Friday, 14 May 2010

Dagon and Various Odyssey Concept Sketches

The Mercenary confesses to have been neglecting the blog of late, for the most part due to taking Elder Carrie around Mordor (read: Hong Kong and Macau).

The above is a banner she picked out in our travels together as a phys-rep for the upcoming live roleplay event, Odyssey. It's suppose to be the centerpiece of an alter to the Carthaginian god Dagon, The Hungry Abyss: 
Those who make the sea their living must pay a tithe to Dagon of one third of their cargo or one third of their crew, the Leviathan cares not which.
The market seller informed me that the batik wall-hanging is made by Chinese farmers during years when the harvests are sub-standard for a bit of extra money and that good years (like this one) meant that there's something of a shortage. He's branched into selling incredibly tacky sunglasses instead.

I needn't reiterate the differences between Odyssey's Carthage and the historical one, especially with regards to dress. A lot of hearsay and colourful conjecture comes to life and is taken to its most compelling extreme.

The Carthaginian man to the left is a wearing quite a simple costume, with a black tunic, a sleeveless fur vest (or if you're the Designer, "a crop top") and blue trousers. The symbol of Astrate decorate his tunic and he has the tails of various beasts at his waist.

Elder Carrie has been introducing me to De Dea Syria, a text by (probably) Lucian of Samosata, as inspiration for Carthaginian religion. In its rambling, witty way, the text describes vividly cock-shaped idols, ritual prostitution, cross-dressing priests, temples built over abysses, miracles of severed heads and infant sacrifice.
I will tell you why this story seems worthy of credence. A human head comes every year from Egypt to Byblos, floating on its seven days' journey thence: the winds, by some divine instinct, waft it on its way: it never varies from its course but goes straight to Byblos. The whole occurance is miraculous. It occurs every year, and it came to pass while I was myself in Byblos, and I saw the head in that city.
To the right is yet another Carthaginian man (this time with half an animal strapped to his back). I like the asymmetry of the armour on his arms, but I wonder if it would be rather irritating in real life. I admit, they are rather similar (most of the Durham live roleplayers are going as Carthage so I was persuaded to attempt a few more Carthaginian sketches) and I should probably throw some more sky blue in there. It just seems rather difficult to say crazy cultist with light blue.

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