Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources => Topic started by: Seeker on 17 February 2012, 13:28:38



Title: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 17 February 2012, 13:28:38
OK since I spent so much time in my youth in the Fire Tower I decided to start the Ximax Academy picture project with this majestic tower.  I have not addressed the background on purpose, at this point I am looking for comments on the tower itself.  Am I going in the direction?  Am I taking too many liberties with the description?  Any suggestions?

To make things easier here is the excerpt on this tower.

Quote
The Fire Tower
The Fire Tower (also called the "Red Tower/Ward", the "Crimson Tower", and the "Tower of Flame") dwells to the southeast in the Inner Circle, smoldering mysteriously between the Wind Tower and the Ecuá Tower. The tower itself glows darkly, its sides shifting from a muted orange to a brooding red. From a distance, the Fire Tower appears as a dark crimson.

Vibrant and glowing, the precious stones that make up the pavement around the Fire Tower seem to burn like a bed of embers as the sun strikes them. Ruby, carnelion, amber, and topaz are scattered like beach pebbles, yet sunk immovably into the dark surface beneath. Yet at night the approach to the Fire Tower is even more spectacular. Great bronze braziers the height of a dwarf stand symmetrically along the aisle, a constant fire leaping in each. Scarlet to golden, copper to citrine, the colours of the flames flicker and change, seeming to form shapes that tug at the edge of understanding. The bronze door of the tower itself was cast by Thrumgolz smiths in the deepest lava caverns, and its pitted, facet-hammered surface throws back sparks of any light it catches. Two gilded drakes form the handles, their feet dug into the bronze and their backs arched to shape the grips.

The Red Tower’s interior is adorned throughout with warm colours, with shades of red, yellow and orange predominant throughout all floors of the tower. Notable throughout the lower levels of the tower is the complete lack of wood and other flammable materials, to prevent the chance of wooden tables, beds or stairs burning to a crisp in the event of a miscast spell or a prank gone awry. In the upper levels, wood is more prevalent as the more experienced magi are expected to have fewer spell fizzles than the lower ranked magi. The tower is protected by the well-known Fire Daughters, female Volkek-Oshra who have been trained to use magic staffs to protect their fellow orcs and the Elite Guard, male Volkek-Oshra who use carry magically imbued swords. Both of these groups patrol the tower both inside and out.

In the lobby, flanking the stairs to the upper levels, are two statues. On the left of the stairs is Grom the Powerful, first Volkek-Oshra Fire Archmage of Ximax. On the right hand side, and to the same height as Grom, is a statue of Anilya the Everbright. The eyes of both statues burn with fire. It is said that, should another tragedy befall Ximax – should enemies breach the Outer Circle and defeat the Fire Daughters and Elite Guard – these two figures would serve as the Academy’s last line of defense. Finally, instead of torches, candles or other similar lighting devices, the Fire Tower have small living flames that are said to be renewed regularly by fire magi residing within the tower. These flames, imbued with life-like qualities, dance like Black Butterfly Rovers, the sound of crackling flame resembling the laughter of women or children.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Mina on 17 February 2012, 14:50:21
Well, it's not quite how I imagined the towers looked like, but then I wasn't really involved in the project that produced the entry.  It does look very nice though, and as far as I can tell, it fits the description in the entry.  I also like that you've included people in the picture; that really helps to emphasise how huge the tower is. 

I see what look like windows on the tower.  Aren't they a little too large though? 


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 18 February 2012, 07:10:13
Yeah the actual description of many of the towers leaves much to the imagination, so I imagine everyone has a different idea in mind.  But i hope to capture the essence of each one.

Yeah the windows are actually the tiny little ones, some with lights.  Those bigger arches are inted to be architectue details except for the one in the middle of the building which is intended to a very bid balcony type opening.  I probably need to make a change to clarify it a bit.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 18 February 2012, 10:46:24
It's a fantastic structure you have! Very intimidating and dark. The coloring is much how I imagined it: smoldering reds and dark oranges. Like Mina, though, I had imagined something a bit different.

The Fire Tower might have been a rough one to start with. Keep in mind that all the towers are of similar shape ("The towers are all unifyingly similar, and yet also distinctively unique. Each one is roughly cylindrical, roughly 200 peds high and 60 peds at the base; however, the towers taper, so that the base is larger than the top."). We had decided that, while each tower would be of a different element, they would share unity in shape. While the details on the tower you have created are beautiful, they are difficult to reproduce in a tower made of wind, or one made of water.

My suggestion would be to imagine how all the towers would look together before focusing on one, so you can make sure the shape one takes is a shape all can take, given their unique qualities. I hope this helps!


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 18 February 2012, 11:40:02
Great this is the kind of commenting I need up front before going on to other towers.  Hmm let me ask a few things then.

To me the tower I drew does taper.  Give me a better idea what you mean.  Are you saying they form a point?

