"Way of the Hunter" Borderlands art series by Klopotinsha

Anticipation of dawn.

There is no telling to which time this painting refers; whether it was long before Mordecai stepped into The Bus or it takes place during the events of PEPLUM; difficult to separate such fleeting moments when you have walked into eternity.

MUSIC LINK

The first song in Russian, so I’ll write subtitles here for you:

Under the sky blue is a golden city
With transparent gates and a bright star
And there’s a garden in this city, full of grass and flowers;
Animals of unprecedented beauty are wandering there:

One, as a yellow flame-maned lion;
Another, bull with the profoundest eyes;
And with them golden heavenly eagle,
Whose unforgettable gaze is so bright.

And one star glows in sky blue.
It is yours, oh angel mine, it’s yours forever.
Who loves is beloved; who spreads the light is blessed;
Let the star lead you along the road to marvelous garden.

You’ll be greeted there by the yellow flame-maned lion
And the blue bull with the profoundest eyes;
And with them golden heavenly eagle,
Whose unforgettable gaze is so bright.

I know I couldn’t transfer the poetry awesomeness, but hope the main sense, references to tetramorph and all this symbolic stuff, which is so specific to Borderlands, is quite readable.
By the way, motive of this song (or my motivation to use it in this context) also reminds me a bit about song, used in unused trailer of Borderlands, where “Green fields are gone now, parched by the sun…”

But looking at this painting again, I feel like it not deserves to be with all this beautiful music… filthy animal!
And the irony is that he literally not deserves it.
But everything is relative.
Just like my art cycle and these songs.

1 Like

One more note about observations of the logical regularities and the archetypes.

These things are inherent to the mythology of any ancient ethnicity, but I will give an example from Greek mythology, as it is the most popular and well-known, and Borderlands largely is based on its motives, even borrowing some of the names and themes (I’ve already mentioned evident myth of Pandora’s Box earlier in this thread).

As we know, Olympian Apollo came to Greek mythology from Etruscan mythology, where it was called Aplu. It was relatively peaceful deity specialized on animal husbandry and light, he also looked after the fields, weather and fertility. Aplu was cyclical seasonal deity, i.e. at the end of the fertile season he dies, and then reappears young and healthy at the beginning of new cycle (some versions say that he never dies, but just buries his dignity into the ground for a while to recover strength)
Greeks decided to upgrade this character, making him infinitely immortal and giving him the ability to kill everything he would like to kill from his silver bow with golden arrows which he has received, and so he became a sniper class character, known as plague dealer and killer of giants.
And then Apollo concentrated his forces on truth, prophecy and knowledge, became a symbol of sun (instead of Helios, whose silly son ruined father’s chariot and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt and drowned in Eridanos river), Apollo became a patron of the migrants and founding colonies; has been recognized as a god of music and art, and to his company, in addition to ravens and dolphins, joined Muses for each genre of poetry.
Apollo also received healing skills, but Greeks decided to rewrite this to his son Asclepius, because Apollo had already been badass enough…

So why do I even recalled this story of evolution of ancient cowboy Aplu?
Well, it reminded me of evolution of Mordecai through Way of The Hunter. Of course, I haven’t thinking about Greek Apollos while leading Mordecai, I have enough things to keep in mind without them (and I actually prefer ‘not so perfect’ but psychological Romans instead of standardized visual designs of classical Greece); but now this overlap became just obvious. By the way Apollo have the twin sister named Artemis (Greek goddess of the Hunt); and in Borderlands setting Artemis is Mordecai’s planet of origin.
I’ve already mentioned that I consider Mordecai the Hunter, as straight logical continuation of Melquiades the Cowboy (because such origin story makes the way to the Vault even more symbolic, philosophical, beautiful and fun. Of course, Mordecai himself can’t be aware of this, having in access only illegible feeling of something like intuition or insanity), and then this egregorial being suddenly became what it became in this thread, I mean wise version of Mordecai in a sunny rag, who’s not less badass than most evolved version of Apollo. Mordecai himself would probably add a remark, that he’s actually more badass than Apollo because he have a beard (Apollo never had a beard because he’s eternal kid)

Hope these analogies with the Greek myths haven’t distracted you from motifs of Buddhist philosophy which also began to emerge here, and which is so versatile and perfectly combines with science, exploiting law of conservation of energy. I enjoyed to find in ‘Way of the Hunter’ some sort of allusions to amazing adventures of Siddhartha Gautama.
But if to continue development of this algorithm in BL3, would appear some difficulties with making Mordecai a playable character in game; as the Awakened One he will decide that it is not right to kill so many creatures without reason, as he did before; so this character will require a more challenging and varied gameplay features and ways of interacting with the environment and reasons and motivations… to punch other characters till nearly dead state to instill in them a love of classical literature :slight_smile:

I think it’s so awesome that I can use such a majestic egregore as a playable toy for my own travels and searchings! But actually, I can guess, that insidious beast just uses me to say to Gearbox,
“Heh heh heh… You thought you can humiliate me so easily without arousing the opposing force? We and I NEVER DIE! So don’t even try.”

