Tag Archive: my stories

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!

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Deep Worldbuild Project Part 2: Landscape and How It Affects Culture

So, on Tuesday (I apologize for this being a few days late. I had to wait for my mom to send me the pictures since they were taken on her camera. :P) we worked on the outlines of the three (or three of? Who knows. More might pop up.) continents on the planet I’m creating for this series. (If you missed that post, you can read it here.)

I’ve decided to call the planet Themar, since I can’t exactly call it “the planet I’m creating for this series” in every post. I mean, I could, but it would get really tedious and annoying, so we don’t want to do that. I’ve come up with names for each of the countries I created, as well. The main kingdom we’re focusing on is Kaloris, the one with the lagoon is Adrelia, and the last one is Roenor. I think Kaloris is going to be the most powerful, and Roenor will be the center of trade.

But on to the matter at hand. I’ve gotten better map pictures now, and I’ll share them with you here so you can see them blank before we continue. (I had to graft halves together, so they still look weird. :P)

Kaloris-small

Roenor Graft

Adrelia Graft

There we go. Nice neat(er) copies that you can actually see. So wonderful. All right.

Now, I’ve made a change of plans for this post. On Tuesday I said it would be about landscape, but as I began drafting this post I realized how hard it is to keep the culture separate from the landscape (and also how boring it is to just talk about the landscape), so instead we’re talking about how the landscape affects the culture that lives around it.

We will, however, start with the images of the landscape. This was really tedious with such big maps, but it’s possibly the most necessary part of this process. What’s the point of having a blank map, right?

So here we have the maps with their brand new terrain.

Kaloris Graft

Roenor Terrain Graft

Adrelia Terrain Graft

Voila. I was way overly happy with the rivers. My old maps had weird, wide, wonky-looking rivers. Example:

Zidor

That thing that looks like a noodle arm with a fist? That’s a river with a lake at the end of it. So having actual professional-looking rivers is a big deal for me.

Kaloris

The Northeast (Kor-Baen)

We’ll start with the northeastern region of Kaloris.

Kor-Baen Region

It’s going to be called Kor-Baen, and the big old mountain ridge that cuts it off from the rest of Kaloris is called the Baenor. Beyond the Baenor mountains there’s quite a bit of grass before we get to a snowy part (indicated by a squiggly line and a few poorly-drawn glaciers).

I can already tell that Kor-Baen is going to be really interesting. It’s feared, rarely visited by any of the inhabitants of the other Kaloris regions, and extremely dangerous. And it’s also spawning a story idea in my head, as was fairly well expected. It is inhabited by dwarves, as well as several types of dangerous animals. I’m thinking to put some kind of panther-like cat up there.

Since it’s so cold up there, the dwarves live mostly on meat and much less on vegetables and grains and so forth, although the inhabitants of the southern piece of Kor-Baen probably provide some of that and send it up to their fellow Kor-Baenese.

When I added terrain, that included some rocky shorelines to indicate that those sections are up on rocky cliffs. Kor-Baen is obviously one of those places. This makes it all the more dangerous, since if you fall off of one of those cliffs… Well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Fortunately, the dwarves know their way around.

Because of the cold, rocky terrain, the dwarves have to be tough and hardy. They mine in that little mountain range on the eastern side and probably send some of their ores by way of the rangers who travel between Kor-Baen and the rest of Kaloris. They probably trade with Roenor, as well, though I haven’t decided for sure yet.

The Northwest (Shae Nir)

Shae-Nir Region

The chief feature of this region is the coast. It’s mostly sand across the more northern side, while across the western side it’s more elevated and rocky. Both of these are important to the elves who live there, since they’re mainly fishermen. The sandy shores are where they do most of their fishing, while there’s a dock at the base of the cliffs for both fishing and trade boats.

