Wandering the Black Wood amidst the Night’s Mist.

Srs bsns title no?

After the four posts I put up last night, you would think I’d be dry on ideas and on what to say, no? Well I’m not. Don’t like it? Tough! Do like it? Tou… wait… do you like it?

Anyway, what’s left to discuss? In regards to Repeating History’s world and culture, not much. Not without spoiling it and its sequels, anyway. However, now this just leaves me open to discuss my other ideas. Mainly, the Dorian story I aim to be writing for Nanowrimo.

What Lies Between… is actually something I’ve been writing already, and I have a couple chapters detailing some of Dorian’s life, on his efforts to search out and find his sister. However, it is written in a journal sort of way. Dorian is narrating the story, but telling you as if it has all already happened (because it has) with comments that, in my opinion, take away from the story a bit because they are comments in reference to his knowledge now as compared to his knowledge at the time of the event. In other words, comments like “based on what happened years later, I see now that this ____ blah blah blah.” I like that in some ways, but in others, not so much. What Lies Between… is still the title, and what has been written now will be looked at as back story, because it is, but for Nanowrimo I hope to take a better look at his life in a self-narrative in a current setting, i.e. action as it happens. Like the Dresden Files. =)

What Lies Between… is a chapter by chapter tale. In the writing I have already, each chapter is titled according to the open ended sentence the main title provides. What Lies Between … Love and Hate, Life and Death, Anger and Peace, blah blah blah, those are only a few examples of the existing titles. I shall continue this, but instead of each chapter, I’ve decided to try and tie a few chapters under one subtitle like with Stormdancer where each grouping of chapters was filed under a title which referenced the four clans in the author’s Shima Empire.

Enough about that, and now about the culture and world within said story. Arvandor is the name of the world, the solitary continent known in that world, and the capital city of the empire which also has the same name. (Translation, lazy mode naming ideas) There shall be other land masses in the story eventually, but for now, in the mind of the character primarily, all that exists on this world is this one large continent and an ocean twice as large. I have not created a map for this world, but I shall do my best to explain its terrain and composition through words.

At the center of this large continent is the large capital city of Arvandor. It is set within three rings of walls, dividing a castle seated upon a raised cliff, above the second ring of the city, which houses the shops and houses of the upper class directly beneath the nobility and royalty. The second ring is also upon a cliff, raised above the third ring, but the center-most portion of the city is upon a cliff raised even higher than that. Finally, the lowest ring, which rests on the ground level, is where the lower and middle class live. There, on the lower ring, are taverns, more homes, and cheaper shops. Extending out of the walls of the third ring, are farms and pastures and orchards. One of the major locations that Dorian frequents in the story –The Red Dragon Inn– is situated within the lowest portion of the city, within that third ring.

Extending to the east from Arvandor City are three territories. Kadmos is closest to the city, but is seperated from the city by open fields that are not cared for very well. Sparse patches of green are separated by the yellow of dead grass or the brown of untended dirt. The small villages scattered amidst Kadmos offer little chance for occupation. What green land there is, is used for farms, and those that own the farms, tend to be paid off by the Empire of Arvandor or the Criminal underworld in Kadmos. Due to this, the guards frequently come into Kadmos, to police for any unsavory happenings, but the criminal world in Kadmos has adapted to this, and very infrequently do they walk away with an arrest. The criminal world in Kadmos has built up organized conglomerates. The largest of these “mafia” groups are the Blackwood and Cavanagh families. They are the heads of the crime business in and around Kadmos as well as anywhere else they can set foot. However, they have for perhaps as long as time itself, been at war with each other, to claim sole leadership of the crime world in Kadmos. Much blood had been shed between them, and a union was organized to settle peace between the families, and pave the road towards negotiations between the two families. Further to the east from Kadmos was a heavily forested region called Higashi. Higashi’s forests were unlike any other forest in the world, for all year round, the colors of the leaves remained red, orange, and yellow. Higashi was also called “Ever Autumn” or “Aldeon” but only by outsiders. The people of Higashi lived in homes that were hidden within the trees, disguising them with bark and leaf, or building them in a way that the trees stood far taller than the roofs, to conceal them. The most flamboyant land mark in Higashi was Higashi no Ryu, or the Dragon of Higashi. It was an marble structure built within the trees that only barely avoided detection, and was at one point in history, a secret hideout for the Dragon Cartel that was run by the Blackwood family. Beyond Higashi, further to the east, was Senithos. The forests of Higashi made way for the coastland in Senithos which was more ripe and plentiful than the land in Kadmos. In Senithos, farmlands were a plenty, but were all privately owned, and not being a part of the Empire, owed no penance to Arvandor. All their crops were kept for their own families. It was rural, quiet, and isolated.

