Ghostships, Art, and Updates

A sneak peek at art for the Hymn of Dreams character cards, an enamel pin concept design, and my love of nerdy candles.

Ghostships, Art, and Updates

You may have noticed something different about this newsletter. Instead of delivery from a standard airship, you're receiving this from a haunted aerial ghostship. I've officially made the move from substack to ghost and while migrating things like this is always a bit of a trial, I must say that ghost is a much prettier platform. I won't lie, I'm very weak for aesthetics. And speaking of aesthetics...

Meet Shirael and Nexaen

I recently discovered Artbreeder and experimented with making Shirael and Nexaen, the main characters of Hymn of Dreams. You can see my attempts here:

Headshots of Shirael and Nexaen from Artbreeder
Guess which is the sunshiney disaster bard and which is the grumpy mage ;) 

Artbreeder is a lot of fun, and though there were a few things I would have liked to tweak more (I had a very difficult time trying to add bangs!) I'm very pleased with the results. The mischievous smirk! The icy glare! Perfection.

I also commissioned the talented artist Kiria for illustrations to use on RPG style character cards. I'll share the finished cards on Twitter in the next week or so, but for now here's a peek at the beautiful work she did:

Illustration of a mage and a bard
Nexaen and Shirael by Kiria

Aren't they lovely? There's a golden moth design on their uniforms: that's a grave moth, the insignia of the Ghostborn Legion, a military faction that plays a very important role in the world of Hymn of Dreams. I dusted off Adobe Illustrator to try my hand at making concept art for a grave moth enamel pin, and came up with the following:

Concept art for a grave moth

Grave moths are ethereal creatures that carry the souls of the dead to the afterworld, so I'm thinking of making the white parts glow in the dark. The tentative plan for now is to use these pins for pre-order giveaways.

As for Hymn of Dreams itself, I hope to do a cover reveal later this summer. And as a special gift to you, this summer I'll also release a free subscribers-only short prequel story featuring our brooding mage, dark magic, and the breathless rush of infatuation.

Other Nerdish Delights

This is where I share fun nerdy things I've found. Think of me like a magpie showing off her collection of treasures. My latest delight is Cantrip Candles, an amazingly creative company that makes candles all designed for use with tabletop games and adventures. At the bottom of the larger 16oz candles is a d20, and the lids feature illustrations that look like "dungeon" style RPG maps.

An image of an Autumn Festival candle with a world globe in the background.

My favorite scent, of course, is the seasonal Autumn Festival. I stocked up on a few to enjoy throughout the year and it's been a pleasure to burn while working on Hymn of Dreams. Maybe I'll do a a special giveaway bundle in October that includes one to celebrate release day 🍂 👻 🎃

Safe adventures until next time, friends!