The Western Island (Egath Baen)

Egath Baen Region

This region is heavy jungle crisscrossed by several rivers. I had to make up my own symbol for jungle, because I couldn’t find anything online, so jaggedy-looking forest (basically) is what now indicates jungle on my maps. If you’d like to use that as well that’s totally fine. I’d be happy to have made something helpful. :)

Egath Baen is treated a lot like Kor-Baen (and named similarly because the dwarves were the first to inhabit Kaloris) in that it is considered dangerous (accurately so), feared, and avoided like the plague. I have yet to decide what dangerous wildlife lives there, but most of it will probably be reptilian.

The Mainland (Calen)

Calen Region

This region is mostly flatland, obviously, with a large mountain ridge in the middle, a couple lakes, and one main river. It’s not real exciting. It’s surprisingly uninhabited for its size, which makes me suspect that this is a young country. The only cities are around prominent terrain – the mountains, the lakes, the rivers, and the coast – and they’re thus widely spread out. I feel bad for whatever characters have to traverse this place.

City Names

Names are an important part of worldbuilding. They can tell a lot about the culture of the place.

Some of the names in Kor-Baen include Ulolineth, Dakineth, Avuineth, Istrineth, and Iltineth. See any patterns? Yep. They all end with “ineth,” which is dwarvish for “city.”

Shae Nir (which I’m considering renaming something like Nirieth to sound more Elven) has a similar pattern. Ianlar-Illien, Roduk-Illien, Linwe-Illien. Illien is Elven for “dwelling.”

Calen also has a specific ending to its city names. Aital, Collotal, Tiltal, Cron Hatal. The “tal” suffix means “city.”

You obviously don’t have to go into such detail with your own maps, but it can be fun to do if you want to.

Roenor

Roenor is home mostly to humans, but also to a few hundred dwarves and elves.

The Shattered Lands

Shattered Lands

This region is equally as interesting to me as Kor-Baen, and for similar reasons. It, too, is rarely visited by the Roenorians, though it’s visited more often than Kor-Baen is by the Kalorisians (ooh, that sounds like Calrissian). The Shattered Lands are completely the opposite of Kor-Baen in climate, though, as they’re desert. Think the sun-baked dry sand kind. There are quite a few tiny islands off of its coast that were once part of it but broke off. Or shattered.

Lost Fang

Lost Fang Island

This island is very barren (it’s icy just like Kor-Baen, which might be just south of it), but it’s rather interesting. It was found first by the dwarves of Kor-Baen, but they only settled one city there, and it has been the only one there ever since. The city’s name, Tetóth, literally means alone.

Telnir

Telnir Region

Telnir is the majority of Roenor. It’s where the trade happens, where goods are made, etc. Despite being a great trade partner and producing quite a few different resources, it has very few cities. They are larger than most, but they’re few and far between and – like in Kaloris – only placed at key terrain spots.

Adrelia

Adrelia is full of lush green grass and inhabited by a mix of Elves and the natives, a dark-skinned, pointy-eared race called the Morressir.

Almis

Almis Region

Almis is the southwestern region of Adrelia, and the most aggressive. Most of the country is peaceful, but Almis has a bad habit of starting issues with its neighbor across the strait, Nishmeena, and the natives there. Almis doesn’t particularly like sharing the strait and its fish with Nishmeena. One wouldn’t think Elves to be so petty.

Most of Almis is lush grassland, though they do have sandy shores on two and a half sides, as well as a patch of jungle. The land is amazingly fertile and perfect for growing crops and whatnot.

Nishmeena

Nishmeena Region

Though Nishmeena never instigates the petty wars with Almis and its Elven inhabitants, they are more than willing to finish them, and the two regions have been feuding for years.

Nishmeena’s landscape is similar to that of its rival, although it has lower elevation and sandy shores on all sides. The Morressir here are handy fishermen as well as skilled craftsmen and farmers, and some think that the wars are really the Elves’ way of saying they’re envious that the Morressir are more skilled than they.

