Durgin Paint Forge: Tortuga Preview
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The legendary Tortuga!
Tortuga is a name whispered with a mix of fear and excitement in all the inns of Inneath, when the fumes of alcohol have done their duty and adventurers let themselves go to increasingly imaginative and exaggerated tales.
The legends born around this mysterious figure are indeed many, and although the details may vary considerably, they all agree on one fundamental point: it’s better to stay away from him!
The Orcs tell that a long time ago, when Inneath was still young, a particularly cunning and ambitious goblin merchant managed to amass immense wealth in a short time thanks to the most deceitful tricks and refined scams, a true master of deception: all qualities highly appreciated and envied in their society!
No one remembers, nor perhaps ever really knew, his true name: everyone simply knew him as „Tortuga“ because he roamed Inneath on the back of a gigantic turtle.
Doing business with Tortuga was like throwing oneself barehanded into the jaws of a bear hoping to come out with a nice new fur, but those few who could rival his cunning and managed to impress him were rewarded with treasures and relics worthy of the chest of the richest of kings. In his travels, Tortuga had not only accumulated gold and precious stones but also ancient artifacts, arcane relics, and… lost knowledge.
It was said that Tortuga could grant any wish, of course, at the right price. However, few were able to truly understand the extent of the „right price“…
It is said that Tortuga even managed to negotiate with Death itself, jealous of his success and curious to understand how the Goblin had managed to elude her for so long, considering the short lifespan of his kind: Death felt deceived and robbed and demanded her tribute.
Tortuga revealed the secret of his longevity to Death, who, although impressed by the Goblin’s audacity, flew into a rage at the actual theft she had suffered. Tortuga proposed an agreement to Death, promising to compensate for each stolen year of life with three hundred years of service to her.
And so, the ambitious goblin not only became Death’s emissary, a legendary figure throughout Inneath but also practically immortal!
Meeting Tortuga is said to be both a curse and a blessing: within his creaky flowered cart lie treasures beyond human imagination, but Death’s protégé has long ceased to trade them for coins and doubloons, insignificant objects in the eyes of his patron. It is with souls and years of life that business is conducted, now!!
Tortuga is the last kit designed for the „Orcs of Inneath„ (well, there will be more if the campaign is as successful as I hope, but for now, I don’t want to raise expectations too much), so I wanted something… unique!
I have never had so much fun creating a range of miniatures, and I must confess that thanks to these Orcs and Goblins, I have truly unleashed my imagination (perhaps too much!). So when it came to what should have been the icing on the cake for this project, I said to myself: why not dare even more?!
The Orcs of Inneath are a collection full of picturesque and eccentric characters, and I wanted to end it with a memorable piece, something that would make you say, „Okay, this guy is crazy!“.
The idea of a Goblin Merchant had been buzzing in my head for some time, although I didn’t have a clear concept in mind. The Orcs of Inneath have a very distinct characterization, inspired not only by the theme of Spanish conquistadors but also by the narrative thread related to the Old West and Mexican folklore linked to the Dia de los Muertos. So, I wanted to stay true to these coordinates and create something that could tie together the various threads of my Orcs‘ design in a grand conclusion, a central element that could best summarize the creative efforts I put into convincing you to submerge me in gol-ehm… inspiring you with a unique range.
Tortuga is a triumph of details, a quirky and picturesque caravan that wanders through Inneath precariously balanced on a gigantic tortoise. I adore crooked and unrealistic architecture, all those disproportionate and nonsensical things (like Howl’s Moving Castle, for example) that have no place in our ordinary lives governed by common sense (more or less) and respect for the laws of mechanics and physics.
In fact, I believe this is the role of fantasy literature and art, including its miniature incarnation: to enthuse us with something that defies everything we are accustomed to seeing in our everyday lives!
Tortuga is an itinerant merchant, and I thought it would be interesting if he didn’t just have a simple collection of items but an actual shop! The (mad) architecture of Tortuga’s shop is a mix of classic gypsy caravans and traditional Mexican Territorial-style houses, decorated with countless flower vases, candles, and wrought-iron details. Just like with the Orc Bounty Hunter, here too, I wanted to maximize the contrast between the character’s sinister appearance and the vibrant colors of the floral theme.
I chose the tortoise not only because it is a splendid animal full of personality but also because it represents the character’s background well: Tortuga is an unnaturally long-lived goblin, becoming the emissary of Death herself, slow and inexorable. These are all characteristics that go well with a tortoise!
The theme of death is central in Orc society, a strong archetype that I wanted to reinterpret in a more layered way. Usually, Orcs are depicted as bloodthirsty warriors, where the theme of death is expressed in an exclusively martial manner. But for the Orcs of Inneath, death has a more existential and personal role, as they are characterized by very short lives.
I wanted to draw inspiration from Mexican folklore related to the Day of the Dead because I have always admired their approach to this theme that is common to all of us. Growing up in a Catholic context, I was accustomed to seeing death in dark and sad hues, with a sense of fear and resignation. The joyful and colorful approach with which the Dia de los Muertos is celebrated has always been a source of inspiration and comfort for me. I wanted to convey some of these emotions in my Orcs, who are the creatures closest to Death in all of Inneath but have learned to befriend her for precisely this reason!!
As for the Goblin himself, the idea was to create a kind of Rumpelstiltskin in Inneath sauce, one of those shady characters best to keep away from but capable, alas, of having a great influence on people’s souls by leveraging their dreams, ambitions, and desires. Part merchant, part gambler, part devil tempter: that’s how I imagine this cunning goblin!
It is undoubtedly a complex kit that will test your skills (…and significantly increase the production costs of this range, but we only live once, right?!), but I must say that the result is incredibly satisfying. I rarely feel fully satisfied with something I have conceived, but Tortuga definitely falls into that category.
With this piece, at least for now, this new creative project comes to a close (stretch goals aside, which you will see in the coming months), and I couldn’t be happier with how this range has turned out.
Quelle: Durgin Paint Forge