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61  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Quellion's Serphelorian Warrior Woman ("Wombat"?) on: 15 December 2008, 16:49:49
Wow, Quellion!  How exciting!  It's like talking to a celebrity!  grin  Cool to see you on the boards.  I'm excited about the new face! 

Regarding the hair, I had decided it was basically ok the way it is.  However, since you mention it, I decided to have a poke around the internet and see what I could find to illustrate what I meant - after all, if it is meant to be a tribe portrait, it is worth making her look as average-but-interesting as possible, I think!

So, it turns out that describing the hair as Japanese Nara period is correct, but it is more commonly known as 'Sailor Moon hair'.  rolleyes  Here are a few pictures for you to use as references: A1 A2 A3; B; C.

Thanks Quellion!
62  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Maps of Sarvonia on: 07 December 2008, 11:41:09
I have always had trouble finding maps of Northern Sarvonia, and all Sarvonia as a whole.  Do we have these?  If so, can they be linked from the maps overview page?
63  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: The Forest of Contamar on: 26 November 2008, 14:47:32
Hi Mies,

Just wanted to drop by to let you know I haven't forgotten you!  I am pretty full-on busy this week, and this weekend, so I may not have time to make much more progress. 

In the meantime, I'd like you to use what I have already said a bit more extensively.  Take another look at what I have written in the comments I did have time to make.  Read what I said, and try to visualise why I would say that, and what my mindset is.  Then read through your submission again, with my thoughts in mind.  If you can visualise my thoughts, it will help you find things in the rest of the submission which can be adjusted without having to wait for others to see them.

Once you've done that, you could have a look at an old post of mine, to which I will link you.  In it, I am helping a person who was quite new at the time.  I think those comments could be of some benefit to you, too.
http://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,11387.msg132992.html#msg132992

Have fun, and I will do my best to check in on you again, soon!
64  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: On Santharia's Future on: 26 November 2008, 14:33:55
Thank you for that link, Gean. It is good to be reminded of what we are here for, in such clear, succinct words.  And thank you, Art, for posting to remind us all that we need to look outside our own areas of specialty and comment on as many things as we have time to.

Don't stop Dreaming.
65  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: The Forest of Contamar on: 24 November 2008, 02:37:50
Someone with an expertise in Styrash might be useful, too... that's not something I can confidently venture an opinion on. :)
66  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: The Forest of Contamar on: 23 November 2008, 15:41:34
Hi Mies, good to meet you.  I have been a busy little Orc for the last... six months?  Year?  And haven't really been that active, so a bit of a kick up the backside, such as your PM, does me good!  

I must say that I am no expert on the North (despite being 'from' there - I am much more interested in Manthria and Sanguia these days), so I would ask that you have one of those who spend much of their time there look this over before you let Arti blarrow it!

I am, however, something of an expert on writing places entries.  As such, you will find my changes in injerashine, and comments, suggestions and general witterings-on in carrootene.


Overview:
The Forest of Contamar can be found at the northwestern tip of the northern Iol Peninsula of Northern Sarvonia Too many 'norths' makes this sentence hard to read.  Try rewording it to read something like 'at the tip of the Iol Peninsula in Northern Sarvonia'.  Fitting then, that the forest is known by the native elves as, Lón‘Exhonanhé (Frozen Forest). An even more fitting reason for such a name, however, is that the forest is in truth a forest of ice covered giants, which were once flourishing trees.  These monstrous trees stand in crystal-like magnificence, and are one of the most awe-inspiring sites in all of Caelereth. These trees are called Phéran'Exhonanhé. This sentence belongs in the description - if you are reading this for an overview, it is more than you need to know.

Description:
Looking like something more out of a dream than a truly tangible forest, the Forest of Contamar is one of the most beautiful sights one will likely see in the entirety of his or her life. (Not that many people are blessed with such a pleasure, as most never travel so far north.) I discourage the use of brackets in entries, as it is less formal than the style we prefer.  I would reword the last two sentences as 'Looking more like something out of a dream than a tangible forest, Contamar is one of the most beautiful sights one is likely to see in one's entire life, or so it is said by those rare travellers who venture so far north.' I got rid of 'the Forest of' to avoid that jangly repetition of forest.  In the presence of sun, the bending and refracting of light sends off colours  - we use english spelling in Santharia so vibrant as to give off the illusion of swimming in a sea of rainbows, and at night the forest seems to root itself in the stars as much as in the earth.  These extremes in beauty, however, are rare, as the far northern placement of this forest means that it is most often in an environment of near twilight are you sure about this?  The Icelands are further up, and I'm pretty sure they have daytimes there.  Might pay to check it out.  If not though, don't despair!  Feel free to make your own micro-climate with constant cloud :)  In the common grey light that one would see most often around this forest the trees appear as towers varying in colour from dark purples and blues to the cold white of snow.  What about talking about some of the other senses here?  What does it smell like?  What can you hear?  How does it feel to walk under these trees, physically?  Describe the cold and what it does.

Fog often settles into the trees, and hinders ones ability to see the forest floor, but when the fog is dissipated, the forest comes alive.  Though there is little undergrowth in the way of ferns or bushes, Hrugchuck grass covers the entire forest floor, and the occasional clumps of  Crystal Grass can be both heard and seen swaying in the wind during the short summer, when the floor is not a deep white blanket of snow. Just merging sentences again - you seem to have a slight tendency for wordiness where you could be more concise.  I have to say, this is very good so far though! Animals of all sorts can be seen feeding on these grasses, just as the carnivores of the forest feed on the herbivorous creatures. I would also suggest moving this phrase about the carnivores to the fauna section.  It doesn't really fit in the description section, as if you see one, you may have problems!  Perhaps you could describe the occasional frosted pile of bones near dens, instead?

Well, busy busy that I am, I have run out of time for now.  I will endeavour to get back into this soon, but have a look at what I said and see if you can make some changes in the rest of the entry.

The Forest of Contamar is not the thick overgrown and ominous forest that so many of the other forests of the north are.  Rather, it is a spacious area, with enough room between trees to allow one to see quite far into its depths.  If it weren’t for the terrible cold, it would indeed be the perfect place for a picnic or some other outdoor adventure. It is no wonder then, that the Ice Elves have picked this forest as their home.

As spacious as the floor is, the canopy is quite another story.  Standing in the midst of these trees and looking up, one would be hard pressed to find the blue of sky beyond the countless maze of branches that make up the canopy of the Forest of Contamar.  By the time the light of the sun finds its way through the many  reflecting branches and needles it is a rainbow of colors, that varies in shades from very bright to barley perceptible light.  Within this tangle of branches can be found countless numbers of Nue'mon and other birds flying from tree to tree, though, from this viewpoint it is hard to tell one tree apart from another.  If one really looks hard he or she might find the ice-structures that are the homes of the elves, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Ice Elves themselves.

An emerald-green pond of approximately three square dashes is located just north of the forest’s center.  This pond is in fact no pond at all, but rather, a natural hot-spring. Around the circumference of the hot-spring there is an area of about two peds in which there is no plant life at all, and the ground is loose and thawed in comparison to the usually hard and frozen land of the Iol Peninsula. Animals and elves alike often bath in this naturally warm water for both enjoyment, and to absorb the minerals that are in abundance in this natural wonder.  Many smaller and less beautiful pools of similar type can be found all through out the forest.

Small fresh water springs, used for the sustenance of the elves and animals, can also be found in the depths of the forest. These are only discernable, however, during the short bouts of weather warm enough for the water to thaw out.  For the majority of the year the springs appear to be the same old snow covered land as the rest of the forest floor. At all other times the snow serves as the fresh water source for animals, and the elves draw from their deep heated wells.

Yet another amazing feature of this forest is the countless small geysers that can be found in and around its bounds.  These geysers are no giants, but the spouts of water that come at interspersed times can still be quite awe-inspiring, and the fascinating character of nature is in full display when the hot water bursts from the earth in a place of such frozen beauty.

In the many ravines, cliffs and valleys, all throughout the forest are hidden many other fascinating, and extremely beautiful features.  One such beauty is the cliff of obsidian that towers over a small field of Crystal Glass. The reflective nature of both, combined with the also reflective nature of the Phéran'Exhonanhé, makes for light bending and refraction of likes seen no where else in the world.  Animals are often found wondering aimlessly through this area, as they try to find their way out, but are confused time and again by the reflections off of the obsidian.

