Ravnica: Golgari and Rakdos

(Click for larger image)

The next two redesigns for the Ravnica: City of Guilds project are the Golgari and Rakdos characters.

Golgari
The Circle of Life and Death

The Golgari believed you can’t truly live until you die. With its vast horde of undead that served as both standing army and labor force, the Golgari operated in Ravnica’s undercity, slowly taking over abandoned and derelict areas like a fetid slime mold.

(From the official site.)

(Click for larger image)

Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Savra is Claire’s dark counterpart. She is also a nature wizard specializing in green summoning magic, but her partner color is black instead of white. With control over life and death, Savra wins battles by exploiting an accelerated cycle of decay and rebirth. Many of her spells can be retrieved for multiple castings, and others feed off of creatures being sacrificed or killed in battle. Her ultimate technique is Life from the Loam, which can retrieve abundant sources of mana from the memories of her fallen minions.

Rakdos
The Art of Pain and Suffering

The Cult of Rakdos was a thrill-killing, pleasure-seeking cabal led by the ancient demon Rakdos. Even as a force of chaos, the Rakdos were a resource for the law-abiding guilds; when the denizens of Ravnica needed an obstacle removed or an unsavory client entertained, the minions of Rakdos were happy to oblige.

(From the official site.)

(Click for larger image)

Page, Rakdos Augermage
Page is Gabriel’s dark counterpart. Like Gabriel, he utilizes red magic to control elemental forces in conjunction with technology. But instead of blue magic as his partner color, he uses black. The combination of red and black magic enables unrivaled destructive power capable of leveling large sections of Ravnica’s cityscape. Cultists of Rakdos enter a hellbent frenzy as a last resort. In this state they lose the ability to counter their opponents’ tactics, but they gain the strength to batter through almost any defense.

Azorius
The Rule of Law and Order

The Azorius Senate was the primary origin of all laws on Ravnica. The Azorius believed that their rigid system of governance kept nearly everything on Ravnica running smoothly. Justice is blind, and that included the guild’s venerable Grand Arbiter, Augustin IV, who some say was blind to Ravnica’s most significant problems.

(From the official site.)


Noel, Azorius Aethermage
Did not require a redesign.

Ravnica: City of Guilds is set on a planet covered completely by a massive city. There are no forests or oceans – there are only gardens and aqueducts. The ten Guilds, each wielding two of the five colors of magic, vie for control. While exploring an abandoned quarter of the city, Farseekers of the Selesnya guild uncover what appears to be an incomplete experiment. Researchers from each of the guilds descend upon the abandoned quarter, and slowly uncover the experiment’s true purpose. Rogue wizards, exiled from the guilds, joined their powers in hopes of conjuring a Nephilim, a creature that combines four colors of mana. With its magic, the wizards hoped to reach back in time and bring back wild nature into a world choked by over-civilization.

How do the guilds react to this? The nature-worshipping Selesnya would want to help the experiment succeed, to bring the forests back. The Golgari, who already use their magic to retrieve power from the memories of the dead, see an opportunity for even greater power in the memories of the Nephilim. The scientific Izzet and Simic would be interested for the sake of knowledge and discovery alone. But each guild, commanding only two colors of magic, knows that they will need the cooperation of other guilds to truly unlock the potential of the experiment.

(Comparative height chart. Click for larger image.)

Claire of Selesnya and Gabriel of Izzet agree to work together, but with their knowledge and methods of magic so radically different, they have difficulty understanding and trusting one another, and invite the disapproval of their guildmasters. And not all guilds cooperate as well as Claire and Gabriel – in fact, a new Guild War could be starting over this new source of power…

7 comments on “Ravnica: Golgari and Rakdos

  1. I liked Noel’s original design, so I’m glad to hear that it was kept the same.

    For some reason, Savra’s familiar reminds me of the Pig of Capitalism from Detroit Metal City.

  2. Hmm!

    I think Savra would look a little bit more mature if you moved her eyes upwards a bit on her face. The facial proportions you have for the characters all work fine for younger and cuter characters, but it helps to signify older characters by giving them slightly more realistic proportions. (Only just, as you don’t want the different to be too large.)

    I think realistic faces have eyes set in the middle of the head, but at the upper-third of the face. I think this means the face is three-fourths of a head, so that means the forehead would, in normal circumstances, stop somewhere near the halfway point between the eyes and top of the head.

    I would also raise Page’s eyes in a similar manner. That would make him look a little more threatening. Though that’s not to say that looking a bit like Lezard Valeth isn’t threatening on its own!

    Now I know you probably don’t want advice from the likes of me, but I think you’d get a little closer to Fate Stay Night in design impression by shifting proportions all across the board just one or two notches towards realistic. (Still being quite stylized, of course–this just makes everyone look a little more grown-up.)

    Come to think of it, I think using Page’s current proportions as the baseline would be a good start for Gabe. (Slimming him down as appropriate) Using the protagonist as the reference from which to derive the other characters’ proportions, that would bring it closer to the visual premise as written. From this, Page would wind up even buffer than he already is in comparison to Gabe-at-this-point. But you might be surprised at how cute Claire will still be even if her shoulders are one and a half heads apart instead of only one head apart. (I think realistic shoulders would be two-heads-apart, but there’s no need to go that far.)

    As an aside: I can’t remember being contacted about this project. I think I may have deleted the contact email out of instinct–I don’t usually open emails from anyone I don’t know or whose subject doesn’t mention something I’m sure only a real non-spambot person would say to me.

  3. Me again, just bugging about the names. Perhaps calling the characters John, Jessica, Michael, Michelle, and Keith would better suit for the realm you are basing this around?

  4. @Tibor: I acknowledge your comments, but this project is no longer my business. If you have issues with the names, bring them to the attention of Owen, who is continuing this project without my support.

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