On the Teeth-like Rocks, in the Guise of a Western. At the Crest of a Tide, in the Cries of a War-host. That's just where you'll find him - Viking Dragon, and his Viking Longboat:
For when the Vikings go to War, is it not just their Longboats, and their Viking Warriors, that they take to Conflict! For there's also their Dragons, their Sentinels of the Skies ... In Mighty Red and Conquering Green, they match their Longboats - Sails and All. With twist of Silver, Armoured Clad, they match their Longboats - Shields and All. With cries of Roar, Piercing Shrill, they match their Longboats - Drums and All! For this Sentinel of the Skies, and his Viking Warriors, has just made - Landfall ... To Newfoundland have they come, this Western Dragon, and his Raiding Party - the first of their Kind, a Herald of their Viking War Fleet, from across the Atlantic. A Treacherous Expanse, of Open Ocean, that honed these Warriors, in thoughts of Odin: To War, to War! To Conquer, to Conquer! To Pillage, to Pillage! This Newfoundland :) From Scandinavia they spread, in Ages of Dark, with Rays of Light, that Shined the Way - yet always following, the Paths of the Warrior ... For this Viking People, tamed their Dragons, in Ages Past, to Fight for them ... These Viking Dragons, know of Norse - both how to Speak, and Riddle with Script. These Viking Dragons, know of Odin - both being Cruel, Kind and Wise. These Viking Dragons, know Valkyrie - both Wingless Angel, and Souls to Valhalla! For to them, to Die in Battle, at the front of a Viking War-host, donned Valkyrie's Hero: a Dragon's Glory, in which you'd find, the Bodies of the Slain, piled all around them :) For these Viking Dragons, are a Western Kin ... With Dragon Wings, they Soar the Skies, and Dance through Clouds. With Dragon Fire, they Burn the Woods, and Heat the Anvil. With Dragon Teeth, they Drink the Foes, and Grin of Wrath. With Dragon Armour, they Turn the Arrow, and Bend the Sword. With Dragon Claws, they Slash the Ways, and Slice the Enemy. With Dragon Tails, they Wrap the Rocks, and Anchor Themselves. For these Viking Dragons, know of - the Art of War ... A Dragon lands on a Precipice, to survey the Land. A Dragon elongates his Neck, to view Around. A Dragon sniffs the Air, to smell of Foe. A Dragon licks his Tongue, to answer This, of Riddle God: What is this - Newfoundland? Just the Jagged Outcrop, of a Mountainous Rock? Just the Patterned Layers, of an Eroded Sea Scape? Just the Alcove Shape, of a Secluded Lagoon? But with a Sniff and a Lick, does this Dragon know, the answer to this Conquest's Riddle: for he's a Viking Dragon, that's been Bred and Raised, in the Castles of War :) He smells the Tide of Conflict, ten thousand Foes to march on him. He tastes the Air of Battle Lines, ten thousand Foes to come to him. He feels the Power of Enemy Commander, ten thousand Foes to aim at him. But this Dragon does not Cower, for he's a Western Might! He Plants his Feet, and Wraps his Tail, around his Teeth-like Rock. He Focuses his Eyes (through Armoured Helm), knowing well - Horizon Glare. He Roars a Dragon's Defiance, amongst the Cliffs of Armoured Sea - calling in he's Dragons Kin. For this Viking Dragon's, just the Herald, of a thousand Viking Longboats, and their Dragon Sentinels! And if he Falls, before they get here? Then to Valhalla will he go, on the Wings of a Valkyrie, off from Newfoundland - to Odin's Dragon Land :)
No indeed, the Elves do not! But what of Men, can they throw back the Darkness of Sauron, all by themselves? For a Time, does this Classic Fantasy Tale, appear to suggest (at least to me), that Men very well can! Or perhaps instead, I to (like Boromir), was under the Spell of Darkness, and the Power of the One Ring, to Rule them All:
For the forth point, on why this is one of the best, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novels, that you can ever read - is it's range of Dark Fantasy Creatures ... At the Head is Sauron, a Dark Sorcerer, whose Magnificence of Old, is only hinted at (within this Tale). Even so, did I quite enjoy, the Chapter called The Council of Elrond, as it lays the seeds, for the Character of Sauron, in the Later Days of Middle-Earth. He wants the Ring, the One Ring that he made, the One Ring, that he placed much of his Sorcerers Powers in! For me, the One Ring, goes hand-in-hand, with Sauron's most prominent, Dark Fantasy Creatures - his nine Black Riders. Who are akin to Phantoms, with no physical form, other than Dark Visage in a Cloak. They wield Blades, that are both Cruel and Evil. I shuddered when Frodo was wounded (by such a Blade), at the thought of what he could become - a Wraith of some-kind! I feel that Frodo was right, when he chooses to avoid the Black Riders, even though doing so, meant entering the Old Forest (the lesser of two Evils). I found myself sitting, on the edge of my seat, when Frodo was racing for Rivendell (the Elven home of Elrond), with Black Riders chasing him! Added to this, are Sauron's Black Dragons (although here in this Tale, is it just the briefest of glimpses - with a bow shot from Legolas, downing the Dragon). And yet, are there also, other Dark Fantasy Creatures, at work within Middle-Earth - although I feel, that they have no direct