By Steve Argyle
Cowed and Defeated - Adam Schumpert - I’m not sure I can say enough good about our newcomer Adam. This was one of four sketches he sent, all were awesome, all would have made great cards and this was his final we had no revisions for him. He used the style guide perfectly and gave us what I think is an epic looking card.
Captured Convict - Steve Argyle - The final piece showing off Kanahashi in her bounty hunter role, she’s convinced the guy to surrender and is dragging his butt back to town. I love how annoyed she looks at having to drag him back. Maybe she hoped he’d fight back more?
Lookout - Dan Masso - A spotter for a ninja in the shadows she marks the target and he gives them an accidental dart in the neck. The guy munching away unexpectantly is great.
Scorn the Weak - Felipe Gaona - The idea here was an ally or guarded individual turning and running when he yojimbo or friend took one on the head. Weak indeed.
Subtle Games - I wanted someone getting caught in a weird situation due to a Scorpions mechanics. Poor lady, I think it’s his wife.
Strong of the Colonies - Heather Kreiter
Running Battle - Ancor Gil Hernandez
Beseech Sakkaku - John Donahue
Thunders Stamina - Steve Argyle
Moshi Rukia - Sergio Camarena - Rukia is a fine example of Sergio’s style, loose and flowing, wild and raw she was a powerful thunder shungeja from the start and we wanted her coiled with power charged up for a blast.
Tsuruchi Kosoko - Mario Wibisono I told Mario Kosoko was Saya’s granddaughter who has just won a wasp style archery tournament. We were sure to get those black and yellow colors in on her arrows and bow.
Yoritomo Kanahashi - Steve Argyle - Kanahashi is in three cards this set, she comes off as playfully ruthless I think. The pyro on the building was to reflect an original holdings control mechanic she had so I designed her as a bit extreme in her methods.
Kitsune Kichi - Alain Viecsa - I met Alain at Gen Con last year, he came to dinner with Steve, myself and some friends. Had a lot of fun and we got him on board for some work. Kichi and her giant honey badger are a pretty cool combo and they just don’t care.
Yoritomo Ebumi - William O’Conner - Jungle scout. We had originally tried for sort of a covered in mud Arnie in Predator vibe but it wasn’t working so instead a sort of gaze out of the jungle as he roams the edges looking for enemy incursions evolved.
Yoritomo Tsang - Matthew Armstrong - When we saw that the Mantis got a kensei, we knew duel kama were how this was going to go down. Plus Matt had expressed an interest in doing some work and the match was made.
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.
Unexpected - Steve Argyle
Part of a series of images of this Yoritomo she is a fun one. Her traits that developed were amusing sort of this happy go lucky bounty hunter/magistrate. Look out for her personality and other action card.
The New Foundries - Noah Bradley - A massive structure build into the side of a plateau we wanted to give the Foundries a scale and a unique visual with bursts of chemical light and flares of alchemy fire lighting it up. This was I think my favorite of the three strongholds.
Agasha Kurou - David Horne - This one went through a few tweaks on the look, pose and design on the bottles. I really liked the result, Davids style is so crisp and clean, and the tossing the chemical grenades. Originally we wanted him to be summoning a wall with a shattered bottled but it just wasn’t flowing in the sketches so we went for the moment before. Yes that’s right, exploding wall grenades.
Asako Hayate - Randolph Williams - Randolph was a new fellow we tried out, his style is very traditional and old school. I had been obsessing over rivers and boat homes and got this idea of an Asako who lived in a boat and traveled the rivers of the empire.
Asako Jirou - Stu Barnes - This one was fun. I basically told Stu I wanted an inquisitor using his air spells to bind a captured fugitive in the air. He added the upside down part and it was awesome.
Isawa Hinata - Marc Scheff - Originally having a range increase trait on her we had Marc show off how she was increasing range attacks with fire, and lots of it.
Natsumi - Alex Tooth - A water Ryu Natsumi was given to Alex because he has a flowing style and I wanted to see a water
dragon ryu out of him.
Shiba Kudome - Edwin David - Kudome needed to be powerful and fiery, Edwin took on the always tricky use of fire, red armor and red lighting and gave us one tough looking samurai.
Keitaku - Steve Argyle - I really pestered Steve on this one, it has so much lore poured into it, I wanted it to get some great attention. In the full size notice the blades pattern of fire, the flame motive worked into the saya. Steve on the swords made an effort to give each it’s own location, and even arranged the silks in such a way that he felt matched each clans attitude.
Twin Forks City - Noah Bradley - A rising sun for a solid back light showing of the powerful Crane Colonies City.
Megumi - Steve Argyle - Stylish, shorter hilt and blade. Bright and airy to convey a lightness to the environment and the blade.
Asahina Keigo - Wenn Juin - We had a fairly open description for this as Keigo’s prior art was both a soul of and a distance shot. I really liked the result.
Daidoji Sosuke - Greg Lambrakis - “Check all the boxes, don’t care about your schedule. We’re here till it’s done.” We really wanted a customs official style character who was griefing the Mantis at the docks.
Daidoji Tsunehiko - Brent Chumley -This fellow was suppose to be a small boxable, and got upgraded later to Beff McBrick house.
Kakita Ichigiku - April Lee - Ichigiku we wanted a duelist who just drew some of the first serious blood between the Mantis and Crane. Arrogant, and ruthless she’s very pleased with her kill.
Kakita Saki - Matt Zeilinger - I wanted a big blacksmith. Crane get a lot of flack for being more effeminate looking, but this fellow is to shake it up a bit.
Kakita Tadanobu - Drew Baker - So an Exp of a soul of, we wanted to give him his own look, define him as more than his prior soul of art.
Kazehime - Hanna Boving - Cherry tree spirit!