aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
Desmond’s World

Stone is is ample supply all around Desmond’s nation, and that is amply evident in their building, which is wood-supplemented stone for the most part. The oldest buildings are often dry stacked stone, some of them just literally stacked, others carved cleverly and carefully to join perfectly while losing as little stone as possible.

In the Capital City, further from the mountains than many of the, stone and wood are used more equally: buildings are often wattle-and-daub over timber frames (think “Tudor” houses) wit tall stone foundations, often mortared together.

You can often tell the mage-wars-time buildings, because their stones are improbably large, their joins improbably tight, and their polishing improbably bright even after hundreds of years.
The Potentate’s Palace and the City Hall Building are from that time.

(Another feature of buildings from that time is an Escher-esque opinion about dimensions and architecture, even in houses now owned by the lower-middle or lower class. You might still wander into a poor person’s home and find that it improbably fits an extended family of twenty comfortably in a narrow building in a tiny lot that does not tower over its neighbors. Sometimes these buildings have views of other places, as well, out windows that should not show anything but the neighbors’ underwear: the mountains, the sea, even another nation. These houses are tightly-guarded secrets which nobody speaks of, often owned by the same family for centuries, by some deed from a long-dead Potentate.)
aldersprig: (Gremlin)


The Tinies are creatures of the Dragons Next Door setting and are loosely based on my memories of the Borrowers books.
This was meant to be a short microfic - oops.

👾

The Tinies had lived alongside humans as long as the humans had been living in houses, and, although they were a scattered and fragmented society, they had traditions and unwritten rules that they carried from home to home and community to community, mostly carried by the old, those past their adventuring days.

Free for all Patreon patrons!



I’m a bit behind on the next chapter of the Expectant Wood, so have a piece of history I wrote a while ago in the meantime.
🌋

The land was rising.

The people on the islands and the small nation of Aerax clung to whatever support they could find. The last magical explosions of the Roquelan Wars had been over for days. Nobody had expected another attack.

Free for all Patreon patrons!



I don’t even remember what I wrote this for, but it suits the theme of May.
🍇

They liked their god, and so they’d kept him. Around them, the world had crumbled to pieces, the new gods, creatures like him, warring against the self-appointed protectors of humanity. In their little fort on the hill, though, they’d been drunk, happy and content to stay that way. And every season, they’d paid homage to their new god, for all he gave them.

Free for all "Trunk" Level Patrons!
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
4. History

Aunt Family
Ooh!

In World History, the Aunt Family ‘verse parallels our own. The magic that exists here is mostly personal magic - it can change a single person’s timeline, or a single family’s, but rarely the world’s.
(Yes, I know that there are ways that A can change B, but this is not so much an AU as it is a world in which personal problems sometimes have unusual solutions).

The Aunt Family themselves… their history is lost in myth and fuzzy retellings, and every branch of the family tells it a little bit differently. What we know is that, at some point, the strong personalities in a long-ago family decided that their thin but interesting powers could best be handled — and family feuds avoided — if they kept the power in the hands of a single childless woman.

And as the family grew, so did the power.


Portal Bound

Many centuries ago — nearly a millennium — portals opened between an untouched planet and several other worlds, and a few people came through, a farmer and his family.

You said that already, Lyn.

Ahem.

That farmer’s settlement became the basis of the capital town. He brought through others from his home village — which was in chaos at the time — and, when the portal opened somewhere else, brought through those people, too.

Other portals formed their own settlements. Over time and trade and more than a few battles, over quests by Key-bearers from other worlds and mighty adventures, the settlements on these islands/small continents settled into a few nations.

The nation our story is set in became a monarchy with a very strong bureaucracy . Which was fine for quite a while.

And then the Crown Prince vanished.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
Dragons Next Door

As the title of this setting suggests, the Dragons Next Door world has Dragons.
It also has quite a few other magical sentient races: ogres, harpies, pixies, tinies, elkin, and centaurs, to name a few.

In addition, it has a deep and broad human population, very similar to the real world (it’s an Urban Fantasy setting, after all) and then dweomers, who are humans with magic, or at the very least humanoids with magic.

For a very long time, these races lived primarily separate lives with their own civilization. There were dragon nations and pixie towns and Centaur Isles and so on; the elkin had a remote mountain nation that spoke to no-one except the Tinies and the harpies, for instance.

The Tinies were the only exception to this rule: Tinies have always lived everywhere.
Only recently - since the 1930’s - have the races begun to actively mingle.

(I wonder if this matches the previous notes on Smokey Knoll. Shall have to check).

Portal Bound
The continent that Portal Bound takes place on has only one sentient race: humans.

