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Worldbuilding Wednesday: Strands in Odd Places

So @Shutsumon started doing Worldbuilding Wednesday on Mastodon and that got me thinking and so then I started and…

well, here’s last week’s post. I’m going to try to post them a week after I toot (post on Mastodon) them.


Strands in Weird Places

In theory, Stranded World is composed of “Strands” which make up the connections of every thing and being to every other thing and being; certain people can see, manipulate, or read the Strands but they come into existence and eventually fade away on their own in a constant cycle of renewal. 

In practice, the Strands that strand-workers read/manipulate are like you took a page full of the very lightest pencil lines going everywhere and then added just a few bright marker lines: strong connections between people or between a person and an animal/plant/thing.  

For instance: I have a very strong connection with my husband, a rather strong connection with my cats, and rather strong connections with my grandparent’s house/farm. Compared to my connection to the guy sitting across from me on the bus, the cat I saw at the winery the other week, the apartment we lived in for a couple months when I was 20, those connections are going to be thick and easy to pick out. 

Sometimes, you end up with “Weird” connections:

People who met for three minutes at a bus stop who form a Strand so thick it pulls them back together, so that they reinforce that strand, so that it pulls them together again. 

A place that takes on so much of its own character that it holds on to connections; not only do people remember it for a long time, but it remembers them, and so the strands are no longer dependent on living memory. 

A moment in time will, on very rare occasion, create connections, which form a line between all of the people experiencing that moment and anchor people to that moment.  In some cases, it makes time warp strangely around it, such that even thinking about it for too long can create wrinkles much later on. 

Sometimes you end up with places, or animals, or plants that somehow not just form strands — since everyone and everything can do that to some degree — but manipulate them. 

There’s a tree in the middle of a forest that likes to loosen some bonds and form others, and you never know until you climb up into its branches which might happen. 

There’s a cat who wanders the suburban evenings tangling strands up, leaving a wake of small chaos behind her and caring about as much as she’d care about a ball of yarn. 

And there are events which are so tangled up from their very creation that just moving towards them — Burning Man, but only sometimes, for instance; certain marches on certain places; certain prayer circles and certain parties — changes the person moving, for better or for worse. 

The Great NanoWrimo Prompt Call

Today I am Feeling uncreative

The Great NanoWrimo Prompt Call

Today, I am feeling uncreative, and so I beg your aid in a story I am writing for the Great NanoWrimo Prompt Call.

I point your attention, if I may, to the world of Things Unspoken.

Cities/places already in existence include

Scheffenon, the Scheif Harbor, high on the Northern Sea (where there are Cornesc-speaking people)
(Scheffenon isnot a Cornesc word, but one from the people who had been here before)

Orschëst, down by the southern border

Corthwin (where the Ash remains unburnt)

the western cities, the ones that had once belonged to an Empire called only To (never the To Empire, the Tovan nation, or anything else, just To)

Here is a very draft map – http://www.lynthornealder.com/2015/04/28/what-happens-in-meetings-a-draft-map-of-part-of-the-unspoken-world/

So!  I need another city.  There’s sort of obviously not one language to this Empire, so it doesn’t have to sound like those above, but should sound… “exotic?”  Well, not Springfield or Washington, let’s go with that.

(Most of my named people have Eastern-European-inspired names, just as a note)

Halp?

(If I get more than one, i’ll clearly just have to write another story)

Fun Facts About the (Faerie) Apocalypse

Originally posted on Patreon in July 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

  1. Fae Apoc was born because I wanted to write a serial like Tales of MU (long-running modern-esque fantasy university serial with a heavy dose of BDSM and many other kinks).  It came off of the Tír na Cali setting and, as such, there’s still some visible similarities, even beyond the collars.
  2. Other elements in the Fae Apoc ‘verse came from three short stories I was working on, one based on things I had wanted out of a roleplay reincarnation set-up and never gotten and the other two having heavy overtones of a group of people I used to live with. (Midnight Cigarette, Wings, and a piece whose title I don’t remember).  Oh!  And a piece I don’t think I ever finished about closing portals.
  3. The core words in the Ellehemaei lexicon came from a babble-language that I used to speak to myself, although they were nudged a bit for consistency.
  4. “Kept/Keeper” was originally supposed to be one casual term out of many; that’s part of the reason that in more recent serial stories I’ve been trying on different terms
  5. The Laws of the Ellehemaei were literally written to screw the protagonists.  Of course, in-setting, they were made to screw with (punish, control) the fae, so this works out pretty well.
  6. Fae Apoc is the only setting currently that will be willed to someone other than my husband on my death (Inspector Caracal).
  7. I have only sold one published story out of Fae Apoc – Monster Godmother (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NUOIEEC/ref=cm_sw_su_dp)

Want more?

