EDIT: Due to lack of interest, this bounty has been canceled.
Hey there, everyone! I've been doing a LOT of thinking about this, and I've decided to put out a bounty for some artwork for my "Offworld Chronicles" book series. This will be the first of three bounty offers that I will be doing this year. For this bounty I'm looking for artwork in a desktop wallpaper format that includes all the main characters in the story. To give you a good idea of the environment you'll be drawing or creating, allow me to describe the book, the story, the scenery and the characters. If you need additional information on anything in this series, you're free to use my Wiki for reference. I've linked a couple articles below to get you started.
The Story: The Offworld Chronicles takes place on Kepler-452b, locally known as "Offworld". Those who are brought to the planet are forced to participate in a 6000 mile long survival race of which participation is mandatory. The story being with Simon, adds in Trevor, Aria, Birash, Yurg. Rotational characters (ie, short term team members) include Alex and Maggy). The team begins on foot with a minimum of supplies and are mostly green in the ways of woodsmanship and survival, save for Simon, Yurg and Alex. As they go along, Aria, Trevor and Birash (the latter of which has jungle experience, but not woodland knowledge like Simon and Alex do) become more skilled in survival under Simon's tutelage, and by the end of the story are seasoned survivalists.
Below are my breakdowns of how I see the characters at the three key periods in the story. These amount to the "early days", the "dragon period" where they're heavily involved in the story's dragons, and the "Finale period" where the core 5 members are mostly on their own, but have gained a LOT of advantages to help them along, including horses. All main characters, and the two rotational temporary characters, all have red dots on their right wrists symbolizing either their place as a race participant (Alex, Simon, etc) or their servitude to the Controllers (Yurg and Maggy). Now, I will describe each of the main characters as I personally see them as a writer. You can take it from there. Also, at the beginning the team starts out with a minimum of supplies, so mostly empty packs, basic equipment, only Simon has a bow, Simon and Trevor both have knives, Alex has regular military grade weapons that he gifts them after their encounter, most of which are of British make.
These are later traded out for what are more or less WW2 era US/German equivalent firearms after they lose their firearms given to them by Alex. Later on, after using these up, they regain Alex made weapons that carry them the rest of the story. Also, in the early part of the story they're entirely on foot. In the middle and beyond they're on horseback, with a total team of 7 horses, one of which is Shire/Clydesdale size that Birash rides. You can get more details on them in the wiki. Also, I know this is a LOT of information, but I want you well equipped when doing this artwork so you can produce the best possible results. In the last third of the story, Simon and the others are given access to their implants and either their full (as with Simon and Yurg) or partial capabilities (Trevor and the others, and only holographic communications abilities) depending on their technological skill level, or maturity level. So Simon has 90% UI access, Yurg 100%, but the other 3 only 10% (ie, basic extended functions). And, with that said, onward to the character descriptions.
Simon: He's the perfect blending of tech geek and woodland survivalist. He starts out the race in the first portion kinda pudgy and out of shape (too much time at a desk job), light beard that slowly grows out over the course of the first year. He's mostly bald, but no gray, or if yes, then just a slight amount. Just a typical brownish hair color. He's 42 years of age, single, works as a software developer, but comes from farmer/woodsman roots, hence his blending of both worlds of survival and tech. Very smart, a good teacher, a father figure, kind, loving considerate, a good leader, and brave. He's not the kind to let down anyone, especially his friends, and will happily risk his life for them. Later on, by the second year (middle period), he's become slender, muscular, fit, his beard is more pronounced, he's gained a full head of hair (from events in Offworld 2), and he looked heavily tanned and manly. By the third period the fatigue of the journey is starting to show as he's starting to get that tired, worn down look. He's still staying strong, but all the trials and troubles are starting to take their toll.
Trevor: This young man starts out as an 18 year old, street smart punk kid from the South Side of Chicago. He's mildly tattooed, but has come from a very hard life. He's very smart, kinda anger management level angry, somewhat bitter and arrogant, but quick whited, and immature when he first starts out. However, under Simon's careful care and tutoring, he slowly softens and matures, growing into a very mature and responsible young man throughout the story. In the middle part of the story, after being healed by the dragons, he loses his tattoos and becomes lightly tanned. He grows a beard too, but it's light compared to Simon's full beard, as would be the case with a teenager. Over time he falls in love with Aria and becomes very protective of her, while at the same time taking on Simon as his surrogate dad, since his real dad ditched him as a young child. The first third of the story he's very immature and somewhat impulsive. By the middle he's growing up a lot, although going through some maturity growing pains. By the last third he's become a very mature, responsible young adult that Simon can depend on. Aside from being good at bargaining and negotiation, as well as acquisition, he's an expert weapons user, and a map nerd, with an incredible skill with maps and cartography. Also, even though he had a hard life and grew up on the streets, he was smart enough to realize that it was a good idea to avoid the darker side of street life, so stayed away from drugs and some of those things, even though he still did some things he wasn't proud of. But he stayed mostly clean, and certainly away from the things that were destructive and harmful.
Aria: This beautiful young lady from the same area of Chicago as Trevor. However, where he had a rough life, and did kinda get into some of the shadier parts of street life, Aria focused mostly on staying safe, staying clean (ie, no selling herself, no drugs, etc) and focused just on stealing enough to survive. She's very quiet and timid, and doesn't say much, but is very beautiful and catches Trevor's eye not long after they meet. Eventually she falls for him, just like he does. She slowly begins to come out of her shell over the course of the story, and learns to be braver, and to take up things she's not comfortable with, especially those things needed for survival. She's very petite, very sweet, but somewhat needy at the beginning. Mostly needy of protection and love. While not needing to grow up and mature as much as Trevor, she does do a lot of growing on her own, becoming both a source of support, and encouragement for Trevor as he slowly grows into a man. I don't really have a specific picture in my mind about Aria, aside from being young, petite, gentle, shy and innocent looking. She does have long hair, and I lean towards brown hair, but I'm not super picky on that.
