Deep Worldbuild Project

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 7: Culture

Sorry this is so late in coming. It took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with a topic. When I finally thought of culture I facepalmed so hard… Anyway, you’ve waited long and patiently so I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here’s the post.

Dwarves:

We’ll start with the Dwarves, because honestly I find these particular Dwarves quite fascinating. They’re miners, as most are portrayed, but since they live in Kor-Baen that makes them a lot more interesting to me, for some reason. I’m not sure why. They’re forced by their surroundings to be tougher than the average Dwarves (so they’re pretty darn tough), and their diet is different from that of anyone else in Kaloris.

​When I think of culture I think of a whole mess of things. Food, clothing, religion, history, traditions. All of that goes into what makes a culture what it is. So you might get some repetition from my past posts in this one, but hopefully it won’t be too terrible.

Clothing:

The Dwarves of Kor-Baen have very few resources. They live in a rather barren wasteland, surrounded by cold and stone, so most of their clothing materials are either imported from Roenor or made from furs, and mostly Shahr pelts. When they go hunting the Patharai, they usually take the pelts of those, as well, and turn them into leather.

Linen pants are usually imported from Roenor, and Shahr pelts are used for shirts and tunics (the former for men and the latter for women). Patharai leather is most often used for making boots, and those boots are occasionally lined with Shahr fur for comfort and warmth.

Chieftains and their families tend to also wear Shahr pelts as cloaks, and their boots are more often lined than those of anyone else.

Metal rings are commonly used to hold up women’s hair and men’s beards, and chieftains often let their hair grow long to show their status.

Jewelry is common among the Dwarves, seeing as they mine metal ores all the time, and women are often adorned with necklaces, rings, and large earrings. Men tend to wear rings, as well as pendants indicating their rank in society.

Traditions:

I am going to be entirely making this up as I go, so please bear with me.

The Kor-Baen mines run all the time, except on holidays. Such occasions are greatly looked forward to by miners and other citizens alike because it’s a time they can rest from their work and have some fun.

Since the Dwarves need breaks from mining after a while because it gets insanely boring and tedious, there are quarterly holidays. The spring one is called Sprien-Sira. In summer they have Iram-Sira. In the fall it’s Umid-Sira, and in the winter it’s Akath-Sira.

Since it’s always cold in Kor-Baen (always winter, never Christmas?), there aren’t really any flowers in the spring or colored leaves in the fall, it’s all just dreary white and cold. But their celebrations are all slightly different.

Sprien-Sira:

In the spring there are a couple of flowers that crop up for a couple of months before they die off again. One such flower is the Lammon. It’s a grey flower, very reminiscent of stone, with a sturdy dark green stalk and toothed petals. A spine grows out of its center, with venom on its point. You’ll want to be verrrry careful when picking one of these.

Part of the Sprien-Sira is a gathering of these flowers so that their venom, called Iurit, can be collected. The venom is used to tip the Dwarves’ spears right before battle.

Another common part of Sprien-Sira is acting. Dwarf children (as well as their parents) love to act, and skits are put on throughout the three-day course of Sprien-Sira. They usually remember historic events and famous Dwarves, but some others are more fun and playful and creative.

Throughout the whole thing, as with most celebrations, there is a lot of eating, as well as dancing and singing. Young Dwarves have a tendency to jump on the tables at meals and start singing and dancing, generally resulting in sing-alongs with the whole crowd.

Iram-Sira:

Summer is when the Shahr are most plentiful, as well as when the Dwarves usually run out of wood, so Iram-Sira is the hunting festival. The Dwarves head into the mountains after the Shahr for the first day, and then they head into the forest after the Patharai on the second and third days.

During this time, the women and young ones tend to prepare things for the men’s return, such as the butchering shops and large bonfires lit by the river for cooking their catch.

After the hunts they’ll all gather around the bonfires and tell (usually exaggerated) stories of the hunt while they feast on their kill. Usually only about half a dozen Shahr are eaten that night, out of about fifty.

Umid-Sira:

This is perhaps the most mundane and ordinary of the four festivals. It’s mostly eating, singing, dancing, and playing games. One such game is a card game called Spider, which I invented based on Spider Solitaire. It’s hard to explain or I’d explain it in this post. Maybe I’ll feature it in a later post.

Races for Dwarven children are common, especially since Dwarves are rather slow compared to the other races thanks to their shorter legs.

