Whales and elves and razorblade elbows

What do whales, WoW and Sylvari have in common?

What do whaling, wow and the Sylvari have in common? Only one is a tragedy but all three creep me out. When I was young I saw a picture of a whaling operation. The whale lay on its side on a beach and had been sliced into ribbons along its belly…to this day the picture haunts me. Whales are one of the largest animals ever to have existed. Hunting any being that is intelligent, and has a social structure that rivals humans is a travesty.

What about Wow and Guild Wars 2 Sylvari?

Anyone who has ever played World of Warcraft (WoW) has seen their version of the undead. No matter what a character wears, the bones of the players elbows and back, flesh torn from them, appear through the characters clothing, even armor; it appears the undead in Azeroth have bones that cut through steel.

As for the Sylvari – I read the book that comes with the collector’s edition, especially that part that discusses creation of the races. The artist that first tried to tackle the Sylvari said they looked like they were wearing a costume. That I could have handled, much as the character Zhaan from Farscape portrayed by actress Virginia Hey. That character was plant based but was portrayed as a bald woman entirely blue. (As a point of trivia, the only reason that actress left the show was because the body paint began to affect her health).

But the artist that first tackled the artwork of the Sylvari passed the task along to another artist.

That artist approached it differently. To be sure it was a novel approach. The artist asked themselves how a plant would imitate a human? Leaves became skin and hair; vines became bones. The artist said they pictured the body as being filled with vines instead of a skeleton. The Sylvari limbs where made from twisted leaves. The brows where made from where, in the artists, words, formed by the gap where the leaves did not meet. The image doesn’t bother some. My sister Fran who has played a Sylvari is one of them. As for me, the images of the slashes and the vines in a hollow body remind me too much of the plight of the Minke Whale above. It’s one of those images I wish I could somehow selectively eliminate from my memory.

See you online (but certainly not playing a Sylvari) Julie Whitefeather

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