Nature is not the only artist of beauty in this great forest, however; as the elves too have left their mark on its landscape.  Aside from the myth of one of their own causing the great freeze of the mighty trees, they have also built within its depths an ice palace of such architectural beauty as to leave a passerby in complete wonder. In name this palace is Ýph’ránnayr (Blue Palace).  The elves have long since found the tree-tops, and surrounding villages to be much more desirable residences, and thus the structure is left abandoned.  This takes nothing away from the awe that is this palace, however, as it will be an architectural wonder for as long as it stands. Built to encompass and embrace the trees rather than replace them, the trees in and around this palace stand as corner stones and supports for its walls of ice.  As already stated the elves wished to do no damage to these trees, and as such the wonder of the palace in not in its height, but it is rather in its great span.  The palace encompasses at least a square stral, and integrates hundreds and hundreds of trees.  As can be ascertained by observing the relatively short walls and thin flat roof, this structure is no defensive fortress, and this fact likely explains the elves decision to abandon such an amazing home.  The tree-tops are obviously much easier to defend.

 In short the majesty and shear beauty of this forest, rivals anything in the lands of Caelereth, and such a claim is in no way boastful, but rather, a simple statement of fact.

 Location:
 As afore mentioned the Forest of Contamar lies in the northwestern tip of the Iol Peninsula.  More specifically, it lies on a strip of land that could be described as a peninsula of the Iol Peninsula.  The Iol Peninsula is of course in Northern Sarvonia, and it is in the northernmost part at that. The forest of Contamar stretches from the cost of the Ice Sea to just north of the Blain Woods and stretches east to west from sea to sea.

People:
 The only peoples recorded to have lived in or around the Forest of Contamar, are the Ice Elves.  Almost as mysterious as the forest itself the Ice Elves are an enigma yet to be understood.  Much like their cousin elf tribes, these Ice Elves display a deep respect and reverence towards the land, and its creatures.  Though they live in the tree-tops of the forest, as well as the cities surrounding the forest, in their opinion only the fabled Ýph’ránnayr stands as a possible blemish to the land at their fault.  If myth be true, than the trees are also frozen as a result of their actions, but many of the race choose to believe that they had nothing to do with the freezing of the trees.  The fact that the ice around the trees is one of magical properties, as it can not be melted by natural means, stands as potent evidence against the elves. However; there is a chance that the Gods themselves froze the trees, and as such the elves are able to play the part of innocents.  The housing structures in the tree-tops could be considered by some to be marred features of the forest, but the elves rationalize that building ice upon trees of ice can bring no harm.  These aside, the Ice Elves have worked hard to limit the amount of changes wrought upon the land by their own doings. It would appear that the Ice Elves like so many others are blind to their own mistakes, and are only capable of seeing the mistakes made by other peoples.

Very few other people have even visited, let alone lived in this land, and as such there is nothing about this forest that has been affected by anyone but the Ice Elves, and perhaps the Gods.

Climate:
If by looking at the location one assumed that the Forest of Contamar would be a cold place, he or she would be absolutely correct.  For ten out the twelve Satharian months in a year, snow ice and cold winds dominate the entire area, but due to a low elevation and a close proximity to large bodies of water, the temperature stays just below freezing during all but the two coldest of these ten months. These two facts combined with an almost continual state of either dusk or dawn, make for a cool climate that when considerer up against the possible cold that could be, is a comparatively moderate climate. Though there is snow on the ground for much of the year, it really does not snow all that much.  The snow sticks of course because the weather is too cold to melt the ice, but the heavy wet snow that falls in the area usually only comes in early and late winter bouts.

Only in the two short months in which the sun comes up over the horizon and stays up, does the snow melt away and do the small water-ways thaw.  Even this short summer, however, does not get overly warm.  Temperatures are only slightly above freezing, and if not for the continual glow of the sun the snow and ice would surely not even melt away.

There are also two months out of the year that are extremely cold and harsh, even for this land.  During these two months there is no sun whatsoever.  It takes no massive amounts of brain power to realize that no sun creates a very cold two months indeed.  During these two months even the Ice Elves and other animals suited for cold climates, stay huddled in their various forms of homes, and they only brave the weather for things that absolutely need to be done.

