Oh knock yourself out! I’d be tickled to see someone use them. And, not gonna lie, I’d be jealous.
Awesome, thanks! I did find two places that do allover prints. (And tons that designate a side/corner/butt for text and/or images, which I am less inclined to trust for this design.) They’re pretty expensive, though, so I’d definitely look at reviews before going ahead with either.
Then I found this, which is cheaper (at least the starting price is? though I think it’s indicating bulk is cheaper), donates 15% of what they make to a rad-looking nonprofit, AND offers a 3D proof to ensure you get the design you want. Buuuut their regular stock is mostly military-leaning, and I don’t know how well “hi I want classy-looking video-game-Illuminati underwear” would go over. >_> (And I’d have to get explicit permission from Funcom, since it looks like they’re very particular about copyright infringement. Probably not hard, just an extra wrinkle in the process.)
Also I think everyone should wear whatever the heck they want–so unless it’s a matter of discomfort, I say go for it! I can let you know how it goes if/when I get it all sorted out, if you’d like, so you can get an idea of the quality. (And if I post pictures anywhere, they’d probably just be laid flat or on my skeleton.)
Haha! When I said I’d be ‘jealous’, I was imagining it as a clothing skin on poor, longsuffering Tristan in game! XD But if it becomes a real piece of clothing, that’s wicked awesome. I look forward to seeing it!
Oh crud, my bad. Although that would actually be neat to have in-game, too, now that you mention it…
Character Profile #2!
Name: Alexandra Bishop (Call her Alex.)
Likes: Baseball, sleeping in, strong coffee, good pizza, bar brawls, heavy metal, red ale and porter, leather jackets, and action movies.
Dislikes: Formality, floral smells, llamas (long story), the Red Sox, vampires.
Alex is a dhampyr-- meaning, in this case, that she was bitten by a vampire, but never fully turned. She exists in an in-between state, with some of the advantages and weaknesses of both humans and vampires. Her Bee stabilizes her, and eventually may completely purge the Curse, but no one is quite sure.
Alex is a New Yorker, but signed on with the Templars when she went in search of a cure for her condition, and the first person to offer aid was a Templar. Knowing personally what it was like to become prey for the things in the dark, Alex decided she had to use her abilities to protect others from a similar fate.
She is unlikely and tenuous friends with a mortal Templar gate guard named Harley Trevelyan, who spends most of his time exasperated by her antics (she likes to torment him with knock-knock jokes), but will swear without hesitation that she is a capable and valuable member of the Templars.
Find Alex in game, by the name of BrooklynVamp .
(This is a short, illustrated story I posted on my Tumblr and my DeviantArt page, but this seems an appropriate place to put it as well. The language has been toned down because Alex, left to her own devices, swears like a sailor who just smacked her thumb with a hammer.)
TEMPLARS OF METAL
“The hell am I doing?” Alex muttered under her breath as she passed the gate guards and climbed the stairs toward Temple Hall. Harley wasn’t on duty tonight, and for once she was grateful; if she got into deep trouble for this, she didn’t want to have to see him be genuinely disappointed in her. The gentle creaking of her leather uniform jacket as she moved made her feel guilty enough.
She’d lost a bet. Four drinks down at the Horned God, and she’d lost a bet to Reynolds, over a lousy card trick of all things. Jerk had grinned like a Chesire cat at watching the loud American dhampyr get it wrong… Resolving to figure out how that particular magic trick was done and get him back for this later, Alex tried not to look nervous as she strode casually-ish past a second set of door guards, these flanking the actual grand doors into the Templar headquarters itself.
The task Reynolds had laid out for her after wallowing in his success was simple: Go to Temple Hall, in uniform. Go into Richard Sonnac’s office. And perform ‘vigorous’ air guitar atop his desk. Record yourself doing so.
