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Messages - Tyrannohotep

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1
I want to update my wordcount!
username: Tyrannohotep
words written: 3,007
is this your new total or the words to add? Words to add

2
The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: May 19, 2018, 11:04:52 AM »

This is a sketchbook doodle of my heroine Oyendako, the female lead from my fantasy short story-in-progress “Claws of the Dragon”. To sum her character up, she is the young matriarch of a jungle kingdom called Nyongo, and she’s leading a revolt against the Dragon’s Claw, a slave-trading colony of the Empire of Zhang. Fighting by her side is her boyfriend Xu Wei, who once led the colony’s garrison before switching over to what he felt was right.

By the way, the spear that Oyendako is holding is inspired by certain Congolese designs characterized by holes in their metal points.


The serpentine creature depicted here is a long, better known as the Chinese dragon. Unlike the dragons of European and Middle Eastern traditions, the Chinese long was not necessarily malevolent, nor did it spew fire. Instead, it was associated with water and rainfall rather than fire, and it usually received veneration as a benevolent entity rather than fear or revulsion. They were also considered symbols of the Chinese Emperor’s authority, with dragon designs being embroidered on his robes.

I don’t normally draw dragons, either European or Asian, since I have always preferred dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles. However, it can be fun to do your own take on a mythical creature every once and a while.


These are the male and female lead from my upcoming short story “Claws of the Dragon”. The Asian-looking guy on the left is Xu Wei, a distinguished warrior who has cut ties with the Imperial colony he once served to aid a native revolt. His girlfriend on the right is Queen Oyendako of Nyongo, who is the revolt’s leading organizer. Together, they must face not only the firearms of the colony’s garrison, but also a ferocious dragon of magical origin—who happens to be someone Xu Wei was once close to.


And this is the map I drew for "Claws of the Dragon". It would take place on a peninsula jutting out from a vast tropical subcontinent known as the Southlands. The area known as Dragon’s Claw is a colony set up by the Empire of Zhang, and it got its start as a port that exported both tropical products and enslaved people from the native Southland kingdoms back for Imperial exploitation. Initially, the various Southland kingdoms were more than happy to sell their war captives to the colony in exchange for Imperial goods (especially firearms). But, having finally tired of constant war and enslavement depleting their subjects, the kingdoms have unified into one force revolting against the Zhangese colony. And so our story begins…

The map’s aesthetic style is supposed to resemble something an ancient Chinese cartographer might have inked, since the fantasy nation of Zhang is obviously inspired by imperial China. The creatures you see in the “Sea of Serpents” are supposed to be mosasaurs, giant sea lizards that lived during the Cretaceous Period of our world’s history.


Setimosa here is a character I created as my player avatar in the game Conan: Exiles, which is a survival role-playing game set in Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age (the fictional era where his stories about Conan the Cimmerian took place). I imagine she would have been a priestess of Set, the Hyborian era’s serpentine god (not to be confused with the historical Egyptian deity of the same name) before the events of the game. So far, the game’s open world is beautiful and fun to explore, although progression can be time-consuming (and it could really benefit from a “fast travel” feature like you have in Skyrim).


Here we have an archer from the Soninke kingdom of Wagadu (better known as old Ghana) in ancient West Africa. According to the Muslim writer al-Bakri, the armies of Wagadu could field as many as 40,000 archers (out of a larger army of 200,000). They were also known for adding poison to make their arrows more lethal (archers elsewhere in Africa, including the ancient Egyptians and Kushites, appear to have done the same thing).

3
Introductions / Re: hello!
« on: May 18, 2018, 08:44:20 PM »
I'm mostly just looking for somewhere to chatter about writing stuff in general? Besides the NaNo forums, which seem to die in the off-season. I'm in one writers' discord already, but the folks there are way more serious than I'm used to - and the other folks I know online, who I click with much better, don't seem very interested in writing-based chatter.
I would say we're a relatively relaxed community, if a bit quiet at the moment (for reasons nobody has figured out yet). Welcome to Worldsmyths!

