Tears of Fire is a painting by the early Messer Era landscape and military artist Aaron Fring. It was completed in 2610, after Fring witnessed Tevarin Warlord Corath’Thal and his fleet falling through the atmosphere of Jalan (Elysium IV, formerly Kaleeth) in an act of self-immolation.
Tears of Fire is Fring’s only work to have been inducted into the UEE Historical Vault for Antiquity. It hangs in the Bentley National Gallery on Jalan.Background
The Tevarin lost their homeworld, then called Kaleeth, to the United Planets of Earth (UPE) a the end of the First Tevarin War (2541-2546) On 09 March 2603, a faction of Tevarin led by Warlord Corath’thal sparked the Second Tevarin War; a protracted and brutal guerrilla war for the Elysium system against the United Empire of Earth (UEE). On 24 June 2610, after a catastrophic defeat in the Centauri System at the hands of Squadron 42, it became clear to Corath’thal and his forces that they could not defeat the UEE military and an armed populace. Faced with the choice between surrender and death at the hands of his enemy, Corath’Ttal chose a third option: he ordered his surviving loyal forces to charge through the UEE military blockade for Elysium.Subject
On 25 June 2610, the remains of the Tevarin fleet reached Jalan’s atmosphere. The residents of the planet braced for an attack. Instead, Corath’thal and his fleet dropped their thermal shields and dove for the planet. As they burned in the atmosphere, Corath’thal’s final words were picked up by human communication devices: “We die at home, and we die free.”Artist
Aaron Fring was born on Ferron on 13 October 2578 to teacher Max Fring and pilot Mary Fring. He learned to draw and paint as a child, during a period in which he was bedridden with Kilos’ Malady. As an adult, his illness prevented him from following his mother into service with the UEE Navy, so he joined the UEE Expeditionary Force (UEEEF) as a Field Medic. The UEEEF eventually stationed him on Jalan. He fell in love with the landscape there and was inspired to resume painting. The night of Corath’thal’s descent, Fring was taking an evening walk, having left all his communication devices at his home. As he approached the crest of a hill, he noticed strange lights in the sky, and saw the first of the Tevarin fleet push through the clouds. Fring watched until the last of the ships had either broken apart or crashed. He began work on Tears of Fire the next day.
The debut of Tears of Fire at the Gemma Gallery of Art launched Fring’s career as a full-time painter. He went on to produce more pieces centered around the Tevarin Wars, to continual acclaim. His portrait of Corath’thal, referenced from holos and oral descriptions, is noted for its use of smoke and lighting. He died on 11 November 2631 from Kilos-related complications, aged 53 years. Tears of Fire was inducted into the UEE Historical Vault for Antiquity in 2633.
Fring cited human Romantic-era Earth (Sol III) art as one of his primary influences, particularly the use of light and color in Ivan Aivazovsky’s 1848 painting Battle of Chesma. A copy of the painting hung in Fring’s studio. Tears of Fire inspired a revival of Romantic-style art in the UEE, notably pieces with glowing, effusive sources of light.