Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dragon's Dogma Precious Memories Scrapbook: Part 2

Part 1 is here

I took A LOT of screenshots while playing Dragon's Dogma. Probably because I absolutely adore that game. But before we begin, I'd like to thank Rosette, my stead-fast pawn. From goblins to Grigori himself, she stood by Hellfried's side through it all. Sometimes slung over her shoulder. In Grigori's own words "like sweet anodyne for the soul". I know, Grigori, she does cast anodyne a lot. Bless her. 

Alright then, on to the slaying and shenanigans!

Wow, what a great game. Good thing I still have two huge post-game dungeons to finish! That eases the sting of that Japanese only PS4 exclusive sequel! SO SOOTHED RIGHT NOW AND NOT BITTER AT ALL!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Day!

May your pilgrimage to the shrine of poultry and baked goods be fruitful, traveler.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Balor's Favor

Brewna took a step onto the narrow bridge leading to Fort Blackgoat. The old stone structure stood atop Mount Whisper, a failed attempt to prevent the native yeti population from raiding the villages below. The fort should have been dead and cold as the mountain itself, but a baleful light shown through the cracks and portals. Brewna could feel the heat from within, warming her face even through the thick steel of her helmet.

She shook free the loose snow that had collected between the plates of her armor, adjusted her grip on the handle of her greatsword, and marched. Dull clanking footfalls were her only company in the silent night, sounding in time with the beating of her own dwarven heart. As the great wooden doors drew near, both her footfalls and her heart beat a faster tune. Adrenaline got the best of her as she anticipated what was to come.

She had been hired by the villagers of Barrelhead. The FORMER villagers of Barrelhead.The town had been attacked the night before Brewna arrived, and nothing was left but charred timbers. The elder claimed it was no yeti, but a terrible Balor demon that had come in the night. It seemed far fetched that a greater demon would attack a humble fishing village, but the fiery fortress before her left little doubt.

Brewna raised her greatsword, prepared to burst through the double doors and lay waste to any fel beast that crossed her path...when the door opened itself, and she was met by a young human girl in a servants gown.

"Greetings, lady dwarf. Mistress Agunimnok Prostrum Karnok welcomes you to her home, and has been expecting you."


The young girl's polite curtsy only confused Brewna further. Before she could protest, the servant girl took her hand and pulled Brewna over the threshold, whisking off her snow laden cloak and hanging it neatly on a waiting hook.

The hall was surprisingly warm and cozy for an abandoned fort, and she noticed a distinct lack of bloodied skulls or corpses on hooks. In fact, you wouldn't think this was a demon's lair at all, if not for the hulking form looming over the center of the room.

"Oh please, Glenda, with the formal titles," The demon's voice boomed, as it's lips curled into a mock pout,"She'll think me such a bore. Call me Aguni, please."

If Brewna wasn't confused before, she certainly was now. The creature standing before her was definitely a balor demon: massive black horns, fiery red skin, and leathery wings. But that muscular package of death-given-form came wrapped in violet lace and studded leather.Thigh high stockings covered cloven hooves, and lacquered lips accompanied dagger like teeth. Brewna couldn't help but feel a bit jealous. It was hard enough finding a decent brassiere in dwarven sizes, where the hell had this thing found a size 10-xl corset?

Brewna shook herself. Demon, sword, battle. Right.

"I've come to avenge the people of Barrelhead, demon!"

"Avenge them for what, dear?"

"You burned their homes, ate their children-!"

Aguni delicately placed a palm on his clavicle, looking hurt.

"I would never! I admit I might have been a little rough, and things might have gotten out of hand. That tends to happen when you play with fire." The demon giggled to himself, gently shaking the lilac bows tied to his horns.

 "But I would never hurt my playthings." A leather gloved red claw stroked the young servant girl's face, who flushed timidly in return. "They're much too precious to me..."

Brewna had to admit, the towns people had never really said anything about missing children, or any cassualties for that matter. Perhaps she had let her imagination get the best of her. But c'mon! It's a balor demon, wrath and hatred in physical form! It must have done something to deserve slaying.

"I will send you ba-!"

The demon was on her before she could finish, wrapping Brewna's stocky form in a crushing embrace.He (she? probably she) plucked Brewna's helmet off and tossed it aside, revealing green eyes and red tresses.

"There, much better. you shouldn't hide such a lovely face. You won't need a hat in my house any way, nothing stays chilly around me for long." Aguni punctuated her statement with a sly wink. Brewna was much too terrified to appreciate the demons bawdy wit.

