THE HERO

Quantumyth Symbol.png

IN THE ENTAPH WORLD, EMOTIONS BECOME REALITY

This story is dedicated to Ray, and to all those who bring light to dark places.

INTRODUCTION

 

A Strange story for a strange time

I first created The Hero (formerly known as Entaph) without having any particular medium for it in mind.

 

As the characters, creatures and world of The Hero began taking shape however, I slowly started to envision it as an interactive tale.

 

The DNA of The Hero comes from many sources - some of which I'm sure you'll be familiar with. Works of literature, film and even music, but most of them are games:

 

Journey, Flower, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona, The Last Guardian, Abzû, The Legend Of Zelda, Soul Reaver, Final Fantasy, Golem, Ori & The Blind Forest, Papo & Yo, Rime, Vane, Fe, Limbo, Inside, Sable, Toren and The Pathless -

 

No other medium could give The Hero the same level of immersive, emotional storytelling that these titles have.

 

All the same, my experience in creating complex, interconnected art projects over the years has taught me that even when the ideal medium is found, the creative process itself - of actually making something real - is always the greatest challenge.

 

On top of that, I'd say that it's even more difficult when the story is one that you actually, genuinely care about - one which you truly believe will be worth all the effort in the end (so many sketches and rewrites) and will stand the test of time.

 

The Hero has become that story for me, and it is my sincere hope that it becomes that story for you too.

 

This writing, like all Quantumyth Compendium Primers, serves as more than just a design brief or information booklet -

 

it contains a detailed plot summary, a condensed encyclopaedia, a pocket bestiary, an art gallery, as well as a look behind-the scenes, all in 30 pages.

 

The way you do anything, is the way you do everything, as the old saying goes, and I wanted your very first look at The Hero to feel that way. I wanted to go all out!

 

After all, if you are reading this, you are one of the first people ever to know about The Quantumyth, so showing you the level of love and care that has been poured into it from the start is crucial.

 

Your early interest in The Hero at the Compendium Primer stage -

 

before it is adapted into an interactive title, which is the plan - will not be taken for granted. 

 

I truly hope this comes across on every page of this writing, and eventually in every aspect of the final game itself.

 

On behalf of the whole (and growing) Quantumyth team, Thank you so much for reading!

Yours Sincerely,

Albert Chessa

 

26/6/15

updated 6/12/20

CONTENTS

 

"...Faith. we must have Faith that we will succeed in our Quest."

 

Vadra, The Faithseer

 

INTRODUCTION

INDEX

STORY

The Dream

The Mansion

The Hearth

The Forest

The Observatory

The First Story

The Plan

The Escape

The Toymaker

The Heartlands

The Warrior In Exile

The Heart Forge

The Crestfallen

The Canyon Of Whispers

The Mindscape

The Mind Forge

The Wilted Wastes 

The Truth Forge

The Dark

The Light

CHARACTERS

The Old Man

Tavi

Telo

Vadra

Tarpley

Delven

Gareva

Varethas

Hespith

Belshazur

Yoxa

Ovoka

Toza

Alateth

The Light Woman

 

CREATURES

Shadewight

Moaner

Clasper

Kemnu Butterfly

Lionhound

Aspik 

Lurkfiend

Icejaw

Skystalker

Whisperkin

Shifter

Shalma Deer

 

LOCATIONS

The Real World

The Mansion

The Park

The Entaph World

The Ruins

The Forest

The Tunnels

The Observatory

The Caves

The Cliffs

The Canyon

The Forges

The Palace

 

ABOUT

The Artist/Author

The Quantumyth

The Team

CONTACT

CREDITS

 

S T O R Y The Dream • The Mansion • The Hearth An Old Man stands in a blue field. A Shadow looms over him. The Old Man is scared.

 

A Light appears, beyond the Shadow. It has a vaguely feminine shape...

The OLD MAN smiles, and walks towards it. The Light recedes, he tries to follow... But he can't reach it. He stops, gasps, and falls to ground.

 

He begins to cry, closing his eyes to stop the tears from falling...

 

The moment his eyes close, The Old Man wakes up in his room. After a self-reflecting pause, he gets up and walks past his mantelpiece. Set upon it, dusty and cracked, are frames with no photos in them. He goes to the window. It's raining. The Old Man gets dressed.

 

His home is a mansion, full of art, masks and books. He gets his scarf, gloves, briefcase and finally, his old coat from it's peg. His gaze lingers on the empty peg next to it. He leaves home and walks towards the University, where he teaches. He stops to looks at The Park in the rain. He decides to go in. The are people, their eyes covered by umbrellas. There is a market setting up in The Park. He walks up to a market stall. It is covered in trinkets - AMULETS.

 

One amulet stands out from the rest. It's blue, the same hue from the field in his dream. It is cracked in three places. He buys it. He looks around for the stall owner, but can't find anyone. He leaves the money, and puts the amulet inside his breast pocket. After he leaves, a shadowy form appears next to the stall. The Old Man enters the University. He walks into the Lecture Hall, and steps to the podium. He begins his lecture. He pauses to look up at the students - their faces seem to be all blurry. One of the blurry-faced, shadowy students slowly raises their hand.

 

One by one, all of them do. The Old Man's heart starts to glow blue - it is the amulet inside his left jacket pocket. He is scared. The students silently rise, and slowly approach him. The Old man covers his heart and leaves. The Old Man walks as fast he can back home. In the rainy haze, he sees shadowy figures, leering at him from behind trees at The Park, spying on him. He gets home and locks his door, Which has SEVEN locks on it. In an overwhelmed, emotional fit, he throws his briefcase on the floor. He sits at the fireplace, shivering cold and wet.

 

He takes out the amulet and looks at it. The light from his dreams fills his hand. He is scared. The fear of senility, dementia and death fill him. He breathes heavily and clasps the amulet tightly. His eyes close...Then open. He looks around. His house looks ransacked, abandoned. He gets up and looks around his office. He looks at the mantlepiece. The frames are gone. He trips over his briefcase, knocking some dusty books over. He hears a sound, coming from the door.

 

Suddenly he is afraid again. He stops, frozen to the spot. He looks at the doorknob. He reaches for it, heart racing...But the door opens on it's own. In the doorway stands a small Creature - like a meerkat crossed with a dove. Astonished but curious, the Old Man crouches down to greet it. It seems cautious, wary. Slowly, the Old Man extends his hand. The Creature suddenly bolts. He follows it downstairs. In the hall, reality ripples. Is this the Afterlife? A Dementia fever dream?

 

He hears the Creature again, it's sounds leading to the basement. He enters, and it gets dark. The amulet glows, giving him sight. He listens for sound. Knowingly, he goes to the bookcase. He feels it's surface until he hears a click, and a secret door opens. The Old Man steps inside. Fire-lit tarps hang everywhere. This was a special place for him in his younger days. There is another creature now - this one has a duck's mouth. The two creatures look at him. He shows them he means no harm. The place is cosy, warm...There are a few books, and some cushions.