None of the other posted guards in the soaring foyer of the grand hall batted an eye at her as she headed for Sonnac’s office. Agents reported to him at all hours of the day and night, and by now Alex was recognized as a (somewhat unusual) fixture among the ranks. No, going to speak to Sonnac wasn’t noteworthy.
Planting her boots on his mahogany desk and shredding air guitar would be another story.
“Sorry sir, I lost a bet, please don’t fire me or turn me into a research project,” she mouthed to herself, practicing her apologies. A nervous swallow later, she gently shouldered the door to his office open, drawing a breath to explain as she crossed the threshold.
And then she paused, just inside. The office was empty. Sonnac wasn’t here.
Blinking, Alex let the door fall closed behind her. She hadn’t prepared for this possibility. Sonnac wasn’t here?
… did he have to be?
Alex felt the grin start on her face. Reynolds hadn’t said ANYTHING about Sonnac being present. There was no telling how long Sonnac had been gone– or WOULD be gone– but she had this one, blessed, solitary moment to make good on the bet possibly without getting fired.
Snagging her phone from within her jacket, Alex started a thrashy metal song, set the phone to record video and placed it on a chair near the door, and darted across the room, hefting herself up onto her handler’s desk, keeping her boots off of his papers and pens. Taking a deep breath, she quickly opened her coat, showing off her metal t-shirt, and… began aggressively air-guitaring, headbanging and snarling to the tinny cell phone music. Holy hell, she was doing it. She was air-guitaring on Sonnac’s desk.
“Yeah, suck it, Reynolds. You’ll get yours soon enough,” she muttered, shredding one more glorious guitar riff–
– when the door opened.
Alex froze, except for her head, which snapped toward the sound.
Oh no. No no no no CRAP.
Standing in the doorway, brows raised in faint bewilderment…. Was Richard Sonnac.
Dammit. She’d been caught red-handed. Alex winced and hopped down from the desk, mortified, aware of her pulse in ways she usually wasn’t. The cell phone, still growling its tune into the otherwise silent office, only made it worse.
“I trust there’s an explanation for this,” the Englishman said tentatively. His voice was steady, maybe curious. Not angry. Yet.
The wince on Alex’s face turned to a full cringe that continued on into her shoulders and posture. She turned away, scratching her neck awkwardly. “I… lost a bet, sir. I’ll… I’ll get out’a your hair. Sorry.”
Burning with embarrassment, she started for the door, but Sonnac held up a hand to stop her. Alex stopped. Cringed again. Looked up a bit, wondering what he wanted.
Sonnac’s hands settled on his hips, and his head cocked to one side. The whole gesture was too loose to imply condemnation. “You took a bet, where the condition of losing was to dance on my desk?” he asked. His voice was almost amused.
“Air-guitar, actually, sir, if we’re splittin’ hairs,” Alex offered, arms folded, gaze turned to her boots. “I… really didn’t think I was gonna lose that bet, honestly.”
“Mm. I imagine not.” Straightening, Sonnac walked past her toward his desk. Puzzled at his lack of reaction to catching her in such an absurd moment, Alex couldn’t help but look up, wondering what he was doing. Her confusion only deepened as he shrugged off his immaculate suit jacket and hung it neatly on the back of a chair, and rolled up his shirtsleeves. Then he opened a drawer in his desk, put away his papers and lamp, and pulled out a slim black object; it looked like a remote control of some sort. Alex cocked her head as he pointed it at a painting on one wall, pressed a button…
… and the sounds of Iron Maiden’s ‘Death or Glory’ thundered through the stone room, courtesy of half a dozen small but potent hidden speakers. Alex’s jaw dropped. Her head snapped back to Sonnac, her eyes wide with surprise.
He was grinning, his teeth a slash of white in his dark face. “If you’re going to enjoy a bit of heavy metal in my office, you should at least do it properly.” And before she could say a word, Sonnac himself hopped upon his desk and conducted his own enthusiastic air-guitar.
Alex stared. Blinked. Shrugged. And joined in.
