Louis of Nutwood

CDC2 Ancient Wonders: Tōrō Nagashi

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Tōrō Nagashi
Temple of the floating lantern
 

We are different from one another. Each guild is set in its own ways. Each part believes in certain tools, certain gods, certain values. But there is one thing that binds us all. In the end of every battle, expedition or course of life, our destinies are tied together, bound to reach the same destination. Death.

It is upon each of us to deal with it and understand what is beyond. Are the final days... final?

Mankind has struggled with these questions and yet, the absence of our loved ones haunts our nights. The fear of the inevitable is in our shadows. And it is always going to be.

The ancient scholars of the Yureishima Islands have pondered over the matters of life and death for over 3000 years. Their findings were written in a collection of tales in an old, forgotten language, and buried under their shrines and monuments of worship. Stories of honor, happiness and spirituality are spread across the world, waiting to be found and passed on. Some of these writings have influenced each guild, and how each family faces the last moments of one’s existence.

One tale, called Toro Nagashi, described the journey of a grieving girl that followed the lanterns in pursuit of her passed grandfather, only to find comfort in remembering his stories. Toro Nagashi gives name to the ritual of the Floating Lanterns, a ritual that honors the dead and makes us remember.

The ancient writings were roughly translated and are depicted here below.

________

Tōrō Nagashi, Entrance

The dim light of her lantern faded in the distance against the dark canvas of the night, and a single tear found its way across her cheek, leaping and vanishing into the snow. Tōrō Nagashi. It was supposed to be beautiful, to honor the souls of those who have fallen. But it made her heart ache, for that floating lantern only reminded her that even the strongest, the wisest and the most caring, perish before the gods. 

“Follow the lanterns”, Ojīchan said moments before embracing his eternal sleep. But her light had long vanished along the mountains, taken by the blowing wind.

That night, she woke to a distant whisper. And beyond the white veil that covered the world, she saw a distant glow cutting the stillness of the night. A delicate sparkle sliced its way between the trees, into the unknown. As if pushed by the old spirits, curiosity found her, and she followed.

Beneath a sea of stars, a radiant glare danced and twirled among the leaves, while the girl, ever so proud, ran in its pursuit. The closer she reached, the weaker it got, and when the glow turned as faint as the last remaining star, she found herself where only her dreams could take her.

Tōrō Nagashi Temple

A frosted spear pierced the night sky over a brilliant gloom. Behind a torii gateway, she realized she was staring at the work of the ancient gods, stepping into a sacred ground. Inside, only one lantern shone. But its gleam, reflecting under the red leaves of an old maple tree, was as bright as the sun.

Under a frozen roof of red leaves, she stood beside the one lantern that cleared the night and heard the familiar voice of her Ojīchan say “Follow the lanterns” to fill the void she carried. 

Eyes shut, her knees dug in the snow, she gasped the frigid air and found her Kokoro. Mind, body, heart, and spirit were one, connected to the invisible force that binds us all. A warm embrace held her tight, and she was taken by all the memories that gave immortality to the living.

Ojīchan would always be there. Always.

She opened her eyes, only to see the distant light of her floating lantern, flying away, beyond the crops, the hills, the mountain peaks.

Arigatō, Ojīchan

Tōrō Nagashi Temple

________

It is said that those who have gone, walk among us. We need only remember their stories so they will live forever in our every action.

Once a year, to honor their deeds and remember their legacy, the guilds perform a ritual of gratitude, influenced by the Toro Nagashi tale. Fluglytka, they call it in high Mitgardian. Aflygum Beorht in high Avalonian. Fanuteayim in Kaliphlin, and Uccelli Galleggianti in old Varlyrio.

Each person has its own temple, its own place of worship, a hidden place in our hearts to meet those who are gone. Find that dim light, as faint as it may be, and follow it. And you will find your temple, your gratitude, and your own place of comfort.

So, we realize they are never truly gone.
We need only... to follow the lanterns.

