Clyde Cadwell on the 1996 Tribunal Cover

This comes from an email chain with artist Clyde Caldwell, who created this 1996 cover for a very different TES3: Tribunal. Kindly provided by Benefactor, who did all the question asking.

This exchange has been edited for length and to remove personal information.

Bruce Nesmith, a game designer with whom I had worked at TSR, was working for Bethesda Softworks, and contacted me to do the cover for a computer game called Tribunal.  He sent me the info on the game and I submitted a sketch, based on what they asked for.  I think they asked me to make a few minor alterations to the sketch (I’m not sure, it’s been awhile), after which I produced the painting.  

I think I contacted them at some point and asked if the game was still going to be produced and they said it was, but to my knowledge it never came out and the artwork was never published by them.  I assumed that the game, Tribunal, never saw the light of day.

I really don’t know much about the story behind the scene depicted in the painting.  You could probably learn more from Bruce Nesmith.

As you can see the original concept was quite a bit different from the final painting. The warrioress in the painting was originally a guy. He was chained to an X-shaped cross as a sacrifice to the demon. The original demon was quite different as well.

I think I remember being asked to make the demon more “devil-like” or something to that effect…so I added horns and redid his face a bit.

This is the second version of the cover. The demon’s horns got another revamp and the warrior came down from the cross to fight the demon.

The first 3 images were scanned from the actual drawings, which I still have on hand.  The following final 3 images were scanned from not so great Xerox copies of the original drawings, which I sold long ago.

This is the layout for the final painting. The warrior was replaced by a warrioress.

This is the drawing of the warrioress used in the final painting.

This is the drawing of the wizards used in the final painting.

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