Dances are held regularly across the three day festival, as well as sing-alongs. Drums are the most common instrument found in Kor-Baen, with guitars taking second place.

Akath-Sira:

Despite it always being snowy in Kor-Baen, they still celebrate the snow in the winter. They tend to have snowball wars, complete with elaborate forts, and there’s usually a fort contest. Even the adults take part in these festivities.

Of course, games, dances, and music are still a large part of the celebration, as always. There are usually campfires fairly near the snow forts (but not near enough to melt them) to warm up by after a particularly rigorous snow siege.

After these festivals out in the cold, they’re usually eager to return to the hot mines. ;)

Elves:

The Elves are fishermen, as you may recall from my previous posts, so their culture reflects that. They also have more ready access to trade than the Dwarves do because they don’t seclude themselves and they have easier-to-access shores. They can trade directly with Roenor as well as just with the rest of Kaloris.

Clothing:

The Elves’ clothing differs depending on what their role or job is. The governors tend to wear silk imported from Adrelia., while farmers and fisherman, and most of the other working Elves, wear linen tunics and pants, at least most of the time. Farmers tend to wear tan, fishermen tend to wear blue and green, and it varies more for the other Elves. Purple seems to be a favorite, though.

Most Elves prefer going barefoot to wearing shoes, although the governors wear shiny black leather boots (the leather imported from Roenor) as a sign of their status. Plus they click on the marble floors of their manors, which is always a bonus. Who wouldn’t want clicky shoes?

Traditions:

Elves tend to love their work. They put their whole hearts into it and they enjoy it entirely. Don’t ask me how they do it, I would think I’d get tired of fishing after about a week, but they do it day after day without tire and without fail, so good for them. As such, they don’t have holidays as a break from work so they don’t go crazy, like the Dwarves do. They have holidays merely to celebrate things, and most often they’re celebrating what Abba has given them. For the most part, all of the Shae Nir Elves believe in Abba. There may be a couple who believe in the Lankádi, but they’re very few.

Lingwe Merende:

Perhaps the largest festival they have is the fishing festival, Lingwe Merende. It lasts for a week, and the fishermen don’t particularly break from their work. Fishing contests are a big part of the festivities, waged with hook and line instead of nets like their usual fishing. Anyone can participate in these, and children have a tendency to do more splashing and swimming than fishing. They like shoving each other overboard. Fortunately, all Shae Nir children are taught to swim at a young age. Most of the fish caught in these contests is cooked up for the festival feasts, and what’s left is stocked with the other regularly gathered fish in the icehouses, where it’s kept fresh until it’s ordered.

Swimming and boating are popular pastimes in Shae Nir anyway, but they seem to occur even more often during the fishing festival. A common place to row out to is the island of Tol Dulin, where Ianlar Illien is located. It’s a common breeding ground for griffins and rocs, and the people who live there will often tame the flying creatures to ride. It makes it a lot quicker to get back to the mainland. The mainland children, in particular, find this fascinating, and sometimes the Roc Riders will take the kids on flights around the island.

Yaveyn Merende:

Another large festival is the harvest festival, Yaveyn Merende. This time it’s the farmers who don’t get off work. One of the first things to happen is for a few of the adults to go through with a sickle and cut a maze through the corn and wheat. Then come the maze runners (no book reference intended), who almost always play hide-and-seek as they find their way through the maze.

As always, there is music and dancing, and over the years songs have been written just for Yaveyne Merende, as well as some of the other festivals.

Humans:

The humans are ruled by a king who lives in Cron Hatal (which also happens to by the home of one of my two MCs), and most of them worship the Lankádi.

Clothing:

Humans have probably the most varied wardrobes of anyone in Kaloris. Cotton and linen shirts are common for the ordinary folk, while the governors, mayors, royals, and security tend to wear silk and velvet tunics and jerkins or vests. Leather vests aren’t uncommon among peasants, and leather pants are worn by everyone. Black leather boots are common among the wealthy, while brown leather boots are common among the middle class and most of the lower class go barefoot.

Traditions:

Because it’s the center of power, most of the citizens there chiefly worship Kaysar and Rane, the rulers of the gods. Thus there are festivals in their honor, as well as a few smaller festivals to honor the other gods.

There’s also a harvest festival in the fall, which is only celebrated by the farmers on the outskirts of the city. Most of the other folks don’t particularly care about the farmers’ crops until they get to eat them.

