Judis Bondur, a beast-trapper, poses in his home, fully outfitted for an expedition. This photograph was an early prototype in color for Akademisch, and represents his return to portraiture after two years of documentary photography in the Wilds, as well as his first color portrait. While contemporaries dismissed the strong coloration of the aura around the skull as a cheap edit to make the photograph stand out, modern photographic analysis has determined the hue of the skull is genuine.
Two expeditioners, on an archeological dig in the ruins of the Godstruth District. Akademisch was fascinated by archaeology, in a time when it was highly gauche if not outright despised by a populace who believed the dead should stay buried. For this reason a great many of his photographs of these efforts were suppressed from serious publication, spread only through periodicals reliant on pirated negatives, or lost or destroyed outright by social reformers. This is a rare instance of a photograph where neither subject is covering his face to preserve his identity.
Soldiers in the Rim Valley District use a frozen partisan’s corpse as an intimidation tactic against the enemy. The Frost War was in truth many small conflicts engaged nearly without interruption for nearly twenty years, the fighting stalling only during the dead of winter when neither the army nor the guerilla bands could advance in the freezing cold without suffering a fate such as that of the fighter depicted here. At such high latitudes, even the springtime thaw merely creates trickles of water that freeze over into ice once more at dark. Akademisch, in the course of his efforts, lost two toes to frostbite.
A hired bodyguard offers a demonstration of offensive magic, to both the crew of a paddle-steamer, and the passengers, the Kemps family of Hunterpass. The Kemps clan had extensive holdings in the far north, their fortune derived from the precious metals mined there. This photograph was taken in the course of their permanent relocation to the mining colony in the Endall District, where a company town had raised which could reasonably support those of privilege. It was an ill-timed effort, as Endall would bust out within three months of their arrival, leaving them destitute.
The Butcher of Yerisport, Kane Tavis Jalmar, stands in his coffin on the day of his funeral. Murder by liches was among the most common forms of homicide in the distant north, such that the Punitive Charter made specific provision for “Murder Preceding Necromancy”. Jalmar, however, was unique among liches for his effort to reanimate the constituent parts of his victims, rather than entire corpses. In raiding his cabin the constabulary found, among other horrors, disembodied heads with eyes that followed them across the room, arms dangling with fists clenched around an iron bar across the ceiling, and a functioning liver secreting bile that Jalmar drank from a special copper cup. Jalmar, who was mortally wounded in the raid, made two dying requests: that he be buried with his axe, and that his brain be reanimated, that he might perceive his isolation until the magic wore off. In the end only one request was filled, and he was buried in prisoner’s garb at Hunterpass.
Hunterpass constables pose with the corpse of Ansley Kemps, black sheep of the aforementioned Kemps clan. An irredeemable scoundrel, the disowned Kemps was known in town for his public drunkenness, repeated home invasions particularly in the manors of the town’s richfolk, and his public endorsement of the partisan cause in the far north, who themselves took uncommon pains to disavow his promotion. On the final day of his life, Ansley Kemps was sought by the police for breaking a bottle of gin over the head of a woman who had voiced disagreement with the partisans’ aim of women’s suffrage. The irony unapparent to the moribund son of privilege, he engaged the constables in a battle of magics in the street, one which ended when a killing hex was reversed into his own wand, destroying his wand and arm and causing him to scream in pain for ten hours before dying. His body was never claimed by his family, and given over for medical experimentation.