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September 19, 2012
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Mister Kriss by Altalamatox Mister Kriss by Altalamatox
Been doodling ex-Dark Lord Rakt'Plyre as a insanity break from Doing Things That Matter.

If you've not met him, Vra'kriss is a storybook villain given flesh and blood by an enchantment on his book of origin. He's a reformed high fantasy bad guy, or at least he tries. He's usually in good humor and the other Librarians mostly get along with him, they just take care to remember that Kriss has the temper of a four year old and the body of a seven foot bodybuilding pyromancer. He is Head of Security in the Library and relishes his work sinking his battleaxe deep into the hides of the wicked things which occasionally leak, crawl, burst, and ooze from the pages of the Library's collection. Kriss himself should've been dealt the very same on arrival, save that Benjamin had a moment of insanity and wanted to give the evil old monster a chance in this world.

The guest is my roommate, who said she'd love to straighten Kriss' hair. It's taken five hours to get all the knots and braids out of it and the poor guy still doesn't know how he feels about being brushed.

Below, a superfluous aside on Kriss from the vault.

--

And now, stuff about Kriss' past.

Vra'kriss was widely known to have killed his father, as is right and proper of boys of a certain age, to replace him as warlord of their modest but enterprising empire. Few knew that Dark Lord Vra'kriss Rakt'Plyre's father was actually a potato farmer, and that Vra'kriss actually killed him for readier access to his bones, which were called for by the recipe that transformed Kriss into the pointy-eared, flame-throwing gorilla he is today.

Vra'kriss ditched the grubby life of a pitiful farmer, prying potatoes out of permafrost for a living, when he was twelve years old. He joined a raiding party and mostly robbed pitiful potato farmers for a living. Their little gang was later swept up as individual bandit groups were forcibly united under a distant warlord.

The detachment young Vra'kriss showed other human beings put a chill even in the frosty bones of the steppe bandits. Mercy was a bit beyond his grasp. If there was a face between the kid and his quarry, it would soon have an axe in it. He killed in the way one kills a spider- in mad carnal terror of another living thing. (Like most dark lords, Vra'kriss has a wildly overactive self-preservation instinct. Everything that isn't you is firstly in bad taste, and secondly has the potential to harm you. There should be much less of everything that isn't you around.)

Raised in a tiny world ringed in snow, Kriss' murderous role model was none other than winter itself. The soulless cold. Death by snowflakes. Death by temperature. By disease. By the long void. A silent family on a silent, white horizon, huddled, hiding, from winter, as they would again huddle, hiding, from bad men.

The boy wished he could be like winter. Then he could kill the men. Everyone would fear him. No-one could touch him.

'Course, he changed his mind once he flirted with fire. Fire beats ice. Fire is flashy. Most importantly, fire is fun. People on fire are waaay more entertaining than frozen people.

Certainly Kriss' upbringing in a chilly land is responsible for his infatuation with all things fire and brimstone. Once he got on top of the pile, the quiet, desperate young bandit thawed, revealing a Vra'kriss who fed on suffering like a bushfire, who laughed and roared and dropped opponents with the inferno in his eyes. (And shortly thereafter, their eyes.) There was always a bit of the permafrost encasing his conscience, however, keeping him cool as a cucumber in the midst of his Flames of Destruction. His heart didn't defrost until a certain hero jammed a certain blade through it, enter the more somber, rueful Kriss we know in the Library.

Vra'kriss had two sisters, an older and a younger, homely potato farmers who swore bloody, bloody vengeance on their brother after he murdered their dad. Vra'kriss' story follows the adventures of the hero and token princess because they are sexy and the book mediocre. Were I writing the book, I'd probably follow Kriss' sisters around. As it is, they only make the occasional unnamed cameo in the story.

They become vicious warriors but fail to even get close to their brother, in fact only the elder sister lives to hear that he's finally been popped off by a rather left-field Hero of Destiny. But I like to imagine there's another side to the existing story, where most every happy circumstance the hero encounters is inadvertently related to the sisters' misadventures. For example, sister is attacked by wolves, loses horse. Hero finds random horse. Sisters miss last ferry of the season. Two seats available for hero and princess on last ferry of the season. So on. They have a miserable time of it but they'd be more interesting than watching the hero rock at everything he does. Which he does at their expense. They're ultimately responsible for bringing about Kriss' death but only you and I know this.

I should mention Vra'kriss' mother died some winter after he ran away, but before he came back for his little act of patricide.

I should mention why he did that.

Back to young Vra'kriss, the teen was a force of nature in the making and was commended to the warlord's own guard. The leader himself took an interest in tempering him, even preparing him as a successor, eventually declaring Vra'kriss his own son to cease bickering about succession. (Kriss himself sometimes forgets the warlord wasn't really his father, because this is much cooler than the truth.) The warlord loved Kriss as one loves an especially powerful weapon. He would have respected Kriss for offing him once he'd eclipsed his own power, but he was dead.

Anyhoo. Vra'kriss was twenty-two when he took over as the biggest threat to peace and happiness in the land. The former warlord was a big, dark, ugly man with edgy scars and loud teeth. Vra'kriss was small, lithe and pale, like a dagger is small, lithe and pale, but still. His appearance did not demand the respect Kriss desired. So he did what any self-respecting malicious world dictator-hopeful would have done, and struck a deal with eldritch demons to redo his body. Much blood went into it. A key part of the thing was the murder of a parent, as an utter rejection of one's naturally inherited form. Vra'kriss came out of it two feet taller, three hundred pounds heavier, with god-like strength, fire-proof skin, death-black hair and crimson eyes. His world never knew what hit it.


--
Moar expression pages
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:iconfantreasureplanetljs:
fantreasureplanetljs Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Student General Artist
:giggle::lol: I love the one where he's getting his hair combed. LOL That expression of his is priceless :XD:
Reply
:iconnathandespain:
NathanDespain Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
GREAT Character!! Looks like I do at work.
Reply
:iconb-rand:
B-Rand Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude your facial expressions are incredible =]
Reply
:iconfieldsoffire:
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
He looks different than I remember. I like it. More imposing-looking.
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Yep, I've been trying to beef him up. He's my one and only burly character and it twists my brain trying to draw solid, hulking, muscled things. But it should be really pushed for Kriss. Further than I pushed him here. If he's done anything lately its reminding me that I never did learn how muscles work. Hence a weird afternoon the other week collecting reference images of mostly naked bodybuilders, which at some point I will care enough to do sketches of. Arm muscles are weird. Weird, weird, weird.

As usual, I can thank storytelling for dragging me down yet another alley I'd never have peeked into otherwise. Sitting on one's bum and writing fiction is ironically very good at making one explore the world more deeply. ;)
Reply
:iconfieldsoffire:
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
Since I've got your attention I'd just like to say your art is a wonderful inspiration to me and I really hope I'll find time to draw some fanart of your characters soon. (Right now I'm working on some of my own!)
Reply
:icon0naw:
0NAW Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Augh, I love your expressions and character designs. I love your backstories and everything. <3
Do you for a company, or is this is all freelance?
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
Hey, glad you do! (:

Naw, not even freelance, this is all self-indulgence nonsense. I'm still a student, not worked for a company yet.
Reply
:icon0naw:
0NAW Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, you're amazing at this anyhow! :D
Reply
:iconquentinlars:
quentinlars Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
these are really amazing sketches and I'm astounded at how accurately you drew the figure from multiple angles! well done and thanks for sharing your talent here!!! :D
Reply
:iconsilverybeing:
SilveryBeing Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
DAT HAIR! Oh man, and his sisters' stories sound really cool, much more interesting than the hero and princess. I don't wish to be the source of plot bunnies, but the sisters' would be interesting to expand on.
Reply
:iconmad-genious:
mad-genious Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
*drops the sandwich* oops... sorry... you mad bro?
Reply
:iconautumn-gracy:
Autumn-Gracy Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Student General Artist
Could you maybe maybe maybe do at least a little doodle of what he looked like before he struck the deal with the eldritch demons or would that be too embarrassing for him...?
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012
I actually drew such a thing! But it was fitting this post weirdly so it'll be in the next spew instead. But only if everyone promises not to tell Kriss.
Reply
:iconautumn-gracy:
Autumn-Gracy Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Student General Artist
WOO!
Reply
:iconautumn-gracy:
Autumn-Gracy Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Student General Artist
I was eating a sandwich when I read that... OHGODI'MSORRYDON'THURTME
Reply
:icontoradh:
Toradh Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome and lively as always. I’m also delighted how much thought you spend on your characters.
I suppose that helps to make the expressions so vivid, among other things :).
Reply
:icondaphianna:
Daphianna Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hah! His hair looks like mine! Minus the facial hair, of course. :D
Kriss is actually kind of adorable. :heart: A big fluffy fluff. :iconmonkeyloveplz:
Reply
:icondarkmane:
darkmane Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
Your art style and talent are so inspiring, wow. He has such life and its as if he truly lives, great work!
Reply
:iconsasquatcheron:
sasquatcheron Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
he reminds me of a really buff really giant viking rasputen. from anastasia. BUT I LOVE IT.
Reply
:iconwinterelf86:
winterelf86 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He's all badass Viking....awesome!
Reply
:icondream-angel-artista:
Dream-Angel-Artista Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
HE SO CUTE BEAST!
Reply
:iconabracatastic:
abracatastic Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Oh mah gaw, he's adorable.
Reply
:iconpossum-in-white:
Possum-In-White Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
How long does it usually take to create a character this complex?
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Oh man, probably each of these took a half hour or longer. Kriss' hair is just a massive timesink. And he wonders why I don't draw him more often.
Reply
:iconpossum-in-white:
Possum-In-White Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Alrighty, thanks :D
Reply
:icongreenpinkhorse:
GreenPinkHorse Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
that is just so awesome i wish i could draw like this
Reply
:iconkingvego:
KingVego Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
his hair is so epic
Reply
:iconda-parrot-masta:
da-parrot-masta Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
you should do one of these for Brogan
Reply
:iconheartlessinu:
HeartlessInu Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I absolutely love his expressions, his personality, and just him in general. I also imagine his hair would be pretty fun to play with, too. Your roomie must've had her work cut out for her.
Reply
:iconkakashi-no-ai:
kakashi-no-ai Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
such magnificent hair--i'd be right there combing & braiding it too *.*
Reply
:iconcanadian-rainwater:
Canadian-Rainwater Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Professional Filmographer
I swear I didn't touch the sandwich!
Reply
:iconaanza:
Aanza Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the character design. x3
Reply
:iconqpendrey:
QPendrey Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Kriss! I missed you!
Reply
:iconillusioninme:
Illusioninme Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
lol even eyebrows as thick as those can dance with expression, love it!
Reply
:iconwinddrifter:
WindDrifter Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Student General Artist
I adore your art style. Every piece you post is fantastic
Reply
:iconxxmossfacexx:
xxMossfacexx Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Man this guy ROCKS <3
Reply
:iconcamarlengo:
Camarlengo Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
He's so handsome, oh my goodness uvu
Reply
:iconsketchy208:
sketchy208 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
awesome work!
Reply
:iconginger-seat:
Ginger-Seat Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Vra'kriss is kind of cute when he stands there and allows his hair to be brushed like that (don't tell him I said that. ;P)
Reply
:iconkyoshiroelric:
kyoshiroelric Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Is it good that he reminds me of The Beast from Beauty and the Beast?
Reply
:iconaltalamatox:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
That's funny, I actually pulled up some of Glen Keane's roughs of Beast for expression reference! I think it's his eyebrows, and those big lower canines. And maybe his gratuitous amounts of hair.
Reply
:iconkyoshiroelric:
kyoshiroelric Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Its the amount of hair that reminded me of the Beast.
Reply
:iconkr0nerche:
kr0nerche Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
how do you people draw so good :O
Reply
:icondilettaronzio:
DilettaRonzio Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG Brilliant!
Reply
:iconangeliquealene:
AngeliqueAlene Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Have I mentioned that you create such interesting characters?
Reply
:iconfiresember222:
firesember222 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
Is it bad that I just wanna hug him until he kills me? He's big and scary, but I just wanna snuggle him...just to see what would happen. :mwahaha:
Reply
:icongarinna:
Garinna Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2012
If its bad then im just as bad as you. :)
Hes just so cool. Large strong and kinda... fluffy. I wanna snuggle too!
Reply
:iconfiresember222:
firesember222 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012
I support a fangirl doggypile on Vra'kriss. We shall call it it Operation Snuggle-death.:mwahaha:
Reply
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