Bisolmeena

Bisolmeena Region

Bisolmeena is like the annoyed older sister who always has to split up her younger siblings. The inhabitants there are more mixed, though leaning in favor of the natives, and it helps somewhat to stop the Almis-Nishmeena feuds.

They have the same lush, fertile land as their neighbors, and theirs is watered by a river in addition to the ocean.

Ulen

Ulen is the forgotten island off the northwest of Adrelia. It’s all sandy beach, with a copse of palm trees on it, and it’s completely devoid of citizens. Adrelians sometimes go there on vacation, but it’s not much different than the rest of the country, so it usually just lays dormant.

Country Relations

I already mentioned how Kaloris is the main power of the world and Roenor is the main trade partner, but what are relations like beyond that? Well, Adrelia pretty much keeps to itself. It’s self-sustaining and doesn’t really like interacting with outsiders.

Roenor is allies with both of the other countries and sends resources to both of them, as well. On occasion they’ll send goods to Kor-Baen separately, but usually they just receive ores from them that they then distribute to the other countries as well.

Kaloris pretty much only interacts with Roenor, although it has had some passing communications with Adrelia in the past. For the most part they don’t produce much, but they do have the largest military of the three, as well as perhaps the firmest government.

 

I feel like this was a really boring post. :P Sorry if it was. It was also really long, so here’s a link to the first few chapters of my WIP as a reward for reading through it. (I’ll post a link to the next one or two in the next post, as well so you’re not left hanging. ;))

In the next post (which will be either tomorrow or the next day) I’ll be covering the wildlife of the world.

Feel free to comment with any questions, or suggestions for ways to make these posts better and less boring. :)

Bye!

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Deep Worldbuild Project Part 1: Map Outlines

The book I’m reading (The Midnight Thief) has really inspired me in my own writing, not because of the characters or the plot, though those are incredible too, but because of the worldbuilding. I’m only seven chapters in, but I already feel immersed in the world.

I’ve wanted for years to do a deep worldbuild, which to me is to go into the nitpicky details of my story world and make it incredibly complex and amazing. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to accomplish complex and amazing, but we’ll see.

I want you to be a part of this so that you can enjoy the journey with me and maybe learn something along the way. I’m sure I’ll be learning a TON as I go.

I plan on starting with a brand new planet, a brand new map, a brand new everything (except for one continent that’s as developed as mud and grass before they’re turned into a mud pie), and build completely from scratch. For one thing it’s more fun that way, and for another I think it’ll be easier because there won’t be any preconceived notions of what stories have already taken place there and what it’s already like and whatnot. Which is not to say that I can’t later take some of what I learn in this series and apply it to my existing settings – in fact, I probably will – but for now I’m starting fresh.

I’ve decided to go ahead and do the map outline, so that this post isn’t boring and imageless (like all of my other blog posts), and I’m doing the rice method for the first time, so there will be pictures of rice on a piece of paper, as well. ;D

Rice on paper:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It looks amazing. Totally.

The finished product:

I mainly wanted to use the rice method to get irregular shorelines, and I must say that it worked. I am quite pleased with the results.

I also did two others, since I’m creating a whole new planet, so I’ll share them, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh look, awesome lines you can’t see in the picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And more of them!

All right. Since you can’t really see the lines in those pictures (which really stinks), I’ll just say that the first one has part of the second one in its northwest corner and there’s a little island in the southeast. And there are a bunch of tiny islands in the northeast. Other than that it’s pretty nondescript.

The second one curls around a lagoon and has an island in the northwest.

Fortunately, the first one is a little clearer. I’ll try to get better pictures by the next post.

Speaking of the next post, it’s going to be on climate and landscape and whatnot, which I don’t enjoy as much as some other things since it’s tedious, but which needs to be done.

I hope you guys enjoyed this (and that I’ll be able to make future posts a little less boring and disjointed), and I look forward to talking to you tomorrow, as well. Since I’m really excited about this, I’ll be posting every day (hopefully) with a new section, and at the end I’ll have a roundup post of any articles I may link to later on.

