Friday, March 4, 2011

Gateway Journal Day 04: Looking Inward

No Leystone for me today, instead I decided to hang out in a café due to the torrential rain.

Something I was told at the outset by my benefactor was to be sure to showcase the people of Gateway, and not just the architecture and the details. So I decided to sketch some of the patrons at the Tilted Table Café, where I am told the pastries are top-notch.

As I have said before, Gateway is full of people of all shapes and sizes, but there are definitely some types of people that you see more of than others, at least as far as I can tell having only seen the Canal City section of Gateway so far.

Humans are very common and are everywhere, with the same range of diversity that you might expect to see in a typical major city.

Next are the Torrans and Argethians.

Torrans are a very solid, stocky people with massive square heads, large hands and kindly facial features. They tend to range anywhere from 7 to 9 feet tall and have little or no hair on their heads. They have been described to me as spiritual folk, who are generally good-humored and come from a mountainous land where they lead simple, almost monastic lives worshipping nature and tending to well-manicured gardens. Here in Gateway, they seem to live pretty much like everyone else and are held in high regard for their mental and physical healing skills. The one exception to this is the Argethians, some of whom apparently regard the Torrans with some amount of suspicion, which has been known to cause “issues” in certain neighborhoods. I think it goes back to an old, bitter war from some time ago.... same old story, I guess, no matter where you go.

Argethians are a close cousin of humans , except they have skull-like noses, pallid, grayish skin, very small ears, and generally tend to look, well, OLD. Not to say that an Argethian can’t be healthy and fit in their youth like anyone else, the gentleman I sat near in the café looked like he was quite capable of beating me to a pulp. But an Argethian’s skin is tight to the bones in the face and somewhat wrinkled. Szerta, the woman who owns the pension I am staying in, is an Argethian. She tells me they look the way they do because of a curse placed on their people long ago by a God who was jealous of their beauty, but she sort of laughed it off as an old legend.

The Salorans, or fish-folk as they are known, are less common, but by no means a rare sight in Gateway. They tend to be more magically attuned than your average citizen and can vary quite wildly in size, shape and color, just like regular fish. I am told there is a Saloran who is as big as a city block here in Gateway. Apparently, as Salorans grow older and wiser they become more fish-like, losing their humanish legs and arms in favor of fins and fish tails and eventually returning to the Sea, if they live long enough. As such, Salorans can be quite old, I have heard they have been known to live over 500 years.

By no means is this the extent of the range of peoples of Gateway. There are folk who have 4 arms, some who are half-man, half-bird, some with floating heads or limbs, and still others with crab claws for hands.

Speaking of crab claws, one thing I have noticed is that a lot of stuff in Gateway seems to make reference to the Sea and creatures from it, which I suppose makes sense since Gateway is located on several major bodies of water. To illustrate what I mean: my coffee mug was adorned with sea shells and a sea serpent of some sort, and my snack was a squid-biscuit sandwich with lemon jelly. I know what you are saying, but actually it wasn’t bad! If you ever find yourself at the Tilted Table Café in Gateway’s Canal City, I recommend you try one!

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