World Building June Day 13 – A Diagram?

In the post I did yesterday, I mentioned a Jackal house, a “very small building on the outskirts of town that has only the bare necessities to survive,” in the Bear Empire, reserved for those who are taking advantage of the charity/kindness of others.

If you’ve been following on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/aldersprig/posts?tag=boom), you may have noticed that I’ve been drawing little maps and floor plans in Excel and Paint.

So when I was like “tiny building, bare necessities….”

Of course I had to draw it.

And I might have mentioned that I’ve been taking all-day Administrative Excellence classes on Wednesdays.

This leads to a lot of doodling and drawing.

So uh.  There’s a reason I draw these things in Excel usually, and below you’ll see both versions.

A “Jackal House” in the Bear Empire, as it might look.  Fire is a required necessity for survival.  Windows are not.

As the sketch shows, a stack of firewood outside the house on the windward side provides more firewood and also insulation.  The high-pitched roofline provides protection. 

 

 

World Building June Day 13 – Money and Mooches

It’so June WorldBuilding So I’m building Worlds!  Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!

(mostly Bear Empire now, though I’ll make sure I at least post everything I wrote on the Ezra IV Colonies)

13- What type of economic structures do they follow?

As a whole, the Bear Empire works on a mostly-capitalist structure; that is, people sell goods and services for currency to buy other goods and services.

The exceptions to this are as follows:

* There are still large portions of the Empire (mind you, not lovely portions or anything, but portions) where land is free.  As long as you have four adults or more willing to agree to live there for at least five years, the local governor will build you a house and a barn and give you up to 200 acres (although in many cases measuring those acres is complicated.  Ever measure horizontal land up the side of a mountain?).

* Taxes to the Shire, the [governor-area] and the Empire cover first and primarily infrastructure, but a portion is put aside every year for the following:

– relief for areas stricken by famine or disaster (inside the borders or, to a lesser degree, outside of them)

– Aid for the poor

– basic reading, writing, and religious education for all children from weaning to prepubescence.

This last one is new and still controversial, since it did require a raise in taxes across the board.  

* Within any town or shire, if someone has come upon hard times, there is a “10% rule.”  That is, rather than tithes to the church, people put aside 10% of their goods and harvests as they can, and will give, generally, 1/3 of that to any they encounter who have come on hard times

(on the other hand, if someone is known to abuse that charity, there is a thing called the Jackal House, a very small building on the outskirts of town that has only the bare necessities to survive. If you find yourself escorted the Jackal House, you can know that you have tried the patience of a town and stretched their 10% further than they are willing to accept.

The primary manner one gets out of the Jackal House, save from moving to another town, is by performing some act of service for every member of the town. )


 

Questions? Thoughts?  Tell me!

World Building June Day 11-12 – Language, Creatures, Government

It’s World-Building June!  So I’m building Worlds!  Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!

It’s also June WorldBuilding – so we’re getting two sets of prompts.  

Still going on the catch-up!

11. What’s language like in your world?

The language of the Empire of the Bear is technically three related languages that have many similarities but are not always mutually comprehensible.  (And three others which are used in very small sections, one of which nobody can understand)

The language family as a whole of the five larger languages is a liquid tongue with a lot of vowels and active tongue use, a popping plosive, and tonal mood shifts and sometimes meaning shifts.  The Lynx language tends to drop initial and final consonant sounds and sometimes repeat vowels; the Fox language involves repetition and a lot more popping sounds, as well as some trills. The Cat people have a lot more trills in their language as well as a whistle-sound.  And the Elk people, only one word in twenty is recognizable between their dialect and the others. Theirs tends towards complicated vowel combinations and often seems to require hand gestures. Continue reading

World Building June: Government, Economy

Originally posted on Patreon in June 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
It‘s June World Building!  And I continue with some more questions from Inspector Caracal’s List!