Flora and Fauna:
It has already been made clear that undergrowth such as ferns and bushes do not fill the floor of the Forest of Contamar.  Vast amounts of Hrugchuck grass covers the forest floor instead. Crystal Grass can also be found in patches throughout the entire area.  Hrugchuck, with its many special properties beautiful flowers and extreme nutritious value, is used by animals and elf alike in many different ways.  It of course offers yet another source of beauty to the already marvelous forest. Crystal Grass, though not as useful and nutritious as its counterpart here, also adds a facet of undeniable beauty to the land.  

On the outskirts of the forest, and around the small bodies of fresh water can also be found the wonderful fruit bush called, Asén’evathón (sweet ice), by the native Ice Elves.  This amazing bush bears fruit year round, and is an irreplaceable food source. As these bushes grow in large clusters there can be found in one cluster enough berries to feed a large heard of Tar'andus deer.  On the outskirts can also be found the occasional cluster of Willow trees.

Many animals can be seen throughout the forest feeding on it grasses and bushes. Tar'andus Deer, Cloaked Elk, Hardgive Deer, and though they seldom go deep in to the forest as a result of their size Thunderfoot, munch on the nutritious Hrugchuck and Asén’evathón, and can also be seen swimming in the hot springs (the Thunderfoot is of course far too big to swim in these little hot springs).

The Nue'mon is the most common bird of this great forest, as they have a very special place in their little hearts for the Asén’evathón berries.  In fact if you see a creature of flight other than the Nue'mon or the eagle, chances are that the poor bird is lost.  The eagles and Nue'mon are very territorial of this forest, and do not welcome other bird very kindly.

As there is no lake, river, or water source other than the small springs no fish are found within the confines of the Forest of Contamar.

Of the rodent variety, only the Hrugchuck and Field mice can be seen roaming around munching on their food.  These rodents serve as a valuable food source for the number of eagles that live here during the summer.

A small few of the Eanian Wargs can be found here as well as they much prefer the open icelands to the south.  Other predatory animals that can be found in their also small numbers include Caracal, Ashmarian Wolves, and the Winter Fox.  The elves work to keep the predator numbers down within the forest, so that the deer and other animals will find the place favorable.  The more deer there are in the forest, than the more reliable food source they become for the elves.

Resources:
The trees themselves of course serve as the foundations for the homes of many of the Ice Elves, but otherwise the trees stand as big beautiful and useless giants.

The Hrugchuck Grass on the other hand is useful in many ways.  Besides the fact that it is very nutritious for the animals in the area, it also serves many medicinal purposes for the elves. These include purposefully induced fevers to detoxify a sick person, and warming a person that has developed the early stages of hypothermia.  

The cliff of obsidian within the forest could fetch a price for the elves, but as monetary gain is not one of their focuses they instead work to preserve the beautiful wonders that make up their lovely forest.

Yet other resources of value only to the inhabiting Ice Elves are the abundant sources of food that are the wildlife of the forest, and the berries of the Asén’evathón.  The mineral abundant hot springs could also be included in this list.

Myths and Lore:
There is an old tale told by the elders of the Ice Elves, which describes the coming of the great freeze, and the ever after frozen trees of the Forest of Contamar.  It is said that there was a young Elf possessed of a special gift with the magics of water.  His talent grew with years and soon none could match his mastery over the element's magic.  In an attempt to freeze the waters of the Ice Sea, and thus expand the territory of the elves he angered the Gods with his arrogance.  The Gods reversed his spell, and rather than freezing the sea his spell froze the great forest that was once the life source of his tribe.  Out of shame for his failure he took his own life, and over the course of time his name was forgotten. But, the forest of ice stands evermore to remind his brethren not to tamper with the earth given them, and to be thankful for what they already have.

