Tattoos: part 2

Body markings mainly serve an out-of-universe purpose of helping the audience to more easily tell non-human characters apart, but also have justified reasons in the world. Tattoos are extremely common for Arkan characters and are basically coat of arms for the family. The color, position, and design of the tattoos vary widely between cultures and even families, but similar styles obviously exist within close areas. The designs are designed primarily with the men in mind, as they are the ones whom the family line is passed down. Women generally receive father marks, which is about half of their family’s mark – they will later receive the other half of the mark of their husband to symbolize a unity of the two families. It is seen in poor taste for the father mark to be unnecessarily large compared to the husband’s or not leaving enough space for the wife’s other half, though this tends to happens more often than it would seem. Some families, especially wealthy ones, tend to make it almost a competition who can have the largest markings. For the reader this may not be shown in full as it will distract from body language.

Some powerful women that are unmarried may have the entire father mark. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove tattoos. They tend to be in areas easily viewable with clothing such as the face, arms and tail (though again for reader clarity this may not be accurately represented). Non-permanent body paint is also used in some circles, often for war or events.

The high Renes view the practice as barbaric. Note that they also treat their ridges in ways that the Arkans think of likewise. Other Arkans also may not tattoo as heavily, like the Otigos. 

Designs can change somewhat over generations, and some add in major family events on the tapestry for instance (e.g. grampa killed a bear so we’ll show him killing a bear in the design from now on). They also change if they find their design is at odds with the popular trends, and can also ‘suddenly’ change to just coincidentally mirror those in power or royalty. Royalty and nobles hate this and will charge commoners if they find their mark to be infringed and the line is often extremely blurred.

Fauna – Horse

“The beast held a noble distinction, even a sadness, that he couldn’t quite quantify. Listing in this forgotten place, it was as much a prisoner as he. Speaking comforting words to the creature, they were but a pitiful help. This ache had only one cure.

They rode as dawn broke into morning. The furor of its pace, the chill of the wind – the anguish of the steed faded… and with it, his own.” 

Green Empire by Doa, -275y

The common horse, the primary steed of mankind, has been core to his history for many thousands of years. This humble beast of burden makes civilized life possible as the primary method of quick transportation, surpassing other creatures due to factors of temperament, cost, strength, and speed. Most breeds are quite hardy, able to survive in all manner of temperatures and terrain across the known world. Rarely a place discovered has no horses or at least knowledge of them.

As the primary beast of burden, horses are more than able to carry one or more people along with their supplies with saddles and packs. Riding bareback is possible but often extremely uncomfortable due to the creature’s ridged back. Wagons are a common and useful alternative assuming that roads are used.

Extensively breeded, the horse can take an extremely wide variety of appearances and functions. The smaller specimens, ranging from chest to head heights, are nimble and are used frequently for personal duties as mounts, with most being able to outpace a running man two or three times over. The Otigos and Rabants specifically breed many smaller horses to navigate their often-treacherous mountainous homelands. The Otigos in particular are some of the most adept and famed riders in the world, with the horse playing a larger role in their culture and daily life than any other nation. Larger breeds can vary extremely in build, and therefore role. Stocky beasts are to plow fields or for intimidation in warfare and are frequently used in the rolling plains of Avato due to ample food to support the primarily-herbivorous creatures. The extremely tall and spindly types of the far north are used navigating the numerous and inhospitable deserts that region is rumored to contain, however very few of those breeds exist in the civilized world.

Colors of the creatures can vary widely as well, with the vibrant and well-marked fiery oranges, reds and purples reserved for the royal and rich (due to expense in breeding), with the common dull blue and grey specimens generally used by those less fortunate. Even still, a horse is one of the most expensive things a family might own.

In Otigan folklore, mankind is united with the noble creature almost immediately upon his creation. They are not sacred, but respected above all other animals… and some foreigners. Rene teachings dictate that the horse emerged from the same waters that mankind and most other animals emerged from. They believe that the horse is ranked sixth on the scale of intelligence of animal-man.

Some peoples in far northwest Avato are rumored to eat them. The capital generally frowns on this behavior.

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Does showing an action condone it?

Something I’ve been thinking about lately when it comes to stories is the current temptation of creators to only show things they condone.

for example. personally, I don’t swear. however if I made an historical film about the mafia I’m not going to have Scarface or whoever running around saying “those darn cops”. he’d say something like “those fuckin’ pigs”. Now from my personal views I object to what mr. Scarface says, I don’t think it compromises my views to show his, even if I may heavily disagree with it.

I feel like in this time and place in the world there is almost an assumption that any point of view shown, if not explicitly for the sake of vilifying it, must necessarily be agreeing or promoting it. I don’t think this is true at all. For example, I find no joy whatsoever in inflicting pain on others in my life, but in this comic a lot of people will die- and not in tasteful ways. guilty people and innocent people. this happening has been the case since the dawn of humanity and it will continue to be so until the end. Generally when I show violence in Motherland it is for a reason other than violence for violence’s sake. does showing violence mean I agree with it? I don’t think so. I’m showing something that is, you choose what to make of it.

of course it can be very hard to show events, actions, or what have you in your work without trying to provoke an emotional response one way or another, let alone to help a reader try and empathize with ‘the enemy’. with today’s ease of communication, everybody is [able to be] a critic and often feel an obligation to vehemently agree or disagree. it’s so easy now. being offended is addicting. being offended makes me feel powerful, as it requires you to change. I think the fact it’s so easy to spread your views (via social media especially) without any real consequence is a big reason why so many controversies get so blown out of control now. while I also don’t subscribe to the current notion that “everybody is correct, truth is relative to you”, I don’t believe that every minute controversy one is exposed to needs to elicit an immediate choice, especially one of extreme rejection or acceptance. true beliefs are much more than knee-jerk reactions. sometimes it takes a topic without a clear answer to come to your own conclusions. I just wish more people would do it, and more people would be open to it in return.

that said, of course not every creator will agree with my position, I can only point out trends I see and pressures I myself feel. And of course there is a time and place for the author to condemn or condone whatever trend or action or philosophy he or she feels passionate about – just as there is a time to present it but not necessarily comment on it.

i’ll have to give it some more thought. will probably talk more about it in a post later.