ludsterThe visual thoughts of a closet artist
#1
[Image: Dybowski_Layers_of_fear_3.jpg]

Across the winding paths and distant streets. Through Caelfall's proud buildings and Aerendale's graceful architecture. Past the bustling park and closer to the lower district of the city. Within a silent and modest homestead within the suburbs of Messaris lies a locked room kept dormant, filled to the brim with paintings of varying degrees, unbeknownst to all save for the abode's singular occupant.

Each painting tells a story. Every stroke exudes emotion. All components within the canvas, each one having a reason for its place within. Yet these paintings often arrive by the doorsteps of collectors, high class citizens, and bidding houses. A painting presented, yet an artist obscured as an unknown enigma. 

Though these paintings eventually find a high price—often chipping in to the frequent exchange of coin between the rich and able—it would seem that a deeper meaning is hidden behind it all. Each painting told a story. Every stroke presented a corresponding emotion. All components, each presenting a reason for its place. It was through this that the artist tells the story they wish to push forth.
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#2
[Image: 39076020d2abadeddc9fbdfa45fa1b62.jpg]

In upper Aerendale, there rests a home. Extravagant as it may be, within held a family often known as a popular benefactor to the City Watch. A painting was gifted to them by this rising name. A name that no one knew, at the same time everyone whispered about.

Resting upon this family's foyer—past many other paintings of varying sizes and subjects—there it sat, easily drawing the eye of anyone that enters through the lavishly inviting front door. Thirty inches in width, thirty in height. Hues of indigo, blue, and purple all brilliantly arrayed upon the canvas—only rivaled by the piercing yellows. 

Above, a round visage cackles in the darkened background. It's mouth agape open in joy as its eyes squint close, attempting to suppress tears. It's tongue poked out as every aspect of it was as animated and exaggerated as one could imagine. Behind it, the sky was in a plethora of dark shades, all acting as a backdrop to the enlarged figure. Nothing obtruded this round form save for those under it.

Below it, two jesters lock rapiers along each other. Complete with jingling hats and faces of pure white, frowns are found upon their fool-like faces. Their clothes, though already marred red and black much akin to many jesters of yore, has splatterings of pink. Each one posed much like a fencer, with one hand on the blade, the other tucked behind them. With both legs buckled, both figured struggled among each other.

Among the two, a faceless crowd watched over them. No eyes, no noses, no mouths. Not a single visage depicting anything human or human-like. All watching before the two engaged against each other.

The painting had no signature. No forensic methods deem it belonging to another before where it was now. No one truly knew where it came from. Yet it found itself a peculiar audience.
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#3
[Image: 428a0aae016a3e1a5356516a4040931c.jpg]

By the doors of a rising mercantile noble, a butler hurriedly pulls in a painting, frantically calling for his other colleagues. With their master out on a business trip up to the north, they are left with the job of taking in any packages that may arrive.

As a young maid steps forward, she curiously begins to unravel the wrappings upon this parcel. Much to their surprise, it is revealed that a painting has found its way to this noble's doors. The servants are confused; no addressee is found, nor was there any initial word from their master of its supposed arrival.

One of them is immediately sent off to the Watch, tasked to investigate this incredibly curious happening as the painting stood among a crowd of servants.

The painting itself seems rather simple, yet small nuances push out a deeper message.

Presented is an empty street, void of life. The stone pavement seemingly collecting dust as nature seem to begin its march to reclaim civilization. By the side, a derelict house finds itself lifeless as a cracked window and a rotting door wistfully tries to look inviting to the viewer. By the corner, a disposed City Watch uniform finds itself on the road. Bearing little to no rips, it looked faintly as if it were removed without much resistance from the wearer.

Yet far off, past the other buildings and the foreground, a snow-capped mountain stood. A few dots of yellow and grays contrast the whites, almost giving the mountain a lively glow. Despite it simply being in the background, it was a focal point that drew any viewer's attention immediately, with the abandoned scenery coming as a second to what they perceive next.

The group murmurs as another painting finds its audience.
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