"It was quite rude of you to come into my home and say such horrible things, BUT" Aguni lightly tapped Brewna's round nose "I forgive you.You are just dwarven after all, it's in your blood.Now that this unpleasantness is put aside, I INSIST you stay the night. Glenda, would you be so kind as to fetch the wine and bread?"

"I'm not-" Brewna's grumbling stomach cut her off mid protest. It was a treacherous climb up the mountain, and her armor weighed enough without
the extra load of rations.

"Oh ho, dear. I promise I'll fill your belly with something delicious," Aguni leaned in close, lightly kissed brewna's cheek, and finished in
a whisper "all you have to call me mistress."

She didn't really have a choice. The Balor had her at a disadvantage, and provoking her would be certain death.


Aguni ran a clawed hand through Brewna's ginger mop affectionately. "Delightful."


The bells in the eyes of Brewna's owlbear costume jangled softly as Aguni bounced her on one knee. The bedroom of Fort Black goat was filled with all sorts of textiles, from similar cutesy costumes to extravagant gowns all spilling out of ornate wooden furniture. Aguni was obviously a lady of fine taste. Unfortunately Brewna didn't approve of her choice of evening wear.

"This is humiliating. I'm among the greatest warriors of my time, you know?"

"That's not what sound an owlbear makes."


"Much better. Now my little owlbear, guess where I've hidden the honey and I'll let you have a taste..."


As The morning sun rose, Brewna met it with a great yawn. Fully armored and standing on the stone bridge once more, she reflected on what had transpired atop this mountain, and struggled with what to tell the villagers of Barrelhead. Aguni had kept her up half the night
playing ridiculous games and running about the fort's halls. When she woke, her armor was polished and waiting, along with a sack full of enough gems to build twice the town Barrelhead had been. Aguni had said it was only fair she pay for the repairs, just as it was only fair they rename the village Flaming Valley. What a mess, and the sooner it was over and forgotten the better.

She hadn't taken a single step before she heard the balor's voice crooning from the doorway "Breeewna. Do come visit again? It'll be a grr-hoot!" And with one last wink, the door slammed shut, leaving Brewna alone on Mt. Whisper once more.

Brewna really wished she didn't want to come back.     

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fun with 3D rendering volume 1: Yetis, Cavewomen, and Goblins

I've been playing (read: wrestling) with a free 3D rendering program called Daz3d for the last two years. It's been an again, off again relationship. I'll spend two days learning how to import textures, get frustrated and then drop it. Two months later I'll start fidgeting with area lights, render five thousand poorly lit pictures and call it quits. Not today. The cycle has been broken, for between my new found understanding of Gimp and the perfect free models dropping into my lap, the stars have aligned. I finally have a basic grasp on how to make decent renders. And it's all thanks to City of Heroes.

What do (sadly) dead MMOs have to do with morphs and shaders? That lovely blue skinned lady above. That is She-ape, the character I played on City of Heroes a few months before the plug was pulled. I wrote some barely legible articles about her at the time, you can dig them up yourself if you must. I certainly won't. I always really liked this design, and knew I wanted to revisit the character someday when the time was right. Well would you look at the time, half past She-ape o' clock. my clock is subject to my whims. in an hour it will be "Marshmallow Mateys hour". But I don't have any cereal. a solemn hour indeed.

Futzing around with the models I had built up over the course of several failed attempts, I realized I had both the resources and the know how to finally do this yeti justice. 

 I even tracked down some lovely arctic trappings for some nice immersive scenery. But Polar bears make for frigid company (especially when they can't move at all, like little ursine statues).

Luckily, I still had a cave woman modeled up from one of those previous failed attempts.

But the Arctic circle can be a bit cold for even the most savage of heroines...

There, that's better! Fur bikini + leather cape = warm, winter proof attire to keep the frost bite at bay. FANTASY!

A drunken goblin lady playing the pan flute in a garden labyrinth. As you do when drunk and also a goblin.

In fact, she's probably a gardener herself. Her name is probably Goburi, and she's probably loosely inspired by a magic the gathering card that's been stuck on my brain since I was twelve. That all seems highly likely.

Before I credit the modellers bare in mind: Everything I used was completely free, so if you want to your hand at this by all means go for it. It's frustrating at times, and learning to use the program can be an art unto itself, but it's also a blast and supports any weirdo idea you have. Clearly, because no one writes a program with the intent of making half naked yeti women. That's just a beautiful accident.

