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Just linking to random things, having to do with sea cultures, animals etc:
Hawaiian shark tooth weaponry:
Haida (canadian west coast natives) stuff (just as an aside, the haida were known to use their anchors as chain weapons... and yes, that's wooden armor ):
I know we didn't want to get too tribal, but the Maori have paddles that double as weapons, would make sense for a culture that needed to travel light in small boats and would want to have items that had multiple purposes (they don't have to be wood):
The Ainu were known to be strong seamen (their gondola type sticks could easily double as spears):
Aside from the more pacific feel, remember that the vikings and the Greeks were both very adept at sea travel. The hard part about depicting seafaring culture using characters only is that very rarely do you see items on vikings or other western warriors that would say "this guy's one hell of an oarsman" So I think we could use more or less western dress, remove parts of it to show of the tattoos (they would be living in temperate areas as well so warmth is not a big concern) and hint at their affinity for the sea with their tattoos and more pacific weapons, such as paddle clubs, shark-tooth sabers or arrows, anchor weapons etc.
Something like this:
would be close to what our folks might wear for armor. Arms and legs free for swimming, and free to show off neat tats inspired by sea animals Anyways that's what I have for now for resources.
For what I'm working on, I'm not sure if I want to create something of a "sea-elf" or just stick with a normal elf. I see lots of people going nuts with new races so I don't see why I can't poke around and see what I can come up with. What I'm thinking is that her ears would elongate and pull more flush to her head. The flesh of the ears would serve no purpose in focusing sounds though; a lateral line would develop along the length of the ear, so that the ear becomes a new sense organ where she can feel the vibrations in the water, like fish with lateral lines.
I'll post sketches when I think on paper some more.
Thinkin around the page:
Weapon/equip ideas. Feel free to steal/modify (ever hear of a steel-tipped shark-tooth paddle-sword?!)
Edit: I suppose that I should explain what I'm thinking about the technology:
Basically the whole seaside/island culture these guys live in would preclude full-body outfits or armor (something we agreed to show off the tats ) meaning that they'd regularly have lots of skin showing. This would mean that nasty weapons with shark teeth in them (something that would be totally negated by even leather armor) would be feasible. These weapons would be particularly nasty since they'd be able to cause a lot more bloodloss I guess? So since there's less armor used by the general populace slashing weapons like katanas and other curved blades could be more useful than stabbing/piercing weapons like swords/military picks.
Just my thoughts.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 2nd, 2009 at 07:15 PM.
So far I'm just working up some ideas for a healer character that is a sort of human/ plant matter hybrid. I still have to come up with a clearer idea of what it is that he does. For the evil version of the character, I wanted to do something that is contradictory to the idea of what a healer is, or a healer of things that are also evil. I'll update as the sketches develop.
I sent a PM to Chaotic Knight, but have yet to receive a reply. But anyway, what I wanted to ask was if it is possible for me to join your team?
I understand if you guys are a bit apprehensive, but perhaps if you guys want to give me an assignment to prove myself, I'd be happy to oblige.
Anyway, CK contacted me via PM, but conclusion is that I won't be joining Oh well, good luck guys!
Last edited by Maledict; August 3rd, 2009 at 01:57 AM.
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Hey Rabbi, thanks for the interest (CK would have sent you a reply, best of luck )
Hey guys, would you mind if I wrote up a basic background for the culture and area these guys live in? I was thinking that this area would be a huge bay, with a large amount of small islands to the south. It would breed 2 sea faring cultures; in the north along the bay large ships and more traditional weaponry would be used, whereas in the south along the islands, smaller boats would rule. Also the many islands and rivers in the south would mean that the people would be more inclined to swim, which would mean more shell/obsidian/tooth weaponry as opposed to steel, which would rust. the north may have a standing army while the south are more adept at raids and hit and run tactics do to the maze-like nature of the many islands.
The northern culture would use oar pikes, since only larger ships have need of long oars (plus pikes are only really effective in formation) the southern islands would use more like gondola spears and shark tooth weaponry.