Crazy old man!


And suddenly the picture from the previous post turned into clay relief!

Ok, I don’t mind. I use such things to decorate my lair. On the photos it still wet. I’ve done some manipulations with this thing after it dried a bit, and when it will become completely dry I’ll burn at 1000 degrees Celsius, and it will become brick. No, not Brick, it will be still Mordecai, but just orange colored and solid like the figurines shown earlier in this thread.

lol, this small flat clay plate works like holographic image… sometimes I feel so weird of fact, that physically I can see not the objects, but only the light they reflect.

4 Likes

Fantastic art and awesome storytelling.
Enjoyed it a lot.

1 Like

More random thoughts:
Very cool transformation of Mordecai into a Jesus-shaman mix.
He’s not my Mordecai anymore, though. Not sure if I like that… let’s just say mine it’s a parallel universe Mordecai than yours.
What he became and the flowery ending of the Hive are extremely Miyazakyan. You owe a lot to Nausicaa… and Lovecraft too. Fhtaghn!
I really enjoyed the soundtrack too, good choices there.
Keep up the good work :slight_smile:

1 Like

Haha! Yeah, I agree with shaman part, 'cause he can talk to the spirits and do a lot of delirium, but he’s far not a Jesus.
Despite all his enlightenment, compassion and wisdom that came with the awakening;
he’s still a dangerous maniac, a criminal, filthy animal; greedy, violent and ruthless killer. He’s still Mordecai with all his sins… Just a man traversing a thin rope stationed above an abyss, between his uncultivated animality and condition of superhuman; who could not decide for a long time in which direction he should move… and then he decided that it would be cool to fill this abyss with water, so it could turn into beautiful pond, and he could just sit down on large water lily right in the middle or this pond and ask friends to bring him some bladeflower tequila… You can interpret this metaphor as you wish, just don’t forget tequila!

And he’s not mine either. I prefer to classify it as an autonomous psychic entity, enough adult and conscious to deserve freedom. And it makes him even more dangerous, 'cause he can break the fourth wall… I’m glad that this thing is calm and knows his place! Good boy! :slight_smile:

I’ve seen this character in many universes, which I’ve seen before I chose this particular continuation of Borderlands story, which I found the most interesting and healthy.

I’ve seen desperate worlds where the mountain was covered with red dust and rust and almost all the characters we knew were severely killed, and Mordecai himself turned into slowly dying distraught monster, still desperately trying to see in these tormented landscapes something beautiful until his very end. By the way, exactly in one of those dreams I saw that Mordecai had lost one arm. At first he seemed so helpless, but turned out that he has adapted and copes… In the first dream he was killed by giant stale bony (like mummy) mutant skag. All of it was pretty scary from the first person.
And with each new dream I was trying to extract and purify the details from layers of chaotic dimension, like archaeologist who carefully frees artifacts from fossilized rocks, to restore the whole story. And with each new launch we were finding more beauty and life.
And that’s how I made these BL3 concepts, which passed C3n50r807’s morality check.

Yeah, Lovecraft was a very cool dude. I’m sure he would like video games genre, judging by what he was doing in literature.
And it’s a great honor that you classified Hive’s story as ‘Miyazakyan’ (but I’m sure Miyazaki would never turn Nausicaa’s story to theme of drug cartels)
And actually, as you can track in this thread, I came up with the legend of the Elder Mountain, the Wild Beasts and Hobo Spirit long before I read Nausicaa… and all these coincidences looks really fun, especially when you realize that all this Archetypes periodically comes in many forms from remote antiquity…

LOL Check that out! Ancient Mayan version of this very character, from Jaina Island dated 650-800 AD.!
He’s so AWESOME, isn’t it? :slight_smile:

Borderlands series set me thinking a lot about perception and methods of impact; why some varieties of maniacs and bastards can cause my sympathy and even care, but other varieties - only indifference or even disgust; like I can classify as a cutie Mordecai, who did so many terrible things with his bare hands; but I will never understand how so many people could dance around faceless Jack… hahaha, that sounds like “why do I choose to watch Downton Abbey instead of Game of prones?”