On the other hand, because of the portals, there are two factors at hand here:

* what counts as human varies slightly from dimension to dimension, and so there are those that are very nearly elves or fairies or such (or Klingons or Romulans) in appearance
* because of the broad spread of the portals across the worlds in all these dimensions, the humans come in all ethnicities.

Sometimes, if a portal stays open for a particularly long time, a city will end up with a small enclave of people of a particular ethnicity and world-origin.
More often, however, people come singly, and thus they find a place and settle as they can, bringing their own traditions but integrating into the massive whole.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
2. Geography
Desmond’s World
Oops, I already covered a bunch of this in the first post.

The City Desmond lives in (100 words to anyone who names it something that fits with the names that I like and another 100 to someone to name the nation) straddles the river leading to the ocean.

It’s definitely got high ground (High Street), mostly to the north of the river, and lower ground, which sometimes floods, to the south of the river. The river directly to the south is all parkland, designated so 100 years ago when a leader ordered the slums torn down so that the houses on the north side did not have to look at them.

This, of course, just moved the slums a bit more inland, but there’s a nice wall of trees now, and the houses bordering that parkland are high-rent for the area.

The City office and school are on the north side of the river. Desmond grew up on the south side.

Portal Bound
There is already a map for Portal Bound, here.

The main city of needing-a-name is settled into an oxbow in the river of also-needs-a-name. Inspired by the Mississippi, the river has moved several notable times over the centuries since the first buildings were hewn from the forest all around.

(The capital we’re discussing is just on and around about where the left end of the upper wild-rice roads are on the above-linked map.)

The river runs through a flattish forest area, making its way towards the sea. Much of the land in the area is still forested, with small townships growing up among the trees.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
1. Introduction
B. Portal Bound
Many centuries ago — nearly a millennium — portals opened between an untouched planet and several other worlds, and a few people came through, a farmer and his family.

Over time, those portals shifted — when they were open, where they opened from — until a clever wood-carver discovered that with the right bits of magic and the right bits of wood, you could stabilize a portal. It still opened when it pleased, of course, but with the proper doors, it would open to the same place and in the same place.

The main nation of this story is run by a bureaucracy that balances on the mandate of the long-missing Prince. It runs well enough, this nation, and the bureaucrats like it that way.
aldersprig: (lock and key)
1. Introduction
Desmond’s World
The world Desmond lives in is on the cusp of industrialization, a word in which most people don’t believe magic exists. Poverty, class struggle, hunger, and crowding are, however, all too real.

The nation Desmond lives in is isolated on all four sides: on three sides by nearly-impassible mountains, and on the fourth by an ocean which is inhospitable and almost entirely non-traversable. It’s a small nation, seven days’ travel by horse long from pass to pass and three days’ travel by horse wide at the widest.

While magic is not believed to exist, it underlies everything, just as the tight isolation, the high price of any trade goods, and the stratified class society do.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
And it's June!

So pick up to seven days and give them a setting, and I will follow the list of prompts here (http://worldbuildingjune.tumblr.com/) and your list of settings.
If a date isn't setting'd, I'll pick whatever I want ;-)
1
2 Desmond's Climb
3 Dragons Next Door
4 Aunt Family
5
6
7
8 Stranded
9 Things Unspoken
10 Things Unspoken

11
12
13 Fairy Town
14
15 Fairy Town
16 Science!
17
18 Space Accountant
19
20 Space Accountant

21
22
23
24
25 Dragons Next Door
26 Stranded
27
28 Aunt Family
29
30
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
There was something to be said for very basic technology.

Cade ran a finger over the transmitter, which was small but not micro, easy to use, hard to break, and relatively easy to conceal as long as your target wasn’t actively looking for it.

They had an agent working as a maid in the Grande Star Hotel, which was where their targets were presumably staying. They also had a busboy at the Templeton, and a front desk clerk at the Gaslight, because you never could tell with these particular targets if they’d actually go where you thought they’d go. The Hampton Inn, well, Cade had a room there.

You did what you could, and getting their staff jobs so they were being double-paid had advantages when you were scraping the barrel to give them a raise.

The witch - Fiora, her name was, and she was a lovely woman that probably would have been more at home in long floral skirts with her hair down than in the Agency skirt-suit with nylons and heels - produced her micro welding kit and another small transmitter. “So, if we start with this, and then right into the circuit board, here, we draw a sigil, it’s a basic one, but it encourages a lack of caution. Loose lips and all that. But if I add this one to the case, like thus, then it also transmits a signal if certain phrases are used.”

Very basic technology was nice, Cade thought, but very basic technology supplemented with nice, tidy little magic spells - now that was what the Agency needed.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu asked for cats. Here's some cats, with my camp nano protaganist.

This 'verse really needs a name.


Jen liked cats, always had.

Face families weren’t allowed to have cats. They weren’t allowed to have pets at all — it was a point of change, a point of interest — but sometimes if the “host family” had kept a dog, they would have a dog for a little while.

If you used magic around dogs for too long, you ended up with a dog who was a lot more… dog. They were cleverer, more loyal, the sort of dog that waited weeks for their masters or learned how to open the doors and fetch the beer.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
To Lilfluff's Prompt, " Something relating to the agencies discovering each other?" This is more of my Camp Nano project

The Joining


Cade Ferrel’s organization didn’t even have a name, just “Agency 3-1-7" and “Protocols 7, 9, and 12". They didn’t have a budget line, or at least not an admitted one, and the money they got wasn’t impressive by anyone’s standards.

(There was a rumor his predecessor had once turned a surveillance job, posing as a panhandler, into a hundred percent increase in the month’s budget. While Cade was pretty sure that was an exaggeration, it still remained a very telling story.)

What Agency 3-1-7 had was a very open-ended mandate and a couple extremely open-ended laws about how they performed that mandate.

And Cade was looking at a witch who swore up and down that magic was real.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
I’ve been doing some worldbuilding for my as-of-yet-unnamed-World for my Camp Nano Project, which is either called The Hidden City or Dealer’s Choice or Where the Wild THINGS Went.

[personal profile] clare_dragonfly asked: Do the three different capitalized types use different kinds of magic?

Yes!

Well, yes and no.

Okay, so most of the organized magic in this world works in Signs, Sigils and Designs, a Sigil being a more complicated Sign and a Design being a more complicate Sigil or pattern of Sigils.

But the different types of workers for The Agencies - Agents, Workers, and Faces, I said, but I think Agents are Hands. And I’m not entirely sure about Workers, they might be Eyes - well, each of them specialize in different sorts of those things.

For instance, a Face is going to be very good at nothing interesting to see here and there’s nothing strange going on. They’re all about making things appear as normal as possible, so that people don’t panic, even when their government, at least The Agencies in their government, are doing awful things.

An Eye is going to be good at surveillance signs, the sort of thing that tells them what happens, or if someone crosses a certain trip-line point, or if a specific person touches that sign. They set up designs looking for certain sets of words, or for certain complaints.

A Worker, a Hand, will use signs to enforce compliance, or to strengthen them, or to protect them - combat magic, more or less. They are aimed at being the elite forces of The Agencies, and magic is certainly part of that.
aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
The Agencies started as three small agencies connected to larger government organizations:

One devoted to the searching out, researching, and weaponizing-if-possible the magic that many people had known had existed but nobody really wanted to admit to.

One d aimed at finding and suppressing terrorist and other threats to the US by use of human and electronic surveillance.

One aimed at convincing the US public that nothing untoward was going on, that the world was safe, and that everything was okay.

Once the second two organizations found out about the first, they saw immediate uses for magic in the implementation of their mission plans; once the first found out about the second, it, too, found uses for them.

They don’t exist as budget line items, but they are well-funded. They slide their budget into small things (expensive toilet seats) use non-Congressionally-approved methods of gaining funding, and sell seized property for a profit when it suits them.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
(Setting: Modern-postmodern urban fantasy dystopic surveillance state. I wrote this on the bus, so totally up for logic holes being pointed out)

Magic in Jen’s ‘Verse works by encouraging or discouraging what’s already happening in the world. The more you go with the flow of the world, the less magic it takes.

So you can encourage water to flow a little more heavily over a spot, or to move to another spot. If it’s another low-lying spot, it’s not so much magic, but if it’s a high place, then that takes more magic.

Magic makes little pulls in the fabric of the world. Small pulls, only someone who is actively looking for them AND sensitive to the magic and to the pulls will find. The larger the pull, the more likely a magic-user will find. And really big pulls leave runs in the fabric of the universe that even laypeople will — and do — see.

Magic accretes where it is used. If you use a sigil to make yourself look younger, over and over again, eventually the pull is going to be visible in ways that a normal person will notice — you seem creepy, the wind goes the wrong way around you, grass dies or grows under your feet, you have witch-marks or the mark of the moon…

To move magic off of yourself, it’s generally clever to use more magic to benefit others than to benefit yourself.

The Agencies deal with this problem by delegating the magic use to Agents, Workers, and Faces.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
🌏
This twelfth one is from B: have you figured out the naming rules for that one world?


So “that world” is Portal Bound, which there is a map of here. The basic premise is that it was originally discovered - i.e., this continent at least had no human life on it - by a family who found a portal in their back yard. They were handwave-Scandinavian at the moment.

BUT this land has several portals! Many portals! And the portals are not so regular about where they lead or where they come from. So this land has had immigrants throughout the course of time from many different worlds, and from many places over the world. Most are human, or humanoid, but they speak many different languages and having many different ideas about names.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Library)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
🌏
This eleventh one is from [personal profile] lilfluff: just what was the nature of the apocalypse in The Planners?


You know, I have been doing a Very Good Job of leaving that completely unsaid.

The things I know are: It was not nuclear, it was not alien, and it was not zombie. It was not climactic - I.e. Giant Flood, that thing in 2000 or whatever the movie was with a giant freeze everywhere and the book-burning, and it probably didn’t involve Mad Max. It was probably not an asteroid strike.

It destroyed a large portion of the infastructure and it was probably that destruction that killed off a large portion of the population.

It was a worldwide apocalypse, not centered on any one nation.

It may have had a lot in common appearance-wise with the apocalypse in the TV show Revolution, although it was not cause by Plot Nanotech. Basically: the power all went out. Cars stopped working. Going anywhere became a challenge.

I think it involved several EMPs or a world-wide EMP. Either a backfiring test strike that ended up with several large nations making a mess of the world, or something like solar flares that made a mess all on its own.

As far as apocalypses go, it left the landscape mostly untouched, the people devastated, and technology a mess.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
🌏
This tenth one is from [twitter.com profile] ladyRowyn: Do you have any worlds that aren’t Earth-like in general shape/climate/vegetation? why/why not?


Okay, I have to think about that one!

Okay, so something like 9/10 of my worlds are immediately out of the running because they’re “in a world much like our own;” i.e., urban fantasy, for the most part, the sort of thing where it’s very familiar to readers because it’s Earth (and usually America), just with magic: Aunt Family, Stranded World, Fae Apoc, Planners, Facets, Shadow Rebellion, Tír na Cali, Bug Invasion, Fairy Town, Cracks, Science! (okay, Science! is Earth, just with Science!), Inner Circle.

Then there’s settings where we never really see the world - Dragons Next Door, Unicorn/Factory…

Okay, things actually set on a different world: Reiassan, which is goats and linen and rice and parsnips, just after a little ice age. That’s pretty earth-like. I mean, the continents are different…
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
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This ninth one is from [twitter.com profile] medicmsh3141: What’s your favorite part of mapmaking?


Oh, no, favorites!


…All of it?

Okay, so when I was working on my first-ever Nanowrimo novel, The Deep Inks, one of the flaws in that book is that I spent like… 3 chapters describing an entirely-useless-to-plot town that the antagonists had built… I don’t even remember why.

But I LOVED that town.
Read more... )
aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This eighth one is from [personal profile] sauergeek: You have storytellers in at least three universes: Autumn in Stranded, Tanakae in Calepurn, and Rosaria in Aunt Family. Am I missing others? How do their styles overlap, and how do they differ? What are their goals in storytelling? (Lotsa questions!)


Ooh! I probably do have other storytellers, because I like the trope of the storyteller. I like telling stories within the confines of the story, for one - some day I hope to do an at-least-triple-nested story, like Arabian Nights. Maybe for Camp Nano in July~

Autumn tells stories for two reasons: One, because she is a small-change artist, and engaging your audience by telling stories is a very good way to get their attention and interest them in buying. As a Neil Gaiman story I just read says, people don’t buy the art, they buy the story. (Paraphrase). Two, because she is a dancer on the strands of life, and she has found that sometimes a story is the best way to engage someone, to get them to heal their own strand damage, to create their own connections.
Read more... )
aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This seventh one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Does everyone who does magic work with Strands? Corollary: if there are people who think they don’t, is it just like how Autumn uses ink - it’s their approach, not the fact that it’s different magic?

Also, what ARE Strands, anyway.


Okay!

So, in Stranded World, everyone who works magic is working with the Strands. Like Autumn and sometimes Summer, they don’t always directly manipulate the strands, and some of them don’t realize what they’re doing at all, but all magic involves manipulating or reading (or cutting, although I guess that’s a manipulation) the Strands.

So, yes, a psychic might be using tea leaves or a palm-reading, but what they are actually seeing is the way the Strands seem likely to move in the near future.

And the Strands are… the world.

Autumn sees primarily the Strands that are connections between people, because that’s her strong suit. She visualizes them as lines, and there are indeed Strands connecting people - love, hate, co-workers, family - everything that makes people touch and make a connection, even eyes meeting across a subway, causes some sort of strand.

They are the actions of people, too, past, current, and potential, streams of movement running through the world; they are the connections people make with things and things make with things.

Some philosophers haves suggested the whole world is just composed of Strands upon Strands. They may be right.
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This third one is from [personal profile] kelkyag:
where did the American branch of the family, Carrie and Sarah, come from?