Neither culture would be using a whole lot of armor because of the temperature and the fact that too much gear might cause drowning. Does this sound all good? Am I free to go do some lore creation? lol
Also, should we split up some of the basic work? Like one person is in charge of this thread and/or submission, one person in charge of lore (though we're all responsible for our own character's story) etc?
One last thing: I think we should have some sort of loose schedule so we can make sure to be on track (stolen from hala ). I propose that:
End of this week (saturday, August 8th)
We have completed most of our sketches and concept work. We'll get together on aim and have a crit and idea session on saturday to really get into the nitty gritty and hammer out the vague ideas. Concepts can still change, but we should know what direction we're taking.
End of next week (saturday, August 15th)
We have either one of our character's completely done, or both at around 50%. Do whichever feels better to you. Again we'll have a group crit
End of the week after (saturday, August 22nd)
This is our day to shoot for in terms of absolute completion. We'll have our final crit session. This way we still have a full week left for...
End of the last week (saturday, August 29th)
.... time to try new things! If you had an idea for a new character, or wanted to try a completely new version of your existing character, now's the time. This is also a buffer week in case things go wrong; problems on the home front, trips, moving, anything that might make a speedbump in your progress. We'll have another little meeting to talk about what we want to submit and what we want to discard.
Thoughts on all that? (I'll have some more concept stuff up later today too, I'd like it if I got some crits or comments. We need to be talking more, guys )
Here's some stuff I'd really like an opinion on. I'm doing some quick dress-ups of a female sea elf, focusing on what looks like it would be fairly easy to swim in, what looks sexy, good and evil. I did 2 sets of 6 (a and b), plus a mashup of both of them that yielded some neat results (called 'c'):
So far, I'm liking 2, 4, 5 and 6 of all the sets, though I think the last set is getting a bit too heavy for water. So, level some crits at me, after I've figured stuff out I'll reduce it to my favorite 2 of each and work them up in a bit more detail, then make my final decision. Yay
While the men and elves of the west were busy consolidating and expanding their respective empires, and as dwarven hordes fought the orcish clans to reclaim their lost lands, a subtle but steady migration eastward was underway. Whether they were escaping from tyranny, slavery and war or they sought adventure, riches and conquest, the men, elves and other mortal races of the old western world that made up this exodus found themselves in the temperate, clear waters of Crace.
East across the Furled Sea lies the mysterious eastern continent. The first western people to discover it landed in Crace on the continent’s southwestern tip nearly a thousand years before the Old Empires‘ attempts at invasion. Crace itself is defined as the northern area of land surrounding the Cracian Bay, and the thousands of large and small islands to the south and southeast of the bay. Its sparkling waters, massive reefs and golden beaches are as beautiful as they are dangerous. Poisonous fish, amphibians and sentient coral collectives are some of the more common causes of death and disappearances. Islands, erupting like shark’s teeth from the shallow seas are home to a staggering variety of plant and animal species, as well as the last of the “bridge cities,” communities of the displaced and nearly extinct native inhabitants.
After arriving in their new home, the western mortal races set about adapting to the much more temperate climate. Settling along the rim of the bay and in its many islands, the western folk fought a slow and costly war against the natives. Using their heavier western dress, many simply drowned in naval encounters. Their ships, despite being more sturdy than those of the natives, were ungainly and slow by comparison. Change came slowly, as the westerners adopted a more appropriate attire; cut-off sleeves, less wool and similar fabric and most importantly, shallow hulled boats with a prow at either end, to be beached and re-launched without having to turn them. They took to using their oars and paddles as weapons, and began using lighter materials that would also not rust when exposed to the salty seas.
With the natives all but defeated, and their society already evolving, two distinct Cracian cultures came to be: The Doannal Confederacy to the north, and what was collectively known as the Southern Tribes. The donnal Confederacy grew out of the clans which settled and traded along the rim of the bay. The Human military leader Aldon Doannal unified the tribes into a loose confederacy after forcing the rest into defeat. Today, the Cracian Council stands as the Confederacy’s ruling body, regulating trade and offering local and national military protection. The confederacy harkens back to the old western cultures of men and elves, indicated by their heavier, western-style leather armor along with the continued use of steel in their weapons. The huge Cracian Bay allows larger, oar-powered boats to be both a feasible means of transportation and a suitable platform for large naval battles. While they cannot navigate some of the smaller archipelagos and island chains, Confederate ships have been known to penetrate deep inland through the larger rivers. Their relatively large standing army has also allowed them the use of the pike, which has been ingeniously integrated into each oar. In this way, every oarsmen can instantly be transformed into a pikeman, equally ready for battle or rowing at a moments notice. The oar pike is also one of the only Confederate weapons that does not use steel, instead being tipped with the exceptionally hard white crystal farmed from the sentient coral collectives.
