Vol 0. Preview: Mini-Print #1! William and Penrose Na’Melorra.
I’ve been DYING to paint these two ever since I finalized their designs, especially since all that’s out there for them right now are super simple concept sketches, but Molly and Théo have been dominating promotional artwork like they’re the main characters or something. They won’t appear in the comic for a few more pages yet, so I’m really glad I planned this piece.
The clothes they’re wearing here are traditional formal outfits appropriate to their station in life. While their family is fairly wealthy, they are merchants by trade. As such, they lack the extra layers of silk and brocade one might expect on nobility, but still enjoy the vibrant hues and precious metals befitting members of high society.
Not that they mind. All that extra fabric gets uncomfortably hot.
Potions & Poultices - An Introduction
Like any good fantasy setting, The Cloud Factory has its fair share of mystical remedies and magical pick-me-ups. With both in high demand, those who can provide them fill a crucial role in this world’s society. These individuals can be broken down into three basic categories:
The illustration above shows examples of what kinds of products you might find at your local herbalist or apothecary. From left to right:
The last three items in the lineup, if you haven’t already guessed, can only be created by arcane apothecaries. The mixtures inside the bottles by themselves have naturally beneficial effects, but they are greatly amplified by the enchanting process.
I’ll discuss enchanting in greater detail in a later post, but the basic idea is that the bottle and mixture are placed in the center of an enchanting array, and the resulting product depends on what additional components are used, how many are placed, and what incantation is spoken. Some potions require a specific starting mixture to achieve the desired effect, but many others can be made from a base of purified water.
Site Update - New Wallpapers!
The featured piece is a bit of environmental concept art of the valley’s capitol city, Lakeside; a name that persists in spite of the devastating floods that changed the valley’s landscape 100 years ago, putting it squarely in the middle of one. In addition, I’ve included a hand-drawn, seamlessly tiling marshflower and moon blossom damask in a pack of seven colors.
Donations make it more affordable for me to take time off from my commissions to work on The Cloud Factory, so if you enjoy my work and would like to see it come to fruition sooner rather than later, consider donating a buck or two! Any donation, even as little as $1, will give you access to all donation exclusive wallpapers to date.
Visit the donation page to learn more!
Quick value study for a painting I’m working on.
Like river lilies, luna bees have proven themselves to be one of the valley’s most valuable assets since the “factory” sprang to life, single handedly pollinating the majority of the surviving flora. These hearty little guys build their hives in the hollows of trees, and are named for their nocturnal lifestyle and brightly glowing bioluminescent thoraxes. They have no stingers, but the chemicals that make them glow are mildly toxic and foul tasting to creatures that might eat them, so they have few natural predators. Their honey also glows faintly, but the concentration of the chemical is too low for humans to notice and poses no danger to those who consume it.
While luna bees exist in large numbers in the wild, farmers and herbalists often keep hives of them to help cultivate their plants, especially in a greenhouse environment. Greenhouses are vital to village survival in the valley, as the inclement weather is unsuitable for growing many useful medicinal herbs.
Due to the natural intensity of their glow, a handful of luna bees makes a suitable light source in a pinch. Some villagers utilize humane lanterns that attract the bees with sugar water, but allow them to come and go as they please. On a dry night, one can expect a steady presence of 4-5 bees in a sugar lantern.
The Cloud Factory is a fantasy adventure webcomic by Alexandra Douglass.
Click here to start reading!