1. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    A Geo-Fiction (lotsa reading)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Edward, Jul 12, 2007.

    A Fictional world

    I've taken up a rather lofty and never-ending project of late: Writing an encyclopedia for a fictional world.

    [Note]: most of the names are placeholders

    The world is called Zelos, in line with the current pantheon of planetary names (It's a bit of humour on my part, Zelos is the personification of emulation, and yet the planet is actually (in my admittedly biased opinion) quite different from the current tropes of the genre), a planet with relatively the same solar distance and axial tilt as earth (because I want things to be as accurate as possible, and I don't know what kind of things that would change. I'm going worried about crossing that line by giving it two moons and a ring, from a third moon that was destroyed by a meteor)).

    There are three continents and one supercontinent (think Eurasia) broken down into five more major continents. Each continent has a native race, loosely based on one of the current tropes, with some of my own quirks (Dwarves are the Dwyrin: short, wiry and thick boned, like mountain goats as people, a large silk market, and a form of martial arts that reconstructs the world around them; Orcs are the Urukai: red skinned, horned people who live in large desert cities; Elves are the Alvain... meh, they're still pretty much white people with pointy ears, though they are less of the haughty higher than thou.)

    Faeries aren't little people with wings, but large insects that look like people: the fae (basically the average faerie) is an ant/bee like hive minded, emergent entity ruled by a single queen and a small court of male consorts. The warriors of the Court (a fae hive) are the Irish and Scottish CuSith and CaitSith, faerie dog and faerie cat. Something like a cross between a big green dog and a beetle, and a black cat bug that can teleport. The Scottish version of the Bean Sidhe, the Bean Nighe (a woman who foretells death by washing clothing) is actually a large sidhe (these bug like faeries) that's like a cross between a spider and a women: It's not washing bloody clothes, it's running a silken fishing net along the river to catch fish. It's still a bad luck omen to the people of Jotunheim to see one, but that's just in their head, it doesn't cause the death.

    Coming in the next post (so long as a second post isn't against the rules...) Magic! Thaumaturgy actually, magic is only one of the three branches...

    [​IMG]
    Middengard(Clockwise from the top: Nidavellir, Vanaheim, Alvheim, Eden, Utgardr, Jotunheim) and the surrounding lands: Svartalfheim, Muspell, and Thrymheim
     
  2. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Thaumaturgy
    The world of Zelos has three main types of thaumaturgy, that each act on one of the three "levels" in the main faith: The Mind (Asgard), the Body (Zelos, the earth, the physical world), and the Soul (Helheim/Hel).

    the highest form of thaumaturgy corresponds mostly to the Mind: Esperism. Unfortunately though, it is the least understood branch. Many in fact, use "Esper" as a catch-all term for any thaumaturgic ability not covered by the other two branches. Examples of Espers include the Faerie cats, Cait Sith. The teleporting ability they possess despite a lack of Numina marks them as espers.

    The second branch is mostly to the body: Alchemy. Alchemy is also the most used branch, in fact, many experts have suggested that despite the amount of training involved, the fact that anyone can perform alchemy without a unique physiology bars it from being thaumaturgy. Alchemy works by transferring energy from the body of the Alchemist to change things: a simple touch from a (Master) Alchemist could change the composition of one object into another. This of course can cause many problems for unexperienced alchemists (creating dangerous isotopes for example), leading most governments to regulate it greatly. In some cases performing high level alchemy without a license is similar to practicing medicine the same way. Speaking of Medicine, that was one of the first trained and documented uses of Alchemy, to heal. Poisons can be transmuted away, the heart could be jump started with a small charge, etcetera. Of course, it wouldn't be a martial art if it wasn't very martial. Fists almost litterally made of stone; sending those same jolts of electricity in larger doses used to short circuit the heart of an enemy; An (again, Master) Alchemist could turn the ground beneath it's feet into a scorching bed of lava (though the alchemist who specialize in transmuting the area around them are known as Geomancers. Of course, most people only know the few healing techniques tought in free classes anyone can attend.

