Blog Archives

Out of the misty dawn

Orlanthi raider

Study of an Orlanthi raider, looking for cattle and just enough mayhem to make a song about. (Cattle optional).

DAZ Studio and Photoshop.

Ontolosna Creator’s Guide 2: On the Back of the World Bird

The second Ontolosna Creators’ Handbook – On the Back of the World Bird – has been updated and is available for download. It is a 20 page PDF reference for fellow world makers examining suns and seasons, time and meaning in Ontolosna. All of the Guides are available from the Guidebooks & Maps page.

Ontolosna is set upon the back of Huksae, the World-Bird, the Crane of Being, whose flapping wing cycle (visible across the parasol sky) determines Ontolosna’s seasons and years. Three suns are eternally visible. The movement of On, the primary, can only be measured across epochs, though she undergoes a daily colour cycle that determines ‘night’ and ‘day’.

Ontolosna Creators Guide 1: Mountain Breaks Storm

The first Ontolosna Creators’ Handbook – Mountain Breaks Storm – has been updated and is available for download. It is a 22 page PDF document. All of the Guides are available from the Guidebooks & Maps page.

Ontolosna is a shared fantasy roleplaying and storytelling world. A long-time personal obsession, it is now being developed under a Creative Commons License as a communal vision; The Bright Journey Project.

In every Age an Aja of Joy, and in every Age a dark Hero of sorrows. In every Age an Aja of Change, and in every Age a demon Hero who destroys. Yet the choice between Ajahood and herodom can be decided in the fall of a blade, the tone of a single word. And even in a world of peace, there can be some things even more terrible than war …

Beneath many-coloured On, the unmoving sun, the world of Ontolosna wings forward on the back of the World-Bird. Queens and traders and theagyns and daki ni seek to guide the fate of empires and peoples. But all know that history is ending. Who will be the Aja of this Age? And will her Awakening once more tear the world apart?

Ontolosna is a progressive realm of female power where violent warfare is comparatively rare, and where humans create and direct their deities in massive Theagyn (‘goddess birthing’) rituals. Ontolosna’s cultural analogues are North Asian in inspiration—Tibet, India, Korea, China, Japan—and the project’s design aims are to question and explore notions of gender construction, religion, myth, violence, non-violence, and social change in a game environment with special attention to the nuances of genre.

The first guidebook provides an introduction to the world and to the key historical events which have shaped its present.

Blue Shadow: Lantern & Blade

This one is for Pippin, my light and strength. It depicts a young Ban woman abroad at hosook, the midnight hour of purity and transformation.

My way of explanation, this is an Ontolosnan scene. Ontolosna is lit by three unmoving suns, and the colour changes of On the primary mark the division of the Ontolosnan day (see Time).

The blue and violet/black colour cycles constitute narim or shadow. Hosook, or the moment of purity – pure violet – is ‘midnight’, and is the time when On takes back. Temperatures fall dramatically over just a few heartbeats; and fog or frost may form, even in the heat of monsoon.

Hosook is associated with private ritual, with healing, with endings, with tantra and transformation. It is sacred to Komun Black Tongue, Dark Mother of the Kal’ttar. Humans tend to awaken at Hosook, and so the long narim is broken into two sleeping cycles.

DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Clothing textures taken from Pip’s kimono collection.

Real Sindarin Don’t Stair-Surf 2: The Final

Now more modestly titled, ‘Leap of Fate’. DAZ Studio and Photoshop, using Age of Armour’s new camera shaders. I don’t often do generic fantasy renders, but here we go (click for full size) …