 

Duckmouth hops over to the Old Man's glowing amulet. Both Creatures bid him to sit. Dovecat fetches an ancient-looking book and opens it for him. She silently flips to a particular page, showing a human seemingly 'creating' creatures that look just like Duckmouth and Dovecat. He wonders if, to them, humans might be considered gods. As the two creatures converse, the Old Man looks through the book. He thinks he sees a picture of what looked like his amulet...

 

Before he can make sure, the creatures chirp and gesture, as if to say 'We have to go, now.' They pack three rucksacks, and start extinguishing candles. They open a carpet-covered hatch, and head into a dug-out tunnel, sealing it behind them. The mud-tunnel becomes glyph-covered stone floor. Evading patrolling SHADEWIGHTS, they emerge under a dark sky.

 

'Quickly, this way...'

 

S T O R Y The Forest • The Observatory • The First Story

 

Before the trio spreads an ANCIENT FOREST, now a Quarantine Zone, filled with patrolling shadows. As they make their way, The Old Man asks where they're headed. The creatures just chirp hurriedly in response, making hand signs which he doesn't understand.

 

Settling in for the night, Dovecat helps The Old Man up into a tree where they'll spend the night. From there he sees a distant Observatory. As night falls, The Old Man offers his coat as shelter from the cold, and the two creatures huddle up to him. As night falls, the amulet faintly glows in his jacket, which keeps them warm, and they fall asleep. They wake to loud, ominous squawks. Above the canopy are flying shadows - SKYSTALKERS, winged, one-eyed beasts, ever-watching.

 

Ahead of them is the old Observatory. They pass shadow-repelling GLYPHSTONES, which draw KEMNU BUTTERFLIES. The door once again opens before he can knock, and a tall, humanoid creature with an ornate cape appears. She acknowledges them all, but her eyes widen upon seeing the old man and the Amulet. It glows blue in response. She hastily bids them all inside. The Tall One waves her hand, and the path seals behind them. She says her KEMNU friends told her they were coming - flying feline insectoids who now perch all around her home. She regards the Old Man's amulet and waves her hand again, which makes the amulet glow very, very bright, seemingly waking it up. She closes the blinds, and the Observatory goes dark.

 

The Old Man notices he can now understand them - the amulet works like a translator on his chest. The Tall One introduces herself as VADRA, who then introduces the others. The Duckmouth one is TELO, and the Dovecat is TAVI. Vadra says she knows the Old Man must have many questions, and that the easiest way is to start from the very beginning.

 

Vadra goes to a GLYPHSTONE PLINTH and deftly traces the seemingly chaotic, undulating PATTERNS in a specific sequence. Seams appear along them and the PLINTH opens, revealing a book with a symbol just like the Old Man's AMULET on the cover. Vadra says this is 'The First Story'- a sacred tome which has been outlawed in their world. She begins to read from it:

 

'Before Time Itself, there were three forces - GOOD, EVIL and BALANCE. Good and Evil, the two polarities, had physical forms, whilst Balance was immaterial, liminal. All three forged existence together. For her Wisdom and Grace, Good fell helplessly in love with Balance. His love was such that he wished that she too held a physical form, so that they may hold one another. And so Good poured his wish into an Amulet, which he forged for her mind, soul and body to be able to cross over into his physical realm. Good placed the reality-altering Amulet upon Balance, and to keep their love a secret from Evil, they made a secret language - The Glyphs. These became THE ANCIENT MAGIC - symbols imbued with the forces of creation, love and truth. As the three continued to weave existence together, Evil inevitably discovered the patterns appearing across the land. Unable to understand their love, Evil became jealous, and struck at Balance, ripping the Amulet from her. He crushed it in his grasp, fracturing it in three places, and cast it into the Void, seemingly lost forever. Good and Evil fought, but by the time Evil was pushed back, Balance had lost her physical form forever. Thus Good and Evil, to this day, are always clashing. The First Story - divined from these Glyphstone patterns - imparts a prophecy: That one day, the power of that FIRST LOVE will call the Amulet back to this land.'

 

Vadra explains that the ENTAPH - their kind - were the first race which the THREE FORCES made, birthed by BALANCE. They once lived under their creators in their own realm, tied to Her life- force. When She left the world, their own immaterial world began to fade as well. To save her children, GOOD made it so that humans - a physical race which He shaped, would act as 'hosts' to the fading Entaph world. Thenceforth, every human bond 'hosts' an Entaph - a sENTient metAPHor, sustained and shaped by how humans relate to one another: with love, hate, or anything between. Indeed, EVIL itself also made a race - the SHADE-KIN. Made to destroy the bond between GOOD and BALANCE, these foul beings have no world of their own - instead, they plague those of both Humans and Entaph. ONE has risen to reign - the dreaded LORD TOZA. A sickly, sadistic reincarnation of EVIL itself who has outlawed MAGIC and spread its shadows everywhere, ruining the land. Vadra ends her story by saying that the arrival of a human into their world - with the AMULET no less - is a sign that THE ANCIENT MAGIC, the forces of love, creation and truth, have returned. As a human, a herald of GOOD, the Old Man wields the power of His creator in the Entaph world, and with the AMULET can open the way to the THREE FORGES, great fires where the amulet was wrought. Vadra ends her tale:

 

'Re-kindle their fires. Re-forge the Amulet. Bring warmth, truth and love back to the world.’

 

📷

 

S T O R Y The Plan • The Escape • The Toymaker

 

The Old Man asks Vadra about the Shadows, and how they are going to be able to fight them. Vadra responds that, like her, he too can learn to wield the ancient Glyph-Magic for self defence. The Glyphs, being made of love and truth, are the antithesis to Evil, and are capable of vanquishing Shade-Kin. She confesses that due to a great drought of this magic in the world, she has only been able to fight off the smaller ones. Due to her reduced power, she has had to hide in the forest, masquerading as an eccentric but harmless scientist, studying far-off worlds.

 

Vadra explains she was once a FAITHSEER - an order of Entaph committed to preserving faith in magic, truth and love in its prolonged absence from the world. She was exiled to the forest after ALATETH - the last known reincarnation of Good, of which there have been far fewer than for EVIL - was defeated and consumed by TOZA. She was one of ALATETH's trusted council.

 

This is how Toza has been able to maintain power - outlaw any means of fighting back fear. Those who try to run or fight, become assimilated into shadow, and only add to Toza's ranks. The Old Man understands what he must do, but he asks only one question - why did the Amulet come to him, out of all the humans who could have found it?

 

She replies that she isn't sure, but as a researcher, she is happy to venture a guess - could it be that it was drawn to his heart, like the Kemnu to the Glyphstones? Could there be something about his own heart that resonated with the amulet? Perhaps, in time, this will become clear. Vadra closes the book and seals the plinth. She explains that Telo and Tavi are her little spies, having rescued them from a band of SHADEWIGHTS after the two were caught conjuring their own Glyph Magic. Entaph are sustained by it's beams, but Toza allows only enough for the populace to remain alive - just so they can suffer. Their suffering, in turn, gives energy to Evil, and to the Shadows.

 

Toza does even worse - In place of the First Story, which he has banned and destroyed countless books of, he proclaims that humans are mere myths, fairy tales created by 'evil' Entaph to give their cause a false pretence. Toza lies constantly, to keep himself in power. Vadra solemnly intones:

 

'Evil cannot be allowed to reign any longer. We must do something, or our world will fall.’

