Monday, June 30, 2014

Character Spotlight: Major Xeroh

Major Bjonn Xeroh (Zero) is is from the planet Ruwano, just like Viro. He's loud, boisterous and over confident. In equality to those traits, he's also a major dork. Fortunately for the good Major, he has great power to back it all up. Viro thinks he's a blowhard, but it's unknown if Viro knows they come from the same planet.

The Major left his planet to escape constant misuse of his powers. He didn't want to be part of Ruwano's violent military force or experiments. He wanted a more noble purpose and found it on Chyssia. People weren't sure what to make of the man who never shows his face, but his cheerful attitude won them over. As for never showing his face, the Major is a military deserter on Ruwano and wanted for trial. That's something, even his closest friends don't know about him. Now he's devoted to the Chessmen and woe to anyone who would harm their child princess.

Major Xeroh's power is the source of his awesome confidence. You'd be confident too if you were a cumulative mimic like him. What does that mean? Not only can he use all the powers of his friends, except Messiah; but he can use the cumulative strength, speed and reflexes of everyone within 50 or so yards of him. What does that mean exactly?

Take ten men who can all bench press 300 pounds. Put the Major near them and he can instantly bench press 3000 pounds. If all those men can run 20 mph, the Major can run 200. You literally add the specifics of all those men together, but there's more. When Major Xeroh mimics abilities, he also enhances them by about 25% so he's even faster, stronger, and more agile than before. He can also control what powers he uses, and never uses a power that would change his shape. The more people you send at him, the more powerful he becomes.  So how do you beat a guy like that?

Major Xeroh cannot mimic academics. Magic users have a distinct edge against him and heavy weaponry can hurt too (unless he's already too powerful). The trick is not to mob him at all. One attacker with the right weaponry or knowledge in combat could outfight or outwit the Major. He has his own strength and agility that is residual of using his powers for years and allows him to fly in space, but that's considerably less than it could be if a whole force attacks him.

Major Xeroh revels in being a hero and doesn't mind letting everyone know that fact. The last thing that makes others around him curious is the eye lens. It's actually a scanner that shows him people,s powers and lets him see where people are who might be hiding in the bushes.

While his loud attitude may be annoying, he's possibly one of the most powerful of the Chessmen and a great ally.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Artist Spotlight: Gray Taylor

From life as a Jurassic Park Ranger to avid Godzilla fan; today we take a closer look at GZ artist, Gray Taylor.

Gray recently joined up to do artwork for GZ and he dove in head first, getting to know the characters and giving them some cool intricate looks. Some of what you see here are just beginning sketches, as he would say, but they speak volumes.

Gray is 21 and a student of Louisiana Tech where he is studying Communication (Graphic) Design. He is the son of multi-talented artist and actress Geri Givens-Taylor. (<LINK!) He's been drawing as long as he can remember. He's a geek fan after our own hearts with a love for Doctor Who, Godzilla, and superheroes. Not sure if it gets much better than that.

Sure it does.

Gray has a mind for design perks, or bells and whistles as he calls them. In the pictures you can see where he's added some serious coolness in design of characters. As we go, there will be a more distinguished look for the GZ universe. Here, check out Maestro and Maniac. (Gray's work is on the left)

I love the speaker grill in Gray's rendition of Maniac and the grin is way evil on Maestro.

Falconer and Sersi from Chessmen. He has them looking positively stoic.

Finally, King Falcon himself with awesome design technique on the bracers. I wish I had done them that way myself.

So, suffice to say, Gray is here to stay (unless he's kidnapped by ninja turtles) and we are glad to present this work. Be sure to stay tuned to Google+ postings and the Facebook page where there is an album for his art.

Stay true, heroes!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Character Spotlight: The Falconer

Dar Macabon, the Falconer, is the stoic leader of the Chessmen. He earned his name when he became spiritually bonded to his friend Sersi, the falcon. He served as the leader of the Chyssian Royal Guard for several years before his team was framed for the king's murder.