The height and the width of the tower in the picture should be accurate.  I spent time making sure.  So let me know if your intention was to question that and we can discuss.

So are you saying the shape is smooth on the outside so there are no balconies or ridges or decorations or anything and that should be the exact same on all the towers?  If it helps I can post the pencil drawing I have done for the wind tower.  You will see it is the same size and basic shape but has very different details.  So I guess I need to know how much the details should be the same. 



Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Mina on 18 February 2012, 12:21:28
Quote
Yeah the windows are actually the tiny little ones, some with lights.  Those bigger arches are inted to be architectue details except for the one in the middle of the building which is intended to a very bid balcony type opening.  I probably need to make a change to clarify it a bit.
The little ones were what I meant.  They seemed taller and wider than a person, which I thought was a little strange, and maybe somewhat dangerous for the inhabitants of the tower. 


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 18 February 2012, 12:30:10
Oh! I only posted the description of the outside that pertained to all the towers. It was more for what wasn't mentioned: no ridges, no protrusions, no balconies, etc. It would be hard to re-create these things, particularly the horns and ridges, in the wind and water tower. Remember they all have the same look: they look like they belong together, even though they're different. I think the taper you have is good!

I would love to see the wind tower! But yes, in short, the details should be more or less the same. Imagine that each tower is the same tapering cylinder, with a different outer shell. The wind tower is cloaked by a gale. The water tower is coated is a waterfall. The fire tower looks as though it's a mural of smoldering embers.

This was actually discussed a great deal when putting together the Academy. I know that many of the developers expressed concern that the towers were so different: originally, we had thoughts of creating identical towers whose distinguishing features were the color of their trimmings (red for fire, blue for water, etc.). I would like to ensure that the Academy always seems to stand in unity--because in many ways, it always has.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 18 February 2012, 12:44:12
Thanks Mina Good point there.  We shouldn't put our young wizards in danger.  :)

OK here is a rough drawing of the wind tower.  The idea ois to have swirling clouds that seem to melt inot hte tower itself.  So my original idea os to have the same size and shape for each tower.  But perhaps I am taking too mnay liberties here and the towers should just be simpler and uniform?  

Keep describing your thoughts and that will help me mold.


Also is the first draft of the outer tower-  Tower of Experimentation,  I should probably get first impressions of that shape and direction as well.  I still need to put on the gargoyles and statues around the door etc.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 18 February 2012, 12:47:07
Rayne i just saw your post as I posting the new pics.  I think I understand better.  I will retool the fire picture and present another option.  Maybe doing both the Wind tower and Fire tower together to show the comparison in color.  Any thoughts on the Experimentation tower is welcome.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 18 February 2012, 13:21:05
As a note--please keep the towers you've created! They are so lovely, even the sketches, and I cannot believe they would not go to use here! The way you have imagined these towers is quite beautiful and creative.

Thank you for your patience, Seeker!


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Aos on 19 February 2012, 06:40:32
And perhaps they could be used to illustrate what Old Ximax looked like? I remember something about an explosion and everything being built up again. Perhaps the "New Ximax" has the unity Rayne mentioned, but the "Old Ximax" had towers which were all different?


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 19 February 2012, 09:02:40
The explosion didn't affect the Academy itself--only the city around it. While much of the  City of Ximax had to be rebuilt, the Academy was left in perfect condition.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Seeker on 19 February 2012, 09:34:42
Ill find a use for it sometime.  No problem. 

My original idea was to paint a front view of each of these unique and elaborate towers.  Now that I see they are not quite so unique I have changed my mind as to what I will do.  This is needed to keep my interest in such a big project.


Here is my new idea.   I will draw one picture of the Academy area, kinda like the  Milkengrad pic. Probably show the gate tower and the white tower in the front and then all the other towers around the circle in the proper position.   Then I will draw the lobby area of each of the 6 inner towers.  The lobby areas seem to be very elaborate and unique and that will keep my interest up.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Deklitch Hardin on 19 February 2012, 11:47:38
sounds awesome Seeker :)

Me ponders making up a tower of fire somewhere around Caelereth.


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Mina on 19 February 2012, 17:19:02
Oh, it's not being used for Ximax anymore?  Well, maybe it could be used for Ma'asherom's temple.  I don't think there's any description of it yet, so if we want to we could probably make it a tower. 


Title: Re: Tower of Fire-Ximax Academy picture
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 22 February 2012, 04:27:28
Looks like quite a project you've started there, Seeker - and apparently it's not the easiest one to get the whole thing right... But if done right we'll have another very unique places picture of a key city of Santharia, and pictures that match a very elaborate description, though hard to realize, have a great pay-off :) Plus, I'm sure that drafts that cannot be directly used here will find their way into another entry somewhere. Anyway, looking forward to see more progress here, even if it may last a while to get it done!  :thumbup: