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Prince With The Turquoise Head by Keithwormwood Prince With The Turquoise Head by Keithwormwood
The man, dressed as royalty, arrived by sea on a trading ship. He soon became popular among the elite and wealthy circles in the city for the outlandish tales of his homeland, and his cryptic but surely sage advice. Beguiled delight was always found at the turquoise mask he was never seen without.

An illness took hold in the city upon the prince's arrival; one that loosened skin to grotesque proportion. The people implored the visiting noble for his wisdom.

"Remember, I come from Mu." he said as though that answered it all. Taking it much to heart, the city's people began fervent and depraved worship of this unknown land in hopes it would cure the sickness that afflicted them and their families. Trade with other cities soured, and the country's clergy denounced the new worshipping. The lord of the land, needing some way to keep his newly hired mercenaries busy until he had more important uses for them, took it upon himself to siege the town, raze it to the ground and appease the complaints coming from his other subjects. The sick people of the city saw the soldiers at the walls and cried to the stranger for more aid.

"Remember, I come from Mu." was all he said. Dumbfounded by such wisdom, all among them slopped to their knees, worshipping the wise prince as their city burned.


Prints can be ordered just below the text on this page: Prince With The Turquoise Head art prints
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:iconagentjericho:
AgentJericho Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional General Artist
Or the King in Yellow. ^^
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:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner May 13, 2015
I bet the strange creature thought that the goings on were aMusing.
Well done.
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:iconzadocfish:
Zadocfish Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think I have an idea here...  Honestly, though, in all interpretations, "Those dudes are morons" will feature front-and-center.

The prince is not a prince.  He looks like a prince, sure, but goodness knows any dude wearing exotic clothes would!  More importantly, he is a carrier of the plague.  

So a man from a faraway place comes to shore and gets popular even as his disease infects the local populace.  In the midst of the chaos, the people cling to him as a deity... even as his own intelligence and sanity suffers from his affliction.  In their mutual degradation of mental capacity, they keep him propped up as a symbol of salvation and wisdom, as he degrades farther and farther until he can no longer say anything but a single familiar phrase or hold himself in position, instead requiring a lever to hold up his hand to the masses.

The misshapen things to either side and the symbols show this as a religious work, likely from some mental perspective of the dying hangers-on, visualizing their affliction externally.

Probably a crappy interpretation, but it's pretty much what I thought before reading the comments...
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:iconmeylek:
Meylek Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
That's actually a great interpretation.

Bravo to you, sir.
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:iconzadocfish:
Zadocfish Featured By Owner May 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, thank you very much!  High praise indeed!
Reply
:iconflumenlimia:
flumenlimia Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014
You created something so interesting (and creepy) here. Great theories in the comments.
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:iconnavallentin:
NaVallentin Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just when I thought it couldn't be better.   
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:iconthunderyeti:
ThunderYeti Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
the mucuol imbraniousness is very becomming
Reply
:iconjordan90334264:
Jordan90334264 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
The enigma of the prince is simple, and simply terrifying.

'Mu' is a Chinese and Japanese word, drawn differently but possessing the same meaning: nothing, or oblivion, when written alone.

Thus, the wondrous Prince came from Nothing; his words were full of sweet Nothings; when the plague came, the city prayed to, begged and bargained with, and put their faith in Nothing; and Nothing shall remain of it when its bricks are burnt to ash and its people reduced to slime.

And what did this all mean? NOTHING.
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Professional
Wonderful comment, thanks!
Reply
:iconshadowpsycho:
Shadowpsycho Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think the prince's message, "I come from Mu," is a reference to the fact that the illness the townspeople have contracted may be a rather common illness or pathogen in his country. So much so, that the Prince might have actually believed that his country might be known for it and so wasn't surprised to see it spread here. Given the state of the prince himself, this seems like a logical conclusion.

If the prince was a carrier of this disease, he may have already been in or through the recovering stages of it and his skin tightened back up, discolored and disfigured because of illness. The two figures next to him might either be Gods who were infected by the plague Themselves, babies born to the infected townsfolk who were born deformed by illness, or even the originators of the plague.

