Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lock Down Kazikii

Another share from the Life of Lewa fan fiction. A long time ago I made this three page comic based around an episode where Kazikii (represented by an adjusted Gresh figurine) was brought to the lock down bunker (a single concrete base like building made to be a special prison for holding Jusha).

As general of camp Cobrales, Lewa had access to this bunker and used it for the most naughty or dangerous individuals he was required to punish (those including his own sons, or in this case half son).

As the episode goes, Kazikii (Kazi for short) had been unable to contain his inner shadow seeing he's half Jusha, and one day it took over him so badly that he nearly hurt someone in the family. The evil side of him took hold for awhile and he sneaked into his half sister Moonbreeze's room, giving her a major fright as he ran a long claw along the neck of her favorite ash bear plushy, tearing the head off with enjoyment as he watched her pupils shrink. She screamed in terror, not just from the fact her favorite toy was damaged, but by the appearance of Kazikii, clad in black armor, clawed with three inch long talons, eyes glowing red, and teeth pointed.

Lewa came to the rescue and slipped a pillow case over Kazikii's head before knocking him out so he wouldn't harm Moonbreeze, and then the dread of the evening came. Kazikii's mother, Venimbus, couldn't think of any safe way to help Kazikii other than to let his system balance out naturally.
Till that point there was nothing they could do to prevent him from becoming dark and dangerous whenever the sun set, and with regret Venimbus agreed that Kazikii should be locked away and chained for the sake of protecting him from others (people bound to attack him when they see a Jusha) and others from him.

Lewa and Venimbus agreed and Lewa took Kazikii to the lock down bunker, the most secure prison in all of camp Cobrales. That's when this comic comes in. When Kazikii wakes, the shadow in his system had resigned, and much to his discomfort he found himself in a depressing and frightening situation.
 I was still experimenting in digital at the time of making this. Hand drew the speech bubbles, the squiggly lines in text and the ripply design of Kazikii's speech bubbles an indication of a wavered, tear strained voice.

Mind the small typos, art comes with imperfections (ones I don't feel like fixing for something old like this).
 FYI, Lewa has the ability to portal jump in this fan fiction because of certain special elemental tattoos on his palms, gifts from Orpheus.

Though the imagery is kind of old and imperfect, I still feel each image makes an interesting illustration all by itself , so here are the base images for viewing.
 (In case you're curious, Lewa has orange arms in these scenes because his originals were broken at the time, and I didn't yet have replacements.) My friend and I came up with a creative excuse for this, we settled with the concept of Lewa's arm color changing to orange due to his body having a reaction to certain tannins in a Junti fruit he had eaten.

(A way to tell Kazikii apart from Gresh, arm plates and leg plates have been switched on the figurine.)

Sobbing has to be one of my all time favorite clips in the comic. Something about the way the tears and eye glow turned out that just emotionally moves me every time I look at it.
"Don't Leave Me"
"Left To Rot"

The final scene is my second favorite. I love the dark despair of it, relating to this feeling in a way.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Drowning Dream Erozion

It had come to this, the final leap of sorrow. Erozion's heart felt as sore as his back, lashed with wounds that seemed to remain open for far too long. 

He had nothing left to keep him motivated, his friends were gone, his body sore, and as of late he had so little to encourage him from making a bad choice. It seemed his father would never see him unless angered, and it seemed his mother misunderstood him and had no time to waste with so many children to care for. What was he? What was his purpose and why did it feel so impossible to heal?

A dull numb in his mind remained constant, not a single thought of joy could spark without the current sense of reality clouding them over. 
Erozion had had enough. He agreed to go on a family picnic the next day in a part of the jungle where a steady river flowed. The grove was lined with blossoming trees of pink and white, and the bridge that crossed the river never seemed more welcoming.

For a moment Erozion had second thoughts, but the ache within him drove him to continue. When his family wasn't looking, not noticing his presence even when he spoke softly, he slipped away into the trees and climbed over the branches till he reached the shore and river bridge, then knelt down next to a tree stump. 
There he placed his belongings. His wallet, his journal, his motorcycle keys, a family photo, and lastly a letter addressed to his family. 
He took a moment of silence and closed his eyes, and like the blossoms of spring his tears fell, a few dotting the letter with a gentle splat. 

