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Backstory From My Old Comics: Dr. Preston Abirok is the school psychiatrist at the Grimmora Mage University, and one of the few desert-elves to ever attend and/or teach there. He is a long-time friend of Aurora Taglisa and Nucleo McRaven. Preston is generally a good-natured man with a kind demeanor who also doubles as the school's bookkeeper and occasionally teaches classes or substitutes for them.
Since the Mage School is primarily devoted to the civilization and education of demon and monster-like beings, which can often be chaotic in nature, Dr. Abirok has his work cut out for him. However, for the most part, he enjoys his job, as he likes challenges and feeling needed. Preston has a meek outward appearance, but is expressly confident in himself and his knowledge.
Although Preston was only 20 when Aurora adopted young Nucleo, he assisted her greatly in defeating Headmaster Crow's argument that it would be too dangerous to train and educate a rogue mountaindevil at the school. He noted that Nucleo showed no signs of aggressive behavior and that if they returned him to his home, he would be punished for running away - a crime for which he could be put to death since he was branded a slave.
Although Preston has had some difficulties in dealing with certain students in the past, none gave him as much trouble as Image Arcane, the daughter of the demon-elf king, Zephyr Arcane. Initially uncontrollable, due to the way she was raised by her egotistical and warmongering father, Dr. Abirok found her to be too much to handle...until he realized that Nucleo seemed to be the only one who could ever get through to her. In asking for Nucleo's help in the matter, he indirectly fostered their relationship.
Preston is also deeply in love with Aurora, but will not confront her with his feelings because he fears it would ruin their professional relationship.
Preston rarely does any fighting, but he does have a type of sword that is typically wielded by Desert elves. Being a Light Demon, his magic is not as potent as most of the other mage professors due to Leohtiss being one of the weakest of the Elemental Gods. He is about 52 years old.
Character Design Notes: I have a long story involving this character. I had somehow managed to completely forget about him for the longest time. But somehow, my memory of him got jogged and I went searching through my archives for any evidence of his existence. The picture I had in my head of the character...was basically what he looks like in The RAU Gallery. However, what I actually found was quite different and somewhat mortifying. I couldn't believe I really had THAT much trouble getting him to look like what I pictured in my head.
I almost decided against bringing him back because he didn't have much of a personality in my old scripts, and wondered if I really needed another Desert-Elf character along with Christopher. Because he was one of young Nucleo's mentors, he seemed to only exist as an explanation for why Nucleo was so kind and patient with others. But after thinking about it, I realized a psychiatrist might be a useful character and I actually was rather surprised with how well he worked out. He has a much more well-defined personality now. However, I seriously needed to redesign him. I did find one older drawing that wasn't quite so screwed-up, but he looked too young in it, so I thought I couldn't really use that one...and then I got the idea to use it anyway and make a joke out of it. (In some ways, I feel that was the "defining" moment of the surreal nature of the series.)
Preston's usually dressed in formal Aridian wear. He doesn't always wear his head garb, though.
Preston in the RAU Gallery: Dr. Abirok continues to work as a psychiatrist and accountant for the Grimmora University. Lately, Robin Calypson has shown an immense interest in the psychiatry field and she is now studying under his tutelage. Due to his almost zen-like demeanor, he is well-liked by almost everybody except Crow, who has simply never liked him, and Tomi, who distrusts all psychiatrists. He is often seen in conversations with Christopher Paladin, who likes saying goofy things to the elven shrink just to get reactions out of him and see how far he can go with it.
First RAU Gallery Appearance: Nucleo's Greatest Discovery
When I finally remembered this character's existence, I went through my archives, and this is what I found. It didn't really match the picture I had in my head and I didn't know whether or laugh hysterically or cry. How could I have possibly had THAT much trouble getting the idea in my head on paper? And WTF is that thing on (or behind?) his hat??
Preston's a very easygoing guy so this picture might seem a bit unusual. Well, want to know a secret? Technically, that's not really Preston. The only IA episode Preston was in that I actually drew was one where the villainous mountaindevil Bazil Kyradius used a spell to disguise himself as Preston in order to kidnap Jack Sheen in a scheme to trap his archrival, Nucleo McRaven. This is the disguised Bazil yelling at Jack Sheen for being uncooperative. (I even still have pictures of Bazil after he changed back into his normal self, but is still wearing Preston's coke-bottle glasses.)
Another old version of Preston with a book of some kind.
Another one. Crap almighty, I can't believe how terrible this is...
Yeah, okay. After finding those I realized that if I seriously wanted to use this character, I better redesign him. This was my first attempt at it. Not bad, but not perfect, either. I also put him next to Christopher for comparison because I had been told that the other drawings of Preston looked too much like an older version of Christopher. I don't think they look alike here at all.
My second attempt at a redesign, this is a younger version of Preston with Aurora and child Nucleo. (He's very tall, so he has to kneel down to communicate with the young mountaindevil.) Even when drawn younger, he still doesn't look like Christopher, so I think I fixed that problem (amongst others). This still wasn't quite perfect, though.
Okay, NOW we're starting to get somewhere! This is pretty accurate to the image I had in my head. I used this to make his current RAU Gallery avatar.
Color version. Yes, that's definitely a lot better.
Preston battle-ready sprite. I made this for "The Great Forum Wars Part 2" sketch, however, since I stuck Dr. Abirok in the bottom middle of the screenshots, it turned out that I didn't need it.
Instead I used this view from the back. I fixed his ponytail on the final version.
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