the artistry and psychology of gaming


Water Area (Drakkhen)

Water Area (Drakkhen)

There is a land known as Drakkhen, which got its name by the eight lords who rule over it, also known as Drakkhens.  These beings are massive anthropomorphic dragon-like creatures, who stand easily 20 feet tall, if not more.  They vest themselves in moderate raiment, usually covering only the top half of their bodies, which is often armor.  While many of the lower beings of this land view them as wise and godlike, a deeper look reveals that they are just as foolish as humankind, getting caught in the flow of things like jealousy and warfare amongst each other.

The siblings, Prince Haaggkhen and Princess Haaggkha rule over the area of this land that represents water.  These two are greatly feared by their subjects, especially the warlike Prince Haaggkhen, who is among the Drakkhen who feel they deserve to rule all, despite the wishes of the real dragon gods of this land.  While earth is represented by a rolling plain, air by a snowy tundra, and fire by a blistering desert in the land of Drakkhen, the elemental of water is represented by a swamp unlike any I’ve ever seen.

Unlike most swamps, the ground itself is saturated very little, but there are a great many lakes about.  Now, one can tell that the ground is a bit saturated by its slightly darker color than that of the land of earth, but the typical swamp’s ground has a relatively uniform level of water, whereas this is compartmentalized in strange ways.  Perhaps this area was once home to a great battlefield, whether it be that of armies or meteorites, which caused a great many craters.  Such terraforming would explain why the water is concentrated into larger bodies, as well as why these bodies would be solid enough to hold it.

At any rate, the scenery is beyond comparison.  The moment you traverse the border into this wondrous land, you are greeted by the dark green ground beneath you, with the bluest of lakes stretched out as far as the eye can see.  These bodies of water have some unusual shapes, and are oddly geometric; very little curvature can be seen in their borders.  The concentration of water makes it possible for a fair number of trees to grow, much as they would on a plain.  As is typical of a swamp, there are a number of amphibious low-lying shrubs, as well.  One natural feature of the area that has me particularly enamored would be the number of black spots on the ground.  While I normally do not care much for the color combination of black and green, it looks very pretty within the context of a swamp, much like how the combination of red and green is quite a bit more palatable on a watermelon than on clothing.

The signs of civilization, both past and present, also add to the atmosphere of this place.  There are roads running to significant areas, some of which run over bodies of water.  These roads change color as they cross over, reminding me a bit of the Nazca Line Drawings, and perhaps they even operate on a similar principle of mineral interaction.  There are many broken down stone structures that look like they may have been the bases for small towers, or some other type of cylindrical dwelling, but they fit right in with the plant life, oddly enough.  The castles of the two Drakkhens are interesting as well.  Haagkhen’s castle is more traditional, featuring typical castle walls and a pointed spire in the center.  Haagkha’s castle looks a bit like a pagoda made of children’s blocks, and consists of red, green, orange, brown, gray, and beige.  The combination of colors is much more pleasant than it sounds, I assure you.

While this wetland is pretty on its own, what makes it truly remarkable is seeing it at sunset.  The way the reds and oranges blazing in the distant skies play upon the blue and green of the land below, coating it in a unique shade and blackening the leaves of the trees, creates one of the most breathtaking sunsets I’ve ever seen.  The sunrises are much the same, but in reverse, which I find to be a bit less enchanting.  It brings to me a nearly unparalleled feeling of serenity; perfect for an evening walk.  The land of Drakkhen also has a twilight that is best described as magical.  The red from the sunset remains while the blue of night floats above it, rather than everything blending together, so you’ll see stars dotting both main colors of the sky; it’s something you just have to witness to understand.

While the typical swamp is almost like a partially submerged forest, the biome has a greater diversity than you might think.  This, and several others I have seen, are a bit more like plains than forests.  What makes this diversity possible is that the biome is not directly defined by its vegetation, whereas most others are.  Usually, the soil conditions dictate what types of plant life can grow there, but when it is defined by the amount of still standing water, the source of life as we know it, it can be nearly anything at all, whether the vegetation grows high, low, a little of each, or none at all, creating a barren wasteland.  This is why, as an adventurer, you should never disregard a place, sight unseen, just because the biome is a familiar one.


  1. I admit I’ve got a soft spot for this game – it was my very first RPG. Beautiful descriptions. You do it justice.

    • Thanks! It’s always nice to hear from someone who appreciates what I’m trying to do. I’ll be honest; I didn’t really like the game when I first played it, but in my teenage years, I was messing around with it and became completely entranced with this area.

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