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Worldbuilding Discussion

Harlequin

New member
Wanted to start one of these. I'm guessing there's a few of us here who worldbuild (whether obsessively or more casually) and like talking about it. I also find it enjoyable to read about what other people are doing! My current project involves (mostly) a planet named Ellos by its inhabitants.

Ellos is a world with a lot of history. It did the stone age, it went through an industrial revolution, it became way more advanced than we were and it was about to undergo a Singularity. It was pretty awesome. Except then the Falrossian Empire desired more expansion and broke pretty much all its treaties with other world nations. Note that it was the cause of the Resource Wars already, and it was responsible for turning what later became known as the Lost Continent into a nuclear wasteland.

So there were about a hundred years of proxy wars fought between the Empire and the Golamu Primacy. The Republican League of Central Vayuru managed to stay out of the wars mostly, playing both sides and trying to avoid the devastation the two powers were tracking all over the world. Eventually Falros and the Primacy started to war with each other, and by this point the population had fallen from 10bn to about thirty million. The Republicans became drawn into the war on the side of the Primacy when Falros razed their eastern cities to the ground and settled their own people there. So there were nuclear bombs being dropped everywhere they thought it might help, the Golamu war automata were being deployed like there was no tomorrow and the Falrossians had developed a very powerful magitech that was making their victory almost inevitable. Then the Primacy launched a last kamikaze attack on the Farasi Archipelago and destroyed their cities, infrastructure and pretty much everything. Then they turned on the GDIs, which essentially emit an anti-magic field which destroys all dolonics. So technology stopped working, since everything was magitech, and the global population was left at around 2 million or so, concentrated on Rosatar and part of Central Vayuru. The war ended not because there was a ceasefire but because there was no one left to fight it, and nothing left to fight it with.

But that's backstory. Two centuries later the world sucks. Cancer is as common as a cold, technology has stagnated and the anti-magic field is still up so you can't achieve much with dolonics at all. There are two main power centres in the world: the Farasi Teachers and the Golgrim Alliance, descended from Falros and Golamu respectively. Nayundica, the last remnant of the Republican League, is not particularly powerful or influencial. Other groups are scattered around the world but in numbers far too low to be of any real note. The fate of mankind rests on those living in Farasya, Nayundica and Rosatar, since those places are the only places where civilisation still exists.

At the moment I'm working on fleshing out the Teacher organisation and its structure, goals and hierarchy. They have a militant wing, the Soldiers, and they're the de facto government of Farasya. They have access to pre-war technology, although they can't use a lot of it. They have powerful Archives, which are like computers sort of but can be weaponised. Er, sort of.

The Golgrim Alliance is essentially a theocratic military dictatorship led by a woman known only as the Priestqueen. It's rumoured she's over two hundred years old and that she's ruled since the war ended. Gogrom is her capital and it's the largest city in the world (60k inhabitants). It doesn't actually do a whole lot on the world stage (but then, there isn't really a world stage any more...), but it's certainly the most powerful single entity that exists.

I really like this project. The world is fascinating, it has a rich history and a hopeful future. The people who populate it all have some kind of story to tell. There's so much I've got left to explore, too. Anyway, that's me done. What are you guys working on?
 

yiran

New member
My (Pokémon) fanfic world's backstory is actually very relevant to the plot! As in, if I revealed it in the first chapter, it would be massive spoilers. Because the majority of the characters (Pokémon, again) don't care too much about history. And the backstory was still in the time where they were in Poké Balls. Of course, some of them know, but (part of) the main cast not knowing is all that matters.
 

Momo(th)

Active member
Pronoun
she
I am currently driving myself to near-insanity by making monsters that would make Lovecraft proud.

But yeah, a backstory is essential for world building. Preferably, I like to reveal it slowly over the course of the tale, as rarely (or well, for me) does a character who essentially says the entire history of the work solely to explain it to the reader, evenb if it makes absolutely no sense.

But back to my incomprehensible babies, I currently have created about 51 "Gods" that are divided into three groups (from weakest to strongest): The Earthbound Ones, The Starlit Ones, and Those Who Roar From The Darkness Of The Unknown. Some names include Roxlaeauxeus, the God of death, and Ennuonnolaustren, who in all essence is the living embodiment of the universe. And to top it all off, we have Charbadeausleastlie, who is the afterlife itself.

Just a sample for now though. If I give too much, it would spoil the story.

Funny thing is, I made my "gods" unbelievably exaggerated. An example is that the only reason that the universe takes place in isn't simply wiped out of existence by negligence is because Charbadeausleastlie has a somewhat severe case of OCD (obviously meant to be played for laughs). I swear though, writing about hammy celestial entities is very entertaining.
 
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Teh Ebil Snorlax

izombie, uzombie, weallzombie
The world I'm currently working on the most is called Morth. I'd obliterate your minds with sheer boredom if I tried to go into all the tiny, tiny details, but I'll try and give a bulleted list of the most important points.

