Hollow by liiga
Corel Painter 9, Wacom Intuos 3, no estimate of the time taken, 'cause there were breaks in between, but it took a while. ;p
And now for a little backstory:
Once upon a time in a land full of peace and wellbeing, there lived a seer who prayed to the sea. Her power to see the future was uncanny and known to many. As time passed, the day came when the old king died, as predicted by the very seer, and a new one was crowned. The new king was young, full of hope and great plans for the future of his kingdom, and curious of his fate, so the seer was called. But as she laid eyes upon him, she wept. When asked what she saw, the seer uttered: "I can not speak of what I see, for it is too terrible to be said." The king was not satisfied and demanded that she speaks of what she had seen or else she would be punished. The seer nodded and obliged: "Thy rule shall be short and meaningless, and it shall bring nothing but death and suffering for those who live now and for those who will come after. And now that I have said it, the prophecy has sealed itself, and thy fate is set." The king was enraged to hear these words and he ordered the seer be punished by death.
The execution took place that very evening by the sea to which she had prayed so much. Her jaw and tongue were ripped out and she was tossed off a cliff into the raging water. And as her body was devoured by the foams, the king looked into the raging abyss below and thought he saw a face with blank eyes and terrible grin, its watery lips spelling out "death" over and over. Terrified by the vision, the king stepped backwards and lost his balance on the shifty rocks. Moments later his body disappeared among the waves.
Soon after the demise of the young king who had left no children, the country became torn by struggles for power. While it was weak and separated, neighbouring kingdoms saw their chance and went to invade it. Thus began centuries of blood, suffering and war. The prophecy had fulfilled itself.