 

After a moment of reflection, The Old Man turns to her and nods, saying he will help.

She says they must leave at once for the first FORGE, the closest of which is THE HEART FORGE. Just then, Vadra is encircled by THREE just-arrived KEMNU BUTTERFLIES. They bring her news that the Shadows are alerted to the presence of not only a human, but of the amulet in their world. She bids the three creatures to fly as fast as they can to any remaining EXILES, to alert them of what is at hand, advising them to be careful and avoid being caught at all costs.

 

Vadra gathers her Glyph Books and some provisions, glancing outside of the window to see the observatory being surrounded by Shadows. The trio hastily head up the stairs towards the main observatory deck. Vadra, her magic powers now boosted by it, draws power from the amulet and casts a FAITHSPELL on Tavi, who is the winged one among them. Tavi transforms, her wings growing many times their original size, her body as well. Tavi gathers them all on her back, and the four of them fly off, darting in the air to avoid the many SKYSTALKERS around.

 

Just as they pass the woods, Vadra's spell wears off, and they proceed on foot towards the HEART FORGE. Making their way across a golden, swaying, ethereal field, they spot an outlying cottage. Vadra says its very likely whoever lives there saw them alight nearby, and that they must keep their presence hidden. They approach, and instead of a confrontation, they meet TARPLEY - an Entaph Toymaker, also exiled beyond the wildwoods with his pet Zylma, TOSMET. He also served ALATETH, who believed in reciprocity between Entaph and their human hosts - bringing joy to one would do so for the other as well. His toys brought delight to many Entaph children, who in turn caused their human hosts to become inexplicably happy out of nowhere. TOZA, instead, wishes to sap away joy, until both human and Entaph forget how to live. He shows the party his toy room, and singles out a very special pair of carvings - his 'two guardian angels', made to resemble his host humans - an old married couple from Persia. As he looks closer, the Old Man sees that they are both broken, snapped during a Shadekin Attack. Tarpley simply states that, even if not on the outside, 'breaks can indeed mend.’

 

By Tarpley's fireplace, Tosmet playfully wrestles around with Telo and Tavi.

 

📷

 

S T O R Y The Heartlands • The Warrior In Exile

 

Sensing the Toymaker to be trustworthy, Vadra explains to him that they seek the forges. TARPLEY reminds them of another of TOZA's evil doings - 'Toza lets none remember where they are. His is a force of fear, and fear needs the darkness of ignorance to thrive. It needs truth to be blacked out.' But Tarpley is old. He remembers. He takes them behind his workshop and shows them the underside of his table. There is a very old cloth MAP. He explains that 'he once tried' to find the HEART FORGE, but that was long ago, in his youth. He had followed the glyphs, but got lost on the way. The Old Man asks why. Tarpley responds simply - 'Someone I Lost. Someone I Love.'

 

Vadra hears sounds outside. It's as though merely speaking that word - Love - draws the agents of Toza to snuff it out. TARPLEY spitefully recites a line of forbidden Glyph Magic in response - 'As truth gathers power, fear will feel it near' . Tarpley does not care anymore. He smiles. He bids them to leave by a hidden passage, saying he will hold them at bay for their escape. As they flee, all the Old Man can see is Tarpley opening the door on the shadows, ready.

 

The party flee with TARPLEY'S MAP. To make their escape, once again Vadra casts a Faithspell, this time on TELO, who swells to the size of a small house, his formerly slight forearms becoming like tree trunks. With the gait of a loping gorilla, The four continue towards the FORGES.

 

As they run, they see a pack of LIONHOUNDS begin to chase them. They flee for a while, but are eventually cornered in a canyon. Out of the corner of his eye, the Old Man sees a KEMNU flutter by. After a tense standoff, the LIONHOUNDS are called off by a huge, booming voice.

 

A large, Armoured Warrior approaches. The amulet glows fiercely. 'Who dares enter this land?', the figure bellows. VADRA moves to the front of the group from behind the Old Man, and explains that she recognises that armour. The Large Warrior removes his helmet, and dismounts his steed, ASPIC. He looks at VADRA in disbelief. She calmly says it is good to see the warrior after so long. The warrior walks towards them, and under the canopy of a blue-purple blossom tree, he speaks to her: 'And it is even better to see you, VADRA. Too long indeed.'

 

VADRA turns to the other three and says that this is DELVEN, exiled guardian of the HEART FORGE. The Warrior spares no words, and directly asks the Old Man 'how came you by this?'

 

'It came to him, DELVEN. It is the very same one from The First Story. The Prophecy is nigh.’

 

'So you sent the KEMNU,' DELVEN states. VADRA nods. Delven states the KEMNU are, like the GLYPHSTONES, among the last droplets of truth left in the world. VADRA replies, saying truth is always drawn to truth. They share a smile, and DELVEN proceeds to speak with the group.

 

'I do not guard the FORGE any longer. When ALATETH first scattered us across the land, the FORGES held their own Glyph Barriers up, keeping TOZA's kin at bay. Under his reign, the barriers fell, and I was forced to abandon my post. I'd have died fighting, but ASPIC would not abide it. His sorry hide kept a moanin', putting himself between the enemy and me. Didn't you, pal?'

 

ASPIC gave DELVEN an affectionate bump in the side. DELVEN continued.

 

'I knew I wasn't making much of a difference, lingering here. There isn't enough truth or love in this world now to keep even an ember of the forge alive, and those are the only energies that can power it. I'm just here out of ceremony. Well, hopelessness more than that, I suppose.’

 

His brow lowers, but after a pause, he looks at the Old Man. 'But that amulet sure brings back memories.' VADRA then speaks. 'More than just Memories, DELVEN. It's bringing those energies BACK. It's happening. The prophecy is here. And this human has the power to rekindle the FORGES, and re-make the amulet - the Promised Herald. All three are the creations of GOOD - Amulet, Human and Forge. It is a connection which he can tap into.'

 

DELVEN shakes his head, and asks how they can be sure, as nothing like this has come to pass before. 'Were going on pure faith'. VADRA states that's where she, a FAITHSEER, comes in.

 

'My powers have returned with the arrival of the Amulet. I have cast spells on these two smaller ones, and should he need it, I will do so for the human, as we seek to reignite the fires.'

 

For the first time in untold days, DELVEN has hope in his heart. He and ASPIC join the party.

 

📷

 

S T O R Y The Ancient Heart Forge • The Crestfallen

 

Telo, Tavi, Delven, Vadra and The Old Man all pile onto Aspic, an enormous beast of burden. They traverse the HEARTLANDS towards the FORGE that looms ahead. Already things have started to change around them - there are more hostile Entaph types surrounding the FORGE.

 

Vadra tells a story about the AMULET'S SONG, of how BALANCE used to hum to herself and make GOOD come over to her and give her gifts of creation. He made flowers for her, he made streams and babbling brooks. The darker places though - this is where DELVEN takes over the story. He explains that TOZA also created things for his own, twisted pleasure.

 

The creatures that haunt the HEART FORGE are Entaphs that have had their hearts removed, or tainted by TOZA - all the better to enslave them, siphon from their fear and confusion, and ultimately sap power from their painful deaths. Telo comments on how fast the conversation turned.