The harvest festivals are much like those of the Elves, with dancing, singing, and of course harvesting. The children tend to play hide-and-seek in the grain fields before their parents come behind with a sickle and cut all of the crops down. Sometimes they’ll cut the fields into mazes first and let the kids (and sometimes some of the adults, too) find their way through the maze before they return for the rest of the reaping.

 

For waiting so patiently for this post and for reading the entire monster of a thing, here’s a link to a recent short story of mine.

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 6: History

Well, this post could be interesting. I don’t usually go real deep into the history of my countries. Aside from the one world in which most of the history is told in the series, so… Yeah. But before we move onto that I’ll give you the link to the past posts, in case you missed them. You can read them all here.

And now we start our history lesson. *takes a deep breath* Here we go.

Backstory first… Yep, backstory to backstory. This is already such a clear, concise post. Oh dear. Well, Themar is in a star system I created quite a while ago called the Alleruus System. In it are the majority of the rest of my story worlds. So, yeah. Backstory of backstory is now done. Now we get to the actual backstory. (I apologize for my rambling. Tired brains are not the best for clear writing. Please bear with me.)

In 4,000 BE (Before Execution), the Alleruus Star System was created. That comes with a whole bundle of planets, countries, peoples, etc. At this point, only the Morressir and the Dwarves lived on Themar. On other planets were humans, Elves, other Dwarves, etc.

For four thousand years the Morressir live in peace with each other, even though they’re probably at war with the Dwarves for a great majority of that time. I just don’t see the Morressir and the Dwarves getting along. They’re so entirely different that I can’t imagine they’d even try to find one thing in common. (I’m making all of this up as I go, so you’ll get a small look at my thought processes and whatnot. We’re learning this all together. :))

Then in about… 10 AE? The Elves from Titania (a rinky-dink, nearly forgotten world of mine) discover that they can create ships that can travel through air and space (because apparently their scientific advances are a lot faster than ours). They call them, creatively, airships. *gasp* So creative, right?! Yep, definitely tired brain. And I’m going off-topic yet again. I apologize. Anyway, these Elves decide to do some exploring and find Themar. They take a liking to it, and to Roenor and Adrelia in particular, they name them (apparently Hurg and Kira weren’t satisfactory, they had to rename them Elvishly. Elvishly? Yep, that’s a word now. Okay.

Anyway, they had some wars with the Morressir and Dwarves, of course, since they didn’t want to give up their land (who does?), but they eventually defeated the Dwarves and came to an agreement with the Morressir, because the Morressir are actually a very peaceful culture. They can be very stubborn, but they’re peaceful. So they were happy to make an agreement with the Elves. I’m repeating myself and being redundant. And I did it again. Oh well.

There was tension between the Elves and Dwarves for several hundred more years (until about 712 AE), during which some humans from Titania decided they wanted to move to Themar, as well. More conflict! That’s always fun. Anyway, they shoved the Elves out of the way, which meant tensions between their two races, as well. So at this point, the Elves like neither the humans nor the Dwarves, the Dwarves don’t like the Elves or the Morressir, and the Morressir pretty much try to avoid everyone. And humans honestly don’t really care, as a group.

So several hundred years later, in about 1420 AE, people are finally (mostly) at peace, and everyone’s (usually) happy. Hooray! Cheers all around!

And I’m thinking that the story that spawned in my brain will take place in approximately… 1994 AE? That’ll work.

Anyway, this is obviously a very loose history of the planet Themar, and I may or may not dig deeper later. I apologize for my rambly weirdness and invention of new words (actually, I’m not sorry for creating new words. Creating new words is awesome.) Thank you for sticking with me to the end despite my tired brain. Hopefully some small fraction of it actually made sense and you were able to learn something from it or at least enjoy it.

Bye!

(P.S. No one who looks back on this blog will ever think it was run by a professional. Oh well. It’s not run by a professional, so we’re all good.)

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 5: Religion

Welcome to the fifth installment of my worldbuilding series. If you missed the first four you can read them here: Map Outlines, Landscape and How It Affects Culture, Wildlife, Technology and Magic.

And now onto the subject at hand. For most of my stories I stick to the one I created several years ago, the Abban faith, which mirrors Christianity in every way. Usually I don’t bother with any others. For this series I’m still going to stick with Abban as the true faith, but Kaloris and Roenor are going to have one pagan pantheon as well, and the Morressir believe in something else, as well.

