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Aven the Traveler by ArcaneAvis Aven the Traveler by ArcaneAvis
My original character for Journey - Aven (pronounced with a long A, like "haven" or "raven")





Backstory/Description:

A tender and gentle soul with a soft sing-song voice, Aven’s gender would best described as feminine, though this doesn’t mean she is too timid to adventure or explore the world, despite its dangers. On the contrary, Aven is quite the curious-minded being, always looking for answers to her endless questions about the past, her ancestors, others like her, and even life itself. She is every bit a traveler and pilgrim, on a journey of her own to seek out any left of her kind and to bring together the relics and knowledge of the past to provide answers for the future.

Aven’s first memory was a lonesome one in which she had just woken to a world blanketed by the desert sands with nothing and no one to guide her other than the headstones of long-dead predecessors. She followed them to her first few symbols, which granted her a scarf-like appendage to give her an advantage at negotiating and traversing through the harsh environment. Now able to take to the air somewhat, Aven was quicker to progress to the ancient ruins of a broken bridge. It was there that she met her companion, her friend, her soul mate.

He (for he was surely closer to a “he,” since this spirit had a much louder, boisterous, and active nature) had been standing high up on top of one of the segments of the broken bridge that stood like a towering giant in the ocean of sand. When she first saw him, her voice caught in her throat, and she was unable to make a sound and instead just stood looking up at him in astonishment. He, on the other hand, immediately let out a loud and powerful call of excitement, but rather than instantly dropping down to see her, he flew up into the air, then mustered a powerful burst of speed as he dived down to the earth before pulling up at the last minute and rocketing back into the air. Show off. It was then that Aven noticed his scarf and how much longer it was than hers. He clearly could maneuver around much more effortlessly because of it, and she felt a pang of yearning and jealousy. Not only that, but his red cloak had another set of golden embroidered designs on it, and she wondered how that was.

When he came drifting down slowly and steadily to greet her, Aven finally let out a couple of cautious but friendly notes, which were returned tenfold. He chirped and danced all around her in jubilation and zealousness. His enthusiasm was contagious, as Aven let her guard down rather quickly and joined in, and the two sang the most beautiful song, a duet that could not be produced alone, and for a long while they just danced and sang together like two lovers reunited. It was in those early first moments of their time together that they knew their lives and the futures were forever tied and intertwined. Aven was no longer alone. She had found Vox, a name he said that meant “voice.”

As they pressed on through the seemingly deserted lands, the two discovered much of the history of the past together along with remnants of life similar their own – some small, resembling earthly schools of fish in the form of pieces of animated cloth, others larger like flying carpets that behaved similarly to dolphins, and some extremely large that looked almost like whales that swam through the air with a much greater power than what Aven and her companion’s scarves could grant. All of these were made from fabric, and though Aven and her friend too were covered from head to toe in cloth, an inner light radiated out from inside them, and she wanted to know more about what made them similar to these creatures and also what made them different.

When Aven and Vox made their way to the underground passage and encountered their first real danger in the form of the ancient cloth harvesters that they later found out were also used as war machines, she experienced a whole new set of emotions, and she found herself staying close to Vox’s side, trusting in him to guide them to safety. Always, he seemed to know where to go, where to step, where to lead them. He was her security, her courage. And to him, she was the reason that he kept going, his purpose.

At long last, the two companions eventually made it to the mountain that served as their goal to reach. The trek was an impossible one with more dangers than they had ever come to face. The brutal cold of the snow beneath them and the wicked wind that blew ever fiercely was enough to make them stop and rethink their decision to climb to the summit. But together, the two were far more than they ever could be alone. They pressed on, clinging to one another for warmth and comfort, and they eventually came upon a destroyed war machine whose body, it appeared, had been blasted apart. Each segment that made up it long, snake-like body was separated and haphazardly resting in the snow. Seeking shelter, the two made for one of the segments of the war machine that served now as a hut for them, and only just in time. In that moment, the eerie cry of a live war machine echoed throughout the mountain peeks. Then, the light from its one eye shown down upon the earth, scanning the different sections of the dead war machine for any sign of life. Aven felt panic bubble up inside her, and she began to lose her will to continue, too terrified and too frozen. Vox, ever the optimist, sang out to her a series of musical notes that she could not only hear the beauty of, but could feel their splendor to her core, and they seemed to recharge her very soul. She replied back with her own little chirps, so very thankful to have him there with her.

