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On the Town by Sharrukin-of-Akkad On the Town by Sharrukin-of-Akkad
Armistice Day, 2225 CE: the fifth anniversary of the end of the Salarian Wars, almost forty years since the defeat of the Reapers. Holiday activities aboard the Citadel were frenetic and loud. The population celebrated not only galactic peace, but the recent foundation of the Citadel Confederation, a new and democratic interstellar alliance replacing the old Citadel Council. Many hoped that the new galactic polity would prove more responsive and less corrupt than the Council had been.

Among the celebrants seen out in public on Armistice Day was the famous Dr. Liara T'Soni, currently serving in the Confederation Parliament and as the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. She was seen in the company of another asari, Vara T'Rathis. In fact, T'Rathis had been one of T'Soni's associates since before the Reaper War - her first sworn acolyte, her primary assistant, and leader of her security detail.

On the other hand, T'Rathis had rarely been seen in such casual attire with her principal. Some observers, watching how the two asari behaved toward one another, wondered whether their relationship had undergone a fundamental change. Perhaps T'Soni had finally begun to move on, after the death of her first and most famous bondmate at the end of the Reaper War.

This can be considered a bit of backstory for my current in-progress fan-fiction novel, All the Western Stars, a more-or-less original piece set four centuries after the end of the Reaper War, intended to serve as the capstone for my Memoirs continuity.

(Or you could go with my wife's comment, which was: "She looks like Liara's angry goth daughter.")

Technical notes: This is a bit of practice at using Photoshop for post-processing of an XNALara render. I experimented with several Photoshop tools to clean up errors inherited from the textures in the Vara model I've built, to cover up some of the weirder joint configurations, and to add a touch of shadowing so that Liara's fingers on Vara's arm look more realistic. The backdrop is an image pulled from the Mass Effect 3 game, of course.

Mass Effect assets owned by Electronic Arts and Bioware.
Liara T'Soni model by nach77.
Original casual asari model by Just-Jasper.
Customizable asari head texture by Taleeze.
Software used: XNALara Posing Studio, Mass Effect 3, FRAPS, Photoshop.

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:iconladychi1:
Ladychi1 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with your wife. With out looking at the story I thought she was Liara's daughter. a  mischievous  one by the looks of her.
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh. Yeah, it occurs to me that humans always tend to associate "short" with "young," because we spend so much of our lifespan growing to our full size. Asari might not react the same way, at least if the short person is wearing adult-style clothing or showing some other visible marker of adult status.
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:iconladychi1:
Ladychi1 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes but her face also looks young and Liara seemed to be touching her in a motherly manner instead of an intimate way.  (if you  miss the hand on her waist which I did the first time lol)
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
(Chuckle.) Well, if I do another one with these two I may have to make the nature of their relationship a little more obvious. :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconbluekosh:
BlueKosh Featured By Owner Edited Aug 14, 2014
Ha, so it is as I suspected - Vara is the mother! (currently reading Reaper Wars).
To see Vara in FemShep's dress and jewelry is just wrong though.
I imagined her differently -a lot more... delicate, especially in the face. And taller. Just because she's supposed to be "petite" doesn't mean she has to be short. :)
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh. In print I tried to foreshadow the heck out of their future relationship, but I didn't confirm it until the opening of the fourth novel in the series. The first sentence of the fourth novel, in fact.

Hmm, you're right, now that I look at it - that is a slight variation on the FemShep dress from ME3. Annoying. One of these days I am going to have to develop the skills necessary to come up with completely new clothing textures for these models.
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:iconkudaria:
Kudaria Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014
I thought that was Liara with her daughter too before I began reading, so your wife and I think alike.
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh. In print I've been describing Vara as "petite" all along. Wasn't until I put together this image of the two of them that I realized how it might look. I may have to drop an in-joke into the story at some point.

"She is not my daughter. She's a century older than I am . . ." :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconcheernerd7:
cheernerd7 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think I'd laugh for a million years. XD
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:iconhewhoislost:
Hewhoislost Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014
I can't wait to start reading your fic, I'm always on the look out for a post ME fic.
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Let me know what you think if you do. Always up for more reviews.
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:iconblw7920:
blw7920 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Superb render all around, well done!!!  Your backstory is also well thought out and interesting!!!  :)
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:iconsharrukin-of-akkad:
Sharrukin-of-Akkad Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I find I learn a little more every time I put one of these together . . .
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:iconblw7920:
blw7920 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe I do so as well in my own renders. And you're welcome!!! :)
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