Four Brothers WIP Picture

PLEASE comment if you fave! I worked hard on this.
All right, I'm going to try to take part in the 100 Picture Challenge, or whatever it's called here. Basically, you draw one picture each for one of 100 themes. I just started learning how to draw human faces about two months ago. I was going to hold off on entering the challenge until I'd gotten bodily postures down better, but figured that if I waited that long I'd never get anywhere. So I know I still need a lot of work. Maybe doing this challenge will help me improve, maybe not. I like to hope that maybe someday I'll be able to redo this picture and it'll look a whole lot better. For now though, it's much better than what I could have done a couple of months ago.
This illustrates a scene from Part 129 of Return To Manitou Island [link] and pictures the theme of "Teamwork." Charmian and the Northeast Coast culture hero, Glooskap, are trying to convince Manabozho's stubborn oldest brother, Mudjikawiss, that the only way they can defeat the evil spirit Chakenapok--who is possessed by Glooskap's evil brother, Malsum (long story, I know)--is TOGETHER--Manabozho and his three brothers, Chibiabos, Peepaukawiss, and Mudjikawiss (seen here from left to right). Thing is, Mudji likes doing things on his own. The four brothers don't get along all that great, so it takes quite a bit of effort just to get them to work as a team to try to defeat their enemy.

This is just the inked sketch. I'm planning on filling it all in with colored pencil, as that's the only medium I have, that and a photo program which mangles my pictures when I resize and try to up the saturation a bit.
Anyway...the next theme I believe is "Standing Still" and I already have it sketched out.
This will be scrapped later on when I upload the finished version. Just wanted to put this in my gallery to brag a bit.
Criticism not desired as I already know all the flaws this has, thank you very much.
*****

Thomas and Moon Wolf pulled her back into the tunnel this time, and they all crouched down on the floor as Mudjikawiss started hurling his fireballs, Chakenapok alternating between letting them hit him and throwing them back. "What are we supposed to do?" Charmian cried. "We have to separate him from Malsum but we can't do it by FIGHTING! It just makes him stronger!"

"All you know for sure is you need all four brothers?" Glooskap asked, and they all jumped, Charmian letting out a little shriek; he and Marten now stood directly beside them in the tunnel. He waved at their baffled looks with an annoyed look of his own. "You were told you really couldn't fight him--?"

Charmian nodded, brow furrowing. "That's what Snow Bear said--and all it seems to do is give him more power, every time we attack him! If we keep attacking him, he'll get too powerful to defeat--there's no way we can fight him and hope to win!"

"Maybe you can think of something else to do? Something not so violent?" Marten suggested.

Thomas's eye twitched. "I don't exactly think sitting down and inviting him to tea would work much."

Puka fiddled his fingers, grimacing. "It's too bad we can't just put him to sleep or anything, and then get that Malsum fellow out of him...it would be so much easier that way...!"

Charmian's face lit up. "That's it!" she hissed, and fell forward onto her hands. "We subdue him--and then all four of you go after him using your powers. Since he won't be fighting, then none of you will be fighting! If you just use your powers without attacking him then he can't get stronger!"

Manabozho and Thomas both looked at her as if she were nuts. "Subdue him?" Manabozho echoed. He gestured wildly. "Excuse me but are we even watching the same PERSON? How do you imagine you can just SUBDUE him--?!"

Charmian turned to Thomas. "That attack we used on Chepi," she said. "At Devil's Lake. Fire and ice! It confused her! Then Moon Wolf could grab her, so Niskigwun could take her down!" She glanced back out at Chakenapok, who was still cackling insanely as Mudjikawiss chased him fruitlessly around the cave, occasionally getting fireballs slammed into him for his efforts. "Moon Wolf, you and Thomas and I could hit him with this and confuse him just long enough to get a hold of him. It'll give him a little more power, but not too much, because the three of us are the least powerful in the room. Then as soon as we get a hold of him, you four go after him--WITHOUT fighting! With all four of you using your powers it should defeat him for sure!" She gasped and jerked back when Chakenapok landed not that far away, but all that he did was hold up his arm to ward off another attack, his lips drawn back in an awful grin. She tried not to shiver too hard as she turned to the others. "Then YOU take over!" she said to Glooskap, who frowned but nodded.

"Sounds as good as anything," he admitted.

Puka started chewing on his fingernails. "What makes you think YOU three can subdue him?" Manabozho asked with a scowl. "Especially seeing as you keep insisting so much that FIGHTING is what makes him stronger!"

