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Regular daily updates should resume Friday. There are two more skill illustrations (Environmental and Magical), and then I'm not sure what.

Revising my thoughts on the Ambaron a little. Just like Ertsetans natively have four legs, I think the cat-folk might just natively have four arms by default. That's not to say they can't have more, of course (anyone can).

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Social skills aren't just about talking to people, but convincing them of things, teaching skills, lifting spirits, or otherwise affecting emotions or opinions. They're not just about people, either; training animals or dealing with maginaria fall under this category too. This Ambaron fellow has a proposal he'd like to tell you about.
Social skills are usually blue, but can also be purple (for keeping your poise and controlling your temper) or red (for firing up a crowd and making them act).

No sketch tonight; they might be a little spotty over this week because of holiday stuff, but I promise I'll get back to them. I'm off my usual routine and that always screws with me a bit even when I technically have a bunch more time free.

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Artistic skills are about expressing emotions, messages, or in this case a picture. She's working on a landscape and has discovered that her special mixture of tropical fruit juices and cordials makes for a uniquely rich blue tint. It's all in the name of realism; artistic skills in green are representational, trying to be true to the external world. The other colors are red, for bold and dynamic abstractions, or silver, for expressing truths about the artists themselves.

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Bonus sketch. Ishkir is a mountainous region of Ertset; the inhabitants are hairless, white-skinned, and androgynous in appearance. They keep to themselves most of the time; Ishkir is remote, self-sufficient, and very traditionalist. Their culture is heavily slanted towards law, order, and especially justice, and some of Delyria's best detectives have come out of there. When an Ishkir leaves home, they dye themselves a distinctive color or pattern to symbolically distance themselves.

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This Ishkir lawyer has just found something objectionable. Knowledge skills are good for that - spotting hidden things, searching through clues, or in this case catching on to someone else's lies. Yellow is the color of the flash of insight, of pointing to exactly the place to make an argument fall apart, but knowledge skills can also be green (for memory) or blue (for interpreting or understanding things).

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A Sotzil tailor appraises his latest commission. He measured the client twice, spent extra care cutting the fabric and sewing it together, but ... maybe it needs some green. Or not.
Orange is the color of defense and endurance, and applied to crafting it means you're acting patiently and methodically. Blue and silver are the others; blue crafting is quick and flexible and represents the other side of the risk/reward scale. Silver means you're putting your own stylistic flair into your work.

These chimeras are both alchemical creations and alchemists themselves, because the secret of how to create new chimeras is a secret they only pass down to their own creations. The entire species is one big extended family defined by the "created in a lab" relationship instead of "gave actual birth to".

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Bonus sketch (since I missed one a couple days ago) - playing with Xenophilus' shapeshifting ability to see what kinds of shapes he can take, and I've settled on a few more things. His particular species of chimera are all sex-neutral, being creations of alchemy, but they're free to express their gender whichever way (or lack of) they want to. Xeene here uses he/him pronouns (and "Xeene" is something I'm coming to like as a nickname for him).

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Getting a bit more into RPG mechanics here. Each of the 7 colors is something like an ability score, but not as directly as meaning "strength" or "intellect" or anything. Each color has 3 types of skill it affects (and each skill type is defined by 3 colors, thanks to Fano plane magic). This is what Red looks like defining physical skills - it represents power, charging forward and hitting hard. Orange (stamina and defensive moves) and Yellow (speed and accuracy) are the other two options.

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I think I'm approaching a style I like. Still short in terms of heads tall, but slightly less abstract around the face. When Ertsetans and Levendish crossbreed, you often get centauroid canid sorts like this guy here, although most of them still just have four legs. This guy was born with the normal four but had the middle pair implanted magically, though he's a little cagey as to why.

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Aezo is a lost continent, destroyed in a war over a thousand years ago. Its peoples were scattered and forced to find ways to survive where they could, and among them were the many families and clans of rodent-folk who vanished from the world by taking after their animal parallels and shrinking themselves down to below anyone's notice. They live everywhere in Delyria, unnoticed but no less heroic than normal-sized adventurers.

He doesn't so much have one lion and one goat head as two heads that are each midway between the two. The snake-headed tail is inert most of the time, but sometimes it will wake up and act on its own.

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Sketch of a chimera kid. Not Meracchian, but not incompatible with them either. Those are his initials - Xenophilus Mithridates Khimerion. It's a bit of a mouthful, so he goes by Xeno (just like this web site). He's soft and fluffy because most of his body is actually a kind of hyperspace limb storage that he can pull more heads, arms, legs, or whatever else he needs out of (and also makes a convenient place to store other stuff).

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Extra sketches - playing around with proportions again. I feel like I want Delyria to have a definite visual style, and that means breaking a lot of my long-held assumptions about what makes art "good". I want "draw this character Delyria-style" to be a thing, and that means finding how many acceptable breaks from realism I want to take. Finding what that style actually is. It might take some time, but I've got this sketch blog to show off the results as they come.

Looking at the Vassa picture again, two things come to mind. 1: leaning more on Root for inspiration for how simple to keep character designs is working pretty well and I ought to try drawing various people from around Delyria in it. 2: I forgot the pair of feathers she keeps stuck through the back of her hat, but maybe she just had to use them in a potion and hasn't replaced them yet. It's not like she keeps the exact same two feathers around year after year.

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Testing out some new stylistic tweaks - I think leaning a little simpler works well and I might try some more experiments in this style.
This is Prof. Vassa Naganti, the oldest instructor at Featherglass Academy and the first to develop reliable transformation magic (the secret is to go slow and spell everything out; it takes weeks to finish but the results will stay around). There are older staff, but Vassa is still teaching even past 90 years old and is still popular with the students.

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The tropical island nation of Tikorr was an Ambaron colony ages ago, but something in the island where they settled has granted them teeth sharp enough to bite through steel and thick metallic tails as flexible as a scorpion's. They've taken these traits as a sign that they're meant for metalwork, growing a culture based around a special brass alloy mined and produced locally. Tikorr Enchanters create both power-suits and shiny brass golems, sold at premium prices around Delyria.

Despite the fact that I don't drink alcohol, I've found the "How to Drink" channel on YouTube a really fascinating look into a world I know very little about. This is what I want potion-crafting in an RPG to feel like. Assorted weird ingredients with their own histories and quirks, each there for a purpose, and the need for some deep understanding of the process or else things might go badly wrong. Plus, of course, lots of great colors and textures and occasional flame.

youtube.com/channel/UCioZY1p0b

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