Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to include some more directional lines, probably tatters of cloth and wisps of smoke come from the monster flowing forward, a table in the empty space along the wall, some spilled buckets to emphasize drama.
As for the staff, I currently like how to directs the eye to the woman+child at the back and the monster, any lower and I feel like it tangents weirdly with the monsters hand, but I may change the pose of the hand so it might work later.
I actually do want him to seem afraid, so thanks I guess it's working , could use with a little more determination though. This is the moment that he faces his greatest fear to protect another child from the fate he suffered when he was younger.
I wanted to write out the story eventually so here it is:
> hero, as a boy, witnesses father's death by a summoned evil (think of a dementor)
> father was protecting him and this godly artifact weapon from evil
> hero is semi blinded by experience
> lives in fear of this monster, tormented in his nightmares
> hero develops a bond with owl a year later that calms him
> owl is reincarnated father, protecting and guiding him in his life and in his dreams
> hero grows up and learns to defend himself with quarterstaff, uses it as a walking stick
> evil invades his village again
> hero makes off with artifact quarterstaff to save it from destruction
> tries to escape village and his nightmares
> hears mother and child being cornered by evil
> smells the evil, hears the fear
> remembers his father's sacrifice
> intervenes to save them from the same fate
> faces greatest fear to protect others - afraid but determined
> god's bless his courage and the staff is activated
> hero struck with lightning
> hero and artifact are charged with energy
> hero attacks monster with strikes imbued with lightning
> light vanquishes evil
Hero was blinded by his fear when he was younger.
Hero is still blind, but no longer fearful.
Proud papa owl gets to watch his son overcome fear and protect the artifact from evil.
Evil thrives in the dark, but a blind man fights as well in darkness as he does in the light. What better way do the gods have to vanquish that which is dark and evil than with a blind warrior that can harness LIGHTning?