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Mike

Shattered Empire

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Shatteredempire2.jpg

I just want to take this opportunity to share my creative endeavors with the RAW Community. I encourage any of you to visit my site and provide any thoughts or questions to this thread. I believe this forum has great insight on artistic efforts of all types and I look forward to your feedback.

 

Unfortunately I have much more in my head than I have written, but the motivation to write more is definitely growing as I see it come to life.

 

Shattered Empire

 

The main story will be the adventures of four friends as they try to stop a civil war and a second Age of Darkness. The skirmishes they fight trying to maintain peace between the provinces will pale in comparison to the unimaginable dark creatures they face from the depths below.

 

The world is created from some of my own philosophical beliefs and the political structure is based on the Asian Zodiac and Celestial Pillars used in Feng Shui.

 

Windsong is the only detailed character so far, but Tim and I are looking at doing another illustration in the next few months and I think Tim already has the next model in mind.

 

More to follow...

Mike

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Shattered-empire.jpg

Original Shattered Empire Illustration by Dan Norton, Colored by J.J. Kirby

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Unfortunately I have much more in my head than I have written, but the motivation to write more is definitely growing as I see it come to life.

 

 

More to follow...

Mike

 

I know the feeling.

 

I visited the site and read all about Windsong. I can't wait to read more about the other characters.

 

 

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I've read all about this story and Windsong and Mike already knows that I love it. I've been fortunate enough to have had some insider input on this story from the man himself...Mike! I can't wait for more on this!

 

-Aly

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Who colored the version of the Norton piece you posted at the top of the thread?

 

- Tb

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Who colored the version of the Norton piece you posted at the top of the thread?

 

- Tb

It was re-colored between Dan Norton and Steve Miller. They decided they wanted more of a pastel color before pubishing it as a splash page in Hi-Yah!: How to Draw Fantastic Martial Arts Comics. I'm pretty sure they just modified the original color rather than starting over.

 

I had no idea anyone could see this image on Amazon until now.

 

Mike

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Guest AdminGuyX

Mike, I LOVE IT. Simply love it. WOW. When I finally make it out to the west coast we're gonna' have a lot to talk about! I'm a sucker for anything samurai. Been fascinated with the culture for a long time.

 

Well done Mike!

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Mike, I LOVE IT. Simply love it. WOW. When I finally make it out to the west coast we're gonna' have a lot to talk about! I'm a sucker for anything samurai. Been fascinated with the culture for a long time.

 

Well done Mike!

 

Noeland, I am very glad to know that you like it. Maybe I'll see you out on the east coast too. I may be headed out to the New York show in October.

 

Just today the guy, who lent me the first suit of armor told me he may let me borrow his other suit. Its a solid black all original matching suit of leather samurai armor. I haven't seen it yet, so I hope he sends me a picture.

 

Right now I am wrapping my brain around the next character synopsis. I just need to sit down with some uninterrupted time without being stressed out from work/kids and write it. I'm still a little shy about writing a complete story at this point, since prefer having a defined background and structure. I spoke with one of our esteemed professional writers on the board and while he told me the background is good, I just need to write the damn thing :rolleyes:

 

Mike

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Shattered Empire had its first media event on "The IN Show" while I was at LBCC 2010. It was unexpected, but fun and exciting to get the opportunity to share some thoughts about it.

 

Here's the link

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CelestialOrder.png

This image has over 67000 distinct colors and the idea is to use a single color to represent both horizontal and vertical values. In the case of Shattered Empire an individuals Karma is their position in the Celestial Order and the vertical values represent Harmony vs. Destruction, while the Horizontal values represent Honor vs. Dishonor. From a game prespective, moving one's karma to a point in the Celestial order represents completing one of 8 paths of enlightenment.

 

Mike

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This image has over 67000 distinct colors and the idea is to use a single color to represent both horizontal and vertical values. In the case of Shattered Empire an individuals Karma is their position in the Celestial Order and the vertical values represent Harmony vs. Destruction, while the Horizontal values represent Honor vs. Dishonor. From a game prespective, moving one's karma to a point in the Celestial order represents completing one of 8 paths of enlightenment.

 

Mike

Great stuff! I just read the wiki & I'm hooked!! I've been reading lots of Asian historical fiction lately so I'm grooving on the characters, history & general set-up. So now I'm even more intrigued by the Celestial Order. Can you tell us more about it? For instance, are the characters aware of the order or is the order a way for you to conceive of this world?

 

 

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Great stuff! I just read the wiki & I'm hooked!! I've been reading lots of Asian historical fiction lately so I'm grooving on the characters, history & general set-up. So now I'm even more intrigued by the Celestial Order. Can you tell us more about it? For instance, are the characters aware of the order or is the order a way for you to conceive of this world?

 

Great question, Kdedu!

 

The answer is yes to both. I have discovered that I like to create a structure/theme to work within as part of my own creative process. The initial purpose was to create a game mechanic, but it turned out to be a lot more useful for defining the context of the world and storyline.

 

The Celestial Order is a part of the spiritual dogma of Shattered Empire. The level of awareness by the characters is specifically based on their own spiritual intrerests. Windsong, for example, is the Warlord of the Ram Province, which is the spiritual arm of the Kingdom of the White Tiger. Spiritual awareness has always been a critical component to her life and it helps to emphasize her greatest strength, Wisdom.

