This should be the last intermission page for a little while, hopefully! We’ve made some great headway on the page edits for the book, so we’re in a good position to hit our milestones to get it ready!

With the Sochi Winter Olympics in full swing, we decided to try something a little different this week! Some of you may remember during the London Olympics, we posted some fun art in a post that showed how the different races of the Four Kingdoms stacked up in a sampling of Olympic events. Well, now it’s time for the Winter Olympic variant! It may not be canon, but it’s fun :)


First up, Ice Hockey! The Canid and Ermehn have a pretty shaky political relationship (or ANYTHING relationship), as you might surmise from the comic. In a BWD world where the different races can get together and play sports on a competitive level without killing each other, the Canid/Ermehn rivalry might very well be akin to the US/Russia competition of the Cold War. No doubt a big game during the Winter Olympics would evoke memories of the 1980 game between the two real-world superpowers — and no doubt it would involve more than a bit of physical enmity on the ice!


The Tamian, of course, have a handle on anything that requires things like “aerodynamics” or outright “flying” — which means they have a handle on the Ski Jumping event! Where other races may find the prospect of launching oneself at high speeds off a ramp with no net at the bottom, the Tamian relish the opportunity, taking home golds pretty much every Winter Olympics! The Tamian are also highly competitive in Freestyle Skiing along with the Felis.


Let’s be honest though — this one should’ve been easy to connect the dots on! Lutren in this alternate-reality pseudo-modern Four Kingdoms are all about surfing, and surfing on snow is about as close as the Lutren can get to a familiar water-related activity in the Winter Olympics (not entirely of course — Skeleton has a lot in common with boogie boarding, and they’re pretty competitive in that)! The Lutren are ALWAYS the team to beat when it comes to Snowboard Cross and the Halfpipe events.


Let’s see now — what sport consists of frilly outfits, highly technical programs, and the uncanny ability to know exactly what your partner is doing without looking at them? Figure Skating, of course! The Felis absolutely dominate in Pairs (Short Program, Ice Dance, and Free-Skating), and are quite competitive in solo skating as well. They do just love showing off any chance they can, and the complex spins, twists, and leaps of Figure Skating give them just that opportunity. While they’re flexible on the ice, the Felis aren’t quite as reliable when it comes to speed — though they’re solid competition on the speed skating and short track, the Tamian and Ermehn provide stiff resistance.


Now this is a bit of a surprise, isn’t it? Despite living in a flat desert oasis, the Vulpin actually have a rather competitive Bobsleigh team. All three Bobsleigh events were tightly contested among the Canid, Polcan, and Lutren for quite some time. After a few games where the three of them kept swapping the gold, silver, and bronze medals, a small but dedicated contingent of Vulpin Bobsleigh enthusiasts hiked up into the nearby Aderyn Mountains and set up a training course, funded by a wealthy Vulpin politician who personally despised seeing the Canid placing at all in his favorite event. Their first Winter Olympics didn’t go well (they earned one bronze), but they kept at their strict training regimen and came back the next time around with a silver and gold in two separate events, knocking the long-time winners off the podium and beginning a strong Bobsleigh culture in the desert kingdom of Navran.


When most of your life is spent on the deck of a ship, winter sports aren’t exactly at the top of your leisure list. While their experience working together in small boats helped them adapt to the Bobsleigh event, the native Polcan game of “shove-board” (known to us as “shuffleboard”) has helped them gain an uncanny edge in Curling. Played on the decks of their ships, it is a sport of choice amongst the Polcan, requiring both a steady hand and the ability to see where the stones will sit several steps ahead. The Polcan metaphor is that of a naval battle, with the stones representing ships. So, while there is a pretty well-accepted rivalry of wits between the Felis and Vulpin teams when it comes to Curling, the Polcan teams have proven themselves to be an equal (if not superior) match to both teams. They regularly take home the gold here, much to the chagrin of Kishar and Navran.