Friday, April 13, 2018

Keeper of the Clocks - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Keeper of the Clocks
16 x 20 - Pencil, acrylic, and ink on paper
© 2018 Christopher Burdett

“Time has always been a tricky concept for me. Existing outside the effects and limitations of time has left me disconnected to it. Now that I find myself living side by side with so many cursed by entropy I struggle to understand and perceive it. My disconnect goes beyond simply understanding that the ‘past’ can never be experienced again, ‘now’ is gone after it is perceived, and the ‘future’ can not be known until it is ‘now’. It seems that my mere physical presence causes disruptions in the effects of time to those around me who are bound to it. I have witnessed many unexpected events when in the company of mortal beings. Some have withered and died in the time it took me to greet them. Others seem caught in a loop repeating actions or words that did not end until I moved away from them. It is not lost on me that some of this could be my own perception of those living in linear time. I could have remained motionless for a beings lifetime as they studied me or I may have been moving so quickly that I simply was fixating on a particular motion or sound, repeating it. Needless to say, now that I dwell in a plane of existence whose beings are bound to time I must make my peace and try my best to experience it. To this end I have had clocks created so that I might understand how those around me perceived the passing moments. To use an analogy I once heard, the clocks are to me like a lighthouse and I am a ship; something to give me reference and perspective. Unfortunately the creation of the clocks was no simple accomplishment. My presence seems to effect non-living objects as well. The clocks apparently would function erratically, some moving too fast, some too slow, and some altogether breaking the moment they were started. Yern Relliort, 6th High Chairman of the Construct Guild, was tasked with the job of creating the clocks and I observed her age greatly during construction. Nearing her death Yern decided to take a huge risk, and might I say an ingenious leap of faith, and had her brain installed in the clock’s workings. Not only did she stabilize the clocks but also gave rise to the Yote. Many of her team, family, friends, and even some pets joined her in the transformation and installation into the clock. These proto-Yote communicate with each other and keep the clocks functioning without degradation. I thought to look further into how this actually works, but I figured my unnecessary proximity to the clock’s workings could cause unintended side effects. Also, as I have learned more than once, sometimes things are best left alone because a prying eye can break the magic that holds the world together.”
 
                                                                                                                 - Ethra VanDalia
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Friday, February 9, 2018

Aberrant Stilter - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Aberrant Stilter
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2014 Christopher Burdett

"Man and beast,
A Stilter's feast,
Before they're done you'll need a priest.

Bone and meat,
Head and feet,
All go down when they eat.

Chomp and bite,
Plead or fight,
All are doomed to this plight."

 - Children's rhyme                     
Origins unknown                     

"Why are there Giant Eaters everywhere? Will someone please tell me why there are Giant Eaters in the Bazaar?

They're what?

Stilters?! No. Those are Giant Eaters. Why are they everywhere? Why isn't everyone running for their lives? Why is everyone so calm? Why is everyone ignoring me? Please, someone help me, I don't understand, none of this makes any sense. Nothing makes sense to me. Is this my final challenge? Have I reached the end of my journey? Have I finally reached purity of thought? I thought it would feel different."

- Tryculic Frems, Pilgrim of Ghu'st - Seeker of mental purity
(last recorded words before vanishing)
 
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Friday, January 26, 2018

Woven Shaper - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Woven Shaper
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2018 Christopher Burdett

"Not many know this, but I actually met Shaper once. I found him to be a very vexing and peculiar fellow.  Of course he is a very large figure, everyone knows that, but it is his smell that struck me most. A most intoxicating aroma follows him and it reminded me of when I a boy with my grandparents in the foothills of Thraka. The skies were always clear and bright in Traka, the grass lush and green, and a cool breeze would blow up from the coastline. Just thinking of Shaper reminders me of his bouquet and of my childhood. How strange that I should associate these two? But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was but a Seer First Class when I crossed paths with the Shaper. Those were heady days when I was just beginning my ascension at the tower and I was getting my first taste of authority and power. We were still wearing those ridiculous purple hoods when leaving the tower and our cloaks were a most unsettling mauve. I am so glad I eventually found myself in a position to change the dress codes. Some said it was a trivial waste of time and energy to care so about our garments, after all, we strive for knowledge and enlightenment. I firmly believe if we do no care for how we look then others will not care for what we do or what we have to say. All the knowledge in the world is useless if no one will listen and learn from it. As you know, we now wear ebony cloaks and vestments and most definitely, we no longer wear a hood when leaving the tower. I should really have one of the Psychometrician run the numbers and consult his subjects to see how much better our information is being accepted by the populous since converting to the new dressing. They do say the clothes make the being!

How far I have come since the days of being a Seer First Class. It sometimes sends my mind off in so many directions to think about how much I have seen and done over the years. Of course I am stopped in thought when considering how long Shaper has been at the Bazaar, or Ethra for that matter. Gives you perspective for sure. All my accomplishments are just a drop in the bucket for a being that has lived hundreds, possibly even thousands of years. Think of all those opportunities for  exquisite meals and drinks they must have had. That is of course if they actually eat and drink. Can you imagine such a long life without the pleasure of a fine meal and to have your thirst quenched with the best elixir? I would consider a shorter lifespan to afford myself five meals a day like any civilized being. Granted, if they don't eat then they might not sleep and that would certainly free up a lot of time to put towards your work. Maybe that is how Shaper can make so many wonderful and fascinating oddities.