After a few deep breaths he removed his plating, and even his mask, only leaving his lower armor on. There against the tree stump which appeared now as a shrine, Erozion set his armor, and then placed his mask before the letter and family photo. 
He took a few steps back and gazed at this scene with an intense stare, conflicting thoughts flashing through his mind as his tears only grew bigger. With that he turned around and walked across the bridge, stopping in the middle and gazing down at the sparkling river before him.

With one swift push he hoist himself onto the bridge railing, and like a Le Matoran he stood up strait on the narrow ledge as though it were a tree branch, his back facing towards the water. 
As he spread his arms out like one enticing for a hug, he looked up at the sky, then closed his eyes and let his weight propel his fall to the water below.

With a large splash he went plummeting, the water engulfing him like welcoming arms as he let himself sink. 
For a brief moment his eyes could see the light around him, beaming through the water's sparkling surface, and below him all seemed dark minus gray hues of stone lightly illuminated. These were the final beauties he saw before the current yanked him down, his head hitting the rocks below. It's then that all went black.

"Erozion!" Lewa screams as he snaps from this recurring nightmare. "What is this bad dream?" he pants, feeling as though something had been whispering in his ear, something evil which seemed to clench hold of his heart and show him possibilities of a future no parent would want to face.
Before getting the main image created using parts of my own painting and then some photo manipulations, I made these paintings which were the concept stages of Erozion drowning in a dark dream.
This image relates to a rather dark stage in the Life of Lewa series. There are many dark aspects to the series obviously, but this one in particular was dark enough that I wasn't willing to make it an actual event of the story at that time. I still wanted to introduce it into the role play and fan fiction, so I thought of  a way to incorporate it creatively with no fuss about killing off my favorite character. 

The story clip I wrote above could be improved, but that's the basics of what happened in that part of the story, hence why I made a picture based off what I imagined the sad scene to look like.

There's more dialogue involved with the rest of the chapter, but I'm just going to explain what happened the rest of the way for now, as reference in case I ever decide to write out the clip in more depth with character dialogue one day.

Before Lewa wakes from the dream he comes from the family picnic searching for Erozion. When he finds the grove and sees Erozion's things on a tree stump, he's highly concerned, glad Venimbus was too occupied with his other kids and didn't follow him to the area. 
He reads the letter, and then yells for Kazikii who had been following close behind. The two team up and realize Erozion must have thrown himself off the bridge, and they travel down stream along the shore for a long while.
 Finally a horrifying sight is found. There lying limp across fallen trees in the shallower area of the river's path is Erozion. 
Lewa goes running and gets right into the water to lift Erozion out. As he does he notices the concussion on Erozion's head  and realizes Ero isn't breathing. He does everything he can to revive Erozion, but fails and cries desperately over his son.

Here's the fun part. In the dream Erozion dies, but in the actual RP episode Ero survived this incident and is taken to Orpheus for medical treatment. 

The nightmare version sort of just ends where it's most tragic, and in story the reason Lewa was having those nightmares is because the Jusha poison in his system. Plus during that point in the series a Jusha with the ability to tap into ones mind and show them multiple possibilities of the future was playing tricks on Lewa as part of their ongoing experiment. They managed to get into his head by injecting an extra dose of special poison into his neck when he was off guard. This poison allows the dream snatcher (which is what I nick named the Jusha of this ability) to tap into ones mind through the toxin that's agitating the victims system. One poke and they were gone; Lewa never had a chance to catch them.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Toa Zethro and Makuta Aluna OC's

Back when I was 15 I made these two character designs for the Life of Lewa series. Zethro and Aluna were introduced into later episodes of the fan fiction, both of them darker figures in their ways of thinking at times. 

To this day I still find their designs to be pleasant, and if I ever find the desire to, might make a newer version of the images, specifically Zethro who could use a better pose than this basic pre T pose stance. 

Lets get into the details. I never fully thought out Zethro's background, but allow me to introduce some refined concepts which have come together over time.

Zethro is a Toa of ash, half earth, half fire type. In the Life of Lewa universe, combo elements exist for many species. 