There is another tale of a young elf by the name of, Ísh’avá, which translates quite literally into, -false boy-.  It is said that this youth was so in love with himself as to be unable to see wrong in any of his doings. He could often be heard praising everything that was his. His looks, his talents, his money; in his eyes everything he had was better than anything else anybody else had. A southern traveler came into town and heard him going on with such a boast.  Ísh’avá was saying how he was capable of finding anything in the world no matter how well hidden it was.  This southerner was searching for great wealth and had heard of a cliff of obsidian so beautiful it could fetch higher prices even than diamonds with in the Forest of Contamar.  The Forest of Contamar was a vast place full of wonders, and one could easily get lost in its giant trees.The southener took Ísh’avá at his word and offered him great pay to guide him to this treasury.  Quite sure that Ísh’avá would fail the grand council allowed this to happen.  After many days of traveling in circles they did indeed finaly stumble upon the cliff of obsidian.  The reflection of Ísh’avá’s face was so clear he could do nothing but stare in awe.  Ísh’avá so loved himself that the refecltion of his image hypmotized him in to a tranz so deep that he never found his way out.  Ísh’avá stared at his own beloved self until death itself embraced him.  The southerner was so lost that he merely cried and pleaded with the Gods to help him find his way out.  Eventually the elves found him, and as a trade for his agreement to never again set foot in their lands they showed him his way home.  The cliff of obsidian stands to this day unblimished by the hands of mortals, and the elven children of every new generation learn the lesson of humility thanks to the vanity of one the called Ísh’avá.

There are many more stories of this land that include the creation of the geysers, the blessings of the hotsprings, and the love of the Gods in the warmth of the Hrugchuck Grass.
67  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Quellion's Serphelorian Warrior Woman ("Wombat"?) on: 20 November 2008, 14:30:07
(Reply in PM to avoid cluttering thread)
68  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Quellion's Serphelorian Warrior Woman ("Wombat"?) on: 19 November 2008, 18:28:38
Woohoo!  Here I am!  This is so cool.  Right, to business:

Firstly, my thanks to Quellion for his work!  The polearm looks much less fragile, the box-pleats are beautifully done, and Brinsley looks much more like a human town!  Her figure is great, too.

As far as new changes go, there are two general areas I would like to mention; her face and hair, and the buildings.

Her face has become less handsome in this version.  I would like to see her with higher cheekbones, a sharper nose, and possibly slightly larger, more expressive eyes.  Have a look at these two pictures of ‘handsome women’ for some ideas: one two.  It’s pretty close, but just a little less masculine, or farmer-ish looking  :D

Also, currently her eyes seem a little unfocussed to me – she should be looking directly at the viewer, challenging them, or teasing them.

In regard to the background, some key ideas I would like to see better reperesented are heterogenous, rickety, and propped up. 

It would be good to have the houses lots of different (heterogeneous) colours, much like in a typical neighbourhood (here, at least!), with a couple of un-clad, red or brownish brick towers.  Stone is not often used – the materials are mud or clay bricks, plastered and painted where easily done (the plastering might even stop half-way up on some!).  If you want to keep the stone in the building behind her, that is no problem – the odd small building might be built from stone, but definitely not the whole city.

There should be a couple of groups of towers visible (although more would be in the older areas, further toward the river) which are groups of very skinny towers which are obviously leaning dangerously, and are propped up with joists against the ground and each other to stay standing. In the description of the city, I said that when this was the norm, ‘The whole of the city looked much like a forest’ – tall skinny tree-trunk like towers, which are now rotting or just giving in to gravity.  What is there, with more wide-based houses, is good, but Brinsley should have many more of this skinny, wonky type.  The wider ones which are there now should be newer constructions.

And just to note - I’m guessing the tattoos which were sketched are to come once the rest is sorted? 

This is looking fabulous, Quellion; I’m just as excited about this now as I was when I first heard we would get a picture for the Wardens!  Thank you! hug
69  Organization and General Discussions / Announcements and Web Design / Re: A Santharian Petition for Justice on: 21 September 2008, 12:59:10
I haven't read this whole thread, but I did read Rakshiri's first question.  My thanks goes to him for asking it, as the answer clears up some of my wonderings.

Quote
...it appears that it is consensus among those who are concerned about this release, that the Judge of Appeal had overstepped his responsibilities and did something (a release of a murderer!) that was not covered properly in Canadian law yet. It's pretty much a loophole that he could do this, despite it goes against all common sense. The intention of the law cannot be that killers can be permitted to run around until the court decides on further steps (this is different with other crimes like fraud, theft etc.). The AFPAD/MMPFA therefore seeks an adjustment of the law to prevent such things from happening in the future as well.

