August is the Emperor's month, so-called after the Roman emperor Ottaviano Augusto, a month that since the Roman age was dedicated to celebrations and holidays. No surprise, then, if people born in this month are inherently characterized by fierce megalomania and a solid passion for feasts and parties.
This year, probably the worst year of recent times (I'd dare to say the "Disney's Star Wars trilogy of years") I will brutally skip all the classic August holidays (you know: sea, food and travels) because there is a lot of work to do, and I couldn't be happier with it: there is tasty news on the horizon!
First of all, we recently received a lot of restocks and despite the store isn't yet 100% restocked, there is plenty of stuff to grab and the remaining products yet to arrive (including our undisputed best-seller, the Iron Titan) will arrive in a week or two.
I'm so happy with having so many stuff to sell, that I decided to offer you a big deal with shipping costs: if you place an order of 35€ or more, you can gain free shipping costs using the coupon code MIGHTYAUGUST
Moreover, we have almost fulfilled our first, consistent, distribution of products outside our forge: soon, a mighty host of Dwarves will reach the Japanese shores to claim those lands under the Durgin Paint Forge flag!
I've been extremely quiet about that, despite it's been a year that we are working on this project because I'm extremely superstitious and I feared for months that the pandemic (and consequent delays on production) would mess everything, but luckily it seems that the worst is over and we might be able to achieve an important goal for us. If you've read this blog (God bless you and your resistance to my potato English!), you surely know that Japan has a special place in my heart, and I confess that the idea that I was asked to distribute my products in Japan is so exciting: would the Japanese customers like our Dwarves? Would DPF conquer a solid piece of their hearts? Would they invite me to Japan to celebrate our everlasting collaboration, with rivers of sake and mountains of karaage? Would they choose Fumika Baba as the official DPF testimonial?!
I honestly don't know, but I want to stay positive.
Last, but not least, the Elf range is almost complete!
You've seen the Bard and the little girl with mandrakes, and now I'm happy to share with you the last characters designed for this range: the Gnollin Forge Master!
Despite it might look like one of those whimsical characters of the old Star Wars trilogy, this guy looks back on a bittersweet (well, more bitter than sweet) story that will drastically change the way you look at our Dwarves.
That of Gnollins, once, was a powerful race, blessed by an incomparable skill for what concerned the runic metallurgy, which they invented and mastered way before anyone else. Gnollin did create the ancient runic anvils and cauldrons and they used them to forge any kind of magic artifact: despite few in number, Gnollins were held in high regard by the other peoples of Inneath, so crucial was their talent!
Their history changed once they discovered the Dwarves, at that time little more than primitive folks barely accustomed to forging with the poorest metals.
Gnollins saw in that savage kin a kind of affinity: they were short in height and their hair and beard were thick and bristly, but above all, they had a voracious curiosity and an inner ingenuity for anything that concerned the metallurgy.
So it was in that moment that Gnollins decided to take the Dwarves under their protective wing, teaching them how to forge the noble metals and the rudiments of the Runic metallurgy: in their eyes, Dwarves were the perfect apprentice, a strong and talented workforce able not only to assist them with their craftsmanship, but also to protect their forges.
Despite Dwarves initially had been the perfect pupils that Gnollins wanted them to be, the masters of the forge didn't notice, or maybe they underestimate, that sinister spark that burned in the eyes of Dwarves: a fierce ambition.
Dwarves realized to be nothing but minions in the eyes of Gnollins, and secretly started to harbor some resentments at them. Moreover, since the first time they saw the mighty runic anvils, they craved their power for themselves. Gnollins, in fact, rarely applied their art to weaponry, being them a peaceful race: they preferred to create artifacts that protect lives, rather than destroy them.
Dwarves, on the other hand, were belligerent kin and immediately saw in the Runic magic a powerful resource to defeat their enemies with.
It was all a matter of time and the fuse of resentment exploded in open hostilities: the Dwarves betrayed their masters, killed many of them and claimed their magic anvils and cauldrons for themselves, an extermination that was quickly erased by their official chronicles and still kept in secret as a taboo, by Dwarves.
Only a few Gnollins survived the bloody persecution of Dwarves and managed to escape finding refuge in the depth of forest and mountains, and even fewer anvils and magic cauldrons were saved from the greedy hands of the bearded kin.
Deeply embittered, since the great betrayal the Gnollins lived in self-imposed exile, finding their new home in the mystical islands of the Fairy Court: inside the inextricable forests of those islands, the few survivors preserve their art still nowadays like gloomy hermits, seeking their revenge against those who brought ruin to their kin.
When I thought about the design of this character, I wanted to create something that seems to be born out of '80s fantasy: a mix between fairy/whimsical look and a grim, gloomy vibe. Gnollins might look like funny beings, being inspired to the classic Gnomes of old school fantasy, but I want also to suggest their sad and miserable past. For this reason, everything in this scene looks abandoned, almost forgotten: the ancient anvil, a masterpiece of runic power which value is far beyond the richest treasure on earth, lies covered with vines, suggesting that it hasn't been used in years and the Gnollin himself looks like a brooding dispossessed.
Once upon a time, Gnollins were the undisputed masters of magic, highly paid by kings and nobles to create mind-blowing artifacts, but now they are only a dim memory of that glorious past. I think that this scene shows perfectly the melancholic nature of these creatures.