The DragonRider

2. Dragon Rider


The DragonRider official map

Map created by Shaun Jooste. ©2007 – 2015

Professional design by Robin Dean Smith, BIZculture resident graphic design artist. ©2015

Published by African Publishers. ©2015

Printed by Groep 7 Drukkers

bizcullogo1-300x117 africanGroep7


hero-thiefAssassin: “a stealthy, efficient mercenary hired to kill a target for a price by any means necessary”

Think less Assassin’s Creed and more Guild Wars Thief class, or Taki from Soul Calibur, and you have a better idea of these assassins. When assassins reach the high rank of dark assassin, they are called Semhum Kateth. There is a galactic Order of Assassins which outsources their trained assassins to anyone, anywhere in any world for the right price.

Vampir-1aVampeyer: “pale, black-robed creature relatively close to being human,
except that it is dead. It sucks on the blood of the living to survive,
with razor sharp teeth to pierce the skin of its victims. Has adversity
to sunlight”

The traditional vampire with superhuman speed and strength, while not being able to survive sunlight. These are more in line with “Underworld” and Anne Rice’s vampires than any other. Nellice’s closest visual description would fit that of Brad Pitt’s Louis de Pointe du Lac in “The Interview with the Vampire”

400px-Defending_ShaemoorCentaur: “has the body of a horse, and the abdomen and upper body of a human. The centaur kings have horns attached to their heads as a sign of their superiority.”

I don’t know many variations on the centaur theme; be it “God of War”, Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, they all seem about the same. Mine feature horns on their head though, which isn’t really a common theme. I did enjoy creating the Butcher of Philagis, which was inspired by the “Butcher” from Diablo 1 back then, who has made a return in Diablo 3. Fresh meat, anyone?

download (7)Creth-Demon: “a beast with a wolf head and human body; torso usually uncovered and a loose cloth around waist. It holds a golden sceptre that is used to transform cursed humans into Crethan wolves. Part of Le’Mar’s army”

Very much inspired by my favourite Egyptian mythology legend, Anubis. There was no way these would not be included.

Werewolf and victimCrethan / -thine: “a human cursed by the bite of a Creth-Demon; whenever a Creth-Demon is nearby, they transform against their will into a deformed wolf that does the bidding of the Creth-Demon. Part of Le’Mar’s army when summoned by the Demon”

Celenic Earth’s version of our infamous werewolf, but instead of being transformed by the full moon, it is transformed by the power of a Creth-Demon.

demon_by_gpzang-d786x8odownload (8)Demon: “Hideous, ethereal beast of the underworld with the sole purpose of destroying every good in the world. Has the ability to take many shapes and possess other creatures, thereby giving them supernatural abilities. Part of Le’Mar’s army when summoned from the underworld”

So not the cute, human-like demons from the “Supernatural” series, as much as I loved those (go Ruby!!). Go more for a Diablo-themed demon. The image to the left shows its real form, while in the novel it is more a spirit that possesses another form as a host or takes on a more ethereal form, such as on the right.

images (1)Demon-Queen: “A mer-queen that rules over a group of sirens, with a dark trident of her own. Has snakes twisting from her hair and four arms attached to her body that ends in a twin mer-tail. Part of Le’Mar’s army attacking the Mer-Kindgom”

Put her in the water instead of fire, and this image pretty much captures it. There is more than one demon-queen, each with their own school of sirens, as opposed to the singular mer-King who rules over all the mer-Kingdom. Add some snake heads twisting in her hair, and you have a swimming medusa look-alike.

DraDra-hu’Mar: “Looks like a human, and has characteristic blond hair and green eyes. Has the ability to transform his bow into a sword and vice versa. Part of Le’Mar’s army”

There is nothing significant in appearance that needs to be mentioned. They are warriors from another world used by Le’Mar for the war. Imagine that bow being able to turn at will into a sword and back again, and you’ve got it down.