knowledge, of the One Ring itself (and thus, do not directly, answer to Sauron). For example, I liked the Orcs and Goblins of Moria, together with the concept of the Balrog (a large Fire Breathing Western Dragon of a Daemon) - who to me, is one of the Oldest of the Old. An Elemental Dragon/Daemon, that lives in the Hottest Fires of the Earth. Yet do I find, that both the Balrog, and the One Ring, have a connection (at least in a saying): Delve Too Deep in Greed, and Pay the Price! The Black Riders delved too deep - what once was King, now Phantom of the Night (and Day!). The Dwarves delved too deep - what once was Moria, was lost to Dark (Durin's Bane - a Balrog!). And of the Wraiths? The Barrow-wights, sent a shiver down my spine! As there's something Unnatural, about former Kings, and Warriors of Old, that feel that they, still have a Hold, on the Living. Wake up Frodo! Fifth: is it's range of Fantasy Swords ... I've always liked the idea of Magical Swords, and the background build-up, to the Sword of Elendil, is no exception: a Sword that was shattered, upon an enemy of Old (Sauron), that is reforged, and renamed Anduril (Flame of the West), the Weapon of Kings (borne by Aragorn) - made me want one :) Added to this, is Gandalf's sword, Glamdring - which I for one, have long desired, to look upon! Yet, do I like the fact that Glamdring (borne by the mighty), is also matched by Frodo's short-sword Sting (borne by the lesser/Little People), as both gleam/glow blue, when in the presence of Orcs - which if you think about it, would be slightly scary, whilst deep in the Mines of Moria! Sixth: is it's range of Fantasy Castles ... For me, there's four that immediately spring to mind: i) Rivendell. The Fantasy Realm of the Elves, with it's Last Homely Gardens, and it's Waterfalls of Sea in Dream, and it's Ford of Guardian Horses (in Force of Water - commanded by Elrond). I liked the idea, of Powerful Elf Lords in Rivendell, that could resist the Darkness, at least for a Time :) ii) Minas Tirith. The City of Men, the City of Kings, that is foremost in the Defence, against Sauron's Armies. I to (like Frodo), found Hope growing in me, at the description of Minas Tirith (within this Tale) - especially at the mention, of it's Towering Battlements :) iii) Minas Morgul. Is perhaps the clearest indication to me, of the One Rings power to Corrupt, as what once was Good, fell into Ruin (owing to the neglectfulness of Men), and became a Fortress of Darkness! I did not like the thought, of both Fear and Dread, to be found there - in the plenty. iv) Lothlorien - not a Castle as such, more a Stronghold in the Trees of the Elves. I liked the idea, that the Elves of Lothlorien, climb upwards, and live in a Kingdom amongst the Treetops :) As to me, a City in the Trees, feels like a strong connection, to the Roots of the Earth, and Nature. Seventh: is the Hobbits themselves ... I found myself, constantly amazed in this Tale, that the Affairs of the Mighty (such as Wizards, Kings and Sorcerers), are at the Mercy, of the Little People: Frodo Baggins, and his trusty companion - Sam Gamgee :) For even with all of Sauron's Might, he can't find a Hobbit! But Gandalf can, yet bows to Frodo - for Frodo is the Ring Bearer :) As chosen by - the One Ring. And what of Merry and Pippin? I find these two Hobbits, to be of less importance (especially in the second half of the Tale), but Gandalf holds them in High Respect. I like this, because the Good Deeds of the Tiny, can unravel the Dark Deeds, of the Mighty :) Overall: An amazing, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel, that took me longer to read, than I had expected - as I reread several parts (especially the Mines of Moria). I also feel, that there's a deliberate shift, in the concept of the Main Fantasy Character (as you read this Tale). It's always Frodo, but at the beginning, I thought for a while, that it was Gandalf - until he met his match! I especially like the fact, that this Fantasy Tale, is a David verses Goliath, that's played out on a bigger scale - with Powerful Elements, on both sides :) Finally: The One Ring, is a Ring of Power, is a Quest of Power, between Good and Evil - whose Fate is most directly, in the Smallest Hands of the Land, the Underdog: Frodo Baggins :)
A Classic Fantasy Tale, with a range of Fantasy Characters (including Elves, Dwarves and Men), that sees a Quest of Power, through the Roots of Adventure, in the Darkest Days of Middle-Earth. With a guiding Wizard, and a bare foot Hobbit (one of the Little People), it's The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring:
