Brom’s “Transfixed” has an interesting place in Dark Sun in that it is an image for Dark Sun but only used in “secondary theaters” despite it being a full-fledged painting from a master.
Transfixed makes 4 appearances during the age of Dark Sun.
The 1995 FPG (Frielander Publishing Group) Brom art cards are great because on the back there is a description of the work from Brom himself as well as a sketch version of the image that’s on the front with the exception of 4 of the 89 cards: The Affront, Skullberry’s, Underlord, and of course, Transfixed. The Affront is something worth talking about in another post, but let’s take a look at the back of Transfixed.
Notice that this image isn’t an inked section of the front of the card, but rather it is a different sketch. This sketch made its way into Dragon 197’s short story “Ashes to Ashes”, and presumably is the character Lazra.
The back image is either an inspiration for the front image or perhaps happens to be the same subject (I am for the latter). Any connection that might be made between the front and back images might be nothing more than a graphics error or just filler for the back if no inked sketch was available. This seems to be the case for Skullberry’s and Underlord, with Underlord (The City by the Silt Sea cover) having the dragon’s head from the Bedazzled work (Dragon 197 cover) on the back of the card (perhaps there is a connection though not that I can make at this time). On the Transfixed card however, the similarity between the two subjects is striking and easily connects the two images together.
Where the FPG card has an indirect connection to Dark Sun, the D&D Collector cards has a direct reference in the 1993 AD&D Dark Sun Collector Card (17 of 495) with the name “Salicia” (described as a 6th level human (despite having pointed ears) preserver).
30 Years of Adventure
Another direct connection of this piece to Dark Sun is its appearance in the Dark Sun section of the 2004 book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons.
Shadowbound Art Prints
Though not used in an exclusive publication, Transfixed was deemed worthy enough to be one of six 11×17 inch images in the Brom Shadowbound set one art prints (which apparently had a limited run of 2000).
The Art of Brom
The Art of Brom (2013) has several great Dark Sun tidbits, many of which were hinted at in the early-mid 1990’s. One was the added note that Transfixed also has the title Wild Eye, and was indeed intended for Dark Sun.
Transfixed is a Dark Sun image despite not being used in a publication. This isn’t the first time a Brom work went unused in the Dark Sun setting and I’ve noted it before (1,2), but it is the only painting that went unused for the setting or that was later allocated to another property.