 

Spirituality in the Shattered Empire is focused on worship of aspects on the one Great Being that sacrificed himself into all things. Commonly the animal totems and elements are primary foci of worship, but potentially most anything can be worshipped. The only thing that is not a part of the Great Being is free will, that which makes life worth experiencing. The power of free will is what allows individuals to find a path to enlightenment and that is what is represented by the Celestial Order.

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SE_Political_Boundaries.png

 

Here is a map defining the political boundaries and relations between the provinces and kingdoms of Shattered Empire. I still need to create a real terrain map.

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SE_Political_Boundaries.png

 

Here is a map defining the political boundaries and relations between the provinces and kingdoms of Shattered Empire. I still need to create a real terrain map.

 

Thought I'd throw you some props and support. Being that we're both working on Asian themed material that sort of makes us brothers :) That's a rich world you got going on there.

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Thought I'd throw you some props and support. Being that we're both working on Asian themed material that sort of makes us brothers :) That's a rich world you got going on there.

 

Brothers we are!

 

And thanks for the props :)

 

It may be too rich of a world, since I have everything imaginable to define. But thanks to Kdedu, I just defined a little more of the spiritual aspect. I think I need to just focus on a story, much like you are with "The Five Legendary Sisters of the Laughing Doggebi," if I am going to have any success at publishing anything. So far I have created opportunities for good story (I think) rather than writing any.

 

Mike

 

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Brothers we are!

 

And thanks for the props :)

 

It may be too rich of a world, since I have everything imaginable to define. But thanks to Kdedu, I just defined a little more of the spiritual aspect. I think I need to just focus on a story, much like you are with "The Five Legendary Sisters of the Laughing Doggebi," if I am going to have any success at publishing anything. So far I have created opportunities for good story (I think) rather than writing any.

 

Mike

 

 

Start small. Begin with some short stories that tell the backstories of your principal characters. You don't have to publish them but they'll help you feel out your characters and more importantly the small completion will give you a taste for larger completions.

 

That's how the sisters are fleshing out.

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Start small. Begin with some short stories that tell the backstories of your principal characters. You don't have to publish them but they'll help you feel out your characters and more importantly the small completion will give you a taste for larger completions.

 

That's how the sisters are fleshing out.

 

I think that's exactly what I need to do. So far what I have written comes out as more historical information with the potential for story.

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How goes the process? Any news?

 

Unfortunately the website is transitioning to a new provider and is down for the interim. We are going to change the format from Wiki to Joomla. At this time I don't even know what that means yet, but I think it will be more article driven like the typepad sites.

 

The only thing new I have to share soon is the color version of Windsong, which I have only seen the photo rough so far. TB's colorist Grant Goleash is working on it and I am very excited to see the end result!

 

Mike

 

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This project has been on hold for a while, but I've finally come back around to work on it again. The first effort was to get Bradstreet's Windsong colored. I wasn't able to coordinate with Grant's schedule, so I got another colorist, Steve Firchow to pick up the task. The final result was something fantastic... definitely a Bradstreeet, but with a different flare. You'll all have to let me know what you think :)

 

windsong.jpg

 

Mike

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So I started working on the ground rules for creating story in the Shattered Empire Universe. I was fortunate enough to gain the interest of Novelist, Jeff Edwards. Our intent is to create a graphic novel within the framework we've created, then open the doors for anything else from there.

 

The next thing to work on was a tear-sheet. The lovely Windsong model, Jane Park Smith, is doing a Radio interview this week and asked me to provide her with something should could present. We put the following together for her (it looks better in PDF with Windsong watermarked):

 

Shattered Empire

In an unknowable age, an eternity before the reckoning of time itself, a being of pure light gradually became aware of its own existence. This was the One—a perfect entity, who shaped the rivers, and the mountains, and life, and the very elements that made the world.

 

But creation was not without cost. With each new thing it created, a bit of the One’s power was sacrificed. As the world grew more vibrant and more complex, the One became more and more finely divided. And when the last of the One had given itself into the newly-created world, there was no more perfection in the universe.

 

The first Emperor rose to bring all people together. His name was Shi, the lion, and he ruled the world with wisdom and peace. His dynasty lasted a thousand years.

Then, an assassin’s blade brought the Emperor down. Evil was loosed in the world. The lands were torn apart by war, and by man’s descent into barbarism.

 

This richly-troubled imaginary mythology is the brainchild of conceptualist Mike Hess. Loosely inspired by the cultures and legends of ancient Asia, Shattered Empire will serve as the backdrop and underpinnings for books, art, graphic novels, and other forms of creative endeavor. The project is in its early stages, but Mike is already working in collaboration with professional photographers, character models, award-winning novelists, and world class graphic and comic book artists.

 

Like the fictional setting that forms its heart, Shattered Empire is about to move into the light…

 

 

Mike

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Thanks, Noeland!!!

 

Regardless of success, I'd just like to create good thought provoking story.

 

Mike

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Looks good. I love Grant's work, but this is pretty nice. The background designs have really been pulled out, same with the dragon on the chestplate. I dig it. Glad to see your stil sticking with it. Sometimes a bit of a break helps to make things a bit more clear. Best of luck to you!

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