4
Characterization / Re: Your cast of characters...in pictures!
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:50:20 PM »
OK, I have art of my two new MCs!

5
I don't have an elaborate magic system outlined right now. But if I did, I would make magic something that would be taught like any other skill. Whether they're alchemists, shapeshifters, or necromancers, anyone specializing in magic would have learned their craft through training and then pass that knowledge down to their own students. I'm less of a fan of characters who are innately "gifted" in magical ability. Unless that "gift" came packaged with a handicap, it sounds too much like the old eugenicist idea of "superpeople" who are inherently "better" than everyone else.

6
Characterization / Re: Your cast of characters...in pictures!
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:52:30 PM »
Normally I would draw my own characters and post the drawings here, but this is for a story I outlined this morning. So instead I will present photos that roughly resemble my characters.

Qi Zhao, daughter of the Zhangese colonial governor Qi Huang (human form)


Qi Zhao, in her alternate form:


Xu Wei, a Zhangese warrior and scholar of noble background who has cut ties with Qi Huang's colony to aid a native revolt. He is also Qi Zhao's former boyfriend.


Oyendako, who leads the revolt against the Zhangese colonists. She's also Xu Wei's current girlfriend.

7
World Building / Re: Maps of your world!
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:20:53 PM »

I drew this map after outlining the plot for a new short story. It would take place on a peninsula jutting out from a vast tropical subcontinent known as the Southlands. The area known as Dragon’s Claw is a colony set up by the Empire of Zhang, and it got its start as a port that exported both tropical products and enslaved people from the native Southland kingdoms back for Imperial exploitation. Initially, the various Southland kingdoms were more than happy to sell their war captives to the colony in exchange for Imperial goods (especially firearms). But, having finally tired of constant war and enslavement depleting their subjects, the kingdoms have unified into one force revolting against the Zhangese colony. And so our story begins…

The map’s aesthetic style is supposed to resemble something an ancient Chinese cartographer might have inked, since the fantasy nation of Zhang is obviously inspired by imperial China. The creatures you see in the “Sea of Serpents” are supposed to be mosasaurs, giant sea lizards that lived during the Cretaceous Period of our world’s history.

8
The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: May 14, 2018, 09:00:45 PM »

A soldier from one of the city-states of ancient Greece wields a xiphos sword with a leaf-shaped blade that broadens towards the end. The xiphos would have been a sidearm for the Greek soldiers known as hoplites, who would have resorted to them if their spears broke or if they had to fight in really close quarters. The swords would have been made from bronze or iron (depending on the time period) and could have both cut and thrust at their targets.


An Egyptian warrior swinging his bronze epsilon ax (so named because of its resemblance to a Greek letter known as epsilon). After I did my standing Greek warrior, I wanted to draw a character with a little more motion in his pose.


The weapon that this soldier from ancient China is holding is a fire lance, one of the earliest gunpowder weapons invented in recorded history. These were spear-like weapons with fireworks attached that would shoot out projectiles or poison when lit, and they would have been used in close-quarters combat due to their limited range. Nonetheless, Chinese fire lances would have represented one of the very first stages of the modern firearm’s evolution.

9
Published Works / Re: Tyrannohotep
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:27:52 PM »
Dinosaurs & Dames is now available in paperback format!

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The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: May 11, 2018, 10:40:12 AM »

The Egyptian Queen Nefertari, famous consort to Pharaoh Ramses II, is simply chillin’ on a comfy divan in her palace.

The divan’s wood is supposed to be black ebony, which was a popular material for ancient Egyptian carpenters to work with (after they imported it from lands south of the Sahara). In fact, the word “ebony” comes from a Greek corruption of the Egyptian term hbny.


Watching a few episodes of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon put me in a little ninja mood. And so this Egyptian ninja character was born! Hotep-bunga, dudes!


Ever wondered how the Great Sphinx of Giza really lost its nose? If you ask the guys at the History Channel, they’ll probably propose a scenario like the one illustrated here.

