This week we meet two more new characters: The Tamian King, Dabheid, and Dakkan’s father, Kenosh.
Starting with this page, Rachel and I were back in some familiar territory. This scene in the Tamian King’s throne room had existed in numerous iterations of the story, all the way back to the original prose. As with all things in the final version of the script, Rachel and I cleaned things up by a great deal.
The original intro shot was a behind-the-back (literally) that included Dakkan and Kenosh – this was before Dakkan’s introduction was bumped a page earlier so he could meet Quinlan outside. This old panel now appears rather flat and bland – not the best way to introduce new characters. There was also a lot of dialog setting up Quinlan’s impending arrival that ultimately proved unnecessary.
The original script (all the way up until a few days ago, actually) had King Dabheid calling Quin “My boy”, which was meant to suggest they had a strong bond thanks to Quinlan’s grandfather, but it ultimately came off as sounding too familial. Considering we’d spent the last several pages establishing that Quinlan’s lost his family, we felt this would be too potentially confusing, so we updated the line in the latest draft.
The design for King Dabheid stretches back a long time – back to the beginning, I’d posit! Looking back at the oldest sketch jpegs I have of Quinlan’s design exploration, I noticed Dabheid hovering around the margins:
He was always short and heavy-set, meant to portray a high-class Tamian ruler who had spent so much time entertaining foreign dignitaries on the ground that the prospect of climbing a tree to see his own top-floor would appear preposterous. Even so, we didn’t want to portray him as the usual malevolent king – Quinlan and Dakkan come from families of soldiers, and that commands respect, even from the king. Quinlan’s grandfather also served as Dabheid’s Captain, which suggests a close bond akin to a baron and his knight.
Next week I’ll dive into Kenosh’s designs a bit more, and we’ll also begin to learn more about the overarching story of what takes our heroes outside the safety of Sunsgrove and beyond the Western Deep!