There are some paintings that simply capture the essence of life within their
still frames such as the painting of the “Mirror Dance” in R.A. Salvatores
novel Crystal Shard. The painting depicts two characters set in a darkened
background. The faint light of the moon casts shadows down upon the grassy
floor on which the sylvan warrior and human assassin battle. The glimmer of the
moon reflects upon a small, nearby pool of water. A silver sparkle in the
distance marks the nearby city of Silvery Moon.
A sneer of hatred is etched upon the face of the human assassin. His eyes
glimmer with a taint of red to depict his blazing internal rage. The clothing
worn by the human is black as the night, much like the hooded garbs of ancient
Japanese Ninja, the only hint of color coming from his weapons. One of his
hands holds a vicious blade, blackened like the coal inside a fireplace. Small
flecks of crimson blood decorate the tip of the blade, matching the fresh cut
upon the arm of the elf. The legs of the human are crouched, as if he were
ready any moment to leap savagely at his opponent. His secondary hand hosts a
second blade, much smaller than the other sword, his hand holds the secondary
blade inward, as if to flick it out at his adversary.
The elven warrior casts an extremely different perspective upon the viewer.
His eyes twinkle with the soft moonlight, and his smile welcomes the fierce
battle. The warriors robes flutter in a soft breeze, shining in the glow of
the night. Even with his arm bleeding red from a cut which must have been
inflicted by the assassin, the warrior still maintains a look of regality. The
crown adorning the top of his head, marks his royal heritage. The weapons
commanded by the warrior seem to take on a life of their own, his sword dancing
to meet the twin blades of the assassin while a radiance resonating from his
shield, cast light upon the foe who prefers the stealth of night.
Nature lies still for the battle between the two adversaries. The birds in
flight, bend away from the loud clashing of swords, and the deer hide amongst
the trees in the forest. The people of the distant town of Silvery Moon watch
from their doorways, huddled close to keep the chill of the night from freezing
their bones. They look upon the scene with deep interest, the smiles of the
children obviously cast upon their elven hero.
The only other spectacle of notice is that of a young lady sitting upon a rock
in the lake. She dons a robe of pure white, and holds in one hand, a sword
which looks much to hard for the young woman to handle, while in her other arm,
she softly strokes a harp, releasing tunes into the air. It would appear that
it is for the glory of the wealth of the sword, that these two fighters battle
out against each other. From the eyes of the assassin, it appears that this
battle will clearly be to the death. The warrior looks ready to accept this
fact, his sword arm bent in the motion to follow his parry with a
The painting captures the essence of life and of battle. The thrill of the
night air ringing with swings of blades, and the excitement of the audience.
Yet it also manages to depict the seriousness and consequences of the outcome of
the duel. The flow of blood from a fresh wound, strikes reality into the still
scene and desperation into the situation of the two combatants. The painting
captures within its stillness, a legend and a reality.