Makes sense to me, now.

Josephine Ogle, Auckland, New Zealand
70  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Thaelon Forest ~ Final Revision on: 13 July 2008, 05:31:16
Hello Art,

I have been woefully neglectful of Santharia of late, as you will have noticed.  Therefore, while it is on my mind, I decided to neglect paying some bills and doing some housework for half an hour, and take on some of my places modding duties!  This, of course, means a Uri for you!  I only managed to get a little way through it, but hopefully this little bit will be helpful when you come to look at this again.  I will try to do a bit more before long too, but I'm afraid I can't promise too much.

Overview.
The Thaelon Forest (lit. "tae lón", Styrásh for "Covered Wood", "Secret Wood" or more freely translated "Sanctuary Wood") is Santharia's largest forest, and may even be the biggest on Caelerethor write here which other forests it compares to, e.g. '...Santharia's largest forest, and is challenged in size only by the vast x of x. It is located solely in the northernmost province of the United Kingdom, Vardýnn, and stretches approximately a 1030 strals from east to west, and up to 330 strals from north to south. Better yet, convert this into days' ride or walk across, or along the edge.  I use (from wikipedia) 4 km (strals) per hour for human walking, 6.5 strals/hour on a walking horse, and generally guess about 10hrs travel per day.  I usually guess about 12 hours travel per day at 25 strals/hour for a rider in a hurry (like a courier, scout or such). The Thaelon is a tranquil and serene place, sacred to all elven tribes of Sarvonia. They are believed to have their mythological roots in these woods, and thus it is surrounded in mystery to all but the elves. However, how much the elves themselves understand of this forest remains unknown. Many elves believe it to be the centre of the world where the ancient Tree of Life, Eu'reóll, has its roots and thus it is supposed to be the place of origin of many things.

Indeed the inexplicable mysteries that surround parts of the forest are manifold. Some areas emanate an aura of magic that is beyond the comprehension of any human. The innermost places are even said to be guarded by plant-beings and protected by eerie phenomenons like wisps and phantasms that make it impossible to enter the heart of the sanctuary. The Thaelon is also rumoured to still be the home of the enigmatic and numinous light elves, but their sightings are rare; they usually appear to select elves only.

Throughout the forest there is also a vast diversity of flora and fauna which is uncompared to any other forest in the known world. - Travellers beware: To travel in the Thaelon without a guide is for all but the elves quite a risk to take.

Description.
The Thaelon is vast and endless, and vast and endless is what it contains - or at least so it seems once you've taken a journey through it. After having covered hundreds of strals you still will not see the forest's confines, but you'll become witness of how the character of the forest changes as does the vegetation throughout the long ride. The Thaelon is a world of its own, with its own laws as the elves are known to say themselves in a proverb, "ránn tae lón" (loosly translated meaning "the sovereign is the Thaelon" or "the Thaelon commands"). There are tales of elves who are said to have lived their long lives in the forest solely, never venturing out. Yet, despite its vastness the Thaelon forest of today - unlike other elven woods - is only inhabited in parts. In general it is important to differentiate between the various forest sections, as depending on where you look at the Thaelon a different picture presents itself to the eye with different history to tell, and strange new tales and myths lie within.
71  Santharian World Development / Santharian Artists Workshop and Resources / Re: Quellion's Hubert halfling & Serphelorian sketch on: 12 July 2008, 19:09:53
Hi guys,

Sorry about the delay in replying here!  I was very excited to get Art's email, but I have been unwell this week, so haven't been able to put my thoughts into words.  Feeling much better now, so here goes!

The pose is great - confident without being 'sexy' at all.  That is just what I was after.  Her chin could be lifted a little to give her a more rackish look, but that's not necessary.

