Thursday 14 November 2013

The White forest

"Night scares us outside the White. Black shadows and lightless skies are unknown to us. We much prefer the White Night - one can see into one's mind much easier."
— Uomiqa, villager

The pale fungi plantlife names the White forest. It grows in tropical regions; tree-sized fungi shadow the ground, bundles of mushroom stems take the bushes' place, but there are some regular plants as well. Many people consider the White forest boring - the inhabitants agree, and love it. There are no dangerous animals or plants, few natural dangers, and the soft, squishy flora prevents most accidents. Finding food in the largely indigestible plantlife is tricky, however. Life in the white forest is slow and soft, and comes to bloom after dusk; the many-coloured glow of plants and animals hold night at bay.

"The rumours about the White night seem true - the inhabitants can apparently read thoughts. Whether this has the same source as the Gderan shimmer or another is unclear. As is the shimmer's source."
— Mage Ralvirr Jix, in a lecture

The people of the White forest are both playful and deep-thinking. They greet change but do not seek it, as they say. Clothing is wide and practical in pale colours, feet bare. Settlements are easy to transport and light-weight and put on the forest's middle floor. They are mostly left alone by the world, and most denizens are human living their vegetarian diet.

Artists' notes
My biggest influence for the mushroom forest was "Nausicaa of the Valey of the Winds", particularly since the film showed many types of fungi instead of the classic champignon shape; I was equally impressed by the fantastic vistas of Avatar. Shroom forests are somehow associated with playful surrealism and Alice in Wonderland fantasy stories, but the White forest is fairly normal (though trickier to paint, since I can't hide everything in foliage).

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Bug fairies

"If I ever find one of you in the pantry again I'll whisper a spell to the door, clear? Have you at least taken care of the pests under the windowsill, or were you too full with berrycake?"
— Mrinbira, farmer
Bug fairies are stick-thin creatures fourty centimeters high, with deep purple, hard skin, four membrane wings, and spikes on their limbs. Genders cannot be told apart, and nobody knows how they reproduce.
Bug fairies are called after their favourite prey, and are welcome in settlements where they hunt down pests. Unfortunately, bug fairies are dim-witted, cheeky, and wild-mannered. They are popular babysitters, though - bug fairies love children and look out for them with great care. They appear in flocks and are independent, but are very fond of homes and equipment made for them by bigger people. Bug fairies are hardly taken serious, but have an understanding of speechcraft that's not to be trifled with (and are utterly oblivious to academic education).
"My great people made us a house of whitewood that rides on the iunas when we travel to the summer pastries. We're very proud and grateful, and we will die before harm comes to their children."
— Vanvan-ira, Ashstone tribe fairy
Artist's notes
Every decent fantasy setting needs some koboldy creatures to get on your nerves, but still be useful. I imagine bug fairies zooming about, shouting and playing, tugging and poking, using the dinner table for a playground... there are many comical small folk in movies and other fantasy worlds that were inspiring for bug fairies, and many characters from the Mumins book series by Torve Janssen.
I'm not sure yet if either of the two fairykind will have magical properties, but I tend towards no. It's just too cruel to be ground to dust for potions, and I dislike magically overpowerful flippy crazies.