mccoyed

The D'Gatto Family (Immediate) - Varlyrio GC1A+B

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Note: This is the first of what will be 1-2 more builds showing the D'Gatto family. The next one will be "Extended" and, if necessary, another will follow as "Known Associates".

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Abelia D'Gatto is the head of the D'Gatto family, which traditionally passes power down matrilineally (common practice among Varlyrian Catfolk). Her mother left her with the family business: artifacts and antiquities and her father left her with vexing familial connections out west, including various debts, secrets, and obligations. She married an artist, seeking to expand the family business into art collection, patronage, and sales but so far this has been an uphill battle. Abelia is refined, but ruthless and has a famous temper. She makes it a point to attend major social events in Illaryian and the more important eastern Varlyrian cities and maintains a reputation for cold poise and withering wit, though she must also pretend not to hear the japes and judgments offered behind her back, or a half a moment before she is fully out of earshot. Abelia is the kind of mother that presents a different face, a different style of mothering, to each of her three children. Who she really is remains a mystery even to those closest to her, though Fel suspects it is reserved for herself --not that she appreciates it. Fel is Abelia's heir and she saves her greatest reserves of attention and disapproval for her.

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Pardo D'Gatto (formerly Sivaelurus) is from a prominent military family that is based in the borderlands between the two sides of the Varlyrian coin. They staunchly disapprove of "that woman" due to her family's connections to scoundrel catfolk that "give all of us a bad name". For his part, Pardo relishes his family's disapproval and often courts it. He grew up under the shadow of older brothers and sisters who followed the family trade of soldiering for the Rego. Pardo isn't a pacifist, but he prefers the life of the mind and isn't shy about it. He insisted on his children receiving educations that included an appreciation for the arts of painting, music, sculpture and dance. Fel was the greatest of his pupils, but it's Kass who has the spark of his father's talent. Pardo leaves most of the direct parenting to Abelia and has long since taken a step back to let his grown children figure their own lives out. Something of a recluse, Pardo doesn't emerge from the D'Gatto atelier for days at a time, which has proven a poor habit for an artist disinterested in the art community of Varlyrio and who is considered a middling talent on top of it. His marriage to Abelia seems to have been out of both love (for him) and status (for her) as well as an opportunity for both to step out of the long shadows cast by their families.

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Stena D'Gatto is the "black cat" in the family, having chosen a life of religious observance and militant service over all other pursuits. Stern and fiercely moral, Stena has officially cut ties with her immediate family, though unofficially that is not so simple. Stena has risen to the rank of Knight-Sergeant and her commitment to the Order of Sana Argenta means she can not inherit the family affairs from Abelia when the time comes. This made Fel the heir, a thing which caused a bitter rift between the sisters. They were once close, though opposites, but that closeness has largely become a memory that neither will admit pains them dearly. Stena lives in Illaryian but prefers to be out in the field, accepting missions and commands that draw her out into battle. She is also closer to the Sivaelurus family, some of whom are also knights of Sana Argenta or other friendly orders. Though Stena seems stiff and unyielding, she hides a romantic and gentle side which recalls her father. Abelia tends to treat her with coldness and distance, while Pardo is both repelled and attracted by her similarities to him and his own family, as if she could someday repair the rift between D'Gatto and Sivaelurus.

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Kass D'Gatto would be most families' "black cat" in that he is an infamous carouser and scoundrel. He prefers the company of his mother's cousins, the Diamantos, a family of grifters many of whom travel about Varlyrio in caravans. The Diamantos have a poor reputation among common Varlyrians, but some are considered akin to folk heroes in the seedier parts of the island. Kass prides himself on being utterly useless to his mother and father but he adores his sisters. Though his associations and behavior cause them both a lot of grief, they also have a lot of affection for him. Kass, though he hides it, is something of an artistic prodigy and has never tried a medium of art or music that he couldn't almost immediately master. He squanders these gifts, however, and instead tries to perfect the "art" of betting on horse racing while being drunk as a Mitgardian lord. Pardo puts more effort into trying to reign Kass than he does with the other children, though Abelia counters it by indulging and doting on her "baby boy". Kass is happy to take their money and sleep off his wilder nights under their roof, keeping them both just far enough at bay that they don't quite give up on him. But that's been going on for years and, as Fel is fond of telling him, it can't go on forever.

Builder's Notes:

Spoiler

-Ugh. My ideas for all these Catfolk characters are massively held back by the limitations of CHIMA Lego. :P
-The backstories here are extensive, offering potential storylines for these characters in their own rights. Hopefully I'll get to them sometime!
-I think family crests might go nicely with these Varlyrio family builds so I found an open source one, colored it, and added it as the D'Gatto crest.
-While I think Stena's armor is probably going to be the "default" Sana Argenta Knight uniform, her helmet is specifically "fancier" to denote her rank. Whenever I do a build that shows more of the Knights, I'll include different helmets and stuff. Maybe a figbarf to show the hierarchy of the Order.
-Speaking of which, Sana Argenta found her cup!