To the west was Eurybia. Like Kadmos, it was sparse on the grassy terrain, though not for the same reasons. Though the mountains further to the west were a good distance off, the terrain here was too hard for crops to flourish, and so what grass did peak out from the red earth, was merely there as a view. There were far less homes/villages in Eurybia than in Kadmos, and as such, it presented itself as a prime secondary location for the criminal underworld. They could hide in Eurybia easily, since the guards of the Empire thought the place too desolate and underpopulated to even bother looking. Who would want to go to such a barren and disgusting place? Further west from Eurybia was Nishi, where the plenty of mountains existed. There were many places for mining, but very little land to build a home. As such, those that mined in Nishi either lived in Eurybia or Rinithos. There were hot springs a plenty in Nishi too, and many people would go to Nishi to get away, and spend some time at a shoddily made spa get-away, or at a random and isolated hot spring no one had ‘claimed’. Nishi, like Higashi, was beyond the Empire’s control, and so it was here, that another flamboyant hideout was made. A snake’s head, built into the side of a mountain, using a cave to start the way down into the Serpent of Nishi, a hideout for the Serpent Syndicate headed by the Cavanagh family. Rinithos was rocky like Eurybia, but less so. Here, there was more population, as people built up homes and taverns to accommodate the official Empire Miners or even freelance miners looking to support their families.

To the north, there is Selma. Selma is, again, like Kadmos and Eurybia, in the sense that there is sparse grasslands. In fact, all throughout the north there are sparse grasslands. As much land that can be used for farming is done so, because the lands is lower than the surrounding areas. Because of the mountains to the west, many rivers feed down into Selma and lands further north, emptying, in time, into the ocean. Thus, the land north of Selma is nothing more than marshland. Homes dot the landscape here and there, but in no great quantity. Anyone who lives in Selma, or further north (Kita and Monithos) are fishers that either deliver to the Empire or keep for themselves. Most of the land is independent from the Empire, because they feel without the land to build on, it is useless to fully control. They send out collectors to claim fish in lieu of monetary taxes, and otherwise leave the majority of Selma and all of Kita and Monithos alone.

Finally, to the south, is Agni. Agni has much more grass than any of the other lands immediately surrounding the capital city of Arvandor. It is also lush with flowers that, like the trees of Higashi, are brightly colored all year round. (except of course during the winter when the flowers covered in snow and have died off for the year.) There are forests further south, in Minami with flowers budding in the trees in the same colors as the flowers of Agni; tress such as Apple Blossoms, Orange Blossoms, and Cherry Blossoms. And further south still is even thicker forests, where ‘seas’ of green surround the sparser collections of blossoms. Within the southern region of Yenithos is a clearing within those forests, where a chapel resides. A chapel that once had a village around it, but the village and chapel are otherwise in ruins. This village was once called Arascerin, but any history of the village is long since forgotten in history. The homes in Agni, Minami, and Yenithos are few and far between, and tend to be built up around chapels, shrines, and temples, showing that the southern regions of Arvandor are home to the religious sects and all somehow live in peace with each other.

Unlike the world of Demeteria, there is little to no worship of the Prime Fae, and in fact, the people of Arvandor choose one of three other religions that all have their own creation beliefs. Regardless of their differences, they all follow themes of personal wellness and camaraderie. The conflicts in Arvandor’s history have all been focused around the criminal activity in the villages outside the Empire, and in the rise of the Empire itself. However, there has been times where priests of any of the religions would go into Arvandor City, and attempt to preach at the taverns, and sway people away from a life lived in debauchery. This has clearly had little effect.

Dorian specifically finds no faith in any of the three religions. It is not because he feels they are all false. On the contrary, he is anything but atheistic. His endeavors have brought him into situations where he has claimed to have spoken with the gods, but still unconverted to their ways. Dorian’s belief is founded in the idea of sin. “If the gods do not wish for me to commit these sins, why then did they make sex so enjoyable? Why then did they allow so much pain in my life, that the only way to not feel the pain was to drown myself in liquor, drugs, and women?”

And now, in lieu of spoiling the story, I shall bring this post to an end.


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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Writing

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