Friday, 30 June 2017

Art on deviantArt: Repaints, Nightly Traveller, Red Forest

I have recreated or rather expanded some older works for Genius Loci: the Yellow Forest Borderlands, Fog in the Ryaq, and the Salt Flats. Now they're much more grand and therefore closer to what I had wanted them to be. The Nightly Traveller from a recent blog post was also published on deviantArt, and finally, there's another landscape piece of the red forest.

Sunday, 25 June 2017


There are many breeds of bans, who can be used as pets, hunting beasts or even beasts of burden, or as guards for house, family, or herds. The best-liked ban breeds are plushy herderbans, whose fur is also worn; hunting bans in all sizes, from small energetic tunnelbans to the mighty surabans with their powerful jaws; and of course the affectionate and intelligent kalagrenos, who make excellent pets and learn many tricks. Wild bans are rare, although some small packs of domesticated bans that run wild exist.
"Between my orla, ban, yaaf, and myself, I think I'm the worst hunter. But at least the best cook, and I swear they are going for the fat prey first because it tastes best when roasted."
— Chrekor, hunter
The most basic build of bans is slender with long legs, thin horizontal ears and a narrow snout. They are omnivores but prefer meat, and hunt for smaller animals like amphibians and rodents, but also eat up insect states. The bans in northern Gdera specialize in catching birds. Preferences and character often depend on breed; some dislike water while others won't get out again; some are husky and lazy while others won't stand still. The appearance is equally dependent - from plush, multicoloured fur to being covered with wire, and from flat, shortlegged hunters to gracious, fragile runners, everything goes.

Artists' notes
Bans take the place of dogs in Genius Loci. After some consideration I threw out all Earth names for creatures, and have them look differently. It's just too tempting to make all kinds of weird animals that do what well-known animals do normally - mounts, cattle, pets. Now there are pervons instead of cats, wempons instead of camels, bans instead of dogs, and I'm happy.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Nightly Travellers

"We had followed them into the valley, and found there an obstacle course of sorts, made of Areal thresholds. Apparently they train to leave, make, and enter them as a sport - it's no wonder we were never able to catch them."
— Rastann, guard
There are orders aside the speakers that look for wisdom and truth. The Nightly Travellers believe it can be found in the Area, and live almost exclusively there. As the nature of the Area makes reconnaissance nearly impossible, nobody knows what they are doing there, where they camp or live, and where they will come out. Also, since paths are shorter in the Area, they can travel vast distances very quickly, and have thus always eluded capture.
"I will take your daughter with me. She shall learn to weave, spin, and dye the mountainsides and shallow seas."
— Night Traveller Hmakinga
The Nightly Travellers are not the friendly helpers they claim they are. They steal children, to raise them in the Area. People staying within the Area for long often become strange and incomprehensible, and nobody knows what this upbringing does to the children.
When Nightly Travellers leave the Area, they create astonishing, intricate Areal relics of strange effects, and rulers become worried when they are sighted.

Artists' notes
There are a whole lot of other, friendlier orders with altruistic goals, but describing the freakish, strange orders with intransparent agendas is fun. The others will get their time as well, of course. Meeting a Nightly Traveller is like the opening scene of an urban fantasy novel, when you see a modern mage do something incredible with casual ease.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Ghabnah and Turachgekhan

The speakers have entirely opposite (but to the voiceless, indistinguishable) plans how to achieve understanding of the world. Wizards believe that the world will make sense only as a whole, while mages seek to understand each detail first, then assemble them all. Both ways have been codified early in history by the greatest thinkers of their time, who are today's idols of their respective beliefs, Ghabnah and Turachgekhan.

Ghabnah, who is thought to have been a beja mage, wrote the first magical tome collecting the spells strung together from the words of power. This First Book of Magic, or Ghabnah's Book, also contains the principles mages should follow. It is constantly being revised and modernized, and there are different interpretations of her thoughts.

"Look at any one thing and find that it is made of parts. Learn their workings - learn every thing's workings, and you may finally understand the world's workings as well."
— Ghabnah

Wizards follow the teachings of Turachgekhan, a rhu'khach sage, who said that the world is wondrous and whole, and can be only understood if one dares to broaden one's mind to encompass it. Today, wizards are acknowledged as skilled holistic thinkers. Each spell is invented at the time it is cast and has widespread effects.

"Look at how marvelous the world is intertwined, and everything inseparable from everything else. We know the Great Spirit is at the foundation of it all, but we only know this, we do not grasp it - and when we finally do, I believe it will be most grand."
— Turachgekhan

Neither Ghabnah nor Turachgekhan said anything about hating on the other half of the human supernaturals. Some very optimistic philosophers even believe in unification of both schools. The fact however remains that in six millenia, no-one has learned both the way of the mages and wizards.

Artists' notes
There had to be idols among the speakers, and the most important idols would of course be the founders of their way of life. There's much to say about speakers, spells, and the philosophies. It's sometimes thought that maybe spells are "poisonous", because it's only after casting their first spell that speakers are set in one way.