My next long-term personal project completes a series I started years ago with two digital paintings, subject the Valkyries. Casting about for an original approach to such a well-worn fantasy femme theme, I let the (dark) spirit of All Hallow’s Eve take hold and poof there she was!
Just basic modeling/sculpting and materials so far, lots more detail to add. Big problem with the hair, though – trying to render it twice in a row crashes 2.54beta Doesn’t bode well for animation, but I may keep the rig fairly simple and just do a single pose. I hope to adapt the rig that was distributed for the Durian animation sprint.
I spent some of the time waiting for the hair to render (it takes forever!) drafting up a little mock-historical bio for the character:
"Known in legend as the ‘Undead Valkyrie,’ Neziņa Kareivis was a 13th century kurši woman born in Kurzeme (Courland), now in present-day Latvia, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. She gained fame, and infamy, in battles against the newly-converted Christian army led by the traitor-pretender Caupo of Turaida. In 1212 she was reported to have been killed by treachery, having consented to a meeting with Caupo under a flag of truce, only to be assassinated by hidden archers.
But Neziņa’s body was never recovered, and sightings of her were reported by the men fighting under the Estonian warrior-king Lembitu as late as 1217. Tales of her earlier savagery in battle against the Christian forces led to stories of her ghost ravaging the enemy, draining their strength and life as she passed among them. By the end of the century, she had become known as the “Undead Valkyrie” both for her battle prowess and her apparently vampiric apparitions during the Livonian Crusade.
Despite obvious similarities to France’s Jean D’Arc (later made St. Joan), both the Livonian pagans and Christians of the region denounced her as evil because she was believed to be nosferatu, and sought with nearly complete success to expunge her memory from all records of the era."
– Excerpted from Baltic Vampires – A Dark History by Jamie Attenborough, NeuGothic Pressworx © 2010 K.G. Nyman