Odyssey Into 2012 : Chapter 6 - The Zephyr Key

"Your tyranny ends here!"
Got to spend a little extra time on this one. Officially, illustration entries have deadline extensions of about 2 days, so submission posts are changing to Fridays and Tuesdays.

Literature by akatony1

Kaylin struggled with doubt. The fear of what she had done set into her thoughts, piercing her with worry. She knew Darus would fight her at every turn, but she had fought off herself from different dimensions. She had absorbed their knowledge, turning it into her own strength.
Powers stronger than any she'd ever known now coursed through her. She knew that this was not Zephyr. She'd absorbed the powers of alternate dimensions. Notus, Boreas, and Eurus. These three powers had been added to hers, and it frightened her.
The light train struggled against her. Darus was trying to fight back. She concentrated her powers, all four, into the next gate. It appeared before her, beckoning her to pass through, but Darus stopped the light train.
"You think you've won?" Kaylin smarted to him.
"I know I've won Kaylin, though, I never suspected you would wipe your own memory." He appeared in the train with her, holding the same sword he had killed countless innocent people with.
"Your tyranny ends here!" Kaylin summoned her energies again, and the light train passed through the gate, flinging Darus from the train.
Kaylin pulled out the book of timelines. Her odds were considerably better, but still grim. She flipped through it, trying to find anything that would help her with her quest. Then she found the notes:

Darus has found the Zephyr key. He sealed the eight gates, rendering it to its weakest state. He plans to destroy it on midnight of New Years eve. Such a trauma to the Earth would cause it to implode, killing everyone. I must report back to others.

Kaylin flipped through to the last entry in the book:

Darus has killed everyone. Kaylin is all that's left of our group. She disappeared a month ago. If I can find her, all may not be lost. I have to tell her that by passing through the eight gates their seal will break, and the Zephyr key, no, the world, can be saved.

She closed the notebook. This is what he had planned. He had hoped she could release all the seals. She only hoped his trust hadn't been misguided.

Follow the story development here.


Odyssey Into 2012: Chapter 5 - The Rainbow Connection

Literature by AlexanderTheSoSo

The Light Train took on a new timbre around her. Her knowledge unlocked, she did not ride, but drive. The Train bent around to her command. She yelled in triumph! Backwards, to before it began. She could stop him at the start. Kaylin steered the Train, her body, soul, one with the Light. Then it fought her, bucking and twisting.

Her eyes opened. Kaylin wasn't alone. She was there. Kaylin, in purple. Kaylin, in green. Kaylin, in blue, yellow, orange, and violet.  Each one steering, fighting. Yellow died first, a possible future snuffed out, and it's Light joined the Train. The others, alerted to the danger, fought back, but her Zephyr sang as their's did not. Their numbers nearly took her, but she dodged and twisted, bending the Train around her. The other Kaylin's Zephyrs spent themselves uselessly on nothing.  The purple clad Kaylin stood last and best. Purple seemed to draw the powers of the defeated to her, growing in strength with each death.  Face to face, sweat poured, her every grimace and groan of exertion mirrored a foot in front of her. Finally, the other Kaylin faltered, and the Zephyr took her, fading away to beams of Light.  The Train moved, and Kaylin arrived at her destination.  She stood, seeing herself, in red, standing at a shelf, scanning book titles. Kaylin grabbed a scrap of paper, writing Tokyo, and Zephyr.  She ripped the page from a desktop calendar, circling the dates. She strode to herself, and shoved the scraps in her own pockets. As the unknowing Kaylin turned, the empowered Kayin raised a hand, her Zephyr destroying; memory, purpose, her world around her. Back on the train, Darus' laughter filled her ears, and as the Train shifted again through the gate, doubt crept into her mind.

Follow the story development here.


Where is it?

