View Full Version : February/March Entry: Lokasenna (Loki's Wrangling)

Greason Wolfe
03-01-2010, 05:30 PM
Seeing as how there are only two entries so far, I figured I'd give this a shot just to mix things up a bit.

The map I have in mind is a fairly simple one (although, whenever I am involved in something, it's never as simple as it seems :lol: ). It is based of the Poetic Edda - Lokasenna (Loki's Wrangling), which tells the tale of Loki's punishment after slaying Fimafeng (one of Aegir's servants) and repeatedly insulting the gods. It is suggested, at the end, that Loki's struggle against his bindings as venom drips upon his face, is the cause of earthquakes. It is very likely that I will take some creative liberties with the story (since there is some question as to whether or not Loki's punishment is connected with this particular incident) as well as the map, seeing as how I couldn't find a good topographical map (or DEM file for that matter) related to Hlesey Island (commonly thought to be Laeso Island in the real world).

I banged this early WIP together in about an hour. It's nothing special at this point and is going to need a bit more work, obviously. The scale will probably change a bit, and the labels, as they stand right now, are there more as bookmarks than anything else. I'll be adding in a few more rivers and other terrain features as well as more detailed labeling once I've settled on where things are going to be. I'm not expecting this to take more than another week to wrap up, but, as I said earlier, when I'm involved, things never go quite as expected.


### Latest WIP ###

Greason Wolfe
03-02-2010, 01:18 PM
Ran a test render in Terragen after a bit more work on the rivers and lakes, just to get an idea of how this might end up looking. It's okay, so far, though a couple two or three of the rivers give the impression of flowing uphill in a few areas. I'm thinking that this is, for the most part, an optical illusion that will correct itself once I start laying in the other terrain features. I'm looking forward to giving my new TG texturing ideas a chance to shine with this, and, if needed, work out a few bugs.


### Latest WIP ###

03-02-2010, 05:05 PM
That looks pretty good.

03-02-2010, 06:32 PM
looks great so far! could definately steal the show here ;)

Greason Wolfe
03-02-2010, 07:27 PM
Eh, I'm not particularly happy with this render, but it gives me a better idea of where things need to go. I'll have to rework the masking a bit, and trim back on some of the "noise." Still trying to decide on the placement of other terrain features, but figured I would share the progress, even if I'll be taking a backwards step to fix the things that are currently nagging me about this map.


### Latest WIP ###

03-03-2010, 05:22 PM
Glad to see some Norse myth make it in here. Looking good!

Greason Wolfe
03-03-2010, 10:46 PM
At this point, I've straightened out most of the issues I had with the coloring and texturing (part of the problem came from the angle of the lighting), and I'm much happier with the results. I'm still not 100% happy, mind you, but much happier than before. I might still tweak a few things in the rendering process, but, for the most part, I believe I've laid down a pretty good foundation for the remaining terrain features I intend to include in this work. I'll be adding in more vegetation and forests next, well, the major forests anyhow, and changing the existing snow distribution such that it better matches the placement of rivers and lakes. Depending on how all of that goes, I may even try to add in a little wave action along the shores. Assuming all of that works out as planned, I should be ready to start labeling in the next couple of days and have this wrapped up sometime this coming weekend.

Oh, and the story behind the myth, of course.

I've been thinking about that a bit. I'll be using the Lokasenna as the basis for the myth, with a few twists. One of the things that's nice about working with myths and folklore is the fact that they are somewhat mutable things. If they are passed down in written form, the changes are generally subtle. If, however, they are passed down in oral form, the tales could change with some significance from generation to generation and family to family. And that is where I'm headed. I've got just a bit more research to do on the myth in question, well, not so much research, but defining/adapting some Old Norse terms. My hope is to give the prose a bit more flavor and make it more easily read. Fortunately, I can work on that during my slower periods at work.