79d156c0-83f3-4af2-826e-f963b2283042Dragon: “Great, reptilian beast with sharp fangs, ferocious talons and
enormous wings; has the ability to breathe fire from its lungs and can
bond with a single human in extremely unique circumstances, but
usually only when a bargain is struck. They reside in Bentley Strip”

Think of every dragon book or movie you have read or seen, and that’s about it. The dragons are ruled in another world by a Dragon King, currently Asgorna, where they are waging a fierce war against rebel dragons and wyverns who want to take the king down. On the very rare occasion that a dragon binds its soul with a human, it comes at a high price that is usually more beneficial to the dragon than the human. In my novels, the dragons arms are attached to the wings, which differentiates it from the wyverns.

dwarfDwarf: “A short, stocky human with large beard and usually an axe for a weapon. They are masters of dwarven lore and Architectural Engineering. They reside in Dwarf Mountains and are the guardians of the Vale of Tigers”

Ever seen Lord of the Rings? See those small men with long beards, gruff voices and axes larger than their bodies? That be dwarves, and every great fantasy RPG / strategy game you have played (such as Heroes of Might and Magic). If you imagine Hargon looking like Gimli from LOTR, then you are on the right track.

Fire_mage_by_yobtaf-d4d6btjElemental: “A human or creature with the ability to summon one or more of the four elements, whether in form or essence. Uses power of the spirit to master the elements”

How many of us have not dreamed of being able to do this? We see it appearing more and more in the movies these days. If I could have any power or ability, it would be to summon the power of the elements, hence the theme of the series (duh).

windElementël: “A being composed of one or more of the four elements of nature. Has no allegiance and can be summoned by an Elemental”

This is simply a being transformed from the elements, which are very much featured in the “Heroes of Might and Magic” game series. Hardly ever exists without being summoned by an Elemental.

elfElf: “One of the ancient creatures that were on the world when it was created; pointed ears and green-shaded skin, with the elder elves deep green in colour. Adept at any weapon, but specialise in staff and bow. They are masters of the elvin lore and servants of Bontu; they reside in the Far Isles and Eldor’s Forest”

Give this elf a little bit more green to her skin, and that about cuts it. Everything you’ve learned about elves from Lord of the Rings and any other fantasy series that features them should be enough detail for these. Give Orlando Bloom as Legolas a shade of green skin, and you have a good representation for Prince Lesan. Eldor would lean more towards Piccolo from DragonBall Z.

1f31e046-7bc9-433d-883d-c5182336dfa9Fairdievell: a species of fairy known for their variety of light and colour and mostly for their power. This species resides in the Fairiwell, a haven provided by the elves in tunnels beneath Eldor’s Forest. 

It’s a fairy… nuff said, right? Seriously though, if the novels were movies, you would not so much see the fairies as much as you do the light that surrounds them. So when they surround Chenesia in the Fairiwell, it isn’t as if she is seeing what they truly look like, only what she is able to see. And for any of you that think of them only as cute, think again… on Celenic Earth, they are a warrior class of their own.

firestromFirestrom: “mountainous fire elementël that hovers off the ground; has four heads upon its fiery body – lion, shark, gorilla and horse. Can separate into four elementëls, with a central core keeping them together”

I had to get a bit creative with this image, since this creature was created purely by my imagination with no inspiration from anywhere, except possibly the Greek chimera. The image hardly does it justice though, so you will need to extend your imagination for it. Maybe one day I can get an artist, or myself, to do a proper artistic interpretation of it.

: small, blue creature similar to a fairy but three times the size and with bat-like wings and sharp fangs. Part of Le’Mar’s army.

When “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” came out, and I saw these cornish pixies on film, I widened my eyes and thought “hey, just add bat wings to that thing and you have my fletchlings”. That’s about the closest imagery I can give for these creatures… use, don’t use it…..

Honestly though, the fletchlings were mostly created as future opponents of the fairdievells.

4061d15ce141ed54b871540fb489005fFroth Hun: a beast with a skeletal head engulfed in blue flames. Carries a two-horse-ghost-rider-assassin-s-creed-games-1920x1200handed sword the length of a man and rides a black mare with dark pits for eyes and ghostly torn mane and tail. Part of Le’Mar’s army.

