We have been previewing some of the Ridend concept art recently and I thought before we do even more I would write a little about how I got to a Goblin based faction.

Every faction in Relics is based on traditional fantasy armies. The Vaettir are Elves, the Britanans are Humans, Orcnar are Orcs and the Nuem are Dwarves. But when we embark on a new race we take a traditional fantasy race and we twist it.

The twists are designed to draw inspiration from sources that are close to my heart but I also like to twist the reasoning behind the race existing. It traditional (in general, not a rule of thumb) for Orcs to be the aggressors who are spreading war and suffering everywhere; the Humans are the race who are fighting against the darkness whilst the Elves are the mysterious race of noble pointy eared snobs. Dwarves, well they love their songs and honour.

So, we take these races and twist them into something that isn’t traditional for them. In Relics, the Vaettir (Elves) are the ones to blame for the state of the world. The Nuem (dwarves) love pain and suffering. The Orcnar (Orcs) and the hard done by and the human are the aggressors.

But on top of that we look at ways to twist their look to make them stand out. The Vaettir are elemental, no surprise there. But we take a lot of inspiration from what I love the most. I personally think you have to be blind to not spot where the inspirations for a lot of the Relics look and feel come from but just in case you haven’t figured it out yet I draw a LOT of inspiration from the likes of Guillermo Del Toro, Tim Burton, Jim Henson, Brian Froud and to some extent Clive Barker.

I love anything that is created by these guys so it’s only natural that I take inspiration from them as it’s the only way I can show my love for their work.

I also have a love for history and you can see this coming through in the Britanans (Georgian England) and the Ridend (Medieval Europe).

I took the inspiration for the Ridend from two places only:

  • Brian Froud and the Labyrinth film.
  • Medieval Europe

It’s not hard to see the Froud inspiration, but the Ridend are not 100% inspired by his work. I say this because whilst I love the film and Frouds Goblins, I find them to be too rag tag for what I wanted in Relics. When I started working on the Ridend I knew I wanted them to be medieval and I wanted them to be honourable and pretty much ‘non-goblin’ like. So they got proper plate armour and no rag-tag look. We also ‘standardised’ the Ridend themselves with ‘beak’ noses and what not to have them feel more cohesive as a group. But I liked the posture of Frouds stuff and I especially liked the goblin mounts in Labyrinth, but I wanted them more colourful and feathered…. WAR CHICKENS!!!!!

Once that was all hung out to dry we have what we have – The Ridend!!

I do have to say that I can’t and won’t take the credit for Relics. Plenty of people have had input into Relics. The original idea for the Britanans came from my very good friend Paul Quinn. Christian Schwager, our artist, is also to blame for a lot of great inspiration. He seems to send me concepts for ideas that I have had trouble explaining yet what he has produced is better than I original envisioned.

Anyway, that’s it before I start talking complete rubbish.

Laters my lovelies!

Gavin