First Draft 2/27/96
Playtesters and useful comments: Ryan Connors, Tom Dunn, James Hale, Evan Macbeth, Brian McAuliffe, Dan McAuliffe, Glenn Odom, Michelle Powers, Mac Purdy.
Requiem is not a realistic environment, instead it's a magical one, and I really think that should be the essence of the art. I really don't see a somber, realistic "World of Darkness," but instead a vibrant, more surreal, epic world, with elves looking down from impossibly-high skyscrapers, and humans lost in forests that are a little too lush and perfect.
Obviously, the central art of the book will be the four races of Majestati. Here are some general thoughts:
I see elves in Requiem as somewhere between Tolkien and true faeries. I really don't want them to be humans with pointy ears and long hair. They should be more magical. Wood elves should have glowing eyes, thin faces, flowing hair in odd styles. The dark elves should be half-hidden in shadows, like magical stalkers whose glowing green eyes look on from the night. The elves of Requiem are more exaggerated - the average human looking at one will look twice. They really can't pass for humans.
The dwarves of Requiem are a little more typical, but I'd like to see them "updated" for the modern world. Shaved heads, bandannas, tattoos, close-shaved beards (or cool braids), dreadlocks. They're definitely not punks, but most of them should look exotic. More a culture of the nineties than one of the typical fantasy world. Like the elves though, they shouldn't be able to blend in with humans.
These races should be the "perfect" ones. So perfect that they stand out in their perfection. Valkyrja will be radiantly beautiful, and the volsunga amazingly well-built and handsome. Their faces should reflect their power, wisdom, and courage. Humans look at these people and stare in wonder. They truly are the sons and daughters of the gods.
There's always something unique with the djinni. They could pass for humans, except for those horns, or those cat-like eyes, or those six-fingered hands. Something about the djinn always causes humans to look twice. There's usually a malevolence, or perhaps a bit of mischief, in their demeanor.
I'd also like to see the races in their human forms. A combination of a human and a nonhuman, these people have ever-so-slight differences in their appearance.
The Adepts should also be depicted. A few of these should be ordinary people performing extraordinary spells, while other should be true shamans of their Incuban; a high Adept of Imhotep dressed in ceremonial Egyptian garb while trying to resurrect a mummy.
The art in the book should always show a hint of the extraordinary, hidden with an ordinary world. Perhaps that gargoyle on the building is looking at something, or a magic sword glows brilliantly in a museum of old, rusted weapons. Most of the art in the book should reflect that idea; the magical hidden in our normal world.
Of course, some art can even be the reverse, revealing magic in all of its glory. I see a beautiful picture of one of the lost dark elf cities, vastly complicated like an Escher painting. Elfhame and al-Azrael in all of the ancient glory. Perhaps several dwarves travel through a ancient, rune-covered mineshaft, flashlights shining.
I've based the "mood" of the book on a lot of the epic storylines of Shakespearian theatre. It just seemed appropriate, with powerful characters, strange, magical lands, and epic struggles. It would be cool to include some pictures of some classic scenes, modified to use nonhumans and the modern world. Some ideas: