How close is the nearest churchyard, because those aren’t fireflies…

One cannot discuss the artistry of the Coreland, without talking about how the natural sights and sounds of the swamp has influenced perception. The low fog that creeps up and hovers eerily over the fetid, still waters. The frogs croaking out their belchy greetings, and the flapping wings of unseen creatures. Fishes, and more dangerous things, splashing in the water. How the jors saw and interacted with these stimuli had a great deal to do with their music and artwork.

Musically, the most stereotypical of jorish endeavor is their love of banjo music. Swamp orcs love to build and play these simple instruments, based on string instruments that they encountered in the lands to the south. They are usually described as a traumatized mandolin, and while they are favored by the goblinoids of the marshes, it can not be said that their sound gives any comfort to outsiders. More than one group of travelers has been chilled to the words “I hear banjo music”, and thusly sped up their pace to exit the area as quickly as possible. Whoever is content to live in this jungle of almost constant peril, and is so at ease here as to pluck away at a banjo, is not a person to take lightly.

Painting is not a native activity, but it would be wrong to suggest that the denizens of the Coreland do not appreciate such artwork. One of the most famous paintings ever to be made in the Coreland was the work of Corneliez, one of Kugahloo’s most respected oil painters. His last known work, while incomplete, was painted just a few miles deep in the swamp southeast of the village of Four Corners. His notes indicated that it was to be called “Fireflies in the Fen”, and it shows the beauty of dancing lights in a foggy, misty clearing. However, people that have lived in these bogs their entire lives know that there are no fireflies in Slothjemia. Those lights are Will O’Wisps, malevolent spirits that use their enticing, dancing lights to draw unsuspecting souls to their doom. Far from being harmless insects using their God-given biological abnormalities to attract a mate, the Will O’Wisp is actively looking to destroy anyone it happens upon. This knowledge transforms the painting, from being one of whimsical amusement, to one depicting certain death.

After the discovery of the unfinished painting in the bog, still upon its easel, it became the centerpiece of the royal art collection. The most common reaction to the painting is “if he had heard the banjo music, he wouldn’t have been fool enough to be out there in the first place.” Wonderful use of color to make the lights seem alive, though. Corneliez had been very skilled at his craft.

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