Illustrators have been given a longer deadline (YES!), so next post will be up Monday, December 26th.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, & Happy Holidays


Odyssey Into 2012: Chapter 4 - Where the End Begins

Literature by myomi-chan

The breeze brought the scent of pine needles to her before she got off the train. She touched the bark of a tree.
The breeze suddenly picked up. Her eyes did not widen in surprise this time-- they stayed solidly open as she saw a shadow form in front of her. She had time only to jump to the side before the tree whose bark she had touched was impaled by a sword-- his sword. The tree quivered, sighed, and then there was nothing where it once stood.
His eyes met hers.
She ran.
She knew how he fought. Everything about Darus-- the timbre of his voice, his unforgiving eyes, his majestic fighting style, his laugh-- everything came flying to the front of her mind. He would cut her down, but not if if she kept moving. Speed was her forte, her game to play, the only one she was sure she could win.
Hunted, panting, determined, moving. The endless circle of predator and prey continued, but she knew it had to end. Eventually, one would give up, and the other would triumph.
He wants me to be scared of him, she thought, because if I am, I will not notice how scared he is of me.
She remembered pushing him off a cliff had been the first time she used her Zephyr. Making the cliff he had stood on fade away beneath his feet.
His Zephyr was to create. Hers was to destroy.
And now he wanted to change their roles.
She stopped. Turned. Saw his startled expression.
Felt the sword pierce through her before either of them could scream.
And then she destroyed the pain. The sword shook, and then faded away.
Her half-lidded eyes snapped open. Darus laughed, and then the Light Train was back, and she knew by the sickening plummeting into darkness that she had passed another trial.
Zephyr. The knowledge that was life and death, existence and nothingness.
She had traded that for freedom.
But she was destruction. Even her temporary ignorance could not escape that part of her.

 Follow the story development here.


Odyssey Into 2012: Chapter 3 - Labyrinth of Dreams

Literature by birchdryadgirl

Another clumsy jump and a stumble with outstretched arms...... Kaylin was back on the train. "Light is faster than words" the book had said, and she swore it was being cynical. "But not thought!" she shot back. That should shut it up for awhile.

They said the Light Train waits for no-one, but it waited for him. Or as long as the speed of light can wait. But it was enough for Darus. And as soon as he stepped in she knew the threshold had been crossed. She was no longer safe. The traps were set. The game had begun.

Her mind was invaded. He brushed everything aside light as a wind, rushing through memories she didn't know she had. She only caught snatches: a sad smile, a blue-white ribbon (it had to be lost), and a burning heart.

She was thrust into his mind. Memories trapped her. At every turn she had to shield herself. A labyrinth of dreams. They pressed in on her, overwhelming, and she fought back with every fiber of her being. But he was stronger, they threatened to erase her very essence. Her soul was chocking, losing, burning and morphing away.

Silence. She didn't have to fight. She accepted them, the memories a waterfall that sated her parched mind.

Knowledge. The bane of existence. It filled the recesses of her mind and fit like a key.

Zephyr. The power of knowing, of being a searching wind, intangible, invulnerable, no-one can stop. Now it was hers.

Her eyne were open and she could see. The Light Train sped on but she reached for the dark. The twisted knot that sucked in even light pulled them through into the next world. The next gate awaited, the next trial demanded. The judge had left,  and nothing was right.

Why did he give her this power? Did he want her to save the cities?

She looked around for him, but he was gone. His imprint clung to the air: Until the next time, kitling. Prithee hark the sweven.


So I scratched this out in about two constantly interrupted hours.  I thought black and white would be more fun for this chapter illustration so I could play with some positive/negative space. Overall I think meh. If you've got time to kill, try to find all these images I've placed the picture:  A book, a burning heart, a zephyr, the Light Train, a ribbon, a figure in a chair and a figure bowing to it, a man with a goatee in a tuxedo, burning Tokyo, a kneeling girl with reaching arms, a sad smile, a figure falling off a cliff reaching upwards, two figures running away, a wooded passage.  This is starting to feel like a Highlights magazine picture.

Follow the story development here.


Odyssey Into 2012: Chapter 2 - Just Like Old Times

Coming up with a concept and illustrating it in three and a half days is quite a challenge!

Literature by Billblogins

This isn't the Tokyo she remembers.

The hilltop view is chaos. Fires consume miles around, wind stirs the fumes, skyscrapers crumble. She gasps. Memories, however scattered, tell her this is wrong. They fixed this. Prevented this.

Hadn't they?

She'd made a deal once to forget all this, to move on. Was her mind clearing?

Behind her, a rustle. A man. Tall fit. Dressed simply, holding a tattered book.

"Who are you?" She steps back.

"I trained you. We were... partners. For a while..."

"...Jackson." She eyes the city. "Didn't we... fix this?"

