Though often classified as Mythical, sky dragons are very real creatures who inhabit the sky. Because they are translucent, they can only be seen if you’re in the sky. So they’re really only known to people who inhabit the mountainous region of Atur and, more specifically, the sky sailors.
Incredibly friendly, these creatures loll about through the sky, riding the wind. Unfortunately, due to their size, they bring the same dangers as whales do to sea sailors. They love getting close to airships, bringing the risk of tipping them over.
Starcatcher at work
There are several secret guilds. Vastly more than we’ve ever come across here at blue Cat Co. Though they are typically associated with dark magic, this is not necessarily always the case. Nevertheless, magic in general is a dubious subject in most places, so these guild associations are kept hidden.
These marks can easily be in conjunction with another guild, and are sometimes placed one on top of the other since the secret mark can only be seen when active. What the term “active” means and what makes them glow remains a mystery to us, but we will keep digging and hopefully uncover more of this mystery in time.
Sky Captain Imolianus in a rare showing of her shoulder markings
There are many instances of elaborate guild markings. They are permanent due to their time-consuming nature and awarded to those who have put the time and work into their craft to achieve a high degree of honor. Sometimes they are symbolic, sometimes decorative and occasionally completely pictorial and depicting a great feat.
In the case of Sky Captain Imolianus, she claims that they manifested after her fight with a ghost. The story is quite comical, but I doubt the validity. How does one punch a ghost after all?
Another common sight is where a person will have a tattoo in the normal configuration, but it will be filled with an elaborate pattern. Because these tattoos are permanent, the recipient typically goes through a series of oaths vowing to stay true to their guild’s ideals forevermore.
Next time we’ll get into secret tattoos and the dark side of the guilds.
Portrait of Dye Master Satski, with a full lower arm guild tattoo
A question was raised about guild tattoos, so I thought we’d take a while and talk about this subject over a few days, starting with general guilds.
I’ve mentioned the guild system many times before, but the guilds of Kanvala are no different than the guilds in most countries: a group of craftsmen or merchants with special benefits that you can join by showing skill and/or for a fee.
In Kanvala, to show that you are guild certified, there is no card, but you are marked by a temporary tattoo. The tattoo is painted on and wears off after a certain number of years. When it wears off, you have the choice to renew your guild status or not. There’s no shame in not renewing or pursuing a career in another field.
We’ll explore the different shapes of tattoos, the darker side of the guild world, tattoo complexity and secondary/secret tattoos.
There is a small island off the coast of Kanvala. It’s more of a lookout point than a proper island really. I recall a legend about this little blurb on the map. I will have to do some cross-referencing and dig up this tale.
“Deep within the sea caves of Rialan, kings of old made their tombs. This was a common practice rather than having a structure built, the maze of caves was adapted to form a tomb structure. However, because of the nature of the maze structure, one can stumble upon a tomb site with enough traveling. Of course, there’s an equal chance that you’ll end up lost, stranded or trapped in these tombs. Therefore, they are as dangerous as they are wondrous.”
~Excerpt from The Guide to Sea Cave Mazes
The marine region of Rialan champions sea life. Fish motifs show up in cloth patterns, pottery, bells and even this wood-burning oven.
“Time will roll on. We will have our feast, the dignitaries will go home, spring will come. But for now, we will take in this wondrous occasion and be merry.”
“Even the snow is magical at this time of year. Which is funny since we spend about six months of our lives in the snow!”
“The best night is the night of the ballet. The dancers prepare for most of the year for this special performance. They always make sure it’s a fun display, and they enjoy performing as much as we enjoy watching.”