    And finally, the one you've all been waiting for; The Be all and the end all of the thaumaturgic schools: Magic. Magic is the most widely used branch, almost equivalent to electricity. Magic is used to run cities, pull water to the surface, power boats and locomotives. The reason it's not usable by the vast majority of the population has been pointed out in the previous entry: Magic requires a unique physiology. Within the body of every mage is a separate circulatory system: pumping a bluish liquid known as numina that works as a fuel for numanic reactions. The numen is pumped through the numanic system by a three chambered heart-like organ called the Mana Bladder. When magic is performed the numen is burned, the bladder makes more, and in some cases when the body loses to much Numen the Mana bladder (attached to the heart) works as a mini alchemist (in fact in many ways Alchemy and Magic are similar, magic is almost alchemy from a distance) and transmutes the blood into numen (it doesn't take a Healer to know this isn't something you want to go around doing all day). Though of course, that would be like running until you get a heart attack, unless you're really determined you aren't going to end up doing it.

    Of course, there are other forms of thaumaturgy:
    Symbography for one. Using other's numina to paint symbols on the body (the numen usually comes from wyvern, often small wyvern have their numen drained on farms like cows giving milk (of course, some groups have problems with this, despite harsh regulations imposed on the treatment of the wyvern and the amount of numen that can be taken, there's a lot that goes into keeping it humane.) Thaumaturgic can be stored in prisms such as diamonds and emeralds. Even glass.


    I'm going to sleep now. If anyone cares to help or cares to hear more, I'll post some later.
     
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    The Races

    as with every fantasy story there are an insane amount of races, often drawing inspiration from old folk tales. Unlike other stories though, the races are all of the same species (or of a number of species that have grown to be able to interbreed, some scientists say, splitting the groups into the Goblins, the Dwarves, and the Trolls.)

    Goblins

    Kobali- The kobali are thought to be the oldest race, living in the Jungles of Thrymheim for millennium. They have small horns on their heads about an inch tall, though scientists don't have a concrete reason, most believe they are for head butting, as many similar primates in the jungle do. Over the years though they've become mostly for show. The Kobali have the lowest mage per population ratio, although many practice alchemy and are espers. They don't excel in either of these though. Dispite these shortcomings, the Kobali where able to rule an empire that stretched into Nidavellir. The Kobali capital was Uzumaki'xial, until the kobali bat goddess was sealed there to keep her from sacrificing more of the lower class, and also making the kobali continue their war with the Trowe. the City is now home to the Loyalists, who seek to return the goddess. A few hundred years later the capital is situated in the Ebony Coast. The Kobali mode of transportation is traditionally the Behemoth, a large beast like a cross between a rhino and elephant: thick legs, large body, tusks, a thick tail, and a mane.
    [The Kobali are stylistically based off of the Mayans, Aztecs, Incans and Olmecs. Jungle
    dwellers who ruled a huge empire and built stone temple where they sacrificed to their gods. As well as a little bit of African civilization: tribal, superstitious, shamans and soothsayers. The Ebony Coast is a play on Africa's Ivory Coast]


    Urukai- The urukai are the next of the goblin races, pejoratively called "Orcs." The Urukai are a tall, desert dwelling race found in Utgardr (the outlands). They're skin has a reddish tint and they also have horns like the kobali, but they're horns are not straight on the top of their head, but at a slight angle, often compared to cat ears, despite being mostly round. As with modern kobali, the horns are vestigial, though many urukai treat them like ears: another place to put jewelry. Urukai who are wealthy will often have bangle placed around their horns, and some (masochistic) urukai might even have the horns pierced at the tip. The urukai live in large cities near the sources of water, often having a large wells built. The urukai are well known for their aqueducts, and were the first race to have running water. The cities are also built around trade routes, the major one being the Milky Way (which runs all the way from the other side of the continent into Utgardr) and thus see a large amount of business. The capital for the Urukai is December, built on the edge of the ocean where the November River drains into it. In Nidavellir there is a prominently Urukai town called New December. Urukai have the highest amount of Espers of any other race, which is still only a scant few.
    [The urukai are based on the Egyptians and Middle eastern cultures such as the Saracens, and the semitic places of that area. December itself is largely inspired by the presentation of Jerusalem in Kingdom Of Heaven, and was originally (when the Urukai where the Nephilim and had faced what equated to antisemitism and the enemy of the story wanted to avenge his race by genocide and his daughter was all Julieted with the main character, December was going to be a packed, bustling every-race city called Arcadia, but most Biblical references in the story are gone. In the original all the bad guys where named after angels or part of the Tree of Life (the group was called the Sephiroth)) They kept most of their biblical land heritage but lost the whole religious zealotry and backing of Sephiroth. Sephiroth does play an important part in the history, but after Kether and
    Tiphereth's death, Raziel makes the group less of a cult/church and more of an NPO/NGO. Second most worked on race besides the Dwyrin, and possibly my favorite.]

