December 16, 2010
Page 41 Book 5: Malevolent Machinations
This should be interesting…
I’ve been dreading this page for a while now. Not only because it meant scripting Ardonius’ philosophical delve into why he’s never been given a choice, but for the art required. Namely, organising the frames, properly orienting and positioning Ardonius, and most of all updating Kerrigan’s character design.
See, there’s a reason this is her first full appearance. Her first appearance is waaaay back in Book 1 as Lex is being given High Lieutenant status (She’s the floating eye, one of her visual proxies similar to her watchdog structure at the laboratory entryway), and the reason she didn’t appear in full then is the same as why she doesn’t until now: My design for her utterly horrified me on an artistic level.
She’s a complex character, though I don’t need to hide any detail from you all so here it is: She used to be human, in fact when she appears at Lex’s “knighting” she’s only 13 years old. She was the daughter of a rather mad alchemist from Merinas, who shoved her into a cult age 6 called the Church of Zakia, hoping to capture the Tsochari juvenile he knew they’d implant inside of her and use it to make more powerful and valuable alchemical tonics and potions. Unfortunately for him, adventurers intervened and she was lost. The part that makes her interesting however is what happened to that Tsochar inside of her.
You see, Lizzy is a bit of a freak of nature. Every once in a while there’s a genetic twitch that makes a protein marker reverse on itself or mix with another, something that makes you, whilst still human, react in a very different way to a specific stimulus. Most of the time, this is a natural immunity to something, but for Lizzy it meant that she started to fuse with her parasitic visitor. It was very painfully aware of this and did it’s best to escape, but unfortunately it fully melded with Lizzy creating the adult/late-teenage vision we have today. I’ll say now only in magic with a parasite from another dimension can this really happen.
Understandably, this was difficult for me to characterise when I first started out, and I’d say my skills have only recently reached the level where I can produce a design for her that I’m actually comfortable with. So, for your pleasure, here is a comparison of the first design I made for her (Back in 2007) and the new design (circa 2010):
And yes, her name is a reference to Sarah Kerrigan of Starcraft fame. It’s also a reference to Elizabeth Borden, who was (as far as folk tales purport) equally parentally homicidal…