Okay, so I’d originally thought that the immigrated from Away, but I probably shouldn’t have named aunts I was thinking of as German Carrie and Sarah if that were the case.

Also, that doesn’t quite match with what I said to Rix.

So, let’s see.

Wikipedia says:

In the 1670s the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the British colonies, settling primarily in New York and Pennsylvania… Between 1820 and 1870 over seven and a half million German immigrants came to the United States

Since that story takes place in 1802, let’s say that the branch that thought of itself as the root branch came over to downstate NY in the late 1670’s.

That means there was an established branch downstate when Carrie and Sarah decided to come up north.

Which changes something - they may BE the root family, but they moved with no family at all. Were they part of a split; i.e., did they have the power of the family but were, say, the only children of an only surviving child? That would explain the move, too; if the power split off between them and another Aunt, a cousin.

So: Carrie and Sarah came from Downstate. *nods firmly*
aldersprig: (Kyle)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This Fourth one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Faepoc: Are there any Workings or Words that can’t be used when creating a functionally permanent enchantment on an object?

i.e. the enchantment doesn’t have to be maintained consciously; having to be refreshed every decade or century would count as functionally permanent for this question.

Nope!

Okay, now I have to figure out how to get 200 words out of this answer.

Enchanting an object - or a person - requires that a) you have the Words required to cast the enchantment and b) you have access to the Word for the object. In a tongue-in-cheek example: Leo could easily enchant a strand of Cya’s hair to change color based on her mood, because he is very good with coloring hair (a Tlacatl Working) and very good at reading emotions (Hugr).

Likewise, if you were really good, you could enchant a stick to throw fireballs, or, say, enchant a collar to deliver a mild electric shock in a situation where the wearer said certain words or evidenced a certain emotional state.

The thing is, anything wherein you are putting your Workings in an object takes a lot of energy. A first-year student could manage to enchant something for maybe a couple minutes. later, for a year or two. And doing so takes considerably more energy than simply doing the Working.

That is why there aren’t more magic fireball-throwing swords around.
aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This Fourth one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Stranded: are there styles of strand-working that are not represented by the Seasonal Siblings?



Yes!

Next question?

Ahem.

Let’s see. Autumn is reading the connections, Winter is smoothing them, Spring is tangling things, and Summer does… little charms, which are really either smoothing, tangling, or making a connection.

In addition, we’ve seen a star mapper - who honestly is a combination of reading connections and interpreting potential connections. Like a life adviser with cheat codes.

There’s also Severers, snippers. Those are - well, they might not be bad people, but it’s a bad power. It eliminates connections, as the name would suggest, cutting them off.

There’s Binders. That’s different from what Autumn does; it’s the power to actually tie a connection where one wasn’t before. (Autumn can strengthen a connection with the right ritual). Tattercoats is a type of binder, knotting people to his will.

There are people who do many variations on the powers of the seasonal siblings as well - a psychic is a star mapper, a curse is what Summer does, and so on.

There are people who can bend the Strands to provide them with energy - not a good idea in the long run - to hide themselves from view by moving sight along other paths, to protect places or people by charming them with a smoother path or a firmer roof.

And there are people out there who can just grasp the edges of what the Strand-workers are doing, but can’t do any of it.
aldersprig: (Ruan)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This third one is from [personal profile] rix_scaedu:
If the Family in the Aunt Family occasionally splits off anew Family with a new Aunt, where was the original Family? Is it still there? Is there some Family version of “the old country”?

That’s complicated!

Because sometimes branches die out. It requires at least two sisters, after all (or sometimes in rare occasions, brothers, but that’s, as said, rare, and very frowned on, and such), one of which (again, in most cases), remained unmarried, childless, and near her sister’s family. It requires that unmarried sister to at least have the strength to carry the power, and the family branch to have enough power to invest in her.

Sometimes branches are actually wiped out, but that is a rare occurrence in the modern day.

Let’s see.

The original Family came out of England and Germany, and for a long time (legends notwithstanding) was not nearly as formalized an arrangement as it is in the modern day. When the family that believed itself to be the root family moved to the US, they left behind no other sibling groups, but there were several members of the family who were related, carried the spark, and eventually had children of their own.

Note: Not everyone who has power is related to the Family, but they are a broad and deep family-grove with many scions over, by the point, most of the world.

The “original” family at this point would be considered the one that can trace its ancestry back in an unbroken line of Aunts to the first Aunt in America. That actually is Evangaline’s line. It was an aunt of her line who came up with the ritual that collects the power of an already-psychically-skilled family and concentrates the larger portion of it into one person, allowing the family as a whole to have more power than they would otherwise, and allowing the power to be used and directed for bigger and bigger uses.

