Some old horse breed caricatures (this one is of the enchanting Akhal Teke) as a study for a couple of simple horse walk cycles of breeds with wildly different body types and gaits. This is something I’d like to return to one day, just to keep in the practice.
It's kind of random but I was wondering, do you have any thoughts about an Avatar AU for Voltron?
I have so many thoughts?? Wow, okay. Sorry this took so long, but, well… Apparently I have a lot to say on this topic.
One Hundred Years Ago
Alfor was the Avatar
He and Zarkon grew up together a la Roku and Sozin–they were best friends and rivals, and Zarkon was lowkey jealous that Alfor was the Avatar, never mind he was in line to be Fire Lord and would’ve been pissed if he’d had to step down to travel the world and promote peace.
They grew up and grew apart, and they both got married–Zarkon to Honerva, a non-bender living in the Fire Nation, Alfor to an Air Nomad he met while learning airbending.
Alfor met Coran in the Earth Kingdom–Coran is a non-bender scholar exploring the world and spending more time picking fights with thieves and stumbling into booby-trapped ruins than engaging in actual scholarship.
Allura is born and lives with her mom at the Eastern Air Temple while Coran and Alfor continue exploring, eventually reconnecting with Zarkon. When Allura is a little bit older, she starts exploring with her dad and learning the foundations of bending–she’s an airbender, but she wants to be able to teach people from all nations.
Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked…
Alfor and Zarkon fought–no one knows what about except Allura and Coran, who were present at the start of the conflict but disappeared in its wake. Alfor’s last act was a feat of energybending (bending the spirit itself). Allura assumed he meant to strip Zarkon of his firebending, but instead he sealed Allura and Coran in a pocket off the spirit world, trapping them in a kind of stasis for a hundred years.
Zarkon, of course, was quick to brag about his victory–not only did he kill Avatar Alfor… he killed the Avatar while he was in the Avatar State, severing the Avatar Cycle.
(Zarkon was trying to steal the Avatar Spirit from Avatar in order to become the Avatar himself. Honerva’s experiments led to her venturing into the spirit world, where she came into contact with a spirit that gave her something very like energybending, and she thought she could snatch the dying Avatar Spirit and transplant it at the moment of Alfor’s death–but it failed.)
Zarkon ended up (forcibly) taking in a spirit of his own, much as Honerva did, so they both survived a hundred years, building up the Fire Nation to what it is today.
Keith lives in a remote region of the Fire Nation. He’s a guard at a military prison, but he’s never actually seen combat, and he works with a group of Fire Nation rebels (led by Kolivan, a firebender.) Keith wants to play a more active role in the rebellion, but as a non-bender he’s not entrusted with difficult missions.
Lance’s family is part of the Northern Water Tribe, where his father and older brother are powerful waterbenders. Lance tries to live up to their reputation, but he has no bending and most people figure he’ll never amount to much.
Hunk works at a popular restaurant in the Earth Kingdom. He has a quiet life, and he tries not to stick his nose into war business–easy enough, since he has no bending or military training. The biggest problem in his life is the fact that his boss doesn’t seem to want to give him a chance to prove himself, even though he knows he could do so much more.
The Holts are part of a small band of Air Nomads–the last remnants of the culture Zarkon tried to stamp out. The airbenders were all killed in the years following Avatar Alfor’s death, but some civilians managed to escape. Most fled to the Earth Kingdom or found refuge with the Southern Water Tribe (leading to intense retaliation from the Fire Nation and the near total extermination of the Southern Water Tribe), but a small percentage stubbornly held onto their heritage, moving around the world and keeping their culture alive. Sam Holt is the leader of their band, and Matt is their historian–tasked with remembering the past and passing it on to the next generation. Pidge builds things–all kinds of things–in an attempt to revive the airbending her people have lost.
Shiro was born in the Fire Nation but when he came of age and received a summons from the army, he went on the run. He never agreed with Zarkon’s rule, and he learned from his parents what the other peoples of the world have to offer. So he runs, surviving however he can, until he stumbles across the Holts and their band of Air Nomads, who take him in and help him disappear.
Zarkon tracks Shiro down and takes not only him, but Sam Holt–as “justice” for “sheltering a war criminal.” Matt fights back, and Zarkon takes him, too, leaving the rest of the nomads to spread the story so others know not to defy him.
Pidge sneaks off after her family and Shiro, tracking them to the prison where Shiro is being kept–not realizing that Ulaz had discovered Shiro in one of Haggar’s experiments and arranged a transfer to the remote prison where Keith is a guard (the plan being to help him escape from there as soon as they can arrange it.) Pidge nearly takes Keith’s head off before he convinces her he’s not her enemy, and by that point the prison knows there’s an intruder and are mounting their defenses. Together Keith and Pidge break Shiro out and go on the run.
