I always liked Dragon Magazine 197’s cover. It’s a Brom painting that doesn’t seem to fit with the D&D of that time, nor is it exactly a Dark Sun image. It also uses quite a unique color palette where Brom is concerned. Beyond the unique look, the title is worth a mention.
I suppose one could question the naming conventions of any artist, with some titles being obvious and some perhaps having some deeper meaning. In the case of the cover of Dragon 197, we get a glimpse into Brom’s method of titling his works. Here is what is given for the image in Dragon 197:
Gerald Brom, our cover artist, first referred to his painting as the elf guy but later changed the title to the more official The Bedeviled Met His Fate. He says the title is open to interpretation.” If you have an idea as to why it’s called this, please write to us at: Brom’s Title, c/o DRAGON Magazine, P.O. Box 111, Lake Geneva, WI 53147, U.S.A. We’re curious, too.
Two years later, the Brom FPG card for this work has the following:
“Bedeviled – This elflord seems intent on bringing down his adversary, or to meet his fate trying.”
So it seems that the piece had no title, later a rather “picked out of the air” title, then finally ended up with the one we see on the card. This might show that Brom doesn’t name his pieces, at least not right away. This might speak to the quality of the artist himself as titles are superfluous, having the works themselves, as is the case with Bedeviled, stand on their own.
Additionally, one might also pick up on the initial wording of “met his fate” versus the later “meet his fate” which implies that the subject had yet to meet his fate as was indicated in the Dragon Magazine description.