That happened prior to coming to the U.S., but it was believed, when they moved, that they had brought their entire family and thus their entire power structure with them.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This second one is from [personal profile] sauergeek:
Is there any rhyme or reason behind who gets what Words (and how well various people do with those) in Fae Apocalypse?

Oh yay! I know this one!

Words in Faerie Apocalypse are a matter of a combination of genetics and Change. Of course, Change itself is a matter of some pretty complex and confusing genetics…

That is: Someone with a water Change (mermaid, kelpie, octopus) is likely to be very good with Yaku, water. They’re also likely to have been descended from a line of people with water Changes, although in some cases the interpretations are a little strange.

Someone whose parents are very good at, say, Unutu (Worked objects) and Eperu (earth) and are both awful with Meentik (create) is likely to have those Words as their good and bad Words, respectively. If the parents have widely varied Words, well (for instance: Leo is good at Hugr; Cya can’t say it at all), some of their kids may have Hugr while some might not be able to say it at all.

That’s a complex way of saying “it’s genetics,” I suppose.

Of course, there are innate powers that do not come anywhere close to Words, things that can’t be done with Workings at all. Folding space or time, for instance (well, can’t be done with currently known Words…); seeing the future…

(I keep coming up with examples of innate powers, and LOTS of them can be done with combinations of Workings. Which I didn’t plan, but is kind of neat. Even (most of) Cya’s Finding could be done with enough Words… some of which, I might add, she doesnt’ have).
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This first one is from [personal profile] sauergeek:
Which pairs (or more) of these various universes could potentially be folded into one?

That's a good question! Let's see.

I'm not going to count, for the moment, the fact that 2/3 of my space stuff seems like it's in the same world. (Foedus is not). That's not really an established universe.

There's been some speculation/fanfic about Addergoole/Tír na Cali, but that's primarily because Tír na Cali was the parent setting for Addergoole; they don't actually exist in the same place.

Facets can exist in almost any of them! That's because it's a portal fantasy.

I'm not really getting into the spirit of this question, am I?

Okaaaay.

Science! and Modern Superheroes could and might exist in the same world.

I've speculated about the Aunt Family and either Fairy Town or Stranded World before.

To be honest, I think that's about it. Expectant Wood/Aerax COULD be part of Things Unspoken, but I don't think it is. Oh, and Cracks is probably part of Fairy Town.

I think everything that COULD be folded together already was, back in the dawn of the settings.
aldersprig: (anthropologist)
...because why not?
🗺️
here's a landing page with most of my universes on it.

Here is the 2014 World-Building post

here's the 2015 post.
🌏
I'll answer 23 questions - hopefully one/weekday but we'll see - so ask away. Anything world-building, any of my worlds, ask as many questions as you want. (if, by some amazing luck, I have more than 23 questions, I'll either choose what to answer or overflow into April).
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
January by the numbers continues (now FIVE days off but still going strong).

From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly's prompt "ambiguity;" worldbuilding for a world I've just barely started. It's a little unclear... but that suits the prompt.

✴️️
The world known as Calepurn has many nations, sprawling across the mainland, the islands, and the connected piece of land known, for no good reason, as the Appendix.

Many of these nations have their own languages, and all of them have their own dialects, but almost everyone who travels between nations can speak Lengraffa, the language of Firrset.

Lengraffa is a language evolved from many different tongues over thousands of years, and while it has a root here or there in English, it bears even less resemblance to Modern English than Modern English does to Old English.

(Spaston, a language spoken almost solely in a tiny mountain nation on the Eastern coast, is much closer to Modern English, with many loan-words from Spanish. But that is a story for another day.)

Lengraffa is a language drenched in ambiguity. Like Modern English, it drips with homophones. Words sometimes wander the continent, only to come back wearing a similar-looking coat but having an entirely different purpose. Casual usage changes words, until the same word can mean both a thing and its opposite.

Now into this language of uncertainty, where a simple sentence can be as clear as mud, throw a magic system which required precise geometry and very clear intention.

Magic was found in Firrset, they say, but nobody outside of Firrset truly believe that — and neither do many within Firrset. In a system of magic where the faintest ambiguity in phrasing can ruin an incantation, how could magic have ever risen in a place that speaks Lengraffa?

As further proof, many non-Firrsets point out that when an incantation goes wrong, the magic leaks into the environment, causing occasional eruptions of strangeness. And in Firrset, there is more strangeness than there is anywhere else on Calepurn.
✴️️

Want More?

aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
First, a link: http://www.robinlafevers.com/2016/10/30/managing-a-cast-of-thousands/

I found this quite interesting, and actually useful in working on the cast for my Nano project.