In the meantime, here's the latest render in all it's glory. It's a bit bigger than before, and I set the camera just a bit closer to the surface in hopes of getting a little more detail than before (namely being able to see the narrower rivers better). The only real problem I see at this point is the coloring of the water. For some reason, I lost the darkness I had before. There's no reason for this loss that I can see at the moment, but then again, it's not really a problem, per-se. We'll see what happens with the next render. If I haven't found a solution by then, it's no big deal in my book as I happen to think that the current coloring lets the water stand out a bit better than before.


### Latest WIP ###

Greason Wolfe
03-09-2010, 06:29 PM
So I ran a test render applying my new texturing technique for the forests in Terragen. I was both pleased and disappointed at the same time. Pleased with the way the texture looked, but disappointed by the distribution. It wasn't quite as quick and clean as I thought it would be. Still, it gives me a good idea of where the technique needs to be tweaked. I'll be running a final render, with a new distribution sequence, tonight while I'm at work and should be able to label it in the morning and, as the saying goes, post an 11th hour final version of the map along with the back story. For now, however, here's a sampling of the forest texturing as rendered by Terragen.


### Latest WIP ###

Steel General
03-10-2010, 06:56 AM
For me, the issue with the forest texture is that it noticeably 'tiles'

Greason Wolfe
03-10-2010, 05:29 PM
@ SG - Yeah, that's an unfortunate side effect of one of the underlying surfaces. I've run one last render without using the texture associated with that particular surface, and while that's solved the "tiling" problem, the overall texture has lost some of its definition. I'm still tweaking the process, but I'm so close now, I can almost taste it.

Greason Wolfe
03-10-2010, 05:41 PM
And now for what should be my final image update. I'm not 100 percent happy with it, but what can I say, I've done my best in what little time I gave myself for this challenge. I've got a bit of editing to do on the back story, still, and I'll have to keep my fingers crossed that the threads will still be open tomorrow as I am desperately in need of sleep before having to go into work tonight.


### Latest WIP ###

03-11-2010, 10:23 AM
If I may ask, how did you use Terragen for this one? Did you just move the camera to a top position for the render?

Greason Wolfe
03-11-2010, 01:11 PM
Yep, a straight down shot. Centered the camera and target positions and then lifted the camera up until about 2/3rds the width (or length) of the terrain as defined in the SIZE window.


Greason Wolfe
03-11-2010, 02:09 PM
Gah, the back story, even after doing my best to condense it, is still too long for a single post, so I'll plug it in here (in two parts, obviously) and include it as a text attachment as well.

Lokasenna Back Story (Part One)

"Father," a boy once asked as the two journeyed home from the shambles of a local temple. "Why is it that the earth quakes as it does and that we must be thankful for such quaking. With my own eyes do I see that it brings naught but suffering and destruction."

"A pair of questions, fair, my son," the father answered, laying a gentle arm about the boy's slender shoulders. "To the first, tis Loki's thrashing that causes the earth to quake as it does-"

"Loki? But he is the Grand Trickster, the Father of lies. Why should it be his will that causes the earth to quake?"

"Not his will, my boy, tis his thrashing as he struggles to free himself from the fetters of his punishment." The father did not have to remind himself to be patient with his son's interruptions. He was of the skaldic caste, and it was in his nature to be patient with the young of the community.

"So, we are thankful that Loki thrashes so?"

"In part, yes. But there is much more to it than his struggles. It is the tale of Lokasenna, a tale that is long in the telling, and thus it needs must wait until our chores for the day have been completed."

Some time later, after salvaging what they could of shattered pottery and stonewares, father and son sat themselves before the warmth of golden glow of the hearth. With ale and warmed goat's milk in hand, the father began his tale.

"In Gullmungat Hall, upon the island of Hlesey, AEgir, whom we also name H'ler, and his wife, Ran, called upon the gods to join them in feast and drink. To this feast had come Odin, whom we sometimes name as Long-beard, and his wife, Frigg. Also had come Braggi, my own patron, and his wife, the e'er youthful Ithun. Of the Vanir had come Njorth, Skathi, Freyr and Freyja. Too, fair-haired Sif had come, born in the escort of Tyr and Heimdalr. Lastly there was Odin's e'er silent son, Vithar and Freyr's servants, Byggvar and Beyla. Many were the other gods and elves that were in attendance, including the Father of Lies, himself, Loki.

"Within Gullmungat, AEgir had two servants, Fimafeng, who is ever swift in service, and Eldir. Glittering gold they had, in place of firelight, for e'er is fire the bane of the Sea Lord, and save for that which Eldir needs must have for his tasks, never doth flame burn within Gullmungat. The ale came in of itself and great was the peace as Fimafeng and Eldir set about their respective tasks.

"It came to pass that the gods and goddesses, and elves as well, heaped great praise upon Fimafeng and Eldir, for, indeed, Fimafeng was swift with his service and fine was the meal prepared by Eldir's hands. But this, Loki could not bear. E'er is he a vainful soul, and such praise would he hear spoken only of him, alone.

"Thus it was that Loki slew Fimafeng. The gods, in their fury, shook their shields at Loki and raised their voices in howl, chasing him from Gullmungat and into the forest beyond. There-after, they returned to their drinking and feasting and boasting of mighty deeds. In time, though, did Loki return, for it was with the malice in his heart that he did seek to further enrage the gods.

"First upon his path did Loki find Eldir who sought to bar the Father of Lies from entering Gullmungat again. And unto Eldir, Loki did say, <i>Speak now, Eldir, for I would know what ale-talk they have within, the sons and daughters of the glorious gods.

"Of weapons and their might, and of their loves do the sons and daughters of the glorious gods speak,</i> Eldir answered. <i>But of the sons and daughters of the glorious gods, and of the elves gathered within, no words of friendship or love shall thou hear.

"Still, in would I go, to Gullmungat</i> did Loki proclaim. <i>For the feast I fain would see. Bale and hatred I doth bring, and venom, with their ale, I will mix.

"If in thou wouldst go, and feast thou fain would see, speak not with slander and spite lest thou find it wiped on the,</i> said Eldir, e'er steadfast in trying to sway Loki from his chosen path.

<i>"Bethink the,</i> did Loki then say, his voice a mockery of friendship. <i>If though and I shall strive with spiteful speech, richer will I be with ready words if though speakest too much with me.</i>

"Eldir then knew that with words, not, could he dissuade the Father of Lies, and thus did he step aside. Into Gullmungat did Loki stride, but when they that were gathered within, saw who it was that had come, silent they fell.

<i>"Thirsty I come into this, thine hall. I, Loki, from a journey long, to ask of the gods that one should give fair ale for a drink to me. Why sit ye silent? Too swollen with pride are ye gods that no answer you give? At your feast, a place and a seat prepare for me, or bid me forth to fare.</i>

"Twas Braggi who answered, for e'er is he artful with his words, and oft does he speak well of what others feel. <i>A place and a seat will the gods prepare no more in their midst for thee, for the gods know well what men they wish to find at their mighty feasts.</i>

"Long was it that Loki remained silent, baleful gaze cast about those who had gathered. And then to Odin did he say, <i>Remember, Odin, in olden days, that we both, our blood mingled. Then didst thou promise no ale to pour unless it were brought for us both.

"Tis true, this oath did I make,</i> Odin said. <i>And this oath shall I keep. Stand forth, Vithar, and let the Wolf's father find a seat at our feast, lest evil should he speak aloud here, within AEgir's hall.</i> Vithar, e'er silent, rose and to Loki did he offer his seat at the feast. Too, he poured ale for the wicked trickster. E'er did he drink, Loki raised toast to the gods and goddesses and to the elves, only then offering rebuke to Braggi's words.

<i>"Hail to ye, gods. Ye goddesses and elves as well, I give hail. Hail to the holy throng. Mighty are thee, save for the god who yonder sits, Braggi, there upon the bench.</i>

"And thus, my son, did Loki's flyting begin. Of those that were at the feast, few were spared the wickedness of his tongue. I am loathe to lay such burden on your ears as the words he spoke were most foul. Still, I will say of all he spoke in full, and of all that the gods spoke in rebuke, as well, though their words were much in vain."