The southern tribes, in stark contrast, have almost fully adopted the native way of life. The tribes are a body of people who trade, communicate and often war with each other. They have no central body and are unified only by their modes of dress and transportation. On their small gondolas and rafts, using their obsydian-tipped spears, they paddle and prod their way through the archipelagos and rivers. Huge oars are negated by the lack of a large, unified military force as well as the lack of large boats made obsolete by the tight river ways and sea passages. Since almost all warriors in Crace wear minimal armor with much flesh exposed, the Shark-tooth axes, swords and knives of the southern tribes are particularly effective weapons, causing much more blood loss than traditional weapons and being relatively easy to craft. Leather armor sometimes gives way to thin tight cloth and fishnet, but they still have a good mix of protection and aquatic mobility in their armor. They are also much more willing to dress themselves with pearls, seashells, and coral gems.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; September 2nd, 2009 at 11:56 AM.
So I narrowed it down to 5a and 4b for good outfits, and 4a and 6a for evil. I did 3 more explorations of each, and also overlayed both at thew end to see what that would produce:
Was also hit with the inspiration stick today and created a stout little guy, perhaps belonging to the original native race? EDIT: haha, what if these are somehow the cousins of western dwarves
Damn dude, you went all out. Well here are my starting sketches. I'll go from here to digital, so tell me what you guys think. I've decided to go for Warlock Assassin
@Jason: I personally like 1C(?), but the ones you chose look good too. I like the idea of shell armor. Of the new batch I like E4. Maybe you should find a tasteful way of hiding the breasts, though. xD
and for the haircuts, my favorites are 1, 4, and 8.
For the breasts, If I decide they're not really adding anything I could easily add another strap hiding them, or even on e4 I could just have various shells happening to hide them.
For your stuff, so far I'm liking the guy in the middle, second from the bottom. He's got a nice mix of cloth and skin, looks like he could swim a bit etc. The design of the guy in the top middle is cool too, but it looks a bit heavy for a theif maybe? If it looked tighter than I think it might actually be a perfect blend of stealth/magic wear. There's also the ref from Lost you showed me, elements from that would be great (you could probably post those pics up too)
So far cool stuff happening. I'm not sure what I'll try to do tonight, and I'm not sure if I actually do want to take on another character portrait (of the supposed native or any other idea) BUT - if you're thinking about maybe doing another character, we could collab the whole thing and one of us do the good one while the other does the evil? Something to think about.
Team icy std, GO!
Narrowing the armor down and adding some elements in as per suggestions (mainly shells for some armor) I'm also trying to show a cultural difference between the good and evil characters: The good one shows more influence from the northern confederacy, and so has more standardized and heavier armor. The evil one is from the southern tribes, and is armored more lightly and irregularly. The good character is wielding a paddle spear, which is a more common weapon used by the southern tribes. I'm thinking that she left the confederate navy and has a life of her own with the other 2 adventurers.
My overall idea is these two women are the same character, but solved the problem of prejudice differently. the good character was harassed and discredited in the navy, but did not seek revenge and continues to fight for good in the southern tribes. The evil character after being released from the navy has snapped. She's returned to her native dress and kills western elves as retribution, when she's not on other evil missions with her other two companions. (the prejudice is explained in the sea elf lore below)
Sea Elves (Mare Altus Magi), sometimes referred to in the derogatory as “Sea Monkeys,” are the descendants of Old World Elves (Altus Magi Vetus) living in and around the Cracian Bay. Notable physiological differences from their western cousins include lesser gill slits in the neck, water-adapted eyes, a more athletic build and elongated ears pulled more flush to the head which also feature lateral lines along their lengths.