What makes a good man?

Hmm … I think in addition to these reflections, would be a good decision to post here another illustration from my BL1 novel…

1 Like

This picture in addition to its place in the novel suddenly found additional story arc.
He would probably justify what he just did by his traditional “Nothing personal”…
He-e-ey, why so silent?!
Seems he’s still a bit shocked after events of Sicario.

Of course, he can’t remember any of it, but recurring scenes and muted voices still haunt him in weird nightmares. Mordecai probably decided that it is due to the presence of the Ancient “Eridians” and global bouts of insanity on Pandora… and partly he’s right.

MUSIC LINK

I’m sure he’ll be fine.

Welcome to Pandora.

2 Likes

Behold!

The good old, I mean truly evil (i.e., honorable sort of evil) classic of Mordecai’s incarnations - the concentration of intergalactic wisdom and nonsense in giant corpse of an ancient sorcerer, faithfully serving for Mental’s ideas, commanding the sacred army of his master and fiercely defending the universe and its shrines, from tenacious greedy paws of horrible planetary parasites known as Humankind - the one and only …

TURN ON THE MUSIC! …YES! LOUDER!

… Mordeсai, The Summoner!

image

Yeah, that’s from another game. If someone doesn’t know, Serious Sam series is… it is like… a good answer if someone on Pandora would ask: “what is Earth?”

2 Likes

By the way, considering Croteam’s passion for ancient cultures, I think through Mordecai the Summoner (keyword: Mordecai - Jewish masculine name of Persian origin comes from the name of god Marduk, means “servant of Marduk”) we can come to really quite accurate impression about who is MENTAL exactly, or how he might be called in the ancient Mesopotamia - MARDUK.

For the first time in known history character named Mordecai appears in the Tanakh (Old Testament)
Together with his cousin Esther, who became his adopted daughter, he became the savior of the Jewish people from Haman’s wiles.

By the way, i figured how Mordecai from Borderlands could become so bright… i guess i filled him with ultra-purified Argent plasma. kek

Carpe diem

ENJOY THE MUSIC

The song you can hear in the middle takes its origin back in XVI century.
I really like this version from album “El Último” by LOS INCAS.
“Life isn’t worth living without love”, so go the words of this Spanish “villancio” from the Conquest period.
Here are English subtitles:

It is better to exchange
pleasure for pain
than to live without love.

If you are thankful
it is sweet to die,
to live in oblivion
is not to live at all
It is better to endure
passion and pain
than to live without love.

It is a wasted life
to live without love
it is a better living
to know how to use it
It is better to grieve
suffering pain
than to live without love.

4 Likes

Beautiful as ever.

1 Like

Calling this ‘fan art’ doesn’t seem to do it justice. This is amazing. Truly amazing.

2 Likes

Thank you @ziddersroofurry! Saw your comment on DA :slight_smile: I’m glad you came here!

Indeed. People who called it so should feed the skags.
NO not with their dead corpses! They should rise and bake some muffins
AND THEN FEED ALL MUFFINS TO SCAGS!! MWAHAHAHA

Actually I have no idea what term “fan-art” means; this concept has not formed at all, does not have clear frames or definition and in many ways contradicts to itself, but it’s already widely used. Surely term “fan art” cannot be classified as genre of fine art because it has not based on sets of stylistic criteria, mediums and ways of performing, or any other genre signs. The only criterion that it implies is that such thing alludes to registered trade mark, so most likely in modern understanding this solely capitalistic term means: “waste products of processing registered consumer products”.

And the notion “headcanon” in case with BL:WotH is not suitable either, since it materializes outside my head and able to jump from pages and screens into heads of other people… and the official continuity was already synchronized with something of it literally… I mean geographically.
Seriously, it would be stupid and meaningless if they would have done like whatever they planned before beginning of 2015, after they have already wasted too much time and all possible patience (three times) around this dumb rotten chicken.

… and actually both versions of this moment from first episode of TftBL was edited.
In the first version of the tale the moon was too dark and with sharp outlines, which are not natural for this time of day and air density on Pandora, so it is definitely montage.
In final cut version (which is definitely a montage too, as can be seen by suspicious shape of clouds) developers have painted over the spoilers without replacement, because they received the rights to tell a tale based on true event. But the viewers don’t really need to know all the details from the beginning, so they have to assume that narrators simply haven’t mentioned such minor detail.

All this time Elpis the Moon was watching over them with this weary smirk.

I think in case with BL:WotH the most suitable term would be “spin-off”,
or to be more precise - Legends. And it’s true, all of it.

You may ask for example “Bonzo” the Chronicler who joined Vaughn’s tribe, this former Hyperion engineer was in the midst of the “Beast flood” and was miraculously saved because sincerely repented and prayed for “Nature Spirit’s” mercy while snot was flowing from his nose. Of course, his version of Legends will be very fabulous because he’s out of his mind, and good enough to instill reverent fear to other Children, generating superstitions, bizarre rituals and other lulz.

I would also like to mention, that when I was creating the illustration with Ruins of Helios, I took basic portion of inspiration from live and unwrapped version of White Ashes (different from OVO album version)
I listened it many times while I was bringing down the “Evil Tower” on Pandora over and over again on paper, calculating the trajectory of scatter of wreckage and dead bodies of innocent robots.
Taking into account the laws of physics, relatively common for the known universe, more logical option would be the one where it all turned into a huge horrible crater on the surface of the planet. But eventually I decided to make it less realistic but more symbolic (at least to make what should happen clearly visible) The picture was very dark and ominous when it just come into being, but when i came to the colouring of sketch of the final version, my thoughts have gone much further to the times of the third act, when the travellers came to this location reminding about distant past, in the context of completely different story.

Daym… translated into the language of TTG forums, crashing of the space station might sound like - planetary scale “shipping” - Heldora! Kek.

1 Like

Two Tribes

(from note dated 27.10.2015)

Along the Way I came across variety of communities with very opposed views on Borderlands.
I’ve met a lot of haters from groups dedicated only to specific episodic part of setting, mainly inhabited by little girls whose place in a vat of acid who haven’t even played the original game (and certainly won’t understand this joke about little girls in a vat of acid); and where is hardly to find philosophers, travelers and lovers of aesthetics.
Not disdained to get dirty I watched over their perception and mindset for a while and right from live model wrote a classy concept about tribe of savages for BL3!

In that isolated tribe, which inhabits fetid wasteland poisoned with slag, there is a legend about the horrible monster – half four-legged scythid half man with tentacles instead of hair and soulful eyes whose pertly glitter violates the darkness – bloodthirsty henchmen of terrible Eridians, whose wicked calm and friendly speech drives people mad and makes them explode in a fit of rage. He descends from the mountains at night, rapes women, steals babies and eats them with all the giblets!

Every night, trembling with fear at the high wall of plastic, sentries stand in hope of meeting the monster with volley of lead, though he no longer appears in these dull lands…

Three hundred miles to the northwest, where dense crystalline forests stretched as far as the eye could see, among high cliffs with protruding architecture elements of the ruins of ancient alien civilization, inhabit another tribe, probably descended from the archaeologists who walked through the Arch on Promethea and were considered missing for a hundred years, until they came out on Pandora. They have close trade ties with the Slab Kingdom, Children of Helios and nomads of Balls-in-a-Head cartel.
In this technologically advanced tribe of planeswalkers, wearing emerald-purple clothes, there is a legend of wise Spirit of Nature, who takes the form of tall Truxican man to talk with people, but travels in form of a large white raven, whose wings shimmer like pearlescent in the starlight; and each feather in the wing is beautiful as good, reliable as the right word, lasting as wide song, wise like a magical tale, strong as mighty heroes and bright like the great dream…

Such different perceptions have formed in two tribes about the same “phenomenon”.

By the way, I do not think he actually able to eat a human baby… he is very fastidious in this regard.
And by the way, I would not trust to screams of this sick woman, who has cut off her own face and was trying to drown stolen baby in the slag swamp to “resurrect Handsome Jack”.
Any touch of faceless creatures poisons with critical dose of slag, but they have very stupid AI.
So, Mordecai and Horse masterfully dodging escaped with the “quest item” unscathed and most likely did not even understand that this repulsive creature was a woman.

And most likely in the second tribe Talon was taken as Mordecai’s flight form… but who knows what this weirdo actually smokes while hanging out with Eridians…

2 Likes

Guardians of the garden

I’ve carved this chubby Mordecai sculpture from coquina in 2014-2015, now he guards my grandmother’s house and eats squirrels.

3 Likes

By the way, Mordecai’s riding scythid’s name is Horse. Although in character he(Horse the scythid) is more like a very intelligent dog … and mollusk.

Horse - is not only fast and hardy mount, but also reliable assistant in battles and ranching. He’s able to execute commands, or rather consciously understands human speech (or rather, the mental impulses). But listens only to Mordecai (only with his original voice, of course), because Horse was raised by Mordecai from a tiny crawler.
If any other person would try to yell at Horse in such manner, Horse will pretend he’s a stupid cattle for a while, and then will do everything wrong, or will simply splatter mucus in a face. Because Horse such a proud.

Favorite Horse’s treats are rakk “honey” and human liver.

At sight of Moxxi, Horse usually makes a shrill whistling-farting roar, signifying “Hey Lady, I brought your spouse!”, which usually provokes laughter of the rider and shameless excuses like “I haven’t taught him this!”

If to scratch Horse’s back correctly, he begins to sing (the sound resembles a bird’s trill with elements of didgeridoo, jew’s harp and grunting)

Horse also may extract livers of those who touched the forbidden areas without special permission.

By the way, originally Mordecai’s scythid was named José, but when he grew up and transformed to four-legged runner and Mordecai took him to get acquainted with the inhabitants of Sanctuary, Kingdom of Slabs, The Great Arch, Tamaghis, Ba’dan, Yass-Waddah, Waghdas, Naufana, Ghadis, and representatives of the neighboring tribes; Someone of Volunteers mistakenly called the scythid foal - “Horse”.
And José liked a slight difference in the pronunciation of his name, as it symbolically evokes memory of ancient legends with the animals that were among the first (after dinosaurs) who tamed a human.

2 Likes

#Dissolution of Eternity
(Origins of the Wrath, or how Klopotinsha no longer going to hint politely)

scroll up volume in your headphones
use the link to pick up the nails
image

Let the nails impale your brain while I continue the tale about things,
which for our perception of reality are no more than fiction.

As you might noticed I am very worried because of absence of Mordecai’s Voice.
Of course 'cause he’s awesome, but there is another significant point.
You see, all the good dreams of future adventures which I told here before,
will never occur if the Good Man will turn to empty costume.
Unsophisticated consumers can admit any crap, but who gives a shiт about them when we talk about Art.
Despite the all the efforts of Jason Liebrecht, he only causes GVHD which exacerbates agonizing process.

After all, without the Void, the Light cannot exist.

And that’s what happens in worlds where Gearbox keep on behave disgracefully and make the following Borderlands story not good enough to interest Julio César Cedillo in generating some negentropy to charge the Egregor :

Mordecai hasn’t reached eternity in Jimenez or dunes of Singapore.
Having lost the Primary Soul Core Mordecai fades slowly and painfully, slipping farther and farther onto more ancient and obscure dimensions, falling apart to tiny bony magical echoes fated to wander aimlessly through time. (in this case whole Borderlands considered as WASTED, by the way)

We can recognize them as Overlord and his Wrath little ones during Trent Ranger’s marvelous adventures in ancient catacombs of “Quake”.
I call these monsters “malen’kie Mordecaichiki” because of their similarity to Mordekai the Summoner
(but technically, Mordekai the Summoner is similar to them).
In many worlds Mordecai reveals magic powers… (no matter the chicken or the egg)
But these little ones can’t remember that once they were alive. There was nothing left in them that ever made them alive; no love, no sorrow; only sharp bones and wrath that tears them from the inside; speechless and depersonalized, driven by residual instincts they punish everyone who dares to disrupt discipline of the underworld.

image

2 Likes

image

-HISSSSSS! (Look at this! I found another piece of a spaceship.)

-Squeak! (It’s like Christmas!)

2 Likes

Asymptotes

This illustration was lying for over a year on my hard drive, I planned to use it in the context of large abstruse dialogue about quantum mechanics and multiverse architectonics, where I would have come to some logical explanations about why “Eridians” need help of Humans and other creatures with time perception, and how many variations of Ultimate BADASS Mordecai’s right upper limb got stuck in singularity and why he’s in no hurry to fix it, and why the deal he offered to “Eridians” is so dangerous… Well. No risk, no tequila! Jahaha…

But eventually I decided to not disturb you with mountains of scribbling which you probably won’t even read, so I just show the picture and offer to listen to another music playlist!

By the way, Ultimate BADASS Mordecai sometimes refers to himself as “We” or “some of Us” for lulz.

And this Arch Guardian was named Anticulus (which means “against anus” in latin.)
Hey! Which of Mordecai’s minds come to this idea?!

3 Likes

I absolutely love your artwork and the articles/ concepts /amazing information you write for them. I always look forward to what you post next, thank you for the fantastic work you put into your posts!

1 Like

image

2 Likes