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Submitted on
August 11, 2005
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276 KB


39,915 (13 today)
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Liche by Keithwormwood Liche by Keithwormwood
High priest and prime demagogue of a people displaced and driven into inhospitable salt plains. Disease and famine poised to kill the tribes to a man when the high priest declared that he would go alone into the salt flats, commune with the heavens, and return with the answer to their salvation.
Days later, when his desiccated form reappeared on the horizon, he announced the discovery of a divine solution to their plight. He appealed to the medicine men to conduct a drastic form of trepanation on him. A large hole was cut into the top of his skull as his third eye with which he would commune with the heavens. After a day and night of mantras a holy pillar of light descended from the sky into the priest’s pate and burst forth from his face, removing much of it in the process. This beam of light acted as a guide to lead his people to a land of plenty. Once safe and settled, the priest announced that he was leaving, much to the lamentation of the saved tribes. It was blasphemy for him to dwell amongst them any further, he explained, for he had died on the first night he ventured forth into the flats to find his answer.

Blue colerase pencil and Photoshop.

Prints available here- [link]
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Ironically, one of your most cheerful stories is featured in a drawing of an villainous archetype. Makes sense, somehow.
Meylek Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
About a year ago someone had told me that I should put the stories of my ideas into actual writings. But you're work has inspired me to once again chase that old dream of accompanying visual ideas and concepts with a fascinating stories.

You may very well be my favorite artist; not just because you make beautiful work, but you're style is almost exactly how I've wanted mine before I even discovered you (such as thin limbs and tense and sometimes unnatural poses).

And guess what, you broke my art hiatus.
Arcturus-90 Nov 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
So creepy, but so good! °-°
cant get over the presence of this one
it sounds so crazy it might as well be in the Bible
Returning from death with knowledge to save his people, but forever condemned due to it, I assume.
LaCabezaDelCastor Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Interesting design, as well as the story!
Beautiful art, beautiful story. I must see if you've written any novels XD
This is absolutely gorgeous...I'm curious, did you get the idea for this from the old DnD "lich", or was it based on something else? I was always a big fan of the idea of a priest or wizard/sorcerer giving up their humanity for immortality. There's something philosophically satisfying in the idea of "giving up ones soul" for knowledge or power...
Keithwormwood Aug 31, 2011  Professional
It's a whole pile of influences, but I'm sure I can't discount D&D. It's really trying to work with the structures found in desert civilisations' mythology.
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