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Thanatos Gate by DarinK Thanatos Gate by DarinK
Hey everyone, this is a collaboration between me and the extremely talented :iconregulus36:. Please take a moment to go check out his artwork.

Storyline:

Location: Komaria, Tk'iln, Scutum-Centaurus Arm
Race: Homo Sapiens Variation 14c (seeded 1.5 million years ago)

The Komar are an advanced Type II civilization controlled by their ruling elite which number about 3% of the population. These wealthy aristocrats, who long ago confirmed the existence of the soul in living beings and the Cycle of Learning, have dedicated themselves to developing life extension technology for the sole purpose of prolonging the privilege, wealth, and trappings of luxury they were born into. Pursuit of this technology must be done at all costs.

They were warned centuries ago by the Dream Travelers, the enigmatic race of nomads that are known primarily for their esoteric study of dreams, that embracing this lifestyle would increase the karmic debt that follows them into the next existence. They choose not to take this advice.

84 life cycles ago a Komari scientist perfected a device that at the moment of death could capture the life force of the departed. The experiments began with the capture and release of single cell organisms and plant life forces. The scientist who created the device noticed that when working in close proximity of the energy hungry device, now known as the Soultrap, that he felt invigorated and energized. He also noticed after decades of work and experiments, that he had not aged visibly more than a few years. A team of researchers and scientists later concluded that being in close proximity to the Soul Trap reduced the aging process drastically and kept the subject in good health, with no adverse effects upon cessation of exposure.

There was a group within the science establishment that wanted to continue these tests using as a catalyst the deaths of more highly developed creatures. Over the protestations of the Dream Travelers, the number of experiments was increased, soon it expanded to include reptiles and native lab animals. These animals' souls eventually proved to be too weak to be of much use for detailed study, and it became obvious that it would require the death of much more advanced life forms. For this purpose, the secret police of the Komar began to gather up the migrants and homeless; these poor and downtrodden were sent to internment camps. Suicide rates were high in these camps, but it proved a bonus for the scientists running the experiment, since they were able to tune their instruments to these suicides and thus began a program known as Project Black Truth. This program worked on identifying and isolating the unknown energy source given off from the captured souls, and attempts to harness that energy.

More research confirmed that the Soultrap needed a constant replenishing of souls; eventually the souls would become drained and the energy levels given off by the device would diminish. Once emptied, a soul was never released from the system, because opening the exit gate on the Soultrap not only allowed drained souls to escape, but also fresh newly captured ones to flee. In effect, the souls were in limbo unable to obtain the light and start the cycle of rebirth.

Where these souls were actually trapped was a matter of almost no debate among the elite, since they cared little what happened to their 'property,' but the scientists began to formulate hypotheses. It gradually became accepted that the trapped souls of the dead were sent to a dark and empty universe, a monstrous abyss of nighted horror. Again there were strenuous objections to what they were doing, but such was the price of their progress. After years of bloody work, finally an interface was created which allowed a Komari individual to directly tap into the life force energy of the captured souls. This required a small, highly controlled gateway to draw the energy in raw form out, without letting the souls themselves through. Plans were drawn for an extended interface which would allow hundreds of elites to receive the reinvigorating soul energy simultaneously. However, this device needed energy to power it more energy than the planet could provide. In their search for this energy, they decided on the single most powerful source in their entire solar system, their sun. Their plan conceived of building a Dyson sphere around their star to capture titanic amounts of solar energy to power their interface, known now as Thanatos Gate.

The sphere was constructed over a period of six centuries. The building of such a massive structure required suitably gigantic amounts of matter, more even than could be found in all the asteroid belt and available moons, so the Komar began an empire spanning program to mine the cores of both gas giants in the system. Millions of workers' lives were lost, but they were simply fed into the Soultrap network as fresh fuel for the aristocrats and their loyalists. Enormous mines, hanging from orbital stations thousands of miles deep into the gas giants' atmospheres, served to dredge up enough raw materials for the teeming construction stations to create the framework of the sphere. Besides the incredible amounts of carbon, steel, titanium, and other structural materials, there is also a great need for more exotic elements. Perched in the foreground, on the moon's ageless regolith, is N'kai mining base, built to remove the exotic ores from deep veins in the moons crust. Once the pure elements have been separated from the rubble, it is loaded onto freighter ships which leave for flight up to the orbital construction station. From there, the basic parts are sent to massive orbiting construction sites where huge pieces of the sphere itself are built. The sections of sphere are sent on a course towards the star, where they are carefully caught in nets made out of the star's magnetic field lines. There, in a delicate dance of robotic limbs and remote controlled construction craft, all guided by the inhumanely precise Artificial Intelligence, the Dyson sphere has slowly taken shape.

Due to their haste, and impatience to finish the project, the Komar decided it was safe to begin powering up the system in stages, resulting in more and more energy being produced as the sphere was slowly completed. When the Soultrap initially went online and Thanatos Gate was opened, immediately millions of loose souls were devoured from the local stellar neighborhood. This resulting rush of energy caused a blast resembling a nova to light up the surface of the star. Of course, all this excitement has not gone unnoticed by the neighbors ....


Technical details:

Original size: 4000X6000
Designed with 3ds Max, Vue 10, Terragen 2, and Photoshop.

Please view this in full-size.