When the song wound down, her handler hopped neatly down from his desk, turned the speakers back off again, and began rolling his shirtsleeves back down as casually as if he’d helped move a couch. Alex was still grinning, although not without a tinge of nervousness.
“Jeez, Sonn– I mean, sir. I had no idea you listened to-”
“Metal?” he asked, his tone level, maybe even a bit conspiratorial. “I have broad tastes, actually.”
Alex nodded. He was… taking this strangely well. Scratching the back of her neck again, she watched as he finished with his sleeves and began to shrug his jacket back on. “So… I’m not in trouble then?”
“Trouble? No. You’re far from the first agent to be up to harmless shenanigans in my office, and if we’re being frank, I have an idea of who you lost a bet too, based on the nature of the shenanigans at hand.” His tone and faint hint of a knowing smirk as he settled back into his chair implied that this might not have been a first. Folding his hands on his desk he added, “I wouldn’t suggest making a habit of this, of course.”
She almost laughed in relief, but stifled it for a smile and a salute instead. “Yes sir! Or, uh, no sir! Or, hell, whatever. You know what I mean.”
Was that a little smile? Sonnac hid it and waved her toward the door. “Go on then. Unless you have something relevant to report. I’m afraid the paperwork that crosses my desk is endless.”
“Right. Yessir. You have a good night, sir! And, uh, thank you.”
Her body wanted to sprint for the door, spurred by a combination of nervousness and relief, but Alex forced herself to walk normally– although she paused at the threshold.
Oh yeah. Her phone. It had stopped playing music several minutes ago, but had it stopped recording?
She glanced over her shoulder as she picked it up. Sonnac’s head was down, reading a report. Had he even been aware it was there? He had to have been; it’d been playing music when he’d entered… She swallowed, then slipped out the door, shoving the phone in her jacket again. Past the guards in the foyer. Past the guards at the door. Past the guards at the gate. She walked normally, heading for home.
Only at home, safely behind closed doors, would she dare to check and see if she had indeed captured video of Richard Sonnac playing heavy metal air guitar on his desk.
Pax was never going to believe this.
Always thought Sonnac was cool… for a red
Ahahhahahahahahahahahahaahahhaha Brilliant Teathief.
Okay, I was gonna just say that Alex is ALSO a delight (and that I am amused with the location/faction swapping of your characters)…but that story was absolutely frickin’ HILARIOUS.
Thank you to everyone who got a kick out of that story! It was a lot of work, and I’m glad it entertains.
Name: Carlos Hernandez
Likes: Food, boxing, sky diving, fortune cookies, making smoothies with whatever he can find in his kitchen, playing pretend with little kids, butterflies, his Mama’s sopapillas.
Dislikes: Too neat/organized environments, sitting still, grey, Phoenicians, guilt trips, being told he can’t have a Happy Meal.
The Dragon keeps Carlos on a fairly loose leash-- he’s as much experiment as he is agent, because he seems to exist almost entirely in a state of chaos, and yet he has zero training in probability, chaos magic, or any other paranormal abilities. He just… IS a ball of chaos. So they watch him closely to see what he’ll do next. (Answers seem to include ‘stumble blindfolded across a busy freeway without a scratch’, ‘fall down a staircase and hit every single stair and STILL not set off the alarm system’, ‘drink a smoothie made of pickled beets, Funfetti frosting, and Gatorade’, and ‘choose a fortune cookie with winning lotto numbers and give it to a homeless person’.)
Carlos is a huge fan of K-Pop music, and favors the band ‘Over the Top’.
He regularly stalks a favorite food truck that sells bulgogi tacos, and the employees have special codes for when they see him coming.
Carlos is absolutely fearless in the face of certain death – no really, he collects interesting deaths. He thinks the cement mixer incident was the most interesting, but the ill-fated night locked in IKEA was a close second.
Carlos is a middle child, terrifyingly optimistic, pansexual, and an atrocious housekeeper. (Which is not helped by his tendency to form emotional attachments to inanimate objects, like his partially-deflated pool shark, Sharky.)
Find Carlos in game as CrazyStraw !
Okay, so, all of them are delights. I am…quite familiar with Carlos’ brand of organized chaos. XD Let’s see…
I like the mustache post-it on the unicorn poster.
How did that sock get up on the lights? o_O
I LOVE SHOVELS
Of course he has a lawn flamingo.
There is…also a sock pinned to the wall. Is he where all unmatched pairs go?
CHALK OUTLINE ON THE FLOOR, GENUINELY UNCERTAIN WHETHER REAL OR PROP OR HE DECIDED TO TRACE WHERE HE PASSED OUT ONE TIME…
Hehe bag of marbles.
How was he kneeling/leaning/whatever to get that particular formation of fingerprints around the left side of the red string?
I spy aces spade and club pinned to the wall! Not yet found the others, if they’re present.
I…that’s…he put gum on the walls. Multiple times.
Sadface post-it on the Ceasar’s Plaza Over the Top poster–did he not get to go? :<
LIKE A SIR cactus, nic–EXTREME KNITTING
I [infinity] U
…Why a mini umbrella in a stick of melting butter?
The blender looks perfectly incriminating until you notice the watermelon next to it. That was perfect placement. XD
THAT IS A SOCK PINNED TO A CABINET DOOR
How often does the bunny win games, or do they usually play co-op?
…Shark bottle opener. XD
Paper(/tissue/?) stuffed in one shoe, a banana in the other.
HI WHO’S PENNY?
… okay, I love you to pieces, and that MASSIVE COMMENT that shows you actually looked at that horrendous mess IN DETAIL has earned you one (1) free character portrait of your choosing.
Thank you. <3
In reply to your last question, Penny is a tiny native South American woman, and Tristan’s best friend.
…and has a habit of collecting hapless, sweet-tempered male agents who need a friend/mother figure. (We call them her ‘Feral Sweater Boys’.) She belongs to a friend of mine/fellow player. (The ginger pictured there is John Hawkens, who belongs to another friend of mine.)
I had to look more closely at it, after I spotted that mustache post-it and realized it’d be as much a character description as the rest of the post, as well as a great easter egg hunt. (I like doing it in-game, too, when I notice a given area has similar environmental storytelling.) I feel like it’s the sort of thing I might draw if I had any affinity for environments or inanimate objects, so I guess there’s a degree of familiarity that made it easy to fall into. As it is, I’ve only done the like with my Montag comic. XD
This is me trying to be chill and not go “BUHHH?!?! <3” like I did out loud. Thank you SO MUCH for offering me a free character portrait! I’ll ponder who I’d like to see, and let you know when I decide. (Note: I am both an altaholic and hilariously indecisive. I haven’t drawn the majority of my characters, but there were a few in my thread–so if there was anyone there who caught your eye, you are welcome to nudge me toward them. XD)
Penny is FANTASTIC and I love her hair. I’d love to hear the story behind the “prone to biting” pet-shame-meme one, I get the impression there’s either a particular instance or running gag that inspired it. XD (I’d also like to hear the story behind the arson one, if it’s not just a good summary of their dynamic, hehe.) The last shot of the three of them looks rad (I SPY THAT OROCHI BELT BUCKLE, JOHN also your claws are cool). Are the labels on the crates anything specific, or just filler stuff? (I haven’t memorized every box in the game, just a lot of them…so if it’s referencing an in-game asset, I’m drawing a blank. XD) I…Feral Sweater Boys oh man that’s so great.
Also, what program(s) do you use to edit your scans, if any? I might have recommendations to make, especially if you’ve any interest in eventually working more digitally. (I am not trying to drag you away from traditional work–like, it’s incredible to me what you managed with lighting on that trio shot, and with markers! But if you’re paying a subscription for mostly just color correction, I cannot let that stand.)
Re: Character Portrait – I’ll have to go through your thread again and see. I remember mostly canon characters in it, but I may have missed some of your own PCs as I went through. But if you decide on one, let me know!
Re: Penny and the boys – There isn’t a particular back story to the ‘prone to biting’ or the arson picture, except that Penny is highly protective of the people she takes under her wing, and highly aggressive/standoffish to everyone else. The labels on the crates are also no specific reference to anything-- just filler so that the scene looks more natural. (Btw, if you ever see an image of mine full of bookshelves… read the titles. Drawing dozens of books is so mind-numbing that I tend to put funny titles on them to amuse myself.)
Oh John. John is a special case. He’s a heavily cybernetically augmented (that entire right arm, from shoulder to claws is synthetic) ex-Orochi officer who managed to get Bee’d and figure out part of what Orochi was/is up to… at which point he decided he liked not being a lab experiment, promptly defected, and ran to the Illuminati for sanctuary.
Re: Scanning – I have a “free” copy of Photoshop that I scan into. It’s not a newer version, but for what I need it for, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t cost me anything.
I have played around with doing digital work in the past, but for a number of reasons (don’t have/can’t afford a good tablet, know too many amazing digital artists, long learning curve, and I prefer the sensory feedback and problem-solving of traditional methods), I stick with my markers and other materials. So don’t worry about me! The freaking Copics are the most expensive part of what I do. (That reminds me, I need to order more paper.)
This image. Man, THIS thing.
This is out of a dream-- specifically, the gigantic ceiling-mounted clockwork eye and pyramid thing is. Contextually, it’s a fancy countdown device at the Illuminati’s New Year’s Eve party. Tristan wanders around with a drink in hand, checking out the decor and the spectacular penthouse views of New York, and doing his best to avoid most of his coworkers.
With the exception of a couple very thin white lines done in gel pen, yes, this is all markers, as usual. It’s not perfect, I’m not 100% happy with aspects of it, but I’m SO GLAD it’s out of my head.
Portrait: yeah, it’s mostly canon stuff. For my characters, there’s Azalyth (gnawing on her knee while she sews), Bonejangles (cosplaying Daenerys, surrounded by flappy-dragon versions of Azy and two other dragon alts; also modeling Queen Bee), and Tophre (modeling Kings and Aces very stiffly because they are a science-leaning-necromancer, not a model, and also because I was lazy and traced screenshots for reference).
Penny and boys: Okay, cool. Will definitely keep an eye out for books, I love spotting silly titles. XD
I was trying to place what weapons they each use, and I figured he used the quantum bracer and/or the new Orochi drone top (once I noticed the shoulder “muscles”). Given all we’ve seen of the results of their experiments gone awry…defection was a wise choice.
Scanning: Shiny! Older versions of Photoshop work perfectly well, last I tried. I’m sure there’s some fancy bits and bobs the newer ones have, but it does so much that unless you’re specifically using it for those new things (or need to open files that use those things), you’re not missing out (and even might still be overwhelmed if you tried to dig into every single thing older versions can do). If it ever goes wonky or you decide to branch out, hit me up–I can recommend a few one-time-purchase programs, depending on what you’d need them for.
If you get an inkling to check out tablets in the future, I (currently) recommend XP-PEN; way cheaper than Wacom (~$500 for a ~16in display, cheaper on Amazon), good quality, comes with nice little extras like a glove and cleaning cloth, and they’re actively producing new tablet types based on feedback. (I am actually thinking of getting the new Artist 15.6 for the no-battery pen, single cord, and lighter weight. So I might soon have an Artist 16 to sell… >.>) There’ different benefits and drawbacks for digital vs. traditional, and I do miss the sensory feedback (a textured screen helps, but there’s still things it just can’t emulate), but warping, undo, and other shinies are worth the tradeoff for me.