I've always thought, that this is one of the best, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novels, that you can ever read :) There's several reasons for this ... First: is it's use of Humour ... I found myself laughing, when Sam (one of the Hobbits), is pulled through the Window (by Gandalf the Wizard), after having eavesdropped, and making out that he hadn't - he was cutting the Lawn you see! I also laughed, when Gimli the Dwarf, tasted some Cram (a Travellers Bread), having not believed, that it will taste very nice (even raising an eyebrow) - then promptly eating, the whole piece! I also found humour, in the strangest of places, such as when Gandalf had nearly been destroyed - well, well, he flew down some stairs, after encountering a foe, that he could not best, whilst joking about it! Second: is it's range of Fantasy Locations ... First and Foremost, my favourite is the Dwarven Mine/City of Moria. I especially liked the Ancestry of Moria, that it was once the most prized, of all the Dwarven Realms (owing to it's Mining of Mithril - the Dwarven Wonder Metal), which was in-turn lost, to the Orcs/Goblins and Durin's Bane (a large Fire Breathing Western Dragon of a Daemon, that even the Elves Fear). Moria is now a dark place, which Gandalf leads our Adventurers through, with his Bobbing Wizards Staff of Light (akin to a Will-o'-the-wisp). I especially liked the idea, of Moria's Dwarven Doors, that can only be seen in Moonlight (and opened with a specific word/phrase). I also found comedy here, as I laughed at Gandalf, being outwitted by a door! Of Moria itself, did I like the idea of staircases hewn from stone, together with cavernous pillars (that defined a City in Starlight), together with Tombs of the Fallen (still blessed in daylight), and Treasures of the Deepest Mines (that Dwarves still dream of). I also liked, what I feel was the reason that Moria was built (by the Dwarves) in the first place - a Magical Lake (called the Mirrormere), which Shines with Stars in it's Waters so Deep :) It is with some irony then, that although I love the Green Places of this World, that I have often felt a Desire, to explore the Dark Halls of Moria myself! In stark contrast to Moria, are the Fantasy Woods, of the Old Forest. It's a mythical place, that Tales of Old, used to scare young Hobbits with - and yet, Frodo Baggins (the main Fantasy Character of this Tale), decides to venture that very way :) Now I like Woods, and I like Trees, but the Trees of the Old Forest, are not like other Trees (they can move/walk, and they can talk/be-spell) - it's Old Man Willow you see. He's a Magical Willow Tree, who does not have the Hobbits best interests at heart! Although I find the Old Forest to be a Dark Place (perhaps even more so than Moria), it leads to one of my favourite Fantasy Characters - Tom Bombadil :) He's such a fun/comedy element, that it's hard to feel all Dark and Gloomy, when he's around (especially with that Bobbing Hat of his!). Now it feels to me, as though Tom is some kind of Nature Fairy (as he's always been concerned with Trees) - yet even if he isn't, then his sidekick (Goldberry), is certainly a Water Fairy :) In any case, I like the fact, that both Tom and Goldberry, tend to the Old Forest, and look after Frodo (after Old Man Willow, gets his Roots to him). To me, the Old Forest feels as though, it's full of Magic - both Good and Evil, that's just kind-of mixed together, in it's raw, natural form. It's a powerful place, that I feel, could have played a larger part in the Tale (together with Tom Bombadil). Third: is it's range of Fantasy Characters ... The Fellowship of the Ring, is itself comprised of a Motley Crew: four Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin), two Men (one called Aragorn, one called Boromir), one Elf (called Legolas), one Dwarf (called Gimli), and Gandalf (the Wizard). I like the idea of the Fellowship (aka our Adventurers), because it is a contradiction - you have powerful members (such as Gandalf and Aragorn), mixed with weaker members (such as Merry and Pippin). Whilst in the middle, do you have members that are a bit of both: both in terms of alignment (such as Legolas is to Trees and Nature, whilst Gimli is to Stone and Anvil), and in terms of not judging a book by it's cover (such as Frodo at first appearing weak, but over time, does Frodo become the appointed/recognised strongest, Ring Bearer). Of these Fantasy Characters, would I say that my favourite is Gandalf, though I wouldn't normally like Wizards! Gandalf is an exception, for he's more like a Warlock - a Wizard and a Warrior, all rolled into one :) Next would there be Aragorn - as I like the fact, that he is descendant from Kings (although I'm not so keen, on his Strider personality, in the earlier parts of the Tale). Then would there be Gimli, as there's a fair amount of humour, surrounding his character: A Dwarf! Which plays right into, the grievances between Dwarves and Elves (with several twists in friendship, along the way). In any case, I especially like the portrayal of Elves within this Tale. I like their connection with Nature (especially of the Woods, plus Spells of the Sea), and I like the fact, that there's at least three, families of Elves found, within Middle-Earth: those from Rivendell (who were there at the start, when Darkness first showed it's face), those from Mirkwood (who still have dealings with Men, and is the home of Legolas), and those from Lothlorien (who Guard a Treasure of Middle-Earth, and befriend the Fellowship). I also liked the way, that the Elves are used, to underline an important point/theme (within the Tale): the Elves may be Powerful, blessed to live much longer than Men, skilled in the Art of Combat (especially Bow and Arrow) - yet just like the rest of Middle-Earth, they do not have the power, to throw back the Darkness/Evil by themselves! Or do they?