But Shiro’s been changed by his time in Haggar’s hands. He’s a bender now–and energybender. His memory is in shambles, so he doesn’t know what Haggar did to him to give him the most ancient form of bending, but it worries him.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Water Tribe…
Lance is a little shit who takes a lot of risks in an attempt to prove himself, one of which involves venturing into the forest at the North Pole where the Northern spirit portal is located. There, he accidentally opens the gate, releasing Allura and Coran.
Allura, scared and confused, demands an explanation, advancing on Lance when he doesn’t have answers for her. He panics, thinking she’s one of the dangerous wild spirits he heard stories about growing up, and–somehow–reflexively bends a barrier of ice around himself.
(At the same moment, elsewhere:
Hunk, biting into a rock hard cookie he was trying to bake, yelps in pain and bangs his fist on the wall to try to ride out the pain. A fist-sized chunk of rock tears up through the floorboards of his house and narrowly misses the back of his head. It punches a hole clean through his wall and embeds itself in the garden wall out back.
Keith, Pidge, and Shiro are fleeing a small force of Fire Nation soldiers. With Shiro in bad shape and Pidge not trained in combat, Keith is their primary line of defense. It’s not going well–his sword against half a dozen soldiers, one of whom is a firebender? Yeah. But he’s not giving up. Injured, exhausted, and beginning to despair, he forces himself to launch one final attack, screaming as he charges–and releasing a wave of fire with the next swing of his sword.
Keith’s sudden bending startles the enemy, but they still outnumber him, and he obviously doesn’t have any training–his bending is wild and unfocused, and the soldiers back the trio into a dead end surrounded by cliffs on all sides. At the last second, Pidge panics and bends a tremendous gust of wind that carries them all to the top of the cliff.)
Alfor fractured the Avatar Spirit
After sealing Allura and Coran in the spirit world, Alfor tried one last time to reason with Zarkon, but he knew it was useless. Zarkon wanted to be the Avatar and would not stop until Alfor was dead. Fearing for the fate of the world, Alfor entered the Avatar State, then turned his energybending on himself, excising the Avatar Spirit and splitting it into five pieces. The Avatar Cycle ended, but the strength of the Avatar lived on, free from Zarkon’s influence.
It takes Allura some time to realize what happened, but the fact that Lance wasn’t a bender before and now suddenly has the ability to waterbend–and far more strongly than any other bender at the North Pole–is a compelling argument. Allura can sense the other pieces of the Avatar out there, and though Lance is unsure about leaving his home, Allura and Coran convince him that he’s part of the team that could actually take down Zarkon once and for all.
They set out, Allura using what she learned from her father to train Lance in waterbending. They find Hunk and then the other three, who are still scouring the Fire Nation in search of Sam and Matt Holt.
It’s Allura who tells Shiro that his energybending comes from a fragment of the Avatar Spirit. Haggar didn’t give it to him, she just wanted to study it after she realized he possessed a power long lost to the world–one that she and Zarkon reclaimed for themselves, but that no one else should have access to. Shiro, as a point of fact, holds the core of the Avatar Spirit–though he cannot access any of the elements, he has the potential to remove or restore someone’s bending, to enter the spirit world through meditation, and (in theory) to connect with the spirits of the past Avatars.
From there, the team trains together under Allura–first learning how to bend, then learning how to work as a single unit. Together they are as effective as the Avatar. They are the Avatar. But if they can’t work together, then they’re just as likely to get in each other’s way. Things get better after Shiro learns to enter the Avatar State–he’s the only one who can do it spontaneously, though the others can use him as a sort of bridge to access that same power and knowledge (it doesn’t grant them elements other than their own, but it does unite them in mind and purpose with anyone else currently in the Avatar State, making them the perfect team.)
a book about a girl who runs a little taxi business with her car but for magical beings? it’s not the most conventional or safe job, but she inherited the business from her grandmother who used to bike woodland fairies from one forest to another in the basket of her bike in exchange for little favors, and it became a family business. the main character modernized it and now she gets notes written on tree bark pinned to her front door or written in the frost on her window or sent to her phone from impossible phone numbers asking for rides.
she rarely accepts cash payments, because all to often it’ll turn into a handful of sand or gravel within a few hours. but she takes the other things they offer her and trades around. there’s a small grocery store where the owner is superstitious enough to accept her little good luck charms and pouches of healing herbs that always, somehow, work; there are pawnshops where she can sell the tarnished, ancient-looking pieces of treasure that she’s sometimes tossed like loose change by the gnarled, crumbling tree spirits that crumple up like folding chairs to fit into her small car; she has an etsy shop for the gorgeous woven flower crowns certain nymphs leave on their seats or the strange but beautiful leather shoes some elves leave on the floor
Would anyone be interested if I took various strays found around my save, cleaned them up/gave makeovers, & uploaded them here and on the gallery? ❤ I thought it would be a really cute and positive idea to have a place where people can come and adopt an array of cats and dogs for their own games! :3