Sunday Worldbuilding

Sunday Worldbuilding update

August 18th, 2019  |  Published in Sunday Worldbuilding

Hi peeps,

When I said that I would show you how I make my maps this week I forgot I was going to be on holiday in Scotland and so I would not have chance to make the necessary screen shots. So I’ll do that once I’m home. As a result I don’t have a prepared post for this week.

So instead if you have a worldbuilding question about any of my worlds you can ask here and as long as it isn’t a spoiler I will answer over the next few days.

Next week there will not be a Sunday Worldbuilding post as I am travelling home from Holiday. I will however be updating Lawgiver’s Blade (if I can get the installment wrangled into shape) and Tales of the First as usual.

Sunday Worldbuilding – The Joy of Worldbuilding

August 11th, 2019  |  Published in Sunday Worldbuilding

I often list writing as my primary hobby but while it’s certainly in my top two hobbies it has a rival. Worldbuilding. Most people who write fantasy will start with a plot idea and worldbuild just enough to make their world believable. Others – like JRR Tolkien – start with languages and worlds and the stories grow out of them. I am kinda in the middle on this, though leaning strongly towards Tolkien’s end of the spectrum (though I do not have his conlanging chops yet).

Some of my stories start out as story ideas and I create the world around it – though the initial idea rarely survives contact with the worldbuilding as I amend it so much as I build the world. Dragon Wars and Haventon Born both fall into this category.

Other times the seed of a setting appears out of the blue and I just have to build it and then as the world grows the characters and their stories appear. This is by far the more common way I get stories. Lawgiver’s Blade and Tales of the First are both this kind of story. So is Whisper to a degree because it started with Ishtar, the world of the Kska and Tkin, and its sulphuric acid seas and went from there (I am enamoured of alternative thalassogens and I do not care how unlikely they are).

It’s probably not a surprise, then, that I have far more worlds than stories.

So I thought that, instead of talking about the worlds that relate to my stories – which carries with it the risk of spoilers – I’d do a series where I show one of my seeds that has been sitting on my hard drive for a while waiting for me to develop it.

For today I will just be introducing it.

I call it the drying world and what I know so far is that over many millenia the following happened as a result of some sort of Supernatural disaster:

The Drying World – 60% ocean
The Drying World – 30% Ocean

I made these maps in Fractal Terrains which is a useful piece of software that generates complete worlds from fractals. However you should take these with a grain of salt as I only every take the coastlines from Fractal Terrains and I usually amend them slightly as well. So next time (which may or may not be next Sunday as I go on holiday on the 17th August) I will show you how I start to make my own maps using the unfortunately named but free and open source GIMP and the not free but excellent Campaign Cartographer.

See you then.

Sunday Worldbuilding – Tales of the First Setting

August 4th, 2019  |  Published in Sunday Worldbuilding, Tales of the First

I’ve wanted to do something with Supers for a long time. Now many of my stories have characters who could be superheroes – it’s mentioned as a joke in both Dragon Wars and Haventon – but here I meant the more traditional view. That gave me two choices go with a world with established superheroes and villians or a world where they are a new phenomenonnthat has crashed onto the scene. As you can tell I went with the latter as it creates yet another crisis for the people trying to keep all the plates spinning.

What do I mean by that? Well…

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Worldbuilding – Lawgiver’s Blade Maps!

July 29th, 2019  |  Published in Lawgiver's Blade, Sunday Worldbuilding

The Alait Archipelago

This map shows the whole of The Alait Archipelago where Lawgiver’s Blade is set. It is a large archipelago about 100 miles off the west coast of a large continent and lies in the southern hemisphere of the world.

It was once known as the forbidden isles because the Eight – the primary gods of this world – forbade humans to go there, but they lifted this prohibition and guided their followers there several centuries ago after the Hadrini attacked them. Now they call them “Alait” which means “Holy” or “Sacred”

As you can probably tell it was once one huge island and something very bad happened. Chances are that has something to do with why they were forbidden. Chances are that’s going to come up at some point…

Shael – circa the start of Lawgiver’s Blade

Here we see Shael as it was around the start of the story. As you can see it is a tiny place consisting of only a few households. The adult population at this point would be less than one hundred but more than fifty. However Shael is growing and by the current chapter several new houses have been added and I am currently expanding the map to show these.

Things that this map illustrates are the Benari geomancy network in which roads are very deliberate placed to channel the magical energy flows in the land and take the where they are needed. The solitary tree with the path leading down to the road is a magical upwelling and the path is feeding the energy into the system. Meanwhile the path to the fields takes not only the people of Shael there to work but the energy to enhance their fertility and keep the crops healthy.

Houses are also very deliberately placed and all construction works have to be approved by a qualified geomancer. However their placing is to make use of the network to maintain the health of the populous. This makes them less prone to minor ailments, speeds healing of minor injuries and helps prevent age and work related degenerative conditions like arthritis and dementia but cannot do much against serious illnesses like plague or cancer.

On its own this would make the population healthier, longer lived and less prone to famine than you might expect for a roughly medieval technology level. When you add in the work of the mages who bless the fields each Spring and those who heal the sick and injured the upshot is that they actually produce yields per acre similar to those found in modern industrial farming and lifespans and health outcomes similar (and sometimes better than) those granted by modern medicine.

Any questions? Ask in the comments.