Imagine “Ghost Rider” with blue flames over the skull instead of orange, and you have this bad boy down. I also found this image on the right which does their horses justice

tumblr_inline_nq7ibjcKz61slrvm0_500Gargoyle: “Stony being that resembles a human who usually stands guard against evil forces. Sunlight hardens their bodies and they remain motionless until the source of light is removed. Superior gargoyles have wings”

I am so glad I found this image, I was not sure I would find an almost exact match as much as this one. I’m not sure where I got the idea for gargoyles that resembled humans, except that it assisted the plot for the “Windfarer”, and became engraved (see what I did there?) in the entire series.

images (4)Ma-Wreth: “large beast, towering twice a man’s height with large, oak-like arms that move faster than its weight should permit. These lightning-fast arms are mostly used to break down walls and defences. Part of Le’Mar’s army”

It doesn’t matter whether you imagine troll, giant or ogre, as long as you can imagine lightning fast attack moves despite its huge arms.

008ec877-b347-46b6-b978-960d1161ea32_560_420Merman / -maid: “has the body of a human, but its legs are replaced by a scaly tail and lives in rivers, lakes or oceans. Ruled by a mer-king who possesses a three-pronged trident as a weapon of power”

Merlani: “Of human and mer-conception, usually man and mermaid. Can transform tail to human legs at will.”

Many us know about mermaids, and that in some legends they are able to transform their tails to legs to walk onto land. I’ve stuck to the theory that their legs change back if they get wet, as it made the story more exhilarating, especially with the battle scenes. The Merlani combination of human-mermaid allowed me to create a situation where this limitation is removed.

download (3)Orc: “a foul creature with dark, grey skin and putrid smell. Those whose blood are untainted by any other are referred to as “purorcs”. Where a human has been crossed with an orc through the dark lord’s cruel experiments they are referred to as “hurorcs”. The orcs that wear amethyst pendants and are controlled by Le’Mar are called am-Abutjas”

I lean more towards the Lord of the Rings movies for a visual translation of my orcs, than for instance the Warcraft mighty orcs. These are more the pawns of Le’Mar’s army than any steadfast race that stands on its own.

images (5)Pegasus: “mythical horse with large wings and special powers for combat. Located in a mythical land called uPendus”

I make reference to a pegasus that T’Mar rode during the Battle for T’Mar’s Scourge, although towards the end of the series I differentiate between pegasi and pegators. The pegasus is white, not because it reflects good (which is merely coincidental), but because the land where they reside is snowy like the arctic and their coats reflect that homeland.

download (4)Saint: “Servant, sage and fighter of Bontu, the one true God. Uses the powers given to him by Bontu to defend the innocent and defeat evil”

You don’t have to imagine a halo or anything, just a wise being filled with and guided by the ultimate essence of God. Yes, this is my Gandalf

download (6)Siren: “a ghostly apparition or being that can take many physical forms and can travel on air, land or sea; known for its tendency to seduce men in order to kill them, and lures them by beauty and song. Often mistaken for a mermaid when in the form of a water-siren and can be killed when in physical form. Ruled by a Demon-Queen with a dark trident”

Sirens are almost exclusively used in their battle against the mer-Kingdom in my novels. I’ve taken the old adage of mermaids luring men into the oceans and killing them, and given this to the sirens (as is it written in Greek mythology actually).

images (7)Undead: “the corpses and skeletons of the dead reanimated, usually through possession by demons but can be reanimated without them”

Another Diablo and “God of War” favourite. If it has died, and then becomes reanimated again, it is undead. I have separated vampires from this group, even though in many legends and tales vampires are labelled undead. I wanted a clear distinction from a corpse or skeleton that has just arisen and vampires.

unicorn8Unicorn: “mythical horse with a power sack embedded beneath a single,pointed horn that protrudes from the horse’s forehead. Has the many powers, including the ability to fly”

I’ve seen many pictures of unicorns with wings, but in my novels the winged horses are kept exclusively among the pesagi. I’ve also kept to the legend of unicorns being very rare. Also, in 2002 when I researched unicorns for this series, I had read somewhere that Ursula was considered the mother of all unicorns and the very first of their kind. So I kept to that name as it is very apt on Celenic Earth.

witchWitch: “woman with dark powers, using them to thwart their enemies and known for their ability to summon and vanquish the undead and demons”

Definitely not of the pointy hat variety, and heavily inspired by the “Charmed” tv series which I have spent far too much time watching. If you prefer the term “wiccan”, then that would suffice too. I’ve included an image of the witch from “The Golden Compass” movie, though, as this is what I imagined Heula would look like.

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