Monday, July 22, 2013

Fighting the Ur-Viles

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stephen Donaldson published a popular series of fantasy novels called the "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant." The story involved a depressed, self-hating writer afflicted with leprosy who finds himself transported into a vast fantasy world simply called "The Land." In this universe, Thomas has magic powers. This inner world is similar to various Western mythologies and especially to Tolkien's "Middle Earth." Covenant, who is portrayed as a mostly loathsome figure, has to save the Land with his powers, which manifest through a staff and a white gold ring on his finger. In this scene, Thomas Covenant fights against a battalion of "ur-vile" monsters as he tries to protect a flock of benevolent flame-spirits and his lady friend. The story has gone through ten books so far and Donaldson is still at it. The supposedly last and final and ultimate, etc. book in the series is due to be published later this year.

"Covenant and the Wraiths" is acrylic on Strathmore illustration board, 11" x 9", August 1982.
Clickonthepic for larger view.

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