🌋

11- How many different governments does the story interact with? How are they different or similar, or why is the one isolated?

Nimbus really doesn’t interact with any of the Sky Island Governments, but as mentioned before, there are four of them.  Her parents belong to the academic group and live on one of those Islands (although I may need to check that).

The Sky Islands are intermingled only with each other, of course, and do not touch the land below.  Many of the differences and similarities were mentioned above in “Who Lives in your World?”; notably, while msot of the people on the Sky Islands share a single broad set of values, each government represents a subsection of those values. Continue reading

World Building June Day 10 & 11 – Holidays and Governments

It’s World-Building June!  So I’m building Worlds!  Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!

It’s also June WorldBuilding – so we’re getting two sets of prompts.  

Still going on the catch-up!

10. What holidays & traditions are observed in your world?

Major holidays in the Bear Empire include:

* A major feast near the end of autumn

* a day called the “day of sleep” after the first major frost.  

* A spring-thaw celebration

(these three above together are referred to as the Hibernation festivals) Continue reading

World Building June: Government, Economy

Originally posted on Patreon in June 2018 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
It‘s World-Building June!  So I’m building Worlds! Here on Patreon, I’m building “Aerax”, the world of Expectant Woods. Over on WordPress, I’m working on Bear Empire, the world of the so-named story, and a new thing called United Space. 

And it’s also June World-Building!  So I’m shifting over to Inspector Caracal’s questions, but as I already had a few (a week) written on the first set, there’s some overlap, and I skipped ahead to closer to the actual day on Cal’s list. 

🌋

8. How is your world run? Who’s in power?

Above: All of the sky islands are technically one government.  They are run by a central elected set of leaders – five of them – who are supported by a set of representatives chosen by each of the four territories of islands. Continue reading

World Building June Day 9 & 21 – Religions and Bear Necessities

It’s World-Building June!  So I’m building Worlds!  Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!

It’s also June WorldBuilding – so we’re getting two sets of prompts.  

Here’s two posts this week!

9. What are the religions and cosmology of your world?

Within the Bear Empire and in several of the nations surrounding it, the primary religion – and the one that is supported by/considered part of/supporting the state – is a totemic faith of sorts.  The nation of the Bear considered Mother Bear to be their guardsmen, protector, and guide; the Lynx people still consider Sister Lynx as theirs, and so on.

It is the belief or at least a tenet of this faith that the Bear is the ancestor of the Bear people, the Fox of the Fox people, and so on.  This sits in the realm of pre-history with the story that the totems came here because their prior land was too crowded.

I mention  Priests of Axes and temple of Axes in my story.  So, let’s see.

The options are: Axes is the name of the Bear in a certain aspect.

Axes was meant to be Axis, and it refers to the pole.

Axes are the weapons of choice of the Priesthood of the Bear, and so the casual name for them is the Priesthood of Axes.

I like that third one the best.


Cal Questions

SOCIETY/CULTURE

21- What do people in the society consider basic necessities? What resources do they take for granted?

Stone.  Stone is definitely taken for granted.

Granite, even.

Stone, and wood, and water – clean water – and the very thin underlying force of magic which powers things most people don’t even think about (like the Bear-stone bracelets and other Bear-stone items).  All those things are in abundance in the Empire of the Bear. As is, ah, natural refrigeration.

🐻

Basic necessities include: Shelter-and-heat, bread-and-salt, mittens-and-boots. In some parts of the country, it is considered a grievous sin to deny anyone who asks any of these things; in others, it’s considered an equally grievous sin to ask.  In both places, if you ask and it is given, or if it is given freely without asking, a bond has been formed that neither can break.  In three seasons out of four, lack of any of them can kill you, and in the fourth, lack of the bread and salt might still kill you.

Close behind in necessity: The support of your totem.  The knowledge of your kin-group. Knowing who has your back in a fight and having at least two people who will.

This is one reason marriages are often tripartite.


 

Questions? Thoughts?  Tell me!