Today we will be sailing the waters of the Portinus culture, diving deep to understand what moves these people forward and the process of creating them.
First of all, it is essential to understand that they are closely tied to the Mind Element, which means a strong influence from water and wind. They are fluid, love movement, change, and ideas. They are also a curious bunch and value freedom most of all due to their political past, which is a crucial aspect of understanding how their societies work. This culture mainly comprises Noet heritage and is known in Semisus as traveling merchants, sea explorers, and free thinkers.
They have a strong connection to the sea, meaning it is not hard to find buccaneers and merchants among the Portinus. That's not all there is to the Portinus, however, as they are incredibly creative, loud, communicative, adventurous, and festive, so their people often develop inventor and artistic traits as well. Their cities and settlements are rich in color, music, and loud arguments with lots of gestures. It's common to see small gatherings turn into big parties, and many festivities happen throughout the year, giving plenty of room for different talents to practice their craft: bards, jugglers, merchants, and even pickpockets. They also enjoy competition, so expect some sort of sport or physical challenges happening in these events and boat racing, which is very typical of them.
Portinus don't worship gods. Instead, they worship celebrities who rise to that status through great deeds or fame. Another road to that is being innovative: being different and original is highly valuable in this culture. Someone that creates something new and brings change is much more recognized than someone who had financial success repeating a typical behavior.
As we mentioned before, you will see lots of turbans and fluttering fabrics for fashion and dressing patterns, along with some leather gloves, belts, and boots (whenever they are functional). It also has long hair, braids, veils, laces, and well-groomed beards, garnished with stones necklaces, colorful shells, and golden adornments.
All this color and energetic aesthetic go into their architecture, with houses and walls being white, as a canvas, giving room to vivid fabric and flowers everywhere, as if paint, changing from time to time.
They usually settle by the sea, as water is a vital resource, and buildings usually expand over water with stone or wooden platforms or canals. At the center of their cities, you are likely to find a monument or memorial in honor of the thinkers of their society.
They are among the most egalitarian cultures in Semisus and believe that every individual should be free to become whatever they want to, including a ruler or king. That which they dislike doing is attributed to a third-party group of professional administrators, and this activity can vary from economic to even ruling their people. For this same reason, they expect their individuals to excel at their chosen positions in society since they are free to select their liking. They are famous for being happy, always singing and dancing with fluid movements, with a joyful accent when speaking. They look content even when fighting.
We gathered people from many different areas here at INSANE to come up with all this. From Audio to Art to Game Design, everyone came together to think of all the various aspects that make up a culture and give it personality.
For Art, the first direction was that they would be inspired in Middle-Eastern cultures, with lots of fabrics, layers, and adornments, along with the cultural wealth from that side of the world. However, they were given a beachy touch to match their sea-related identity. As the process progressed, they bumped into other interesting references that would add to the one they were building, such as traditional clothing from Bosnia, for instance, which at a first look, doesn't look very related to the Middle East. Still, they ended up being a great inspiration for the Portinus.
Their job then was to translate all this into the fantasy of Profane. How would a mage or assassin look in this context, taking these references into account? Some of the results are shown in the concepts we share in this post. Part of it happens only with the help of the artistic process, such as when the drawing "talks to you" and tells you what it's missing.
For sound, you've heard a bit of what you can expect from Portinus' music from some of our videos, but none of them are 100% Portinus. Being a fluid culture, they like to play instruments that can be picked up and carried around, so you can expect lots of spirited acoustic guitar chords in kind of a vivacious Spanish vibe. We want their songs to be very lively to match their spirit and personality since they are optimistic even when they shouldn't be. You can expect some samples in a few months.
So that is it for the festive people of Portinus culture. What do you think about them? What do you expect to experience in-game with them?