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Monday 8 June 2020

Hlífrún Art Week

   This past week I've been sharing some of the artwork for Hlífrún (printed exclusively in the Patreon-exclusive hardback edition) across social media. Here are the gathered pieces.
   All were drawn by myself

There is one skogsrå per continent, and Hlífrún is the skogsrå of Arasiin. She has barkish skin, a wood-hollow in her back, a cow tail, a toned and muscular frame, and a twiggy, branching crown. She traverses the forests like a phantom, melting into trees and reappearing hundreds of miles away in a single step. She is not kind. She is not patient. Her fancies change like the breeze, and there's no knowing what her smile might mean. She is nature itself, and if you find yourself on the wrong side of her (or any side, having said that), watch your step.

Harpies - half-bird, half-human migrants of the south, perching watchfully in the oldest trees. All from kestrels to eagles bow to their superiority, and they, in turn, protect them from poachers and collectors.
They also make wonderful battle scouts.

The askafroa. She is a real danger - assuming you're within range. But range is, really, all it takes. They're aggressive opportunists, and will cast fast-acting curses on you, or your whole village, if you offend her or harm her tree - assuming she doesn't grab at you with twiggy hands.

Vakehn, forest guardians. They're not born to the wilds, but the wilds have adopted them all the same, neutralising old connections by growing lichen, miss and fungi over chestnut skin and forest green hair. Their weapons are made from wood approved for use by the queen, and they wrap themselves in gossamer and lichen to break up their shape like bird nests, and to maintain some degree of modesty - one of the few lingering connections to their previous culture. Their magic is used in defence of the wilds, and they answer readily to Hlífrún.

Arkhamas (or 'ditchlings') are pale, when they're not filthy, with matted hair tangled with all kinds of stuff, live in setts and drop from trees. They move around in warbands and steal food and clothing from villages. Folklore says they steal children and turn them into Arkhamas, but that's just not true. Children who live with them do so voluntarily, but rarely for very long. Kids run away on impulse, but soon miss warm food, beds and mother's kisses.

Pre-order Kindle for release on June 20th.

Paperback will be available on release day.

Cover art by Frenone.


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