Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Scandinavian Kings of Old and (possible) Soul Chaser covers

As I was out with my Mum over the weekend we visited Deans Garden's Centre outside Jorvik (aka York) and I spotted myself a pack of cards claiming to have all the Kings and Queens of England from history. Well, I thought, I wonder if this could be true so I treated myself to the pack and you know what? I was pleasantly suprised - not only did they have kings and queens from the 19th century, Georgian era, Tudor and Stuart era, Victorian era, and Late Medieval era they also featured the EARLY MEDIEVAL/DARK AGE ERA! Which is the years a few Vikings managed to bag the throne of England. I managed to organise the cards of this particular era right from King Alfred the Great to William the 1st, the Conquerer. Who is of Viking descent I must add hence why he's included.

 I discovered a few kings I'd never heard of? Edgwy (the six of spades in top right) for example, I never heard of him at school? And he ruled for 9 whole years apparently from these cards:

But the Kings that made me smile were these fella's:

The 1st King who helped give the English some strength against the Vikings with the forming of Burghs ie Fortified Towns. Sadly the Danelaw was created during his time.
The King who apparently tried to stop the sea but that is still up to some debate amongst academics. This is the guy I'll be reading about next in a non-fiction historial biography called Canute - Emporer of the North. He was the first King of Norway, Denmark and England!

Canute's son from Emma of Normandy, sadly this guy lost control Norway but he kept Denmark and soon added England to his titles albeit for a mere 2 years.

Of course here we have the refined and powerful figure of William the Conqueror, descendant of the Viking clan that settled the lands of Normandy.
Athelstan is the Great Grandson of Alfred the Great and he really kicked some Viking but by slowly piece by piece reclaiming the Danelaw. Before sending a hell of a warning to other invading Vikings by defeating both Scots, Irish and Norse in the Great battle of Brannanburgh. When his sister's husband died as Lord of Northumbria, he became their lord and so Athelstan technically became the first TRUE King of England.

Aaah Ethelred, sadly this guy is a pretty weak and so he got the nickname Ethelred the Unready. He lost battles against the vikings and he also paid many off with millions worth of Danegeld (protection money). Hence why in this portrait he is carrying a box of gold coins.

Now for some Soul Chaser related news, my partner has introduced me to the GIMP programme - a free programme imitating Photoshop to an extent. I've always had plans at designing my own book/ebook cover with it so I've begun experimenting. 
Now I managed to have an old fashioned sweet jar lying about, I covered the inside with paper and then filled with fair lights on a cable before consealing the trailing wires with more paper as a background. Turn the room light off, turn the fair lights on and this is what my camera captured :
Doesn't it look enchanting already?


So I next had a go at laying some themed ornaments around it - primarily runes as they are obviously nordic and magical.
The rune do make the jar more of a central point although sadly you can see a bit of the wire poking out.
Next step was to upload both these photo's into GIMP and have a mess about. And here's what I did over several nights:
Simple beauty - Soul Chaser cover version 1
Possibly over enhanced and enchanted *ahem* - Soul Chaser cover version 2
What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know!

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