that's very practical as part of a costume. Adrath is slightly smaller but I think the demon's head on the front of the shield makes up for this. I wanted the piece to look like a creature that was sealed into this shield in order to become part of it. It might be a bit of a spoiler, but Adrath might not just be a weapon so much as its own entity. Its role in the story will become more clear in the next chapter.

Adrath's emblem
For its emblem, I decided to keep the design simple. Adrath's overall shape is conveyed here with the rectangle base and its notable features like the spike protrusions and horns are the most distinct. This was accomplished using the same techniques I apply to the "sphere" or "zodiac" designs where I start with a shape and cut the emblem out.

That's the last new entry in this chapter of the Faceless Summoner's story! I've got some ideas on where the lore will go next but I don't know when all of the parts of the next big piece will be done. I have considered using the site to post lore articles in between major events and I might start doing that. Lore articles would be small to medium-length written narrative pieces meant to either further the story or explain some of the characters. We'll see. I might do a compilation video for the Four Gods pieces so that might go up in the next week or so. I also want to do a full product review of the pose figures I posted on Twitter. In the meantime, content will continue to go up on DA and I'll be sticking to the regular video posting schedule and (mostly) regular drawing streams on Twitch!

Thanks for visiting!

~Zan

The Faceless Summoner Entry #13: Tarnish Dragon Sairos














Here is the fourth entry in the series of masks. This is Sairos:



As I've done for the others, here is Sairos' lore.

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After making our way to the central room of the temple, Ardelrius stopped in front of the last gate at the center. I glanced at the Summoner who remained emotionless as usual. Despite having been damaged in the fight against the volcanic Kulradon, I couldn’t see a trace of injury. Ardelrius’ deep black robes were seemingly untouched. How did the wounds sustained that fight become erased? Was I merely imagining things?
We stood before the final gate. The intricate seal shined and then dissolved, causing the bone-like doors to swing open with a groan. Ardelrius started forward and I followed close behind. The gates led to another large room that widened out ahead of us. Sloping walls were crafted from a deep blue metal and textured with coiled shapes. At the center of the room was a massive statue. It looked like a sort of dragon-like creature with its arms outstretched. The statue’s lower body was serpentine and anchored it to the floor of the chamber. Ardelrius stood before the imposing statue and waited.

“So, you are the one that tests the might of the four gods,” a snarling echo sounded. The noise seemed to resonate through the chamber. Ardelrius stood and raised the tree-like staff.

"We come seeking the artifact you gods are guarding,” spoke my traveling companion in the same emotionless voice. “True strength is needed to prepare for the great threat approaching this world.”

Hm,” the disembodied voice rumbled. “You speak confident words for one wielding a sacred relic. Let this be the final test.”


A slow rumbling began to shake the chamber. The statue in front of us trembled, cracks running along its “skin”. The stone covering dissolved revealing flesh beneath. In seconds, the dragon-like creature had come to life. All around us I could see the walls moving. The coiled patterning lined with spike began to shift. The walls were part of the creature’s body! The final god reared up, drawing itself to a terrifying height while balancing on its serpentine body.
 
"I am Sairos, the Tarnished Dragon,” the creature declared, its voice now echoing from the imposing monster in front of us. “Show me your conviction, Summoner. If you present even the slightest weakness before me, you will meet your end here.”

Sairos lunged forward to attack my companion. Slashing out with sharp claws, the final god cleaved the floor of the temple apart. Ardelrius nimbly leapt to the side, standing ready. I watched it make a simple gesture with the tree-like staff and a large form emerged, taking shape. It was a heavily-built purple-skinned demon with two sharp horns and an irregular set of war armor covering its body.
The enemy stands before us,” I heard Ardelrius mutter in the same dry rasp. “Grahl, your master commands you. Destroy the enemy.”

The summoned creature roared and charged across the room at Sairos. It struck out with its fists in rapid succession. Sairos deflected the blows and countered with its bladed tail. Grahl stumbled under the weight of the strike but managed the hurl a chunk of the stone altar against Sairo’s body, stunning the great dragon. Injured, the summoned demon dropped to its knees, black mist running from its body. In seconds, it had dissolved, the mist dispersing into the air. I looked back at Arelrius who made another gesture with the tree-like staff. A piercing bright light wrapped around the branches and coalesced into another large creature.
This time, a beast even larger than the previous appeared. I recognized the imposing form of the great yellow ogre Ardelrius has bested in the forest. Brandishing a massive spiked club, the monster stomped forward and faced Sairos.

“Voracion, your master commands you,” Arderius spoke again. “Crush the enemy.”

With a grunt, Voracion sprinted at his foe, shaking the chamber with each step. He swung the spiked club with terrifying speed. Each blow glanced off of Sairos’ armored hide but the dragon god was unphased. After trading blows, Sairos’ bladed serpentine body whipped forth, coiling around Voracion as he momentarily paused. I watched the dragon god constrict his prey until Voracion’s form exploded into black mist like Grahl’s. The churning clouds filled the area around Sairos.
I turned back to Ardelrius once again and stopped. The Summoner must have used Voracion as a diversion for some other incantation because a massive runic seal had transfixed itself in the air above Ardelrius’ body. With no time to spare, Ardelrius sprinted forth even as the black mist from Voracion’s defeated form was still dissolving. Darting up the sections of Sairos’ body, I saw the tree-like staff glow with an otherworldly light. Its form momentarily distorted, taking the shape of a scythe-like weapon. Ardelrius leapt forth, sailing through the last of the black mist and striking downwards at Sairos. A terrible force shook the chamber and all was still.
After a few moments, the dust and mist finally cleared. Ardelrius stood below the dragon god who stood, stunned. A long wound slowly opened up down the front of Sairos’ body. No blood flowed by the edges of the ragged cut began to burn with the same darkness as the scythe. Ardelrius raised its staff which had returned to its original form.
“Impressive,” Sairos rumbled, its piercing eyes focused on the Summoner below. “Those summoned by the Tree of Souls are only as powerful as their master’s will. Perhaps you do possess the strength to save this world.”
Just like Kulradon before, Sairos’ body began to fade in color. Its skin slowly corroded like weathered metal until the beast in its entirety had become a lifeless statue.