 

They arrive at the remains of the HEART FORGE, dismounting from Aspic and preparing for the trek inside. DELVEN and VADRA offer insights about the construction of the FORGES, how great celebrations would be held every year here to commemorate the HEART, as well as love and friendship.

 

The five head into the dilapidated labyrinth. The amulet glows on The Old Man, reacting to the place it was forged. It becomes like a compass, leading the group to the flames of its making. Delven & Vadra remember. ENEMIES pursue them in the darkness as the party makes their way.

 

The group come across Truth Glyphs, and the Amulet translates the old magic. 'Here be her heart forged in this world anew, for my love'. Vadra speaks: 'This. This is the kiln of the HEART FORGE.' As they enter, the door behind them seals, and the grand room darkens.

 

Snarls and roars can be heard from the gloom, and the Forge Guardian Monster - Gareva - emerges, one of Toza's dread lieutenants. The great spindly beast mocks their endeavour to revive the forge: 'I have tangled the paths of this place. You will never get out!'.

 

The party fight GAREVA, and together defeat it. from Gareva's corpse, glyphs rise, and his story is shown. He was a frightened courtier of TOZA, whose family were murdered in secret by the very ruler he pledged himself to. His heart entangled by confusion and grief, GAREVA was thus manipulated by TOZA into becoming the monster that guarded the HEART FORGE.

 

The Glyphs then float off, their truth set free from their monstrous prison, and help to light the forge. The amulet lifts from the Old Man's hands, and one of the three cracks is repaired.

 

It returns to him, and the forge is HEALED. The formerly twisted paths straighten, and they are able to follow them through the Kiln room to the other side, with ancient symbols carved into the ground clearly pointing towards the next FORGE. They survey the landscapes ahead from the Opened Way. Upon ASPIC once more, they make their way towards valley.

 

As they descend into Willowmere Gorge, they are beset by a battalion of rebels, who must have seen the forge awaken from afar. They defected from Toza - and Varethas, The Crestfallen, their leader, introduces himself. He warns of the strange seer who haunts the path ahead. Varethas rides west with his host, and bids the party good luck in these troubled times.

 

They head into a narrow passage known as The Throat, which has become so caked-over in corrupted magic that they barely make it through. As they emerge, they hear sudden movements in the Willow trees around them. Aspic, now wary, starts to moan. VADRA speaks: 'This place...it's being strangled'. TELA adds: 'Who could even live here?' The dry, dead branches of some of the seemingly dead willows come alive and transform into thin, hollow humanoids. They close in around the party, and they begin hissing at them in warning.

 

Aspic rears up, defiantly, but the creatures literally wisps away the party's weapons. Everything save the AMULET is taken from them. The creatures close in, inspecting it, reach for it... but then relent, and merely poke at them, inquisitively now, without threat. After a pause, they motion for the party to follow them. Silently, they are escorted up a winding trail. They come to a peak, barren and windy, and from the whispering winds, a shape materialises, crouched, with a long tail...

 

📷

 

S T O R Y The Canyon Of Whispers • The Mindscape

 

The Wispy Figure bids the woodkin to lower their arms. Lithe and mysterious, she approaches party, eyes wide with intrigue. She introduces self - 'Welcome, travellers. I am Hespith—' DELVEN interrupts suddenly, finishing her sentence, 'Aye, the Sage of Whispers. You too were one of ALATETH's council...'

 

Just then, a KEMNU lands on Hespith's crown. She is the second exile which Vadra spoke of. Aloof and perilous, Hespith asks why they have the amulet of Prophecy. Wary, The Old Man asks how she knows he had it. She interpreted the will of the Glyphstones for ALATETH, whispering to her. Hespith spoke:

 

'My whisperkin are everywhere. They do as I bid them to. The AMULET itself caused them to relent...and in its presence, in this very moment, my memory begins to return. VADRA, my sister, I am not surprised you do not remember me. Think now, though, back to our exile. TOZA cast us out, but before doing so with me...I am changed, sister. The Evil Lord would not have me as any Sage in his court, and silenced my voice to a mere whisper, strangling me. I called out, but you did not hear. After he was done with me, I was left in this valley, helpless, with none to hear my voice. But the Whisperkin, they did not need to hear me - they sensed my peril, and came to my aid.'

 

'The Whispering Peak became my home. I was too weakened to venture forth and reunite with the others, and TOZA's obfuscated our memories of each other, so that we would never reconnect and plot against him. Before the AMULET arrived, the KEMNU would not have known where to find me...they fly along lay lines of love and clarity, anathema to TOZA. So parched was this world of any truth, of any of the old magic, for so long...When the AMULET came, it reawakened the small droplets of truth left in this world, however small...be they in our hearts, in the Glyphstone, or in the KEMNU.'

 

VADRA could sense that HESPITH had indeed changed. She spoke so impersonally, almost as though in a prophetic trance - her mind, sadly, seems to have been broken.

 

'Back then, GOOD was ascendant on the great cycle, and ALATETH was just and good to the people. When TOZA rose up to engulf her, it was — I was there, VADRA. I remember. ALATETH grew ill. It did not happen all at once. Her heart began to tangle up. Her mind began to freeze over. None knew where this came from, until...'

 

At this, HESPITH began to weep, memories rushing back to her in a torrent of thought and emotion.

 

'ALATETH rose up in her court, damning us, cursing us. It struck at our very core. The transformation...TOZA entered her from her shadow, from her very depths, VADRA. No one knew what caused this, where this darkness had entered from...but we had no time to find out. It was too late. The court was instantly turned, and you and I, the council...we were expelled by that unending darkness. We had no CHOICE.'

 

As her voice rose, HESPITH suddenly collapses - and as VADRA drew close to her, her voice is but a small, strained whisper. ‘The way is perilous, sister. The shadow-kin saw the forge re- kindled, and they amass in the east. I have seen them, the rising tide of shadow. They move faster by the day, and not even the valley will be safe. The Whisperkin bring me word of TOZA mobilising, quelling the oppressed populace, beating his lies further into their hearts and minds. For their sake, you cannot fail in your task.'

 

'I will not fail, sister. We will not —.’

 

Terrified, VADRA gestures to the skies, and The Whisperkin instinctively form a cocoon around the party. SKYSTALKERS, larger and even more bestial now, fly overhead. After a time, as they recover and HESPITH regains more of her voice and strength, she is able to join the party. They emerge from hiding and go forth.

 

The MIND FORGE awaits at the other end of the valley. VADRA casts a spell on Delven and Aspic, and his heart-flame blasts through the blocked passages. They enter a frost-bitten, desolate realm...the MINDSCAPE, heading towards the forge. VADRA and HESPITH's glyph magic melts the ice as they walk up to a giant WALL. Vadra intones, 'Walls. Walls up around the Mind...'

 

📷

 

S T O R Y The Ancient Mind Forge •The Wilted Wastes

As with the HEART FORGE, they bypass the SHADE-KIN and other obstacles of the FROZEN KEEP. As they enter the INNER FORGE,

 

they encounter a massive ICE WARRIOR, the guardian of the MIND FORGE, YOXA.

 

The figure menacingly speaks of the HEART, and how it has frozen over, never to be freed from its cold, impenetrable prison. The party struggle badly to fight him, and in fact, they are defeated and forced to flee. DELVEN is wounded in the battle, and sadly, ASPIC is slain.

 

As YOXA closes in to end Delven's life as well, the fell being's blade is deflected by an impossibly fast, feathered figure. A bearded, half-man, half-owl reptilian figure defiantly protects DELVEN. He wards the part off, tells them to flee, causing the passage to the INNER FORGE to collapse. As the whole party fall, they find themselves being held aloft by GIANT WINGS...the figure had transformed, without any aid from the amulet or VADRA, and takes them far from the ruins.

 

They land at EYRIE'S HOVEL, in an alcove within the mountain, just below the PEAK. The bird-man transforms back into his normal form - that of avian, reptilian wizard. He approaches them, and inspects them, silently. The wise old being introduces himself - BELSHAZUR. He explains that though the AMULET may have broken the seal, it seems the grip of the mind is stronger, that 'the heart came 'round easier...'

 

The party listen to BELSHAZUR inside his dojo-hut, as he tells his tale to TELO, TAVI, DELVEN, VADRA, HESPITH and the OLD MAN. A Kemnu alights upon his brow.

 

'I left of my own volition, before TOZA took reign. Many accused me of being a faithless abandoner. But I could see the darkness coming within ALATETH. She warned me, knowing how events would unfold. She sent me here, and I did not understand. I could have fought, I could have helped the rest of the council beat back the Darkness. But all she told me was ‘When the heart and the mind find balance once again, the truth will be shown.’

 

'Those were the last words I heard her speak as herself, as ALATETH - before TOZA took her over from within.' BELSHAZUR spent the time here, watching over the heart as ALATETH asked him to do, even as it froze over. And in this time he looked to the prophecy, and to wisdom, for the answer. He tells the party that without his help, they cannot hope to rekindle the HEART FORGE. But now, together, they can. 

They return to YOXA, and together, are able to fight him...but BELSHAZUR sacrifices himself to pin him down, for DELVEN to deal the finishing blow. The AMULET floats into YOXA's glyph-fire, and reveals that he too was a courtier of ALATETH, whose mind was broken by TOZA. The AMULET is healed once more, the second crack mending.

For the first time, then normally mute TAVI now speaks, and says that BELSHAZUR is still with them on their journey to the final forge, the TRUTH FORGE, in spirit. Disheartened, but grimly determined, the group move through the forge, and see beyond the Tharrow Plains, onwards towards the forge.

The fields before them are tinged with RED and BLUE, and it becomes clear that they are the intermingling energies of HEART and MIND, now free to mix, released from the prisons of the corrupted forges. In this place, those energies are free to dwell and intermingle, unfettered, forming a gently violet, endless mist.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a GIGANTIC CREATURE emerges from the Red and Blue mists at the precipice...it is a Plains Strider Entaph, named OVOKA.

The Ancient Truth Forge • The Dark • The Light

This ENTAPH is so ancient that it speaks the elder GLYPH TONGUE. Tavi translates for the party, and tells OVOKA of Belshazur.Ovoka nods her/his understanding, saying that BELSHAZUR is a good friend, and that he is not truly gone. OVOKA speaks of today as the day it fulfils its promise to the scruffy old wise entaph - to take 'those who kept faith in heart and mind' to the final forge. No Lord Toza or anyone is able to topple such a large and ancient ENTAPH, whose hosts are an old married couple who have transcended, as BELSHAZUR have, into eternal, ever-vibrant life. As they near the Shadow-guarded TRUTH FORGE, Ovoka gathers to its stride schools of Luciforms, flying-fish type entaphs. Before leaving them, OVOKA says that it saw TOZA himself come to guard the final FORGE, for rekindling it would complete the prophecy and end his reign. It warns that TOZA has made the TRUTH FORGE a realm of falsehood and illusion, and tells them all to be very careful. With that, OVOKA strides back into the red-blue mist.

They all enter, but one by one, the companions fade away, until it is only The Old Man. Such is the way of TOZA - fear, falsehood, lies. He speaks to TOM - 'You will never reach the truth. You will die in darkness. It is all over.'

The amulet is stripped from him, and he collapses into darkness. He feels the shadow nearing, just like in his dream. All of a sudden, the field glows BLUE...the same colour as the amulet, but it is coming from his own HEART.

TOZA refuses to believe it - he wails and thrashes, screaming in disbelief at how TOM - The Old Man - can generate a light, when the source of all light in the world is in his evil clutches?

IT IS BECAUSE LIGHT AND LOVE IS ETERNAL, UNCONDITIONAL AND EVERYWHERE, ABLE TO BE TAPPED INTO ANY TIME, ALWAYS.

TOZA convulses, scorched by an inner light - the AMULET, which he had devoured to consume back its power, bursts out of him. It is the woman form from his dream. The final crack is healed, and we see the cause of the world's descent into darkness. The old man lost his faith, his heart, his mind, his wisdom, and his truth. His plight was that of the Entaph World. This is why he was chosen by the AMULET. An entire world awaited to be reborn within him. The AMULET has been remade, just as he has. BALANCE has truly returned, to a world where GOOD exists alongside EVIL, which sometimes holds sway - and that layered, beautiful TRUTH within the universe is the nature of DIVINITY. There is no heaven but the present, ever-eternal moment, and things can never be always good, nor always bad. Love will come, as will faith, and as will truth. Always.

With tears in his eyes, he embraces the female form - made of GOOD and BALANCE - bathed in light. Surrounding him are all SEVEN - TAVI, TELO, VADRA, DELVEN, HESPITH, BELSHAZUR and ALATETH, all smiling, connected to each other and him again. The light he sees becomes the sunlight of a day in the park. He is walking, and sees faces, umbrellas now lifted away... and along the path, he sees a woman on a bench, reading. He walks up to her, his hat removed in his hand, and speaks to her.

On the mantelpiece in the Old Man's home, the frames are filled with beautiful, love-filled memories.

The End

All names, places and characters are the intellectual property of Albert Chessa (c) 2021 

C H A R AC T E R S T H E O L D M AN

Rutger Hauer (Voice & Performance Type)
Ivo from Tangerines (Face, Beard)
Caractacus Potts (Jacket & Gloves)
Sir Maddox from Black Angel (Gravitas)
Sir. David Attenborough (Gravitas & Presence)
Private Godfrey from Dad's Army (Earnestness, Boots) Wyvern from Pirates of the Caribbean(Melancholy, Face) Ageing Man from Groundhog Day (Clothes, Smile)

Joe Brady from Godzilla (Eyes, Posture, Emotional Weight)

A University Professor in his mid 70s,
The Old Man (TOM for short) embarks on a journey in The Entaph World. His residence is a grand old mansion, filled with books.

He is earnest, solemn, vulnerable, melancholy & brave.

