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Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Tribes of Men (Part 2 of 3)

Welcome back everyone! Here’s the second list of Covent’s lengthy tribes of men. We do not have art for every clan and some characters have broken a bid away from their cultures, but we’re very thankful for all the art we have blessed with thus far. Most authors don’t get to see their world come to life this early after release, so we are taking nothing for granted.

Let me start by throwing out a plug to the 2 new artists.

Last week we introduced Lona Kamakeeaina who made the Brigorian and the Mixed Blood concepts. This week we’re showing off his concept picture of a Grull, which made me laugh pretty hard the first time I laid eyes on it. Lona has been working on art for over 30 years and is currently attending the Art Institute.  His portfolio can be found here:
http://www.behance.net/lonaKamakeeaina
This week we are also introducing concept art from Néstor Cruz who is a Graphic Design Professor at Columbia College and worked as an art director and graphic artist for many years. He drew the slick Jinto concept designs below. He did a superb job of capturing our clan of circus performers turned coldhearted killers. His portfolio can be found here and he will be featured again next week.
http://nestorcruz.carbonmade.com/

And so, without further ado, the Tribes of Men continued…

7) Durnish [dur-nish]
Durnishmen are a tribe of sturdy, hard-working men.  Durnishmen have short cropped brown hair, tightly trimmed goatees and strange bronze pupils.  The Durnish take pride in all they do and are exceptional craftsmen and builders.  Much of Capital Doljinaar was built with Durnish stonework. Durnishmen are hard-workers and generally despise spongers and beggars.

The Durnish warred with the ancient Doljinn tribe over resources during the Age of Tribes. When the last male heir of Durnia died, High King Doljinn took the Durnian Queen to join the two peoples. The Durnish was the first tribe of men to join Doljinn’s dream of a united kingdom of men.  The hill lands of Old Durnia have been swallowed by the ever expanding captial of Doljinaar. Not a blade of grass remains, as it is all concrete, but the land is now known as the Durnian District of the capital.  The Durnish still call this district home and are very loyal to Doljinaar.

8) Eldorians [el-dor-e–ans]
Eldorians are known for being great thinkers and philosophers. Eldorian men shave their heads and wear wreaths over their shortly cut hair. Their primary passion is for learning and studying the natural world. They are the forefathers of modern thinking and scientific thought. They are valued for their keen minds and many have risen to the higher classes of Doljinaar. Eldorians are sometimes criticized for paganism and hold to a controversial view that the world rose from its own natural processes.

In early human history, when the tribes were violent and warmongering, the Eldorians lived in Stoneweaver’s Canyon. They were forced to constantly defend themselves from Brigorians and other aggressive tribes. Having, little desire of war, the Eldorians eventually retreated into the mountaintops of the Dragontooth Mountains. There they built a mountain peak cloud city called Cloudwithe. It become their city state and they booby trapped the mountain passes to stop raiders. As Doljinaar marched across the west, the Eldorians joined King Doljinn’s dream of a free world and they came under Doljinaar’s protection. Since then Cloudwithe has become a center of modern thinking and learning. Every Doljinn king spends time in Cloudwithe on the path to enlightenment.

9) Grull [grul]
Grulls are huge, hulking men with dirty black unkempt hair, yellow teeth, bad breath and foul body orders.  Grulls bathe so rarely that their hair mats with grease and clumps into dreadlocks.  Grulls are equally notorious for their rude manners and overly-intrusive personality that turns them into overgrown sponging vagabonds.  Some Grulls find employment as bodyguards, bouncers or other brute muscle.  Strangely, Grulls seem to be shrinking forcing them to find honest work.  A plague has broken out back in their old homelands which only spurs on their aimless wandering. See if you can find their lands on the super slick map: http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/map.html

Grulls fought against Doljinaar in the tribal histories. They were feared for their size, but the Doljinn commander quickly outsmarted the Grull chieftains. The Grulls have never rebelled against Doljinaar because they are too dumb to remember they have been conquered. The Grull above is a concept drawing from the Chronicles of Covent video game project. The artist imagined this Grull found a nice suit of armor and put it on his back. Of course, it may have a slight odor because he forgot to take the dead guy out of it. He seems to have let a nasty fungus start growing on his right arm and birds seem to have mistaken him for a big dumb rock.
10) Haradrik (ha-rad-drik)
The Haradrik are a tall, proud Viking-like clan of ice seafarers who stand nearly seven feet tall.  They have long curly blonde hair, long beards and tough skin that adapts well to the cold.  Haradrik live along the southern coasts and brave the arctic sea known as the Haraglace. The Haradrik were conquered by Doljinaar in a bloody conflict known as the Icefarer Wars. Haradrik have taken part in numerous rebellions over the centuries which Doljinaar has put down.