Birash: He is sorta the "Tank" of the team. Big Nigerian dude, 7'5", built like a brick wall, and REALLY good as a brute force fighter. He's smart, intelligent, and has an amazing heart. Despite his big, bad*** appearance, he's actually very gentle and kind, kinda quiet, thoughtful, protective, and considerate of others. It's these characteristics that take Yurg and transform him from an Anger Management case into one of the best friends the team has. The friendship he has with the biomechanoid tiger (Yurg) is likely the strongest friendship in the entire team, and as such he encourages a former enemy (Yurg) to become one of the team's strongest defenders. He's also the most mature of the three youngest members of the team at a modest 25 years old, as he comes from a Nigerian village where he's kinda the father figure and primary provider for a family of orphans. So he has some parental experience, but learns a LOT from Simon. In the first third of the book him and Yurg are NOT friends, as Yurg considers Birash his enemy, but can't touch him due to being honor bound. Birash is still kind and considerate to the tiger anyways. In the middle of the book Yurg warms up to him a lot, and by the end they are inseparable friends, pretty much bound at the hip and willing to die for each other, no matter what that means.
Yurg: He is a biomechanoid (ie, a living machine) tiger who looks every bit like an orange Siberian tiger. He's very smart, very noble, very honorable, and is originally created with the singular goal to target and kill certain people he's sent after. However, on his first mission he's captured by the local bandits, and later freed by Birash, who's also captured by the same bandits. Birash is later freed by Simon and Trevor, and in turn frees Yurg, who then becomes indebted to Birash to repay him for saving his life by saving Birash at some point. However, events go in a direction that, instead of allowing him to quickly pay his debt, he instead begins to incur numerous life debts to the point that he'll never be able to repay them, no matter how much he tries. This affords Birash time to befriend Yurg and turn him into an angry, vengeful, hateful animal into Birash's greatest friend. So much of a friend, in fact, that the two become inseparable. This later on leads to Yurg becoming not just a friend to Birash, but also the entire team, and eventually a wise adviser to Simon, given that Yurg is aware of, and wise to all the ways of his creators, the Controllers, and the planet in general. He's also an excellent hunter, tracker and scout. This turns out to be very beneficial relationship for the team later on.
Alex: This wonderful old man is lifelong British SAS. Professionally trained and skilled, he's abducted when he's 25 and lives the SAS lifestyle throughout his life on Offworld. Even at age 60, when he meets Simon's team and becomes their guide through the first part of the story, helping them become acclimated to Offworld and all of its deadly dangers, he's still SAS through and through, although he's softened somewhat over the years. He helps Simon lead the team, and acts as their guide, helping them get through some of the most difficult challenges in the early days of the course, and is a seasoned veteran of the planet. He also helps Simon train Trevor, Birash and Aria in Wayfinding and Pathfinding, along with other survival skills. He eventually becomes such close friends with them that he gives his life protecting them against one of the most fearful and successful generals in all of Offworld, one General Amaroth of the Unity Empire.
Maggy: This young dragoness (Maggy is her nickname, her real name is Magendra Tallenon) is initially assigned by her cousin Weyr Master Zek, to be the protectors for Simon's team to help get them through Unity territory, or until they no longer require protection. At first she starts off very regal and nobie, the prim and proper type, but quickly gains a friendship with Aria, who slowly pulls Maggy out of her shell and helps her become more outgoing, and to overcome her past, the issues with her mom, and even helps her in a small way with her eventual relationship with Garloond, a handsome young dragon commander that she meets near Kestrel Weyr. She eventually, after leaving Simon's team in the middle of the book, after setting up temporary residence in Kestrel Weyr (she's from Morten), she begins to very quickly fall in love with Garloond and the two dragons relationship takes off like a rocketship, even trading King Feathers early on. She still maintains much of her nobility and prim and proper personality, but does slowly open up about herself, her past, and who she is through her love of Garloond, and his care for her. She even helps Garloond on several occasions after she parts with the team to help Garloond and Fallon protect Simon's team.
Fallon: He's kind of the dragon equivalent of "Stewie", and is a runt by dragon standards, being half the size of most young dragons his age. He's very smart, very reserved, very crafty, and pretty much a chip off his grandfathers block. He has a very reserved, thoughtful personality, and is an amazing strategist, despite his youth. (he's equivalent to a 5 year old in dragon years) He's not an actual regular member of the main team, but rather kinda shadows them, and pops in and out on errands for his grandfather, working behind the scenes to protect them and move them safely forward on the course. I only list him because, despite not being a regular traveling companion of the team, he does play a significant part in their advancement throughout the story.
Anyhow, that's the breakdown. Please send your submissions in JPG or PNG format (no zips please) to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 15th to qualify. Up to 5 images may be submitted per participant, but only a maximum of two will win the bounty. If I decide that only one image wins, then whoever's image that is gets the entire $100 bounty for that one image. You're free to watermark the images if you're afraid I'll steal your stuff, but really you don't need to worry about that as I won't. I mean, how would that look for me as an author if I did that? But, that'll be up to you and I won't complain either way. Also, please be sure to sign your images because, even though this is a bounty request, I still want you getting credit for your creation. :) If you don't care if you get credit, that's cool too. Anyhow, that's all I have to contribute. Please feel free to use the wiki to acclimate yourself to the world and the characters, and if you have any questions that aren't answered by either this post, or the wiki, by all means please feel free to ask. I'm more than happy to answer questions. :)