The Making of the Coming Storm cover

The Coming Storm is the next Glorantha book coming out – the first volume of a two volume epic campaign for HeroQuest set during the opening stages of the Hero Wars and leading up to the Liberation of Sartar. Jon Hodgson did the cover for the book, and I thought it might be interesting to see how the art direction was transformed into this beautiful cover.

Art Direction

So here is the art direction I sent Jon:

Scene: A woman Orlanthi warrior wearing a wolfskin fights off a pack of werewolves (dire wolves) in a snow-covered dead forest.

Orlanthi warrior woman: This woman is devoted to Vinga, the female incarnation of Orlanth the storm god. She has red hair, likely tied so that it doesn’t obstruct her eyes. She has brownish skin (as did your Orlanthi on the last cover). Her eyes are green or brown. She is tattooed with the runes of Air, Movement, and Death.She wears a bronze cuirass, vambraces, and greaves. The cuirass is decorated with Air Runes, like this

She wears a wolf-skin cloak.If she has a helmet, it is like an ancient Italian helmet, with four red feathers

She wields a bronze, leaf-shaped sword. The sword glows slightly – maybe she is about to use it to summon lighting or something.She should be strong and confident – reminiscent of the RQ2 cover

Werewolves:These wolves are much larger than modern wolves, more like the prehistoric Dire Wolves

compared to a grey wolf). They are much bigger than regular wolves, at least 50% bigger than the good old Northwestern Wolf that I remember. They have black-grey fur, and red eyes.They should look ferocious and fearsome, with fangs bared, and generally as aggressive and predator as possible. Like this:

The Background. This takes place during the Great Winter, so there is snow on the ground and the trees are all dead. The full Red Moon is somewhere in the night sky.

And here is Jon’s preliminary sketch and then the final: