Tag Archive | setting

The Aunt Family – a Welcome

The family – Evangaline’s family, Beryl’s family, the family – has known how to use power for a very long time. They’ve known who should have power, too – them, of course, and preferably nobody else.

It’s a big family, but there’s a lot of power to be had; they’ve been collecting it for quite a while.

And, because they understand – through hard experience, in some cases – what happens if you hold power without paying sufficient attention to it, the family condenses that power into one person in each branch of the family, an unmarried, childless woman who has, so the theory goes, no distractions from her power. Because the family is not known for its creativity, they call this woman the Aunt – and she is always a niece of the former Aunt.

Evangaline has recently taken on the mantle of the Aunt, but the family is already guessing that her teenage niece Beryl will be the next one to wear the mantle.

The “Aunt Family” setting is rural modern fantasy, set in an unnamed town where the family’s reputation has, over the generations, gotten around. The magic is quiet, but nobody really doubts that it’s there.

The Aunt Family Landing Page is here.


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/802651.html. You can comment here or there.

Reiassan – a Welcome

Welcome to Reiassan.

The continent stretches from the northern ice to the warm southern isles, carved by glaciers into long trenchlike valleys and shoved into high ridges of mountains that act like a spine down the eastern coast of the land.

The history stretches from its first settlers, stranded here by a climate change, through an age of magic and mercenaries, to the peace of ages and the subsequent chaos. It continues on through into the nation’s steam era, with the advent of goatless carriages, airships, and the harnessing of what was once called magic, sira, into aether.

The Iron Era, when magic was high and war was a series of dirty skirmishes, is a high-fantasy setting. Warriors ride into battle on war-goats, followed by sira-flinging mages. Armor is simple, magic is wild, and nobody is certain who will win the war, the northern Calenyena or the southern Bitrani.

The Peace Era, when religion binds up magic and war is ending in a series of complicated battles, is a low-magic fantasy setting. The peace has been signed, and much of what remains is politics. Magic is done quietly and subtly, and warriors head home to their farms. The Calenyena have beaten the Bitrani, and nobody knows what will happen next.

The Steam Era, when science has taken over and magic is a distant myth, is a steampunk setting. The Calenyena are firmly in charge, and engineers and scientists, politicians and scholars, adventure where once warriors rode. The Bitrani might rebel – nobody knows – but in the meantime, the aether will flow and the steam will punk.

The Reiassan’s landing page is here.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/779060.html. You can comment here or there.

A week of Settings – Day Seven: Sideshow and Addergoole East

Faerie Apocalypse
The origins of the fae are lost to history. What we know is that the ones who would be called gods came to our world a few centuries BC, and left sometime about two millenia ago.

They left behind their halfblood bastards, fae who were almost as powerful as they had been, the children of the so-called gods and the humans around them. In time, those fae bred with other humans, the lines diluting with generations.

Then, in 2011, the gods came back, claiming their rightful place. Neither humanity nor the relatives that had been left behind were willing to allow this; the war that follow destroyed nine-tenths of the human population (see: Deaths in the Faerie Apoc) and most of the infrastructure of the world. Thus: faerie apocalypse, the gods war.

Addergoole East is one of the adjunct schools to the original Addergoole project.

Run by an Addergoole West (the original school) graduate, who also happens to be a niece of the original Director, Addergoole East is an integrated school, combining human education in a post-apocalyptic time with the education of fae. This balance, in a time when fae are nearly-universally disliked, is maintained carefully by Dean Storm and her staff.

SideShow shows us another corner of the post-apocalyptic world.

The Two by Two Zoo travels from town to town, settlement to settlement, much in the way that travelling sideshows have for centuries. This one, however, has a purpose beyond simply entertaining: propaganda.

In the Zoo’s moving cages are lions, tigers, bears… and a fae, cute and furry and helpless looking. Sideshow is her story.

That’s seven settings. What would you like to learn about my writing next “week?”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/591065.html. You can comment here or there.

Notes on Sira and Aether for Steam!Calenta/Edaly Academy

On Sira and Aether

Sira is the ancient word for the force that underlies the world. It’s actually a word from the ancient Tabersi (the predecessors of the Bitrani) that was sound-shifted into Calenyen; the Bitrani say shira..

The word sira fell out of favor around 1400 R, or approximately 400 years after the Rin and Girey story; the Academy story takes place in 1750 R (after the discovery of the continent of Reiassan). People didn’t so much stop believing in sira as start feeling that their explanations for it were too credulous, too superstitious, and too rooted in the very-powerful Temples of the Three. They wanted to understand more.

Enter the concept of aether.

This is another Bitrani word. The Calenyena call it aatur, simply using the Bitrani word shifted for a sound they find comfortable. Some scholars call it iezhyetar (from Iezhet, air, and ietar, power), but the term has not gained a great deal of popularity; ancient Bitrani sounds as if it has more gravitas to their ears.

As the scholars in 1750 R understand the aether (whatever they call it), the aether is an underlying force of the universe. It exists wherever two pieces of the world rub together, and can be harvested from these areas with the careful application of mechanical apparati or the very, very careful application of straight concentration and mental fortitude.

Very few scholars approve of the second method, however, because it has a feel very much like that of magic, and everyone knows that magic is bunk.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/590530.html. You can comment here or there.

Learning the Blue Sira, a setting Fic

See also Learning the Sira and Learning the Aether. Set in the same era (80 years before Rin/Girey) as Learning the Sira

“Close your eyes. Don’t worry about the boat. That is the Captain’s job. Worry about the water beneath the boat.”

Instructor Aarezhnu’s voice was a soothing and melodic chant, one of the reasons Ailetletai considered the ancient woman her favorite Instructor.

Aitai closed her eyes, as she was told to, and thought about the water under the gently bobbing boat. It had a light motion to it; the seas were mostly calm today, but in the Tienbraa sea, nothing was ever truly still.

“Now focus on the blue of the water.” Instructor Aarezhnu shifted her tone, just as the water shifted. Back and forth, back and forth. “Feel the way that Tienebrah flows the the world. Feel the way that the sira shifts, moving with the current.”

The instructor was the only one Aitai had ever heard refer to the Gods in the same breath as the sira. Most people preferred the buffer of philosophy, but Aarezhnu was old, and set in her ways, however fluid those ways seemed.

“Focus on the water, students. The water is where the sira is. The sira is what we are noticing today.”

Aitai didn’t know if the admonishment was meant for her, but she took it as such. Sira. Down into the water. Deeper into the water. There were little currents, like tadpoles playing, up near the surface, but the real sira… that should be further down. Down, down, down.

She found a shining beacon of blue and wrapped her mental hands around it. There, there, the brightest sira she had ever tasted.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/589184.html. You can comment here or there.

A Week of Settings – Day Six: Tír na Cali/Harem

Tír na Cali is a monarchical nation that takes up the west coast of what, in the real world, is the United States, plus Baja California. It is ruled by a matriarchal triple bloodline of people who call themselves the children of the goddess, and have psychic powers to prove it.

Slavery not only exists but is prevalent, including in its use as a long-term hostage-taking effort; the Californians steal people, generally teenagers and twenty-somethings but sometimes older professionals in desired field, from the U.S. and enslave them in California.

Most slaves serve as one of a few to a small household, as domestic staff on a larger estate, or, if otherwise intractable or useless, as field workers.

However, at least one elderly-by-normal-standards Lady of some repute has opened up a harem in her family estate, where many attractive young men are kept cloistered and in top physical condition, awaiting anything their mistress or her many female relatives might want of them. A key is their ticket out of the harem and into personal freedom…

…but they have to want it.

The Harem sub-story starts here: Gifted

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/588639.html. You can comment here or there.

This one at least moved past the architecture for a bit…

Unnamed Kink Setting Worldbuilding 2: Inside and Outside

Travel between cities is rare; caravans that do so carry twice as many guards as they do passengers, and are prohibitively expensive. To travel on your own, or with a couple guards, is to risk, in order of likelihood:

* Attack by “bandits;” groups who live in tiny walled settlements and range out as far as they dare in search of prey, whether human or otherwise.

* Death by thirst or starvation if your supplies run out, if you get turned around in one of the wild storms.

* Death by wild storm.1

* Transformation or twisting – or engulfment – by a Lantern.2

* Attack by a Creature3 or a mundane beast.

* Being shot down by the guards of your goal city.

The cities are the primary population centers; farmers live outside the walls, but close enough to flee within them if any of the aforementioned threats attack. Bandits, too, the occasional marauder, and a few tiny, terrifying settlements also exist outside cities, but they account for less than 10% of the total population of the continent.

Inside the cities, the population follows a structure as tiered as the concentric walls, and, indeed, marked by and inspired by those walls.