This Classic Fantasy Tale, sees a Quest for Treasure, in the Lost Kingdoms of the Dwarves, with a Guardian Fire Drake of the North, who goes by the name of Smaug. It's The Hobbit:
Whilst it had been quite some time, since I'd last read The Hobbit, I was amazed with the amount of humour, that's found within it's opening chapters (particularly the very first - An Unexpected Party). I especially found it funny, when the leader of the Dwarves (Thorin Oakenshield), ended up with several of his fellow Dwarves, right on top of him - when The Hobbit (aka Bilbo Baggins), abruptly opened his front door :) I also liked the fact, that Bilbo initially has no idea, as to what is going on - why are all these Dwarves here? But soon finds himself, pouring over a Treasure Map, wondering where the Secret Door is! Which in-turn, leads to Bilbo and the start of his Adventures - having just been recruited by the Dwarves (based upon the recommendation, of Gandalf the Wizard). And it is this recommendation, that I feel captures the Heart and Soul, of this Fantasy Tale ... As The Hobbit does not at first, appear to be the best companion, for Thorin and his Dwarves - let alone their Quest! For one simple reason: The Hobbit / Bilbo Baggins, has only ever read about Adventures in books - preferring instead, to put his feet up, and have his second breakfast :) Indeed, is this low opinion of Bilbo, held by Thorin Oakenshield, and several of his Dwarves - which plays right into, Bilbo's desire to prove them all wrong :) And as such, did I enjoy the irony (that is experienced), as Bilbo's character, becomes central to the Tale - even gaining a Strength of Character, that supersedes the Dwarves (as eventually, he is more of an advisor to them). I found this particularly true, in three specific places: i) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Darker Fantasy Spiders (otherwise the Dwarves would have been a juicy meal). ii) When Bilbo rescues the Dwarves - from the Not So Friendly Elves (otherwise the Dwarves would have been captive, in the Dungeons of the Elves for quite sometime). iii) When Bilbo is asked by the Dwarves, to tackle the Dragon Smaug (the Guardian Fire Drake of the North) - as Thorin and his Dwarves, dared not to enter, their own Underground Kingdom ... Yet in all three, do I feel that Bilbo's character, has come a long way - but still remains the same, as that first cheeky Hobbit, who dared to pick the pocket of a Mountain Troll, and land them all in a Stew! What of the Tale's other Fantasy Characters? Well ... There's three, that I quite like ... First: is Beorn (the shape-shifter). I liked the idea of a Man, that could take the form of a Bear - whilst also being able to talk, to an entire variety of animals (from Bees to Horses). I also liked the idea, of Beorn's Gardens and Lands - as he uses his shape-shifting powers, to guard his Domain, against the creatures of Darker Fantasy (such as Goblins and Wargs). I especially enjoyed, the comedy that surrounds the introduction of the Dwarves to Beorn (which is again contrived by Gandalf) - enter two by two, a minute or so after each other, OH! you may as well all come in then! Second: is Smaug (the Fire Drake). Being a Western Dragon, he meets this definition in every sense of his Being - large, powerful, clever (enjoying Riddles), breathing Fire, rows and rows of Teeth, armour as strong as Steel, hoarding Treasure, rending walls and eating all (especially Men and Dwarves). Yet does Smaug, still have a twist of an Eastern Dragon - the ability to speak :) And as such, did I enjoy Bilbo's conversations with him, especially when Bilbo thought, that he could outwit a Dragon! Bilbo dares to steal a Golden Cup - yet Dragons know, every ounce of their Treasure :) For Smaug's personality, is the Darkest of the Dark - it's HIS Mountain, and it's HIS Treasure, that HE stole from the Dwarves, a Long Time Ago. Third: is Thorin Oakenshield. I found that his character, tended to fluctuate somewhat. On the one hand, he will take charge (such as when planning a Quest for Treasure, or meeting a Great Goblin in Battle) - but on the other hand, can Thorin tend to give up in a huff (such as when the Dwarves, are unable to find the Mountain's Secret Door). An interesting character then - as we have to remember, that it was Thorin's Quest in the first place! And of that Quest, does Thorin also wish to retake, his Lost Dwarven Kingdom - of the Mountain. It's a Dwarven Kingdom, where I enjoyed imagining - what it