Thursday, March 19, 2009

Darkover Melodrama

On Darkover, the leader of psychic power work groups was known as a "Keeper." She (it was always a female) had a lot of power and connecting ability, so she could psychically join the group to multiply the amount of energy they could wield. There was an order of Keepers who were trained to work in tower rooms overlooking towns or castles. They wore red robes and were sworn to celibacy like nuns, since according to Bradley, sex drained psychic energy, and vice versa. But of course, in Bradley's world (and most other literary stories) anyone sworn to celibacy would have to fall in love and break their vows. This melodramatic illustration was not written for a specific story, but could illustrate any number of Bradley or fan-written moments. The wayward Keeper, having escaped the Tower by a ruse, meets her nobleman lover in a secluded alley, with only a cat as witness.

The title of this piece is "The Keeper's Vice." Ink and watercolor on illustration board, 9" x 13", November 1985. 

I admit that I borrowed some elements of Bradley's Darkover for my NoantriWorld, except for the red robes and the sex stuff. Or perhaps there is a common transuniversal story reality that both MZ Bradley and I are dipping into. 


Mary said...

I was never such a Darkover fan, but I'm a total sucker for melodrama like this. This reminds me of the kind of poster I hung on my walls in college, (which is not at all a bad thing -- I loved them.)

It's also the kind of thing I have always liked to (attempt to) draw, myself.

LauraJ said...

Excellent cat.

emikk said...

They aught to start a daily soap called "Darkover Shadows"