“Proceed to the final chamber at the heart of this temple,” we heard its voice drift through the air. “Your reward awaits.”

At the far end of the room, the intricate seal of the gods once again appeared. The wall shook and fell away, revealing a corridor leading off into the darkness. Ardelrius once again silently walked forth and I followed. What was this so-called reward? I couldn’t help but feel a nagging sense of fear as we left the final god’s chamber.

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Front/side view
Sairos' mask might be one of the more complex of the four. I had a pretty good idea for this one before I started the actual construction. I knew I wanted to focus on a dragon-like creature and used the sloping forehead plate to create a crown-like effect. I mixed several shades to create the off gray-green color of Sairos' face. The blue highlights and forehead gems helped with the color contrast. The teeth glow in the dark and this is the only one of the masks where I did that. Some might notice some similarities between Sairos and Ryuzai, one of the older masks I made that I also use in my avatar picture. Sairos' classification is a black dragon like Ryuzai but he belongs to a different subspecies under that classification. Sairos is a species of black dragon that has metallic armored plating, hence his title. I hope to some day write out some more specific lore behind the dragon races and how they're classified.

Sairos' emblem

This was another emblem I drew on stream previously. As explained in the lore, Sairos has a serpentine lower body and I tried to show the length here using the coiled shapes. The sharp-edged rune behind it would probably be some sort of energy projection and I think it helps add to the idea of an ascended dragon that became a god.

That's it for this entry. We're nearing the end of the event and I will be wrapping things up in the next post.

Stay tuned!

~Zan
 


The Faceless Summoner Entry #12: Volcanic Fissure Kulradon















The next entry in this chapter of the Faceless Summoner's story is the fiery god, Kulradon.



Here is Kulradon's lore:

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Back at the nexus of halls in the temple, we stood before the crimson-sealed gate. Once more, the “eyes” on Ardelrius’ staff began to resonate with the runic marks, opening the way ahead. This time we began to ascend, traveling up a winding staircase. The air began to thin and I could feel the temperature rising as we climbed. In minutes the dry heat became a sweltering wall that seemed to physically push my body back.
At the top of the staircase was another sealed gate with the same crimson symbol. Ardelrius dispelled the barrier and the gates opened. What stretched ahead was a gigantic open room that stood before us. The walls were covered in a thick jagged rock that resonated with the same oppressive heat. Bright orange trails of what appeared to be molten rock slowly ran from cracks along the rocky surface, pooling at the bottom of the room and forming a miniature lake. Numerous solidified pillars of stone dotted the floor of the room. Ardelrius ordered me to stand at the gate and then leapt down onto the nearest pillar.

A huge flare of searing fire cut through the lava around the pillar, parting around a form that emerged. Standing before Ardelrius was a towering creature whose body was made of sharp rocky armored plates. Numerous lighter crystals were embedded in its face and skin, glinting with light. With a deep snarl of a voice, the monster spoke to Ardelrius, introducing itself as Kulradon, the volcanic fissure god. Instead of repeating the same words of the supposed trial, Kulradon immediately rushed into attack the Summoner.
Moving with great speed for such a monstrous beast, Kulradon strode through rivers of molten rock, slashing the pillar apart with its claws. Ardelrius leapt back to one of the smaller islands, slowing its descent with an incantation from the tree-like staff. Kulradon summoned rows of burning stone blades that speared up around Ardelrius. I watched my companion dodge the attacks before a stray blade cut through its arm. This momentarily halted Ardelrius’ movement but didn’t topple the Faceless Summoner. Thrusting the end of the tree-like staff into the lava, Ardelrius called forth a powerful wave of what looked like black ice. The glistening onyx prisms split the lava apart and deflected the blades of Kulradon. I recognized these objects from Ardelrius’ fight with the fearsome Sealed One in the temple. The assault pushed Kulradon towards the back of the room and sealed its movement by encasing both its feet in ice. Ardelrius sprinted forth and struck out with the end of its staff which had also been covered in the same crystalline ice. The finishing blow cleaved through Kulradon’s body, knocking the fire god over and shaking the room.

As the wounded creature collapsed, the rivers of molten rock began to slow, hardening into dark crimson throughout the chamber. Kulradon bent forward, the light of its numerous crystals dimming. It proclaimed Ardelrius’ victory before becoming still. My companion turned from the great statue of the defeated god and walked towards the entry of the room. We had not completed three trials. One more remains. What will the final test be and which terrifying god awaited? While we proceeded back to the main crossroads, many questions race through my mind.
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Front/side view
Kulradon's mask started with a bit more of a concept than Ferroq's. I had a rough design sketched out and I knew I wanted to go for a molten theme with horns. The mandible extensions around its mouth seemed to work well with the lighter clay fangs. I blended the reds and lighter brown shades and then went back with the darker reds to highlight the mouth and fangs. The blackwashing helped bring the colors out with some shadows.


Kulradon's Emblem
I drew Kulradon's emblem on one of the more recent Twitch streams. The main focus of its emblem was the dark molten scheme with sharp edges. I imagine Kulradon would be a large bipedal creature so I went with that for the pose.

Stay tuned for the next entry!

~Zan