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Esteparios de Tergvlad


versión en español 


Brief History of Esteparios dTergvlad 


It has been two centuries since the last war of succession in Ponthar. It is said that during those cruel years of battle, General Marshal Zvaemar Hogan, King Eldgeforz´s right-hand man, gave his life to safeguard the life of the young Prince, the last survivor of the house. After the death of Zvaemar, and over the next ten years, his soldiers hid and protected Prince Craydan in the remote mountains of Tergvlad, in the hope that when the Prince came of age, the Kingdom of Eldgeforz would be reestablished again to its splendor.

As the chronicles record, after a series of calamities, Craydan Eldgeforz recovered the throne thanks to the invaluable help of the knights of Zvaemar; and his gratitude towards them did not pass unnoticed. Even though the years of war and misery in Ponthar have long been forgotten, the soldiers of the King still watch the hidden passes of the mountains. These soldiers call themselves Esteparios. They watch over the mountain range that protect the kingdom of Tergvlad against its invaders. They protect the citizens of the kingdom under a blood oath, and will answer the call of the Princess, the legitimate heir of King Eldgeforz.

The Esteparios of Tergvlad are a special military unit trained to persevere where others fail, stand when others fall. Being an Estepario means to be committed to a way of life that few will share, and almost no one will understand. Being an Estepario means to give the best in one and never expect to be given anything in return.


Additional Information about Esteparios  de Tergvlad 


Originally, the Esteparios de Tergvlad were the personal guard of king Eldgeforz. After the last invasion of Laegnor, they devoted their lives to safeguard the western frontier of Ponthar. They go through a military service which is independent of the rest of the cavalry of the kingdom. The military quarters of the Esteparios are located in Tergvlad, that gives name to the mountain range that borders Laegnor. Between the mountain ranges of Tergvlad and Vandera, the capital of Ponthar, there is an extensive steppe of grassland called the Myhn. The roughness of the terrain and the trails means that these men have to cross these stretch of wasteland on foot whenever the King calls on them to the capital. This fact has given them their name Esteparios. Nowadays, little vestige remains on this military unit from their former members of the royal guard. With time, their combat style has been adapted to fight in this terrain.

The Esteparios travel alone or in pairs most of the time. It is very rare to find a unit of four or six men, discretion in their line of work is part of their code. Despite this, their uniform is known across Ponthar. Black is a bad omen colour in the Kingdom, only used by those who look to attract bad luck on them. However, the dark stone colour of the mountains of Tergvlad makes the black hoods a valuable means of camouflage, and the Esteparios do not understand the meaning of bad omens. Years of solitude have moved them apart from the customs and beliefs of the common folk, and the common folk avoid having dealings with them.

Leather and furs have become the Esteparios´ best friend against the chill and wind of the high mountains. They do not use metal pieces. From a very young age, an Estepario is trained to fight using all kinds of weapons, from hand-to-hand to long distance weapons. Their preferred weapons are the long bow and short sword. Many myths have grown around the Esteparios and their abilities. The most believed one is that the Esteparios go on foot because even a horse would slow them down when crossing the steppe. In reality, horses hooves are not made for the steep rocky wet ground of the mountains of Tergvlad. Another belief is that the Esteparios unit is used by the King to send there the outcasts with no purpose in the kingdom. Some folk go even further and add that those that kidnap children are sent to serve there. The reality is that the Esteparios can call upon the 'Right to Call', where an Age Estepario can claim any youngster he considers worthy in the kingdom of Ponthar in the name of the King to serve in the order. In the last years women have entered the Esteparios. However, they are volunteers, since they are not subject to the 'Right to Call'.

The training of an Estepario start at an early age, between seven and ten years of age, although there are cases when older children have joined. The novice trains for several years before his aptitudes are evaluated. After the first period of training, those fit, turn cadets. Those not fit to fight are sent back home or assigned to minor roles within the Order.


Making of Esteparios de Tergvlad 


The web page Esteparios de Tergvlad has been born. With the information provided above, the idea was to come up with a banner for the web page as well as some portraits of what an Estepario would look like. Esteparios de Tergvlad is born within the world of Guild Wars 2. As such, the challenged was that the designs had to resemble a little bit the professional designs created for this universe in terms of colours and look and fee (a bit of a challenge :))l. For example, this one.

Below I collected the information as it was been passed to the web page developers and organisers of these group. I added some information as to how the different designs where coming along. You might find some useful stuff down there. Any questions, do not hesitate to send me an email.



8 February 2013 -  You can find below the first versions for the banner. Two colour palettes and a black and white version are presented. Although the cape and hood of the character should  be in black, the figure was too dark, and since it is not a realistic representation but more an artistic one for a banner, I think it should be fine. The background will remain white so that it fits well within the background of the web page. 

