Saturday 23 May 2015


Loss of sanity and various forms of lunacy are common in lands where you might fall into a parallel world at any time, or lose your mind to solitude. The different species are prone to various forms of mental issues. Some views are considered insane as well, like racism. The survivors of spirit attacks, either by the dead or placespirits, are never sane again, but results may vary.

Dwarves cannot endure loneliness and become erratic and obsessive when exposed to solitude; this is normally addressed by making sure dwarves need not be alone.
Elves easily suffer from delusions or paranoia. They often feel like they're missing out on some greater truth they could understand if only they opened up towards... something. It can be difficult to keep track of the longlived elves and their issues to get them help in time. These are but two examples; all species have their peculiarities.

"At first it looked like a simple poisoning, nothing to worry about. Then she started seeing things and talked to the forest. On the fourth day, she bit Relgaan and fled into the canyon; Relgaan has never spoken again."
— Orewasse, traveller
Time and again, people leaving the Area think themselves to be the servants of Starmaker, and of course her favourite. These raving lunatics pursue unfathomable goals, sometimes even violently, and almost always end up in the voices' care.
Goldfairies are hard to understand at the best of times. They all have secret goals and one together, it seems; they can often be found talking to themselves or the furniture, and stop in midsentence when they become aware of company. It requires patience to handle them.
"Sanity is a matter of circumstances. Are the Redforesters insane for living in poison? Is it mad to build on a volcano?"
— Hafana, scholar

Artists' notes
There are plenty of dangers - wild animals, illnesses, curses, volcanoes, elementarians... but I didn't want to leave out insanity. After all, it's a good explanation for some rulers' behaviour. And I like it better than them being eeeeviiiil; since I ruled out the Evil from Genius Loci, I thought it'd be better to blame it on loss of mind when rulers become cruel.

Friday 15 May 2015

Garren clothing

"I'm not wearing that. I'll look like a humped idiot. I'll rather freeze my tail off."
— Badhea, Gderan gar
The garren have a crest down their back, from between the eyes to the tip of the tail. This argues with clothes, but craftsmen have long found solutions.
Garren shirts and trousers have straps sewn on to go over the crest's dips. Stiff, backless shirts are held up by the sleeves, or are worn with a ring on the neck and another around the waist. Garren can have the crest slit to fit fasteners through, or have it pierced with a knobbed fastener to tie clothing to; this is usually done by hairdressers. Buttons can be glued to either side of the crest with strong resin, and wearers may need help buttoning up. And of course, some simply wear pull-over clothes; when made of heavy fabric, they weigh the skinny crest down.
Trousers are cut to allow room for the tail but have some excess down the tail to cover the buttocks thoroughly; some regional costumes enclose the entire tail. Garren clothes are more expensive when they are snug fits.
"These tail bags are nicely warm."
— Badhea, traveller
Aesthetically, a standup crest is sightlier as well as more comfortable, and well-tailored dresses are prettier than bulging backs. Garren much prefer warmth, and cold regions sport special makes that enclose the crest separately. Morégar have it easier, with straps that fit right between the separate spikes. In general, since the garren are changeably colourful and care for aesthetics, sufficient garren population means the traditional dress takes their needs into account.

Artist's notes
I've had discussions about my lizard people wearing normal clothes, with trousers and shirts despite their crests. My argument stands; if the dominant culture says to wear clothes, you will wear whatever keeps you warm and decent - what's the point of looks when you die of cold?

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Art on deviantArt: The Empty Lands

The illustration accompanying the recent blog entry about inner Lozir now also appears on deviantArt: The Empty Lands.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

The Broken Jaw Rocks

Deep in the yellow forest lie the Broken Jaw Rocks. They are a large, roughly circularly arranged mass of sharply jagged rocks, in a swamp whose permanent mist enhances the mysterious atmosphere, making the entire region unusually inhospitable for the yellow forest. Many researchers tried to learn what might be inside the rocks, but none have succeeded so far - although some claim it, and others have gone insane, building up a legend of the rocks possibly being cursed, or inhabited by unspeakable things.
"The stone isn't from the region, the mist makes it impossible to peek in, there are inscriptions but only half can be reached. The Broken Jaw Rocks are surely among the most frustrating sites there are."
— Mehanid Kopahr, mage
The mage Ralgonkin Lair and his guide have been lost in the rocks many years ago; recently, Ralgonkin was found some distance away, babbling incoherently, and so far has not been able to explain where he was.
Clues have been found that skirmishes of the war against Sii-uri Darkheart have taken place here, most apparent by the inscriptions on the rocks themselves by those who dared venture close. Gold fairies have hinted at the rocks being encircled by protective marks, although it seems unlikely that a circle of such magnitude would have been forgotten, and evidence has yet to be found.
"Seritamifah, who is a friend to fleeters, asked one to go into the rocks, but he refused. She returned from him puzzled and frightened - apparently he gave a reason, but she never said which."
— Prasimur Ohalmar, traveller

Artists' notes
One of those places that came from a painting. It became more mysterious and finally almost hostile as I watched and built it, until finally, it became a taboo place that only the most daring adventurers will go into. That's okay.