Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Kingdom Death Painting Contest: Candy, the Ultimate Dancer.

This is my entry for Kingdom Death's First Painting Contest: Candy, the Ultimate Dancer.

Created with Kingdom Death's armor kits + Candy and Cola exclusive mini (plastic, by Jon Troy Nickel and others)

Here is the link to all the entries of this painting competition:

More pictures and WIP soon...

Here is the text that presents this character:

Candy, the Ultimate Dancer

When she was born, Candy was a special child. The day before her birth, her mother had a dream of a blue banner emerging from the mist. She knew her child would be endowed with a special ability for combat, she would be a monster slayer and she would critically hit and maim most creatures that would cross her path.
When Candy was seven, a white speaker came to the settlement and blessed her with her chants. She told the survivors that Candy was indeed special and that she would become a dancer. Nobody understood the words of the white speaker, they had never heard about dancing and Candy could not fathom what a dancer was. But when the white speaker anointed her with the blood of a screaming antelope, she had a potent vision of what dancing meant. She saw herself wearing a feather headdress and running towards monstrous beasts with a giant axe with swirling hooks. She realized that a dancer was a fearsome huntress who was able to decipher the secret steps of her enemies and who could use this hidden knowledge to destroy them.
From now on, she would accompany the hunters and she would tell them how to dance so that they could avoid the deadly blows of the creatures that lured in the dark and dodge at the perfect moment. She was a mere child but she was so fast that the beasts could not harm her in anyway. She was able to foresee their moves before they would even think about charging her.
She slayed her first white lion when she was eleven, ripping his testes off with a single blow. Then she killed a screaming antelope and another lion, twice the size of her first kill. She defended her settlement against a hooded knight and a king’s man. Thanks to her strength and will power, her settlement innovated frequently and the resources she brought back from her hunting trips proved essential for her protection. She was given screaming bracers, a rawhide vest and a leather skirt and boots. She had almost become the dancer she had seen in her visions, but she knew something was still missing.
One night, she had another vision about a huge rainbow-colored bird and she knew her quest would not be complete unless she slayed that monstrous beast. Her mother told her this legendary creature was called a phoenix, but she warned her against its wrath. Candy ignored her mother’s fears and went hunting for the phoenix with a group of three other survivors. They found some muculent droppings in a field of golden grass and followed the trace of the giant bird, until they reached its nest, reeking of a rancid melon stench exhaled from its contracted pustules. After a hard and almost endless fight, the group of survivors finally killed the beast. Candy dealt their quarry the killing blow, cutting the right wing of the phoenix in a swirl of lustrous feathers and blood.
The fight against this mighty predator had been wearying and it had drained all their vigor. Two survivors’ hair had turned white and they had died of exhaustion. Although she had gained much experience by defeating this fantastic creature, Candy had aged more than she could have imagined, as though time had flown rapidly forward. Her fiery red hair had not whitened but they had grown so long and resistant that they could not be cut anymore. She had to dress them in long wavy strands.
When she came back to the settlement, she went straight to the plumery and gave the master plumer the resources she had taken from the phoenix: a hollow wing bone, a phoenix finger and multi-colored feathers. A few days later, she was given the final piece of her dancer armor. When she put the phoenix helm on her head, the surge of power was so huge that she almost fainted. She realized that she had become the dancer of her dreams. The white speaker’s prophecy had been fulfilled.
But Candy’s quest was not yet other. She increased her mastery of the dance of death and transmitted her skills to other survivors. She asked a weapon crafter to design a polearm that could match her urge to slain and her ability to deal blows from a distance. He designed a battle axe whose ornamented head was equipped with swirling hooks that could tear chunks of flesh from beasts before the axe cleft them into pieces.
When her mother died after her brain had been burrowed by a sword beetle, Candy burnt her body on a funeral pyre. She would always keep her mother’s lantern next to her own and would proudly flaunt these in combat at the end of a rope, to distract the monsters’ attention. Candy decided to pay her mother a tribute by creating the banner she had been dreaming of the day before her daughter was born. This “banner of seven sorrows” would consist of different parts Candy had torn from the monsters she had slain: an antelope’s skull, the hide of a lion, the plumes of a king’s man, the hands of a butcher and the talons of a phoenix. This awe-inspiring banner paralyzed creatures and nemeses. Candy’s foe understood that she was not just a dancer but the ultimate dancer, an invincible warrior who had defeated several of their kind.
Years after years, she became a legend. Whenever she reached a new settlement, survivors hailed her power and worshipped her dance of death. One day, she mustered her courage and decided to fight against their ultimate nemesis, an entity called “the watcher” whose ethereal nature made him almost impossible to defeat. She forced him to accept a duel. As usual, she would anticipate her opponent’s moves, but the watcher absorbed her energy and flooded her with his spectral light as he vomited lanterns from the recesses of his cloak. He would relentlessly attack her with his vine tentacles and his radiant void fluids, causing her to avert her eyes each time he charged towards her. She had to drop her banner of seven sorrows to put her left arm in front of her eyes, because the light that luminesced from the watcher’s cloak somehow pierced through her eyelids and inflicted a searing pain in her brain.
The moment she dropped her banner, the watcher moved forward and sprayed her with gouts of viscous ichor erupting from the dark folds of his cloak. The void toxin seared Candy’s legs but she managed to dodge before the lethal robe of the watcher could voidwrap her into a shroud of nothingness. She realized that she had almost been whited out by her nemesis and she mustered all the strength she had left to dash towards the creature. The hooks from her weapon tore into the very fabric of the watcher’s cloak and made him scream in agony. Then, she dealt the final blow as the head of her battle axe ripped the void hood apart from the rest of the robe, decapitating the invisible head of the nemesis.
The watcher collapsed, his void essence exuding from the fabric in a long and eerie sigh, illuminating in a giant circle the stone faces that littered the ground. Candy surrounded the watcher’s dying robe, which had become his own shroud, with several shining lanterns. She had to accomplish this final ritual, the circle of light, to honor the memory of her mightiest foe. The watcher’s void soul oozed from his cloak and penetrated into the surrounding lanterns. It would be trapped inside these for generations and would enlighten the survivors with an eternal and intense luminescence.
Candy only kept her mother’s lantern and her own and left the others to the remaining survivors of her settlement as her legacy. Then she bid them farewell and disappeared into the dark. The two radiating lights of the lanterns she carried finally faded into black. The ultimate dancer had become a mere memory.

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