the-emperor's-soul

4

Miscellaneous sketches.

Leodan - One of my original characters.

Gaotona, Emperor Ashravan and Wan ShaiLu - Favorite characters from “The Emperor’s Soul” by Brandon Sanderson.

John Hollyshoes - Favorite character from “Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower” by Susanna Clarke.

Love - Commissioned character sketch of an original character by Anna P.

There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person’s life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn’t take on step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off a path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn’t led you better.
—  Brandon Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul
Congratulations, Brandon!

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Brandon just announced via twitter that Writing Excuses and The Emperor’s Soul won Hugo Awards in their respective categories. Many congratulations to Brandon and the Writing Excuses crew! You guys deserve it!

For those of you not familiar with either of these titles, The Emperor’s Soul is a novella set on the same planet as his debut novel, Elantris (but in a completely different country), the story of which focuses on a woman named Shai who practices the art of forgery. It’s fantastic and if you haven’t read it yet, you should pick it up right away.

Writing Excuses is a podcast by writers, for writers. In addition to Brandon himself, it features Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, and sometimes they have guest stars as well (the most recent episode features Jeph Jacques from the famous webcomic Questionable Content, for example). Follow the link to read more about it.

Click Here to read 17th Shard’s official newspost, in which we promise video and stuff. See you guys round the Cosmere!

For fallenwithstyle-

The Scholar and the Beggar (by swampspirit)

It was good to be back in a city as herself. The history of a tree was so different from the history of a marble column, and Shai didn’t have to tools, or time, to appreciate it as a beggar. Finally she was far enough from the Rose Empire to stroll through the streets with her spectacles on examining and taken notes where she needed.

News of the Rose Empire had traveled though, and she smiled as she overheard two men talking about her work, about his latest speech and unexpected recovery. And then, as it often did when she thought of her work in the Rose Empire, her mind began wandering to the exact changes she planned to make on her final stamp, laying out her memories of a kind uncle who she had not seen since she was a child.

“Miss?”

It takes Shai a moment to realize it’s addressed to her.

The beggar’s hands are outstretched, hood low over his face and she sighs. It’s not hard for her to get coin. Money has never been much of an obstacle, and she knows what it feels like to be a beggar, but she hasn’t had a chance to refill her wallet yet.

“I’m sorry. I’m not carrying any coin,” she tells him.

He grins wide, showing teeth far too neat, and for the first time, she gets the feeling something is wrong. What makes it even more disturbing is how long it took her to notice the disguise. He even smudged his teeth with charcoal to try and cover their health.

“Actually,” he says, “I wanted to offer my congratulations.”

The disadvantage to pants is it was much harder to subtly brace oneself for a fight. Instead, Shai opted to take to take a much subtler stance than the one she would have preferred.

“After all,” the man continued, “It’s not every day you meet somebody who could forge a soul.”

Shai preferred not to be taken by surprise. After all, her skills were best suited to having time to study, but she enjoyed a challenge. She was less fond of challenges that threatened her greatest work of art, but stakes kept things interesting.

The man looked up, his hood falling back over a pair of shockingly blue eyes.

She had expected finding the fool to be her next great challenge, yet here he was, smiling up at her. She started forward, but he was off running, far faster than she could have believed. What was the point? Had he come here just to laugh at her? If so, he would show him his mistake.

“Thief!” she yelled, pointing to where he’d ran, clutching her purse to her chest. “Thief!”

She could be faster, but she needed her own head about her, needed to know how to scan the crowd and read their faces.

Still, he was nowhere. He had faded almost instantly into the crowd.

Well, there was no sense in panicking. He wouldn’t have left the city.

This situation was everything she could ask for, in a sense. He was in the city. He’s shown his face, and she was going to find him.

She’d spent days in the city, and he was gone. The beggars, the politicians, the merchants, nobody had a hint.

Seeing him made things feel, in a sense, far more hopeless. It meant even if she got close, she would need more of a plan to actually deal with him, and there was no guarantee she’d get that close again.

By the end of five days she’d made most of the significant alterations she’d planned to her fifth soul stamp and was preparing to leave the city.

“If shes staying here, I’d like to speak with her.”

A Dula man stood in the door. His traveling gear was nice, but he had clearly been on the road some time. There was something about him she couldn’t quite place, a look that didn’t correspond do any experience she could think of.

She took a careful step back, fading back into the stairwell.

“She might be about. What did you need.”

“I heard she’s looking for a man. I think I may be able to help.”

She stepped off the stairwell, walking to meet him, looking him over with interest. Seeing her, he pulled a sketch out of one of his bags.

“Is this the man you’re looking for?”

She tried not to let her excitement show. The picture was clearly The Fool, though he had changed his appearance since this was drawn.

“Yes,” she told him, looking up from the paper to him.

“Well you won’t find him on your own. But we might be able to help you. You see, I’m a member of a very particular organization,” he says, offering his hand. “Wan ShaiLu, let me tell you about our organization. You might be a valuable addition to the 17th Shard.”

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