T A VI

Saorsie Ronan (Voice & Performance Type)
Vivi from FFIX (Stature, Quiet Bravery, Arc)
Mrs. Brisby from NIMH (Earnestness, Bravery)
Ori from Ori & The Blind Forest (Faeness, Movement) Meerkat from Nature (Arm Joints, Posture)

Stitch from Lilo & Stitch (Ears, Movement)
Trico from The Last Guardian (Horns, Eyes, Snout) Moogle from FFXII (Wings, posture, anatomy)
Mew from Pokemon (Tail, Flight, Movement)
Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Vibe)

A diminutive, quiet yet resourceful female Entaph, Tavi lives with Telo in The Old Abandoned Mansion. Their home is a cosy fireplace-lit nook, filled with books.

She represents the First Chakra, corresponding with Tribal Energy.

T EL O

Paul Dano (Voice & Performance Type) Donald Duck from Disney (Sassyness, Bill) Monkey from Twilight Princess (Vibe) Skull Kid from Zelda (Cheekiness)

Puck from FFIX (Puckishness)
Gremlin from Gremlins (Mischievousness) Eiko from FFIX (Sleeves, Jacket) Nighcrawler from X-Men (Fingers, Energy) Gorilla from Nature (Big Forearms)

A small-statured male Entaph who lives alongside Tavi,
Telo is her mirror-opposite - he is talkative where she is reserved, Outgoing where she is introverted.

He represents the Second Chakra, corresponding with Relationship Energy.

📷 📷 📷 📷📷 📷📷

C H A R AC T E R S VA D R A

Cate Blanchett (Voice & Performance Type)
Mystic from Dark Crystal (Face, Runes)
The Plain Doll from Bloodborne (Arms, Anatomy)
Amidatelion from The Crystal Bearers (Anatomy, Mask)
Voldo from Soul Calibur (Pants, Ornamentation)
Death from Death's Gambit (Snout, Mask)
Valefor/Vincent from FFX/FFVII (Face, Mask Colour, Stature, Poise) Clopin from Humpback Of Notre Dame (Raggedness)

Big Bird from Sesame Street (Height, Friendliness)

A Faithseer and former advisor to Alateth during her benign reign, Vadra exiled herself to a forest-girt Observatory in the Forbidden Zone. Her home is filled with books and the outlawed Truth Glyphs.

She represents the Third Chakra, corresponding with Self-Faith Energy.

level 3

Quantumyth

1 point· 19 hours ago

T A R P L EY

Stellan Skarsgard (Voice & Performance Type) Babbajo from Star Wars (Face, Neck, Eyes)
Gepetto from Pinocchio (Glasses, Energy)
Klakker from Strangers Wrath (Chicken Gullet, Hands) Toymaker from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Glasses, store) Turtle from Nature (Skin Tone)

Kamaji from Spirited Away (Arms, Attire, Attitude) Dexter Jettster (Apron, Skin Colour, Beard)
Friar Tuck (Humbleness, Plucky Courage)

An Old Entaph who remembers the Bountiful Age, before Toza.
He is constantly accompanied and helped by his pet Zylma, Tosmet. His home is a short distance away from Vadra's Forest Observatory.

He represents The Old Man leaving his fear of the journey behind.

D E L VE N

Ron Perlman (Voice & Performance Type)
Brute from Halo (Face, Beard)
Fallen from Destiny (Head Protuberances)
Steiner from FFIX (Clumsy/Brave Dynamic) Bangaa from FFXII (Tail, Legs and Gait)
Draco from Dragonheart(Attitude)
Siegfried from Soul Calibur (Armour, Vibe)
Aragorn from The Lord Of The Rings (Arc)
Iron Bull from Dragon Age (World-Weary Charisma) Óengus from Child of Light (Anatomy)

A Warrior-Entaph who once acted as Bodyguard to Alateth,
Delven now lives in The Heartlands, watching over the HEART FORGE. He and his Darshum Mount, Aspic, are inseparable friends.

He represents the Fourth Chakra, corresponding with the Ability to Love.

📷 📷 📷 📷 📷📷📷

C H A R AC T E R S G A R EV A

Ian Hanmore (Voice & Performance Type)
Scarab from Oddworld (Anatomy, Movement)
T-1000 from Terminator: Judgement Day (Shapeshifting) Jafar's Cobra Form from Aladdin(Hooded Head, Viciousness)Maleficent's Dragon Form from Sleeping Beauty (Menace) The Scorpion King from The Mummy Returns (Movement) Basilisk from The Chamber Of Secrets (Skin Tone, Face, Teeth) Dragon from Dragon Age Inquisition (Horns, Scale)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Webbed Mane and Gills)

A vicious shape-shifting minion of Toza who taints the HEART FORGE. He has The Heartlands under his malevolent, manipulative thrall, and his bladed arm attacks are poisonous, causing ceaseless agony.

He represents a crippling loss of Self-Love, haunting the Old Man's heart.

V A R E TH A S

Christian Bale (Voice & Performance Type)
Éomer from Middle-Earth(Countenance, Role) Jenner from NIMH (Jacket & Gloves)
Thoros of Myr from Game of Thrones (Vibe, Role) Vincent Valentine from FFVII (Gravitas & Presence) Zeb from Rebels (Size, Brashness, Faded Nobility) Kimahri Ronso from FFX(Melancholy)

Garif from FFXII (Posture) Amarant from FFIX (Eyes, Posture)

The outcast Captain of the Guard from Toza's Capital City, Varethas and those loyal to him now wander The Entaph World. He helps the party on the way to the Canyon of Whispers.

He represents The Old Man being on the journey now, feeling younger.

H ESP I T H

Tilda Swinton (Voice & Performance Type)
Lord of Change from Warhammer (Face, Feathers)
Dr. Seuss Creatures (Facial Structure)
**Yuke from FFCC (**Lankiness)
Jim Henson Works (Gravitas & Presence)
Dancer Of The Frigid Valley from DSIII (Posture When Furied) Neytiri from Avatar (Poise, Nobility, Movement)
Kaminoans from Star Wars (Movement, Voice)
Abe Sapien (Gills, Hand Movements)

A Whispersage living in the Canyon of Whispers, Hespith
and her Whisperkin retinue guard the passage called THE THROAT. She and Vadra are like sisters, and both served Alateth.

She represents The Fifth Chakra, which corresponds with Choice.

level 4

Quantumyth

1 point· 19 hours ago

📷 📷 📷 📷 📷📷📷

C H A R AC T E R S B E LS H A Z U R

Andy Serkis (Voice & Performance Type)
Master Splinter from TMNT (Face, Proportions) Nicodemus from NIMH (Vibe, Role, Energy)
Rito from Wind Waker (Facial Structure)
Anastasis from FFXII (Gravitas & Presence)
Morpheus from The Matrix (Speed, Movement, Presence) Yoda from Star Wars(Wisdom, Vibe)
Merlin from Arthurian Legend (Role, Shapeshifting) Shamans from World Culture(Vibe)

Alateth's former caretaker, who raised her from just a glimmer of energy, Belshazur was the first to leave after the rise of Toza. He transforms into
a massive owl and, from a distance, watches over the MIND FORGE.

He represents the Sixth Chakra, which corresponds with Wisdom & Truth.

