Lelas and Cyprus – A Historical Tale From the Nine Realms

Have you heard of those who reside in the sea? No? Well, then I’ll tell you.

WeaverofTales_SmallThere live in the oceans a wondrous people, the Erilene, mysterious and beautiful. Often mistaken for glistening sunlight against the waves, they live out their days beneath its swell, their numbers far greater than any of us would believe. With legs like me and you, they have the choice to walk on land or swim in the deep, but none save one have ever dared to live as we do. Her name was Lelas.

Most of her kind prefer to reside farther down than you or I could ever swim, but Lelas was one of a few who loved the surface. It was said that she met many beautiful men in her wanderings over the coast, each hoping to charm her out of the water’s hold, but none could capture her heart, or so she thought.Lelas_SmallEight of the Guardians we know today were of the original nine. Only one has ever left his post for good. A Guardian named Cyprus was set to watch over the Daar Mountains, the stronghold we make our way to now. Often called back to the isle of his birth to meet with the Council of Ursa, he was no stranger to seeing the Eriline in his flight above the ocean’s waves, but there was one who gave him pause. Cyprus found Lelas walking in the shallows off the coast of Vela, her carefree spirit and unassuming beauty leaving the Guardian with an emptiness he never knew he needed to fill.Cypus_Small It was said to be a fated meeting, if you believe in such things, Lelas’s heart longing for Cyprus as much as he was for her. He used no coercion, no bribe or trickery of fanciful words to win the Eriline. She came to him willingly, wanting to live her life at his side. Taking her first steps from the safety of the sea, Lelas knew no fear as Cyprus took her up in his arms, carrying her back over the Realms to the mountains of the north. For a time, they were happy.Lelas&Cyprus_SmallMany years they lived in peace and deepening love for one another, returning to visit the waves as often as Cyprus could spare the time. But there came a day when all that ended, the happiness that Cyprus and Lelas had shared shattered in the course of a single moment. A terrible creature with ice on its back and fire in its belly fell upon the lovers in their flight toward the sea. Narrowly escaping with his life, the Eriline clutched in the Guardian’s arms was not so lucky. For days upon nights Cyprus wept for Lelas, mourning the beautiful life that had been taken too soon from his side. There was nothing left for him there, the lonely mountains only serving as a daily reminder of the love he had lost.C&LReturning to Ursa with the heaviest of hearts, Cyprus announced before the Council the permanent resignation of his Guardianship. Although the Elders begged him to reconsider his decision, Cyprus could not be swayed. If he could not be with Lelas in life, he would forever remain on Ursa to keep vigil with the stars. It may seem a strange thing to you that a man once a Guardian would leave it all to keep his gaze to the sky, but it was with hope that Cyprus did so. It is said that in the rarest of occasions, the stars have the power to grant life back to a soul who is worthy. No one truly knows what makes the death of a loved one worthy of renewed life, but some believe it to be reserved for those who gave into death to save the life of another. So Cyprus watches and waits, living out each moment with the hope of one day being reunited with his love.CyprusStars_SmallBy Micheline Ryckman and Erin Kleveland. All copyright remains with © Whimsical Publishing 2017.

News and More Charting Stars Concept Art

Morning friends! Excited to let you know our first book comes back from the editor today!!! That means that the graphic novel art sections now begin! Just to whet your appetite we plan to share the prologue with you for free as soon as it’s completed! Which should be fairly soon!!!
Attached are a few more concept illustrations of the Nine Realms characters – we hope you enjoy! 😀 If you’d like to see more art on a daily basis follow Whimsical on Instagram!

New Graphic Novel Series in Development!

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We are excited to announce that Whimsical is in the beginning stages of developing a new series of graphic style novels! These novels will be aimed towards pre-teen and teen ages (as well as those who are just young at heart). The novels will be constructed in a half graphic / half traditional novel style. Our hope is to provide the illustrated graphic novel excitement but still emphasize and encourage kids to read. The more they read the text that corresponds to the illustrations, the more depth they’ll receive about the story. We want kids to love reading and our hope is that this style of novel will encourage this! We promise to give you more concrete information on all the details of this project in 2017.

But to whet your appetite my co-creator, Erin Kleveland and I have been having fun drafting and creating the characters for this new series. Attached below are the preliminary character sketches  – we hope you enjoy! 😀

Pssst… if you’d like to follow along with us on a more daily level be sure to come join Whimsical on Instagram —> @whimsicalillustration

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Drew, master magician and changeling child, don’t let her innocent and seemingly youthful appearance deceive you. She has seen far more years than anyone would guess, her reputation as a skilled handler of magic paving the way for her to be allied with vast and powerful kingdoms. When the plagues of war broke out through all the land, Drew was called upon by many to prove her usefulness in battle, entire armies rising or falling in a single night at her hand. But when the battles had ceased to be waged and the kingdoms had begun to heal, the great magician was nowhere to be found. Some thought her dead, others believed her to be deep in hiding from the countless enemies she had made, but only a few knew the truth. For reasons unknown to most, the Witch of the Nine Realms, as she had been since called, had decided upon a simpler life to suit her, not in hiding, but simply distancing herself from the troublesome kingdoms who would seek to use her again for her power and power alone. Few would even be able to distinguish her in a crowd, Drew’s nearly permanent form being that of an ordinary white cat, clear of scrutiny and prying eyes so that she might live the remainder of her life in the way she would so choose.