In all seriousness, it seems likely that the actual culprit was a Sufi Muslim dude in the 14th century, who took off the Sphinx’s nose after seeing Egyptian peasants making offerings to it (since Islam forbids idolatry). Apparently, he got himself executed for vandalism by the local authorities for desecrating such an iconic national monument. It’d be like someone today launching rockets into our Mt. Rushmore.


Two young hunters, who could be a couple (or alternatively brother and sister), stalk through the jungle with iron-tipped spears in hand. In the upper left of the scene, you can see the silhouette of a pterosaur soaring above the understory in the distance.

I’d like to take the opportunity to share with my readers the stages of my drawing process. Above is the finished piece, which I have colored in the program Clip Studio Paint. Below are the initial pencil sketch and then the digitally “inked” version of the drawing.

11
The Chatterbox / Re: Worldsmyths map!
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:58:11 PM »
(As a random aside, I really never realised Russia was so big lol!)
The Mercator projection tends to make European countries look big, yes.

12
The Chatterbox / Re: Worldsmyths map!
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:52:02 PM »
I'm in Fallbrook, CA at the moment.

13
The Chatterbox / Re: The pet thread
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:48:15 PM »
One of my cousins used to own an Australian bearded dragon, which I recall he named "Spike". It was simply a gorgeous beauty. I don't have any desire to own any pets personally (too much responsibility for me to handle), but if I had to, it'd be some kind of reptile. On the other hand, I despise dogs and think cats are kinda creepy too. I'm a strange dude.

14
I want to try my hand out at morally "grayer" characters than what I usually work with. What I have in mind aren't necessarily your usual self-interested anti-heroes, but rather characters who see themselves as doing the right thing even if they're serving a cause wouldn't normally consider "good". For example, I might have as my protagonist a warrior who's loyal to a tyrannical king, but she starts out sharing that king's worldview and ideals. Only later would she unlearn them.

Honestly, it'll probably be easier to plot out arcs for morally gray characters than clear-cut good ones. Gray characters have more to figure out than do the ones who already know what the right thing is.

15
The Artist's Corner / Re: So Tyrannohotep likes to draw...a lot
« on: May 06, 2018, 11:18:53 AM »

It’s a warm midday on the plains of Northwest Africa circa 8000 BC. This woman of the Capsian culture is cooling herself off with water drunk from an ostrich egg converted to a bottle.

Named for the town of Qafsah in southern Tunisia, the Mesolithic culture known as the Capsian occupied the region of northwestern Africa south of the Atlas Mountains between 8000 and 2700 BC. Traces of their culture left behind include rock paintings, jewelry made from seashells and ostrich-eggshell beads, and whole ostrich eggs converted into containers such as the bottle pictured here.

Some archaeologists speculate that the Capsian people would have represented the earliest speakers of Afrasan (or Afroasiatic) languages to colonize Northwest Africa after migrating from further southeast (that is, from the Afrasan linguistic homeland in Northeast Africa). If so, the Capsian language could have evolved into modern Berber, with its original speakers intermixing with more Mediterranean-looking people from further north (along with later colonists from Phoenicia, southern Europe, Arabia, etc.) to produce the current Northwest African population.


The hybrid dinosaur Indoraptor from the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes a bite out of the Marvel supervillain Thanos. This crossover confrontation came to mind after I saw the recent Avengers: Infinity War. It was an OK movie for the most part, but suffice to say that I found the cliffhanger ending disappointingly abrupt. I can only hope Fallen Kingdom doesn’t end on such a dour note.


The character here was originally going to be another one of my jungle girls, but I decided to switch things up a bit by making her a fisher-woman with a trident instead. The fish she’s caught for her next meal would be a juvenile blacktip reef shark, which is native to the warm waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans.


This would be a male counterpart to the "cavegirl" with an Afro that I drew a short while ago. I thought that, since I’ve drawn so many prehistoric babes over the years, it’s only fair that I depict their male compatriots at least once.

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