The Envoy by MarkHirst ()
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The Envoy came unbidden and unwelcome to us.
A strange ship approached the borders of our worlds, broadcasting in our language and demanding our attention. The dialect was old and arcane, a metre and style we thought long forgotten in our history.
We approached in force but before we could engage, the ship launched a small lifeboat and abandoned it. We waited many hours before allowing the simulacra to board it.
It has been scanned minutely but we have found no transmitter, location device or weapon. Our telepaths have attempted to read it, but they tell me it is not entirely alive. Perhaps it is like our simulacra, an artificial being made for its own purpose.
Its message was simple, that we should step aside and allow the darkness to fall. I am sorry to say that our response was not unanimous.
Over the long years we have become tired and afraid. Our men folk come and go with increasing rapidity, and there are fewer children in the nurseries. It would be easy to accede to its demands. There is great uncertainty now of the threat we thought we were facing. Is this thing a creature of the great Enemy, or just another evil that thrives in the absence of light?
Once thing is certain, the mere presence of this envoy sows division and conflict amongst us, Clan sister against Clan sister, Blood sister against Blood sister. Already my actions have brought us much bitterness.
That is in the past. As leader of the Gathering of Ravens, I cannot countenance any parley with the enemy, for it leads to compromise and fatal distraction. We were created to resist evil, not to serve it.
Standing by the shores of the great sea, refusing now to talk to us, the envoy is a sign that we are nearing the abyss. We must assume that our long cherished isolation is betrayed, and that the darkness is drawing around us.
It is as though the stars are holding their breath, waiting for the first sounds of battle.
-- The Clan Mother Zylyra, leader of the Gathering of Ravens
Water being a real render killer, the image was rendered three times, once at moderate quality, the second at high quality with the water as a flat grey surface. Finally a low quality render using a green water plane to create the mask for putting the moderate quality water into the high quality version - phew !!
V3 figure with Awful Soul Mirilian outfit and Sapphire Fox hair, V3 conforming cloak, all from DAZ.
Scene rendered in Vue 5 Pro Studio and post processing and hair repainting done in Photoshop CS2.
Thanks for looking and for any comments
Image Comments (20)
This story is fantastic, I'm looking forward to the next installation. The image is good as well, the water was worth the trouble (okay, easy for me to say). The only critical comment is I have is that it seems too dark under her hair, especially as her hair is light colored.