1) The World of Bal-Sagoth
Bal-Sagoth the band is just one facet of the vast and far-reaching world of these stories. The lyrics of the six albums are reflections of a much larger and more intricate body of work, and only a relatively small part of that has thus far been revealed in the lyric booklets. As I originally intended, the chronicles of this baroque fantasy world will ultimately encompass such things as prose short stories, graphic novels, illustrated books, and more. Additionally, the forthcoming revised and expanded edition of my Glossary (called “The Lexicon”) will provide readers with unprecedented information on all aspects of the lyrical mythos.
The World of Bal-Sagoth
The Antediluvian Map
Here is the map I designed which depicts the world in which the antediluvian era stories take place.
Larger view of the colourized map:
Characters of the Lexicon
Many characters populate the Bal-Sagoth lyrics and the short stories & comics. Here is a selection of concept artwork showcasing some of them.
Soon to be appearing in comics and short stories is my character CAYLEN-TOR, who first appeared in the lyrics of the second BAL-SAGOTH album. This character has proven to be a fan favourite over the years, and his adventures are set to continue soon.
This is a selection of Caylen-Tor illustrations from the last 20 years or so, including my own first sketches of the character upon which all subsequent renditions are based. Click the image to enlarge.
Full colour painting of Caylen-Tor in the cyber-armour which he dons during his future-war adventures.
Here is a larger version of Samuel Santos’ iconic illustration of CAYLEN-TOR.
This is a collection of illustrations featuring my character the King of Hyperborea. The first two are my original b&w character sketches, including the early “older” version of the King with his beard and eyepatch, followed by my illustration of the King as a younger man.
Full colour painting of the King of Hyperborea and Lord Angsaar. Artwork by Martin Hanford.
Zurra, the villainous protagonist from the fourth Bal-Sagoth album, also features in several comic strips. Here’s the Zurra logo:
This concept illustration of the fourth album’s cover artwork by Martin Hanford depicts Zurra, Hound of the Z’xulth.
Zurra Comic Strip Preview:
Great fan art by overlord depicting Zurra.
This is a great illustration of one of the Guardian Spirits of Ur, the fearsome yet alluring entities which safeguard the sanctity of the city’s hidden catacombs and the terrifying lore contained therein:
Full colour painting of a Z’xulth Wyrm-Lord during the First Battle of Ur.
Here’s an awesome painting by Martin Hanford depicting Lord Angsaar, the Dark Liege of Chaos. This illustration shows the three incarnations of Angsaar, and the character features prominently in the forthcoming mini comics; his undying evil spanning countless millennia, from the antediluvian era all the way to the far future epoch. Presented here for the first time is the original rough sketch followed by the finished painting.
The Elizabethan privateer Captain Blackthorne first appeared in the lyrics of the third Bal-Sagoth album. His saga continues in a trilogy of short stories published in the fantasy anthology series “SWORDS OF STEEL” from DMR Books. Here are character illustrations from the stories depicting the character of Captain Blackthorne.
This is a great colour painting by Martin Hanford of the Cydonian Priestess from the forthcoming Lexicon.
This is an illustration of The King of Hyperborea (from the Hyperborean Empire saga), which is included in the forthcoming expanded Lexicon. Another great b&w piece by Martin Hanford, this shows the King wielding his mighty Hyperborean warhammer, which he used, along with the Shadow Sword, in the battle against Lord Angsaar’s Horde of Wraiths.
From the Obsidian Crown saga, here is Baalthus Vane, the commander of the famed Legion of the Ebon Tiger, and the right hand of the Emperor Koord. “We march to war!”
Here is Lady Bright-Anya Ophidia, majestrix of the legendary Draconis Albionensis, supreme commander of the fabled Spitfire Cavalry of Logres, and general of the Legio IX Draconis . Bright-Anya will feature in the forthcoming mini-comics, and this illustration is from the Lexicon.
Here’s a great illustration by Martin Hanford of my character Professor Caleb Blackthorne III, and some of his non-terrestrial antagonists:
Here are more illustrations depicting Professor Blackthorne.
