The return of Malsumis is a an Action/Horror about a young hunter/protector of the Abenaki Tribe, Tokalah, who after his brother Anoki decides to follow him on one of his hunting trips goes missing, and rumours of an ancient evil are heard. Fearing for his brother Tokalah goes in search of Anoki hoping to bring him home, but it soon becomes clear that the rumours of the ancient evil are true and that Malsumis one of the Elder Gods has escaped and taken possession of Anoki's body. Now Tokalah is faced with the daunting task of saving his brother and defeating the Ancient Elder God.
Tokalah is part of the Abenaki tribe located in the North Eastern United States. The tribe leads a simple life and live off the land. They have strong beliefs and they have legends that the tribe's ancestors are the guardians of the ancient Elder Gods, and it was through them that the Elder Gods were finally contained and banished. However these stories have lost their meaning and there are few who still believe or give them credence.
Tokalah is one of the tribes best hunters and fighters, he is well respected, is an honourable man and one of the tribes protectors. He has a younger brother who he is fiercely protective over, since their parents died in a raid from another tribe. Tokalah still considers his brother as a child, and has always refused to take him on hunting trips as he sees it as being to dangerous.
He doesn't remember much of his parents as they were killed while he was quite young but Tokalah has always looked after him and the two of them have always been very close. Anoki idolises his brother and wishes to follow in his footsteps. As he's still young he does foolish things sometimes and acts rashly, at these times he is always compared to his brother and members of the tribe remark on how Tokalah never acted so rashly. Always trying to prove himself to his brother and the other members of the tribe.
Malsumis is an Elder God of the Abenaki tribe. He’s the god of evil and was one of the more powerful Elder Gods, he plots the downfall of man and once ruled alongside the other Elder Gods until their rain of terror was ended by the Abenaki tribe whose elders figured out a way to banish the Elder Gods and contain them. Their spirits still try to find release and as long as no one ventures near where they are contained they can never escape.
After talking to both Alan and Phil about my characters I got a more refined idea of what I will be doing and they highlighted some aspects of my characters that I will need to find good explanations for.
For my villain and sidekick I'm going to have them share the same body. This means that the sidekick becomes loyal to the Elder God because he has an interest in his body, and wants it back. So the Elder God has possessed the sidekick to escape from his banishment and now like a parasite feeds off of the sidekicks strength to make himself stronger. In effect this makes the sidekick weak and gaunt where he once was a strong man.
When I design this character I need to design what the sidekick looks like when he's in control, and then what the Elder God looks like when he is in control. I also need to come up with an explanation of why the sidekick sometimes gains control over his body when the Elder God is so powerful, as well as an explanation of how the Elder God gain access to the sidekicks body.
The hero is the sidekicks brother so he has an invested interest in defeating the Elder God and getting his brother back. Both brothers are Native American.
It was also suggested that I try and connect the native american mythology of gods to the Elder Gods HP Lovecraft describes as it needs to be obvious that this is an Elder God and not just any god. Looking at a book that Meg lent me I scanned in a few of the images of Cthulhu and some of the text that I though was relevant. The first image at the bottom actually says that most of the worshippers were west Indian.
In these images Cthulhu is shown as being massive and very tentacled. While trapped in the sidekicks body when he comes out hes still going to be large and imposing but he will be a lot smaller confined to a body that can not contain his whole form. I'm going to do a bit of research and try and address the problems in my characters story and start to write my logline and character profiles.
This storyboard was just for us so that we could figure out what shots we wanted and what we wanted to show. We have split up the final storyboard into pieces and we are each going to work on a section and put them together once we have finished.
Below are some of the thumbnails I've done for scene 3 the 1920's-40's living room, and scene 4 which is the hallway. Next I need to do some thumbnails for scene 5 and start adding the styles to the scenes in Photoshop.
I've started to think about the direction I'm going to be taking with my characters within the theme I've been given. I was trying to think of how I can connect 'Elder gods' 'Wild West' as they are very different from one another. So my basic idea at the moment is having my hero as either a Cowboy or and Indian to keep in line with the theme, and my villain as an Elder God. However I need to keep in mind that a God is u all powerful and a human hero really has no chance against such a villain. So to rectify this I've thought of the Elder Gods as someone has been banished to maybe another dimension, and they have managed to escape in a way that they have possessed a human. Being confined to a humanoid form their powers are limited and the effect their possession has had on the human has deformed them so they posses characteristics of the Elder Gods original form, but this form also limits their powers and although they are still superhuman they are not indestructible. Their aim in my story can be them trying to fully escape wherever they are imprisoned, maybe also to release their brethren. To tie the villain more into the wild west theme I was thinking of looking into Indian myths and ledges and maybe borrowing from their beliefs to design my Elder God villain.
I'm still not quite sure on what to do with the side kick but I'm hoping that's something that will fall into place once I've got more of an outline on the story.
Native American Mythology
Indigenous North American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories which are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky & fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common.
To narrow down the search a bit I'm going to look at their stories of evil spirits. The Wendigo
The Wendigo is a demonic spirit believed by Algonquin-based Native American tribes to possess humans and turn them into cannibals. The "monster" version of the mythical creature is human-like, but very tall and gaunt, with deeply sunken eyes and yellowish, decaying skin. They are impossibly thin and have an unending hunger that craves only human flesh. Below are examples of a Wendigo.
the Apotamkin is a giant fanged sea serpent that lurks in the Passamaquoddy Bay and drags people, especially incautious children, into the water and eats them. Apotamkin is said to have long red hair, and in some stories was once a human woman who was transformed into a serpent.
Along side this I also found that a number of Native American mythologies feature paired or opposing characters or qualities. Twins or sets of brothers appear in many myths and legends. For example, in Iroquois mythology, Earth Woman gives birth to the twin brothers Good Twin and Evil Twin. Good Twin creates light, forests, and food plants, while Evil Twin creates impassable mountains, mosquitoes, and a toad that drinks all the water. After a long struggle, Good Twin finally kills Evil Twin. However, Evil Twin's soul and his creations survive to make life difficult for the people that Good Twin brings into being.
For our character design lesson today we looked at how characters are designed and the shapes that are involved in making them. Todays lesson was really interesting and I think I learnt quite a lot that will be very useful in creating my own characters. In the lesson we were given each given a character and then asked to re-draw it but simplifying it into the basic shapes that make it up. After that we were asked to make subtle changes to the shapes to see how it would affect the character.
My character was danger mouse. The first page shows my simplified drawing of danger mouse and his basic shapes and then the smaller drawings on the side and the second page were my attempts at making changes to those shapes.
Our next task was to bring in some character concept art that we like and a style that we would be trying to achieve in our own project. We were then asked to re-draw this character, but in a different style. So if the original was realistic we had to simplify it, if it was simple then you had to make it realistic. My image was quite realistic and below is my image as well as my attempts to make it simple.