Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flags 10.30.10

The White Archons of Abadoah, Omo the Gross, Negaristan and the Brown Wizards of Pajan.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flags 10.29.10

In order: Isle of English Settlement, Vroom Island, Ovenwomen Tribes: Western-Holly, captured flag of an unknown Sulligis clan, and Nine Dreamt City: Lankhmar.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Final: Kingdom of Sizzlehead and a Beshkar Clan (Mondegreen)

As I'm starting to write down the various histories and relationships that go along with these flags, I'm wondering if I should start a whole other blog to dedicated solely to the history of Refractoria. Maybe I will. But I probably won't. In any case, I've added a back-dated post that is just for the finished map. It contains details for most areas of the map.

The isolated Kingdom of Sizzlehead is located on a blunt peninsula jutting into the Oldest Ocean. King Sizzlehead--a diminutive, almost leprechaunish character--rules from the Raw Hematite Throne located in the begrimed capitol city of Red Mudge. His Royal Sizz controls mostly through bombast and a furious capacity for convincing his (few) subjects that he is far more powerful than he is in actuality. King Sizzlehead has spent enormous time and expense trying to exploit the natural resources of the Thoughtless Exquisites but has been largely unsuccessful in pulling anything useful from the gray hills. Sizzlehead's noisily empty entreaties are largely ignored by the surrounding powers and, hence, diplomatic contacts are scarce. Exports: porkchop bones, cigarette butts, improbable tales and righteous indignation.

Beshkar Clan: Mondegreen. Little is known about the numerous Beshkar clans that roam the rolling steppes below the Perpetual Wound. Indeed, little is known of the Beshkar clan's rivals, the brutal Sulligis clans. To undiscerning parties, these collective warring clans are known as the Horned Rovers. Occasionally, a powerful hetman will rise to power and unite the various Beshkar and Sulligis clans into a seething, murderous horde which will then sweep down through the Marauder's Hallway (a pass in the Quote Mountains) in an attempt to pillage the languorous, opium-dulled lands to the south. The Horned horde is only kept in check by the iron-willed ranks of the Protectorship of Inphala. Exports: brutality, indifference.

This flag is a reproduction constructed by Mondegreen, one of the few Beshkarans to break with his bloodthirsty kin and enter into a delicate sojourn with civilization. Mondegreen has also related that each clan is lead by a strange hybrid creature referred to as an "uncle." These uncles do not engage directly in war-like pursuits of the clans but instead fulfill a role that is closer to clan advisor or historian, and are rumored to possess mildly-prescient oracular abilities. In addition, Mondegreen suggests that the lifespan of an uncle can span several centuries.

Final: Knights of the Perpetual Wound & Sisterhood of the Bruisers

I finally started work on the big grid of flags/standards. The top photo shows the progress from a distance and I've thrown in a few details.

The Knights of Perpetual Wound are comprised of dozens of high-minded cavaliers recruited from all over Refractoria. The Knights are unwaveringly dedicated to lowering themselves down into The Perpetual Wound and conquering whatever horrors live within the enormous chasm. Of course, not one knight has returned from The Wound but this has yet to dampen their fervor. The KotPW gather en masse and debark from the city of Pajan which lies only a dozen or so leagues from the southern most lip of the Wound. The Brown Wizards of Pajan--who rule the aforementioned city and the surrounding territory--delight in offering board and selling goods at greatly inflated prices to these one-time-only clients. (Incidentally, I blatantly ripped off this design from the cover of Jeff Parker/Steve Lieber's Underground. Go buy a copy.)

Sisterhood of the Bruisers is located on the western coast of Persistent Material, north of the lands of the Nine Dreamt Cities. They frequently stage attacks on both the Cities and The Estate. The Bruisers are a country of large, bone-cracking amazon she-wimmen. They have a highly developed culture of baking and other domestic crafts--woven, knitted and crocheted goods, craftbooking, collaging, decoupage, faux taxidermy, etc.; the Bruisers trade these latter items for gold, liquor and tobacco on

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Indiana and Chicago

I've been in Indiana and Chicago for a bit. I'm back now. I predict more studio pictures in the next twenty four hours.

Indiana: time mostly spent with mom though I did take a trip down to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, IN to spread the ashes of my dog T. From 1990-95, I lived in Indianapolis, smoked a lot of pot, wrote a lot of bad poetry, listened to music and worked and went to school (both part-time, of course.) Obviously, this isn't a healthy lifestyle for anyone so T and I started heading down to southern Indiana together looking for decent parks, trying to get a little sun and a little exercise. Clifty Falls--a 90-minute-to-four-hour trip from Indianapolis depending of the roads you take--was probably the best spot T and I found. Over the years, we went down there nine or ten times, even after we moved to Chicago. I felt it would be a good final resting place for Her Royal Fatty. (That's a picture of her ashes floating down the anemic, droughted-up stream that runs through the park.)

Chicago: spent two days with Marlene and two with Leah. Rode a borrowed bike around a lot, lingered on the roof deck during the sunsets and basked in the Indian Summer. Went to the Shedd Aquarium during my final hours in Chicago. (My latest thought: venues like the Shedd or the Natural History Museum here enact a policy like public pools do and have an "adult swim" for the spaces so people like me can get a chance to view the exhibits without little, screeching sugar-fueled snotbombs (aka children) getting in the way.) The flight back was uneventful except for this view from the window. I'm pretty sure it's the Belt of Venus phenomenon but without the upper band of pink light. Maybe because there is less atmosphere to pass though at that height? What do I look like, an astronomer? Get off my back.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Common Standards, Badges and Insignia of Western Refractoria.

I gridded out the paper today. I took a picture of it but pencil lines don't show up well with my camera and, plus, it's just a big blank sheet of paper with a grid on it. Meh.

But I have more studies for The Estate standard, however. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Belt of Venus (and some gleaming white stretched paper)

This is a photo from the roof. (Surprise.) This pink band/blue band beneath phenomenon is called the Belt of Venus. It's actually the shadow of the earth in the atmosphere as the sun sets. Never fails to amaze me.

Also, stretched some paper for the possible heraldic/flag drawing. Isn't it pretty, that flawless white surface? I can't wait to flaw it. Flaw the hell out of it.