The Haradrik have always been disgruntled living under Doljinaarian rule. A small number of Haradrik, like Captain Aaagren shown in this picture, have grown to accept Doljinaarian life, but most yearn to strike out across the Haraglace to the southern arctic continent where they can build a country of their own. Every year thousands of Haradrian pilgrims sail the treacherous Haraglace in an effort to build settlements. None of them have ever returned…

11) Jinto [gin-toe]
More commonly known as Gypsies, these acrobatic human nomads have made a life of wild living and theatrics.  Gypsies travel in large caravans from town to town where they perform in festivals, fairs and circuses.  Jinto have strange green hair and are short of stature, but astound other races through all manner of acrobatic feats.  Most Jinto have no appetite for war, except for a growing number among their people who secretly despise the passive Jinotoan lifestyle.  Many have joined the ranks of the Shaltearan Brotherhood and are training to become the deadliest of assassins.

In the Age of Tribes, Gypsies did far less travel and hid in Fogrim Forest from raiders. They moved their tents and wagons constantly throughout the forest and were quite deadly in ambushing invaders. The Jinto gladly accepted Doljinaarian rule and their culture evolved into the nomadic circus culture from which most gypsies earn a living. These two Jinto sketches were drawn by Néstor Cruz, another artist doing concept work for the Chronicles of Covent video game project. Both of these Jinto have left the circus lifestyle. One is an accomplished thief and the other a deadly assassin.

12) Mayahoon Indian [may-a-whoon]
The Mayahoon Indians are a fairly dark skinned, dark haired tribe of indians who live in Mizzle Drizzle Forest.  They are great hunters and gatherers who live in the higher elevations of the forest in sea grass huts. They are skilled woodsmen and watermen.  Though the Mayahoon are tough, the dwindling forest, the unpredictability of flood tides and the reckless magic of Trites have caused their numbers to dwindle. Some scholars fear the ancient tribes lies on the brink of extinction.

The Mayahoon have lived a pretty isolated existence in Mizzle Drizzle Forest for centuries.  Most outsiders did not chance the dense rainforest until after the discovery of the vast array of resources that could be had there.  Mizzlewood, rubber, herbs, medicines, furs and other new resources are being discovered every day. Mayahoon used to be hostile to trespassers, but have started to trade with outsiders. Mayahoon find employment as scouts, trackers and guides in their forest home due to the increasing interest in their forest home.

For more great Covent races, don’t forget to explore our website here:
www.chroniclesofcovent.com

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The Tribes of Men (Part 1 of 3)

The Tribes of Men (Part 1 of 3)

Over the years we’ve grown into a fan of having distinct human nationalities in fantasy literature. David Eddings first captured our imagination back in the 80s with a brilliantly cultured Elfless/Dwarfless fantasy world. However, during Covent’s early inception we were unwilling to let go of the more fantastical races, given the range of abilities and story-telling possibilities these races created. Granted, pointy-eared, beastly and darker races will always have a place in our world, but we began to realize the importance of pulling humans away from the plain normal vanilla formulas of blacks, whites, blondes, brunettes and so forth. Let me tell you a bit more about what I mean.

I really respected the cultural, skin tone and hair color differences in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In Middle Earth a long blonde haired man is probably a Rider of Rohan or a dark-haired man is a soldier of Gondor fighting on the frontlines of Mordor. I would argue that Tolkien’s decision to embellish the histories of the human clans, gave each human nationality as much character as any of his more fantastical creatures such as Elves, Dwarves, Orcs or Ents. I believe Tolkien realized the importance of culture from the uniqueness of human nationalities and histories in the real world, which is what makes people so fascinating.

It was this kind of deep envisioning that inspired us to think as hard about humans as we did about any of our more fantastical races. This proved to only enhance our original vision of the size, scope and grandeur of mighty Doljinaar. Doljinaar is the united kingdom of men, its power unrivaled during the Age of Crowns. It is very much a Rome of our world and a melting pot for the light-skinned nations. Therefore, we often described the encountering of humans by other races as looking into a racial palette sprinkled with humans of every imaginable size, color and skin tone.

As result, Doljinaar has grown into a monstrously deep nation with as much politics and racial tensions as to be worthy of its comparison to the iconic Roman Empire. This is the first entry in a massive three part blog covering the Tribes of Men. I will cover only the Tribes of Men whom we have introduced in Shade One or will be introduced in Shade Two later this year. I will be showcasing artwork, not just from our illustrator Thom Scott, but some concept work made by other artists who are working on additional Chronicles of Covent projects.