The true origin of the Sea Elves has been clouded by the tumultuous and sporadic settling of Crace by the western races. War, constant tribal migration and simple lack of records during ancient times ensured that the initial emergence and reception of the new race would not be known to current scholars. The Elves’ own mythical account for their creation revolves around their legendary hero Madir and his dealings with the eastern sea goddess Alyssia. After supposedly leading his people east, Madir and his tribe separated from the greater elven population, settling in the remote south-eastern regions of the southern islands. Here he fell in love with Carisis, a woman from an unidentified race of people. When both the elves and the unknown race discovered their love, Madir was stripped of his ruling title, his love with a foreign race deemed a crime against nature. He was held in a watery cave to await his execution. Carisis suffered a similar fate, being cast out of her village. The night before his execution, Madir was visited by an old woman in a cloak. She told the guards that she wished to torture Madir with her magic instead of letting him die a swift death. The guards, eager at the though of his pain, left the old woman alone with him. As they left Carisis removed her cloak and embraced her lover. Madir was overjoyed to see her one last time but was also horrified, for she would surely be caught and killed as well. Carisis said that she could not live without him, and would rather die by his side. As they cried in each others’ arms, Alyssia, eastern goddess of the sea and its life, had been watching their story unfold. She was so struck with their love that she decided an intervention was necessary. She was borne from her coral palace on the back of a shell pulled by two huge fish, and was straightaway present in front of Madir and Carisis. Alyssia promised that she would free them from the cave and allow them to live a life together, though she warned them that they would not longer be welcome in the lands of elves.
The lovers both cried yes, and with a flash Alyssia was gone. Madir and Carisis stood confused, wondering why they were still in their rocky prison. Gradually they felt the urge to enter the deep waters further in the cave. Madir knew the winding maze of rock and coral underneath would not allow them time enough to escape before drowning, but their instincts pulled them so strongly they both dove into the black waters. Even though there was no light to be seen, the two noticed that they were able to navigate their midnight maze with ease. More amazing, they felt no urgent need to draw breath, and were able to remain under water until they finally found an exit. Crawling onto a beach in the morning light, they could finally see what Alyssia had done to them: They had new eyes, able to see clearly in the water; their ears were thicker and longer, and had a sensitive line that could sense movements in the darkest of seas; their throats had small gills that, while not totally negating their need for breath, could extend their stay under the waves. Lastly, they could see their bodies were much stronger than the lithe elves, and could propel them through the ocean far swifter than any other swimmer. Legend has it that they are the ancestors of every other sea elf.
While the story is largely regarded as myth, the idea of forced exile echoes the fate of the early sea elves, as they too were shunned by most races, especially their elven kin. Those who are prejudiced against sea elves often point to the story’s mention of a love affair with an unknown race as evidence that the sea elves were born from bestial relations between elves and fish.
Sea elves today are, at least officially, not a segregated race in the Cracian Confederation. They are however often maligned and despised by western elves.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 5th, 2009 at 10:57 PM.
The name of the sea elf I've settled on, and it's Dialda. I've also got some work done on [the evil version's] weapon,
A descendant of the southern tribes’ standard paddle axe, Dialda’s Bloodwave serves no purpose as a paddle, but is a fearsome weapon carved from a single piece of Lignum Vitae (ironwood) and lacquered with coral wax. Though the weapon is still technically wooden, it has little to fear from steel bladed weapons. Bloodwave’s “underbelly” is bristling with shark’s teeth, it’s topmost point sporting a crystal pick. When used in a slashing motion, the shark’s teeth loosen up an opponent’s flesh or armor for the crystal pick, allowing it to dig even deeper. Bloodwave’s “back” is crowned with a single large coral crystal (the concentrated excrement of sentient coral collectives) Bloodwave is therefore a multipurpose weapon, able to slash and tear at unarmored or lightly armored opponents with its teeth, but still able to crush armor with the its dorsal crystal. As with most named weapons of the southern tribes, Bloodwave is considered a soul-eater. Tradition has it that whenever an enemy is killed with a soul-eater, their essence has been conquered and their spirit imprisoned in the weapon. Whenever a weapon has earned a name (usually as it passed from one owner to another) it becomes a soul-eater.
