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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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:iconflumenlimia:
flumenlimia Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014
Nice story.
Reply
:iconsirgodspeed:
SirGodspeed Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
Ironically, one of your most cheerful stories is featured in a drawing of an villainous archetype. Makes sense, somehow.
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional
That's a neat thing to point out, thanks.  
Reply
:iconmeylek:
Meylek Featured By Owner 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.
Reply
:iconarcturus-90:
Arcturus-90 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
So creepy, but so good! °-°
Reply
:iconthunderyeti:
ThunderYeti Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
cant get over the presence of this one
Reply
:iconhughtheindestructibl:
it sounds so crazy it might as well be in the Bible
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:iconseekoutguy:
Seekoutguy Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
Returning from death with knowledge to save his people, but forever condemned due to it, I assume.
Reply
:iconlacabezadelcastor:
LaCabezaDelCastor Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Interesting design, as well as the story!
Reply
:icon28dragons:
28dragons Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
Beautiful art, beautiful story. I must see if you've written any novels XD
Reply
:iconzarathustras-crown:
Zarathustras-Crown Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011
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...
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner 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.
Reply
:iconsqueak74b:
Squeak74b Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011
Tis a thing of nightmares!
Reply
:iconarygius:
Arygius Featured By Owner May 27, 2011
There are just no words I can come up with. Just... non.
Reply
:iconklemensvonmetternich:
Very telling indeed.
Reply
:iconreliquiaarcana:
ReliquiaArcana Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Speechless *O*
Reply
:iconoddfae:
oddfae Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011  Professional Artist
Luv your work!
Reply
:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2011
Well done.
Have seen your work at your page and here.
You rock.
Reply
:iconjustmenolies:
justmenolies Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2010
Love the picture, love the story. Your work never ceases to astound.

:)
Reply
:iconmagic666z:
Magic666z Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010
so cool
Reply
:iconsashiri:
Sashiri Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
favourite lich drawing in the whole internet.. I´ve searched all 50 pages if google, and this one´s the best of all lich drawings.. It just has that dark feel that a drawing like that should have..
Reply
:iconlamby17:
Lamby17 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010
wow this is cool. how do you come up with this stuff?
Reply
:icongirlgunner:
girlgunner Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
A Noble Lich... Very rare...
Reply
:iconmorphine-cloud:
Morphine-Cloud Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2009
:salute: You are featured in my journal : [link] :blackrose:
Reply
:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009
Such a touching story...
Reply
:iconwizardgoggles:
WizardGoggles Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fascinating. I love it.
Reply
:iconfearydistress:
fearydistress Featured By Owner May 13, 2009
A very nice backstory for a lich.
Reply
:iconmartinsilvertant:
MartinSilvertant Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
It's great how Eastern this character looks. Usually the visualization of Death is common in the Western world, but this is the first time I see such character in Eastern clothing. Brilliant story, by the way. You have a great imagination and a definite writing talent.
Reply
:iconcurtsibling:
curtsibling Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
One of my all-time favourite liche images, and a great backstory too!
Reply
:iconvoltairearts:
VoltaireArts Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2008
Hey! I really like your art... is so real, and deep... fantastic...

I'm your fan!!!
Reply
:icontristan-despero:
Tristan-Despero Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
An absolutely amazing story, and a genuinly frightening creation. Great job!
Reply
:iconcacodaemonia:
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
What an amazing character! Despite the inherent grotesqueness of the image, he comes across as gentle and caring, with perhaps a good sense of humor. :) Beautiful job on the fabrics!
Reply
:iconalex-stein:
Alex-Stein Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2008   Writer
I love his pose. Reminds me of Plato in that famous Italian frescoe, The Academy. Or something like that.
Reply
:iconmeylek:
Meylek Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, I do see the resemblance.
Reply
:icongaminator:
Gaminator Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2008
Yep, a dead ringer.
Dead ringer, giddit? :D
Reply
:iconalex-stein:
Alex-Stein Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2008   Writer
Errr... Yeah... Hilarious...
Reply
:iconekonk:
Ekonk Featured By Owner May 20, 2008  Student Digital Artist
You should upload some writing. That story has a really nice sting.
Reply
:iconfantasio:
fantasio Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
amazing work!
Reply
:iconworkweak:
workweak Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008
Sick...in a totally good way.
Reply
:iconcarmenh21:
carmenh21 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007
really good one .
Reply
:iconigotabadfeeling:
igotabadfeeling Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2007
its truly...fantastic.
next time I have any spare money
I'm getting me a print :)
Reply
:iconmysteryofalbesila:
MysteryofAlbesila Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2007
great artwork!
Reply
:iconspunktruth:
SpunkTruth Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007
the best deviant artist?
Reply
:iconcallous666:
Callous666 Featured By Owner May 29, 2007   Writer
I love the way you draw and colour, Awesome work man. Seriously godly.
Reply
:iconfaylinn:
Faylinn Featured By Owner May 8, 2007
Very very intense..I love the stories you tell with your pictures!
Reply
:iconorphyrus:
Orphyrus Featured By Owner May 2, 2007
This piece reminds me of Da Vinci's John the Baptist, also carrying a staff and pointing heavenwards. That and the Da Vinciesque scrawl underneath. Amazing piece. I absolutely love the stories that come with your illustrations. Are they part of a collection?
Reply
:iconguaya:
guaya Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I really like this drawing, the only thing is off is how subtle he is holding that stick... the rest is really cool
Reply
:iconthe-ufo:
the-UFO Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2007
cool
Reply
:iconblue-willow:
blue-willow Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2006  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great!!!! and also the colour is perfect!
Reply
:iconherrtevik:
herrTevik Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2006
That's freaking brilliant!
The story and the picture go well together.
Inspiring!
Reply
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August 11, 2005
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