And so without further ado Part One of the Tribes of Men:
1) Braznians [broz-nee-in]
Braznians, “Red Bloods” or “Bloodriders” as they were once feared all over the Plains of Terramoth were one a race of bloodthirsty raiders. Braznians are natural redheads with fiery thrill-seeking personalities. They have a reputation for laughing in the face of danger and for their reckless “Red Blood” behavior. Braznians thrived on pillaging cities in the early histories.

Their city state, Brazelhorn, eventually fell at the hands of Doljinaar. Although this defeat stung their pride, they quickly settled under Doljinaarian rule. They flocked to new battlefields and fresh hotbeds of danger where they continue to live short, reckless but adventure-filled lives. Their exodus from Brazelhorn was so complete that their city was abandoned to ruin.
2) Brigorians [bri-gore-e-an]
Brigorians are a rebellious clan of dark-haired, bearded and hairy barbarians. Brigorians dominated
Karus Forest for most of early human history. Primeval Brigorians emerged from the vast forest to raid towns and slip back into their home forest. They were feared for their brutality, for the razing and complete massacring of settlements and in many cases cannibalism. Doljinaar was forced to nearly wipe them out, putting down Brigorian women and children to what they thought was the last child, but Karus Forest proved too large. Small pockets of Brigorians survived.

Doljinaarian histories are stained with Brigorian uprisings, but as night mortals began to infiltrate Karus Forest over the centuries, Brigorians were forced to defend their own forests. Small waning tribes still inhabit Karus Forest, but increasing numbers of Brigorians have wandered out and become scoundrels in Doljinaar seeing at long last night mortals as the true enemy of mankind.

3) Derve [derve]
The Derves once ruled the great kingdom of Durjezstan, which now lies buried in the Great Waste. It is said that the city and its vast riches still lay lost under the ever blowing sands. Derves are light-brown skinned, similar to Arabs and are very noble and hardworking. They mourn the loss of their lost kingdom and live displaced lives as refugees in northern Doljinaar.

Most Derves have been forced into servitude due to their current low economic status, but some sects have built small societies who live in caves off the Great Waste. They find employment as scouts and treasure hunters in the Great Waste, but many Derves have given up all hope of ever returning to their ancestral homeland and have been forced to begrudgingly accept Doljinaarian life.

4) Doljinn [dole-jin] (mixed blood)
A mixed blood Doljinn is a fairly loose term in Doljinaar. It can be used to describe any human born of mixed nationality. A mixed blood does not have to be related to the original Doljinn tribe to be called Doljinn. Their skin, hair and eye color varies and even their size can range from tribe to tribe. In fact, mixed bloods are becoming so common a sight in Doljinaar that people have started to call them Doljinns. Other races believe that humans interbreed like horses.

Gordwin, the gruff war veteran owner of The Dragon’s Den Inn & Tavern in Jile is a mixed blood. If you asked him about his ancestry he would probably tell you he’s a cross between an Eldorian, a Grull and maybe a really drunk Durnishman because “ale is a lot thicker than blood” as he likes to say.

5) Doljinn [dole-jin] (pure blood)
Pureblooded Doljinns, or Purebloods for short, are becoming a rare sight in Doljinaar. The original dark-haired blue-eyed clan of men that united the human tribes is slowly being bred out of existence, though their dreams of a free world remain. High King Doljinn’s dream of a united kingdom of men spread from his clan to all men of the West and forged the glorious empire of Doljinaar.

The Doljinaarian bloodlines have grown so intermixed that merely being a Pureblood places them in the higher classes. Purebloods usually dedicate themselves to politics or military service. They comprise the most powerful class in Capital Doljinaar, second only to the line of kings and at times the rich and meddlesome Shamites.

6) Doljinn [dole-jin] (thane)
The blood of Doljinaar’s royal line is considered the blood of the purist kind. It was believed that High King Doljinn was born a god incarnate due to the ethereal glowing white eyes which has become the mark of the royal line. Doljinn was given the name of his tribe, the Doljinns, at birth when they recognized he was no ordinary child. High King Doljinn went on to live an extraordinary life leading his people to a dream of a united world of men that put an end to the wars among the human tribes and forged the glorious empire of mighty Doljinaar.

People have come to call Doljinn’s line the Thanes. The Thanes also live up to a thousand years and are believed to ascend into godhood when they die. The Thanes have for the most part maintained their rule in Doljinaar for over several millennia. Thanedom has only been threatened one or two times by usurpers, but few non-Thanes ever sat on Doljinaar’s throne for long. The noteworthy kings and at times queens are worshiped as gods and goddesses and great monuments and temples have been erected in their honor. King Magnus is a Thane and the current reigning king of Doljinaar.

Get a preview of more human tribes and fantastic races here:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/races.html

New races will be revealed with every new book! Shade 2: Kingsblood updates coming soon!!!

 

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