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Artist's Guide to Argentum Age Lore
Argentum Age is set in a fallen world that once enjoyed a glorious Golden Age (the 'Gilded' Age), and has now descended into a much darker, war-torn Silver Age (the 'Argentum' Age).
The world before the Fall was characterized by peaceful co-operation, a high level of technology, and magic which was used to provide peace and prosperity.
The Fall has brought a dramatic end to the civilization that once was, it lying in ruins. A desperate struggle for power takes place with five schools of magic, each with their own philosophy battling for power.
The Argentum Age has regressed the technology level to something roughly equal to the middle ages, however many ancient artifacts from the Gilded Age remain, and are treasured and used. This leads to many parts of the game being characterized by anachronistic technology in many places. Items have been scavenged, and craftsmen even try to craft ancient artifacts into new tools and items.
- Pay attention to the school a card is in when considering technology. Generally, Minerva is the school most interested in using and understanding ancient technology. Materia will willingly craft ancient technology into new items, and Entropia is willing to use ancient technology in somewhat horrifying and grotesque ways. Gaea and Aether are both generally hostile to the use of technology.
- Artifacts might look advanced but should look very different from technology we might recognize from the real world. For instance, the Library card shows an interface which looks vaguely like a screen but is not recognizable as real-world screens and is shown against the background of ancient looking architecture:
- The people of the Gilded Age saw little reason to build weapons -- they were at peace after all, and ill prepared for a massive collapse. As such, while there might be an entire surviving building, the prized centerpiece of a city or town that has outlasted the fall, there are no sophisticated weapons. In particular, there are no recognizable firearms, lasers, etc. Include anything that looks like a gun or firearm very very judiciously. A gun-like weapon would be crafted only by users of Materia magic, and would be made from scavenged parts from before the fall. Such a weapon should look very different from any real-world gun, and appear to use some type of strange technology and/or magic. Example of a firearm in the game:
Each card in Argentum Age is associated with a specific school. Pay careful attention to the school a card is being drawn for as it should heavily influence the art style.
The school of Materia aims to recover from the Fall by constructing traditional human civilizations with laws, trade, and commerce. Of all schools, Materia will generally most closely resemble human civilization from the middle ages. Common characteristics:
- Buildings made of wood and stone. Solid and powerful.
- Merchants, trade, wealth, and gold.
- Traditional weapons from the middle ages, especially classic European weapons such as swords, spears, axes. Metal armor.
- Any magic should feature runes as the source of the magical power, preferably engraved in stone.
- Materia are happy to use ancient artifacts in their technology, such as with the Thunderer.
The school of Gaea aims to create a world ruled by the forces of nature. Wanting to construct a world full of animal and plant life, the forces of Gaea see humans and other sapient life as having no place in the world beyond that of other animals.
- Gaea is largely populated by ordinary animals, such as wolves, bears, and great cats, as well as humans who respect the ways of nature and the Guardians (see below).
- Gaea creatures prefer to fight with bare fist and claw or with simple weapons forged of wood and stone (avoid anything metallic).
The Guardians are a Gaea-specific race of mysterious creatures which ferociously guard the forest and ways of nature against attack. The Guardians are diminutive creatures that can vary from 2 to 4 feet tall. Their bodies are made of wood, and they wear masks over their faces with holes apparently to allow for vision and smell.
Guardians are agile, aggressive, and cunning creatures. They bond easily with animals and are often found riding wolves.
The school of Minerva (previously known as Sapienza) aims to restore the world to its perfect state by studying science and technology. They believe through knowledge and wisdom the world can be completely restored. Minerva's followers seek after any and all knowledge, including both magic and technology.
- Minerva magic should use bright, saturated colors, especially blue to suggest the possibility of either magic or high technology. Fire may feature in Minerva magical powers.
Race: The Acolytes
The Acolytes are an order of Minerva scholars who are devoted to rediscovering the lost secrets of the Gilded Age. They study in cloistered institutions where they read great tomes and books, and delve into the arcane arts.
Acolytes generally wear dark blue robes, berets, and are found in dusty hallways with artifacts that might appear to be from ~18th century, though there is always the possibility for anachronisms, with very futuristic looking devices present.
The school of Entropia aims to bring an end to things. They see this fallen world as inherently corrupt and wish to ultimately snuff out all life. Entropia may contain ghosts and ghouls and demonic creatures, however it also may contain simple priests and followers of a dark order who somberly believe that life is inherently destructive and would be better of snuffed out.
- Cold, ice, freezing is a common theme of Entropia.
- Entropia magical effects might use black, deep red, and light blue (for ice), or a sickly green as their main color choices.
- Altars, sacrifices, rituals, monks with robes are a common Entropia theme.
The school of Aether believes that the Fall was caused by lack of reverence for the gods, and wishes to establish worship of and devotion to the gods. There are certain 'gods' that will appear in the lore, though it is left intentionally ambiguous as to whether they are truly gods or simply powerful beings which are worshiped as such.
- Aether devotees see themselves as pure, holy, sacred. They try to dress in clean elegant robes of a single color or with simple designs, emphasizing purity.
- Aether creatures are devout. Others might see them as single-minded zealots. Followers of Aether are not prone to compromise. As such, Aether followers might be portrayed as intense, with harsh unforgiving expressions.
- Aether uses holy warriors and paladins to defend their temples. These warriors use traditional armor and weapons, especially pikes and swords.
- Aether magical effects should have primarily white color, and give an impression of divine, light magic.
Race: Priestesses of Rihn
Rihn is the primary Deity established in Argentum Age so far. Depicted as a Goddess with wings, the Priestesses of Rihn wear white wings on their backs to denote their devotion to the Goddess.
Priestesses of Rihn do not themselves wield weapons at all, instead relying on the powers bestowed on them by the Goddess. They are often depicted as martyrs, relying on divine intervention to save them from enemies.