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Book of Kells
Francesca Baerald

Francesca Baerald - Book of Kells.jpg

Francesca Baerald is one of the premier artists in Sorcery: Contested Realm TCG.  She is a freelance artist and illustrator, who specializes in watercolour, ink, acrylic and oil.  Francesca loves to bring worlds to life through detailed maps and lively paintings.  In Sorcery TCG specifically, she is the creative force behind the illustrations for the Spell and Atlas card back art, and several iconic cards and illustrations, to include: Sorceror, Erik's Curiosa, Book of Kells, Replication, and several others.

It is my distinct pleasure to collaborate with Francesca to bring you the story behind the stunning hand painted illustration - Book of Kells!  Here is the context in Francesca's own words:

For this card Erik gave me a short description, but full of meaning. He asked for a very holy looking book, counterpart to the demonic pnakotic manuscripts.

This, together with taking inspiration from the actual Book of Kells were my starting points for this card illustration. I have a profound passion for illuminated manuscripts so I immediately took advantage of this card concept to have a little fun with some illumination art that I so love doing (although I must admit it takes a lot of time and concentration).

This is one of the special cards in Sorcery that has real life historical meaning.  The Book of Kells is sometimes known as the Book of Columbia.  It is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book written in Latin, and contains four Gospels of the New Testament.  It is believed to have been created around 800 AD.

The book is regarded as a masterwork of Western calligraphy and the pinnacle of Insular illumination.  Insular art was produced in the post-Roman era of Great Britain and Ireland.  Most Insular art originates from the Irish monastic movement, and thus fits with some of the Celtic Christianity themes that we see in some of the artworks across Sorcery.

The manuscript is in Trinity College Library in Dublin, and usually displays two of four volumes that it is now divided into.  It is displayed open to show a major illustration from one and a typical text page from the other and is rotated frequently.  Several beautiful digital images from the Book of Kells are included for reference below, and much more fascinating information about its history can be found here:  Book of Kells - Wikipedia

We see in the early card design form of Book of Kells, the card has a mirrored effect to that of Pnakotic Manuscript, which also mirrors Francesca's art description of Book of Kells in relation to the Manuscript.

An interesting note about Book of Kells is that we have not seen it in the latest Table Top Simulator update posted in November 2022, as of the time of this writing (March 4th, 2023).  As such, we do not yet know if it will be included in the Alpha debut release for Sorcery TCG.  However, it has been printed in Sample Card form as a Unique rarity relic, making it a very special and unique collectible that will be very scarce.

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