I wanted to flesh out the world a little more but I needed to know more about what type of environment the client had in mind.
Later, I suggested we set each town in a different location with a unique terrain and look so we came up with: Elslo - surrounded by forests, Hatta - on a small island in a swamp and Rand in the middle of the dunes of a desert.
The client also required that the player could choose between a male and female character and that each town had some characters to send the player on side quests.
With that much, I could finally get to sketching!
The Hero - One thing I always found odd about RPGs was that the main character was always the one, among the rest of their people, to wear the more extravagant clothes for no reason; the main character of this story wears common clothes that blend with the rest.
Ari - I envisioned a character from a distant land with a dark past and a connection to the main villain. I wanted her to be a strong warrior without being an over-sexualised video game doll and I tried to visualise that in her attire.
Ori - I've decided Ori should be an aetherian mage who conjures himself on Earth to help the player for a limited time. To create the aetherian look, I thought an otherworldly gradient with feathery/scaly growths would do the trick. The marks on what is seemingly Ori's forehead are its actual eyes.
Lacris - Taking it one step further in the aetherian department, I took the motif used on Ori and expanded on it with a regal, sleek, slender figure in mind.
Yarn - The child of an earthling and a corrupted aetherian, Yarn inherited his fathers scaly growths and horns. The markings on his forehead are painted on as a reminder of his aetherian heritage.
Talbot, Tepes & Thutmosis - the client mentioned wanting boss enemies for when the player reached the Void Realm and I thought it would be a good idea if they were Yarn's generals; Three voidlings with special capabilities. My idea was to base them on wolfman, dracula and mummy from the Universal Classic Monsters movies. For their outfits, I decided to give them a uniform with a "Y" symbol for Yarn on to bring a sense of unity under one banner.
Dorgal - My idea to portray Dorgal's corruption was to mutate the aetherian look by turning the feathery growths into horns and switch sparkles for dark whirls.
Mayor Deena, Ulivo, Carson, Niev - Characters from the town of Elslo. I wanted to give them a casual and relaxed which would feel like the hero would belong to.
Mayor Lars, Kiara, Brion & Pat - Characters from the town of Hatta. I wanted this town to be full of shady and hardened characters who could hold their own in any situation. I gave each an article of clothing with stripes which may be the pattern of the hide of a local creature or might've been bought from the same tailor.
Mayor Tolshat, Vishal, Sanah & Aamira - Characters from the town of Rand. I wanted to imply Ari was from Rand so my goal here was to create characters she would fit with and sashes, face paint, extravagant jewellery and bright clothes would do that to me.
Next, the client requested that there be obtainable armours and weapons and, with a general town theme set, I was able to come up with a sword and a set of armour for each town.
Finally, all that was left was coming up with enemies!
I figured all I had to to do was create "weaker" looking versions of the generals to be under their command.
...and with that, character art was done!