It is March! I wanted to have some bigass post for you lot for that preveriously referred BTWP announcement, but alas, that is not happening because I am run down with a cold and my plans for this month work-wise have been recently shuffled to accommodate other things. So, I merely have this considerably less exciting offering of WIPs and ugly sketches. Wow!

That announcement however is still going to happen, albeit changed from what I had originally intended. What I wanted to be able to share was “the BTWP blog is LIVE, WOO” with much excitement, BUT. But, the blog isn’t ready yet. The URL has been reserved but due to tackling a lot of unrelated but extremely important work I am far behind where I wanted to be this month. At this point the grand majority of what’s “left” to be done is mostly just writing, which I really don’t want to rush. Anyway, the WIPs above are the arguably final designs for the Koopalings as children. Morton’s a little taller than he actually should be (he’s only 8 at this particular point), but I’ll fix that later. Roy and Wendy have yet to be finalised, so they are not included.

This will probably be the last post regarding BTWP that will appear here before the blog itself goes live, since I would like to save some of the remaining (and currently finished) vis-dev work for the blog itself for some kind of special intermission upload or whatever between Acts (and because insofar as I’m concerned, this break isn’t over yet). However before I leap screaming back into the void of “I’m not here”, I want to share with you fabulously patient people some notes on the background setting under which BTWP is going to be operating. Are you excited? I hope you are because I sure am yeah!

EXPO-ACT1: At this time, the Mushroom Kingdom is at war with the Sarasan Kingdom, contesting over land. The territory is laced with mycelium, the physical reach of the two rulers: Peach and Daisy. Daisy has begun to push for more land, as the Sarasa is no longer suited to her survival due to desertification of an already arid clime, and will eventually kill her and her people, the Goombas. The fungroid people, Goombas and Toads, spread by way of mycelium - primarily from the mycelium spread by Daisy and Peach. The peoples of both Kingdoms are fruiting bodies of the original spore cluster(s), and will lay mycelium in new areas upon settling to reproduce. Daisy’s and her people’s mycelium is no longer able to draw nutrients from the South and Southwest of her Kingdom, forcing a migration. Daisy and her people are basal in instinct and intelligence, they do not grow crops for primary / secondary sustenence, and are considered parasites by their neighbours. The spread of Goombas spoils agricultural plots, spreading premature rot and fungal disease. The Sarasan Kingdom cannot be reasoned with on the issue of political borders [“NO. MORE LAND. LAND.”], resulting in violent conflict between the two fungal groups.

The Toads, Peach’s people, have begun to migrate to the North and Northeast of the Mushroom Kingdom and further outwards to the Koopa Kingdom in fear of conflict and as a result of overpopulation of Goombas, begetting displacement. Many immigrants buy land or become farm hands, introducing new crops to the Koopa Kingdom. The flood of Toads immigrating to the Koopa Kingdom upsets its economy and ecology. Koopa crops are beset with smuts and other infections resulting from the introdution of new crops carrying mold spores from which current crops have no defense. The North / Northeastern border and Northern / Northeastern territories are beset by a food shortage resulting from spoiled crops. The labour market also becomes heavily saturated, creating a food and market crash along the full border. Famine threatens to emerge from the North, sparking retaliation from the Koopa Monarchy. The Monarchy, shrunken in recent years due to the steady transition to democracy, stifles immigration with harsh policies and laws, encouraging political retaliation in kind from the Mushroom Kingdom, still under siege and now experiencing a population and ecological crisis. Peach presses for a granting of Koopa land due to the high population of Toads already present and steadily rising, which is denied. Toads are barred from immigration further into Koopa lands. The Undergrowth especially, the Koopa Kingdom’s most fertile agricultural belt, is closed off to protect it from the spreading fungal diseases emerging from the North.

The Northern Koopa people struggling with approaching famine and a crashing labour market experience hysteria and begin to enact violence upon their neighbours. Acts of cannibalism emerge from rural pockets while urban settlements are beset with burnings and public executions of political representatives. The slaughter is eventually turned upon the immigrant Toads, who are eaten in lieu of failed crops. This becomes a “lesson” for remaining regions. When the west / southwest is beset with hysteria, the “barbarism of the broken North” is cited as an example for the people to remain calm and reaccept the Monarchy in the face of chaos. This is a ploy of the Koopa Court to reinstate the Koopa Monarchy as an autocracy.

The Monarchy offers no compensation for the Toad families affected by the new laws or the attrocities taking place throughout the border and the north, its hands already full with the task of stabilsing its native peoples as infant sovereign states begin to show considerable strain from upheaval. The Toad Brigade, a group of extremists acting in the “interest of the Mushroom Kingdom”, has arisen to enact extreme violence upon the Koopa people to force the Monarchy’s hand in granting Peach new land. The current Queen [mother of Bowser] is moving throughout the Kingdom in an effort to calm the people in person.

And that’s that. I will probably see you all again in April!