Something I would change, though, is to make her flatter chested than she is.  I am trying to portray the Serphelorians as much less the buxom vixens and much more the down to earth, sensible hunters and fighters.  Here are some photos of the Evers-Swindell twins who are Kiwi olymic athletes.  I think they are more along the lines of what I was imagining. 1 2 3

Now, as to the rest... does anyone else think that polearm is a little ridiculous?  No offense meant, but it looks a little too big to reasonably use.  Perhaps we could make the blade about half the size, and the pole itself a bit thicker so it looks like it could survive through battle.

Her skirt looks good, but to give it a bit more movement, I thought the fabric between the studded plates would be box-pleated.

The town is brilliantly composed in the background, but it is perhaps a little too pretty.  It looks romantic and elven.  While that is lovely, we have elves - let's make this look distinctly Serphelorian.  I imagined much flatter roofs.  Santh-historically, these people originally lived in something much more like a mongolian yurt.  Lots of different shapes and heights of roofs, varying between these two would be ideal.  It should be a heterogeneous, organic-looking town, a bit scruffy.  If we can have some houses leaning or looking a bit unstable, and obviously propped up, that would be great.  I like the bridge in the background, but perhaps it can be more obviously holding the two towers up than it currently is.  I would suggets joists and nailed-on planks, like an uneven version of the Cambridge 'math-bridge'.

Phew!  Well, if anyone is still reading at this point, and not offended at my pernicketyness, I would like to list some of the things I love!  I love the way the tree frames the image in the foreground.  I love the gentle mountains in the background - they indicate perfectly what would once have been the somwehat foreboding border into Eyelia.  I love the way she is not too pretty, and I love the expression of her eyebrows.  Also, I really have to say:  I love the pig!
72  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Too much free time led to the start of a village on: 14 June 2008, 06:00:28
This looks great, Nsiki!  I'm with Talis - you should definitely try to finish the first submissions before starting new things, but I am pleased you have started this!

If you find your posts being un-commented on, do some in-house research, find out who the experts are you need to talk to, and bell ring them mercilessly until they give you a comment! evil  Also don't forget that you should take the majority of responsibility for a work on yourself, so if you get 'stuck', try thinking harder!  Or you may find often that just writing - writing just anything without thinging too hard, until you have three versions of 'anything' to finish your work gives you enough material that you take the good bits from those drafts and can finish it without taking others from their projects more than necessary.

*Takes notes herself, glancing guiltily at her Sertharian post in the languages forum*

Anyway, the only comment I have about this particular entry at the moment, is that the first paragraph in the description seems like a digression.  The rest of the section (so far) describes the place, but I think that first paragraph could go in to the people section (or later in the description - just somewhere else!) 

Hope that helps  :)
73  Santharian World Development / Places and Map Design / Re: Simsy... village in Manthria. on: 08 June 2008, 08:35:51
As the resident Serphelorian 'expert', I can tell you that the Serphelorians are the modern descendents of the Sophronians.

It might help you to remember if you know the etymology of their names.  The Sophronians followed the woman Sophronia - quite literally, too: they were nomads.  The Serphelorians on the other hand were those who settled.  'Ser' means around, and 'phelor' means city, so they were those who lived (in or) around the city, as opposed to those who remained nomadic.

Both the earlier and later iterations of this group were matriarchal (except for an odd period of a few decades), but the Serphelorians are a lot more normal about it than the Sophronians were.

As to your sentence structure, I'm not sure what you mean - it seems much better now!  I don't have much time, but if I did I would give it a proper uri-check now.  As it is, I will see if I can get to it later in the day.  For now, I will mention a couple of things I did notice: 

 - you capitalise "inn" - it should be lower case;
 - at the end of the first paragraph you say "It is something of a pride though". I would phrase it 'it is a matter of pride'.

Hope this helps, and hopefully I will get to have a better look at this soon!
74  Santharian World Development / History of Caelereth / Re: The Modern History of the Sophronian Tribe on: 08 June 2008, 08:11:44
That sounds great, Art! 
75  Santharian World Development / History of Caelereth / Re: The Modern History of the Sophronian Tribe on: 04 June 2008, 15:29:07
Oh, right!  I thought you were talking about something else entirely.  That piece was already there from Capher's work, I think.  I just want to get a broad outline done sooner or later, so at least key dates can go up on the site.  That way when people want to write towns they have a well thought out basis of history to work from.  That is the plan, anyway!  So no hurry, though.
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