would once have been like, at the height of it's powers: Countless Dwarves - mining Crystals and Gems, Endless Dwarves - Forging Swords and Armour, Robust Dwarves - hewn by the Harshness of the Rocks, Timeless Dwarves - hewn by the Ages of Old, and the Timelessness of Bonds :) And it is these Bonds, that Thorin's most Treasured Treasure (the Arkenstone), is most directly - at conflict with! For the Arkenstone (to me), seems to represent Greed (both Bilbo Baggins, and Thorin's). Thus, was I not too surprised - by the disagreement that arises, between Thorin and Bilbo! Although I was surprised, when Thorin pulls it back, and makes amends with Bilbo, just in the nick of time :) Overall: I feel that The Hobbit, is an enjoyable Fantasy Tale, that successfully incorporates, the important features, from the Sword and Sorcery Fantasy genre. The Swords are the Dwarves, Elves and Men - with the twist of a Hobbit, who could not hope to lift a Sword! But a Knife/Dagger - Bilbo can do that :) The Sorcery is directly from Gandalf, and indirectly from the Dragon's Hoard, and the Dwarves Arkenstone (their Achilles Heel). The Darker Elements, come from the Dragon and the Goblins, together with the Fantasy Character called Gollum (who Bilbo meets beneath the Mountains). Whose Gollum you say? For me, he's a key ingredient, to the popularity of Bilbo - as after Bilbo meets Gollum, does Bilbo's character, seem to tend towards an advisor (for the Dwarves). Thus do I feel, that it seems to be Fate, that Bilbo was destined for Adventure - in the first place :) Finally: an important question arises - is it still worth reading The Hobbit book, after you have watched the three Hobbit Fantasy Films? Yes is the answer to that! The Hobbit book, I found to be much simpler (less extravagant), and as such did it seem - much more magical :) Just one thing remains, where is that Treasure Map? And thank goodness for the Adventurous side - of the Took in Baggins :)
There be those places in this Dragon Land, that still-guard, the Treasures of the Ammonite. Be Runic Glyph. Be Lavas Heat. This Dragon's Rock, with twists of Ancient. This Dragon's Spire, with curves of Tale. This Dragon's Perch, with scribes so Wise. Donned Ward of Power. Known Vault of Lore. This Dragon's Place, with watch so Sentry :) This Dragon's Tower - of Dragon Sentinel:
It's where the Perch's Architects drew their Lore - of Dragons Guard, and Dragons Form. It's where the Sleeping Sentinels spied their Lore - of Dragons Hoard, and Dragons Stealth. It's where the Primeval Watchers scribed their Lore - of Dragons Time, and Dragons Stone. It's where the Foundry's Blacksmiths smelt their Lore - of Dragons Arm, and Dragons War. It's where the Wisest Warlocks chant their Lore - of Dragons Power, and Dragons Myth. It's where the Element's Warriors learned their Lore - of Dragons Dream, and Dragons Muse. Where's that then? Why ... In Dragon Sentinel, of Dragon Land - but of course :) For within this Dragons Land, be thy Dragons Wards - in Midnight's Realm, a Dragons Sentinel! For only in Two Moonlit Sky, can you find the Runes - of Ancestral Dragons Past ... Thy shape of Ammonite, with Twist of Ancestor. Thy way of Tone, with Sound of Sea. Thy rise of Glyph, with Arc of Cuttle. Thy coil of Spiral, with Wind of Sea. Thy curve of Nautilus, with Thought of Lineage. Thy hint of Meaning, with Rune of Fossil ... What's that you say? A Hidden Riddle! These Passer-bys, know not for sure. These Passer-bys, know not look up. These Passer-bys, know not of Power. These Passer-bys, know not of Fire. These Passer-bys, know not of Perch. These Passer-bys, know not of He! As it is with these Dragons, and their Hidden Ways. As it is with these Dragons, and their Magic Wards. As it is with these Dragons, and their Treasured Secrets. As it is with these Dragons, and their Emerald Griffins :) But - what's that you say? He's not a Griffin! Well ... Clad in Armour, clad in Gold - Anointed Guardian, knows of you. Clad in Whisper, clad in Hush - Silent Sentry, watches you. Clad in Timeless, clad in Bound - Runic Keeper, knows of thee. Clad in Talon, clad in Barbed - Tireless Warrior, watches thee. As it is with these Western Dragons, and their Griffin's Role ... Set in Stone, Guard through Time. Cast in Iron, Watch through Age. Bed in Marble, Hard as Rock. Cast in Metal, Hot as Fire. Rest in Bedrock, Wise through Eon. Stirred in Guard, Woke through you! This Dragon Sentinel, of Midnight's Realm - revealed in Moonlight, came for you!
