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My new website

In case you were wondering what I’ve been up to the past few weeks…

I want to promote a new website I set up for myself using Bluehost and WordPress.org (as opposed to WordPress.com). As was the case with this blog, the site is meant to showcase my art and writing, but I wanted it to look more professional (like a sort of portfolio for me).

Brandon Pilcher’s Creative Adventures

To be honest, now that I’ve set the new website up, this old blog now seems superfluous and obsolete. I’m not going to shut it down right now, as I want people who have been following me for some time to check out the new site. But I might be less active here unless I can find an alternate use for this blog. Anyway, check out my new site!

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Philos and His Pet

Philos and His Pet

Here is the colored rendition of my drawing showing Philos, a supporting character from my alternate history story set in Bronze Age Greece. He works as a shepherd in a small, rural Greek village lying north of the Egyptian colony of Dedenu.

For this colored artwork, I’ve given Philos a tame Megantereon (a saber-toothed cat related to the Smilodon of the Americas) who helps him like a big sheepdog (or should that be sheep-cat?). After all, the whole story is set in an alternate timeline from ours.

Scylax of Mycenae

Scylax of Mycenae

Scylax, ruling wanax (warrior king) of Mycenae, is the main antagonist of my alternate-history story set in Bronze Age Greece. His ultimate ambition is to “unite” all the Greeks under his iron rule, and he plans to get started by annihilating the Egyptian colony of Dedenu and carrying off one of their high priestesses as a trophy of his conquest. Arrogant, entitled, and megalomaniacal to an extreme, he is every bit the Bronze Age equivalent of a fascist warlord. And, like so many men with that mentality, he really doesn’t like the women he desires turning him down! Supreme gentleman, indeed…

Hellas in the Age of Dedenu

Hellas in the Age of Dedenu

This is a map of Hellas, the region now known as Greece, in the Middle Bronze Age within an “alternate history” timeline that I’ve created for one of my stories. In the period this story takes place in, the Hellenic kingdom of Mycenae has risen as a new major native power in the southern region of Hellas (aka the Peloponessian peninsula), whereas on the northwestern coast there stands a Kemetian (Egyptian) colony named Dedenu that was founded three centuries prior. To the near north of Dedenu is a rural Hellenic village where the herdsman Philos, one of the story’s supporting characters, lives. Meanwhile, the highlands and plains in the middle of the region is occupied by the fierce Macedonian tribes, ancestors of Alexander the Great, who will eventually be pushed further north by the Hellenic expansion.

This map is by no means complete or exhaustive, mind you, as I simply focused on the locations that would almost certainly be invoked within the story itself.

The Colony of Dedenu

The Colony of Dedenu

Here is a sketch of the fortifications of Dedenu, an Egyptian colony erected on the western coast of Greece beginning in the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat II (1914-1879 BC). This is the (fictitious) hometown of my priestess character Itaweret, the protagonist of an “alternate history” story I am working on. The architecture of the ramparts you see here is based on those of real Egyptian forts such as Buhen (near the modern Egyptian/Sudanese border) and Tjaru (in the region of the Sinai Peninsula).

By the way, palm trees actually do grow in Greece as depicted in this scene. When I visited Greece as a kid on summer vacation, I was struck by how much the country’s climate and scrubby vegetation resembled that of southern California (the same turned out to be true for Rome, Italy). It was a fascinating surprise considering how we Americans tend to stereotype Europe as being all lush and temperate like, say, Ireland or Germany.

Woman of Wawat

Woman of Wawat

This would be a young woman from ancient Wawat, a small kingdom that lay along the Nile River in-between the larger empires of Egypt and Kush. Mummified remains of women from this region of the Nile Valley often bear tattoos on their skin, as is the case with some Egyptian and other Sudanese mummies, and a typical fashion item among the men and women of Wawat was a loincloth of leather. However, the top I have given her is creative license since I wanted this drawing to be “safe for work”.

Archer from Wawat

Archer from Wawat

This crouching archer is from the ancient kingdom of Wawat, which covered a small strip of the Nile Valley between the larger empires of Egypt and Kush. The people of Wawat would have based their economy on riverside agriculture, herding, and trade, and they buried their dead in tombs with stone-lined chambers. After enjoying five centuries of local sovereignty beginning in 2400 BC, the territory of Wawat would afterward find itself passing between Egyptian and Kushite imperial hands and ultimately would be submerged by Lake Nasser after the Aswan Dam’s construction in the twentieth century AD.

Khenmet…or Itaweret?

Itaweret Sketch

Because I totally love doodling this character in my sketchbook, here’s my Egyptian priestess named Khenmet again. Actually, I’m thinking about changing her name to Itaweret, because someone who recently reviewed the first two chapters of this character’s story thought “Khenmet” was too similar to “Kemet”, which was the Egyptians’ native name for their own country (it’s a bit like how the Aztecs called themselves “Mexica”). It was a coincidental resemblance, but I can see why it might be confusing for a reader.

European Straight-Tusked Elephant

European Straight-tusked Elephant

During the time when the woolly mammoths roamed the open steppes and tundra of northern Eurasia and North America, another, even more immense species of elephant had laid claim to Europe’s warmer and more heavily forested regions. This was Loxodonta antiquus, the European straight-tusked elephant, which could weigh over sixteen tons and reach a height of almost fourteen feet. Originally the species was known as Palaeoloxodon antiquus, but genomic data extracted from its fossils has shown that its closest relative was the modern African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), which would subsume antiquus into the Loxodonta genus.

Gigantic as this species of elephant was, it wasn’t even the biggest of the straight-tusked elephants. An Asian relative and contemporary, the Loxodonta namadicus, may have been the most massive land mammal ever discovered, weighing in excess of twenty-four tons.

Philos the Shepherd

Philos the Shepherd

Let me introduce you to Philos, another supporting character from the same story as my Egyptian priestess Khenmet. Philos is a twentysomething shepherd hailing from a humble village in the northwestern region of Greece (now called Epirus), which at the time of the story’s setting (1600 BC) is pretty much a rural backwater. You can see that, like many men of Mediterranean ancestry, Philos is quite a bit on the hirsute side, but he also has four scars on his left chest from a lion attack. Anyway, I plan to introduce him in the third chapter of the story.