"We did. We fixed everything, actually."

"What happened?"



"You left. We made the world perfect. Fixed history. Then sat. We had thought we were working towards going home. Cycles passed, Darus soured, believing we were all fated to traverse the gates without true course, forever. But you... You left with the only ticket out. Then Darus devised a plan: undo some of our greatest repairs…"

"And bring me back…" She whispers.

"Because once you're back and we're all dead, he thinks he can leave."

"But this was destined... So... I left for nothing, just to serve as instigation." She sighs. "Darus, I can't remember him well..."

"Perhaps that's best, you two have history that isn't pretty. It'll come to you, I'm sure."

"This calendar, these dates…?" She asks.

"The dates he will undo. I've been to the end of this, I've seen how this plays out, Kaylin..."

Her real name... Why did it feel wrong?


"Good to see it's coming back to you..." He opens his book. "3,722 different end scenarios, of those, you only survive in four. Of those four you only actually defeat him... in one."

"I have one chance?" She turns away.

"Yes... and you'll have to do this without me. In every scenario... I die."

She turns back but it's too late. The Blade protrudes from his chest. Blood Seeps. He drops.

She looks for the assailant but she is alone.

The wind stills.

The static crackles. Light blinds. Pressure grows. The gate opens, she grasps onto hope...

Follow the story development here.


Odyssey Into 2012: Chapter 1 - The Light Train

Literature by thestaccattobutterfly

It's static --
trapped between her fingers, buzzing in her ears. 
A heartbeat lost in the echoes of her rib cage.
And yes, of course: the intermittent pounding, the thundering, the rush of blood through her veins.
Was that fear?
She'd once been foolish enough to believe that no one could lure her in to this. A ribbon of smokescreen smiles, flashes of deceptive lies, and she was sold for the price of forever. As the cold air smacks into her face and turns her hair to tangled strands, she struggles to maintain her hold on the tattered calendar. It's ripped from the wall, December 2011 in bold Serif typeface filling the upper left corner. Eight dates circled in red. Eight trials, none of them easy, and her mouth runs dry at the thought. She folds the calendar and slips it into the right pocket of her jeans.
The scribbles of "Zephyr" and "Tokyo", etched so hard onto the paper that she can feel their outlines, is snuggled in the comfort of her left pocket. She wonders if he is still there, at that place, after so long without contact between them. Waiting for her, perhaps; waiting for this blindsided girl to fall back into the spider's web, one she'd thought she'd escaped many years ago.
A streak of light rushes by. She runs, tumbles, nearly misses; her fingers fumble for something to hold on to. The night is clear. Only the stars watch her struggle to maintain her balance, before she pitches forward to carpeted floors. The Light Train waits for no one. But she's inside, at the very least.

She's inside and going nowhere, fast.

Her eyes close. The train vanishes in the bright embrace of a shooting star.

There's no turning back.

Follow the story development here.

Odyssey Into 2012: Prologue

Literature by Techgnotic

"She awakes before an open "gate". She does not know her name or remember anything that has come before.
She has a sense that she is on a quest of most dire consequence for herself and perhaps the whole world.
In her pocket she finds a tattered calendar page for December 2011. Eight dates are circled: every Wednesday
and every Saturday. In her other pocket she finds a piece of paper upon which are scribbled two words: "Tokyo"
and "Zephyr". She senses that she has somehow opened this first gate, and that she must now pass through it
and journey to Tokyo. She must find whomever or whatever "Zephyr" might be, the next important clue to
resolving her quest, her fate, her destiny..."

Here are the roughs, scanned in and slapped next to each other.

Follow the story development here.


Odyssey Into 2012

So by "short break" I meant the entire month of November.  Try and keep up. 

Deviant Art is hosting an Odyssey Into 2012 event which calls on artists and writers to tell the story of a girl who awakens in front of a gate with no memory of how she got there, and a heavy feeling her predicament has consequences of epic proportions. An original chapter and an original illustration will be chosen to tell the story every Wednesday and Friday of December.  There are 8 chapters in all.  The first is nearly complete.

I thought it would be fun to participate, so I'll be posting my submissions here as well.  Tell me if you will be too!

In other news, I'm working on a secret project.  So secret, in fact, I write about it on my public blog.  But that's all I'm at liberty to say for the time being.