Comments are much appreciated!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjames-dark-blue-wolf:
Whoa awesome!
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!!
Reply
:iconjames-dark-blue-wolf:
Your welcome
Reply
:iconjscene:
Jscene Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012
I Had to read that story twice, so catching ! Amazing job !
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, glad you liked it!
Reply
:iconexplicitstudios:
ExplicitStudios Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student Photographer
amazing!
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!!
Reply
:iconerikshoemaker:
ErikShoemaker Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fantastic work guys!
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconihavenoname16:
Ihavenoname16 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012
I can't get my grasp on just how beautiful it truly is.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! :D
Reply
:iconrich35211:
rich35211 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Best space image in a long time. Great work :)
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! :D
Reply
:icondeeparth:
Deeparth Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012
Uber cool.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icongenesisarclite:
GenesisArclite Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the details on this piece and the colors overall. The story is interesting, too, with lots of nice details. Obviously very thought-out. :) Nice work.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked the story and the artwork. :)
Reply
:iconoutworld-art:
outworld-art Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Fantastic work! Well done.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!!
Reply
:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
I'm really happy how this turned out :D was a pleasure working with ya man
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It was my pleasure working with you also! It took awhile, but I think this turned out excellent. :D
Reply
:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
I read your comment on Peter Hamilton - yes read him ;) I just finished Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained a few weeks ago, great books. I'm looking to read his Void trilogy next.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OK, thanks I'm going to browse Amazon and purchase a few books of his for my Kindle.
Reply
:icontarnvogl:
tarnvogL Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
please answer me one question. Ehy did you use Vue 10 AND Terragen 2 ? aren't they the same kind of programm ?
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They are the same type of program, but Vue has a lot more features. Both programs have their strong points; we used Terragen for the terrain because Terragen renders more realistic terrains, IMO (except for trees and plants). For the planet we used Vue because it was easier to create that type of planet using the more intuitive interface and additional features that Vue offers. :)
Reply
:iconlanceii:
LanceII Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
This is absolutely stunning. The story is also very fascinating to read through. It almost sound like you have been inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked the story and the art. :)
Reply
:iconlanceii:
LanceII Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
It was a pleasure.
Reply
:iconaquilla-whingate:
Aquilla-Whingate Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012   General Artist
Oh jeez wow :wow: as awesome as this pic is that story is all to terrifying as the concept you made of it. K am guessing this pic takes place in the ending stages of this "Dyson sphere for the Thanaos Gate", because of what looks like stellar nebulae around what I think is the sun in the distance as kt is ejecting high amounts of energy. I also think that the fact if this sun is covered by a metallic shell, how will it produce light for the planets populations, outside of the fact this device needs souls to power it. All the same though this is an awesome pic and a great back-story to follow suit, great collaborative work from the both of you. :D :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :+fav:
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :D This pic is when the Dyson sphere initially goes online, this image is the first of a three part storyline that we are thinking about continuing. The Dyson sphere isn't blocking all light, there is enough light to support the population of the planet. I'm glad you liked the story and the artwork, thanks again for your comment. :)
Reply
:iconaquilla-whingate:
Aquilla-Whingate Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012   General Artist
You are welcome now all you need to do is post the 4,000px by 6,000px image up as you have that info in your description, LoL. :lol:
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sorry, we are not posting that size for download, we are reserving that size in case we get a print request.
Reply
:iconaquilla-whingate:
Aquilla-Whingate Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012   General Artist
Ok noted,
Reply
:iconkentofski:
Kentofski Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Beautiful imagery, the multitude of different lighting really sets the scene and the technology has a believable quality to it while maintaining that grand presence :)

Great backstory too! Reminds me of classic sci-fi novels, especially the ones by Peter Hamilton :)

Excellent work all around :star:
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :D I'm glad you like the backstory; I'm not familiar with Peter Hamilton, but I just read his Wiki page and "The Night's Dawn Trilogy" seems really interesting. I am going to go to Amazon and see if his books are available in eBook format.
Reply
:iconkentofski:
Kentofski Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
(Sorry for the late reply ^^;)

Wow thats great :D Im glad I could suggest some new inspiration material for you :) May i also suggest you check out the author Phillip K. Dick? Maybe you've already heard of him. He wrote "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" which is the book that the movie BladeRunner was based off :O Awesooooome

And yes, I do love the backstory! You should consider doing it more often, its very good ;) You're quite welcome of course :D
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I've heard of Phillip K. Dick, he is awesome! We are probably going to continue with the backstory, it will have a part 2, possibly part 3. We don't have a time frame yet, it will probably happen over the next few months. :D
Reply
:iconkentofski:
Kentofski Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
Wow! Exciting :D I cant wait to see what you have planned (sorry for the late reply ^^')
Reply
:iconladymariko:
LadyMariko Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012
Incredible.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconesk6a:
esk6a Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This ridiculously awesome. Amazing work, both of you!
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icon4wallforce:
4wallforce Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wahhh.. its soo cool.. man
looks like I have to study hard again to like you.
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D Thanks a lot!!
Reply
:icon4wallforce:
4wallforce Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yourewelcome.. :D
finally I have my Space enverionment..hehe
Reply
:iconsilvanteer:
Silvanteer Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012
I love it I love it I love it I love it, etc :P

Such a creative work drives one to wonder; What makes such a work look beautiful? Then, the answer comes like inspiration; 'TIS THE POWER OF AWESOME! :la:
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much, I'm glad you like it!!:D
Reply
:iconsubmicron:
submicron Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Fantastic work!
Reply
:icondarink:
DarinK Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconsubmicron:
submicron Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
No problem.
Reply
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