Here's a briefing of Zethro's history. He was the leader of a Toa team called the Toa Agase (Ah- ga- say), a special team of Toa usually called upon for stealth missions. He was secretly in love with the female member of the team, a special kind of water type I don't recall many details about.
During one of those stealth missions involving a bomb, Zethro didn't make it out of the area in time after going in to attempt deactivating it, and his team thought he was dead, abandoning mission after they couldn't find his body.
I never fully developed an absolute idea for his background minus the ones I used during role play at the time, so I'm piecing together some newer ideas which make sense of them.

he and his team had been hired to trek dangerously close to active lava pockets over a lava field which had a device planted in the center over the actual volcano. This device was originally a regulator that warned lava farmers when an eruption was about to occur, and it would release a cooling agent into the volcano to prolong the volcano's eruption time, giving the farmers room to get away before it exploded. Over time this cooling core (as I call it) became damaged, and an internal fracture formed inside its mechanics. This fracture caused pressure build up, and instead of releasing cooling agent, the release valve became clogged. Its core started to get hot from the volcano and the cooling agent became unstable, starting to boil from the high temperatures and become an element much like nitroglycerine. By that point it was considered a bomb that needed to be defused and disposed of, hence the hiring of Zethro, an Ash Toa with knowledge in explosives. 

His team had come along to help get villagers to safety while he went to the very source of the problem over the volcano cap (cooled lava sitting on top of active lava over the volcano). With him he carried a special kind of living nanite usually used for medical purposes of internal healing. He was sure the nanites could fix the fracture and cool the unstable liquid just as they do in a body after being injected into the bloodstream. Their primary function is to find an injury and reduce inflammation while repairs are made. Zethro felt that if he could inject these nanites into the cooling core, they would absorb the heat of the liquid into their own bodies and then repair the internal crack. The nanites run off extreme heat and can handle volcanic temperatures, or extreme cold.

All seemed to be well as Zethro successfully injected the nanites into the cooling core, but that was all about to change. His team had escorted the surrounding villagers to safety in case of catastrophe, then came to the outer rim of the volcano to see how far Zethro had gotten. He exchanged words of encouragement as the nanites did their thing, but miscalculated volcano eruption time. With the core damaged and highly explosive, Zethro knew if it fell into the lava, things would go sky high. He told his team to back away and get as far from the area as possible as he summoned a large mound of earth to cushion the core and hopefully bury it to reduce the power of a possible explosion. As he did though, the volcano cap cracked open and caused the core to slip. The very tilt set off the unstable coolant and the last thing Zethro remembered was yelling to his team to run.

A large explosion happened and the Agase were saved by the shock wave that sent them rolling down the hill side as Ash, earth, fire and smoke clouded the area and set the trees on fire.
Zethro himself had been hit by the explosion, and during this moment the nanites in the cooling core traveled through the vaporizing liquid and impacted Zethro's body. As he was bombarded with fire and earth, they somehow melded with the electrified nanites which adapted themselves into a new kind of micro bot that can duplicate so long as high heat is present and keeping their cores burning. 

Zethro's team had come back after recovering to see if there was any sign of him in the now charred landscape, but found only ash in all directions.
Soon after that (around two hours later) Zethro himself was surprised to find he was still alive. How? The nanites had reformed him, becoming the building blocks of his body. They replaced his cells and made him a new kind of Toa, a true Toa of ash. The nanites were able to solidify and give him a solid body, but he discovered the downfall of this. If he gets wet the nanites slow down and he can be easily injured, not able to reform until remaining nanites reheat and duplicate. This can result in his body becoming mud if he's drowned in water. 
The advantages of the nanites is that no matter how many times you try to kill Zethro, if even a few nanites remain undamaged, they super heat themselves, duplicate, and reform his body out of what appears to be a pile of black ash with fire crackling through it.

Upon being reformed, Zethro set out to find his team, and when he found nothing he was convinced they died. The weight of loss hit him hard, and for many years he lived in depression, learning and adapting to his new body type while exploring new lines of work. He wanted to forget his past, and stopped being an explosives emergency hero. Instead he went into a second subject he always thought was interesting, brain surgery. He became a helper in medical fields and eventually became the best known neuro surgeon of his kind. 

This is how he's introduced into the Life of Lewa fan fiction. Lewa needed help getting a tracking device out of Kazikii's brain. Orpheus, Lewa's medic friend, recommended Zethro who works in an underground lab, his knowledge and skills kept in secrecy for reasons of not allowing Makuta or Jusha to get a hold of technology that could be severely abused if in the wrong hands. 

