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In Extremis


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#1 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 03:00 PM

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In Extremis is the project I've been working on for the better part of time since early 2012. It's a Fantasy adventure set in a high-fantasy universe that's taken a lot of time to work on and it's still growing. Eventually I want to get to the point where I have multiple plot-arcs that take place in the same timeline over several centuries. Right now I'm pretty much smack dab in the middle of the planned plot-arcs that I have, which I believe to be the best story to start with to acquaint people with the universe. The current plot-arc (the only one under production [writing, art and music]) is Before The Wind and follows the story of a young skeleton-pirate named Skeli and an octopus named Dreads.

The links are all images, unless otherwise noted.

Characters

  • Skeli- The young Avotoc (skeleton people, covered later) that is one of the two main characters of the current plot-arc. He was at one point a trusted member of the community he grew up in but later fell into piracy.
  • Dreads- The other main character, an octopus that was cursed by a mysterious figure
  • Mik- An Avotoc familiar with weapons whom Skeli and Dreads encountered on their way through the universe

Universe (Omneutta)

  • Ontautt- The eight beings also called deities who created the universe and the other seven Sentient Species. They live on the central celestial body in Omneutta, which dominates the local space (Divine Forge) around it. [Comp1]
  • Xiruen- The towering giants of In Extremis and usually have short tempers. They reside in The Outcropping. [Comp1] [Comp2]
  • Avotoc- Short, skeleton like creatures that have a close relationship with seas and ice. Their homes in Pale Shores are distinguishable by the stark contrast between the seas, their beaches, and the mountains around them. [Comp1] [Comp2]
  • Kettlah- Are the In Extremis connection to the ethereal. They are able to commune with the deceased and some even have the ability to see into the future. They make their homes atop rocky pillars surrounded by mist across Vale Reef. [Comp1] [Comp2] [Comp3] [Comp4]
  • Porria- The intellectuals of Omneutta, though that's not to say the other Sentient Species lack intelligence. Their drive to know more leads to constant experimentation and research. Porria cities across Parallelium can be unsightly due to their plain and boring appearance.
  • Quarryn- Not really blind since they don't have eyes, but Quarryn rely on their other senses (mainly the touch of their three legs) as well as some sense of heat and air vibrations to navigate. They are very in tune with the natural world, coaxing trees to grow into houses over time in Matriarchal Grove. [Comp1] [Comp2] [Comp3]
  • Sha'an- The Sha'an are the magical, fiendish tricksters of Omneutta. They have a penchant for using magical abilities like transformation of self and others. Their communities throughout The Blade are in constant strife and turmoil. [Comp1]
  • Turath- Members of The Hilt who live in vibrant, thriving communities. Turath embrace learning, but not with the same blinding focus of the Porria, enabling them to value both form and function. [Comp1]

Music

I've also been writing music to go along with the artwork and the writing(literature), and recently put out an EP. The early and unpolished versions of the work is available on my soundcloud here as a playlist, while the more polished versions are available here as a download.
However, please do keep in mind that these are not the finished versions I plan to release as a soundtrack. These eight tracks are sort of like an artists' sketch as compared to a finished painting. These eight tracks help me outline the instrumentation for each species and their corner of the universe, as well as the melodies, rhythms and overall mood of each area.

I didn't want to throw down too much information in this first post, so I tried to keep it light with just images and the music. If you'd like to see more of my work including all the sketches and concepts I didn't include here (that I will hopefully be posting in the future, should there be interest), you can visit my website. A link is available in my signature.


Edited by Mr. Skeli'n, 15 February 2015 - 12:03 PM.


#2 (Insert)

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:57 PM

I like this stuff, it's pretty sweet. Any forecast on when you'll have artwork for Dreads and the Ontautt available on this thread?



#3 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 07:42 PM

Any forecast on when you'll have artwork for Dreads and the Ontautt available on this thread?

Dreads will probably be sooner rather than later. Sometime in February is entirely feasible. The Ontautt are tricky however, because each of the eight have their own unique forms along with the [still-yet-to-be-designed] form they all share.

Also, in other events, I invented a musical instrument. I also plan to have a big post tomorrow about Avotoc Culture that I've been working on for days. Maybe another surprise before the monthly Wrap-Up.


Edit: it is tomorrow, and as promised, here's the post on Avotoc Culture. The two new images are at the end (or here).


Edited by Mr. Skeli'n, 30 January 2015 - 11:55 AM.


#4 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 06:50 PM

I have started working on the Dreads sketches, and the various forms of the Ontautt (not the shared one), so those may come out within the next few weeks.