Some close-ups:

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I love all the stories and the neat vignettes!  The art is a great use of that tile, and the bookshelf behind the matron is awesome.  I love the water pouring from the barrel.  What piece did you use for that?

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I'm really liking all these figs, using cats is a lovely idea :wub: 

Also, the heraldry works great!

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This is great.  Excellent way to introduce the family with all the vignettes.  They are all cleverly done and you conveyed each character in the vignette quite well.  

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Love these figs, very nice collection you have put together here. I wish I had some more Chima faces myself, so that I could have a nice catfolk (or other animal) clan. I have only a few, though. Each vignette does a very nice job of illustrating the character of the fig in it. I especially like how the last (Kass) has some boards loose, like his lifestyle. 

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14 hours ago, Grover said:

I love all the stories and the neat vignettes!  The art is a great use of that tile, and the bookshelf behind the matron is awesome.  I love the water pouring from the barrel.  What piece did you use for that?

Thanks! Those are "special effects" pieces from the recent Infinity War sets. One is a pretty common piece, one of those springy ones that shoots out if you press it to a fig's arm. The other is more like a handheld blue flame.

14 hours ago, TitusV said:

I'm really liking all these figs, using cats is a lovely idea :wub: 

Also, the heraldry works great!

Thanks Titus!

8 hours ago, zoth33 said:

This is great.  Excellent way to introduce the family with all the vignettes.  They are all cleverly done and you conveyed each character in the vignette quite well.  

Thanks Zoth!

5 hours ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

Love these figs, very nice collection you have put together here. I wish I had some more Chima faces myself, so that I could have a nice catfolk (or other animal) clan. I have only a few, though. Each vignette does a very nice job of illustrating the character of the fig in it. I especially like how the last (Kass) has some boards loose, like his lifestyle. 

I have like 60% of the full complement of "cat/bear/wolf" CHIMA heads which can all be used as catfolk. I need to get the others, though, or it'll be hard to expand the Varlyrian catfolk population without a lot of repeat faces! Thanks for the notice about Kass's "loose boards" since that was very much deliberate. I don't do vignettes very often and these ones are all kinda overthought with every aspect meant to reflect things about the characters. :P

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These are very nice work @mccoyed! So nice in fact that, when I do my character introductions for Varlyrio (which I'm 99% sure is the guild for me) I will probably do them in a similar style.

I love the way you've laid down some basic catfolk cultural niches and there's huge scope for some epic tales with these characters!

Glad to see the propogation of @narbilu's sword and cup religion, I think that will be a great way to flesh out Varlyrio.

Edited by Basiliscus
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45 minutes ago, Basiliscus said:

Glad to see the propogation of @narbilu's sword and cup religion, I think that will be a great way to flesh out Varlyrio.

That was actually McCoyed's

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Cool family, although I agree about Chima's limitations.  I wonder if you thought about using the head pieces from Chima too?  Or would that have been even more limiting?  Anyway, you have some great combos and also the vigs, particularly the one with Kass, are awesome. Nice water pouring effect! 

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10 hours ago, Basiliscus said:

These are very nice work @mccoyed! So nice in fact that, when I do my character introductions for Varlyrio (which I'm 99% sure is the guild for me) I will probably do them in a similar style.

I love the way you've laid down some basic catfolk cultural niches and there's huge scope for some epic tales with these characters!

Glad to see the propogation of @narbilu's sword and cup religion, I think that will be a great way to flesh out Varlyrio.

Thanks. That's high praise and it'd be cool to see more vignettes to go along with figs. I'm a big fan of making custom figs and Varlyrio's challenges provide a lot of opportunities.

9 hours ago, narbilu said:

That was actually McCoyed's

:grin:

4 hours ago, W Navarre said:

Cool family, although I agree about Chima's limitations.  I wonder if you thought about using the head pieces from Chima too?  Or would that have been even more limiting?  Anyway, you have some great combos and also the vigs, particularly the one with Kass, are awesome. Nice water pouring effect! 

I don't really like the head-helmet pieces from CHIMA because they make the figs have ridiculously oversized heads. A few are cool and have multiple applications, but the bobble-head thing isn't something I'd wanna recreate in a MOC.

1 hour ago, Basiliscus said:

Oops...apologies for the mis-attribition!

No worries.

1 hour ago, Andrew Spader said:

Love the intro here, might have to have Orsen Waythe meet some of these fine people.....

