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Shieldmaiden of Rohan

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“‘Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!’

A cold voice answered: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.’

A sword rang as it was drawn. ‘Do what you will; but I hinder it if I may.’

‘Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!’

Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. ‘But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.’

The winged creature screamed at her, but the Ringwraith made no answer, and was silent as if in sudden doubt…”

One of those pivotal moments in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. Here the Lord of the Nazgûl – having just unhorsed King Theoden of Rohan, mortally injuring him – is challenged by Éowyn, Theoden’s niece who followed him into battle in the disguise of a man, Dernhelm. I was trying to capture that moment when Éowyn’s true identity is revealed, and the Nazgul lord’s resultant doubt and fear. This is a very popular theme illustrated by Tolkien artists. I hoped to capture something different in this image.

DAZ 3D’s Victoria 3 formed the basis of the character of Éowyn, with the V3 Morphing Fantasy Dress and the V3 High Fantasy Character & Clothing Bundle forming the basis of her armor. Her hair is the Sapphire Fox Hair, and weapons are from the Michael Viking Pack. Theoden and Shadowfax were revived from my “Ride to Gondor” archive. A few old Poser 4s horse with the Low-resolution Michael 2 from DAZ, and some low-resolution Poser 4 businessman were used for the background battle.

The winged beast was a combination of 3 figures, the DAZ Seadragon for the head and neck, the DAZ Wyvern for the body (unseen) and the wings, and a heavily morphed foot and talons from the DAZ Millenium Dragon 2. The textures were created by hand.

Blacksmith 3D was used for the custom morphs and my new 3D modeller Hexagon was used to create the Rohan shield in the foreground, and the scene was imported from Poser 6 into Bryce 5.5 and lit with about 20 spotlights using “ranged falloff”. There is even a “negative” spotlight in there someplace! 2 volumetric cloud objects were insterted in the image as well.

The final render almost killed my home computer. Even with 2 Gb of RAM there was not enough RAM to render the entire picture in Bryce, and Poser 6 really struggled with the basic scene. I had to do 4 separate renders, 2 3D renders and 2 outline/distance masks.

As in the past the renders were imported into Corel Photopaint 12, retouched and tweaked with a variety of tools and finally saved as the image you see on this page.