The Emperor's Soul

Visual Development Project based on Brandon Sanderson’s novella „The Emperor’s Soul“.
Based on an Asian-inspired fantasy setting, we follow the story of Shai, a so called „forger“ with the magical ability to change an object’s appearance and history by applying a „soul stamp“ to it.

Huge Thanks goes to Yen Shu Liao, who helped me throughout this project with making sure I don’t mess up the „Asian“ (more particular, Taiwanese) inspiration too much, and also helped me out with Chinese search words when English & dictionaries failed me. Thank you!

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Shai's Prison cell - specifically designed to hold people with magical abilities like hers.

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Shai's work room - the dustist and most shabby place they could find for her.

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Shai's work room - after she did severe "improvements" to each and every furniture, and even tore down a wall for more space.

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Key Scene of Shai and Gaotona, in Shai's improved chamber.

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Outside of Shai's room - she is located in one of the less well maintained wings of the palace.

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Moving on to the Imperial Wing - a stark difference with its gold ornaments and hallways lined with ancient portraits and artifacts.

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Early exploration of what the gold patterns might look like - in the end, I went with a script-like version similar to the real world traditional Chinese letters that inspired me to this design language in the first place.

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The imperial bedchamber. After his injury, The Emperor does not leave this place.

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The imperial Wing - Mood Painting.