The Morressir’s beliefs are simple. They worship the elements. A few of them have been converted to Abban by the Adrelian Elves, but for the most part they worship the elements.

For the pantheon of Kaloris and Roenor I’m going to borrow an idea I had and barely explored for 2015’s NaNoWriMo story, The Queen of Feanor, that there are couples of gods for each thing. For instance, instead of Zeus being the god of thunder and the skies and whatnot, Zeus and Hera share the role.

These gods are called the Lankádi and are arranged thus:

Sahar & Luna – the moon

Misae & Kalinda – the sun

Tatsuhiro & Tamesis – evil/death

Calder & Naida – water

Callias & Nava – beauty

Davion & Asmara – love

Abridan & Abra – parenthood/marriage/home

Wilhelm & Aeron – war

Vayu & Arenda – air

Daichi & Sonia – wisdom

Barid & Vesna – messengers

Kaysar & Rane – rulers of the gods

The founders of Roenor and Kaloris believed in the Lankádi, and the Abban religion was introduced by foreign visitors, so at this point in time the Landákian and the Abban believers are fairly evenly numbered. Adrelia has the smallest Abban population of Themar, but word is spreading there, as well.

You may or may not want to put a wrong religion in your stories, you might just want to stick with Christianity or a Christian-based religion for your stories like I usually do. For this I just wanted to add a little more opportunity for conflict and redemption and whatnot in whatever Themar stories I might end up writing. It’s entirely up to you what you want to do.

I think that’s about it for this post, and I hope to see you again for the next post on the history of Themar.

Bye!

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 4: Technology and Magic

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Deep Worldbuild Project series. Yesterday’s post was about the wildlife, and before that we talked about map outlines and culture. Today’s post is about the technology and magic in Kaloris and its neighboring countries.

Let’s start with Kor-Baen, just because it’s at one end of the country and it’s my favorite. ;D

Kor-Baen is home to the Dwarves, as well as a couple of rangers. Well, “home” is a bit of an overstatement for the rangers, but whatever. Like with the rest of Kaloris, cities are placed at key locations, and like in the post about landscape we’ll see how it (landscape) affects culture, but with a narrower scope this time.

What kind of technology places have depends on what materials are available, which depends on the surrounding landscape. With Kor-Baen there’s a lot of rock and metal and not a lot of lumber. What lumber they do have comes from the small evergreen forest down by Dakineth, and with there being a large Patharai population in those woods, even the dwarves aren’t in a hurry to go in there for lumber.

That being said, they do go into the woods on occasion, usually about once every two months and then only in large numbers, to carry back as much lumber as they can because they know they need it.

In the three chief mining cities – Avuineth, Onolineth, and Istrineth – the technology is very simple. I mean, this is a medieval fantasy world, so all of it’s simple, but the technology in Kor-Baen is particularly simple. In the mining cities they have mining carts and tracks to assist them, and they use hand tools for the actual mining.

After they’ve extracted the ore they toss it into furnaces until it becomes liquid and they send it through a simple sieve to catch the rock and whatever else is mixed into the ore. From there it’s poured into molds and set aside to cool.

Sometimes the mining cities will send the purified iron to the river cities where it’s turned into wrought iron. Those facilities are powered by waterwheels. Those river cities also provide fish acquired from their ice fishermen.

In the rest of Kaloris, as well as in Roenor, the technology is fairly simple. They have a crude sort of plumbing that involves wooden seats over holes in the ground that lead to sewers, and the rest is medieval-esque. Stone ovens and fireplaces; letters and messengers for long-range communication (or carrier birds, sometimes); horses, wagons, carts, etc. for transportation; etc. Their navy consists mostly of fishing boats and a couple of caravels, so they’d better hope they don’t get into a war with Roenor and their large navy.

Audrelia has very little by way of technology. They use cooking fires, they have yet to adopt the plumbing systems that their neighbors use, and they walk everywhere unless they can find a stray flamingo. Yes, I said flamingo. The Morressir use spears for their fishing instead of the nets that even their Elven countrymen use. They stick only to necessities whenever possible.

Roenor has much of the same technology as Kaloris, but they have a more advanced navy, as mentioned above. In addition to a few fishing boats and several caravels, they also have quite a few galleys, longboats, and barques.

