You guessed it! I’m making this Befouled week, so today I’m focussing on my main protagonists, one of whom I mentioned in passing yesterday.
So – Eiralann is my primary protagonist and narrates most of the story to her dead husband’s kinsman, Aerghal. She’s the first of the female elven Shiânfolk to be captured by super-baddy, Garliath, in the final stages of pregnancy. This is of superlative importance to Garliath and his thoroughly evil master, the fallen Ainghal, Lysandhor/Drogdurr, as they have been having considerable difficulty in breeding their undead soldier race to retain intelligence as well as aggression and physical prowess.
The taking of Eiralann and her husband, Shiânford and their almost full-term baby girl turns the whole direction of their breeding programme, so the need for powerful, debilitating drugs and potions are no longer as important and the two demons instead resort to necromancy and genetic manipulation to achieve their perfect killer soldiers.
I found this undead elf avatar (above left) online, which also had a purer elven version, but I’ve unfortunately lost that in the depths of my computer! Using the magic of Photoshop I combined the two images to make a ‘before and after’ image, albeit a much cleaner version of Eiralann as she appears in the bulk of the book. This is her in the epilogue, after the Anghali have put her sanity back together so she’s able to function in society again.
This is how Eiralann’s mate, Shiânford, appears after his capture and transformation (above right). He gets killed outright trying to defend Eiralann from Garliath’s hunting party. This leaves Eiralann isolated and traumatised once they reach their new prison home and leads to the first of her sinful crimes that sends her into an insane nightmare. The demons go on to work their evil magic on her, Shiânford and their baby girl, whom Garliath takes as his protégé, perverting and brainwashing her into becoming the dynastic brood queen of the Troichann.
Now, for Shiânford, I had a very firm idea of how he looked in his original form… Yes, that’s a very young and slimline Sean Bean in his Sharpe identity! He’s a soldier in that too, although he’s an expert with a rifle, but he also got a lot of experience in sword-fighting in the series, which of course came in very useful later in his career for the Fellowship of the Ring and as Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones.
When I was writing the original fan-fiction version of Befouled, I was an admin on a fan forum and creating avatars and banner headers was one of my more enjoyable duties so I thought I’d share the early origins of the inspiration for my two central characters!
Here’s the transition image that formed the banner image for that earliest version, combining all the above images! Note the red eyes in the debased undead half – very important! 😛
And just because – here’s the trailer again! 😉