Of all the Chaos Dragons, there is none more spoken of - than Galrauch. What once was Elven Dragon, Golden Drake. Became twisted and deformed, as with the Powers of Chaos! For it was upon the battlefield that Elven triumphed, but just for the smallest Twist of Time ... Having consumed a Seed of Chaos, did Tzeentch (Chaos Sorcerer), work his Magic. Thy Lord of Change, changed this Dragon - from Spire of Light, to Blade of Dark:
This is the first such Fantasy Character/Model, that I have ever constructed - which took me a little over eight years to complete! Well ... Not eight years exactly - more like, I just started to assemble and paint, this Warhammer Figure, at the start of this year :) Whys that you say? Perhaps I to, had become Lost in the Realms of Chaos? Or perhaps instead, it was just that I remembered, where the box was! But then again, perhaps it was only now, that I felt just capable - of assembling this model :) Yes, I think that was it ... For I knew from day one, that this model would be difficult to assemble. Whilst I forget when it was, that I first cleaned/filed the metal edges of this Dragon. I know for-well when it was, that I found myself in the Realms of Superglue! Lost in Time, Lost in Glue, did I reach for - my Dremel Multitool :) For it was indeed, that I pinned this Dragon's Wings, to this Dragon's Body ... And here did I learn a lesson: drill the hole in the Dragon's Body first, insert a cocktail stick, trim it (so it's just poking out), add a dab of paint to the end of the cocktail stick (I used red), press each Dragon's Wing to the Dragon's Body, and with a Rune of Tzeentch - do you know just where to drill the matching hole! And what of the cocktail stick? Well ... Just drill it out :) It was then to the Dragon's Heads (which glued on fine), and the Dragon's Tail (which I lost several evenings to - eventually having to pin). Yet, with both the Dragon's Heads and the Dragon's Tail, together with the Dragon's Body - did I have to use Modellers Putty, to fill the gaps :) Thus, do I feel, that it took me about a month (in the evenings), to assemble this model. It was then onto the Realms of Painting ... I started with a white undercoat, then changed to black (both undercoat and base). I then dry-brushed the Dragon in Dragon Red (Army Painter), and highlighted/refined in Magenta Ink (I really loved that part!). I then found myself painting in Warlock Purple (Citadel Colour), along both the edges, and the folds of Daemon flesh - which I again dry-brushed in Magenta Ink. It was here that I decided to paint the Bones, Talons and Barbs of this Dragon ... Undercoat in white first, then Ushabti Bone (Citadel Layer) over the top. This proved to be a challenge - as there was a lot of Bones, Talons and Barbs! I especially found it awkward, along the Finer Bones of this Dragon's Wings. It was then that I consorted with Tzeentch ... For I was lured into a whole multi-coloured spectrum, for the highlights/details of my Chaos Dragon: Angel Green (Army Painter), Amethyst Purple, Emerald Green, Enchanted Blue, Golden Yellow and Tuskgor Fur (all Citadel). I used these colours for the patches of cracked Dragon Skin, and the various Snaking Cords/Veins. It was then that Tzeentch, spoke to me again ... Before I knew what I was doing, had I picked up a paint brush, and started painting shapes over my Dragon's Wings (where the small faces showed through the webbed skin/folds). Then did I battle, for I realised that these were Patches of Contagion - that looked too disjoint to the Dragon's base colours. I eventually resolved this issue, through the use of Tuskgor Fur - painted around the outside, of these Patches of Contagion. It was then, that I remembered my Dragon's Eyes ... I based in white, then painted over with Dragon Red. I was initially concerned about their shape (as some of the red paint ran), but in the end - this worked out fine :) As for the finishing of my Dragon, did I decide to dry-brush in Shining Gold (Citadel Metallic - the really old one). It was as though, I was Tzeentch himself! For my Chaos Dragon, simply snapped into focus - and I found myself in total awe, at the detail, that I'd managed to work in :) Overall: An amazing Western Dragon, Fantasy Model - that I know is Pride of Place, within my collection of Fantasy Characters. It's a model, that I rushed to collect (several years back), but then managed to forget about (for the most part). But recently, I suspect that Tzeentch started to whisper to me (from the Warp), as I found myself dreaming of Galrauch - especially the Desire to both assemble, and paint him! For me, Galrauch is more a Collector's Dragon :) I spent so long painting him (enjoyably), that the thought of fielding him in battle, just scares me! Indeed, was it here that I knew just when my Galrauch was complete - as I started to obsess too much, about dropping him (whilst painting!). Finally: a unique Warhammer Character/Model, that seems to have disappeared largely, from the Ranks of Chaos these days. Whilst we may never know why that is - perhaps Galrauch sleeps? I do know of one Tale, that this Dragon still Reigns in ... Galrauch roars upon thy Field of Battle - knowing not Now, what he Once was. Galrauch roars upon thy Collector's shelf - knowing just Is, what he Became. For Galrauch is a Chaos Dragon :) Writhed in Power. Writhed in Chaos. Off to War, and Hunt the Elven!