This post is titled “Technology and Magic,” but I think the latter will be very sparse on Themar. If there’s any at all it will belong to the Elves, who don’t use it very often because it’s unnecessary. In that case, the Adrelian Elves would use it more, and out of a wish for comfort. The Adrelian Elves are more foolish than the Elves elsewhere. I’m not entirely sure why, yet.

I guess that about wraps up this post. I’d share another chapter of my WIP, but I haven’t written more yet. I should do that. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the post and I hope you’ll stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. :) Bye!

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 3: Wildlife

Welcome to part three of the Deep Worldbuild Project. Part one was on map outlines (you can read it here) and part two was on terrain and how it affects the culture (read it here). Today we’ll be talking about the wildlife. That includes both the animals and the vegetation.

I hinted yesterday/Thursday at a couple of animals I was planning on making for this project. One was a panther-like cat for Kor-Baen and the other was a lot more vague: some sort of reptile for Egath Baen. Well I’ve fleshed both of those out a bit more, as well as come up with some new ones, and this is what I came up with.

Fauna

The cats are called the Shahr. One Sha, multiple Shahr.

Black panther

Black Sha

cougar-mountain-lion-puma-concolor-big-cat-53001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to black and tan, the Shahr also come in dark brown, white, tawny yellow, and even dark maroon and navy blue. Some have tufts of fur under their chins like bobcats. They’re extremely strong and aggressive, and they’re excellent hunters. They’re nocturnal and you don’t want to be caught by one; It’s nearly promised death.

I had an idea for another Kor-Baen animal yesterday morning, as well. A golden bear with grey, stone-like scales on its back. They’re called Patharai (or Pathar, for the singular), and though they’re a lot less aggressive than the Shahr, they’re more dangerous if they do decide to attack you. They’re twice the size of the ordinary bear, and between their claws, teeth, and armor, there is very, very little chance of you getting away from a battle with one alive.

 

In Egath Baen I decided to expand out from the reptiles and I also have a toad and a few butterflies in mind. But here I’ll just share the snake and the toad.

Horned Bush Viper Green

This is a Bush Viper, aka the inspiration for my Egath Baen snake. I’m combining it with a Horned Bush Viper to make it more menacing-looking.

Horned Bush Viper Yellow

Horned Bush Viper ^^. Those horns are going to be vital to the Egath Baen snake, the Varean. The singular and plural are the same for this one. A real Horned Bush Viper can be almost two feet long. The Varean can grow to three and a half feet. The Varean also has longer horns than the Bush Viper and can shoot venomous scales from them, each tipped with enough poison to kill a grown man in seconds. You don’t want to mess with one of them.

The toad we’re using as a base is the extinct Golden Toad of Costa Rica:

Golden Toad

We’re going to give this fellow some interesting attributes, as well. For instance, he can freeze anyone who looks at him. They don’t even have to look him in the eyes, they just freeze if they see him. For this reason he is called the Basilisk Toad. After he has frozen his victim, he gives a deep croak that brings all his reptile buddies slithering over to start their feast. It attracts the smaller lizards and snakes as well as the larger, and those unfortunate small ones become his own dinner.

Flora

I’m not going to be real creative with this part at this point. I’ll probably make some more stuff up later, but for now we’ll stick mostly to real life plants.

Adrelia has the most interesting flora, being tropical and whatnot, and a lot of its wildlife is in common with Egath Baen, since they have similar climates and terrain. Adrelia, for instance, has the same venomous reptiles and amphibians.

But in addition to the deadly, they share the beautiful. Here’s a sample of the flowers that grow there.

African Daisy Bird of Paradise Blue Water Lily Ombre Hibiscus Pink Hibiscus Pink Lotus Pink Orchid

Pistil Bloom Passion Flower Blossom Exotic Flower

Red Bihai Flowers Junction Heliconia Caribaeae

Unknown purple

 

This gives you the basic idea. Lots of bright, colorful flowers. They also grow dragonfruit, mangoes, pineapples, etc. (You should look up “dragonfruit plant.” They look like weeping willows meet cactus. They’re wild looking.)

 

I always hated this part of worldbuilding, but I think that was because I was trying to make everything completely from scratch. Basing your wildlife on something familiar is a lot easier, both on you as the writer and on your readers so that they have a point of reference.

Have fun making stuff up and playing around with ways to adapt existing things to your story world. :)

 

And here’s the next two chapters of my WIP, as promised. Enjoy!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: