Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dakkan's Journey

I must again apologize for these large gaps between blog posts – I can assure you that it’s not because we’re lazy!  Quite the contrary, it’s our genuine lack of lazy that’s kept us from updating regularly.  I’ll try to keep things coming at a regular pace from here on out.

To make up for the long gap between posts, I’ve got a special treat for you all, courtesy of Rachel herself!  Not just any ‘ol artwork, but a full-fledged storyboard of a Four Kingdoms-inspired event that occurred in Dakkan’s early career in the Lutren Military.

This storyboard project was actually for one of Rachel’s many art-related college courses, so some liberties were taken with the world of the Four Kingdoms for the sake of the storyline.  For example, badgers and raccoons were added in because their natural ‘masks’ made them great highway robbers, even though they're not featured in the actual world of the Four Kingdoms.  So while this can’t be considered 100% canon as-is, a rough approximation of these events definitely did occur in some capacity in Dakkan’s past.

In the original Four Kingdoms script, Dakkan was not quite the same character he is now.  I had written in a kind of free-wheeling goof to play off of Quinlan’s cynical world view, but he was proving to be generally devoid of character; a standard comical sidekick with no real depth to him.  But when Rachel’s long-time character, Dakkan, was introduced as Quinlan’s best friend in a later draft revision, the friendship came to life.  It became more than a hero/sidekick relationship – these two characters had become friends through painful life experiences: no proper father figures, a debilitating fear of taking another’s life, and a deeply-rooted sense of loyalty to their respective kingdoms, among other things.

This origin-type story chronicles Dakkan’s very first mission as a Lutren soldier, guiding a pair of merchants through a dangerous part of the forest.  When they are confronted by highway robbers, Dakkan’s quick temper takes hold and he finds himself quickly in a fight for his life!  What happens next changes him forever.  Let’s just say that there’s a good reason you won’t see Dakkan hefting a sword in the comic anytime soon.

The full video can be found by following the link below.  The Quicktime movie features one individual storyboard panel per frame, so simply click the link or download it, then use your Left/Right arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll forward and backwards through the story.  Also, I should mention that these boards, like the Four Kingdoms comic itself, are rated PG-13, T for Teen, etc.  That said, enjoy!