This week, we finally meet Crim! For those who followed us on the old (now sorta defunct) Four Kingdoms blog, there was a rather exhaustive post about the Crim character. When I went back to rewrite Beyond the Western Deep, this scene between Quinlan and Crim was one of the biggest changes made – not just in terms of the lines spoken, but the tone presented.

Rachel's 2011 re-design of Crim

Originally, Crim was a bit wishy-washy of a character. He was more interested in teaching the Tamian martial art, Tesque, than he was about showing Quinlan up. The introduction felt a bit shoehorned and flat, despite Quinlan telling us all that we should be nervous about this new character being introduced.

Quinlan’s “keep your eyes down” line was originally meant to insinuate that Crim was annoying and bothersome, but having Quin be confronted with that kind of character didn’t feel like the appropriate foil for the scene we wanted to portray, so Crim was brought back to the drawing board.

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With the rewrite, I wanted the tension between the two characters to be much more obvious right out the gate. I rewrote Crim to be more abrasive and domineering, and also concocted a backstory between the two (that may or may not appear in the comic itself) that suggests a lifelong rivalry between the two. Rachel also redesigned the character to look the part, making him a bit more top-heavy and muscular – in many ways a superior-looking Tamian to Quinlan.

Despite all this, I didn’t want Crim to come off as the Tamian version of Biff Tannen – I wanted him to have a genuine reason for disliking Quinlan. Obviously, in addition to everything else in their past, Crim is also of the belief that Quinlan is an empty suit as Captain of the Royal Guard, and isn’t afraid to voice his opinion on the matter.

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This week we have another wonderful piece of guest art by Jerome Jacinto, who painted this portrait of Quinlan “just because” he had “a little bit of time” to do it! So without further delay, here is the protagonist of Beyond the Western Deep, looking more than a bit dashing.

As always, Jerome, lovely, lovely artwork! Such an incredible surprise, especially after the great ink work you sent over for last week’s post. Even for a speed paint, the detail and care put into the piece is amazing. Quin looks positively fantastic – thank you so much for the art!