Magnus the Bloody Handed: A Norn in a Changed World

A slow grin began to appear on Magnus’s face, extending into his eyes. “The people of Lion’s Arch are my people. I have chosen my battles. ” Magnus shook his head and laughed ruefully. “The world is changing, Eir Stegalkin. You must change with it. Perhaps I should ask you to join me. Get some sun on that lily skin.

The pirate city of Lion’s Arch is a place of great contradictions; mortal enemies walk side-by-side in relative peace, it is built upon the combined ruins of the former great and righteous Krytan capitol city and the lowly and broken debris of wrecked pirate ships –it is a city of heroes and a city of villains. It follows that the big cheese of such a place would be rife with contradictions of his own; Magnus the Bloody Handed is such a norn.

Norn Pirate

Thought to be Magnus (although, Magnus has 2 eyes, so possibly not!)

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I Want a Norn Girlfriend…

Where you lead, I shall follow my lady...

Does this shock you yet? Or are you simply rolling your eyes and saying- here we go again. The real life irony is the woman I was married to, her maiden name was Noernberg.  One would think that would remind me of her, but hardly. It is merely an interesting bit of trivia…

At any rate, I want a norn girlfriend.

Throughout my research I have actually come to embrace the norn, to the point where I am seriously thinking the norn character I end up making may well be my main. This will be a grand departure for me, since I ALWAYS play the “human” in MMORPGs. The norn are close enough, however, that they count as human to me, if not larger than life.  Now one thing that is noticeable in ArenaNet’s canon of Guild Wars 2, is the dearth of information about the norn origins.  I am certain ArenaNet will fill in the blanks when the time comes… But where as a race did they evolve from? Are they, as some speculate, descended from the Kodan (giant polar bears), or a mutation of human over the years, adapting the strongest of their genomes to survive in their hardy climate? Were they magically created like the Sylvari? Thus far little is known about how they came into being, only that their civilization has been around for a while, and they are a very proud folk whose tales are about as epic as their daily lives aspire to be.

So why WOULD I want a norn girlfriend anyway? Well, perhaps this sampling of what I have learned about the race might clue you in as to why I have taken a liking to them. Thirteen seems like a good number, since there are 13 cycles of the moon (often tied to women). Here we go then, 13 reasons why I want a norn girlfriend:
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Drawing Guild Wars #001 : Norn Initiate

Drawing is a bit of a process for me. I have no set style for some reason. I used to do comissions for in-game gold. That worked out pretty well but in the end I realized I could just farm Zkeys and make money way faster.

Anyway, I’ve been back and forth with the drawing bit. It’s hard to get inspired sometimes, since I’m a designer by profession and it sucks the creative juice out of me.
I generally do fanart one of two ways. Style a) I sketch in a light colored pencil, ink over with pens, scan, photoshop out the sketch, and digitally color. 2nd way is sketching and then doing the lines and colors all digitally.

I’ve been working on a teenaged norn drawing for months now. I thought I’d show the progress.

It starts with a basic pencil sketch. Usually goes through a few changes.  I decided she looked a little too much like Jora, so when I went in to add detail I fixed her hair to make her look a little different.

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The Norn & The Kodan: Arctic situation heating up?

The last piece of news Anet published for us was a lore pearl, an in-depth overview of an NPC race we’ll probably have to deal with in Gw2: the Kodan!

 

The Kodan are a proud race of polar bear people, guided by both a spiritual and a military leader, living their lives on floating icebergs that they sail on around the arctic seas. They venerate Koda, who once formed the world and elected the Kodan as the chosen race to guide and protect the spirits of this world.
Beside the awesome description of this race’s habits, religion and culture, Eric Flannum has brought up the relationship between the Kodan and the Norn. Since they shapeshift into bears that’s pretty logical, however something here sounded terribly off-key to my ears…

“The Kodan do not claim any connection or relationship to the norn race, but some Voices (Kodan’s spiritual leaders) choose to interpret early stories of a lost group of Kodan as an explanation of the origin of the norn. If this is true, they argue, then the norn are failed Kodan who have forgotten their place as judges and protectors of the balance, and that is why their true “bear” form has been replaced with a fragile, furless state. Because of this pressure from their shaman, the Kodan often treat the norn as spiritual failures, possibly even a race moving backwards in the cycle of life, toward primitivism and destruction — and that even as the dwarves before them, if this is true, the norn are a race on the edge of extinction.” Continue reading