    1. Wild Storms are just what they sound like, massive storms – dependent on the locale, tornado, hurricane, sandstorm – with the added benefit of sometimes having magic twisted up within them.

    2. A Lantern is someone who lost control of their magic, and are now simply a conduit for the power. The power spurts from them in unpredictable bursts, or sometimes just flows out until the human at the core is entirely lost. The only plus is that Lanterns are generally stationary.

    3. A Creature is, well, a creature, one that has been warped by proximity either to a place of power4

    4. A place of power is assumed to be an opening from the magic to our plane of existence, although nothing but magic ever comes through.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/587761.html. You can comment here or there.

A week of Settings – Day Five: Bug Invasion

It was an ordinary day when the bugs invaded.

The bugs had swooped in, hitting the early-warning system and landing within hours of that. There was time to sound alarms, but not time to evacuate billions of people to safe places – if, indeed, there would have been safe places for all.

They weren’t truly bugs, of course; they were an alien species with alien biology. But they had segmented bodies and compound ideas, and the term stuck.

Worse than their attack, worse than their alien behavior, was how they succeeded in their attack: they invaded the bodies and minds of humans (not all humans, but a select few) in a symbiotic merger that left them better able to work with and understand the human psyche.

They won the first thrust of the battle.

However, they were not counting on the complexity and strength of the human resistance.

Bug Invasion starts with the invasion. From there it follows the symbiotes and their struggle to deal with the human condition.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/585273.html. You can comment here or there.

Learning the Aether, a setting Fic

See also Learning the Sira

This story takes place approx 750 years after the time of Rin & Girey, in the era of the Edalley Academy stories (forthcoming), also known as Steam!Goats era.

I am not wed to the terms for the different sorts of aether – feedback?

“There is more that we do not know about the aether than we know.”

Instructor Posvorrem was a tall, lean man, with ice-and-slate braids down to the back of his knees and the tidiest beard his students had ever seen.

“If we were to put all of the knowledge of the aether that scientists currently hold in a goblet.” The instructor picked up the goblet he used for such demonstrations. “Then everything that we still did not know would fill this tower.

“Still.” He had a habit of pacing up and down the rows of tables. It made his students even more nervous than they already were. “We will attempt to cram into your heads all that the goblet holds, and hope there is room enough.”

A nervous titter filled the room. Posvorrem smiled without humor. “Aether is a function of the way parts of the world rub against other parts. For instance, when you have a geological fault line, you will have deposits of the aether that associates itself with stone and earth, mineraloid aether. When you have a deep current in the ocean, the hydrologic aether likewise deposits-“

“How does it deposit in the ocean?”

Instructor Posvorrem coughed. His gaze fixed on the offending student until they blushed and looked away.

“It leaves small pockets of a semi-solid mass which are carried along, sometimes settling at the bottom of the ocean floor and sometimes being pushed to the surface. A wind current will do something similar, and the push and pull of plants in a forest will create small nodules of biologic aether…”

“What about people?” This was, at least, a different student. Posvorrem didn’t even bother looking at that one.

“There is no such thing as humanic aether. I’d suggest you put it out of your mind.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/584584.html. You can comment here or there.

Learning the Sira, a setting Fic

This story takes place some time (generations) before the Rin/Girey tales.

“There is more that we do not know about the sira than we know.”

Instructor Birtelnyū was a short woman, with steel-grey braids longer than her spine. She was also one of the most terrifying instructors in the Edallee Acadamy; she had spent much of her life flinging sira.

“What we can say, definitively, about the sira would fill this cup.” She held up a tin mug. “And what there is left would fill the room. But I will teach you what I know, and that cup should be enough to fill your minds.”

Instructor Birtelnyū was not a kind woman, not by any definition, but the students still leaned forward at their tables.

“The sira,” she began, “is the force that powers all magic, and perhaps all life itself.

“It is found in the rocks of the earth – not in all rocks, but in certain ones – in currents in the ocean and the wind – and in certain living plants. Humans and animals sometimes have a current of sira within them, too, but we do not use that sira.”

She paused. Inevitably, a student raised their fingers. “Why not, Instructor?”

And just as inevitably, another student answered. “Because it’s forbidden.

“We do not use that sira,” the instructor raised her voice, “because it is as wild as the wildest of the natural sira, and it burns to use it.”

“What about the sira of fire?”

“That one burns a little more literally. And yes, there is sira in many other things I have not named yet today. But you will begin as all students begin, with the sira in rock.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/583838.html. You can comment here or there.