Together, the two made their way from hut to hut, hiding inside each just long enough for the war machine to pass overhead and miss them. At one point though, Aven spotted a dolphin-like carpet come plummeting to the earth and crash land in the snow. Losing all awareness of her surroundings in her concern for the creature, she stepped out from the shelter she and Vox had been waiting in, exposing herself to the environment and to the war machine circling just overhead. She only just made it to the fallen creature to comfort it and try and revive it when she heard Vox’s alarming cries reach her. Suddenly pulled back to reality, Aven quickly turned upward just in time to see the large and frightening sea-monster-like machine close in on her. There wasn’t enough time to run, especially now that she was covered in snow and ice. A moment of sheer terror took over her, and all she could do was kneel down to cover the dolphin-creature, hoping to at least protect it from further harm.

It was then that Vox reached her, much to Aven’s surprise. He stepped in front of her, shielding her from the war machine, whose white eye now turned blood red as it spotted them. It took only moments for the machine to strike, and when it did, it sent both of them flying, though Vox took the majority of the blow. They flew in opposite directions, Vox falling toward the mountain wall, while Aven tumbled toward the deactivated war machine’s huts. She fell face first onto one of the stone sections of the body and hit hard. The fall cracked her mask nearly in two, and the light of her soul shone out brightly from the crack. She could hardly regain her mobility as she tried to stand and focus, wanting only to get out of there and avoid any more attacks. Then at last, she spotted Vox in the distance, his scarf nearly all gone, having been swallowed by the monster. Her heart cried out, and she felt so responsible and so terrible. It was enough to give her motivation to move and to run. She ran to him as fast as the deep snow and her icy cloak would allow. He sang to her when she approached, small, short, quiet little notes that almost went unheard in the wailing wind. Upon hearing him, her heart was drowning in sorrow and regret, and she embraced him with her cloak, shielding him from the cold, and guiding him to where an old archway gave way to an opening in the mountain for them to pass through.

Once in the safety of the mountain passage, she took a moment to look him over. Then it was her turn to sing to him. Though Aven was cold and had very little strength left inside her, she sang to Vox in her singer’s voice as loudly as she could, reaching all the high notes and low ones, flooding him with her song and her voice and her love. When it was over, Vox leaned in and hugged her, and she knew all was well. They were together, and they had survived this long because of it. She tried again to apologize for being so careless and getting them hurt, but he quieted her with his chirping and told her there was nothing to be sorry for. He only wished that they could have saved that fallen dolphin-carpet too.

It wasn’t long before the two finally made it to the steady incline up the mountain, and it was there that their endurance and determination was tested. The winds on the mountainside were unlike anything yet, blowing them back and forth, throwing them into the snow, separating them only to be blown back into one another. It was a cruel and evil wind, threatening to rip the two apart forever, not even allowing their voices to be heard. They could only watch as the other was thrown about, tortured, and beaten. Aven and Vox were strong though, and their love was even stronger, giving them the ability to keep moving forward.

Finally, after a long while, they reached an area above the windy valley where all was jarringly still and quiet. Though their voices could easily be heard here, the two had not the strength anymore to sing out. All they could do was fight their way through the deep snow to walk side by side and cling to one another for warmth. Aven began to understand, at last, that they were not destined to make it to the top of the mountain. They never were. They were already too weak, too close to death. She didn’t care anymore though, for she had come to understand what truly mattered. The mountain peak was not the thing of importance in her life. Vox was. In comparison, the mountain was greatly overshadowed by her companion and how much he meant to her. It was their experiences together, their time they shared, their journey that gave her life purpose. Not the mountain. Not the destination. Vox already seemed to understand this though. Holding her gently as they slowly climbed, he sang to her quietly in the tiniest of voices, letting her know that it had always been about her.