Greason Wolfe
03-11-2010, 02:10 PM
Lokasenna Back Story (part Two)

For a time, the father spoke, his voice rising and falling, the tone shifting and twisting as he did his best to give life to the flyting that occurred in Gullmungat Hall. And the boy, as young as he was, listened intently, his gaze and attention never wavering. Only once did he interrupt his father to ask why the gods, in knowing that Loki spat nothing but lies, did not simply ignore him. To which his father said;

"That, my son, is the power, true, of a lie spoke from words of truth. For in all that Loki did say, there was some truth, twisted and turned to suit his ends. In the minds of those that knew his words for falsehoods, rose anger and spite, but in the minds of others did rise the potential for doubt."

By the time the father had finished re-canting the full of all that was said between the gods, the sun had settled deep against the western horizon, and both ale and goats milk had long since grown cold.

"And thus did Loki flee Gullmungat Hall, but only at Thor's behest. Across the straights he fled, in the guise of a salmon, and into Fjolkharvar Shoals. But there he did not tarry, for the gods, hot with anger and seeking vengeance, had given pursuit.

"It was into the Vimar that he swam then, losing his pursuers in the many twists and turns, in the lakes and rivers, eleven-fold, upon which the Vimar draws as it winds its way through the Elivagelfr Forest. Not until he was high upon the Norkengr Mountains, where the Franangfoss tumbles to the surface of the upper of the Harkaldr Lakes, did the Father of Lies think to stop.

"Here he built himself a cabin. Eight walls, it had, and a door in each that he might look in every direction, e'er vigilant should the gods take up their chase again. Here, too, it was that Loki, in his solitude, crafted the first fishing net. But even this was not enough, e'er did he ache to hear the voice of another, for it was only when the gods turned their gazes upon other matters that Sigyn, who is ever faithful, would come to lay with her estranged husband.

"Then there came a day when Odin, sitting upon his throne in Valaskialf, did spy the wanderings of Sigyn. Know, did he, that alone she would not wander lest it was in search of her husband, and thus did Odin discover Loki's hiding place. To him, did he call, the Host of AEgir's feast, and once more did they give chase to Loki.

"Once more did Loki take flight as a salmon. But this time, the Vimar did not serve him as it had before. Many were the traps that the gods had lain for the Father of Lies, and well did they steer him until up the slopes of the Eldingrisa he did climb. It was there, in the lake we now call Sigyntar, that Loki was caught by his own devices as cast by the hand of Braggi.

"Many were the sons and daughters of the glorious gods that howled for Loki's head that they would suffer his malice no more. But there, within the host, stood Sigyn, and unto the others, this did she say;

<i>"Words most foul doth Loki speak, tis true. And by both trickery and deed hath he caused suffering and death. But this I say unto thee, too, has he brought good amongst us. Slepiner did he bear thee, Odin. And Sif, who once was dark of hair now turned fair. Of Mjollnir did he help Thor regain. Let not yeselves become like him. Mercy art thou known for.</i>

Sigyn's words rang true in the ears and minds of the gods, and in their hearts they did search, finding that, of their own, they could not kill. And so, with the entrails of Narfi, did they bind the Father of Lies, to three great stones. And above his head, did Skathi affix the most vile of serpents, such that its venom might drip upon Loki's fair features. Then would he know the pain of flesh and heart he had sown in others.

"It is there, in the place known as Lokasbindi, that Loki remains. And there, by his side, sits Sigyn, for truly, she is ever faithful, bowl in hand to catch the venom such that he should not suffer overly much. Still, she must empty the bowl when, to the rim, it fills. And when she is away, venom and her own tears to mix, Loki suffers, and thrashes against his bonds such that the earth shakes with his fury."

"But, father, this does not explain why we must be thankful for his suffering."

"Think on this, my son. It is there, at Lokasbindi, that the Father of Lies suffers for what he has sown, and there he shall remain until the end of days. Thus a lesson to be learned that no matter how quick of wit, no matter what good you have done, it takes but a small dose of evil to earn the wrath of the gods. Too, there is this; If Loki doth remain bound until the end of days, then each time he thrashes so, each time the earth quakes as it does, is one more day that Ragnarok has not yet come upon us."