"It's the only chance we have," Charmian said. "And all we have to do is hold onto him for a few minutes--long enough for you guys to go after him. Everything from then on is up to Glooskap. But I'm going to need your help to get Mudji to agree to try it."

They all frowned now, but nodded after a moment. "I guess it's a plan," Thomas sighed, and they all turned to look into the cave. Glooskap cocked his head, then stepped toward the entry.

"Allow me," he said. They watched as he stepped into the cave, ignoring all of the fireballs and hunks of rock being hurled about, and stopped beside Mudjikawiss, touching him on the arm; the big man halted abruptly in his attack, his eyes growing wide but his limbs freezing in midthrow. Chakenapok halted as well, hovering a foot or two above the ground; he stared at his older brother for a moment, then turned his head to glare at Glooskap malevolently.

"You want some of this so badly yourself, old man?" he hissed.

Glooskap rolled his eyes. "Oh, wow, how original. If I didn't know any better I'd say you've been watching too many action movies."

Chakenapok's face grew exquisitely ugly. "I hardly have time right now for you, old man! Step aside and let this dolt meet his fate, and THEN I might deign to deal with YOU! Burying your problems and hoping they will simply disappear, the same as everyone else!"

Charmian crept out of the tunnel and waved at Thomas and Moon Wolf to follow. "That old Wolf and I are twins, I'll have you know," Glooskap was saying. "So if I'm an old man, then I suppose that makes the two of you...old coots! What's wrong now, big dumb doggy, you have cooties--?"

Chakenapok's eyes grew livid, then his head whirled around, eyes fixing on Charmian. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?" he bellowed, making her jump and cringe. "Trying to sneak out of my cave? After taking so much trouble to get here--?" He lifted one hand and fire flickered. "If you think you will simply run away and leave this at a stalemate then you have another idea coming! I will HARDLY leave this game without an ENDING!"

Charmian stood up and clenched her fists. "FAT CHANCE! I'll stick around so long you'll be BEGGING to get rid of me!" She gestured at Glooskap. "Remember him? That's right--the guy who defeated MALSUM! That big stupid Wolf giving YOU your power! The minute you're defeated, that Wolf is going right back where he belongs--beneath a mile of rock! See if he can drag himself out to help you again THEN!"

The look on Chakenapok's face began to slowly change, and he turned his head to look at Glooskap as if he'd never seen him before; Charmian hesitated, not quite recognizing the look. It was somewhat surprised, somewhat pensive, but not quite either. She didn't get to think about it too much before Mudjikawiss was attacking again, and she clenched her fists once more, though Chakenapok again didn't seem to be putting up much of a fight.

"DAMMIT, MUDJI, KNOCK IT OFF!!"

Glooskap raised his hand and Mudjikawiss froze in place again, though his eyes still blinked and he managed to get out a furious-sounding "What--?" Puka, Manabozho, and Chibiabos rushed forward to grasp onto him and pull him back toward the tunnel, the other three following; they crowded in its entrance as Mudjikawiss began to get his muscle function back.

"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!" he bellowed as soon as he was able; Manabozho and Chibiabos immediately clapped their hands over his mouth.

"Listen, moron!" Charmian hissed under her breath, seeing how blue his eyes glowed. "We're TRYING to figure out how to attack him WITHOUT fighting him! If you want to prove what a BIG STRONG guy you are, then you're going to have to do it without fighting! The only thing it's doing is making him STRONGER!"

Mudjikawiss growled something around their hands which sounded like, "This is a bad thing--?"

Charmian grabbed onto his necklaces and yanked. "It is if you ever want this damn thing to end! We need you to HOLD OFF for a minute--Moon Wolf and Thomas and I will go after him and grab hold of him--then YOU four give him what you've got--WITHOUT FIGHTING!" She bared her teeth and made herself look as ferocious as she could, which admittedly wasn't much. "Got it? That means YOU use your strongest power--and Manabozho uses his--and the others too--all at ONCE. NOT just you! And no hurling fireball after fireball or whatever the hell it is that you keep trying! Just ONE concerted attack--to drive Malsum out. That's it!"

"Then can I kill him?" Mudjikawiss mumbled around their hands.

Charmian rolled her eyes but gave up. "For God's sake, FINE, then you can kill him. If you know how to kill a dead person!"

"Sounds good enough to me," Mudjikawiss muttered, and they let him go. He scowled and dusted at his necklaces as he stood. "You might consider keeping your hands to yourself," he started to growl, before his head hit the ceiling, and he made a face.

