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I felt like drawing Śina again, but in more of a dynamic pose than I typically give her. Her armor would've just gotten in the way here; imagine someone's just burst into the room while she's working on some new spear techniques with this trident someone gave her and now isn't sure if she's going to have to put these unrefined skills to use.

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Zaph doesn't know much about his father, but has taken on Zanahn's spiritual side nonetheless. Being a teenager is stressful, even in Elseways, but there's a small temple near his house where he goes on weekends to meditate. Elseways has a wide variety of religious buildings; some are devoted to a single religions, while others, like the Shrine of Mother Forest in Polywood (where Zaph goes), are more devoted to ideals like tranquility and harmony.

Zaph and Lucrecia hanging out 

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These two have been friends since they were small, and have ended up at the same schools. Lucrecia's talents earned her a couple summer internships at Ringoid Labs, who gave her a hoof-friendly laptop, and Zaph is getting a little more adventurous as he learns about how loose he can be with physics. The two of them like to hang out on the school rooftop, and Zaph has no issue doing stuff like this; he's fallen before, but he always lands on his feet unharmed.

More sketches of Zaph 

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Getting more of his anatomy straightened out. Zaph's feathers go all the way down his neck and back, connecting his head and tail (and will be where his eventual wings sprout from, once they grow in, but that's not going to happen for a while yet). Like his father, Zaph's got human hands and feet, but like his mother, Zaph's beak is expressive in a sort of cartoony way.

A note, to my past self and my future self and anyone else who needs to hear this. You can be what you are. You don’t need anyone’s permission. If you’re honest about how you feel, that’s all it takes, and only you can know that.

Zaph is staying.

Six-armed teenage bird kid 

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I've given Zaph a bit of an age-up makeover. He's 15 now (previously he was 12), just starting his first year of high school, so he's gotten a mostly new wardrobe. His coloration changed, too, after what had to have been an awkward molting period (along with all the other awkward parts of adolescence); he's a deeper blue now, but has white and turquoise facial markings like the jay species he partly is. Still has six arms, but his jacket has wing slits just in case.

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Tail Mix, across the hall from Faun-Dü, will assemble your own custom mixture of trail mix from the bulk bins behind the counter. The squirrels who run it move very quickly, scampering up and down the tubes to gather up ingredients for each order, navigating by instincts that let them know exactly where they placed everything. The only time things slow down are if they run out of an ingredient (like if the "how many peanuts can I fit in my mouth" games go on too long).

BJ boosted

There is no normal life that is free of pain. It's the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth. ~ Mr. Rogers

That was Das Mini-Golfenhaus, and that place was in the back of my mind when I was looking for things to populate Crystal Ridge. Well - what if the same family decided to keep with the Alpine theme and open a fondue shop? What if they were in fact just mountain goats? And so Faun-Dü was born.

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I thought I'd share a little of my worldbuilding process here (by way of YT music links). It starts with thi:
youtube.com/watch?v=p0Dssab2ko
I don't remember where I first heard it, but it was a perfect fit for Elseways' Glenrock area. It has the right "early-90s suburb/shopping mall" vibe. I tracked down what it was, and it's a jazz arrangement of a track from Suikoden 3. The original sounds like this:
youtube.com/watch?v=WG47GoXvg-
So now there had to be a cheesy Bavarian-themed miniature golf course.

I'm not sure the alt-text-as-CW thing is working for its intended purpose, but I'm not ready to give it up yet.

goat kid in lederhosen, with a tray of food 

The Crystal Ridge Ski Resort in Elseways is getting close to opening, and within it is a quick-serve restaurant called Faun-Dü. They serve fondue, thus the name, but also sauerkraut, pretzels, a variety of sausages (with veggie options), and raclette fries. It's still fast food, but the Bavarian/Swiss kitsch theme carries through well. It's owned by the same family of alpine goats who run Das Mini-Golfenhaus in Glenrock, so at least they're consistent.

The two faun-shaped Bitkin 

Blitz's pronoun change is recent, and only happened because of story stuff. They were male at birth, but once they started experimenting with what could actually be done, Blitz realized that being genderfluid made a lot more sense. I find this more satisfying than trying to retcon them having always been that way. Sometimes characters can go through a process of self-discovery, too, and that's an important part of their story.

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The two faun-shaped Bitkin 

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Blit and Blitz. They have similar names, wild hair (although Blit is getting his trademark mohawk smooshed down here), the same body type, long thin tails, and storywise they've been around together even since before they were Bitkin. I think the truth has been staring me in the face: they're related. Siblings, in fact. Blit is the younger one, small and nerdy and in need of protection as a kid. Blitz has always been the cool big brother (and, recently, sister).

BJ boosted

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Felt like drawing a ferret. This guy is Randolf Falbrecht, metallurgist and owner of Mxli Metal Recycling in Elseways' industrial district. Recycling is an important part of Elseways, since it's quite a bit more difficult to get any materials in from the outside. While Neena's chemical plants do a good job with organic substances, it takes different equipment to deal with metal. Randolf has all of that plus the expertise to use it, so he's employed by the city to keep the cycle turning.

BJ boosted

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More pixel art for Elseways neighborhoods. I don't think I've described Heart of the City before; that's the name Neena gave to the vast underground complex that holds the water and sewer pipes, the waste processing facility, and all the other bits of city infrastructure she designed, adapted from her knowledge of 25th-century life support technology. It's also where Vivid came from and still lives.

@Felthry That's more or less their intended purpose, though I can't promise animation.

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More pixel art for Elseways neighborhoods. I don't think I've described Heart of the City before; that's the name Neena gave to the vast underground complex that holds the water and sewer pipes, the waste processing facility, and all the other bits of city infrastructure she designed, adapted from her knowledge of 25th-century life support technology. It's also where Vivid came from and still lives.

Cyberworld sheep-taur, various poses 

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I still think of him as Baatolomi, although he was originally just a fan design for a hypothetical SheepMan.EXE. But he's stuck around, even though Blit took on a bunch of his responsibilities. There's still a part of me that resonates with this weird little electric not-quite-robot. The one who is both sheep and shepherd; the crook he wields shows up when he needs to fight, but also when he needs to guide the flow of energy to somewhere more productive.

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