Now, model credits:

The daz models used were: Victoria 4.2 base and Morphs++, Shigi hair, hooded cloak, basic wear for v4, v4 domino shirt and belt, garden escape well, and amarseda hair. All of which were given away for free at some point, as well as Daz Studio itself.

Mostdigitalcreations made the polar bear, snowy landscape, pan flute, and garden backdrop.

Mylochka (who is wonderful and also the best) made the blue and green skin textures. She apes texture was edited by myself to add that furry touch.

3-d-c did the basic wear leopard texture

Kalebdaark did the hood texture

parrotdolphin did the posable spike (she-apes uni-horn) this was exactly what I never knew I needed.

age of armor did the wooden stein

the spear is the Malaik Lance

All wonderful resources, and very much appreciated.

There are couple of bonus renders of a more risquè variety (what can I say, I am defined by my passions) in my deviantart gallery linked in the sidebar --->

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


It's jade jubilation day! Here's a redux of an older sketch to celebrate. May your day be filled with many drunken leprechaun ladies, for good or ill!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dragon's Dogma: Precious Memories Scrapbook

I just discovered the greatest thing: you can export screenshots from Dragon's Dogma to Facebook. If you've never played Dragon's Dogma, then A). You don't know what you're missing and B). This game was MADE for dramatic screenshots. The entire game is spent crawling all over giant cyclopses and griffins, clinging on for dear life. But don't let me tell you, let me show you.

 This is Helfried, agile rogue and daring monster slayer, accompanied by her adorably robust mage companion, Rosette.

This is Helfried scrambling up the back of a cyclops, desperately trying to knock off it's helmet and expose it's sensitive eye. That's not a cut scene, that's gameplay. You have to crawl on these big beasts Shadow of the Colossus style and poke at their giblets before they can grab you and chomp at your giblets. 


You can also grab and toss just about anything. My preferred method of handling the undead is lobbing them off the nearest cliff face.

This is an ogre. Ogre's enjoy trying to grab and eat women, and slamming into you ass first on narrow stair wells. Ogres are dicks.

Suddenly, buffalo wrangling!

And a swingin' beach party! One of my favorite parts of Dragon's Dogma is the way your armor gets drenched when you get wet, as well as grabbing npcs and tossing them in the ocean.

You know in the midst of all this cyclops violence, it's hard to reconcile the fact that I actually like cyclopses, and don't want to poke them in the eye. How about a happy cyclops?

There. Now I don't feel so bad about that cyclops eye in my inventory...


Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow! And Pictures! At the Same Time!

FINALLY. I almost didn't think it would happen, but sure enough life dumped frozen joy on us once more and I have an excuse to play with toys AND get frost bite. Those fingers were worth it...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beast Mothers: Betrayal in the House of Bats!

As the sun set over the South American jungle-scape, great flocks of bats crowded the skies over a stony ruin deep in the forest. Three figures sat around a granite table lined with a woolen blanket and clay bowls. Hulking furry beasts stuffed into evening dresses and golden jewelry, the bat mothers had gathered to discuss territorial boundaries. Hog-Nose's fleshy nostrils twitched.

"Vampiras, your perfume is intoxicating"

"Thank you, dear Hog-Nose. Your bangles are simply to die for" the sinister flash of her elongated fangs didn't escape Hog-Nose's beady black eyes.

"And Fruit-Eater, the refreshments you've procured for us are lovely. I appreciate that you have accommodated our carnivorous diets, I know you find it distasteful"

"Anything for my dearest sisters." Fruit-Eaters gaze lingered for far too long. Hog-Nose's stomach sank. It was all too easy to see what was coming. She spoke up.

"Pleasantries aside, we should discuss why we gathered here. Vampiras I understand you have grievance-"

"I simply want what is rightfully mine! Why should my children scrabble over the empty plains and the fruit eaters get the forests to themselves? The trees are clotted with warm blooded beasts, and cool damp places to squeeze into-"

Fruit-Eater slammed a leathery fist on the table, toppling a bowl of mosquitoes.

"Your children spread disease! Your filthy hemovorism would upset the precious balance of the forests! If you would simply change-"

"A change that would take millions of years! I cannot simply stop drinking of blood! Fruit does not grow in the dry lands, only hoofed prey! Hog-Nose, tell her."