This is a great sketch of Lord Angsaar, the Dark Liege of Chaos, sent to me by Samuel Santos.
Below is another illustration of Bright-Anya Ophidia, mistress of the Draconis Albionensis, commander of the Legio IX Draconis and the Britannic Spitfire Cavalry. Artwork by Martin Hanford.
Here is Zul’tekh, one of the fearsome Guardians of the Astral Gate:
Below is the Prime Voyager of the Kl’aa, shown here on the moon’s Mare Imbrium:
The Praesidium of Ys! Before the arch-fiend Zurra’s fateful return to the ancient praesidium, the arcane sanctuary had seen a myriad visitors throughout the eons, all seeking the sorcerous lore contained within its shadowed vaults…
Here are several illustrations and a sculpted mini-bust of a character from the comics.
This character and his race play an important role in the antediluvian era stories, and have an extensive entry in The Lexicon.
(Fans got their first glimpse of this character in the lyric booklet of the 2001 edition of “Atlantis Ascendant”.)
Artwork and sculpt by Martin Hanford.
The Obsidian Crown saga spans twelve epic chapters in total. From the fall of the Shadow-King, to the early years of the war between the Vyrgothian kingdoms and the Imperium, all the way to the siege of Gul-Kothoth and the ensuing War of the Crown. I’ve written many short stories covering those episodes, and a graphic novel is also in the works. Here are some character sketches depicting several of the saga’s primary protagonists. The first of the Obsidian Crown short stories was published in the fantasy anthology volume “Barbarian Crowns”.
“The Trinity of Might”, the Sceptre, the Sword and the Ring.
Great fan art by iron monkey depicting the fortress of Gul-Kothoth.
The vampyre hunter Joachim Blokk features in the lyrics to the third Bal-Sagoth album plus short stories (including the tale “Darkfall: Return of the Vampyre Hunter” published in the fantasy anthology “Devil’s Armory”). The character will also appear in a forthcoming comic story. Here’s the Joachim Blokk logo and some concept artwork of his weaponry.
Full colour painting of the diabolical arch-fiend Ka-Kur-Ra. Artwork by Martin Hanford.
SWORDS OF STEEL!
Here’s the cover artwork for the SWORDS OF STEEL fantasy anthology paperback published in February 2015 by DMR Books. This grand collection of sword & sorcery includes my story “INTO THE DAWN OF STORMS”, a tale featuring my character Captain Caleb Blackthorne, the Elizabethan privateer who first appeared in the lyrics to the third Bal-Sagoth album “Battle Magic” in 1998. The epic cover painting by Martin Hanford depicts a confrontation between two of my characters on a snow-shrouded antediluvian battlefield.
And here is the cover to “SWORDS OF STEEL II”, the second volume in the fantasy anthology series which features part 2 of my Caleb Blackthorne trilogy “A Voyage on Benighted Seas”. Published by DMR Books.
Also available now from Horrified Press/Barbwire Butterfly Books, the new fantasy anthology “BARBARIAN CROWNS” featuring my story “Chronicles of the Obsidian Crown.” This story is part of the epic Obsidian Crown saga and recounts the Battle of the Plains of Kai-Vorg, the last major engagement of the war between the Imperium and the Vyrgothian Kingdoms before the fateful Siege of Gul-Kothoth.
Also available now from Barbwire Butterfly Books/Horrified Press, the new fantasy anthology “DEVIL’s ARMORY”, featuring my story “Darkfall: Return of the Vampyre Hunter”. This story features my character Joachim Blokk, the grim and pitiless vampyre hunter who has vowed to rid the world of the virulent vampyric scourge armed with his deadly ensorcelled katana!
BEYOND THE COSMIC VEIL!
Also available from Horrified Press, the new cosmic horror anthology “BEYOND THE COSMIC VEIL”, featuring my poem “When Dead Cthulhu Dreams”!
BYRON: Winter 2017.
All images, artwork, characters, text and illustrations copyright 1993, 2017 Byron A. Roberts. All rights reserved.