I would recommend ways to save on Copics, but alas, the only thing I’m aware of is using refills rather than buying new pens. x_x
OH OH I REMEMBER THE DREAM-CEILING-EYE! I’ve seen this one before, too. It looks so cool.
…Now I wanna do more science with image sizing. I thought it was the dropdown spoiler tags I’d used that resulted in something similar to your comic clipping, but since you didn’t use them, it could be related to proportions. Mine was 817x2000. I suspect something along the lines of “twice as long as it is wide makes the forums go wut,” since it’s possible to exceed the maximum thumbnail height and width without issues if the proportions are more similar. That said: poor Tristan, subject to a perfectly-timed pax bribe. XD
A look at my marker collection, for the folks who are into that sort of thing… Not a GREAT photo, but… there’s hundreds of dollars worth of pens and markers represented there. O_o
Tristan, as I have mentioned, lost his mother when he was young, but his (biological) father and his (many) half-siblings are still out there, and he learned of/met them some time after being Stung.
His father is… well… complicated. Jacob Conrad Wickham is A) a former cultist (not an Atenist or Morninglight, but a different group, not part of canon lore), a seer who sometimes receives visions in the form of dreams, and C) currently in ‘protective custody’ under the care of the Templars. A Bee himself, and a trained mage, Jacob is working against the cult he used to belong to, but between being considered a flight risk, and being a high-value target to his former bretheren, the Templars rarely allow Jacob outside to personally pursue his goals.
Jacob’s gift of Foresight is hereditary (he inherited it from his mother, though it was his aunt who actively had the gift), and of his five children, Tristan was the one to inherit it, although it doesn’t manifest as dreams the same way it does for Jacob. (Most seers in the Wickham bloodline manifest their gifts in different ways.) Instead of dreaming his visions, Tristan can only access his under the influence of hallucinogens. Tristan hates using his abilities (partly because he hates being high), and rarely sits down and induces a vision… but if he waits too long, and the Universe has something it needs to get through to him, he’ll develop increasingly nasty headaches until he gives in. Tristan realizes the danger his gift puts him in, and takes every imaginable pain to hide it from the Illuminati, in case they decide he’d be more useful strapped to a table in Zurn’s office, rambling off memos about the future, higher than the space station. Forever.
While Tristan was the only one to manifest the Wickham bloodline’s Foresight, he isn’t the only Bee. In fact, ALL of Jacob’s children are Bees, thanks to Jacob foreseeing their births. From left to right:
Lillian, the youngest, is a Templar, and the only one who actually has daily, personal contact with Jacob. She’s responsible, highly trained, and enjoys photography – specifically Polaroids.
Johona, in yellow, is half Navajo, thanks to Jacob’s travels through Arizona while he was on the run from the Cult. Johona is a crack shot with a rifle, asexual, and well-versed in the secret world in spite of being unaffiliated with any faction.
Tristan, the middle child, needs no introduction, of course. He was only informed of the existence of his father and half-siblings recently, by Lillian.
Hunter, the oldest son, hails from a Louisiana crime family, although he wants no part of his family’s business. He’s not super fond of working for the Dragon, either, but he makes do. Hunter was bitten by a werewolf, and struggles with that side of his identity, although being a Bee helps him manage it.
Iris, the eldest, was the first child Jacob foresaw-- her mother was another former cultist who defected from the cult with Jacob. She left Iris with a relative when it became clear that the cult was hunting her and Jacob down, and Iris grew up as a canny, slick, artist of social manipulation, disguise, and sleight of hand. She is also a member of the Illuminati, although she and Tristan haven’t met each other yet.
Eventually, though, when all of the siblings have met each other and start to build bonds they all wished they’d had growing up, they get along famously. Johona and Tristan realize they both have BRUTAL puppy dog eyes…
And all five react predictably to haunted houses, in spite of their jobs.
…I should really do more art of the siblings…