Duty and honor are everything. That's why he'll give his life to protect the infant princess or hopefully give her home back to her one day. When someone told him his crew was like chessmen without a king, the name stuck. He decided they would be known as the Chessmen. As it turns out, Chess (or Chyss as it's called on Chyssia) is a training game for the Royal Guard. So the name had further reason to stick.

Falconer is a lord class elemental. He can control weather patterns and elements at will. He can even convert one element into another at molecular levels. He can shape stone, throw lightning, ignite objects, or dissolve them into air. He can summon tornadoes and hurricanes or just a lazy afternoon breeze. Being deeply in tune with nature, Falconer can feel it if so much as a twig is snapped on a nearby tree. Falconer can fly but cannot exist in the vacuum of space without assistance. Falconer is also an adept hand to hand combatant.

He prefers to learn as much as he can before fighting if possible. Unfortunate events have tested his resolve sorely since having to flee Chyssia. Like his crew, he's been pushed the limits by constant attempts on his and the princess's life.

As the leader of the Chessmen, Falconer has earned the loyalty of his crew by being loyal to them. There isn't one member of his team he wouldn't stand by in the most terrible of situations. This seems especially true when it comes to his friend, Helshred. Helshred, the Teri-Moor was the one officially framed in the murder of the king. Falconer knows better and will not stop short of death to prove it.

As a trivial fact; Falconer's eyes are blue, but they change in shade due to how he's feeling. The darker they get, the more you should worry.

Falconer won't rest until it's finally safe to take the princess back home.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Character Spotlight: Songcutter

Don't let the fact that he's blind fool you. Songcutter has the mystical senses to catch you off guard. When the Chessmen land on the planet of Timbak, they meet Songcutter and his giant friend, Yxee (eYix-ee). Becoming good friends, Songcutter helps the Chessmen protect their infant Princess.

This man is a bard. Bards use magic to cast amazing and powerful spells. Each chooses their own instrument but they can sound like a whole orchestra if necessary. Songcutter has a very unique instrument in the songsword. The songsword works as it is swung or angled through the air. It's possible to cast a spell in the midst of a sword duel! Isn't that cheating? Not according to Songcutter. His spells even a lot of odds against multiple enemies.

His bardic prowess is not his first defense of choice. The people of Timbak are well known for their martial arts mastery in what they call Shikitsu (She-keet-sue). Songcutter isn't a Grandmaster, but close enough!  His chi is powerful enough shake the ground fifty feet away.

His senses allow him to handle life and moving around better than sighted people do. He can sense the use of magic within about a mile. He can sense the change in energy nearby when someone is about to appear due to teleportation or magic. No one on Timbak can sneak up on him and it's been tried. Arrows fare little better as he catches them or swats them out of the air. Not only can he hear the twang of the bow from a hundred yards away; he can hear the entire flight of the arrow as it draws in close. He also has a mild sense for the presence of evil.

When things get really lively and there are lots of enemies around, Songcutter has one more weapon at his disposal; a laughing ninato sword. The laughing ninjato is a straight martial sword that is magically animated. It can fly through the air and attack opponents of your command. While doing this, it fills the air with an eerie cackling laughter to un-nerve your enemies. When done with it, command it back into its scabbard and you're on your way. And no, the laughter doesn't interfere with Songcutter's senses.

Songcutter and Yxee are the guardians of a small village that takes in the Chessmen. They're peaceful until threatened, loyal and trustworthy. Songcutter and his village are willing to risk their life for a Princess they had nothing to do with.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Character Spotlight: Sersi, the Mystic Falcon

Sersi is the magical friend and partner to the Falconer, leader of the Chessmen. Her magical prowess and aerial combat ability have served and saved too many times to mention.

Sersi is highly intelligent and capable of communication through telepathy with anyone she wishes. Most of the time she talks to Falconer, who she has a secret love for. Her intelligence takes opponents by surprise as she can quickly out-think or out-maneuver most. She's also an adept mage with a limited number of spells. She primarily uses her magical skills to heal but she has a decent arsenal of combat spells.