The symbol in the prince's lap seems significant, given how defined it is compared to the rest of the picture, but I don't know what it might be. It could be the royal insignia of Mu, because of the similar image behind the prince. It could be a charm given to protect against further infection or revisit. It could be a symbol of Mu's religion. It could even be a sign indicating that the carrier was once or is currently infected (just like how the Star of David was used to recognize Jews in pre-WWII Germany) and should not be approached.
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Professional
Love reading all the theories, thanks!
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:iconshadowpsycho:
Shadowpsycho Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your artwork is interesting and thought provoking. It's fun to create theories about. :D
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:iconbloodstaine420:
Bloodstaine420 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Pure bad assery
Reply
:iconjankisminimus:
jankisminimus Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovecraft would be proud. I would like to see your interpretation of Ib or Sarnath and the doom that befell it. A towered city of unknown mineral falling by the vengeance of the blob like civilization. All shall fall for disgracing Bokrug.
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional
Hopefully a publisher will ask me to do an illustrated collection some time.
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:iconjankisminimus:
jankisminimus Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I await eagerly.
Reply
:iconsipahi-commando:
Sipahi-Commando Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
There are two ways I can take the Princes's homeland as being Mu:

The first one is a mythical continent invented by 19th century Occultists in the Pacific Ocean that ws the mother of all civilisation. From this. it's possible that the Prince, who spreads death and disease wherever he goes, could be a reference to to the Great Old One Cthulhu from HP Lovecraft's pulp horror stories, as his sunken adobe in R'yleh is also described as being an unbelievably ancient city located in the Pacific Ocean.

Alternatively, "Mu" means "nothing in Japanese and Korean.

Remember, I come from nothing.
Reply
:iconlisagorska:
LisaGorska Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
i love your ideas. i read it in a much more simple way: "Remember, I come from Mu." would be "Remember, I come from(M)You." in my head; from you, from within... and in this line of thought there could be a number of interpretations to the true nature of the prince.
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:iconysvyri:
Ysvyri Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I thought this too.
Reply
:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Professional
Awesome speculations!
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:iconhighlandparkartistry:
Highlandparkartistry Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Student General Artist
this is freaky as hell, great job
Reply
:icongueros84:
gueros84 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012
oh MY ******* ***!!! ^^
Reply
:iconsokolart23:
sokolart23 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is so dark but i like it )
Reply
:iconvagabondviper:
Vagabondviper Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
I love this illustration!!! I used the character as inspiration for an antagonist in a Mage the Awakening story. Really great stuff as usual.
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:icongiuliarosati:
giuliarosati Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
is brilliant!
Reply
:iconp-rabz:
p-rabz Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
What media do you tend to use? Do you even use a mixture of paint and digital, it would be awesome if you could get back to me on this one. Your art has inspired me with my studies :)
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2012  Professional
Yes, a big mix of traditional and digital.
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:iconumbraemortis:
UmbraeMortis Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Envy...
Reply
:iconavalonswinter:
AvalonsWinter Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This sort of blind faith in a stranger concept is so scary..... I think I'm going to dream of Mu tonight O_o
Reply
:icongwhitehall:
GWhitehall Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is fantastic! I love the symbols in the back.
Reply
:iconv-e-r-b-o-s-e:
V-e-r-b-o-s-e Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
This little story is so amazing. haha. Exactly the kind of things I absolutely love.
Reply
:icongensanity:
gensanity Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
sweet
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:iconhysm90s:
HYSM90s Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Love it!
Reply
:iconmetzdreher:
metzdreher Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
i come from mu = i come from you
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional
I like that.
Reply
:iconcrypt707:
Crypt707 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
I like how these two little perpetrators are presented left and right, like pieces to a puzzle. You're forced to question who and what they are; are they a product of the skin illness, it's carriers, or some new cool kids in town... or something else entirely? It's a !@#$ing mystery, it's gross and it creeps me out. Nice job, your art and writing are great and never cease to hold my attention as I laugh in disgust at the 'if something can go very wrong it will' nature of all your stuff.
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional
Cool, thanks for the observations on the two entities.
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:iconslkestrel:
SLKestrel Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Student
Mu!!!
Reply
:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Professional
I bet it was a fun place.
Reply
:iconsnippy-snap:
Snippy-Snap Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yay another piece meh lord
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:iconwytherwing:
wytherwing Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012
:) very cool story and artwork :nod:
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:iconproofrockpilchard:
ProofrockPilchard Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
This just shows what happens when you worship the exotic and new without knowing what it really means. Is that the grotesquely loosened skin on the ground?
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional
Yes, those are all the people.
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:iconproofrockpilchard:
ProofrockPilchard Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
They look absolutely horrible, as is usually the case with corpses pickled too long in the sea.
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:iconproofrockpilchard:
ProofrockPilchard Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Did I say 'sea'? Sorry about that, I temporarily forgot that this wasn't 'The Surface King'. :B In that case, I meant to say that they look absolutely horrible, as do any bodies with ill-fitting skin. Sorry for my absent-mindedness.
Reply
:iconfrankiefreshness44:
Frankiefreshness44 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
can you like... write tons of awesome books?
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:iconkeithwormwood:
Keithwormwood Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional
I will try to do more writing in the future!
Reply
:iconfrankiefreshness44:
Frankiefreshness44 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
another incredible snippet of a story and illustration! bravo!
Reply
:iconknight-of-ishtar:
Knight-of-Ishtar Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
Inspired by Lovecraft's Hastur? Ever way the image and the storytelling are amazing.
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