Vassa Renoir sketch Picture

Vassa Renoir is an old character of mine whom I've never drawn before. She'll be replaced with a better version of this picture, and this one will be scrapped or whatever. As I get more into the story of Tsanner Daetsel and the Viefdan Mythology behind the Man-Made Gods, I'll draw more of her.

In Viefda, it was prophesied that from Man would come three Man-Made Gods. They were to be the embodiment of three of the strongest emotions; Hatred, Love and Apathy. Tsanner Daetsel is the personification of Hatred, Arka Tsunak is the embodiment of Love, and 21 is Apathy. These three Gods came to be acknowledged publicly first with 21, at the end of the Second Psychic War. Tsanner and his Mondian cult of followers quickly became known soon thereafter, and Arka was recognized midway through the human Godwars, when she ascended from her human form. Vassa, however, is not a man-made God at all. She is an anomaly.

Vassa lived on the planet Gelt before the second Psychic War. She was a part-time Imperial library worker, had her own garden and a small apartment just outside the capital city. Her parents weren’t psychics, they weren’t in the military or influential at all, and Vassa had only just begun studying Viefda as a religion when the war broke out. Everyone knew it was coming, droves of systems were breaking away from the Empire and the Cave-Grove Kingdom was growing not only in numbers but in popularity. Vassa herself had attended a pro-Grove lecture where a charismatic young prince had talked openly of the injustices of the Empire and how to peacefully object and initiate change. That was before the Empire mobilized their fleet and barricaded their borders, firing on any ships that refused to submit credentials and halt for invasive scans.

Gelt was not a military world, nor was it of significant military value, but the Empire positioned a number of troop-carriers in orbit, and dispatched thousands of soldiers to the planets surface to train for in-city combat and urban warfare. Large blocks of the city were cordoned off, and Vassa was forced to move into an even smaller dormitory, where she was stuck with a rather smelly and nosy roommate. Not content to sit idly by, Vassa would routinely sneak back to her old flat to tend to her plants, doing her best to avoid military patrols and police. It was while heading back to her dorm, that a passing squad of marines spotted, and stopped her. They immediately thought Vassa to be a looter, as she was carrying with her a quantity of vegetables from her garden, and books she had taken from her old place. She pleaded with them to let her go, as she had lived in the area her whole life and never committed any crimes, but looking into her political past lead the off-world soldiers to think of her as a spy.

The marines were shipping out the next day, and their commanding officer told them that in the field they were going to have to be ruthless and brutal, able to deal with any situation presented to them. Thusly, he ordered them to take Vassa into the sealed-off train tunnels and kill her, along with several other “spies”. Which they did.

Vassa awoke some time later, thinking the soldier that shot her in the head must have only wounded her, and not killed her as she thought he had. Sitting up in the dark, she found herself covered in a cold, sticky substance, and bits of some hard material. Clicking on her keychain-flashlight, she found it to be blood, bits of brain and bone. Gasping, she reached up to her head and found it to be completely intact, including her hair which was matted with blood and gray matter. Confused, frightened, cold and sore, Vassa snuck back to her original apartment as it was significantly closer, and cleaned herself up. Stepping out of the shower, she cut her arm on the doors broken railing, which she’d been meaning to fix before she was evicted. It began to bleed profusely, as it was a rather deep gash. Cursing, Vassa wandered into her bedroom for some bandages, when her arm burst into flames. She cried out and fell onto her bed, trying to smother the fire with a sheet when she realized the pain of the wound was quickly fading, and soon was gone as the fire extinguished itself. Looking her arm over, Vassa realized there wasn’t a mark on her, not even a scar.

Some months later, Vassa managed to sneak off-world to try to find answers to what exactly was going on with her. She visited several Viefdan institutions, and while she wouldn’t tell them what happened to her (mostly out of her shy nature) she eventually found herself at a Mondian cathedral on the planet Ononus. The Mondians were very open and welcoming to her, but she was wary, as she knew of their rituals and brutal ways. They seemed to know more about “fiery immortality” than anyone else she’d spoken with, though. She was invited to a ceremony a few days later, and cautiously accepted their offer of rooming in their dormitories and studying with their initiates.

The night of the ceremony, Vassa was seated with the other Mondian initiates, talking amongst themselves. None of them seemed to know exactly what was going to occur that night, but the cathedral had been sealed off, and there was a large number of higher ranking Clerics and Engu Jehal priests present. A priest brought forth a large urn, and walked up to the altar at the head of the room. As a hush fell over all present, he cracked the urn over the altar, and what appeared to be a quantity of dark ash poured out.

The ash suddenly burst into flames, bright orange and white tongues licking high towards the arched ceiling. Out of the flames a skeleton formed, with sinews and flesh growing over it, crawling outwards from its spine. As the fire shrank in magnitude, skin formed over the body as it writhed on the altar, and Vassa realized that it was a man, as hair burned out of his scalp as he sat up. Taking a deep breath, the man stood, stepping down onto the platform surrounding the altar. Clerics quickly brought him a robe and strangely, a saber, which he examined, then hung from his belt.

Vassa’s heart was pounding in her throat, looking about she saw that the rest of the initiates in attendance were prostrate, face-down on the floor while she was simply sitting, staring at this man, and he was staring back.

The story will continue with Tsanner Daetsel’s picture
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