Monday, August 29, 2011

Amorphous Drake by Lucas Graciano

Game Informer
It's no wonder Lucas Graciano recently won the Chesley Awards for achievement in art, specifically for drawing this utterly badass picture of a dragon for Sony's Legends of Norrath game. I really dig everything about this picture, from the dragon to the spears jutting from offscreen. The mental imagery is invokes is interesting: A dragon appears in the great hall of a castle, the guards surround him, wondering how exactly they're going to take down a dragon. Love it.

Watch this axe-wielding warrior bird lay waste to its enemies

Verily, he is a mighty warrior worthy of song!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Knights of the Silver Hand

The Knights of the Silver Hand is one of the coolest aspects of Warcraft. A paladin order, they debuted in Warcraft II, was destroyed in Warcraft III, and recently had a resurgence in World of Warcraft. What's interesting about the Knights though is how they came to be in-universe. In the first Warcraft, you had Clerics of Northshire, priests with powers to heal, become invisible, see far away, and one offensive spell called holy lance.

In Warcraft II, clerics were replaced with paladins, an upgrade for knights that gave them the ability to cast spells similar to what the clerics had. Now, in the manual for the second game, it was explained that the clerics had suffered heavy losses during the First War (the first game), due to their lack of martial training and that two figures - Uther Lightbringer and Archbishop Alonsus Faol - came up with the idea to create an order that would meld the dual roles of warrior and cleric into one, thus the Knights of the Silver Hand was born. I like how Blizzard actually took the time to give an explanation for the clerics replacement in Warcraft II, it really does give the games more depth.

Edit: Did some picture swapping.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor

Just found this blog on Tumblr and I'm digging it! Unfortunately, many women in fantasy art are cursed to wear the much derided chainmail bikini, an outfit that can't really provide any protection at all in a fight. Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor instead posts pictures of ladies in armor that's a bit more realistic than the kind you would normally see in a Frank Frazetta painting*. There's too many awesome pictures to post, but here's two of my favorites so far.
She reminds me of Star Paladin Cross from Fallout 3. Not a bad thing.

Apparently, she's supposed to be a cleric. First time I've ever seen one wield a sword before.
 *Nothing wrong with a Frank Frazetta painting, mind you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MC Frontalot - Charima Potion

Fair warning, there's an F-bomb at the beginning.

The book and the two games that set me off on the fantasy path

Out of all the things I've experienced, read, watched, and played during my nerd life, there are three things that got me interested in fantasy.

Book: Saint George and The Dragon. I remember reading this when I was a little kid and then, rereading it several times before it eventually got packed away. I uncovered it every few years while cleaning or moving boxes and always took the time to read through it. It's a retelling of Saint George and The Dragon, part of a larger poem called The Faerie Queene. The artwork is beautiful and has that fantasy feel. Sadly, both Margaret Hodges and Trina Stuart Hyman are dead, but their work lives on.


Games: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Warcraft II: Edition. They were not the first computer games I had ever played, I had traveled the Oregon Trail and got dysentery. My parents had picked up an older than hell computer at a yardsale, one of those rigs that predated GUI and could only do text based adventures and so I had dabbled in Kings Quest, but only once. Then in 1999, my world changed. We had just gotten a second hand computer that was just powerful enough to handle some older games o the time. Sometime later, my mom came home from Walmart and handed me a copy of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. A week later, Warcraft II followed. Out of the two, I liked latter more, as it had an easier control scheme and interface. I, like many kids back then, cheated like a demon, using all the cheat codes I could find. I still play it sometimes.

What I liked about the games was the plot and the background story. I probably read the fluff in the manuals so many times, that I could recite any part of it from memory back then. One of the things I especially like is how Blizzard has added dimension and depth to the Orcs in Warcraft III, showing that they were once a noble race that had been corrupted and twisted by a race of demons called the Burning Legion. They didn't become heroic, but shifted towards anti-heroes instead.

These three things didn't turn me into a fantasy nerd, but they helped set me on the well beaten path towards that fandom and I will always appreciate them for it.

Oh look, I created another blog

And with that, welcome to Swords, Dragons, and Nerds, three things, as the subtitle alludes, should never be in mixed company. I created this blog as an overflow for my newly increased interest and love (platonic, of course, but it's burgeoning into something more) for fantasy. As you may or may not now, I also run Nerd Lyfe, which primarily focuses on nerdery and well, I'd rather keep it at that and not have it turn into a fantasy only blog. I have some posts in mind that would have done that very thing, so I created Swords, Dragons, and Nerds as a way to preserve Nerd Lyfe, yet post all my fantasy related things. Soo...yeah. Let's start, shall we?


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