Dialda happened upon the weapon as the was adventuring deep in the jungle islands of the south-east. She entered battle with a western elf who she was hunting who was fully converted to a native way of life. He carried Bloodwave, while Dialda was armed with a shell axe she managed to fashion herself. The quality of both weapons were tested, and the lazy, arrogant Dialda saw her makeshift axe in splinters. She sunk to her knees and begged for her life. As the trusting elf approached to console her, Dialda swept sand into his eyes and restrained him. She tied him to a rock and ritually cut of both of his ears. She also made incisions along his body to slowly bleed him out. Sputtering through bloody lips, the elf told Dialda the story of his weapon. Even though he was ashamed to have it passed to such an evil creature, he did not want the history of his companion to die out. Dialda gleefully accepted her gift, a weapon that could take advantage of her greater physical strength.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 7th, 2009 at 10:43 AM.
Jason- your character is really coming along! I like that you have an interesting back story to go along with her- that's something I need to develop with my character as well. As far as the faces, I like #1 and #6. With #6, the Maori-esque design of the hair is interesting.
Mike- I agree with Jason on the character choice. I like that his face is obscured, it goes along with the idea of an assassin. Maybe the pants/shorts could be different?
Here are a couple more sketches I've been working on. I need to work up a wider variety of options for my character, particularly in terms of how his body shape. The thumbnails are difficult to make out, but basically for the evil version of the character, I was playing with objects decaying all around him. I as also thinking that maybe as an evil healer, he could heal things that cause destruction rather than causing the destruction himself. Anywho, I'll be adding more soon!
sorry I don't know where my sketches ran off to
Nice, I especially like the idea of starfish integrated in him
EDIT: it seems the dwarven bard idea has already been taken, so I'm a lot less creative than I thought Oh well, I still have an ok reason for them being bards so I won't discount it right away.
So I was doodling around for possible other character ideas, keeping with the theme of what traditional fantasy races would do to adapt to a sea-based culture? and you know what? Dwarves would be screwed.
Their lack of dexterity means they rely on heavy armor to absorb blows, so they either drown if they fall in the water with their heavy armor, or they shed their armor and take a sword to the chest. Swimming even without armor would be difficult, as their short limbs and low endurance means any other race would swim circles around them. SO here we have the hardiest or warriors being the LAST race you would ever want to be on your boat, or swim to attack an island castle.
So what would they do?
Almost certainly after landing in Crace a large portion of the Dwarven population would just keep going, heading far inland to whatever mountains they could find. The remaining dwarves had brought with them one feature that is useful in any land; their hearty, warm disposition and ability to tell stories. Unable to do much else, dwarves would become mostly.... bards. Being a war-like race, they wouldn't be able to stay away from conflict for long. Eventually they'd swallow their pride and could begin magical study. They'd be able to strike at enemies fom range without having to enter the sea. Better yet, if they were summoners, they could have creatures that would fight for them or to use as travel.
SO, in the spirit of breaking stereotypes, the basic idea I have is for a dwarven bard/summoner. They'd entertain people with their stories, as well as possibly wow them with exotic creatures they'd conjure. These creatures would be their means of naval combat and defense. Here are some super rough sketches, probably the last of the preliminary work I'm going to do:
Just a reminder: we should probably get together on AIM tomorrow and get a good talk going. Message me anytime.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 7th, 2009 at 06:50 PM.
Intriguing concept Jason ..... I especially like the environment in which you have chosen to portray your character. Nice!
"Creativity emerges only when the imagination is given the freedom it deserves."
Colour my world. This was initially heartbreaking but I got through the beginnings of the colouring... I don't think I've ever actually rendered anyone under bright sunlight. Thank baby Jesus for reference EDIT: forgot to mention, we had agreed early on that the coulour scheme was blue and orange. Our team is a trio of characters who work together and wear similar coloured outfits.
Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 11th, 2009 at 11:25 PM.
Damn Jason, your killing it man!
Love this, but I feel some of the anatomy around the arm area in particular is a little to muscular/manly.
And just an idea, but maybe play around with some different skin tones? May be interesting.
Great stuff tho man, this is the closet-finished portrait out there!
Best of luck,