Viola Longdawning is one of the Instilled, people who have been permanently fused with maginaria. This transforms their body and grants an innate magical ability at the cost of a permanent headmate that often has different priorities than their waking minds do; they often sleepwalk (or even sleep-cast) as their dreams let their subconscious selves take over.
Viola is a Transpositionist, a mage specializing in travel and teleportation. This takes skill, precision, and a lot of fancy math.
Johan Silverfox sits atop a wall. Yeah, I'm on a Delyria kick again, redrawing some old characters who haven't seen light in a while. The Silverfox family have been the rulers of the mechanical island of Grandegear for generations, passing down both the Chief Engineer title and the surname through adoption. Johan is brilliant but very sheltered, and it takes him a while to figure out how to operate in the outside world. He and Kinto were roommates for a year, which scarred them both a little.
Luen Mazarîn (spelling varies) is an old character of mine, and here he is posing with his maginaria companion, Clorin.
Luen trained as a summoner, one who communicates with spirits. In person when they manifest in the physical world and during a meditative trance when he sends his own mind across to theirs. He was brought up in a strict religious family but rejected their ways as soon as he was away; he doesn't fear gods any more than any other spirit he's talked with.
Jonovan Donovan deNovo, or "J'Novo" for short, is from the same universe as Neena, although he wasn't one of her experiments - he was someone else's, and he would've been "disposed of" if she hadn't stepped in and took him aboard her ship. He was more feral-looking then, but she saw his potential and taught him to read and speak (though his voice is sometimes too low and grumbly to understand). He needs the cane to stand upright; all those heads are rather heavy.
A new picture of Ceranura ("Cera" for short). She's a few years older now; she was 15 in her older pictures, so figure on her being 19-ish here. She's gone from a trainee exorcist to taking on jobs herself, anywhere evil spirits or mischevious ghosts are causing trouble. Cera's mastered the ability to swap between "Split" mode, where her heads think independently and each controls two hands, to "Focus" mode where she is a single three-headed six-armed being. They're both useful at times.
Fendrian Mandrake got an updated wardrobe - runes around his hat brim, the Featherglass emblem embroidered on his coat, and some nice big pockets. He gets around more now as an official traveling researcher, writing reports that get printed up and published across Delyria. He's still not a very powerful mage, but he's very good at analysis, able to pick apart how spells or other magical effects work and add their techniques to his ever-growing bag of tricks.
Jama, AKA Kitsune of Mythos, is much more technologically apt than she looks. She's a specialist in signal-jamming and interference, able to knock out navigation beacons, surveillance systems, and anything else that might get in the way of Mythos' heists. Her fur has a silvery sheen; when she wraps herself in her tails, she looks like a ball of video static.
Delta there is out to bring Mythos to justice. I haven't decided yet what "CHANGE" stands for, I just thought it was a cute acronym.
Polyopolis has been changed forever, but so has Elseways itself. They still scan people on entry (like this Arcanine guy here), but the rules are much more lax now. Elseways is ready to become part of a larger universe, with Annex and Polyopolis and maybe even farther-out places. You can't make any kind of world out of a single city - it takes lots of different kinds of people, and now the gates are open.
Blitz Bitkin, on the right, and her new little brother Rico. This is the favor that Neena asked of him — to acknowledge what he owes to her, and if she says he can't take that shape, to find another. Blitz has never had any family, though (Bitkin don't typically think in those terms) and welcomes the proposal with open arms.
"Never thought I'd be the first Bitkin with a family."
"Oh, uh, you're not. There's more of us in town with other Bitkin shapes."
"...Guess we gotta plan a reunion, huh?"
Hypothetical title card for another short story. Lillian ends up roped into a bit of diplomatic work in the Empire of Logic, accompanied by the smarmy theme-park entrepreneur himself, Rufus Hydebound. He's got some unfinished business with the Empire himself that's convinced him to suit up more formally and join in, but how he convinced Lillian to get into an Alice dress is anyone's guess.
Scylla, getting Polyopolis' afterlife in shape. Ghosts made of haze and Bitkin to serve as attendants, like the little cone-hatted one here. Ghosts are free to change their shapes as much as they want, though being Haze means they don't have a proper sense of touch, smell, or taste, so there are good reasons to want a living body. But it takes a while to make more, as Arcadia knows well. Even more annoyingly, they flipped the queue: first in first out. She's got plenty of time to choose.
Another short break from the ongoing Polyopolis story just because I wanted to get Blit's design down a little better. Why, for instance, he looks like he has gigantic forearms and hands sometimes (it's just his armor). Blit, deep down, really wants to be a performer, but he's a completely lousy actor; as a very logical and fact-based Bitkin, he struggles with saying things he knows aren't true. Give him a tacky suit and a bow tie, though, and he'll merrily play game show host.
Neena catches up with Rico after he and the original Blitz finish up a one-on-one basketball match to get to know each other better.
"I downloaded Arcadia's whole catalog. Thought you'd want to see where your body actually came from."
"Oh, I know! Blitz told me everything. I had no idea she had a job back home. Sounds pretty important, too, if she's putting shows on and stuff."
"So how do you feel?"
"Like this is still the real me. It's just right, y'know?"
"Then I have a small favor to ask…"
Testing of the Haze Blade commences at Ringoid Labs headquarters. BJ's invited Astra to come wield the sword - getting a Haze generator working in the lab was tricky, but reverse-engineering the communications protocol the nanites use was trickier, and he's confident enough he made it work that he set himself up as a test subject for a blade that respects personal boundaries and can be used harmlessly. It's still a shock to actually get attacked, of course, especially by a warrior like her.
I don't know where I am, but I'm starting to really enjoy the trip. I don't get as much time using my wings as I should, but I met this big fluffy white dragon and they got me to take a flight alongside them. I've never felt so free, and not just because my I'm ghostly and massless right now. I've got a chance to see all kinds of things I never knew existed. This world is full of color and magic, bright days and deep nights. I can't stay long, but I'll enjoy my time here.
This is bad. Scylla can take care of herself, but I hadn't realized how unlucky Vidrio actually was until I saw it myself. I traced him bouncing from one world to another too fast for me to follow, and I still don't have any good data on how parallel worlds work.
I went to one of my favorite places to have a talk with someone I knew. He's loyal, level-headed, and a good listener, and he told me I should trust my friends to do what they do best while I did the same. (1/2)
Σ: Please explain why we brought Vidrio to a kid.
L: Not just any kid. This is Razputin Aquato - a psychic capable of entering people's mental realms and dealing with their problems from the inside.
Σ: Like getting one's soul snatched away.
L: I hope so. I can't focus on what's going on; The Corps doesn't have the technology to interact directly with people's mental spaces yet.
Σ: It sounds like Razputin has entered Vidrio's dreams.
L: Good way to think about it. I just hope this works.
This server's admin. Manages the interface between the real world and all the strangeness that goes on inside. Also posts about his own life sometimes.
The official server of the City of Elseways.