Good Evening all!
Just got word from the illustrator that all the illustrations have been conceptualized and they are now hard at work putting the recommendations I asked for in place. I figured I’d share the rough drafts since you’ll have to buy the book to see the final ones 🙂
I’m really liking where these illustrations are going. My illustrators suggested a random edge effect on the final draft (which I’ve seen, and think you’ll like) that breaks up the ‘too neat’ border of the picture. Here’s the end of scene book.
Speaking of that, here’s a sneak peek inside the world of Brass Legionnaire.
It was often said that even the fog feared to tread in the depths of Sludge Bottom. Only the brave, the foolhardy, the desperate, or the conniving dared to venture into that economically stagnant and most run-down sector of Brittenburg, where seedy gambling halls, dank, smoke-filled bars, and automaton-fighting pits in abandoned warehouses were the chief attractions. The operators of these businesses, always tight-fisted and tight-lipped, had tightened their vigilance as well, with the auxilia more active recently. Anyone who seemed a bit out of place or a tad too eager to learn more about their companions at the gambling table was “taken care of,” right along with anyone who happened to develop an exceptionally strong winning streak at the dice tables or during a rigged card game.
Here, Domino Grex ran the notorious Atrium, five stories of every kind of disreputable entertainment imaginable. The building stank of desperation and ill-gotten gains. The fact that it was neither as well-lit nor as well-ventilated as its name implied appealed to the con artists, runaway peasants, prostitutes, loan sharks, and the city’s assorted riff-raff who frequented the establishment. And no one crossed Grex. The survival rate for those who did was zero. Even the auxilia dared not raid the place. Domino Grex had so many illicit connections that his complex was untouchable; any officer who tried to impose the law soon found himself transferred to the city’s Sanitary Division.
Though the private rooms on the fifth floor could provide for any vice or perversion, they seemed to exude the evil, hatred, anger, and violence they’d witnessed over the years. No member of Grex’s staff was assigned up there for any length of time. Too many seemed to disappear, go mad, or simply see things that . . . shouldn’t . . . be there.
One of the largest of these rooms had been booked for the evening. Two muscular street toughs stood on either side of a dented copper door, the verdigris of age belying its well-oiled mechanisms. The men leaned on heavy clubs, and short swords and daggers were sheathed at their belts. The toughs stepped together in front of the door as three cloaked figures approached, blocking their passage.
The cloaked figures each withdrew necklaces from within their cowls to display small medallions with intricately geared moving components. Newly alert eyes lighting up their dull expressions, the thugs nodded to one another and moved aside to let the strangers pass. The leader inserted his medallion into an opening in the wall as if it were a key; after an audible hum, the door hissed open, sliding slowly into the wall. The figures passed between the two toughs, who ignored them—their job was to guard the door; what happened inside was not their business.
With another hiss, the door squealed shut behind the last cloaked figure to enter, and the gaslights blazed in their wall sconces, casting a yellowish haze throughout the room. Two of the figures moved to the last remaining high-backed chairs surrounding a massive brass table, designed in the shape of a gear, in the center of the room. The third figure stood between and slightly behind the two chairs, keeping his face in shadow. Anticipation weighted the air, seeming to make movement a challenge…
More to come later! Ciao!