"Whatever," Charmian said, and waved them toward the entrance. Glooskap was facing Chakenapok now, tilting his head back and forth and spitting out insults; Chakenapok was giving him a look that was somewhere between disbelief and fury. He looked as if he wasn't certain whether to boo Glooskap out of the cave or knock his head off.

"...Your face is so ugly, that the family dog tried to bury you under a rock!" Glooskap said. "Your mama was so fat, that when she sat around the wigwam, she REALLY sat around the wigwam!"

"HEY!" Manabozho roared at the top of his lungs. "THAT'S OUR MOTHER, TOO, YOU KNOW!!"

Glooskap winced and waved his hand at the air. "Sorry! Guess I watch too much improv!"

Chakenapok turned his head to look at them. "Finally," he growled, his eyes narrowing to yellow slits. "If THIS clown were to keep it up much longer, I might just die AGAIN from the boredom!"

"Well, sheesh!" Glooskap huffed. "That's what I get for subscribing to satellite TV!"

"You wanted a fight?" Charmian said. "Then fine, you're going to get one." She gestured at Thomas and Moon Wolf and they joined her, both looking the slightest bit uneasy. "I hope you're ready to stop being a Shell and to be stuck on your own for once."

"You three?" Chakenapok raised his eyebrows, then snorted and smirked. "This is rather a step down from what I was expecting!"

"Sorry to disappoint you so much," Charmian said, and glanced first at Moon Wolf, then at Thomas. You guys know what to do? she asked, and they both nodded slightly. She turned back to Chakenapok and clenched her fists when he smirked at her again.

"Say bye-bye, Malsum!"

Chakenapok held up his hand and waved his fingers at her. "'Bring it on,' little girl."

Charmian's face twisted up, and she drew her hand back, seeing Thomas and Moon Wolf do the same. An instant later--"Fire!"--a volley of fireballs, then a volley of ice, shot through the air, and slammed straight into Chakenapok's chest.

Chakenapok himself slammed back into the cave wall, a grimace on his face. Charmian and Moon Wolf tossed fire at him, then drew their arms back long enough to let Thomas hurl another round of ice; then another of fire, and another of ice. The others watched in awe, Marten's jaw hanging, as they shifted positions around the room, attacking him from all angles. Charmian saw him just barely manage to lift his head, and his eyes started to open just a sliver, his teeth bared malevolently; he struggled to raise one hand and aim it at them.

Moon Wolf! Charmian exclaimed. Before he gets his power! NOW!

Moon Wolf dropped his attack and bolted past Glooskap and Marten, to the side of the cave. Thomas and Charmian continued hurling fire and ice even as Chakenapok started regaining his senses, snarling and aiming his hand at them. The medicine man reached the wall and spun about, launching himself off of it with his foot; a second later he reached Chakenapok and grabbed hold of his arm, yanking it down abruptly and wrapping his own arm around Chakenapok's neck. Chakenapok gawked and let out a gasping sound as the glow around him disappeared, Thomas and Charmian letting up on their attack--he was still for just a second, then started struggling, baring his pointed teeth and hissing like a feral cat. He grabbed Moon Wolf's arm and dug his fingernails into it deep enough to draw blood; Moon Wolf grimaced but held him tight.

Charmian whirled around and jerked her hand at the others. "NOW!"

Mudjikawiss scowled and the other three looked skeptical, but they dashed out of the tunnel nonetheless, all raising their arms at once. Four bolts shot out, fire and air and earth and water; Moon Wolf let go of Chakenapok at the last minute and dodged for cover, just as the beams struck Chakenapok in the chest in the same way that the first attack had. His mouth flew open and his eyes grew to the size of platters--Charmian could tell that Mudjikawiss was forcing himself to restrain his attack, yet it seemed to be doing the trick. Chakenapok let out a wheezing gasping sound, fighting to move, then managed to double over somewhat, his eyes squinching shut and his jagged teeth biting into his lip. His arms crooked, then wrapped around his middle as if he had the world's worst cramps; he let out another sound, which Charmian didn't like, it sounded so pained and awful. She bit the inside of her mouth and forced herself not to cry.

This is the only way! she thought desperately. I'm sorry, Chakenapok, but it's for your own good--!


Mudjikawiss, Chakenapok, Peepaukawiss (Puka), Manabozho, and Chibiabos are from Ojibwa mythology. Malsum, Glooskap, and Marten are from Micmac mythology. Thomas Leeds, Moon Wolf, Charmian, Snow Bear, Sooleawa Chepi, and Niskigwun are © Tehuti.
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