Ma`ai

[Long Description: A circular icon. The innermost circle consists of two strokes joined where the other terminates, equidistant in their symmetry. Surrounding this symbol is a corona of red triangles, pointing inwards. Flanking the emblem in each diagonal corner is another symbol, two staggered triangles pointing outward. Finally, it is borded by a thick black frame, with three stars mapping to every direction but North.]

July 29, 2020

I thought it was time for a new icon. I am unsure about this change, I may reverse it and look for something different. But! Here we are.

This design holds a bit of significance... There are a lot of icons in Moribund that I employ without explanation, so I thought it would be fun to explain the thought behind the ones that appear here:

The twin brushstrokes forming the inner circle have been Moribund's de-facto logo for as long as it's been around. This symbol used to have a name, but I was bad at both worldbuilding and conlanging in 2013, so we will neglect to mention her.

In-story, it represents the Brundel philosophy Ma`ai, often translated as “the fundamental truth escapes us.” For Asthaomics, it's convenient shorthand for the world-wheel and the concept of historical recursion, which analyzes the past, present, and future in cyclical expressions of the universe itself. Many of the peoples connected to the high Asthaom desert observe a world given motion by the warring (or lovemaking) of two ur-beings, a great osprey and a world-snake. Their complement in Ser culture might be endless knotwork, and the notion that the world is like a fractal, or a body of water; whether you see something as a single body or a community made up of many bodies depends on your vantage point. And so on.

The fringe outside the circle evokes the Sund, the starving star, and the motion given to the wheel. In relatively modern times, Moribund's Sun collapses into a black hole. It's not a big deal and you probably shouldn't worry about it.

Also included are the cardinal stars. There are three principle navigational stars that map to East, West, and South. But there is no North star-- hence the figure of speech “going into the Absent North,” which is like a fool's errand, losing your marbles, going on a journey you won't return from, etc.

In the corners are symbols of the Storm Bird. She superficially resembles the osprey of old, and sometimes gets likened to her. She's also one of few gods to be a global presence in Moribund. (The more meta significance is that she's one of the oldest characters in Moribund, and a personal favorite of mine that encapsulates the feeling of the world to me.)

The colors used are what I affectionately call “morb colors.” Specifically ones I'd associate with high Asthaom-- dark, desaturated blue-black, off-white, and an orangey-red. I like to pick colors that would be easy to replicate in the real world from pigments that exist in the area.

As for the rest of it... I just really, really like triangles and circles. They are the most architecturally and geometrically “sound” shapes. When baby lore was designing the circular symbol back in the day, she was inspired mainly by ensō, but I like to think it's grown quite a bit since then. (and I certainly didn't draw all this in two brushstrokes!)