I believe it was dusk when I met Shaper. I was looking for a particular restaurant in the Woven district that day. The restaurant was reportedly serving specially crafted meats produced by Shaper himself. 'Flavors never tasted before by any being' was the restaurant's motto. I never did find the restaurant because it turned out that the restaurant exploded earlier that very day. There is always something unexpected happening in the Bazaar. I am just thankful that I already had lunch plans that day. While I was wondering around the alleys and streets of the Woven district with two very hungry Acolytes I turned a corner and there he was, Shaper. Standing in the middle of the street he was unmistakable. Not many beings of his size or shape for that matter. Shaper and a team of Assistants were coaxing a Breaker into a cart when he must have noticed three members of the of the Impure Husk out on the town for the evening. Shaper came over to us and that was when I first noticed his odor and all as once, I was in Thraka. It took me a moment to collect myself and remember my manors. I began to introduce myself when Shaper interrupted me with, "Nice hood." After which he promptly returned to the Breaker and the cart. Such an odd fellow, but his fragrance is unmistakable."

-Reginald Blatherskite - Anointed Seer of the Impure Husk

For more samples of my work head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, January 19, 2018

Woven Egg - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Woven Egg
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

"Since the Shaper's arrival at the Bazaar, some 1,248 years ago, the Shaper has been making living tools for sale. Stories of how the Shaper makes these tools are as varied as her creations. It is widely accepted that some fairly powerful and unorthodox magic is being used, there still remains a missing piece to the puzzle that is Shaper's work. A piece that no one has been able to recreate, which is why Shaper continues her monopoly on living tools. Through my research this missing piece seems to be a devise or construct referred to simply as the Egg.

While there have been no documented visual representation made of the Egg, I have been able to uncover several documented descriptions. Of the dozen or so descriptions I have uncovered, these three stand out. 956 years ago, Sysrus Ghet described the Egg as being 'between 5-6 foot units in height. The skin is fleshy and wet yet firm to the touch. The pale form is covered in holes from which the Shaper's creations spring forth'. 593 years ago, Rhhutenfur K'lif Prex described the Egg as being 'a massive 46 foot units in height, its surface rippling with unseen power. All around its folded and creased form are large viewing ports where one can watch magic become life'. 102 years ago Henturjox the Acclaimed described the Egg as being a 'grotesque blasphemy standing roughly 20 foot units tall. The form of the Egg is always changing - dripping, oozing, bubbling up, and caving in on itself. It is a nightmare made real. At the base can be found massive belching maws that spit forth the most vile creations. These creations are little more than squirming feted sacks that give the appearance of life. The smell alone could knock a lesser being dead.'*

It is hard to reconcile these three description into one object. It leaves me to speculate that either the Egg has changed over these many years or that there are in fact more than one Egg. While the latter seems to be the most plausible simply from the high volume of tools the Shaper produces.

Since it is nearly impossible to gain access to the Shaper's tower it is next to impossible for me to verify any of this myself. Ethra VanDalia seems to be the only being capable of entering Shaper's Tower, but it is not like gaining an audience with Ethra VanDalia is remotely a possibility either. Much like the Gray Wanderer, the Egg remains one of the great mysteries of the Bazaar.

*It should be noted for transparency in my research that Sysrus Ghet, Rhhutenfur K'lif Prex, and Henturjox the Acclaimed were all thieves and their descriptions are a result of them breaking into the Shaper's tower. While some may discredit their accounts, just because they are thieves does not make them liars. It should be added that Sysrus and Rhhutenfur were listed as being murdered shortly after documenting what they had seen in the tower. Henturjox the Acclaimed was said to have lost her mind and committed suicide after documenting what she had seen in the tower."

 -Agatha Luculent Habile, Acolyte of the Impure Husk

For more samples of my work head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, January 5, 2018

Rapacious Guttersnipe - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Rapacious Guttersnipe
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper 
© 2017 Christopher Burdett

"These beasts... neh, for beasts serve a purpose and have a place at the table of life. These abominations have no place in our blessed realm. For these abominations are the manifestation of the tainted souls of the wicked and sinful. Those that turn away from the Gods and the path of Ascension are doomed to live again as monsters and cursed creatures. Those that seek violence, those that seek the flesh, those that speak in false tongues, these are souls that will return to plague us. Once they have turned away from the light of Ascension these poor souls are forever lost to us. Dragged into the underworld these souls are torn apart and reformed into horrors that wishes only death to the living. One can only imagine what these souls endures once they have been twisted and remade into these abominations. Are they aware or are they no more than thoughtless monsters striking out in pain and confusion? The only kind thing to do is to end their existence as quickly as possible. Maybe one day our faithful and blessed Knights of Ascension will journey deep enough under the Bazaar to find the path to the underworld and the corruptions that spawns these abominations. For today we can only hold them back when they claw their way to the surface. I have asked some of the High Scholars to push for an increase in the expeditions beneath the Bazaar so that we can stop these horrors at the source. Alas, my efforts continue to be slowed by those High Scholars that seek to study and learn from these monsters. What could possibly can be gleaned from such monsters? The presence of these abominations in our temple can lead to nothing but corruption of our most sacred and holy of places. I begin to wonder if the corruption has already taken hold in the temple and that the High Scholars have been tainted by these monsters. If this is indeed the case, I fear for the survival of us all."

-Silas Illywacker - Student of Enlightenment

For more samples of my work head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com