Some final details on body structure. Zethro wears armor that's black and accented with crackling flames. These flame patterns actually glow like hot coals, a sign the super heated nanites are functioning. Zethro is able to feed the nanites and heal himself faster by using his natural fire abilities to speed up the heating process in specific locations of his body around any one particular injury. He's learned to control the flow of his naturally high body temperature, and only dislikes water for the reason of not wanting to be in a weakened, vulnerable state. 
Zethro can get wet and remain solid, it's not unless he's injured (like having a stab wound) and then made wet that he has a high risk of turning into a puddle of mud. He can also control the nanites of his body and keep them separate so he can turn into what's known as living ash, a pile of black dust which is him, able to move along the floor as dirt and feed himself through extremely small spaces before reforming into his solid state. He's still able to see and hear even when in ash form, making him a rather sneaky Toa, one who's able to get into heavily guarded places without ever being noticed.
Makuta Aluna, I took some time to draw out her design. Tried to make a balanced combination of Makuta and Glatorian in build, hence the more organic smoothness of her structure.

Aluna isn't a full blood Makuta, but rather a Jusha, which means she's a mix of Makuta and deep wood jungle Glatorian. 

Aluna's back story is very brief. She was included in one episode for the Life of Lewa fan fiction, only mentioned in name a few times later on. In the story, Aluna was a female figure Kazikii had met as a child at the age of 15, a very young year for a Glatorian.
Kazikii is a half Jusha half jungle Glatorian, raised by his evil father, Scarough, for a few years. During this time he lived in one if the Jusha tribes within the dark wood, his father the leader of this camp. At the age of 15 Kazikii met Aluna who was a few years younger than him, and he wanted to be friends.

Scarough discovered Kazikii's interest. but wanted to train his son to be like him, which Kazikii couldn't do, his heart rooting for decency over savagery. Scarough insisted that Kazikii go and mate with Aluna, spread the lineage of Jusha and become king of a region by starting his army building early. Scarough even threatened to whip Kazikii if he didn't carry out this plan.
Kazikii went to Aluna out of fear, but when he tried to even touch her shoulder to say hello, he panicked, secreting a small amount of acid from his hand. His element of acid reacted from his sense of fear, and he accidentally singed Aluna's shoulder, causing her to hiss and flee.

Later Kazikii was punished by his father for failing, and suffered a lashing, but kept his purity.

Later in life, Aluna is introduced once more in the Life of Lewa fan fiction. Kazikii goes into Jusha territory to save Lewa from one of the hungrier tribes attempting to make Lewa into stew for dinner. He allows the shadows of his Jusha roots to take hold of his system in order to trick the tribe into believing he's one of them. He didn't anticipate that his Jusha bloodline is stronger than he'd like to admit, and by allowing the shadow energy in his system to take hold temporarily, it caused his form to morph into a temporary stage of Jusha alpha male, a trait he got from his father. 

When he came into the camp, all the females were ready to fight over who he could have, Kazikii forgetting that it was a full moon, Jusha and Junti Glatorian females preferring full moon nights over any other to breed (part of their superstitions). Kazikii did his best to ignore all the females, and stayed focused on saving Lewa, which he does. 
He managed to get Lewa outside the camp borders, and by that point felt the effects of Jusha hormones taking tole on his system. To protect Lewa and keep himself from attacking him, Kazikii flees and runs back to the camp in order to keep the other Jusha distracted so Lewa has a chance to get out of the region.
It's then that Kazikii is confronted by Aluna, his attention grabbed by her. All the other female Jusha become highly jealous, but know not to interfere with an alpha male once he's chosen his mate. Kazikii falls to his darker nature and finds he's still attracted to Aluna even after decades of not knowing whether she was alive or not. Aluna reveals she's always secretly admired him as he has her, and seduces him till he gives in to temptation.

Lewa had hid in the trees to make sure Kazikii made it out, only to discover he stayed the night and broke a rule set in Junti not to mate unless married.
Kazikii is later punished by Lewa for this move, and Venimbus, his mother and Lewa's wife, is concerned of what may come.

Kazikii vows to marry Aluna if he can, and gets news that she carries his child. When he returns nine months later to take her and his baby from the land, he discovers that she was killed by the other Jusha females who fought to have her baby, a way to claim rights to being the head female of an alpha male Jusha.
Kazikii threatened to injure if not destroy all of them if they didn't hand over what was rightfully his. For fear of their lives, the baby was handed to him and he left with his daughter who has a likeness of her deceased mother. 

That's the basic history and overview of Aluna's origin. She may have had a very different life during the decades before she met Kazikii again.

Aluna is mostly nocturnal, has a set of bat like wings that allow her to fly, and she sees well in the dark. A few times in her life she may have been a spy for pay, or even a thief on the occasion, enjoying tactical subjects and trickery over snatch and grab jobs.