In Dragon Steed, came Fairy Glamour - with Twist of Tale, and Runic Glyph. Donned in Yellow, donned in Tribal - came Princess Royal, and Dragon Emperor:
I like the fact that this Dragon, is full of Mystery - yet still speaks Imperial. The Mystery comes from the Glamour that exists - between this Dragon, and his Rider. The Imperial comes from the Majesty of this Dragon - which at first appears to contradict, the Tribal of the Princess. And it is here, that Steve fuels the engagement of his artwork, as I find myself wondering at the connection - between this Dragon, and his Tribal Princess. For me, it is a connection, that I find is swathed in Fairy Glamour - and is best explained, through the consideration of three points. First: there's no doubt, that this is a Chinese Dragon ... For this Dragon's head, bears two whiskers and a beard - as you would expect, of a Wizened Chinaman. This Chinese stance, is also reflected by the position of the Dragon's head (dominating the centre of the artwork), and the predominant yellow of the Dragon - as both are associated with Chinese Yin and Yang (meaning the centre of everything). Added to this, is the weight of the Dragon's highlights and tones, which both tend towards Gold - as in Ancient China, was it only the Emperor that was allowed to wear such Golden Attire (as in Dragon Symbols made of Golden thread). Second: there's no doubt, that this is a Tribal Princess ... She is adorned with Runes (especially upon her face), that suggest to me, that she is a part of a Ruling Dynasty. Added to this, is the fact that her left-arm/shoulder is covered in Tattoos - and we start to feel, that she's some kind of Warrior. This believe is in-turn, refined by the Robes of the Regal (her Purple Gowns), which makes me feel that she's some kind of Warrior Princess - who perhaps has Magical Powers, owing to the stance of her arms. But here do I find a contradiction with/to the Dragon. For this Princess does not in-fact, speak to me at all, of a Traditional Chinese Lady - especially in terms of her appearance! Third: when the Dragon and the Princess are taken together - there's no doubt, that were in the Realms of Fairy Glamour ... For if we follow the Curves of the Princess's hair (the highlight browns), then we see that the top-right of the Dragon, also has similar Braids of hair (albeit on a larger scale) - which I feel, are akin to the Grounding Roots of this Dragon and his Kin. If we then follow the Runes of the Princess's Tattoos, then we see that the Dragon, is also adorned in Runic Glyphs - which I feel, are akin to the Binding Bounds of this Dragon and his Kin (the Dragon's Runes goes far beyond, the simple edges of his Metallic Armour). If we then follow the Curves of this Dragon's yellow, then we find the Divine of this Princess's form - which with the Braids of this Dragon's hair (middle right), and the Patchwork of her Regal Dress (especially on her legs), spoke to me of the Spirit of this Dragon: a Golden Yellow Chinese Dragon, that knows his place, within the Roots of this Earth! For this Dragon and his Dragon's Spirit (the Princess) - spoke to me of a Chinese Element called Wu Xing (Earth), and the Wards of his Emperor :) If that were so, then I feel that Steve has used a powerful Artist's Technique - to convey the Mystery of the Imperial ... The stronger foreground tones, of the Dragon's head and Princess - both capture the Authority, and the Clarity of an Emperor. Where as the lighter background tones (towards the left of the artwork), help capture the Mysteries of an Elemental Dragon - whose Winding Tail, fades in Clarity, towards the Centre of the Earth, just as a Root would do :) Overall: an amazing Chinese Dragon, that still owes his Lineage - to the Ancestral Eastern Dragon. This Chinese Dragon, has an Eastern Dragon's body (long and serpentine), an Eastern Dragon's intelligence (knowing eyes, beard and whiskers) and an Eastern Dragon's association with one of the Five Elements (Wu Xing - Earth). In Slender Vines, with Paths of Rune - came Chinese Dragon, Emperor's Wrath!
