Right, I know. I already have Balmus all over this site, and thanks to Caelicorn, he looks absolutely amazing!
Given my comic book/anime/video game influences, most of the characters in The Wolf of Descarta are designed to be pretty slick looking–all except for one.
The dreaded Coquil.
There’s no sense in keeping the Coquil a secret any longer. My novel’s excerpt on Amazon.com nearly concludes the chapter in which Balmus and his notorious guild of player killers, The Order of the Blood Moon, knuckle down with this bizarre creature in Bladescape (who just happens to be guarding a legendary weapon). If you’ve read 7 Fantasy Cliches That Need to Disappear (For the Good of All), you already know that I’m easily irritated by the cutesy, overpowered helpers that infest the Fantasy genre.
So I decided to throw in a cutesy, overpowered monster that hulks out and nearly murders all my heroes just four short chapters into the novel.
My inspiration for the Coquil came from an MMORPG called Dark Age of Camelot (and probably my not-so-secret desire to take a battle ax to an Ewok).
Now this game was old school. You didn’t start off with a nifty armor set and bearing a majestic sword and a shield–more like sporting a loin cloth and armed with a rock and a stick.
To be honest, you didn’t feel very hard core at the beginning of DAoC. Most of the time you’d be grinding and get waylaid by things like bunnies in the woods. Winning at PVP was easier than walking through the friggin’ forest or through a farmstead! I distinctly remember finally getting my chainmail and an imposing greatsword, strapping on a crimson cape signifying my guild, and feeling so very accomplished–maybe about 40 seconds before I was ruthlessly mauled to death by a homicidal badger just chillin’ on the hillside.
You heard right. A stupid badger.
And yes, someone already did this:
While I’m at it, does anybody remember those stupid, overpowered rabbits in Final Fantasy VII with carrots for swords? Urrgh! Screw them too!
So the Coquil–in all its a pink, fluffy evilness–is product of pure rage at the comedic irony of being beaten down by seemingly helpless woodland creatures that should have been laying chocolate eggs for Easter and clucking like a chicken or some damned thing.
Now, in my infinite wisdom, I think the Coquil should be the mascot for the blog. The trouble is that I can’t draw to save my life. This is where you come in.
For the next two weeks (ending December 6), I will be accepting fanart submissions of the Coquil at blackknightofbladescape at gmail dot com. The winner of the contest will receive free, autographed copies of both The Wolf of Descarta and RealLies (hopefully in time for the holidays) and a permanent link on this blog to his or her artist page.
No purchase is necessary to participate. Just head over to Amazon and read the free excerpt. Once you’ve got a good idea of what this ruthless, quadrupedal abomination looks like, sharpen your pencils–or fire up your software–and get cracking. The top three entries will be posted on Monday, December 9 and receive what accolades I can bestow upon you in the form of written praise. 🙂