YO X A

Mickey Rourke (Voice & Performance Type)
Bane from The Dark Knight Rises (Face, Presence)
Colossi from Shadow Of The Colossus (Scale, Colour) Earth Titan & Minotaur from Hercules (Rock Skin, Role) Rockbiter from Neverending Story (Melancholy)
Wampa from Star Wars (Paws, Roar)
Leatherback from Pacific Rim (Glowing Eyes, Skull) Gannondorf from Zelda (Hair, Bracers)
Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road (Chest, Menace)

A lumbering yet cunning minion of Toza who taints the MIND FORGE. He has The Mountain Keep under his towering, menacing thrall, and his club-like attacks are devastating, causing pulverising damage.

He represents the freezing-over of The Old Man's Mind, fearful of loss.

OV OK A

Dame Helen Mirren & Charles Dance (Voice & Performance Type) Brachiosaurus from Prehistoric Nature (Anatomy)
Catoblepas from FFXV (Neck, Scales)
Adamantoise from FFXV (Scale)

Turian from Mass Effect (Facial Structure) Direhorse from Avatar (Legs)
Meganium from Pokemon (Melancholy)
Seal Flappers from Nature (Manipulating Arms) Antler Tendrils (Unknown)

A Colossal, Long-lived Entaph who strides effortlessly across the otherwise perilous Wilted Wastes, Ovoka helps the party by carrying them across vast, misty landscape.

He represents The Old Man nearing journey's end, and his future.

📷 📷 📷 📷 📷📷

C H A R AC T E R S T OZ A

Vincent D'Onofrio (Voice & Performance Type) Space Jockey from Original Alien (Face) Aragog from Harry Potter (Accent Nuance) Hairless Rabbit from Nature (Skin Folds)

Sir. David Attenborough (Gravitas & Presence) Prawn Anatomy from Nature (Anatomy)
Cicada from Nature (Chirps, Shell)
Slattern from Pacific Rim (Skin Carvings)
Hannibal Lecter (Cannibalism, Presence, Menace)

The newest Incarnation of EVIL itself, Toza has reigned over The Entaph World for uncounted years, in the absence of Alateth, the personification and reincarnation of GOOD. He resides hidden away in the tainted TRUTH FORGE.

He directly represents the face of The Old Man's ailment - Spiritual Death.

A L A T ET H

Jessica Chastain (Voice & Performance Type)
Robed Nomad from Journey (Basic Anatomy)
Venice Mask Wearer from World Culture (Mask Patterns)
Maiden from Black Angel (Gravitas)
The Great Fairy from The Legend of Zelda (Anatomy)
Yorda from ICO (Inner Light)
Midna True Form from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Body) Ghost of Christmas Past (Floating Pose)
Ray from Real Life (Eyes, Posture)

The personification of GOOD, BALANCE and DIVINITY, Alateth was defeated by Toza at the same time The Old Man began his Spiritual Death. She called to the Old Man to enter The Entaph World, beckoning the AMULET to him.

She he directly represents the face of the Old Man's healing - Spiritual Rebirth.

T H E LI G H T W O M A N

Ray from Real Life (Eyes, Posture)
Madhuri Dixit (Voice & Performance Type)
Amelia Earhart (Jacket & Gloves, Vibe)
The Vuvalini Leader from Mad Max: Fury Road (Presence) Chicha, Pacha's Wife from Emperor's New Groove (Earnestness)Kelly Gale, Model (Eyes, Body, Hair)
Alyssah Ali, Model (Eyes, Body, Hair)
Jessica Lucas, Actress (Eyes, Body, Hair)
Arundhati Roy (Presence & Beauty)

A woman whom The Old Man meets at the end of his journey, or in another sense, the beginning of it. She is sitting in the park, Reading a book by Osho, and gently humming to herself.

He meets her after moving through spiritual Death & Rebirth, re-becoming himself.

C R E A T UR E S S H A D EW I G H T

Heartless from Kingdom Hearts (Menace, Shape) Agents from the Matrix (Omnipresence)

A thin, spindly strain of Shade-Kin.

MO A N E R

Slogs from Oddworld (Legs)

A squat, moaning strain of Shade-kin.

C L AS P E R

Monkeybirds from Mirrormask (Face)

Corpse Monsters from Bloodborne (Grasping hands)

A legless, grasping strain of Shade-kin.

📷 📷📷

C R E A T UR E S K E M N U B U T TE R F L Y

Butterflies from Nature (Shape)

A kind of glyph-resonating butterfly.

L I O N HO U N D Tapir (face)

Greyhound (Body)

A fast, hound-like entaph.

A SP I C

Mounts from John Carter (Size)

The loyal mount of Delven.

📷 📷 📷📷

C R E A T UR E S L U R KF I E ND

Giraffe from Nature (Shoulders) Striders from Half-Life (Limbs)

Tall, scary strain of Shade-kin.

I C E JA W

Polar Bear from Nature (Pose, Limbs)

Fierce, territorial Shade-kin who live in the snowy mountains.

S K Y S T A L K ER

Bats from Dark Crystal (Voice & Performance)

Large, winged Shade-kin.

📷 📷 📷📷 📷

C R E A T UR E S W H I S P E R KI N

Dryads from Warhammer (Face)

The companions of Hespith.

S H I FT ER

Ryuk from Death Note (Menace)

Haunters of the Truth Forge.

S H A L M A D EE R

Ordon Goat from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Body)

📷 📷

Inhabitants of the lightscapes at the very heart of the unspoilt INNER TRUTH FORGE.

📷

T H E R EA L W O R L D T H E M A N S IO N

Luigi's Mansion from Luigi's Mansion(Look) An old mansion.

T H E P A R K I N TH E R A I N The Park from Amelie (Look)

A dark park.

T H E L E CT U R E H A L L Byrgenwerth from Bloodborne (Look)

An old university.

T H E S TR E E T S

The Streets from 101 Dalmatians (Look)

Town streets.

T H E P A R K I N TH E D A Y

The Park from Enchanted (Look) A bright park.

📷

T H E E N T A P H WO R L D T H E D RE A M

The Barsoomian Temple from John Carter (Lighting) The Old Man's Dream.

T H E FO R E S T

The Haunted Forest from Final Fantasy IX (Layout, Colours)

The quarantined forest.

T H E O B S E R VA T O R Y The Observatory from Final Fantasy VII (Look)

Vadra's Observatory.

T A R P L E Y ' S HO M E Gepetto's Workshop from Pinocchio (Feel)

A toy shop in a cottage.

T H E H E A R T L AND S Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda (Look)

Rohan from The Lord of the Rings (Feel) A semi-forested expanse.

T H E H E A R T F O RG E

Dungeon from The Legend of Zelda (Architecture)

A frightening labyrinth.

T H E C A N Y O N O F W H IS P E R S Tatooine from Star Wars (Feel)

A perilous, narrow way.

T H E M I N D F O RG E

The Mountain Top from The Lord of The Rings (Feel)

A Frozen Fortress.

T H E W I L T E D W AS T E S The Bog from the Neverending Story (Vastness)

A great expanse of red and blue mist.

T H E T RU T H F O RG E

The Twilight Realm from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Feel) The forge of truth, and the domain of Toza.

ABOUT

A L B E RT C H E S S A

Albert Chessa is an Australian Artist currently living in Canberra.