Here do I find a Dragon, that's just as entwined with Fairy Glamour - as is a Fairy and her Queen:
There's no doubt that this is a Western Dragon ... This Dragon is covered in Scales, whose red makes me think of the Fires of the Forge. This Dragon is covered in Barbs, whose path makes me think of the Armies of Old. This Dragon is covered in Ridges, whose gleam makes me think of the Ambitious of King. And yet, do I find that this Dragon - has just bathed in the Realms of Fairy Glamour :) For there's no doubt, that this is an Eastern Dragon ... This Dragon is contrasted in Scales, whose blue makes me think of the Cools of the Sea. This Dragon is contrasted in Barbs, whose stance makes me think of the Sirens of the Ocean. This Dragon is contrasted in Ridges, whose rise makes me think of the Lapping of the Tide. Why has Stefano done this? To pull you into his Fantasy Realm, and bring depth to his Artwork. The pull, comes from the shape of this Dragon: a backward C (donned with Barbs), that helps snake you in - to both this Dragon's head, and his Dragon's body. The depth, comes from the height of the Barbs: being taller in the top middle, rotated towards you - I feel as though this Dragon, wants out of the Artwork! Indeed, does Stefano's choice of background, play right into this effect. As with clever use of lighting, upon the cliffs on the top left, contrasted with the darkness/shadows of the cliffs lower right - does it feel as though this Dragon, has just crept around a corner. If that were so, then it's easy to see that this Dragon, has the subtleties of an Eastern - as it's forked tongue, has just been used, with the Patience of the Wise, to snare it's prey! What of Stefano's choice of colour? Given the fact that this Dragon is in the shade, Stefano has had to be careful - to avoid losing the shape of his Dragon. I feel that this has been achieved, in two specific ways. First: the choice to use predominant red scales, with contrasting blue (curving along the Dragon's back). Second: the choice to highlight both red and blue scales, upon their upper most edge - thereby bringing clarity to the dark (especially around the Dragon's eye sockets, and the top right body/neck curve). Overall: an unusual Dragon, that's reminiscent of Lizard - but with traits both Eastern and Western, that goes hand-in-hand with Fairy Glamour :) As you would expect of the Realms of the Faeries, this Dragon has one further twist - the fact that he has no Western Dragon wings! Even so, this does not diminish from the Dragon's powers - as I feel that he can fly, high upon the Magic Winds, of Dragon Rise, in Dragon Land ...
Ammonites of these Clouds, and Eyes of the Flutterer, what is it that you Feel, when this Fairy - sat upon this Peak?
To the Heavens of this Day, in the Wisps of the Vapours - with the twists of a Tail, posed Evanescent. To the Climb of this Rhyme, in the Thoughts of a Dragon's - with the souls of the Wise, mused Evanescent. To the Rocks of this Realm, in the Seas of the Angels - with the whispers of a Queen, dark Evanescent. In the Spiral of his Thoughts, with the hidden of a Riddle - two Flutters of Mind, Evanescent and Reign. I am impressed with the fact, that Rachel has chosen at least, two themes for this artwork - and that each theme, is in balance with the other. I feel that the first theme, is that of Guardianship. For I detect, three sets of Eyes looking at me - the Fairy's (indirectly), the Dragon's (directly), and in true Fairy Glamour, those large Eyes at the top of the Butterfly wings! Of these, it seems as though the Butterfly's are the most dominant - as I feel as though, they are winking at me :) In doing so, do these Butterfly's Eyes - bring balance to the upper half of the image, as their bounding darkness (aka black), offsets the lighter tones of the clouds, that rise throughout the image. And in doing so, does Rachel achieve an important effect - she brings height to her Fairy :) I feel that the second theme, is that of a Quest to Climb. This Dragon's Tail, wraps around this Fairy's legs - which both spirals me up, and into the centre of the artwork. Yet that is not all, for does the shape of the Mountain, and the angle of this Fairy's legs (and her dress) - both work together, pulling me upwards, and into the centre of the artwork. Why has Rachel done this? To ensure that this Fairy, is the focal point of your eyes :) Indeed, is this a powerful effect to achieve, whilst maintaining balance within the artwork - because of this Fairy's, darker skin tone. Rachel has added balance, to allow you to focus on the Fairy, by darkening the shades of the Mountain. The Mountain itself, plays right into - this Dragon's Riddle. What possible reason could there be, for the Mountain to be covered in Ammonites? It seems to me, that this Dragon's Tail, reflects the Curves of the Ammonites - as does the Dragon's colour. It also seems to me, that this Dragon's Wings are the same as Fairy's Wings - with similar shades and patterns (albeit on a different scale). Thus is there a connection, between the Ammonites and the Dragon, and between the Dragon and the Fairy. That connection is the Mountain. It's the Roots of the Fairy, and the Roots of the Dragon. It shows their Ancestral past. It shows their Celestial future. What of Rachel's choice of colour? Except for the browns of the Fairy, and the whites of the Dragon, I detect two shades of a primary colour - that of Purple. The darker Purple, is found upon this Fairy's dress, which together with the whispers, found upon her Fairy Wings - speak to me of Royalty. Perhaps she is a Fairy Queen? Whether a Queen of Elements, or a Queen of Butterflies - I cannot say ... Perhaps both? On the other hand, does the lighter Purple, the Lavender - speak to me of both the delicate, and the refinement of this Fairy and her Dragon. This Fairy Queen, may very well sit upon the Mountain Top - but in Gusts of Wind, has she fought her way, to be at the Apex of both her, and her Dragon's Power. Overall: An unusual scene of Fairyland, that shows more connections - between Dragon's and their Fairies. I love the fact that Rachel has chosen to represent, a different Fairy to what we might expect to encounter, at the tip of a Mountain, and at the base of the Clouds. As this Fairy Roots on Mountain, the Foundation Power of Dragon Kin, brought her a Scene - Evanescent plus Eye.