Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Treasures of the Civilopede 51-65 oh god let it end



51# Effigy of a Bureaucrat-Count
Painted plaster over a wire frame.
A gaunt and intelligent looking man with hooded eyes reflects upon the viewers gaze. He has been stolen and is now free. The ‘Counts’ are lesser tribal and low-volume rulers within Knotsmen influence-sphere and who have made treaty with them. These highly-lifelike effigy’s are made as a form of contract with the Debtsmen of that race. They are kept centrally, in ‘Forclose’ the Knotsmen capital, and counted every day. They are never intended to leave.

52# Mating Flight
Woodcut
Gracefully carved woodcut showing the mating flight of two of the memoryless moth-men, the Gegenshein. The densely silver-written wings of the creatures enfold each other as they twist together, still in flight. Each Gegenshien carries a slef derived record of its life threaded on its smoke-grey wings and the calligraphic texts interweave as they embrace. A knot of carries silk-wrapped bones is tugged behind them like the bow of a kite as they drift through the dark air.


53# Dwarven Origins
Painting, oil on canvas
This painting seems to be a dramatic but rather uninspired view of a deep city on a dark ocean. In fact, this over-painting is camouflage. On investigation, it lifts away to show a scene of pornographic dwarven love. Beard and pink flesh intertangle so that it is impossible to exactly tell the gender, or, in fact the position of the subjects. They are tenderly and erotically portrayed.


54# A Spiders Embrace
A drinking cup of enamelled spider shell.
The ochre shell of this cup is taken from a Trogloraptor, the child-stealing spider. Across its surface is pictured a scene taken from the back of a Troglorpator, where it keeps the silk-wrapped and sedated children it steals. In this case the children are not sedated, in fact they are ******REDACTED****** each other. This cup is banned in all cultures, even Drow. Anyone viewing the cup must save against spells or spend a minute trying to scrub their own eyes.


55# Portrait of a slave
Oil on canvas
At first this painting seems to be a grotesque image of a seated skeleton dressed in a silk sheet. On closer observation you can see that the bones seem to carry flesh, translucent transparent glasslike flesh of a beautiful woman. The multiple varicoloured light sources used in this image were selected and arranged to make a canvas of the flesh itself. The woman has been placed as a living prism. She stares mournfully from the surface of the canvas.

56# Sculptures from a temple door.
Limestone
This arch of stone images show he judgement of the world by god. The sinful are drawn from their places like fish, into a land of burning light. In this opulent but corrupt country they are gorged forcibly to obesity, blinded, deafened, noses cut off and forced into crowds. They are also watched ceaselessly from above by groups of observing angels in the belly of a gigantic blue beast that never sleeps.

57# Statue of an ironist.
Marble, metre and a half high
This is an image of a totally normal man in naked circumstances and therefore looks very strange for the subject of a statue. He lacks any heroic proportion. Spindly limbs, large head with aware features. A touch of this statue will open any shackle or binding and dispel any geas or command. Even the mind-staples of the Knotsmen will be ejected without damage.

58# The Kyriarch
Marble bust, life sized.
The subject of this bust has a wide forehead, intelligent eyes, a small sensual mouth and a strong nose. They look entirely normal, and quite civilised. There is nothing abstracted or idealised about it at all. It could be the bust of  an accountant, except for the high quality. An impossible emperor, too simple, too human too artless to ever be a destroyer of peoples.

59# Red-Berry Rapids
A mosaic, or a fragment of a mosaic now.
Meant for the floor of a bathhouse, where the water would flow over the bands of fractured tesserae, making the river in the image run as well. Shows the route of a great underground water course It begins under the sun, where dark skinned small-eyed people (blunts heads, stained skin, big eyes with tiny pupils flitting about like pinballs) pick the red fruit. The fruit is passed to river-raft riders who take it underground. They pass through numerous shallow falls, the waters glow. Rafts capsize and crews die at every stage, the red fruit is lost in the dark. Past pale fish and pale pigs, rapids, poisoned birdshit island swarming with nightmare alpha-bugs. Past and through forgotten cities where half sunk statues to unknowable gods make reefs upon the foaming blur. Then through the hopfish spawning grounds where sailors are abducted from the deck by flocks of fleeting gnawing fish, the ambassadorial swamps  where educated alligators converse and snatch ships down. Past the fallen lighthouse where they say sometimes the antiphoenix burns. To the whale-wracked shores of the nightmare sea and the islands there where beautiful sorcerous women with iron eyes wait for three day-old fruit before it spoils.

60# Apocalypse Tapestries
Woven from human hair.
The underverse is just deeper and longer than the oververse and with a stranger memory and the cataclysms of the known world are just the pulse of the underworld, renewed by the destruction from above. A birth of ashes. These tapestries show numerous human apocalyptic events. The sun plays a part, and the sea, and light, ships there are and angels inverted in the dark. In each instance the survivors are shown going underground. Sometimes willingly. Sometimes when, under darkened skies, pale armies rise up from the gaps in the world to hunt the remains of civilisation, abduct, enslave and consume them and, in whatever form, bring them below.


61# Curiosity
Metalwork.
An image of curiosity embodies as a man, winged, shrouded, with a hooded lamp.
Cool hat, awesome hair, face hidden. Dangerous. The initial impression of carved wood is actually a dozen metals, forged and worked together as one. Copper, iron, bronze, tin, etched titanium and more. The lightness and apparent improvisation of this piece is actually the result of insane levels of planning. Metals with different tolerances and melting points have been worked as one apparent whole, yet they can only have been assembled slowly over time, and with great difficulty. Impossible to tell which races work this is, depth of metallic lore suggests dwarven or duergar but the effect is too light and fanciful.

62#  Ge(g)eor Lilven. Spasm-Baron; Neyvgaber
Chalk on black slate
The slightest touch could smudge this perfect sketch. Practice for a painting, lost or unmade. The Spasm-Baron himself is a middle-aged male, face carefully delineated clothes roughly laid out, furs and a skullcap, ruthless, intelligent. Awake. Aware.


 63# Selenium Bloom with Moon-Bronze Rose.
Watercolour on dogskin
Reason for the unusual choice of canvas not know, possible Archen artist or Archean influence as painting exhibits colours beyond the expected visible spectrum.
A small clutch of selenium flowers from the gardens of the Archeans, subtlety and exactness of the petals and leaves shown with rare and obsessive grace, the barely-opening flowers, the slenderness and near luminosity of the leaves, catching yet also providing light. Brilliantly implied humming crackle of light-negative alpha waves. This picture slightly radioactive

64# Lamenters Hunting.
Watercolour and chalk on graphite tablet.
Lamenters hunting in their own caverns, unusual as lamenters would usually hunt in the overworld at night (where they do not call and are not remarked upon).
A small flock of two or three birds caught spiralling through the air, all trying to catch one translucent cave cricket that has presumably leapt up into a darkened space.
Drawn from life under conditions of enormous danger. Lamenters are rarely seen like this and there are very few bird pictures underground so this one is rare.


65# Female Harvester
Oil on canvas
A naked woman wearing only sandals and a basket over her shoulder.
Sticking out is the foot of a human being She carries in her hand, another hand, this one separated from its owner. She seems peaceful.

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