Hello friends! Happy Torchbearer Thursday! This post has been cross-posted with my Bridge of the Damned Kickstarter project. Please back it if you’re interested in seeing the finished project!
The amazingly talented Kurt Komoda sent me some concept sketches of the Bridge of the Damned cover yesterday and I wanted to share them with you.
Working with an illustrator like Kurt is a real treat. He’s able to take my jumbled thoughts and turn them into something breathtaking.
Here’s the art direction I gave him:
The dungeon is a broken, fortified bridge. I’m attaching some references. WRT the concept map, you only really need to pay attention to the sketch of the bridge at the top.
There is a calcified skeleton of a giant lying half covered in the river. In my mind’s eye, you could mistake it for a jumble of rocks in the water until you look at it just right. The giant’s skull forms an island in the river. In the adventure a water spirit, a nykr, was trapped inside the skull as a sort of spirit prison in ancient times. Even though it’s trapped, the nykr’s song lures people to drown themselves in the river.
I’m envisioning some adventurers in a skiff on the water. We can see part of the broken bridge and the giant’s skull. A mist is rolling in and sea-draug, spirits of the drowned are rising from the water to attack the adventurers.
Above you can see how those ideas are coalescing in Kurt’s eye.
I love the energy here, and I especially love the giant’s skull under the bridge! It’s not how it was originally positioned in my initial idea, but I really like this composition and it’s inspiring me to think differently about how to use it in the text of the adventure.