"Well, my own children feed on the plentiful insects. Perhaps-"

"Mosquitoes!" Fruit-Eater interjected "You eat hemovores yourself! Careful, or you will become as wretched as she."

Vampiros pointed a long clawed finger across the table at her sisters

"I knew you could not see reason. That is why I have had my children attach themselves to the supporting pillars of this ruin. Concede the forest, or I will drop this stone upon you!"

Fruit-Eater gasped, Hog-Nose merely sighed.

"You cannot kill us. You know we are immortal Vampiras, just as you are."

"But I can trap you here for centuries, while my children usurp yours."

Fruit-Eater grinned. "You could sister, if you could stay awake long enough! I dosed the wretched blood I brought you with frog venom. It cannot kill you, but it will paralyze you. Your body will lie motionless while it repairs itself.I'm surprised you are conscious even now."

Hog-Nose's brow furrowed. "I took the liberty of exchanging all the bowls you brought with food I had gathered myself."

"Traitor! You would poison us both and move your own children from the dark of the caves!"

"No! It was done to avoid a situation exactly such as this! The two of you revel in dramatics like children. If you don't stop this crazed play acting, one of your species will die out. Not from malnourishment or disease, but negligence! You have to see-"

Vampiras leapt from her seat and unfurled her great wings. "I have heard enough poisoned words from the mouth of traitors! Farewell, sisters, and good riddance!" A barely audible clicking
emitted from the back of her throat, and the floor beneath them began to quake.

Fruit-Eater grabbed Vampiras 'round the neck. "You mad fool! You'll be trapped here with us, I'll be sure-"

The stone walls tumbled down with a great sundering roar. The storming den of crumbling rock filled the jungle for what seemed like hours, then fell silent as quickly as it came. The only sound that remained was the frantic screeching of bats.


Tapir was jostled from her sleep by a furry clawed hand.She jumped at the sight of the beastly silhouette before her. Her groggy brain reeled in fear, then slowly recognition dawned on her. It was Hog-Nose. She was covered in a layer of dust, a tattered cocktail dress, and too many bruises and scrapes to count.

"What happened to you?" Tapir rubbed at her still blurry eyes.

"Family" Hog-nose let the word hang ominously in the night air.

"Your sisters tried to kill each other again?"


"C'mon. Let's get you cleaned up." She looked at the tattered linen draped around her bat friend's shoulder.

"Shame about the dress. It was nice. We'll have the monkeys steal you a new one. It's the least we owe you for playing nurse-maid to those psychos." Tapir wrapped a stocky arm around Hog-Nose's waist, and the bat let out an exhausted sigh.

"That would be nice."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Safari ltd. Platypus

Hey guys. Platypuses are weird. Am I amusing you yet? Do you see the wit in my observational humor? Good. Because millions of years of specialized evolution isn't funny. No,the life and death struggle for dominance of a niche ecosystem isn't funny. It's ADORABLE.

This is the Safari LTD. Platypus figure, and I'll just say this upfront: It's the best platypus on the market. No other company has managed to capture the flat, chubby little proportions of a semi-aquatic monotreme. The pudgy little cheeks to the fuzzy slap-tail, it's all there. Honestly, Papo is the only competition, but it's offering is permanently swimming. Semi-aquatic mammals can't get down like that. The paint on this Safari model is gorgeous as well, with a dappled brown coat, and a slick glossy belly.

Fun aside, platypuses are the only members of their genus left on earth. They're the result of EXTREMELY specialized evolution in an isolated ecosystem. Australia broke off from the rest of the continental land mass and stranded the species that lived there. That's why Australia has so many species that are completely unique to that continent: They had no way to leave, and evolved into unique niches. To put it into words: Australia is weird.  


There was also a three foot long platypus relative named obdurodon that went extinct millions of years ago, but if you put this guy next to a 3-4" action figure, it totally works! It's like two animals in one, if you really stretch the truth. What value! I've actually taken to mounting Mega Bloks Halo Spartans in her back and dubbed her the "Battlepus". That's the thing with animal replicas: They're statues. They don't really do anything, so you have to either really like that animal in the exact pose it will be in forever, or be prepared to make your own fun.

Honestly, it's hard to find replicas of Australian animals. How many lions does one child need? Wouldn't you rather make an echidna? A wallaby? Maybe a thylacine that doesn't look ridiculous? I'm having trouble filling out this Australia diorama with five kangaroos and one platypus...