Thanks for the suggestions. I removed the pixel from the dirt tile and that helped quite a bit. I still notice the grid but it's not much of a problem now. I tried using different color combos on the dirt and cannot decide which is best! I also noticed you removed the boss on the spearman's shield, so I'm not sure if it's all that readable.
Instead of a dump/mockup, this time I'm providing a sheet of everything I've got so far. An explanation is below the image. I must give credit to Dragon Warrior (NES) for the Latin and Russian alphabets on the image - the Runic and Celtic scripts ARE my own work, though.
Edit: disclaimer: some of the pixels on the elder sprites were messed up from my copypaste.
The rows of human sprites are as follows: normal, king, spearman, swordsman, bowman, woman, and child. The old man sprite on the far right is the original with a longer beard. Next to that are my bull/cow sprites so far. I'm working on other animals right now but decided not to post them yet. Below those is a simple tree. I don't think I'm going to keep the foliage as a solid block, but I'm wondering more about the trunk.
Next is a grubenhaus model. Those are one type of dwelling typical of Germanic tribes. I'm satisfied with the wood texture, but I can't figure out a way to do some thatching texture for the roof! The interior will be furnished later... right now I'm focusing on diffusing the dirt tile from the wooden walls - Grimsane, your edit doesn't go as well with that as the grass tile.
I'm starting to think in 3d now, since this is an isometric project; I've been working on textures for the sides of the blocks. Some of the dirt tiles go better with the side textures than others. Please tell me which ones you think work better - I've numbered them for this.
The scripts are as follows, from the top left. I made my own runic script based off Elder and Younger Futhark and Anglo-Saxon Futhorc. Some characters have been added to allow each rune to represent a sound in the Germanic languages. Next to that is my own invention of a Celtic script - it's influenced by the ogham inscriptions found in various locations. To the right of that is a more calligraphic and non-monospaced version of my runic script that is the size of Dragon Warrior characters.
Below that is a sample of my Celtic script, and underneath the Dragon Warrior scripts and my script are the first four lines of Beowulf in my runic script. Below that is the same phrase written in my Celtic script, but in the actual (and hard to read) Ogham script.
I bet you're wondering what all this is for. I'll explain in my next post. But for now, please add your input and suggestions!