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Art Showcase: Into the Otherworld

Hi there everyone!


Today we have the first post of a series where we'll talk about the art we have for Legends of Avallen and the wonderful artists behind the work.

This first piece is the environmental piece you can see at the header of our website: A Look Into the Otherworld. The Otherworld is such a big part of Celtic mythology, a reality-bending world where the fae and their Gods reside, so we wanted it to be a prominent part of Avallen's lore and image.


In myth, portals to the Otherworld are often found in the wild in natural formations, which makes it easy for people to stumble across them and wander into this magical plane by accident. If you've heard of a fairy circle, a naturally-occurring circle of mushrooms where people were said to be trapped if they walked inside, then that's one type! But we weren't going for a fairy circle in the ground—the idea we had was for the viewer to get a glimpse of this enchanting place through a grand henge in a dim forest, with a creature looking back from the entrance, hoping for the viewer to follow.



For inspiration, we found images online of spirit-like deer, fantastical and colourful forests of mushrooms, doors impossibly wedged between trees, and all other sorts of natural, but mystical things. We had artist Ricardo Herrera do this piece, as we thought that the feel of his previous works matched what we were hoping for this one. So we sent along our ideas and got back three excellent sketches.


Ricardo had a concept for a more natural rock formation for the portal instead of a traditional henge. We thought that was a great idea and went with the first sketch. We also wanted the deer to look ghostly and to be looking back at the viewer like in the third sketch.




We sent the feedback across, then Ricardo made some adjustments and sent over colour scheme ideas which you can see here.


We decided to go with the third blue scheme, putting the thick, dark, and gloomy forest in stark contrast to the bright, colourful, and inviting Otherworld. We wanted to emphasize that, so we asked for more foliage and brighter, colourful lights from within the henge.

We then waited patiently for Ricardo to work his magic and what he sent back was absolutely fantastic.


There you have it, A Look Into the Otherworld! I hope you can feel that same sense of awe and mystery that we get when we look at it. What can you find if you go inside? Is it safe? Will you be able to return? These are the kind of questions you'll be asking yourself when you play Legends of Avallen, and the Game Masters will be given the tools to answer them.


Again, many thanks to the artist, Ricardo Herrera, who really nailed it. We are thrilled to have it as our banner piece on the website. You can find more of his work on Art Station, Instagram, and Facebook. Check him out!

We've sent out a high-resolution wallpaper version of this piece out to the subscribers on our mailing list. If you're interested in getting that as well as future pre-release content, then please pop your email into the form subscriber box below! It's the best way to support us. Next week subscribers will be getting early access to the playtest rules summary for Legends of Avallen.

Thanks for reading this far! - Team Avallen

© Deren Games, 2020.

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