Something about this skeletal champion really speaks to me as a lead villain. Perhaps it’s the rich purple robe and almost lich like qualities.
I’ve used this piece for reference during a short story and plan on coming back to it in a few months to fold it into a larger project. As noted by the copyright below, this is art for a Paizo monster, but don’t let the white background limit your imagination…
The reek of death–rot unchecked by time, unstirred by wind–thickened as George moved into the hewn stone cavern. Not content with only clogging his nose, the funk pooled in his mouth and worked toward triggering his gag reflex.
He stopped where the long strands of sunlight, which had warmed his skin minutes ago, drew a hard line. A warning line. Safety stops here. George eased back to keep the toes of his new hiking boots an inch inside the retreating light. Why the Hell did I volunteer to take my little brother, and his creepy D&D pals, camping? As though to answer, his hand squeezed the ten twenty dollar bills his parents paid him. One step closer to owning my own car. That’s why. He shuffled back a little to stay on the lit ground. “Angelo?”
Thunk. Metal on stone. Then something heavy being dragged like bags of flower in their parents bakery.
If that nut-job Jake jumps out at me, I’m going to knock his ass out. At least I hope I do. So far, he’d fought back the gag, but the scream warming up in the batter’s circle of his throat would be another matter. “Come out you losers. We gotta finish making camp.”
Soft airy laughter–exactly something Jake would do–danced from the absolute darkness.
A chill ran George’s spine. His skin broke out in goosebumps. Screw this! “Tell ya what. I’ll be outside, comfortable, eatin’ dinner when you asses decide to stop clowning around.”
That airy laughter preceded a raspy, hollowed voice. “Oh, we’ll come out for dinner too!”
A full shiver racked George’s back. What. The. Hell? He stumbled backward and retreated toward the setting sun behind him.
Beating his pace, the dragging sound drew closer.
© Ezekiel James Boston
© Paizo Publishing
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