Louis of Nutwood,
A tribute to my grandfather Ojīchan (also known as Fiobvr, The Wise), who now floats beyond the frosty mountains of the North.
________

CDC2, Ancient Wonders for Mitgardia. 
Please comment. Would love to know what you think. 
 

Edited by Louis of Nutwood
Lore adaptation: Tales of the Yureishima Islands + Photos

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The design is just so wonderful. I love seeing the smaller gate from closer, it makes a great model even by itself, let alone with the temple which in every way takes the style and goes all out with it, and with the details and architecture! Such a lovely and firm color scheme. Great to see profile bricks backwards for woodwork. 

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For me there's no doubt: this is your best build yet! Your architecture has matured: there is not a thing too much or to little in this build, for the level of detail and the textures you have chosen. And all the components (building, gate, tree, rockwork) are well-placed and well-proportioned; in harmony with one another. In those regards, I see many improvements over, say, Valnötsträd. Oh, and it is cool that the build splits, and the torii it still works out. Also: better photography! Keep it up, mate! :thumbup::thumbup:

I do have some points of criticism for story and lore, but I will say it mostly boils down to personal taste. Your writing is incredibly poetic! However, to my personal taste, it is also a bit long-winded and cryptic.

Quote

Beneath a sea of stars, a red ribbon made of smoke danced and twirled, while the girl, ever so proud, ran in its pursuit.

^This line is a good example of this. I'm just not really sure what is happening. Is she chasing a red smoke trail, or is this a floating lantern (or are those one and the same thing?)? I'm not a native speaker, so getting through literary English can still prove challenging, despite years of English education and practice. 

Also, I would have put everything that happens before reaching the Tōrō above the first picture, for better understanding of the story. 

Lastly: the lore; this is set in Mitgardia? I think it doesn't rhyme with the Scandinavian/Viking/Dwarven aesthetic for Mitgardia, so I would need some kind context to have that make sense. In Historica, east Asian architecture is concentrated in and around the Southern Rakath Mountains (including Ulandus, Quarkyr in Kaliphlin, and Zotharith in Nocturnus), and off the continent there is a collection of islands called Yureishima, which is essentially fantasy Japan. I think your build would fit into those places well without much explanation. Did you have a specific reason for locating it in Mitgardia?

 

Lore aside, all the physical stuff here is outstanding, and I am really interested in your next builds!

 

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On 8/8/2021 at 12:27 AM, W Navarre said:

The design is just so wonderful. I love seeing the smaller gate from closer, it makes a great model even by itself, let alone with the temple which in every way takes the style and goes all out with it, and with the details and architecture! Such a lovely and firm color scheme. Great to see profile bricks backwards for woodwork. 

I'm thrilled you liked it, sir Navarre. It makes me happy to see you took the time to appreciate the little details: how the gateway and the temple match in style and the use of backwards masonry bricks, for instance. Really glad it appeals to your high-level taste. Thanks for the support, bud. You're a great inspiration.
 

On 8/8/2021 at 12:40 PM, Exetrius said:

For me there's no doubt: this is your best build yet! Your architecture has matured: there is not a thing too much or to little in this build, for the level of detail and the textures you have chosen. And all the components (building, gate, tree, rockwork) are well-placed and well-proportioned; in harmony with one another. In those regards, I see many improvements over, say, Valnötsträd. Oh, and it is cool that the build splits, and the torii it still works out. Also: better photography! Keep it up, mate! :thumbup::thumbup:

I do have some points of criticism for story and lore, but I will say it mostly boils down to personal taste. Your writing is incredibly poetic! However, to my personal taste, it is also a bit long-winded and cryptic.

Quote

Beneath a sea of stars, a red ribbon made of smoke danced and twirled, while the girl, ever so proud, ran in its pursuit.

^This line is a good example of this. I'm just not really sure what is happening. Is she chasing a red smoke trail, or is this a floating lantern (or are those one and the same thing?)? I'm not a native speaker, so getting through literary English can still prove challenging, despite years of English education and practice. 

Also, I would have put everything that happens before reaching the Tōrō above the first picture, for better understanding of the story. 

Lastly: the lore; this is set in Mitgardia? I think it doesn't rhyme with the Scandinavian/Viking/Dwarven aesthetic for Mitgardia, so I would need some kind context to have that make sense. In Historica, east Asian architecture is concentrated in and around the Southern Rakath Mountains (including Ulandus, Quarkyr in Kaliphlin, and Zotharith in Nocturnus), and off the continent there is a collection of islands called Yureishima, which is essentially fantasy Japan. I think your build would fit into those places well without much explanation. Did you have a specific reason for locating it in Mitgardia?

 

Lore aside, all the physical stuff here is outstanding, and I am really interested in your next builds!

Dear sir Exetrius, I remember receiving your comments and feedbacks with much joy and gratitude when I first started posting my shy MOCs, only a few years ago. It means a lot how much you liked this last one, and how much you've seen in progress. There's a little learning with every MOC, every picture taken and every time GIMP is put to use. It feels amazing to be around such talented and inspiring builders, willing to give feedback and push us forward. So I deeply appreciate your support, Sir Exetrius! I'm honored you put Toro Nagashi as 'my best yet', as personally I feel the same way.

About the lore, it's no secret I've been trying to improve my writing with every post. Along with the build, writing and thinking of the backstory is something I really like doing, so I appreciate any one who invests the time in absorbing whatever I put out there.

I'm glad you think it's 'poetic'! When we think about tales and ancient writings, I feel the poetic adds something to the ambiance. But I understand it's not for everybody, nor fast-paced. Sir Grover also told me how when writing fantasy, sometimes, objectivity works much better than subjectivity, and it's definitely something I'm working on. I'm not a native English speaker as well, so reading your reactions is gold if I'm aiming to improve.

Specifically about the "red ribbon", yeah! It's the lantern. I've struggled to find a different characterization / creative description but I recognize I might have taken a step too far. Haha.
As for photo order: makes sense! I'll definitely change that. 

Finally, the LORE.
Wait, wait wait... there's a part on our collective map specifically focused on Fantasy Japanese Mythology?! Maaan! That's fantastic news! I guess I'll head to the islands for a little while, as I nurture my manga-geek side. I honestly didn't know that. And I guess now... the Toro Nagashi ritual was indeed taught by the ancient scholars from the Yureishima Islands. Yes! I remember that now! The ritual has passed to the other parts of the continent, and each guild performs the ritual slightly adapted, under a different name. Fluglytka, as it is called in Mitgardia (as for other Guilds, I'll have to check).

The Toro Nagashi Temple, however, is NOT set in Mitgardia. In fact, it is only set in our minds. It was depicted here only as the old writings of Yureishima have described it. Yet, it is not well described at all. A lot has been lost in translation, and they seem to have chosen to describe it subjectively. See, the ritual is set for us to remember those who have fallen. But when the need to meet them is too grand, we search for the path of the lanterns in our hearts. And if we follow the light of the lanterns, we will eventually land in a sacred place (each person will land in a different one), to meet with our fallen heroes.

Honestly, I would love to see our fellow Guildies depict THEIR Toro Nagashi, ritual of the floating lanterns. I now wonder how Kali, Nocturnus, Avalonia, Varlyrio and Mitgardia each have absorbed from the ancient writings...

I hope some of it clears your questions, brother. 

Again, it is a joy to read through your comments and debate about the lore, strengthening the reality of this world we build with every MOC.
Such a pleasure, sir Exetrius.
Skol!
 

On 8/8/2021 at 6:42 PM, Spader said:

Excellently styled, looks very very nice

Thank you so much, Spader. You're the best!

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14 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

And I guess now... the Toro Nagashi ritual was indeed taught by the ancient scholars from the Yureishima Islands. Yes! I remember that now! The ritual has passed to the other parts of the continent, and each guild performs the ritual slightly adapted, under a different name. Fluglytka, as it is called in Mitgardia (as for other Guilds, I'll have to check).

The Toro Nagashi Temple, however, is NOT set in Mitgardia. In fact, it is only set in our minds. It was depicted here only as the old writings of Yureishima have described it. Yet, it is not well described at all. A lot has been lost in translation, and they seem to have chosen to describe it subjectively. See, the ritual is set for us to remember those who have fallen. But when the need to meet them is too grand, we search for the path of the lanterns in our hearts. And if we follow the light of the lanterns, we will eventually land in a sacred place (each person will land in a different one), to meet with our fallen heroes.

Honestly, I would love to see our fellow Guildies depict THEIR Toro Nagashi, ritual of the floating lanterns. I now wonder how Kali, Nocturnus, Avalonia, Varlyrio and Mitgardia each have absorbed from the ancient writings...

Nice! :grin::thumbup: I don't think you were in the Guilds back then, but five years (for GoH's 5th anniversary) ago there was the Safe Haven Contest in which we were challenged to make a new foreign land, and that's when @mccoyed invented Yureishima. It would indeed be interesting to see the Toro Nagashi done for different guilds or tribes! 
 

14 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

It feels amazing to be around such talented and inspiring builders, willing to give feedback and push us forward.

For sure, and that's one reason why the Guilds is such an amazing place! 


Kanpai, Louis! :wink:

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I already complemented your snowscape on Flickr, but I'm still impressed by how... snowy it looks!  Maybe it's the way the snow wraps the rocks, on the bottom and the top.

The entire MOC is really well composed, with everything gradually getting higher until the pagoda in the background.  I love your subtle textures like the reversed profile bricks.  If there's one thing to criticize, it would have to be the highest roof--given the snow, the gaps between the corner pieces and the main roof look a little strange.  Something I love though is that you chose to include only one minifigure approaching--it gives a real sense of size!  Great work.

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20 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

I already complemented your snowscape on Flickr, but I'm still impressed by how... snowy it looks!  Maybe it's the way the snow wraps the rocks, on the bottom and the top.

The entire MOC is really well composed, with everything gradually getting higher until the pagoda in the background.  I love your subtle textures like the reversed profile bricks.  If there's one thing to criticize, it would have to be the highest roof--given the snow, the gaps between the corner pieces and the main roof look a little strange.  Something I love though is that you chose to include only one minifigure approaching--it gives a real sense of size!  Great work

It's an honor you liked it, Kai! I'm very pleased with how the snow looks, wrapping everything, and I'm happy you mentioned it. Composition and presentation is something I'm trying to exercise with more care, so I'm glad you can notice the work here as well. And by the gaps you mean those spaces under the "arched" corners? Yeah.. I was struggling to achieve a cohesive look with that bent Asian corner. It's the only thing that bothers me a little, but still, I'm satisfied with final solution.
Kai, always a thrill to have your appraisal. Really appreciate your support, mate. Skol!

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Wonderful MOC!  I like how cohesive it is.  I think the lanterns are my favorite part.  The snow looks quite deep, but the clear path & stairs convey a well travelled (at least well-kept) path.

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This screams Ghost of Tsusima to me. I think it also really captures the journey that your character went on to reach the Tōrō Nagashi from her attire, pose and how the tan bricks gently slope up the the foot of the stone steps. You've captured the scene in a brilliant scale to each element of the build. The touch of the 4 1x1 round pearl gold tiles is perfect.

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21 hours ago, Louis of Nutwood said:

And by the gaps you mean those spaces under the "arched" corners?

Yep, it's a tricky angle to work with for sure.

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On 8/11/2021 at 4:53 PM, jtooker said:

Wonderful MOC!  I like how cohesive it is.  I think the lanterns are my favorite part.  The snow looks quite deep, but the clear path & stairs convey a well travelled (at least well-kept) path.

I'm really glad you liked it, Sir Tooker. The lanterns are the focus of the story, so I'm thrilled you liked them best. Cheers! And thanks for the support. 
 

On 8/12/2021 at 7:15 AM, Raegon said:

This screams Ghost of Tsusima to me. I think it also really captures the journey that your character went on to reach the Tōrō Nagashi from her attire, pose and how the tan bricks gently slope up the the foot of the stone steps. You've captured the scene in a brilliant scale to each element of the build. The touch of the 4 1x1 round pearl gold tiles is perfect.

Rageon, what a thrill to read through your comment! I did not play Ghost of Tsushima (mainly out of fear of becoming too involved in it), but while building, I used a few images and gameplays as inspiration, so I'm glad you captured it as well. I'm glad you mentioned the path, as I tried to take the viewer (and reader) on a journey. I'm happy to know it worked out. Finally, thanks for mentioning the 4 round pearl gold tiles. They are a small touch, but they sure add something of character. 
Skol, brother! Happy you liked it. And thanks for the support. 

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Very cool!  This seems to go along with your last tower build.  The snow looks great, and I love the path through the snow.  Well done!

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Oh my, you've really outdone yourself with the snow and rock texture. I've always admired the way you build them, and this is no exception. The occasional slightly yellowed white brick is genius. As for the temple itself, I really think its sober and elegant architecture and subdued colour palette suit the mood of the story. Same for the global composition of the main build, with the tall tree echoing the pagoda.

By the way, great idea to make two separate builds for this story too: it really helps picturing Toro Nagashi in a spiritual plane rather than a physical one.

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On 8/21/2021 at 6:24 PM, Grover said:

Very cool!  This seems to go along with your last tower build.  The snow looks great, and I love the path through the snow.  Well done!

I'm flattered you liked it, Sir Grover. 
True. It does match my last tower build. I was very pleased with the heavy snow landscape and wanted to reproduce it once again. And yeah, I've got to put those white slopes to use! I'm happy you see a connection and approves the build, mate. Skol!
 

2 hours ago, Aurore said:

Oh my, you've really outdone yourself with the snow and rock texture. I've always admired the way you build them, and this is no exception. The occasional slightly yellowed white brick is genius. As for the temple itself, I really think its sober and elegant architecture and subdued colour palette suit the mood of the story. Same for the global composition of the main build, with the tall tree echoing the pagoda.

By the way, great idea to make two separate builds for this story too: it really helps picturing Toro Nagashi in a spiritual plane rather than a physical one.

Skol, Aurore!
I'm really glad to read through your thoughtful comment. I'm thrilled you liked it, as I feel this might be one of my favorite builds as well. 
Ha! The occasional slightly yellowed brick is nothing but an honorary tribute to my oldest bricks, who cannot and will not be retired. They're as good as any other and are an intrinsic part of my builder's soul. Not really calculated, but I'm happy you think they add some character. Hah.
Some time ago, some fellow Guildies commented how my color palette of choice is rather somber and dark. And I agree that it is the case here, and I'm glad it matches the (quite regular) dark tone of my writings. Still, this display brings me more tranquility than anything else. So, I guess the colors work :)
Separating the builds was a way to facilitate the building process, really. Actually, the idea was to have only the gateway, as I tricked myself into thinking "I'm going for something small and simple". Eventually it got bigger, and I'm glad to have worked on separated pieces. Yet, I haven't thought how it could add to the story and the spiritual ambiance. And it makes me so happy to see how each person reacts a different manner to the same build. I'm honored it meant something to you, Aurore. 
Skol!

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1 hour ago, Umbra-Manis said:

Absolutely nailed it with the landscaping here, beautiful texture throughout that supports the tower

Really glad you liked it, Umbra! I'm very pleased with the landscaping here, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed it too.
Skol, bud!

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