Then, as if they both accepted this revelation at the same time, the two companions fell down into the bitter snow, unable to continue on, but not needing to. The world had claimed their bodies, but not their spirits. They were beyond earthly needs now. They had each other.

It seemed only moments before Aven was sailing through the air again, flying almost as if she could for an eternity. The skies were the bluest blue, and all around her creatures danced and sang and floated by. She was at the top of the mountain, and though it was covered in snow, she did not feel cold at all here. It was beautiful.

Then, much to her surprise, a figure shot passed her at blinding speed straight up into the air. She watched in amazement as she realized it was Vox, showing off again. He dived and rose, flipping and zooming around as if he had wings, and Aven could not contain her excitement and joy. She joined him, and together they swam through the sky, up and up, higher and higher, until finally they came to the very opening in the mountain that they knew was a magical place, a place that granted life.

Slowly, with absolute peace, elation, and affection, the two walked into the light of the mountain together and were enveloped in its radiant white glow. They had made it.


When Aven was reborn from the mountain, she possessed a new cloak, one that was mostly white, but with a red design at the bottom that was the same color of her original cloak. When she saw it, she knew it was a relic of her very own, a remnant of her past that had meant a great deal to her. Additionally, her mask was unchanged from the mask in her previous life. It was still black with a single golden line across the top, and it still had the crack in it that allowed her inner glow to shine out. The crack wasn’t just a reminder of her mistakes, but also of the kindness of others and her own compassion for living creatures. It was vaguely lightning shaped, she realized, and this too made her think of Vox and their ascent up the mountain with the thunder and lightning booming overhead.

Vox. He was gone now. Though if she had been reborn when she stepped into the light, then he too must have been. Filled with hope, a new drive, and anticipation, Aven knew she must set out to find him. She would eventually come across a few others like her, and it was always a new experience to journey with them and always a pleasure, but she never gave up hope in finding her first companion, her guide, her guardian, her love – the voice that sung to her even in the darkest of times.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconalucard234564:
Alucard234564 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Is it me or does that game have a very Middle Eastern feel to it?
Reply
:iconraini-day:
raini-day Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my god
that story was purely amazing
you're really good at writing stories
Reply
:iconcarmera:
carmera Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
this character is so amazing ;u;
Reply
:iconpuddleheart:
puddleheart Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Student
...wha-..why you do this! awwhhh thats so sad! i literally stumbled upon random deviations and found about journey today actually and when i read this its..it was so beautiful..i was on the verge of tears the whole time but it was a breathtaking experience to read this. thankyou and well done, art and story!
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aw, thank you so much, puddleheart! I had almost forgotten that I had written this story about the background behind my character, but your comment inspired me to reread it myself.  That is very sweet and means a lot!  Thank you! 
Reply
:iconpuddleheart:
puddleheart Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Student
haha no problem, it was a really food read :)
Reply
:iconspawnofmetroid:
spawnofmetroid Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014
A beautiful story and picture to add to my favorites, thank you.
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconevaron:
Evaron Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I really like the colors you've picked for his robe.
Reply
:iconsawuinhaff:
Sawuinhaff Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this and the other two travelers you made, the personalities and stories you've given them are really cool. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get the patterns on the cloth? I've done a bunch of Journey fan art and I've never found a very good way to do it.
Reply
:iconrutgerman95:
Rutgerman95 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
What do you think their masks are made from?
Cloth, or something sturdy like wood?
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I kind of thought of them being made out of clay or something, but I have no idea. Apparently, they're actually thick, sturdy cloth, according to the texture in the game.
Reply
:iconrutgerman95:
Rutgerman95 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
Maybe something worth looking into: how their outfits are pieced toghether.
Reply
:icondark-maestro:
Dark-Maestro Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
Funny thing is, I'm watching a play-through of someone who speaks that exact symbol
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome! ^_^ Love that symbol.
Reply
:icondark-maestro:
Dark-Maestro Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
Was a white robe play-through too... I love how you integrated the war machines into the collectors robes and stuff.
What forum was it you were going to submit them to might I ask?
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :)

