April 24th, 2009
Photoshop and drawingtablet

And finally here's the last member of the main Ethara group. There still are a couple of other characters, who don't belong to the main group. I'll probably draw them too... eventually. But at least here's the last member of the main group. And yes, I know I messed up the anatomy and the proportions again. I just don't care anymore... :)

This is Ikale, and she's an elf. In Ethara, elves are pretty much what you'd expect: reclusive tree-huggers. Elves are typically somewhat condescending towards other races, but Ikale isn't like that at all. If anything, she's the complete opposite. An innocent, cheerful, almost child-like soul, she will be friendly and helpful to just about anyone. Ikale is currently a cleric, but she started out her career as an archer. She was pretty good with the bow and arrow, but when she went on her first hunt and killed a deer, she became appalled by the practice of hunting, fighting and killing in general. The sight of a corpse apparently suddenly made her realize the meaning of what it meant to kill. She immediately turned vegetarian and decided to give up on archery. Instead, she devoted her time to learning how to heal and comfort the sick, the injured and the dying.

In Ethara, clerics are like the priests in WoW. They can heal injuries, dispel curses, cure diseases and erect barriers to protect people from harm. Very powerful clerics can also resurrect the fallen, but only up to a certain point (right after death, and only if the person in question died an unnatural death). Some are also able to summon some serious heavenly smiting if need be. However, unlike the priests in WoW, Etharian clerics do not utilize shadow spells, unless they are corrupted. Clerics do not go out and attempt to convert people to any particular religion. There are many different religions in Ethara, and the clerics do adhere to a particular religion of their own, but their main goal in life is to use their abilities to do some good in the world, and perhaps to educate people about the differences between right and wrong. They believe that a person's religion should be their own choice.

After leaving her elven home, Ikale joined the local cleric school as a novice. Proficient as she was as an archer, she turned out to be rather clumsy in the ways of divine magic. The grand prior decided that perhaps Ikale just wasn't very good at learning the art from books, and that she might be better off learning the trade by practicing it out in the world itself. It wouldn't just allow the young elf to experience to ways of the world, it would also spare the monastery from further clumsy-elf-induced destruction. And so Ikale set out on her journey to aid needy adventurers and keep them from harm.

It didn't take too long for her to run into Hemos' and Keena's group. Ikale decided that this group was sufficiently 'needy' and offered her services. The others decided that having a healer in the group would probably be handy, so they allowed Ikale to join. This happened relatively early in the group's journey; Ikale joined shortly after Totar, Yanko and Ganelon were drafted as well.

As time progressed, it became clear that having the novice cleric around wasn't always as advantageous at it had originally seemed. Ikale isn't very good at her healing spells yet, and a well-intended heal may sometimes aggravate and already bad situation. As it turns out, Ikale also flunked her anatomy classes, because her first attempts to mend broken bones have so far yielded interesting results. That's why, after the first few attempts went pretty wrong, the group usually lets Hemos or Totar set a broken bone, before letting the elf heal it. Her shield spells are pretty successful, though, and as was predicted by the grand prior, Ikale is learning the other aspects of her class rather swiftly. As she becomes more proficient, she even starts tutoring Ganelon, teaching him to use shield and heal spells as well.

As for Ikale's social role within the group; she is the sweet voice of innocence. Despite not being the youngest member, she does appear to be the most inexperienced. This means that she does not always recognize covert ill intentions. She is gullible to a fault and will always try to please everybody around her, even if it means doing things she doesn't feel comfortable doing. She's also not very good at picking up on sarcasm, which would have made her a popular prank-victim for Lon and Yanko, if she hadn't been so darn likeable. The guys just can't find it in themselves to pull pranks on such a nice person. Besides, Arith makes a much more fun target anyway.

Ikale's primary calling is to comfort the injured, and she takes this very seriously. She grows into a fairly competent battle healer, but she may sometimes heal friend and foe alike. The rest of the gang sometimes has to physically restrain her, to prevent her from healing a dangerous opponent, because they 'look so sad and hurt'.
Fun fact: Ikale can't hold her liquor at all. Most of the group members are... experienced drinkers, to put it nicely, but after a few sips Ikale will generally flop down over the table and be out of commission for the next two or three days.

Ikale has also got a pet: Featherfoot! That's right, I finally found a nice purpose for our favorite snowy gryphon. I know you guys have been eye-balling her for a while now, wondering what's up with her presence here. Well, Featherfoot is sort of a left-over from Ikale's archery days. Most archers have a battle pet of sorts, and Featherfoot was Ikale's pet. After she gave up on archery, Ikale kept Featherfoot around. The gryphon still acts as the elf's battle pet and body guard. Featherfoot is a predator, first and foremost, despite Ikale's effort to convince the gryphon to become a vegetarian as well. Featherfoot is smart and affectionate towards Ikale. She will often bring the elf 'gifts', in the form of small dead animals. Ikale usually tries to resurrect these creatures, after accepting them from her pet.

Eventually, as Ikale gains more experience, she starts to learn more about the uglier sides of life. At first this conflicts with her morals, but in the end she decides that she will not lose her idealism. However, she does have issues with the fact that her friends sometimes seem to insist that some people are too evil to save, and can only be killed. Ikale is one of those people, who wants to believe that there is some good in every person.

As a character, Ikale has had quite an overhaul. She used to be a human and her name used to be Seraf (a very bad name). Her personality used to be less child-like and more plain. There also wasn't a snowy gryphon pet, so basically the old version just was less interesting in many different ways. XD

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