II. Physical and Historical Features
- In which geographical areas will the story take place? How much ground will the story cover? What are the most striking features of landscape, climate, animals, etc. in this area? How will these features affect travel time, communication, etc.?
- Various stories will take place in this world. The planned novels are as follows, in chronological order: Demon’s Daughter takes place in Lucreta (northern kingdom with a lot of mountains and forests), Thief Incarnate takes place in Tanria (harsh desert) and Balveria (central kingdom with lots of farmland and hills), Elementals takes place in Farmayne (southern kingdom with lush forests, fertile farmland and rolling hills) and Beyond The Veil tentatively in Win’Fayl (whose landscape has yet to be determined). Most of the kingdoms have neutral or good relations with each other at the present time of the stories, however a couple constantly have tension or war between them, usually resolved by another kingdom stepping in. This strains communication at times. Travel through areas like Tanria are rare and avoided if possible, as most races are unsuited to the climate.
- If there are non-human inhabitants, are there any areas they particularly claim as their own (e.g., dwarves traditionally live underground, usually in mountains)?
- Majority of the races are quite diverse and mixed, save for the Charren, Drakin, Golems and Ventiri. The Charren live in forests as they are born of The Spirit of the Forest (more advanced details in Race section) and as such rarely leave their home; some become curious and venture forth. The Drakin snub most other races and reside solely in Datherone, where other races are allowed but rare. Golems reside in Tel’Quin and have closed their borders to outsiders. Ventiri reside in Tanria and, while their borders are not blocked, they do not welcome outsiders and most react with hostility.
B. Climate and Geography
- Have human activities affected climate, landscape, etc. in various regions? How? (Example: Sahara Desert growth has been increased by over-farming.) If this is an alternate earth, will the “alternate” part change existing effects? (If there are no people in N. Africa, desert growth is probably slower.)
- Humanoid activity has rarely affected the climate and landscape, as most races are very respectful of the world which they call home – a stark contrast to Earth.
- How do differences from Earth (multiple suns, moons, etc.) affect the climate in various areas?
- Due to two moons, which circle together, tides lower and rise higher, the wind is stronger, and oceans are more unpredictable.
- How much land is in each of the equatorial, temperate, and polar zones?
Note: climate affects landscape through erosion and weathering; the distribution of plants and animals, and formation of soil. As a result, it determines what crops can and can’t be grown, what animals can and can’t live in an area, what clothes must be worn to cope with the weather, and how houses are built. Winter freezing and thawing may change travel patterns, as waterways freeze or flood and passes close. Weather also affects available sports, like skiing. Are all these things consistent with what you say the climate is like in particular areas?
- Where are major mountain ranges? Rivers and lakes? Deserts? Forests, tropical and otherwise? Grasslands and plains?
- Major mountain ranges are within the north, where snow-capped peaks line the edges of the kingdom of Lucreta. Rivers and Lakes run through most of the world, but namely Lucreta, Balveria and Farmayne. Most forests are within Famrayne, however Iyoma is solely tropical forests. Balveria is mostly grassland and plains.
- If there are imaginary animals (dragons, unicorns, etc.), how do they fit into the ecology? What do they eat? How much habitat do they require? Can they live anywhere, or do they prefer or need specific kinds of climate or terrain? Are they intelligent and/or capable of working spells, talking, etc.?
- Most magical beasts are considered to be legends or extinct. Rare creatures such as unicorns, treants and dryads’ preferred homes are unknown to most as they do not share their secrets with other races. It is presumed that most magical beasts prefer the safety of Tel’Quin, where races outside of Golems are forbidden from entering.
C. Natural Resources
- Which areas are the most fertile farmland? Where are mineral resources located?
- The most fertile farmlands lie in Balveria and Farmayne. Minerals are mined in Farmayne, and previously in Tel’Quin. Datherone has access to some minerals and materials that aren’t located anywhere else. Virtue Shards are unique to Farmayne.
- Which animals, birds, fish, and other wildlife are commonly found in which areas? If there are imaginary animals such as dragons, where do they live?
- Magical beasts’ homes are unknown, if they even still exist at all. Sightings of unicorns are very rare, and both phoenixes and dragons are thought to be extinct.
- Which natural resources, if any, have been depleted in which areas over time?
- Which resources (e.g., coal, oil, iron ore, gold, diamonds, limestone, etc.) are particularly abundant, and in which areas? Which are scarce? Are there places where there are rich deposits that haven’t been discovered yet, or where they haven’t been fully exploited?
- Resources within Tanria are virtually undiscovered. Resources within Datherone are used for trade and import, as they can find gemstones and materials such as gold and diamonds, which haven’t been discovered anywhere else. Virtue Shards are seemingly endless in Farmayne, but are unique to that area.
- How much conflict has been or might be caused by these imbalances in resources? How much active, peaceful trade?
- Datherone could easily monopolize their resources, however after a peace treaty made with Lucreta (in which the royal families joined in an arrange marriage), they opened up their borders to free trade with every other kingdom in treaties with Lucreta.
- What water resources available, and for what uses (a mill wheel requires flowing water, i.e., river or stream; irrigation needs a large, dependable water source like a lake or large river; etc.)?
- There is pure, clean water in most regions. It is rarer within the desert and Datherone (an entirely mountainous and volcanic region).
D. World History
- How far back are there records or tales of historical events? How widely known are these stories?
- Approximately 500 years. History is thought to go back much further, however those are the earliest written records. The general history of the kingdoms is common knowledge, however the more intricate details are usually only known through dedicated study.
- Do average people believe old tales, or do they dismiss some that have a basis in fact (e.g., Troy)?
- The old tales and myths are thought to have, at one point, been a real part of their history.
- How long have there been people on this world? Did they evolve, were they created by the gods, or did they migrate from somewhere else? If there are non-humans, how long have they been around and where did they come from?
- They are all assumed to be created by the Gods.
- How similar is the history and culture of an alternate earth to real history and culture? Why is it similar/different?
- Very different, simply because of the fantasy origins of the creatures, areas, and history. However, the concept of a diety creating all life shares similar views to Christianity.
- Where did civilization begin? What directions did it spread? How was its development affected by the presence of magic? The presence of non-human races, if any? The actions or direct interventions of the gods?
- It began in Balveria, the first known kingdom to have been formally formed in the written word. However, it is known that life must have existed before that point, but there is nothing more than speculation about it.
- Which peoples/countries/races have traditionally fought, allied, traded, or been rivals? Where are there still hard feelings about old events?
- Balveria and Tanria are known for their disputes, tension and conflicts. Generally, Lucreta diplomats have to step in and mediate negotiations and discussions. In the past, Farmayne has also had its share of run-ins with Balveria. Datherone was once hostile to the main continent, up until its treaty and diplomatic marriage with Lucreta’s royals. Tanria and Balveria, however, have never forgotten their history with each other.
- Which peoples/countries/races have been in conflict in the recent past? Why? When and why was the most recent war? Who won?
- The most recent war was a hundred years ago, yet the wounds are nearly as fresh as the day of the war. The Ventiri never forgave Balveria for banishing them, and no one ever forgot the Ventiri’s betrayal during the evensts of The Demon’s Daughter.
- Which peoples/etc. are considered the most civilized? Which are most technologically advanced? Which are most magically advanced? Least advanced? Why?
- Lucreta is considered the most civilized, as they refuse to create or join conflict; they feel they are above such petty disputes, however they don’t look down on other kingdoms or people. Win’Fayl is likely the most technologically advanced, mixing magic with steam power to create great feats of technology. Farmayne is considered the most magically advanced thanks to their discover of Virtue Shards which allow anyone to utilize magic. Tanria is considered the least advanced as it is the youngest kingdom and also the least organized (gypsy tribes).
- Is there a single, generally accepted calendar (including time measurements), or do different countries or peoples or races have different ones?
- Singular accepted calendar.
- How many languages are there? Which ones are related (e.g., the Romance languages) and why? Which languages borrow words or phrases from other languages? Which is likely to be most widely spoken?
- Nearly each race has its own unique language, magical and intelligent beasts included. They have all evolved and developed on their own, without stealing from other languages. Only the Ventiri language steals from Faen language, which makes it possible to understand parts of one if fluent in the other. The most widely spoken language is the Trade Tongue, otherwise known as Common (their equivalent to English) which is the language used within the books.
- Is there a “trade language” that facilitates commerce between countries that don’t speak the same tongue? Is there a “universal language” spoken by educated or noble persons, as Latin was in the Middle Ages?
- See above paragraph.