But for now, I drew some trees! Click this link to look at the homes (and various buildings) of the Quarryn.



#5 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 15 February 2015 - 12:05 PM

Well, here's Dreads. Well, there. (Also now in the OP)

Also, I drew some really weird ships. If you want to read my thoughts behind both (or either), you can check out my latest entry on my website.



#6 Spark

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 01:11 PM

As always, your stuff is the most unique that I've seen out of the projects that spawned from the forums we used to go to. The artwork for the separate species do a great job of making them distinct, and in some cases, creepy.


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#7 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 01 March 2015 - 08:25 AM

Thanks, I try and not make them too creepy but it happens. Distinct is what I aim for though.

 

As is an In Extremis 'tradition', I recap the end of every month with short summaries on what happened over the course of the month. You can check that out here.

Or, if you want to go to the new posts, check out Quarryn Culture, and Two Deities.

 

OR, if you just want the new artwork, check out Quarryn Clothing, Aster Concepts and Davoto Design.



#8 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 07:17 PM

Hey you guys, I've got a bit of stuff!

Turns out, I did some stuff over the past two weeks and haven't gotten around to telling you guys about it yet. So, here I go:

I posted two musical themes, one for our hero and one for the villain. I also announced I have a bandcamp (that has a free album, so score). I'll also be posting another EP to that bandcamp by the end of March- keep your eyes/ears peeled.

As far as artwork goes, I almost-finalized the design for the main deity, Aster. Then I made some artwork for the rest of the deities' shared form, and today I posted about their attire.

I'll be back eventually with more, unless anyone has comments/questions...?



#9 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 05:56 PM

Oh wow, I haven't updated this in a while. So, media dump time, here we go!

-Pale Shores EP: Listen to some nice guitar music made by/for some skeletons.

-Sha'an Attire: this is the finalized (more or less) versions, you can view some of my early sketches here.

-Overture: I wrote an Overture for the entire series (not just this plot-arc), and arranged it into a String Quartet for class.
-Ontiba: I finally got around to making the cover art for the holy text of In Extremis (click the picture). The first chapter can also be found here (I know it's writing material, but it felt odd to make a topic for just that).

 

 

So sorry I haven't posted about this in forever. If anybody has any questions or comments, please leave them and I'll address them ASAP. I've moved home and finally unpacked, so I'll be working on this project a lot more over the coming months.


Edit: Forgot to write out a summary of the Pale Shores EP.



#10 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 03:32 PM

I know I just posted a couple days ago, but I put out some really important stuff since then.

 

Chasing Shadows Hub: my homepage for the summer, as I chronicle the release of my book and its soundtrack.

Sha'an Masks: The masks serve as a point of identity, and these are only a sort of preview of what's available. Just some quick concepts.

Character Sketches: Though Koroh Vadem is the only new one, I included the other three main characters as well for a refresher.

 

You can also find everything mentioned in this post and the last in the May Wrap Up.

 

I'll try not to post again until the June Wrap-Up, unless anyone has questions/comments that I need to address.



#11 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 06:25 PM

As is typical for In Extremis, I posed a month-end Wrap-Up for June's posts.

 

Alternatively, here's what I did:

 

Music: In anticipation of the release of a LOT of music in August, I put out a series of 10-second clips for nine tracks. More posts like these are on the way (there's another one tomorrow).

Art: I did some promotional-esque artwork for the four (and a half?) main characters, as well as some little biographies for each character.

 

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the "Chasing Shadows Hub", which is linked to often on my latest posts (on my website), but it's currently down as it's filled with some spoilers of tomorrow's goodies.



#12 Araius

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:50 PM

Hey, man, there's some pretty cool stuff in here. Very nice and unique universe you've got going.

 

I like the stylized character designs (I get a vague Wind Waker-esque vibe, particularly, from the Skeli dude), and am intrigued by the whole story idea.

 

Also, the music is quite well done. It's all got a nice, consistent feel and I enjoy the mysterious/mystical piratey theme. How, if I may ask, do you go about making your music (work pipeline, software, etc.)?

 

But yeah, keep up the good work!


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#13 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:13 AM

Thanks! The artwork is definitely WW inspired, though I feel it draws more inspiration from The Minish Cap, with the cartoon-y characters and the painterly backgrounds (here's the book cover, as an example).

 

The music itself is done on a fairly simple process that has a few deviations from time to time:

If I've got a theme idea to work with I'll open up Sibelius and either find the notes with some singing and a pitch tracker, or play them in via MIDI keyboard. From there, I finish the theme arrangement and export MIDI data into Ableton Live 9. I'll arrange it into an instrumentation I like, then work on things like levels and panning before I export it.

 

Ambient ideas work pretty much the same way, I just usually skip the Sibelius part for that and go straight into Ableton with my MIDI keyboard and an instrument(s) that work for the mood I'm trying to set.

 

Another deviation is when I need something more abstract and digital feeling, I've written some software instruments in a program called PureData (it's open source! :D). I'm currently building a MIDI grainular sequencer specifically for one of my species' music, that way I can stop doing my implied-randomness calculations by hand.

 

Once all the music's finished, I'm going to bounce it between Pro Tools and Ableton to do some mastering, figuring out things like average SPL over the course of each track so I know how much compression I need to make the entire album sound coherent in volume.

 

 

There's all the software answers. If you have any other questions about pipeline, feel free to ask. Hope all that helped/made sense!



#14 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

I know I usually make a post at the end of the month, but I've been busy this month already and wanted to prime you guys for the end of the month. Because on the 29th of July, 2015 I'll be releasing my first novel after roughly three years of work. That's right, in just about 280 hours, I will be a (self) published author. In the meantime, here's some other stuff:

 

  • OST Preview 2: On the 1stI put out more samples of my upcoming soundtrack.
  • Release Dates announced: I've announced the release dates for the book, the two soundtracks, and another OST Preview date.
  • Soundtrack Artwork: I put out the two album covers for the OST and the Piano Soundtrack. Direct links- [OST] [Piano]
  • Soundtrack Comparison: In a minute of audio, I highlight the differences between the OST and Piano Arrangement of one of the tracks featured on both Soundtracks.

Not only am I putting out a book later this month, and two soundtracks in mid-August, I'm also doing another round of soundtrack previews on the 21st, so check the website (link in my signature) then if you're interested. I'll make another post at the end of the month with that information.



#15 Spark

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:12 PM

I'm looking forward to the book release. I've been interested in your setting (no matter what it seems like) since you've talked with me about it the first time, I feel like the book will be the major gateway into all of it.


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#16 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 08:01 AM

Today's the day! I normally write up a post at the end of the month as a wrap-up, but nothing's happening on the website over the next two days, so I'll make a makeshift wrap-up here, and include a few things I was going to talk about in the wrap-up on the website.

  • More Soundtrack Preveiws: Last round of previews before the soundtracks arrive in about three weeks!
  • eBook Release: Most importantly, I am finally a  (self) published author! You can get your copy of my first novel here, in ePUB or MOBI file formats. If you don't have a dedicated e-reader, I recommended an app/program, and you're free to find a different one if you so choose.

Next month I'll be releasing the two soundtracks to accompany the book, and that's pretty much it! In Extremis from here will start working on the next book, slowly- but as far as the website goes, I will start posting info pages on characters, locations, and items from the book on the website, now that they won't be spoiling people.



#17 Spark

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 05:06 PM

Finished reading the book (as I've told you), and I've stated several suggestions to you already.

 

If you're gonna continue expanding the artwork side of the project, you really should consider giving us a visual look into Ohr.

 

Can post more if I think of anything else.


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#18 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 07:27 PM

All really interesting stuff here man, originality is hard to find, but you're doing a great job of being original. Cheers man, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

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#19 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 04:56 PM

So it's the end of August and now I have a wrap up of what happened this month:

  • Chasing Shadows: A new, streamlined hub where you can find links on where to get the book and soundtracks, and also how to listen to the soundtracks for FREE on YouTube in their entirety.
  • Future Plans Part VI: Another one of my numbered posts about the future of InEx. TL;DR- More articles to support the book, and start working on the sequel.
  • Skeli: The first article from Chasing Shadows- about our main adventurer. SPOILER WARNING
  • Gallants of Cyliajaca: A CYoA game for the forum to partake in set in the InEx universe. Only a small amount of reading to do in order to catch up (I'll post soon, promise)

September will have more Gallants, more Articles, more Artwork and maybe a couple of blog posts.

Thanks Neyo for the kind words, and Spark- I'll try to work on some Ohr artwork and an article to work in with the Chasing Shadows stuff.



#20 Mr. Skeli'n

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 07:42 AM

Hey all, don't have an update until the end of month but I do have something-

 

I'm working on articles for each deity, so if there was anything you wanted to know about them in general or anything about a deity in particular now would be a fantastic time to ask. I want to answer questions you guys have with articles, not just put out information.






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