Now, a completely different topic: Rules, laws, and Taboo, or You Can't Do That on Television (for a totally outdated pop-culture reference).

This comes down to some pretty basic questions:

* what are important rules in your society/country/world?

* how are they (are they?) enforced?

* how are they codified?

* how are transgressions punished?
Read more... )
What about your worlds? What things just Don't Happen? Contrariwise, what things Must Happen?
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
First, a link - How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You’ve Never Visited: http://romanceuniversity.org/2016/07/22/how-to-vividly-describe-a-setting-that-youve-never-visited-by-angela-ackerman/

Okay, I have my character dressed (or I will as soon as I figure it out); I know where she starts out the story (with her mother, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmother, nieces, and nephews), what sort of schooling (loosely) she's had, and what sort of technology the world has. I know it's a totalitarian govern without the technological control to be as invasive as it could be. I know it's a poor nation, with far too much of its resources going towards war.

...Crap, I need a bad guy.

My preferred sort of antagonist, as many of you have noticed over the years, is the Setting Is the Problem: Tír na Cali, Addergoole, Unicorn/Factory, probably Things Unspoken. I mean, in The Tod’cxeckz’ri Paper, the main antagonist, technically, is a collar.

I should probably branch out a bit.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (conlang)
Okay, so, because of reasons, I want to have an idiomatic "thank you" for Calenyen.

And, because thank you is such a loaded concept, I wanted it to mean, essentially, "good shot."

Like, the thing you say when your buddy just caught the enemy/the giant cat that was about to kill you with a well-aimed spear. It's a thanks for assistance, without acknowledging debt owed.

So we have "shot" in the sense of an aimed attack with a distance weapon: vettu

And then we have good, a modifier meaning skilled and accurate: -one (like the end of loan)

Vettutone, "good shot": "Thanks for the assist."
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
To fill a bingo on card one of my Worldbuilding Bingo Card: Culturebuilding. Fashion - Body Types, Housing Arrangements, Fashion - Clothes, Entertainment

In my new world for my YA paro-drama, different characters (although my protag appears in discussion)


"Come on, Shekie, you're going to be late." Miagreth burst into the older-girls' bedroom, her Daybreak-finest twirling as she did a couple pirouettes. For a couple years, it had looked like Miggie was going to be in the Home Office dance corps, but she'd been shoved out in favor of a General's daughter and a Corporal's niece. Their family line was not military-oriented, so Miggie was left dancing for fun and entering reports for a cigarette manufacturer for her vocation. She tugged on her cousin's arm. "You look fine. The dress is beautiful. Come on."

"I don't know." Shekleen twirled around three times in front of the mirror, frowning. "I think it makes me look flat."
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
First, some more Links:
http://www.shesnovel.com/blog/plot-bunny-novel/
http://www.epiguide.com/ep101/writing/charchart.html
**
I keep thinking of all these fun, serious sorts of topics, and then realizing I really want to write about fashion.

Well, then why not? It's on my worldbuilding bingo, clearly I'm not the only one that thinks about it.

And in some situations it can make or break your story.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
First, some other people's Preptober-related links:

Find Your Story Plot By Asking These 7 Questions
NaNoWriMo Triage Center: Helping You Get To 50K
Some Writing Worksheets
5 Ways to plot your novel



I was all ready to start this post with “Oh bog, I forgot technology”... and then I remembered that I’d covered it in a handwave in the basic questions post.

So, with technology handled, at this point, I look at my story, and see what I need to know to get it started.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
All right, so far I have:
  • An urban-fantasy post-apocalyptic setting, several generations (probably 2-400 years) after a major catastrophe.
  • Magic which is limited in scope but, within that scope can be very powerful. It is only wielded by 5-10% of the population, and only about 10% of them have any formal training. Exactly what it can do is going to depend on the story for the moment, as will how it works.
  • The government of [country] is intrusive, totalitarian, and controlling, although it loses some control in the remote areas. It covers a country approximately the size of Texas. It is not necessarily malevolent but it is intent on being in control.


Places to go from here include:
The Physical World
  • Geography: what sort of place is it? Are there mountains? Lakes? Islands? Oceans? Is it flat and boring? Hilly and gorgey?
  • Climate: How much weather does your main location get, and of what sorts (obviously not an issue on a space ship, unless you want it to be)

The Governmental World
  • How much does the government interfere with people’s day-to-day lives? Do they even notice it?
  • How granular is the government? Are their regional leaders? How far down (state/town/ village?) do the governments go?
  • What are the leaders called and how do they become leader? (Queen, hereditary; Innermost Circle, wealth-boosted meritocracy; President, representative election by proxy votes).


