Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Gdera is the largest continent of Kitas and promised to the West, element of Life. The continent of forests is indeed covered with woods, named after the colour of their main vegetation; the Red, White, Blue, Yellow, and the Lesser Green and Great Green forests make the majority; each has its own kind of fauna and flora.
"We have to get through while the wind blows in from the south. We'll never make it to the pass if the full scent comes down on us."
— Braq, yellow forest guide
 At Gdera's east coast lies the ocean of the Green Ryaq, which blooms with edible algae harvested for the markets, and the scent is carried far into the land. In the west lies the Singing Ryaq sea, sending its songs over the lands.
Most humans are gderans; flexible, with sharp features and shiny skin. Many elves live in the untouched woods, where they're safe from destruction. The powerful country Gderet is called an elven land, ever since eight centuries ago an elf married into the royal line, and the majority of its people are indeed elves.

"Alchemists import all kinds of plants from Gdera, that's always good trade. Except that one time when a howling box cracked open and mate Djixen went to catch the contents. Lost a good sailor that day."
— Hirall Govapoer, trade captain

Artist's notes
I never get tired of painting forests; fantasy forests offer so many possibilities, it's hard to keep them orderly since I have so many ideas that I want in there. I have to remember every now and then that people should be able to live there as well. However, southasian or southamerican cultures live in the jungle, I mean, really with jungle all around, so Gdera shouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Genius Loci races: Shankeh

One of the strangest people of Kitas; the shankeh are long-legged, with blue skin, hair, and eyes, with long heads and four fingers. Their nickname "messengers" is in fact a sign of respect. Indeed most shankeh are message runners, with a reputation of being incorruptable. Shankeh eat an enormous amount of salts, making their food inedible to others.

"It has been decided to instate a staff of shankeh in the council, to put an end to blackmail and corruption regarding false messages, wrong deliveries, and loss of mail."
— spokeswoman Ruuno Efdill

Their mentality is often difficult to understand. The reason for this may be their lifespan: at fifty-six years of age shankeh start aging quickly, and die no more than three months after their sixtieth birthday.
Because they pledge most of their time doing what they love most - running -, to the community, shankeh are highly regarded. Unlike most peoples of Kitas, shankeh keep to themselves. They have a universal culture of their own, less dependent on origin and birthplace, and are allowed many exceptions from social rules.

"If given a choice, no, I would not want to know my time of death; but since I do, I plan my life. The voices taught us to be happy with what we have and not ponder how unfair it seems that everyone else has twice the time we are given."
— Wankerah, shankeh, at twenty years of age

Artist's notes
I find shankeh both tragic and cool. There is a background why shankeh are so very different, but I don't think I'll reveal that just yet. That said, they are a great storytelling device - the trustworthy messenger can get into all kinds of troubles, or ask for help, hand over dangerous messages to innocents, or the wrong people... infinite possibilities of what could go wrong.