Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chieri of Darkover miniatures

Marion Zimmer Bradley made up some native races of sentient beings who lived on Darkover, the world of the Red Sun. The most enchanting was the chieri (pronounced ki-eri), who were very tall, telepathic, graceful, silver-haired mystical folk who wandered around mostly naked, draped only in filmy streams of spider-silk, even in extremely cold weather. Once upon a time, as the lore goes, the chieri were an advanced, starfaring race who left their planet of origin, Darkover, and colonized the galaxy. But over the millennia, due to their low fertility, they died out and the remnant returned to Darkover to wander around the wilderness and act mystical and poetic, sort of like elves. To their romantic advantage, despite the low fertility, they can change from male to female or back again, depending on the gender and/or desire of their partner, and they were able to breed with human colonists, thus giving humans fantastic psychic powers. This was one of the best parts of the Darkover mythos.

I illustrated a number of chieri stories, and made these two miniatures with chieri characters on them. One was a gift for the author Marion, and she may have worn it a couple of times. The other was a commission from a Darkover fan.

Both miniatures are watercolor and ink on Fabriano paper, 3 1/2" x 2 1/4". Top one is fall 1979, bottom one is summer 1979.

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