It is on thatgamecompany's community forum: www.thatgamecompany.com/forum
Reply
:icondark-maestro:
Dark-Maestro Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
I might have a look at that then... I was inspired to come up with an OC myself having seen these. I've always loved this game despite never having the fortune to play it first hand.

Also, I feel I should say in extension of what I said about the Collector.
Your entire concept could actually be considered completely lore friendly, which is nice when others inadvertently butcher the original ideas when they come up with their own, instead of being more careful.
You did a good job with that, and I feel it would be very sinister to come across more travellers like him. Genuinely very impressed by the implications of that one character. Very intriguing :)
Reply
:iconriver-in-time:
River-in-Time Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the colours you used and the story you attached to it was great as well. ^-^
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much, River! <3
Reply
:icondragonpixies:
dragonpixies Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my! The way you draw cloth is very pretty. I hope you don't mind, but I submitted your black and green one to Journey-Together, a journey fanart group. If you want you can go submit the others, because they're all pretty fantastic ^^
Reply
:iconiandioch:
iandioch Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Are you sure Aven is an Irish word? Long A sounds in Irish are written as é, and there is no letter V in the Irish alphabet. Unless it's an anglisisation of "éibhinn" or something?
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It might very well not be Irish then! It could just be an English name given to the flowers. I just used these two naming websites as references:
[link]
[link]
Reply
:iconlocowolf17:
locowolf17 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
I love your characters' designs! :)
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :aww:
Reply
:iconcgamer125:
cgamer125 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So are those actually masks? I always assumed they were faces but most people seem to accept them as masks
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, apparently so. In the Art of Journey book, they're described by the artist as being masks.
Reply
:iconcgamer125:
cgamer125 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
sweet :D thats actually alot cooler
Reply
:icontundris:
Tundris Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012
Read the whole story on the Journey OC thread yesterday but didn't have time to comment. Aven is probably one of my favs, I love how well her personality is conveyed through the backstory.

I'd love to see a pic of Vox too! >D
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah! Did you? :D That's awesome - thanks for reading through all Aven's backstory. :hug: And thank you so much!! :excited:

Ohmygoodness, I was thinking about drawing Vox too sometime soon. I also have an idea for a kind of "evil" character that I think would be really fun to draw.

<3
Reply
:iconfeannora:
Feannora Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome work. The travel-worn scarf is a great touch. As is the healing song in the story...
Reply
:iconarcaneavis:
ArcaneAvis Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much! And thanks too for reading the story. :hug: I wasn't sure if anyone was up for reading through it, lol. So much appreciated!!
Reply
:iconfukkafyla:
fukkafyla Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
Simply stunning work, love the lineart and colours, very good!
Reply
:iconcaptainmoony:
CaptainMoony Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
WOW. Oh my gosh, this is beautiful! What a lovely character! I adore the crack in the mask and the gorgeous cloak detailing. I also really like the wear-and-tear in the scarf ... fantastic stuff.

I had the J7 symbol for the first time last night! o: How awesome that I'm seeing it again, haha!

Loooove this! ♥
Reply
:icongabiemiller:
gabiemiller Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
dayum that's amazing
Reply
:iconkessir:
kessir Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dem folds are pure :heart: ;-; <3
Reply
:iconrazor9091:
RaZoR9091 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
Cool :)
Reply
:icontsukiaria-nohikari18:
An extremely beautiful variation of an OC for this magnificent game ^^ Not many people seem to know about this game either, sad to say. Glad to see a fellow Journey fan on DA =D
Reply
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