1988 - 2005 - Early Life & Education

Albert Cedric William Chessa (A.C.W.C) was born in Waratah, near Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, and is the second of three children - one boy and two girls. Chessa has lived in Australia for most of his life, though he spent a few years in Le Marche, Italy, where he learned fluent Italian.

His first abstract was made in French class at Canberra College - asymmetrical, interlinked black tendrils which created a vaguely heart- shaped mass. Down the centre he drew a stake, with three perpendicular thorns across it, drawn to represent the letter 'I' for 'Inquisition'. It has since been lost, but Chessa remembers having conceived it as The Sigil of the Ardent Pravity, an imaginary sect of fanatical religious zealots who would brand themselves with it. Chessa has since revealed he was intensely researching the Malleus Maleficarum - a treatise on the prosecution of witches - at the time, as part of his ongoing appreciation for the hobby magazine illustrators of his youth, whose works often explored such subject matter.

Chessa joined the Army in 2006, inspired by the approval his eldest sister was receiving for having recently joined the Navy. Setting aside his dream of becoming a contortionist, Chessa discarded almost 30kg of amassed OCD scribblings and drawings, and enrolled as a Supply Operator.

2005 - 2007 - Army Years

Chessa thrived at basic training, which took place over 80 days at ARTC Kapooka between 2006 and 2007. He applied his circus-gained physical fitness towards the various obstacle course challenges, and worked hard to win his platoon (25 Platoon) the Dress & Bearing Trophy, which was shared with their sister platoon (24 Platoon) on march-out day, whereupon Chessa was also personally awarded the Best Physical Fitness plaque. He was immediately assigned to a Holding Platoon in Wodonga, completed his job-specific training in Albury, and began work at Sydney's Holsworthy Barracks, as the Reconnaissance Platoon's Quartermaster-in-training. Throughout this year-long period Chessa produced few works, including some portraits and designs for friends.

On September 11th 2007, Chessa was posted to the outskirts of Holsworthy Barracks where he and his assigned unit (Reconnaissance Platoon) were to have a day-long live-fire session. Compared to basic training, Chessa did not gel well with the real Army lifestyle and it's rough and crass customs, and thus majorly reverted to his introverted ways pre-Army. As a result he had not made many friends and was generally seen as an outsider to his fellow soldiers. This came close to being fatal when on that same day Chessa was forgotten about during the routine head-count before commencing fire, and was still on the firing range when live firing commenced. He had been given no high visibility vest, bulletproof vest, hearing protection, or radio.

The incident caused Chessa to undergo a personal crisis, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Later he would go on to say that this was the time in his life where he had completely lost faith in humanity, having bordered on such thoughts through his battle with OCD and both family and trust issues. After an overlong investigation in which the Army attempted to shift blame over to Chessa for his pre-existing conditions, the case was settled on the black and white basis that whatever state Chessa was 'already in at the time of his incident, the Army failed to enact a basic protocol, placed a soldier’s life in near-fatal danger, and subsequently attempted to cover it up. Chessa was shortly after admitted to a local hospital where he battled daily with panic attacks, PTSD symptoms and SABD (Social Adjustment Behaviour Disorder) - conditions he was diagnosed with during psychiatric appointments which took place. For his first few nights in Hospital, Chessa requested paper and pencil so that he could draw in bed to pass the time, and also to calm himself.

 

2008 - 2011 - The First Works & Tattoos

Whilst the bureaucracy and paperwork of Chessa’s high security military case went through its several exhaustive stages, Chessa was released from hospital and sent on convalescence leave to await further steps towards his eventual medical discharge from the Army. He had initially wanted simply to transfer units, attempting to keep his head down and return to work, but after he was told this would be impossible, he elected instead to fully pursue a path out of the Army.

It was during this extended time of paid convalescence and heightened, emotionally numb life limbo in Canberra, at the Chessa family’s then-home in The Causeway, Kingston, that Chessa made his first series of abstract works, called The First Works, many of which can be seen in their vectorised form on this site. These vectorised versions are largely all that remains, as Chessa's state of prolonged mental isolation and accompanying struggles at the time led him to either destroy, discard or give away almost all of the originals. Two ill-fated relationships, including his first, contributed to this.

By early 2008, Chessa had been spending almost all day indoors drawing, with the rest of his spare time dedicated to taking up the Unicycle, contending with Rehabilitation Appointments (which he largely ignored at the time), and planning extensive patternwork tattooing works on himself. Once he was officially discharged in July of 2008, Chessa moved to Sydney on the excuse of wanting to pursue a career as a Personal Trainer (after the Army).

The very first tattoo Chessa acquired was, appropriately, the very first sigil he designed in French class, The Sigil of the Ardent Pravity. His rationale at the time for having the tattoos applied were that, to him, they felt like his existence crutches - he felt that having such a permanent mark of his true nature, as an artist, on his skin would counteract the very nearly permanent state of death he almost experienced as a consequence of turning his back on his true purpose in life. Chessa's rationalisations for this self-harm would ebb and shift as the years went by.

In late 2011, now covered on his chest and most of his left and right arms in his various 'healing, metaphysical glyphs', he moved to Melbourne with his parents. A large portion of Chessa's works were destroyed by the artist himself, apparently having chosen to vent his sadness and frustration at various then occurring personal life issues by tearing up piles of his own art. With 2012, Chessa resolved to properly commit himself to his theretofore neglected Rehabilitation from his Army incident.

 

 

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2012 - 2014 - Rehabilitation & Exhibitions

With the support of his current partner, Chessa successfully completed rehabilitation, got out of debt, shed his plan for further tattoos (coming to realise their true nature as trauma-induced self harm and coming to peace with them as such), enrolled into University and began earnest employment within the Australian Public Service. During this time Chessa had two successful exhibitions of his works in Canberra, overcoming his long-abiding shyness and self-effacing streak when it came to his art, again with his partner's help. With this closure on the past few years reached, Chessa has ceased his First Works period and has since shifted his focus towards sharing his story, pursuing other forms of creativity, and becoming a proponent of Art Therapy, commencing his own custom practice.

2015 - ECN & Current Trajectory

With the launch of the new archival online store and site, Chessa has begun a new stage in his life of expressing his creativity, known as The EclectiContent Network. These constitute his Art Therapy Practice (albertchessa.com), his creativity initiative Quantumyth (quantumyth.com), and his YouTube channel TweedyGamer (tweedygamer.com), as well as several others which can be found at eclecticontent.com. Chessa intends to eventually collate his First series of personal art therapy works with those he will produce alongside his Art Therapy Practice into a multi-volume art book set combining psychoanalysis, spirituality, self help & art therapy into a resource for use in cases similar or analogous to his own, or those of his clients.

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A BO U T Q U A NT U M Y T H

Quantumyth is a multi-media creative initiative.

All the works that emerge from this initiative are connected to, take place in, or are otherwise related to the same world/universe state.

more information available at quantumyth.com.

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D I R EC T O R Albert Chessa

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C O N TA C T Q U A NT U M Y T H

thequantumyth.com

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CR ED I T S Q U A NT U M Y T H

D I R EC T O R Albert Chessa

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Copyright ALBERT CHESSA 2015

All names, places and characters are the intellectual property of Albert Chessa © 2021 

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