Silent Shadow: Back to the Beginning

Silent Shadow: Back to the Beginning

Or rather, the original Livejournal post that started it all.

Yes, this was originally posted to my Livejournal account on August 30th, 2005 @ 11:23am. There will be footnotes here and there making note of what I’ve changed since then.


I was going to work this out on paper first but I managed to get in hurry and since I promised, well…

Synopsis: A mage and a wolf-demon must work together to hunt down an incubus that is preying on teenage girls.

I actually came up with a better synopsis/log-line: “Syleth, Master-class Mage and Guardian, battles a human mage who has absorbed the powers of a demon. Syleth joins forces with an amnesiac Lycan with a grudge against the mage. Will their powers be enough to overcome the demon-mage?

Synopsis: Silent Shadow Act One

Time & Place

Storyline is set in Minneapolis — takes place both in Downtown and South-side. Time is mid August to late September.

The current rewrite of Hawk & Wolf changed the timeline slightly. Instead of taking place in August and September, it now takes place in mid June. I had reasons for that change that I don’t think are relevant anymore so I might change it back 😁

Yeah, there is some romance (predictable, isn’t it?) but it doesn’t take place until the next two acts. This first act basically introduces the characters, gives them a common enemy and an objective to obtain for this act. The next two acts fleshes out the characters and their backgrounds a little more while giving them more enemies to deal with.

Characters

Syleth Reshay
Age: 28
Height: 5’8
Eyes: Gray
Hair: Black
Ethnic background: half-demon (father is believed to be a either a gryphon or hawk-demon)
Skills & Abilities: Adept-level Mage (inherited from her human half). Possesses some telepathy and some empathy. Is an expert martial-artist and marksman.

I nerfed Syleth from the original run. Sy is a Master mage who has no real patience for ceremonial magic. Her cousin Vaile is the Adept. I’ll also say that she’s not necessarily an expert at anything but is a jack of all trades when it comes to fighting tactics. I also changed her height. Sy is now 5’6 (5’7 with shoes on) with silver eyes instead of gray—eh, maybe I’ll change that back? But everything else is still basically the same.

Rowan Andurs
Age: 32
Height: 6’2
Eyes: Bluish-green (sometimes red)
Hair: Varies (can be white, with blue at the tips, pure white or pure blue)
Ethnic background: Full demon (wolf). Appears to be of European descent.
Skills & Abilities: Keen hearing & sense of smell. Can detect magic by scent.

I changed Rowan’s last name—first, I eliminated it but then changed my mind and thought that Ookami would be a better family name. I also don’t use the “full demon” designation anymore. In the newer material, Rowan is referred to as a Lycan—not “full” or “half” or “demi” or whatever bullshit that is. Ro also has a few other abilities besides the hearing and sense of smell but I’m saving that for when I post the full character profiles.

The Incubus (I haven’t come up with a name — would like some suggestions)
Age: —
Height: varies
Eyes: varies
Hair: varies
Ethnic background: Demon, shape-shifter. General appearance varies.
Skills & Abilities: Possesses very powerful empathic abilities, which he uses to seduce his victims. Can take on any form & mimic any living creature.

I eventually settled on “Kira” as the name for the villain. Considering that the Death Note manga was very popular at the time, and while I never actually read the manga or watched the series, I had a lot of people on both my DeviantArt- and Livejournal friends list who raved about it. I suspect that I very likely picked up the name subconsciously. In the newer material, Kira isn’t an “Incubus”—instead, he’s a human mage who managed to steal the powers of an Infernal Entity.

Nathan
Age: 29
Height: 5’10
Eyes: Violet
Ethnic background: European (fully human)
Skills & Abilities: to be decided

The reason I haven’t fleshed out Nathan’s abilities is that in this arch, he’s a minor character. His sister is one of the Incubus’s victims and that involves Rowan since he promises Nathan that he’d track down the killer — which leads him to a chance encounter with Syleth, who’s duty it is as [a] Guardian compels her to track down the Incubus. It should also be pointed out that the term demon is used generically in the series as a means of generically describing both good and evil non-humans (in corporeal or ethereal form).

Rather ironic but Nathan is actually the name of my step-son. Anyway, Nathan is still there and hasn’t changed much from the original. He has some empathic abilities but nothing else. It’s also strongly looking like Nathan is going to be a one-off character. He’s there for the plot but that’s about it.

Also, to set the mood of each page (or panel), I’ve also started placing bgm (background music) indicators. Originally, I was going to keep the selection to local music (Like Down and Above, Sound & Fury and Gingerjake)

And, yes, I’m borrowing names. I really love that particular name and I love the color blue, so what I can say ^_^

Originally, I had Rowan as being 30 but decided to push the age up a bit to make him a little more older than Syleth. Considering that he is a demon, I suppose I could change that to 330 ^_-

Nah fam, I’m good on that one. Rowan is still in his 30s. I’ve grown rather jaded about the use of greatly extended life-spans or immortality in fantasy. Keeping the ages of the characters in a normal range makes the story more “real” or gritty.

So, my progress is as follows: I’m working on page 2, where Nate tells Rowan about his sister. Seems like I’m having lighting issues with the scene (just can’t get it right, it seems) and that’s not when the Poser 5’s Firefly rendering engine isn’t farting out in the middle of a render. I’ve traced that problem to either the shadow map settings being too high or the bucket size being too high (the bucket size is the amount of the image that’s rendered in memory before it’s displayed. Obviously, the higher the bucket size the more of the image is displayed at once but it also slows down P5’s response time and it uses more memory).

That “farting out” in the middle of a render is still an issue in Poser 11—which was released ten years after I started Silent Shadow. Poser’s issues are one of the reasons why I’m glad that I made the decision to move to Blender and Daz Studio. I haven’t had any rendering issues with Eevee, other than how I may have the camera positioned.

So, I’ll work on character renders tonight (when I get home from work) and have them posted either tonight or tomorrow.

And frankly, I’m going with Keenspot. I could write a PHP/MySQL-based webcomic management script, but I’m feeling a little lazy.

No, I never went with Keenspot. I decided after I made this post that I had the skills and the web-space to roll my own and that’s what I basically did—until I discovered WordPress, and then created Manga+Press as a final for my web applications class. From what I found on the Internet Archive, I started off with Comikaze, which I guess is still around? From what I remember, Comikaze didn’t rely on a MySQL DB. Instead, it used XML to store its data. Which leads me to an idea for another open-source project—a comic-management script that doesn’t rely on MySQL or any other database.

And…on another note. It appears that I’m coming down with a cold. Crap…

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. I was working as a hospital housekeeper at the time so I was getting exposed to respiratory bugs left and right, plus the job was needlessly stressful considering that I was only a janitor. Also, reading this old entry made me realize that at 28, I still saw myself as 17 years old and the way I wrote showed it. In fact, that inability to see myself as an adult ended up being the cause of a lot of mental health issues and drama.


I’m a digital packrat. When I deleted my Livejournal and Dreamwidth accounts, I backed up all of my old posts because I knew that I might need them someday, or if there was something/some detail that I was trying to remember for a specific point in time. A lot of people just deleted their accounts without backing up because they wanted to eliminate bad or silly memories. Not me. Those bad and silly memories defined who I am now, and it’s nice to look back into the past and see how far I’ve come since then.

Anyway, that’s it for now! Keep watching this space for more Silent Shadow news and artwork!

Jess G.

Who am I? Well, I’m a web developer by day and an anime geek/artist/pick-a-random-subject-that-I’m-interested-in person by night. My posts do have a tendency to follow whatever mental tangent I might be on. I suspect that my ADHD may be to blame for that.
Enjoy your stay!