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Fala relaxes, draped over a wall in Parasol Garden. Just felt like drawing her again, and I still like her both as a visual design and a personality.

I got a new shelving unit for my bedroom, and that turned out to solve my scanning woes - if I prop my sketchbook up vertically, the lighting doesn't do that weird thing from before where half the picture would be darker than the other. This is why yesterday and today's pictures have looked clearer.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Delyria's New World, an old face makes a reappearance. It was hard to adapt the strange color-based energy sources she'd found, but Arcadia is slowly getting her life back after escaping from the afterlife simulator in Polyopolis. Her skills are intact, and both her replacement body and new equipment have come from a generous but mysterious donor. She's had to wreck a few shrines in the process, but Arcadia doesn't care much for tradition, especially not other people's.

Rufus Hydebound again; now that his role's gotten clearer, he needed a new look. He still puts on a wizard hat and carries a cane with a crystal on the end when he goes out in public, but that's just for appearances. The whole "half-mad software developer who thinks he's a wizard" thing is hiding in plain sight the fact that he, like Blit, is originally from the Empire of Logic. They even went to the same school. Rufus is the leader of the Quills of Ergo, rebels trying to overthrow the Empire.

Kiri runs Edge Fortress, where all of the System's debris ends up. Broken gadgets, worn-out widgets, debris from remodeling - it all flows that way, where Kiri and her castle full of blades chop it up tiny for reprocessing and recycling. Kiri acts like a traditional samurai - honorable, devoted, and willing to sacrifice herself for a cause. This isn't as drastic as it sounds because Bitkin just respawn, but she does still remember every experience.

BJ boosted

The music, incidentally, was the Celeste soundtrack, which is fairly appropriate for those two.

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This is what happens when I decide to draw Bitkin art while listening to emotionally charged music. This isn't a mood snapshot of myself at all, but it does convey the feel of the end part of the story. Glitch and Patch, alone together, while the world all around them has fragmented into pieces.

They're not as alone as they feel, and there's still hope out there, but at the moment they're not aware that the System can be saved at all. In fact, they're the only ones who can.

Side note - I need to find better lighting for the place I camera-scan these sketches; everything I've drawn has been too light on the left side and too dark on the right. I don't mind that much because these are just meant to be rough sketches anyway, but it still annoys me.

Back in the village, Tassel stops by the village pub. Despite the language barrier, Ernst the barkeep (and former adventurer) knows Tassel well enough to catch on that the farmer's troubled. The chroma-fertilization system hasn't been working that well, and the crystalline lights that usually light the roads between town and the fields have been growing dim. Ernst isn't too worried; he knows these are the kinds of problems that adventurers solve, and he trusts Oskar to figure it out.

Patch eyes a succession of tumbling semicircles warily. She's made of pixels, but these things aren't. Still, they're going to be vital for Xenia, because I'm starting to realize that the animation engine isn't going to work without them. Patch herself might look different at the end of this too.

Just felt like doing more Ampharos sketches. This is a slightly anthro version of Amber, one who I found as a Mareep many years ago (using a Pokéwalker) and raised into a solid and consistent member of my team all through Heart Gold, Black, Y, and Moon. She's retired now, but she had a good run.

Oskar stops by the shrine, both to pay his respects to the village's guardian spirit - every village has its own - and to see if he can figure out what's wrong. Two of the chroma pipes are ruptured and leaking, and that's something the village needs to know about.
Vidrio, meanwhile, is a little surprised to learn who his new friend is.
⎉ …Does this mean you're a god?
💎 Very small one. Yes. Of the village.
⎉ But if your shrine is broken, then…
💎 Will starve and die.
⎉ You or the village?
💎 Yes.

I wasn't planning on ramming together the two ongoing storylines until it just sort of happened by itself, and I'm pleased at how well it worked.

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⎉ I've finally made it here. You needed my help, right?
💎 Did not expect so soon. Yes. Shrine needs help. Town needs help. Balance broken. Could be demons.

Oskar returns from a trip to Tassel's farm, only to run across a pair of maginaria in the road. One of them is familiar, but the birdlike one is new. Maybe something's up at the shrine.

The farmer Oskar was showing his find to is this Jadean individual, an enthusiastic sort who still hasn't really learned the local language but does their best to tend to the crops. Their gender isn't clear, either; Jadeans come in male, female, and neutral varieties, and it's hard to tell them apart even when you can understand what they say. The locals nicknamed them Tassel, and they've taken to it, although before the time of the New World none of them had even seen a Jadean before.

The feel of New World Delyria seems to be trending toward a kind of cottagecore town-building mixed with the occasional trek into the wilderness or ruins. It's like a much lighter/softer take on something like King of Dragon Pass or — you know, I'm not sure what else is in that genre of building up a single town in a wilderness. Any suggestions for what else to look at?

Meanwhile, back in the New World, Oskar may have come back from his trip to the ruins with no new leads, but Verrez got an interesting new artifact and Oskar found this spiky plant that his novice herbalist training suggests might be worth cultivating to make into medicines. Delyria in the New World is as much about building up towns and getting everyone a nice place to live as it is about adventure. Not every day has to be epic. Sometimes the slow-moving everyday stuff is more important.

♃ It's like this…
⎉ Whoa! How'd you do that!?
♃ Why can't I? We're mental constructs out here. We are what we define ourselves as. That's what whimsy is! It's up to us to say what we can do!
⎉ Then, the "1+1=3" thing…
♃ My motto!
⎉ What does it mean?
♃ Whatever I want it to. That's the whole point. Maybe "+" means "two ones and also the connection between them". Maybe "3" means "two". Maybe it's not even math. They're just symbols. You can—
⎉ —define them myself. I'm starting to get it now.

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