An inaugural post! And it only took five months.
Disconnecting from social media has permitted a reconnect with IO, which I have been very appreciative of. Focus has been turned back to Gluttony and Wrath, with some attention being given to a related side-project that will be introduced at another time. Gluttony in particular is being given a shake-down, as out of all of the locations in Hell that could be considered "major" in terms of the narrative, it possesses probably the least clarity for its people, history, and makeup. Gluttony is best described as barren; little will take root upon its surface and its tough mantle will suffocate most of what can. The flatness of its expanses have made it amongst the most difficult wildernesses in Hell to chart, with too few landmarks or changes in elevation to prove of any use to map-making. Getting lost in Gluttony is an invitation to assured starvation, with corpses swallowed by the mantle in mere days if not scavenged by the Level's ravenous inhabitants.
Gluttony possesses two sentient native races, the Motherkin, and the Nigrim, the former of which will be lightly touched on here. Motherkin belong to the family Matriarcha, a genetic branch hosting a small zoo of species and subspecies, most of which can interbreed. All species are single-sex, separated only by physical class, which is dependent on hormones. Any individual is capable of conceiving or siring offspring, though their ability to accomplish either is heavily dependent on their class and the class of their partners, which affects genital formation and compatibility with other Motherkin.
Two Murder Chefs of two physical classes. The species possesses the widest range of classes and individual variation currently known to Hell at large. They are the most well-known and wide-spread of the Motherkin Species to be trafficked as slaves and hired hands, prevalent throughout many of Hell's cities as "gifts" from Yomesh to his neighbours. Murder Chefs are most common in the kitchens of Hell's ruling class, easily trained and easily replaced in the event of injury, abduction, or death.
The Scissorface is a descendant of Mortebrala, the "escapee" Matriarch who managed to avoid Yomesh's genocidal Epicurean War by growing a set of functioning wings and simply flying away to other, more remote environs of Hell. The Scissorfaces are her children. While not strictly natives of Gluttony, having been born as a species in Pandemonium, they, like their mother, carry the spirit of Gluttony, and if ever introduced there would be very much at home.
White Courtesans are the daughters of Mogura, presented in three stages of adulthood. Courtesans are a blight upon Nis, being obtusely difficult to locate, control, and destroy. Unlike other species of Motherkin, White Courtesans do not reproduce sexually, requiring only food to fuel their spread. The space afforded by the pot-belly is not occupied by vital organs, but rather offers its considerable real-estate to the constant development of offspring. Forever ravenous, the Courtesan is unapologetically cannibalistic.
Since the colonisation of Gluttony by Yomesh, the Motherkin are commonly traded as a slaves under the umbrella derogatory term of "Chef", the many species either exploited or slated for elimination to preserve the current rule in Gluttony under the Crown of Teeth. The exploitation of the Motherkin during the tenure of Yomesh's rule was supported in part by the lack of historic records-keeping by the species at large:
Motherkin history and cultural heritage is oral. There is no known written component of Mothertongue, the linguistic umbrella of the Motherkin language. The language and its dialects are not given extensive study until the second fall of Gluttony, Yomesh's death, and the reopening of Gluttony's borders to greater Hell. By this time, many unique dialects have been lost.
In general, Mothertongue is not spoken by anyone outside of Motherkin heritage due to the prevalence of Motherkin being generally fluent in Common or Low Infernal. As Motherkin history is oral, with no written records kept until after Yomesh's death, historical distortion and erasure of opposing or otherwise conflicting opinions and retellings through accidental or deliberate "History by Committee" is common. This is not resolved as a records-keeping blight until the rise of the Golgulta in the New Matriarchy and a written component to Mothertongue is developed. Written records claiming to be of Mothertongue prior to this change are merely phonetic transcriptions dictated by exterior parties.
A tentative (disproportionate) interpretation of Silvally. After several months of thematic burnout, Pokemon does not inspire (as much) existential dread as a subject as this time last year. I'm looking forward to picking up paused pieces and meta-content that was affected; in particular the theoretical meta-analysis of Exeggutor which, as a piece of writing, managed to grow to 13 pages of text. Once it's completed I'd like to see it hosted here under the NERD 9000 sub-gallery on its own page, accompanied by thematically appropriate art. If successful, other meta pieces on other Pokemon species will definitely follow.
Studies are progressing. Admittedly, the process of these (incomplete) studies has been relatively unenjoyable, only due to a personal disatisfaction with my 2D work, which I hope to resolve soon by investing time into a new program that will permit me to explore a venue I've only really conceptualised up until this point.
Briefly, I entertained the idea of making adoptables for Flight Rising as a fun, inconsequential way to be involved with the community on the site. Unfortunately, the amount of work involved to make a base with interchangeable genes (with accessories not even touched on yet) has proven to be more than what I'm realistically willing to invest, especially considering I had wanted to do most if not all dragon breeds featured on the site. As an experiment, I was pleased to find that the processes I had developed did work quite well, however.
And, not too long ago I decided to rewatch My Neighbour Totoro / Tonari No Totoro and a few other Ghibli films. As a movie I hadn't seen in over 15 years, Totoro struck me as a film that embodied many things I find myself missing increasingly each year I turn over another number. The texture of the picture to the colour of the soundtrack brought back many memories that are sometimes hard to entertain if only for their distance and untouchability. In being so moved at the time, I thought I would have some fun with the catbus as a brief, self-indulgent study of my favourite character from the film.
Despite not having watched Totoro for over a decade and a half, I found that it had been so heavily ingrained in my memory that in watching the Blu-Ray copy I had purchased some time ago (but never opened), I found my ears perking at what I was sure to be inconsistencies with what I remembered, very clearly, to be the dialogue in the dub 15+ years ago. Tones and words seemed different and though largely insignificant, this had me wondering as to the version I was watching. Afterwards I thought to look into what I was sure to be a difference, wondering if I was having a Mandela moment, or if the version I possessed was potentially an inferior dub or translation to the one I recalled watching on VHS way back. As it turned out, there were indeed two versions of the film that had been released in the West, with the Disney Blu-Ray in my collection being the most recent and allegedly the most true to the original Japanese release in terms of translation. My only beef with the release I own is, insignificantly, the reduced vocals / foley for the catbus, which I remembered so fondly as being quite loud and energetic.