“The “Devourer” had laid bare the starship’s corroded carcass, buried for eons beneath the South Ashman’Rak’Sh. It’s metallic bones lay exposed to Wesdraken’s setting sun as far as the eye could see in every direction. Yat’Duura, the Sadusi scout trembled with fear at the thought of facing the elders, but he was with Ashra Malena, his battle queen – she must have a reason for venturing so far into the South.
Towards the center of the wrecked ship a shallow bowl had been carved out by a whirlwind of the departing storm. The sand leading into this depression was hardpacked and lighter in tone than the surrounding dunes and the droma lumbered easily down the slope.
The fusoid sat in the middle of the bowl, relatively untouched by the passage of time and sand, its surface shining duly in Wesdraken’s dying rays.
“Braedan, this place is evil!” Malena hissed, “there are fell spirits at work here!”
Braedan moved closer, sensing the timelessness captured in the place. “I think this monolith holds the answers. Look at those markings on the surface. It is a map of sorts.”
Malena’s hands clenched spasmodically as she slowly began to recognise the patterns and markings carved into the bright metal. “It is a map of our heavens, starman. See the Sanazas Divider on the side, it mirrors our skies.”
Braedan slipped away from Malena’s side and moved towards the fusoid. The droma howled uneasily, it’s head swaying from side to side. He reached out and traced the contours with his hand. Malena’s last words hammering in his mind as a terrible realisation paralysed him.
The monolith told its story. The galaxy was mapped out there. Wesdraken was a world of exile for the Sadusi, Malena and finally himself. It was an apostacy – a time where beliefs and foundations were shattered by revelations. The revelation that the secretive Sadusi, the desert-hardened princess and the broken and forgotten soldier all had the same enemy – the enemy that had turned Wesdraken into a planet of the forgotten, the unwanted, and the disinherited…”
Technical aspects: This is my final picture in the series that I have come to call “The Annals of Malena”. 13 images, each with their own story and their own unique character.
DAZ3D’s Victoria 2.0 and Michael 2.0 were adapted and morphed to reflect their older Poser 4-based figures and hand-made textures were created for both Malena and Braedan. The droma and the Sadusi figures were taken from earlier projects – “Vigilance” and “Hanging by a Thread” respectively.
The wrecked starship was modeled in Rhino3D 2.0, the holes and rough edges created by a combination of negative boolean lattices and transparency masks in Bryce 4, and the monolith was a simple Bryce object with a UV-mapped scanned image. Post-rendering was minimal and done with Corel PhotoPaint 10, using distance masks created in Bryce 4.0 and then Gaussian blurred. Minor touch-ups were done on the figures, but with the new Millennium figures this was hardly necessary!
I trust that you have enjoyed my trip to Wesdraken and learning about the “Annals of Malena”