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Jarrett has been an orphan for as long as he can remember, fending for himself on the streets of a kingdom in the middle of the nine realms. With his charismatic wit and easy-going outlook on life, no one would be the wiser to the hardships his lowly beginnings have afforded him. He will do any and everything to remain feeling useful, putting his street-smarts to use for just about any honest job that will pay in cash. With Jarrett’s personality, he has often found himself making friends with relative ease, his loyalty towards those he puts his trust in nearly unshakable once put into place. In comparison to most of his friendships, his closest attachment is with his squirrel companion, QB, the two having spent years together traveling the realm, going wherever they please, making friends and bonds in any place they find themselves. But despite his vast freedoms, Jarrett has never felt wholly complete, making his way over the world as if in search of what he is missing without the faintest idea of what that “something” could possibly be.

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Calystra, daughter of the air thrown back to the earth, one can instantly recognize how greatly she differs from Jora. Though born of the same race, Calystra has never shared the sentiments of her kinsman towards humans, seeing those who live upon the earth as lesser beings, undeserving of the protection her people have always freely offered. Her pride and avarice had long gone unchecked, those leading above her holding firmly to the hope that she would one day shake off such notions, but time alone was enough to force their hand. Upon Calystra’s demands to be granted the star promised her from birth, the council’s attempts to explain how ill-prepared she was for such rights to be granted were met by the girl’s attempts to forcibly acquire what she believed to already be hers. Her punishment was severe. Banished to the earth she despised so poignantly, her powers nearly all stripped from her, the wings Calystra had always been so proud of could no longer bring her higher than the treetops, forcing her into as much of a mortal form as could be done to a child of the air. Wallowing in bitterness and her desire for recompense, most days of Calystra’s confinement to the forests and mountains are greatly spent in idle mischief and the caring of her adopted twin foxes Toss and Lear, simply biding her time until the day her plans for revenge can be realized.

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Born of a race quickly receding into legend, Jora belongs to the company of those who take to the air, keepers of the stars and caretakers to all that their light shines upon. Her years are unknown to most, even to those closest to her, Jora’s wisdom and understanding of the world and those which lie beyond the nine realms only a small testament to her disguised age. Just as most of her angelic kind, she is graced by majestic wings which carry her to the sky and across the kingdoms, allowing her to better oversee the care of the people she has long sworn to protect. She does everything with reason and careful thought, her abilities, though more powerful than many can truly understand, never put into use without thought of the price there will always be to pay. Jora’s wise counsel and extensive knowledge have long distinguished her as a leader among her race, but it is her patience and unending compassion which truly set her apart as capable to guide the worlds into harmony and peace.

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Upon first glance, Talia is the sort of girl that anyone would consider rather ordinary. Her childhood was a happy one, Talia’s every spare moment spent scribbling over any paper she could get her hands on, the years that followed only furthering her love for expressing her vast imagination through art. Paint or pencil, charcoal or marker, if Talia could think it, she could create it. But of anything she loved to portray, her greatest love was for the night sky. Stars had always fascinated her, Talia’s insatiable curiosity for them earning her the nickname “little star gazer” from her mother. They were a tight-knit pair, Talia and her mother, especially considering that they were all the family each other had. Being a single parent, raising Talia had been an adventure, but never an unwelcome one. Her mother sacrificed a lot for their little family, working hard to put Talia through college. It was a sacrifice that was not about to go overlooked. Talia was determined to perfect her artistic endeavors, hoping that her efforts would someday come to fruition to offer up the life she had always dreamed of for herself and for her mother. But no one, not even Talia herself, could yet understand just how truly extraordinary this ordinary girl was or the incredible destiny that would soon unfold to change her life forever.

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Sebastian, prince and heir to his father’s throne in one of the center-most of the nine realms, Bash is a credit to his kingdom. His fierce loyalty, courageous heart, and determined spirit inspire many in their anticipation of the day he will ascend the throne. Trained in the sword from youth, Bash also showed great interest in the bow, his hands clearly skilled in any weapon he so chooses. Despite his father’s discouragement of pursuing archery, the prince spends a majority of every day perfecting the craft through hunting and competition. Well educated, a proficient leader, and adept warrior, though seamlessly able to appear perfectly content, Bash’s happiness is simply the mask he wears. Years of experience has taught him to play the dutiful son and prince rather well, but those closest to him know how greatly he longs after a more normal life, the peasant life.

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In a time when most animals are seen only for their ability to be useful to their human friends and masters, a lowly squirrel like QB would easily be overlooked. Playful but a bit aloof at times, friendly yet always wary, QB’s unparalleled loyalty was tried and proven true when his undiscovered potential caught the eye of Jora. It was during the age of bloodshed, a time when the Realms were inundated in the seemingly endless plagues of war. Jora saw a purpose in QB, his inconspicuous presence proving vital to the secretive messages the winged guardian passed between her allies at his hand. Once the fighting had come to an end, Jora did not wish to lose the friendship of her companion, placing him in the path of a young man named Jarrett. She had plans for this street-smart orphan, knowing perfectly how well he and QB would be able to work together. Having felt that he never truly fit in anywhere, QB found new joy for life in his travels with Jarrett, the two sharing many mishaps and trivial adventures together. The two are nearly inseparable now, for theirs is a friendship destined for greatness, the kind one would not expect of those starting from the humblest of origins.

marenreference_smallMaren, a warrior by blood and by trade, her fierce determination makes her a dangerous enemy, but a loyal ally. Born in the southern-most lands of the nine realms, she was raised to be a leader and an example to her people like her father before her, but it was not to last. Sent away by the very villages she called home, Maren is determined to regain the respect of her people, working as the eyes, ears, and hands of Jora wherever she is most needed. Even though her skills in a fight should never be underestimated, Maren’s strength lies just as much in her vast knowledge of the realms as it does in any of her physical accomplishments. With both mind and body at work, she is not one to be trifled with.