Monday, February 24, 2020

Selection From the Aberrant Stilter Entry - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Aberrant Stilter
11 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2014 Christopher Burdett

Excerpt from a lecture on the importance of learning new languages



It had not yet been a year since I had become an Acolyte with the Impure Husk when I was selected for a research mission heading to the island of Druth. Or is it Druya? Or Drutha? No matter, to the island where the Stilters dwell. To be selected for this assignment at such an early age with minimal experience was a great honor, to say the least. The honor was not lost on me, for even then I had my wits about me. I may have still been wet behind the ears and ignorant to the complexities of the Bazaar, but I knew to grab the brass ring when it was in front of me. How I planned and prepared for that mission. Day and night, I would study the Stilter’s language and their ways, not that either is very complicated. I would pack and unpack my equipment, making sure I had all I needed and to make sure everything was arranged just so. You cannot imagine the mishaps that can occur if you are unable to retrieve a needed item from your rucksack in the middle of research. A spare quill, additional parchment, or even a book of translations, if they cannot be called forth in a moments notice there is the likelihood important information can be lost. So I would pack, unpack, and pack again until it was perfect.

If this mission was not exciting enough, an airship was hired to take us to the island! I had never been on an airship before, and I had many a sleepless night lying there in bed thinking about what it would be like to soar through the skies. I was a little nervous too, for airships are not without their hazards and flying is as of yet not a refined art. In the end, I think I was more excited than nervous.
I could not sleep at all the night before we departed. I laid in bed awake for what felt like an eternity. I got out of bed and paced in my room for a while. I then had a snack, I even tried to read, but nothing was working. I chose not to recheck my pack for I knew it was perfect. Finally, I decided to go for a walk, clear my head, and take in some night air. The Bazaar was quieter than usual that night. I walked a few streets out from the tower, and on my return, I came upon a Stilter on duty. What luck! Here was a perfect opportunity to try out my language skills before arriving on the island. I knew if this went well, my mind would be at ease, and I could finally sleep.

 I approached the Stilter and in a loud voice said, “Berr kreuw Iishlukmaw. Istrew verd?” There was an uncomfortable silence as it pivoted around and looked down at me. It stared at me with its dull yellow eyes just long enough that doubt entered my hearts, and I feared I had made a terrible mistake. Then in a booming voice, it replied, “Gruest verd, wuk.” Success! I had made contact and was having an exchange with an actual Stilter. All those hours of studying had paid off, and I knew I was prepared for the mission, but I was not prepared for the odor of that Stilter’s breath. It was also unsettling for the Stilter to refer to me as ‘food.’

That was when a second, larger Stilter came around a corner and joined in the conversation. This second Stilter, who had the most delicate orange spots running down its neck and arms, was a lot more talkative as well as curious as to why I could speak their language. It was touch and go for a while as we found the limits of my vocabulary and syntax. In the end, I think we had a charming and informative conversation. That was when I noticed how bright it was. The sun was well into the sky by the time I returned to the tower. Proctor Chr-po Za’que was furious and a little concerned. No one had been able to find me, and they had feared the worst. The research team had waited as long as they could while others searched, but the airship was on a strict schedule, and they had to depart. The team was gone, I had missed the airship, and I had squandered the opportunity that was given to me.
After the team failed to return a second expedition was sent out to investigate. An account of the mission was found in what was left of the airship on the Stilter’s island. There had been an issue with the balloons, and they were forced to land. The Stilters appear to have eaten all aboard as well as a good portion of the cabin. I should have been among the dead, and yet I missed that fate by getting into a lengthy conversation with a pair of Stilters. The twists and turns of life are like that sometimes.

Reginald Blatherskite - Anointed Seer of the Impure Husk
Excerpt from a lecture on the importance of learning new languages - 2038.7
For more samples of my work head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Spot Art - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Access Medallions, Tokens, Keys, and Tickets
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
A complex system of entry gates was created at departure points in the Bazaar and arrival points on the platforms to limit access to the air platforms. If a being is to pass through these gates, they need to possess the appropriate object, be it a key, ticket, medallion, or token. These objects are little more than a secret handshake or passphrase, for they do not open any door or unlock any bolt. Merely displaying them shows you are among the privileged few that have access to the air shops.


-Ethra VanDalia



Street Food - Skewered poockele with hawcberry, Big Groow-lee’s kabob sampler, and raw netnete with grilled hooul’c slice 
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
The most desired food options can often be found in the most congested areas of the Bazaar. Many of the races of Kiervis have elaborate and ritualized cooking and consumption practices. Even so, much of the food consumed in the Bazaar is done while completing other tasks. This need for quick meals has given rise to a diverse and thriving community of street chefs. Nearly every race residing in the Bazaar can find a vendor selling traditional dishes that are ready to eat. Complicated meals have been reinvented to allow ease of consumption while moving and working, and new delicacies have been created specifically for those living in the Bazaar

-Ethra VanDalia


Lucky Mouth 
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
The Bazaar is continually in a state of construction, deterioration, and repair. Many tens of thousands of feet, paws, and hoofs upon the street stones quickly create ruts. An often touched surface will soon show the wear of the multitude of hands, claws, and tentacles upon it. The Lucky Mouth is a piece of sculpture that originally sat next to the southern gate of Hollow Alley when it was the outer wall of the Bazaar. If one were to touch it when entering the Bazaar, it was believed they would be granted good fortune. After centuries of providing luck, Lucky Mouth was removed to prevent it from being wholly destroyed. After its removal, the wall behind where the sculpture originally sat became the replacement luckstone. This practice continued until the next outer wall of the Bazaar was constructed. A hole three cubits in diameter remains to this day in the wall of Hollow Alley.

-Ethra VanDalia


Prototype Cranial Housing 
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
This housing unit contained the brain and spinal column of a spotted drant. It was the first successful attempt to place a brain in a mobile chassis. The drant died after damaging its dome falling down a flight of stairs. Domes were given additional layers after this accident and eventually were replaced with metal.

-Ethra VanDalia


Grasping Branch 
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
This branch of Dillill coral that has grown around a Hol’stidet snail shell is deemed to be a priceless object by thirteen of them kingdoms residing in the seas of Kiervis. Dillill coral has a prolonged growth rate, and the Hol’stidet snail, which is extinct, was thought to bring good luck and a bountiful tide. The combination of the two was considered a boon to whoever possessed it and would bring still waters and plentiful schools to the owner. Many destructive wars were fought to gain ownership of it. During the ninth global undersea conflict, I removed the Grasping Branch from the vaults of the Hoppi’taa Kingdom. In its place, I left crushed and broken fragments of coral. With the treasure believed destroyed, the war ended, and peace once again returned to the waters of this planet.

-Ethra VanDalia


Offerings 
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
Over time the offerings left for the dead take on a life of their own. Since space is limited, new offerings are placed atop those left before. The offerings, numbering in the thousands at any one bench, eventually form low walls. The walls shield the benches from the activity of the Bazaar and give protection to those that sit upon them.

-Ethra VanDalia


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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Gray Wanderer Doll - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Gray Wanderer Doll
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett

Dolls and similar figurines of the Gray Wanderer have been made since its first appearance. Parents fill these dolls with herbs, wards, and blessed tokens before giving them to their child. It is believed that any child who sleeps with one of these dolls will remain hidden from the Gray Wanderer's gaze, and thus be safe. There has been no evidence that these dolls have any effect on the appearances or behavior of the Gray Wanderer.


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

Monday, February 10, 2020

Removed Sentry Venting Socket - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

Removed Sentry Venting Socket
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett

Most, but not all, of Shaper’s creations quickly decompose when damaged beyond functionality. The same occurs with most parts removed from the whole. Even after my best efforts, this venting socket completely liquefied after a day. Without my intervention, it would have been unrecognizable within moments.

-Ethra VanDalia

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

Friday, January 31, 2020

Jwarnen Gecko - The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia

 Jwarnen Gecko
8 x 10 - Pencil and acrylic paint on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2020 Christopher Burdett
Awkward on both land and in the water, the Jwarnen gecko is home to both and neither. Because of their docile demeanor and inability to escape even the simplest of cages, they are desirable pets. There is a belief that their pale grey bodies excrete oils that have restorative properties. It is not uncommon to find elderly Fullerines with one or more Jwarnen geckos living mostly symbiotically in their mouths in the hopes that their youth will return.

-Ethra VanDalia

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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia COMING TO KICKSTARTER FEB 29!


The time has finally come! Soon, you will be able to travel to the planet of Kiervis and explore the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. What mysteries walk to streets at night? What dangers dwell below the ground? Where can you buy the best drinks? You will learn all this and more. ArtOrder and I are excited to be able to announce that on February 29th, the Kickstarter for my book will finally launch. 

The book is done. The art is drawn. The stories are written. All we need now is your support to have the book printed. Here is a peek behind the curtain to see what we have been working on all this time.

The Aberrant Stilter entry.
Each entry is made up of several different voices and points of view. Learn more about the Bazaar as you learn about each entry.

But wait, why make one book when you can make two books! As part of the Kickstarter, you will be able to acquire a pocket guide that contains 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons stats for the monsters in the main book. This guide is set in the world the Grand Bazaar and contains more writing about the Bazaar and those living in it.

The Aberrant Stilter entry.
Bring my monsters to your gaming table as your players explore the Grand Bazaar!

You know what, why make two books when you can make THREE books! Also, as a part of the Kickstarter, you will be able to acquire the Grand Coloring Book of Ethra VanDalia. This coloring book features all of the main art created in the book as line art so that you can add your own colors.

Learn more about the Bazaar in rhyming pairs in the coloring book!

All images are not final. More information about all this will be coming to you as soon as it is available! Spread the word, it is the time!
For more samples of my work head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com