#2 – Nal, the King of Birds

| November 2, 2010 | 3 Comments

Ssilirians believe they’re descended from the birds. As a result, they treat all birds as sacred animals. Nal is one of the two sons of Iul, the Sky Father. He is the god of birds, athleticism, festivals, hunting, the arts, and the Ssilirian masculine ideal. He is usually portrayed with crests instead of horns, and is always covered from head to toe brightly colored in the manner of birds common to the area of Ssilir near one of his temples.  Nobody knows what Nal’s true skin color is, but Ssilirians widely believe he introduced the art of body painting to the people.* He is usually depicted with wings and feathered armbands, collars, and anklets.

Every year, the Nalian Games are held at his biggest temple. These are a series of competitions similar to our Olympic Games. Qul, the main character of Planescape: Metamorphosis, competed in these games once. He also presids over arts and craftsmanship, including painting, sculpture, and other handiworks.

* Ssilirians generally do not wear clothes. They live in a tropical climate and have naturally thick skin, so have little need to use clothing for protection against the elements. In lieu of clothing, they use body paint. Their habitat has many plants good for dyes and pigments, so they manufacture hundreds of types of lasting paints. Wealthy Ssilirians often hire dedicated body painters to cover them in a rich tapestry of body paint, similar to how humans might hire a portrait painter or sponsor an artist to paint a ceiling.

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Category: Fantasy

About the Author ()

Graduate student in history, web developer for a university, author and artist for Planescape: Metamorphosis, avid gamer, D&D, World of Darkness, and Guild Wars fan.

Comments (3)

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  1. JoeCook says:

    Good one. Once again, I really dig the color combo.

  2. KingGolem says:

    Cool idea, with the body paint. I, too, am digging these colors, and the marker-colored pencil combo gives these a unique look.

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