Like any falcon, Sersi is deadly fast. In a dive she can break 250 miles per hour until she casts her dive spell. At that point she becomes a red thunderbolt that can knock down even large targets. She also uses her magic to enhance an attack with her razor sharp talons. That attack has been known to pierce armor. She can cast a force field spell that covers a small area and anyone within. Sersi is always trying to improve her magic.

Sersi loves Falconer very much, but her magic is only strong enough to let her show it in his dreams. He has no idea it's her. Sersi hopes to one day master her magic enough to transform into a beautiful woman. Until that time, she is with him everywhere he goes.

For the Chessmen, Sersi is scout, healer and air support. You can read all about her in Chessmen: Opening Moves available on Amazon and Kindle. Catch the link in the upper right to my author's page!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Character Spotlight: Termina

Step aside, mean girls of the universe! This is Termina! She's a mercenary cyber-chick working for the Darksiders. Make a joke about her outfit at your own expense. Termina gave up her real name in becoming a cyborg and few are alive who knew it. She's been angry all her life and not because she's a cyborg. She's had herself made into a cyborg to enact her rage however she sees fit. No one knows where her fury began and asking is a bad idea.

Termina's body has a high molecular density; so even where you don't see armor, she's hard to hurt. She's had a ton of rocks dropped on her and come out without a scratch. She's highly resistant to fire and freezing too. She can exist in the void of space. Along with all that toughness, there's ample strength. She can move 1000 pounds with little to no strain. Add all that together and imagine the damage those metal fists can do. Her metal fingers can tear steel like tissue paper. In combat, she's been known to rip a person's arm off just because she can.

If her armor, strength and cruel attitude aren't enough to scare you away; she has some of the best weaponry a cyborg can be fitted with. She has a blaster on the back of each forearm and one near her neck. Her eye can give you a nasty burn if you get too close. Those spikes and edges on her? They launch as projectiles. The worst weaponry on her is her
midriff cannons. Those are her favorite. They're computer targeted by her electronic eye and can blow a body in half at medium range. You don't want to know what happens up close.

Before Victor, leader of the Darksiders, found her she was already wanted for a long list of murders. She even tried to kill Victor before agreeing to join his crew. Now he knows that she's a loose cannon and only sends her on missions that are okay to be very messy.

Termina fights the Chessmen in my novel, Chessmen: Opening Moves. See the links in the upper right to find my author page on Amazon. Be sure to join the Facebook page!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Character Spotlight: Tick Tock

Don't let the strange name or friendly face fool you. Tick Tock is about as deadly and cunning as they come.

No one knows his real name, how he got his powers or where he comes from. Yet, he makes quite an impact with everyone he meets. Tick Tock works for Victor Darksong and the mercenary team, The Darksiders.

If you look into his eyes, you'll see fractured realities reflected in them. He carries a clock staff that he made himself. It has more than one odd effect for in or out of battle. His blue robes act as strong armor, absorbing some of the strongest blows while flowing like silk.

Tick Tock's most incredible ability is that he literally cannot be stopped from anywhere he wants to go. He moves through walls, protective spell barriers, and people as easily as the air. This is because he exists on multiple dimensional planes at the same time. He can shift himself between them at will to go where he pleases. This can also make it difficult to put your hands on him. There's no such thing as keeping Tick Tock out of anywhere. He can also warp realities around him for devastating area effects and damage.

His greatest enjoyment is his trap clocks. He builds them for all manner of terrible events. He builds them to explode, cast spells or merely capture. After dealing with his inventions, you'll never pick up a shiny looking watch next to the road again. He takes great pleasure in the building of his time pieces. Just look around you on any given day and see how many clocks you can count, even digital ones. Then think about none of them ever being innocent time pieces again.

Tick Tock  carries special rank with the Darksiders. Only Victor can give him orders. None of the others dare to make suggestions to the old man. They are far too afraid of him. They worry that he'll shunt them into another nightmare dimension and not bring them back.

There are rumors that he is the distant future and evil version of the hero, Dimension Man, but this has never been confirmed. As of writing this, the two of them have never met.

Tick Tock is one of the villains in my novel, Chessmen: Opening Moves! See the link to my author's page above right to find out how to get your hands on it! (Click on images for larger view)