go read it because it’s the one fic that makes me believe in Tranquil as sensitive beings and Keran and Feynriel broke my heart aaaaaand ;_;
Thank you, this is so beautiful! I love the backlighting you did, and Feynriel’s hair, and, of course, Keran’s stealth soulpatch. Really like how much the background looks like a firelit stone wall, too.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the following is the scene from chapter 14 that the above illustration is based on.
Keran woke some time before dawn as Feynriel stirred and rose from the bed, walking over to put a fresh log on the coals. The room was cold, and he could hear the sounds of a storm blowing past outside, wind-driven snow hissing against the window. The sound made him hope that the merchant and his men were somewhere with good shelter.
It was nice to be curled up in a warm bed on a day like this, he thought, and smiled as he watched Feynriel crouching down before the fire, reduced in the darkness to a firelight-edged silhouette, naked apart from his hair cascading loose around his shoulders. He’d kept most of the extra breadth there that he’d put on over the fall from chopping wood. He was, Keran found himself thinking as he ran his eyes over him from head to toe, quite beautiful.
He wondered if Feynriel was even aware of how attractive he was. The tranquil seemed to have some sense of aesthetic appreciation still – witness how he could be mesmerized by the growth of frost on the window, or the beautiful things he made with the work of his own hands. While some of that beauty might come from the rules of proportion and placement he spoke of, Keran could not believe that all of it came from such.
Feynriel shifted position, turning his head to look over his shoulder at Keran. The tattoo on his forehead stood out starkly in the firelight, and Keran stopped breathing for a moment, staring at it. He had seen it hundreds of times before, on other tranquil, on Feynriel during their months together here, and only just in that moment did it sink in for him what a dreadful lessening it represented. Not just how it meant that Feynriel had been lessened from a powerful mage to just a mundane man, but worse – how in so many ways it marked him as less than a man. Unable to feel. He couldn’t really imagine that, even having seen it, lived with it, for so many months now. To never feel fear again, or grief. Happiness, sorrow, joy, anger, hatred, lust, grief, guilt… all the things that made men human.
"Feynriel… come back to bed," he said, and was surprised to hear how tight and hoarse his own voice sounded. "Please."
The man rose and walked over. He stood by the bed a moment, looking down at Keran, face as calm as ever, then slid under the covers. “You’re crying,” he observed, reaching out to touch his hand to Keran’s cheek. “Why are you crying?”
"I don’t know," Keran said. And then realized he did. "Because you can’t," he said, and put his arms around Feynriel, holding him tightly. And knew, then, that the reason he’d said was only part of it. That the biggest reason he was crying was because he had realized that he was falling in love with someone who could never, ever love him back.
Gorgeous and heartbreaking story and art to go with it. <3