Edwin David - Hida Yamadera - With Yamadera we wanted him with the new sword he picked up and a touch of his corruption madness mixed with his berserker frothiness.
Shen Fei - Yasuki Peddler -Mix Traveling peddler with Of Mice and Men characters and you have the recipe for this. Envisioned were two brothers, the brains and the brawn, working the business.
Shen Fei - Hida Kisada II
Doug Shuler - Yasuki Tsujiken Exp
Tsujiken trims up a little in his Exp, now basically a full power mob boss and favored of the Void Dragon he felt it was time to watch his calories more get out for some more brisk walks about town, checking in on local merchants and such. Such a high profile character earned a high profile artist like Doug. There is a bit of menance to Tsujiken’s steady gaze that I like.
Stu Barnes - Yasuki Baiko
At some point I decided the Yasuki just didn’t have enough women showing up Baiko is part of an effort on my part to balance it out a bit. I wanted a middle aged women who was clever, resourceful and manipulative. Stu did a great job of bringing this wry look to her face as she offers a drink to loosen lips and help bribes go down easier.
J Edwin Stevens - Kaiu Okura
Called Kaiu Hothead in design he was one of the first Brash characters I saw. So the goal was for him to not be the typical reserved Kaiu tactician engineer who operates away from the battle field. No Okura would be out in the field leading his men albeit perhaps a little recklessly. I forgot to make him at his swords sheath to his belt /grumble
Sergio Camarena - Hiruma Sawai
The odd thing with scouts is they should be scouting. But that implies looking at other things. But we also like to see characters faces. So scouts can be tricky. I asked Sergio for a scout doing some recon of a mine from uptop and we got this cool armored scout and landscape. A fine trade off at times for a bit of story traded for characterization. It’s a little bit of a balancing act.
Adam Schumpert - Hiruma Nitani Exp
Nitani’s non exp art is both a soul of and shows little of his face. I wanted to see more of the guy and help him step out of the Soul of Hiruma Hidora. Adam was selected cause he is a top notch character artist. To show change and distinction his bow is upgraded, we see his face, it’s clear he is out near the Kaiu Wall.
Adams clothing and armor is one of my favorite things about his work it’s practical and his colors are just fantastic, look at that sky behind Nitani, the perspective on of the wall, the muscle work. All done with great care.
Chris Burdett - Hida Kaiji
I dont think I could have wished for this one to come out any better. We were handed a giant mutant berserker and I knew right away I wanted huge, and his weapon needed to be a tree trunk he made a tetsubo out of. Some early ideas were to include his old katana as a necklace or bits of his old crab armor as his shoulder plates. Chris handed us a couple of just amazing sketches and it was a hard choice. Chris by the way is an amazing monster artist, and as a hint for the future he makes a mean dragon sketch too. Kaiji showed up in two other cards of Chris’s since we knew we’d want to see more of the fellow.
Bishimon’s Tower - Noah Bradley - The implication here is that this massive structure was in large part brought into existence by Kuni Renyu’s earth magic so his forced could better observe and control the surrounding areas. It’s by far one of the most unique looking strongholds and we were going for this unexpected rock tower jutting up out of the wild jungle
Yuruginai - Steve Argyle - The biggest of the Celestial Swords, embedded with jade, reforged and the Celestial Sword that’s seen the most action. Even the saya is sturdy enough to be used as a weapon. It has one of the longest handles indicating military use over style as well.
Chiisai - So at times we consult a close friend named Steve DeBirk on descriptions this one was pretty much all his. We wanted Chiisai to be headed at the viewer almost like he’s ready to come out of the card at them, big up close and personal. We tossed on a jade crab “pendant” as sort of a decoration / joke that they’re not totally sold on elephants not being shadowlands monsters and just wanted to be extra sure.
Hida Bakari - Eddie Sharam - Bakari was imagined as a guy who is really really good at killing and gets easily distracted or bored when there is no one left to rip apart. Piece is a bit more digital looking than we usually want but at card size it ended up being alright.
Hiruma Hikazu - Prof Herbert - Called Hiruma Rally in design the goal on him was him getting his men back out of the jungle and a semi stealthy manner.
Chokey Nikaru - Matt Armstrong - Nikaru has a throat crushing fixation. This also marks the return of Matt Armstrong to the L5R art family.
Kaiu Fumiko - Alberto Tavira - A female siege master something we’ve not seen much of. The idea here was she was a Hida who showed a lot more brains than brawny and was sent to engineering school.
Kuni Renyu - Drew Baker - The younger brother of Kisada, Renyu is a powerful and trusted witch hunter. We added the dog as nod to Kuni Tansho. Dogs are a witch hunters best friend.
Yasuki Ikke - Alayna Lemmer - Sleazy tax collector who is cooking the books.
Click the photo for the video on why i love the crab clan. It’s a clip from the 4 hour and 48 minute long movie called red cliff