17 / nonbinary / pacific coaster. my name is vincent and this is my art & project blog; please do not reupload my works to other websites regardless of your intent. thank you for dropping by, especially if you help to support my works by reblogging!
to other artists: i follow and reblog from @maud-gone to keep things organized
on an unrelated note, i am also considering putting real magic back into the world? of course, it is going to be somewhat different to how it was last time, and i'm still not sure how i want it to work, but i DID have an idea
i think magic would be an ability contingent on one or two factors, primarily faith in something. what this something is is unimportant to the development in magic, it's just necessary to have faith in something. i am still uncertain of whether it will be permanent once developed or something that can be lost with the loss of faith but the core idea remains the same
magical ability appears in an individual if they have an extremely strong and well-tested faith in something or someone. this could be faith in a religion, a rule, a person, etc. because of this, most cultures end up with a fair amount of magic users, but they are rarely if ever cynical and untrusting people. ironically im considering the possibility of a faith in cynicism being a trigger for developing magic as a hypothetical.
magical ability would grant an individual the ability to warp the world around them in some way. i'd like to build a consistent system that necessitates training and is broad enough to provide an option between specializing or being a jack-of-all-trades sort of deal.
i would also like fire and necromancy/manipulation of life to be a Thing that are possible, for different reasons:
fire is extremely important and necessary to those funnyguys who live in the extremely cold and unforgiving northern region. this combined with the faith thing would be very interesting factors in the culture
manipulation of life because the character that this entire shit started with was a necromancer and his best bitch up and fucking died on him and he had nobody else so in this new incarnation of the setting id either want him to be running around with a very dead necromancied version of this friend who's just totally wrong OR he would make himself immortal. neither of these are very productive for him or very healthy but i would like to run with one of the two and see where it goes
of course this is all moot if i dont settle on a system of magic that i like, but i do want magic to happen so..... ????????????
ive come up with some gods for the dominant culture of the funny little hornbill species, i think ill draw them and then do a biglong write-up here at some point because i think they're great.
fun facts abt this culture & the species:
they have no gender norms because they have no sexual dimorphism. theres another species who shows up sometimes who DO have gender norms and they have a really hard time getting adjusted to the funny hornbill people bc they dont have gendered pronouns or any gendered words in any of their languages (except pidgins)
the entire foundation of their society is based on making friendship bracelets and making art with eachother and for eachother. you make friendship bracelets every week so you can give them to people you meet who you like enough to keep talking to on a casual basis
if youre friends with someone its conventional to go to meetups where you make little trinkets and then trade them all once everyones done. then if youre REALLY close friends with someone usually you end up making trinkets collaboratively Together and then you have to discuss who to give it to and theres some really specific etiquette about courtship gifts
generally the dominant culture puts HEAVY emphasis on bonds and friendship and love and casual friend relationships get really touchy a lot of the time. this isnt particularly unusual for sapient gryphon species but most of them dont do it to the extent that these guys do. romantic & sexual relationships and particularly close platonic relationships are hard to tell apart unless you pay close attention so its not an uncommon or particularly rude thing to ask about
because of this emphasis on bonds & mutual gift-giving the two creation gods (who are also gods of spinning and weaving) in the dominant culture are making the world together as a gift for each other and it is literally made out of love that is spun and then woven into everything that exists. there are disputes over whether the gods are in a romantic & sexual relationship or a close platonic one but the love is the same either way
★ domestication, and also horses
across naduul, you will seldom see a civilization with no domesticated animals. in the och chochoch river valley of the western continent, birthplace of the valleyfolk, you'll see a smattering of goats and sheep, and in the north you'll often find small hogs being led along by the warm-hearts in their travels. domesticated birds and gryphons are also common across the western and eastern continents alike, primarily for meat, though breeds kept for their feathers are kept as well.
of horses, intriguingly, only one species has been domesticated-- the largest species of minor horse, and an extremely social one at that. only seen on the eastern continent, they are kept by gliders, typically by the sedentary societies. they are bred for meat, and are routinely clipped completely to ensure they cannot fly away. other species of minor horse go undomesticated for their skittishness and smaller stature.
there is good reason that only the minor horse has been tamed. major horses are towering and bulky, and though they are flightless they are wholly capable of using their wings for violence. they are often extremely hostile, and their groups are small and temporary, only in the interest of self preservation. most have a single, thick horn sprouting from the top of their head, excellent for goring their opponents during breeding season and any misguided sapient looking to domesticate another species. it is widely accepted that the only difference between the major horse and a god of death is that a god of death has the grace to kill you cleanly.
known for their compassion in spades, the valamin have been named for this most vital trait in almost every language except ones of their own. their names for themselves are numerous and varied, but the most common one, valamin, is often translated into common as 'wandering.'
originally hailing from a comfortable river valley in the western continent, the warm-hearts were driven off by the valleyfolk not too long after the two populations discovered each other. resources may not have been scarce, but they were fiercely defended, and it was significantly easier for the majority to flee to the north and live in snow than to face opponents who had already had significantly more practice in battle. though they'd been displaced, they were quick to adapt, and made quick work of thick-furred residents of the tundras to steal their warmth.
the warm-hearts are extremely sociable amongst themselves, though tend to be wary of outsiders. physical contact plays a significant role in all relationships, highly valued for strengthening bonds and sharing warmth, both of which often being hard to come by in the harsh north. it is considered good practice to greet with hugs.
dubbed the skadoun in their myriad native tongues and gliders in pidgins and those of other species, these often nomadically-inclined descendants of griffins are known for the cultures among them who migrate frequently across continents and seas. despite this, most of the population remains concentrated on one continent, and there are plenty of sedentary agricultural glider societies.
pigments are very frequently used for body and facepainting throughout various cultural groups, typically as a status symbol of some kind, though specific symbols, meanings, and the circumstances of using bodypaints are unique between cultures and some eschew them entirely in favor of horn carvings or crafted ornamentation. usage of these signifiers is often so specific between cultures that it is widely frowned upon to use the patterns and placements of other groups knowingly, as it is deceptively easy to misuse them.
🍀What’s considered good luck?
This one varies heavily between cultures and subcultures, but I'll generalize this a bit.
A good-luck tradition of nomadic groups, popularized by members of the valamin diaspora, is to bring a shiny or smooth stone with you and switch it out every time you camp for the night. The good luck of a smooth stone, however, is often considered to be cancelled out if you either forget to find a new stone, or if the stone you've been carrying cracks in travel. Details vary frequently depending on who you ask.
Among the lush eastern forests where roaming hunter-gatherer societies thrive, it is often considered a good omen for the season to see birds passing through the area. It is thought to signal a higher concentration of food and resources, but in most societies, killing the birds is either a rejection of the seasonal boon, or marks the beginning of a blight on the region.
In migratory subspecies of skadoun, it is thought to be a favorable sign to settle momentarily where dolphins and other sorts of cetaceans are congregating. These breaks are few, and far between, but are typically necessary to feed. Conversely, it is an ill omen to see a red dawn mid-migration, as typically a red dawn is a harbinger of storms to come.
Sedentary populations of valamin in the far north often consider the sentimental value of an object roughly equivalent to its luck, and keeping such items in dangerous places is simultaneously considered unlucky and frowned upon. This is all because of the weight and value that isolated, far-north valamin put on sentiment and personal bonds.