Black and y white version:


Esteparios B&W


The first idea was to use a pastels colour palette, with browns, oranges and so on, probably more characteristic of the environment where the Esteparios live. However I was also asked to introduce a complementary colour, in this case blue/green tones. At the end I ended up with a mixture of both, which you can see below. The way I work is by starting first in black and white. For portraits, I normally start working on the figure in one layer. I do all the initial work in a single layer. Once I am more or less happy with the grey scale version, I start to introduce colours. The grey scale version does not have to be very refined. The way I apply colour is by working first on a background image. For this I create many layers and build up a nice textured coloured background image which I place under the layer with the grey scale figure. I then set the grey scale version of the figure on top of this background layer and set the mode to overlay, soft light, luminosity or whichever I think works best. I also find that you end up getting lots of happy accidents and nice colour range. Once done, is when the real work starts and I start applying colour again over this on a different layer using mainly normal mode layers. I select the colours now with the colour picker tool from the image. I find this method works much better than painting over the grey scale figure in colour or overlay mode layers. 

Here is the first colour version that came out.


Esteparios V2


Second colour version where I go more towards the browns. 

Esteparios V1


I also started working with a version of the portrait figure of an Estepario. Below is the very first quick block in of the figure and some ideas mixed around of what the character would look like. The head was supposed to be covered by a hood, so I only wanted to retain the rough shape of the head. At the end I discarded this version and made a new one (see further below).




11 February 2013 -  I was asked to cover the torso of the character since, as it was rightly pointed out, the temperatures high in the mountains would make hard to justify a naked torso. So I gave the character a leatherie shirt with some sort of decoration in the form of a net. It is just a net I did not long ago and was wanting to use somewhere. I thought it was the right place to use since it puts the center on his face, but I dont know what it is :) I also added a shield over the right side of his shirt. I was told the symbol of the Esteparios is an arrow head pointed downwards, so I designed one with some references I found online (you can see the design further down below).

In the image below, you can see the figure in grey scale before I superimposed it over the background. This is what I mentioned above regarding how I come up with the colour palette.


Esteparios V1



In this version I have overlaid the grey scale version on the background. I then adjusted the colour scheme to go back to the pastels colour palette. In my opinion it is a bit dark, but again, since it will be used as a web page banner, I think it could work out quite well.


Esteparios V1


The fact that it was dark was bothering me a bit, so I started the work on the colour again and came up with the different versions you see below. I used several colour schemes and try to bring up a little bit more the details of the shirt, hands and so on.


Esteparios Greens


Below is the arrow design I used overlaid on the shirt.




14 February 2013 - I considered the work on the banner done, so I include below what I consider are the final images for the web page banner.


Initial version in browns,


Esteparios V1


Grey scale version,

Esteparios B&W


Green/blue scale version (more and less saturated versions),


Esteparios Greens


Esteparios Greens Less Saturation


Red/orange scale version (more and less saturated versions),

Esteparios Reds


Esteparios Reds Less Saturation


16 February 2013 -  After discarding my initial design for a portrait of an Estepraio, I started to work on something different, using a different approach. I decided I did not want to draw the full figure, but give it an unfinished look. I left most the cape area out, leaving only the outline of it.

Below you can find the first steps of the process. As I have already mentioned above, I normally start by working on grey scale and build up the figure to an almost finished state. In the third figure below you can already see that I have started to play  with a background. All the backgrounds you see in these images have been made by myself using traditional media. I have now a large collection of watercolour and acrylic shapes I have been making. I then scan them at high resolution and I use them to give texture and colour to the backgrounds.


Esteparios PortraitEsteparios PortraitEsteparios Portrait


Once happy with the figure, I superimpose it over a coloured textured background and see what comes out. I then start building up the colour on separate layers.


Esteparios Portrait


It is already taking shape. The colours have not been adjusted yet, and for example here below you can still see some blue stripes on the inside and over the hood  that are present in the background image I built. When I superimposed the grey scale figure over it, they pop out. I will clean them later, but this is the kind of happy accident I meant earlier. They could have looked great, and I would have left them. Since I did not like them, I painted them over :)


Esteparios Portrait


I adjust the colour palette and call it almost over. I was asked to try and fit a dagger on him, and I am still thinking how to do this ....


Esteparios Portrait


24 February 2013 -  I decided I also wanted to have a go at the female Esteparia. I followed the same process that I described above for the male version.


Esteparios PortraitEsteparios PortraitEsteparios Portrait


And here is the nearly final version of her. For this one, I want to add a bow .... somewhere.


Esteparios Portrait


The last thing I did was to take the logo used in the Esteparios de Tergvlad site and add them to the images with the arrow I designed pointing down overlayed as well.


Esteparios PortraitEsteparios Portrait



3 March 2013 -  The idea of giving them a bow and dagger is still on my mind. So I had a quick go at it. Bellow you can find the final different versions: with logo and without it, with bow/dagger and without it.



Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait

Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait Esteparios Portrait



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