    Oirogai- Oirogai are the last of the Goblin races, as well as the tallest race. Six feet is considered short for an oirogai, and most are seven and a half. They still have the horns of all goblins, but theirs are on the side of their heads, right above the ears. They are also the rarest race since the end of the war against Silver Hand. Romero and the zombie war decimated the population of Jotunheim, sending many refugees to other countries such as Svartalfheim. The few Oirogai left live in the towns of wights that became free after the Lychumachy, when Romero and his lieutenants started an internal feud; Azraels Sorrow, Samael's Joy, and Romero's Bane. Or have join the Resistance at Dun Alviss, which was previously an unused dwarven outpost that served as the front of defense during the war. Since the Lychumachy though, the wight war has mostly ended except for a few mindless zombies that might roam the hillsides. The new Lich King, Char'nobel [uh, say it out loud and you'll get the pun] still is a threat, but not an active one. Hell he may even be dead. er. Oirogai are also known as Risar
    [The country of Jotunheim and the Oirogai are based on medieval France and the French. I guess you could say the zombies are Nazi's occupying the place. They're also a bit of Russian. whereas the urukai are orcs, the Oirogai are Ogres. And a little bit of Giants. They're also my least worked on race, and may just go bye bye.]

    Coming next week, or whenever, (like anyone seems to care...) The Dwarves: Dwyrin and Vanir
     
  4. Edward
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    Sephiroth

    More races later, for now, the Sephiroth:

    The Sephiroth were a group of oppressed soldiers who came together to make a better world, the hard way, by getting to Eden, ancient home of the Aesir. To do this they make a homonculus of Ask and Embla (Adam and Eve), who are the keys to the Bifrost gate and the place they were banished from.

    The leader of Sephiroth, Kether, went through the Charybdis Pass, a desert valley, and there he found eight seeds from the Sephiroth (the tree of life). He took them and got together five other like minded people and gave them the each a seed: Tiphereth with the power to enthrall anyone with her voice (this actually causes the main character to almost kill his girlfriend), Nuriel, who suffered burns over most of her body, has one of the most unusual skills: she can become anyone except herself before her accident, and she can "steal" people's names, erasing them from memory (which, opposite Tiphereth, almost gets the main character killed). Raphael, a battle weary man who served during many of the wars, (and a man addicted to a magical based painkiller to the point of being near immortal). Genius Raziel, who carries a book with all of his acquired knowledge (a lot, given his expanded life). And Cassiel, the only person Raziel cares about, and a powerful esper trapped in a paralyzed body since the age of twelve, who uses an astral projection of herself at that age.
    And Kether himself, Who has the power to manipulate light into a physical substance.

    Sephiroth also has an army of non-seeded individuals, the Engels, it's army. The seventh seed though, was given to a homonculus made from Kether's DNA mixed with what they could recover of Ask's. Ask (named after the original) had control over fire due to the imperfect creation process, which made his body over heat, and the sword Surtr: a square bladed sword with all three edges sealed off, making it a mace. The sword absorbs blood and transmutes it as fuel for fire.

    The Eighth and final Seed was to be given to Embla, (the Eve of Middengard). But instead she was given the eye of the Aesir Odin (who was working for Kether) which made her a perfect homonculus, and was sent away from the Empyrean (The base of Sephiroth, on Wrynn Isle) by Odin (it was a double Cross).


    Of course after the original Sephiroth were defeated, Raziel (that last one alive) turned it into an the NPO it is today.

    [Sephiroth is a Kabbalah term that refers to the divine enumerations. It's also called the Tree of life, hence the connection to the other tree of life, in Genesis. And if the tree of Knowledge of God and Evil gives the knowledge of the Gods with a single fruit, then the Tree of Life must give a sampling of the Life and Power of a God with a seed. Sephiroth, being the map of creation, is the opposite of the Qliphoth, which means Husks or shells, giving (me, a person who only knows of this stuff through wikipedia) the impression that the Sephiroth are the seeds of creation, and the qliphoth is the shells. when the powers of the sephiroth are misused, they become the qliphoth and bad things happen: Hurricanes, etc. All of the Sephiroth (except for Kether and Tiphereth, who are named after parts of the Sephiroth) are named after Angels. In continuing the Christian Angel theme, the army of the Sephiroth are known as Engels, the German word for Angel.
     

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