Concept Art: The Heartblade

So, now that Nano is over and past us, I’m heading back to Eisengoth for finishing up Sorcerer’s Code and working on world-building and planning for D’Arden’s next adventure. During the process, I’ve been heading back to Elegy and asking myself things like “so, what does the heartblade actually look like?”

I’m a visual person by nature. I do a lot better when I have images to work from in my head – it makes me see things more clearly and makes me more likely to pay attention to detail. The simple act of creating the portrait of D’Arden that was used for the cover of Elegy made so many things clearer in my head.

I was once an artist for a webcomic, and I have a small amount of artistic talent, most of which is tied up in Photoshop skills – although I do have some free-hand ability, mostly cartooning. Occasionally I will attempt to answer questions like the one above with something more than thought and wondering. Making something concrete, visualized, real can sometimes make the difference between nebulous words like “…the tiny, perfectly round, pointed and tapered blade that thrummed with a soft blue light…” (ELEGY) and something you could actually imagine holding in your hand.

So here you go. This is what I envisioned. It’s about 5 inches long from pommel to tip, leaving about 2 3/4 inches of blade – just enough to nick the heart when slid to the hilt between the ribs. The pommel is an empty ring that might slip around a slender woman’s little finger. It is made entirely of the same crystal that forms the manna blades, and is more resilient than it looks – but is still fragile. Being dropped on the floor from chest-height would probably cause it to shatter were it not wrapped in layers of hardening and protective magic. It can still be crushed under someone’s heel, though, or shattered with enough force when thrown against a stone wall or other unyielding surface.

The Arbiter's Heartblade

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