Where I’m going first:
Family life: What is the family structure, and how did it come about?
  • Who did your protagonist(s) grow up with? Is this common?
  • Who is responsible for child-rearing? Education? Punishment? (are children punished?)
  • What age is adulthood?
  • Marriage? Does it exist? How does it relate to child-rearing, if at all?
  • How much is the state involved in the government?
  • Potential family units include:
  • Polygynous: One husband, many wives. Common in fantasy. Not my fave.
  • Polyandrous: One wife, many husbands. (See Wikipedia). An option that intrigues me here is fraternal polyandry.
  • Polygamous: all the spouses, everywhere! Group marriage, in this case, since polygamy covers both of the above options. This includes Line Marriage, a la Heinlein.
  • Single-parent households.
  • Extended families as a household (Addergoole’s Shahin, for instance, grew up in an extended family of her mother, her mother’s sisters, and her mother’s mother).
    ...You know, all of these are based on a dual-sexed human species. If you’re going alien… well, you’re well outside of my expertise, but have fun! Five-pointed marriages, anyone?


I’ll note here that what kind of upbringing characters have had will color what they expect out of their life — what partners they may or may not be looking for. Is their family (or their government) going to arrange a marriage for them? How do they feel about that? Are they looking for a partner, three partners, a line marriage to join? It may not be their primary consideration, but even the lack of a consideration is worth a note.
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
After a brief conversation with Rion the other day, I thought I'd talk about limiting scale.

The thing about worldbuilding in a fantasy or sci-fi world is that your space if effectively limitless. On a fantasy world, you might only have one planet, but you also have the possibility of other planes (or underground worlds, or sky-worlds, and so on).

Sometimes, that's a bit much, and you want to keep your characters in one place and/or just focus on a small area of world-building.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
To fill a bingo on card one of my Worldbuilding Bingo Card: Oppression & rebellion, road systems, luxuries, calendar.

In my new world for my YA paro-drama, different characters.


Aemula hated going up into the mountains, especially this time of year. The roads were shit, since they didn't head anywhere "useful", just up to the isolated villages and the hillfolk who ran them. The rain made everything even worse, until her vehicle was squooshing through mud and chugging along at a pace slightly slower than her walking speed.
Read more... )

next card: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1188156.html
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
I'm doing this, from [community profile] allbingo, because of [personal profile] inventrix and [personal profile] clare_dragonfly

The goal is to write one story using a bingo on each card.

I think what I'm going to do is start with the first card with new-world-for-YA-stuff and then as I go, maybe also do stories for other worlds: Expectant Wood, Things Unspoken, Fae Apoc, Reiassan. ''

As always, open to suggestions!

Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
First, a disclaimer:

Normally, I world-build accidentally: I start writing a story and then end up building a setting around it.

This works decently for me, but it ends up with a couple problems, the biggest of which is artifacts of old ideas hanging around (seems like that part in the Matrix where they meet the vampires, etc.): is it Calenta, Calenna, Catenna? And shouldn't that be an initial K anyway?

Sometimes I start with a mood, or a specific scene - Emrys being forced by his vow to kneel for Shahin, for instance - or a feeling. That determines certain things: if the mood is oppressive-government-control, there must be an oppressive government. If a vow forces someone to their knees, then vows have that power.

A lot of times, the worldbuilding comes from a question or a plot bunny or just an idea that appeals to me. That stuff is organic, and sometimes it Tribbles, grows out of control, and is hard to track.

Sometimes, I answer questions, and those questions set things in place, and lead to more questions. For instance, right now I'm pondering how a sexist, tightly-gender-bound matriarchal monarchy (Tír na Cali) handles transpeople (Carefully).
Read more... )
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
It's October! That means Nano is just a month away!

And, ack, I need a world.

I thought I'd try to go through my worldbuilding process, such as it is, and break it down into thirty easy posts.

Today, I'm cheating. This is the easy stuff.




First

Pick, loosely, a setting genre:

Realism?
Urban Fantasy/Magical Modern? (not quite the same thing but hey, broad strokes)
Post Apocalyptic?
High Fantasy/secondary world? (Thanks to [personal profile] lemon_badgeress for a reminder of the term)
Cyberpunk?
Sci-Fi/Space Opera?

In my case, after a couple polls and some discussion, I'm writing a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy.

That means magic, technology, grit, and ruins.

Of course... lots of my settings are one or both of those: Cali, Addergoole/Fae Apoc, the Planners, Unnamed Water Apocalypses 1 & 2, What-If/Ninefold... So, obviously, this is only the very broadest stroke.

But it's an important stroke.

What about you? What genre is your setting?
Can you think of any clear options in setting I missed up there?

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