Bye!

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The Book-Room Challenge

So several of my friends from the Christian Teens Together! thread on the NaNoWriMo website have done a challenge called the Book-Room Challenge in which they describe three of their books as rooms, and I’ve just been nominated by Leila of Inspiring Ink’lings. Thanks, Leila!

Rules:

  1. Describe three of your books as rooms. They can be finished or unfinished, but they must be your own.
  2. Write one of your favorite books to read as a room.
  3. Tag five other people. (This one’s going to be tricky for me.)

The Lowlines

You open a dark walnut door and step into a dimly lit room. Daggers and swords lay on a low oak table that is surrounded by three mismatched chairs, one tipped, one with a broken leg, and only one standing completely upright. There is one window in the very back of the room, but curtains cover it, the rod broken and crooked, and a thick layer of dust blankets the glass.

The floor is cracked hardwood that creaks and groans with every step, and the walls are covered with torn wallpaper that someone tried to hide with black paint. On the right wall is a bulletin board covered with faded, torn papers and photos, and on the left is a gun rack, which is now abandoned save for one pistol.

You dodge a piece of falling plaster and glance up at the crumbling ceiling and step over to the window, glancing out. The only things you can see are dead grass, a twisted oak tree, and a plank swing, one rope snapped to leave the swing dangling awkwardly.

 

The Half-Elves

Stepping through a pine door, you’re immediately refreshed by the bright sunshine streaming through the windows and the potted plants placed in the corners of the room. The whole place smells of the forest, like walking through a Christmas tree lot. The fir wood table in the middle of the room is adorned with a white lace tablecloth and topped with a pair of gold candle holders, each with a simple white candle inside it.

A bow rests against one of the five fir wood chairs, strung, but without its quiver. There are no other weapons in sight.

There’s a window on each wall, and each has white lace curtains tied back to let in the most sunlight possible. Out each window you can see vibrant green grass, trees, woodland animals, and bright birds that can be heard singing all the time.

 

The Wisdom Keepers

This room is most likely the fanciest in the house. White marble floors, elegant white paneled walls, and gold candelabras gracing the walls. A long table sits in the very center of the room, covered in a white silk tablecloth and decorated with silver candle holders every few seats, the white candles inside already lit.

The table is set with china plates, golden goblets, and pure silverware. A feast is set along the center of the table, containing any food you can think of. Turkey, pheasant, pies, cakes, potatoes, carrots, apples, just to name very few.

The right wall is open to a balcony, allowing the room to flood with light, also aided by three golden chandeliers hanging over the table. On the other three walls, elegantly woven tapestries hang, lending their rich, vibrant colors to the otherwise neutrally colored room.

 

There are so many books I love to read, but Dreamtreaders is the one that I always list as my favorite. Whether it really is my absolute favorite or not is impossible to tell.

Dreamtreaders

When you walk in, you’re first bombarded by the mess. Books, blankets, papers, and all sorts of things are strewn everywhere. But you can make out the desk against the left wall, the bed against the right, and you can see the sliding glass door in the back wall that leads out onto a tiny balcony. The walls of the room are black, decorated with swirls of dark color. Behind the bed is painted a navy blue clock tower with a dark gold face, and against the desk is propped a midnight blue surfboard.

The bed is dark walnut wood, with blankets of an almost black green, and a well is carved into the footboard. The desk is the same wood, with a ragged old doll sitting on the far corner.

The air in the room smells musty, and the light filtering in through the door is dim and almost green-tinted. A storm is coming.

 

Nominees

Most of these will probably be repeats since I have no idea who to nominate. No one is required to do the challenge.

Grace at My Corner of Grace

Halfblood Cheetah at I’m Only Human

Mandy at Jumping In the Puddles

Rubix at The Sea Calls Us Home

Janie at Catmooslane

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