How fine they are sort of depends on what kind of guy Orsen is. :P

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I like the bookshelf in the Abelie build, and her character seems very interesting.

Pardo is a nice character design, I like the idea of an artist.  The use of the stickered tile for a painting is awesome, and I like the stool design.

Stena looks like a great knight, and I absolutely love that visor for medieval characters.

Kass looks as much a scoundrel as he sounds.  Nice piece usage with the water in the barrels, and the stonework on the base looks adequately worn.

Overall, this is a nice introduction to the family, and I'm looking forward to more from them.  I like the descriptions quite a bit, and the building techniques used are simple but effective.  And I agree with you about the usage of the head pieces.  Most Chima characters actually look better like this.

Good work!

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15 hours ago, x105Black said:

I like the bookshelf in the Abelie build, and her character seems very interesting.

Pardo is a nice character design, I like the idea of an artist.  The use of the stickered tile for a painting is awesome, and I like the stool design.

Stena looks like a great knight, and I absolutely love that visor for medieval characters.

Kass looks as much a scoundrel as he sounds.  Nice piece usage with the water in the barrels, and the stonework on the base looks adequately worn.

Overall, this is a nice introduction to the family, and I'm looking forward to more from them.  I like the descriptions quite a bit, and the building techniques used are simple but effective.  And I agree with you about the usage of the head pieces.  Most Chima characters actually look better like this.

Good work!

Thanks for all the detailed feedback, Black. I ordered some more CHIMA heads that I don't have so I think I'll be introducing some of the other families mentioned above. The Diamantos and Sivaeluruses.

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1 hour ago, mccoyed said:

Thanks for all the detailed feedback, Black. I ordered some more CHIMA heads that I don't have so I think I'll be introducing some of the other families mentioned above. The Diamantos and Sivaeluruses.

No problem.  And for the record, I love that you made a family of Catfolk.  You've inspired me to bring some of my own Chima heads into play.

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Superb series of vignettes, and the accompanying descriptions give a great picture of the D'Gatto Family :thumbup:
Neat bench and dark tan podium in Abelia's scene, and the large column by Stena is lovely :classic:

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On 8/28/2018 at 12:27 PM, x105Black said:

No problem.  And for the record, I love that you made a family of Catfolk.  You've inspired me to bring some of my own Chima heads into play.

Can always use more fantasy species and races in Historica IMO! Or you can just create a clan of Varlyrian or Kaliphlin catfolk. Mitgardia also has the Wolf Clan too.

5 hours ago, soccerkid6 said:

Superb series of vignettes, and the accompanying descriptions give a great picture of the D'Gatto Family :thumbup:
Neat bench and dark tan podium in Abelia's scene, and the large column by Stena is lovely :classic:

Thanks, SK. Looking at the column again, though, there are too many gaps at the base and top. I should have chosen an angle for the pic that hid those or just fixed them with bricks. :P

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Such a great way to make a presentation of your figs!! Love all the details you have in the small mocs!

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Very nice figures and fitting backstories :classic: 
I love how diverse Varlyrio is turning out!

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Excellent Vignettes and excellent story. As others have said, you`ve done a great job fleshing out each character, and embellishing on the characteristics of felines and Varlyria as you weave these elements into the bios. Fantastic work!

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reading this now.. I love it! catfolk, a clan of those! nice figs and vignettes for each one, intriguing and well-written background stories. well done! :thumbup: now I wanna see Fel! (or have you already done that and I've missed it last months?)

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On 9/1/2018 at 6:59 AM, de Gothia said:

Such a great way to make a presentation of your figs!! Love all the details you have in the small mocs!

Thanks, but I borrowed the presentation style from other Varlyrio builders. Now it's kind of a loose norm!

On 9/6/2018 at 3:25 PM, Gideon said:

Very nice figures and fitting backstories :classic: 
I love how diverse Varlyrio is turning out!

Thanks!

On 10/25/2018 at 9:04 AM, Rogue Angel said:

Excellent Vignettes and excellent story. As others have said, you`ve done a great job fleshing out each character, and embellishing on the characteristics of felines and Varlyria as you weave these elements into the bios. Fantastic work!

Thanks. It was really fun and I'll be doing some more soon.

On 10/25/2018 at 2:45 PM, en_zoo said:

reading this now.. I love it! catfolk, a clan of those! nice figs and vignettes for each one, intriguing and well-written background stories. well done! :thumbup: now I wanna see Fel! (or have you already done that and I've missed it last months?)

I didn't include Fel just because she's featured in all the builds. I guess I could have included her here! She has a build and a bio in the Varlyrio thread but I suppose non-Varlyrians may have missed that.

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