This past weekend I attended ConGlomeration, a local sci-fi/fantasy convention. One of the workshops was "A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words" in which artists and authors swapped projects. The author would write a story based on the artist's work and the artist would sketch a picture based on the author's writing.
Christine Griffin and I were paired off. This is what Christine drew for me: a portrait of Xariel, my hero from Death Sword.
|Copyright Christine Griffin, 2011|
In return, I wrote a short piece based on the digital print below. The story follows.
|Copyright & Credit: Christine Griffin & Fantasy Flight Games|
“A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words”
Story by Pamela Turner
Art by Christine Griffin
© Fantasy Flight Games
(Author’s Note: This past weekend, April 22-24, 2011, I participated in the workshop “A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words” at ConGlomeration, a local sci-fi/fantasy convention. The idea was for artists and authors to swap creations. The artist would draw something from the author’s writing and the author would write a story based on the artist’s picture.
The above digital painting “Jon and Ghost” was originally created for Fantasy Flight Games’ A Game of Thrones and is being used solely to illustrate the accompanying story it inspired. No copyright infringement is intended or implied. I make no money from this narrative which is available free.)
Three days journey across frozen terrain and temperaments were as frigid as the sleet pelting Odin’s face and cloak. They needed to find Skuld. The encroaching blizzard and constant bickering between his raven, Munin, and Skuld’s white wolf, Varg, only impeded matters.
“I can’t believe you lost her,” Munin sneered. The raven ruffled shaggy black feathers against the bracing wind.
“Shut up, carrion eater,” Varg snapped, fangs bared. The wolf’s crimson eyes gleamed. “I didn’t lose Skuld, as you so eloquently put it. Loki kidnapped her.”
“That’s enough. Both of you.” Odin’s breath condensed in the air. His hand curled around the pommel of his sword. Damn his impetuous raven. Varg was agitated enough. He had good reason to be. A Valkyrie and wolf were bonded to each other. Whatever fate befell one affected the other. Even death.
Both god and wolf looked out over the icy landscape. Blue-gray sky met snow-packed white mountains. Here the land was austere, uninhabitable. This was her realm.
An ordinary man would have frozen to death by now. But they couldn’t turn back. To do so would be dishonorable.
“I wouldn’t have lost my Valkyrie.” Munin squawked and flew skyward as Varg reeled, snarling. The wolf started to launch himself at the raven only to be stopped by Odin’s upraised hand.
“I understand you’re upset, Varg. But if you can’t control yourself, I’ll send you back to Asgard.”
The wolf growled low in his throat as he backed down. “Understood.” He glared at the raven who landed on Odin’s shoulder. “But if he says one more word…” He snapped his fangs at empty air. “Raven dinner.”
Odin glanced at Munin. The raven averted his head but finally nodded after a moment’s hesitation.
“I can’t believe Loki kidnapped her.” Varg’s eyes narrowed. “When I see him…”
“I’ll deal with Loki,” Odin promised. He brushed strands of dark hair from his cheek as a sudden breeze sliced across the barren landscape.
Munin squawked again. “I don’t like this. She won’t be happy, Odin.”
Odin nodded. “I know.” As if confirming his suspicion, the temperature plummeted several degrees. Icy pellets stung Odin’s face and even Munin crawled closer to his master, dipping his head under the god’s hair for shelter. Varg squinted against the frozen onslaught, shaking his shaggy coat free of the crystals melting against his body heat.
The wolf stopped short, hackles raised, head lowered, ears back. His body tensed. “Can you feel it?”
Odin nodded. A sense of deep despair mingled with the cold, making it seem more oppressive.
Ahead of them a chasm yawned in the mountain, its dark interior leading to passages unknown.
Varg looked back at them. “Welcome to Hel.”