Geography

  • Morth stretches from one side of a massive gulf to the other and consists of five major geographic regions - Gasra Sands, the Black Ruins, the Plains of Man, the Morthic Sea and the Godswall.
  • Gasra Sands is a vast desert to the west of the Morthic Sea which becomes the Karthenwaste as one journeys north out of Morth. It is separated fro the rest of Morth by the Morthic Sea and the Godswall.
  • The Black Ruins lie on the opposite side of the Godswall to Gasra Sands and is the ruins of a country-sized city, which have been restored as the lands of the Blackrune Confederacy.
  • The Plains of Man, which lie to south of the Black Ruins and east of the Morthic Sea, are grasslands which stretch south out of Morth until they become the Endless Pasture.
  • The Morthic Sea is the sea that lies in the gulf, containing a number of islands including the Solaci Archipelago and the Isle of Screams.
  • The Godswall is a colossal mesa several miles wide that stretches so far north no one has ever journeyed to its end and lived to return and divides Morth in two.

Races

  • Morth is populated by four races; the Gasra, the Shimrakin, the Dark Nations and Humans.
  • The Gasra are the nomadic people of Gasra Sands, who live in a rigid caste society divided into a number of tribes and who are considered closely related to Humans, with only their olive skin, long eyelashes, sharp teeth and forked tongues distinguishing them.
  • The Shimrakin are the highly militaristic remnants of the lost race known as the Wallbuilders, who live in Mon Hirac, an area of land jutting out from the end of the Godswall, who are roundly despised for their xenophobia and aggression by just about everyone and by the Gasra due to their heritage and who are marked by their pale white skin, considerable height, pointed ears, hairless bodies and lack of nails.
  • The Dark Nations are a reptilian race (divided into five subspecies) created in the dark magical experiments of the mad sorcerer Jacob Darcy, all born with natural magical abilities and set apart by their green scaled skin, black talons, prominent tails and lack of noses.
  • Humans are distant relatives of the Shimrakin, basically the same as RL humans except that all humans are dark-skinned apart from the occasional albino.


Politics

  • Morth is in the middle of a cold war between the Great Southern Empire, who want to eradicate magic from the world, and the Blackrune Confederacy, who want to promote and protect magic users, and their allies.
  • The Blackrune Confederacy formed by the Dark Nations after the defeat of Jacob Darcy; due to their nature, they obviously have a vested personal interest in allowing magic to continue.
  • The Great Southern Empire pursues the eradication of magic in an effort to make the world more equal, since they perceive magical ability as an unfair advantage given at birth.
  • However, many of the Empire's allies are old monarchies who oppose the Confederacy because the Confederacy promotes democracy and previously assisted their colonies in breaking away as independent republics, rather than any actual problem with magic which weakens the Empire's position in some ways (less cohesion between allies) and strengthens it in others (sheer numbers).
  • Equally, the Confederacy both gains and suffers due to its strong alliance with the nations of Mon Hirac and Solace, both of which are extremely militarily powerful (balancing the Empire's volume of allies) but which are widely disliked by other nations (leaving the three of them largely alone apart from the former colonies), as well as being firmly against both democracy and each other, which makes their alliance a politically tense one.
  • Across the sea, the nomadic people of Gasra Sands are having their caste-based society challenged by a new religious leader called the Nefud, who has established a casteless tribe that anyone can join, now one of the largest tribes in the whole of Gasra Sands.

The story which takes place in Morth mainly concerns itself with a member of the Solaci Royal Guard, Adrian Darcy, and only touches on anything mentioned above when it becomes relevant to his investigations into a conspiracy to subvert the throne of Solace, which is infrequently at first and becomes even less frequent as he discovers that the conspiracy itself is being subverted by one of its members whose real goal is to finish the work of Jacob Darcy (who is Adrian's ancestor, yes). Then the apocalypse nearly happens but doesn't.

I guess what I'm saying is that the background is essential to the plot, but the plot doesn't really concern itself with the politics and racial histories and stuff? The central conflict is between Adrian and an evil sorcerer (whose only tangential relation to the politics of Morth is that they're both members of noble houses and the sorcerer's motivation is related to a minor political event in recent Morthic history that hardly any of the major players even noticed or cared about) and the conflict gets developed within the context of the cold war, takes notice of the cold war and is pushed along by things related to the cold war, but the cold war isn't the plot at all and isn't even resolved by the time the story is over.
 
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sovram

Arrogant
Pronoun
any
ETA: I guess I'm just gonna edit this post as I go!

all of this is wanting me to really get back into worldbuilding. and yet school is about to start ... damn you.

I'll start working on something~

hey look, a badly done mspaint job of a climate map!! compare with this, retrieved from this site.

it's really arctic heavy, which is awesome! I think this means a plethora (or one really powerful) furry species in my future. look at those mountains up north! does that even make sense?! i have no idea!!

Astronomy

The Star
Stellar classification: K7 VI
Mass: 1.5 * 10^30 kg (0.7 solar mass)
Luminosity: 1.32 * 10^25 W (0.343 solar luminosity)

The Planet
Orbit: 8.77 * 10^10 m (0.586 AU)
Length of year: 1.41912 * 10^7 s (0.45 Earth year) ((I don't rightfully have that accuracy but whatever it's gonna help me put a calendar together))
Sidereal day: 97362s (1.13 Earth days)
Solar day: 98306s (1.1378 Earth days)
Radius: 5543km (0.8700 Earth radius)
Mass: 3.932 * 10^29 kg (0.6585 Earth mass)
Surface gravity: 8.53 m/s^2 (0.8700 g) << for g = 9.81 m/s^2 >>
Axial tilt: 24 degree
Number of moons: 2
 
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Harlequin

New member
TES I never really put species other than humans in my work. I'm not sure why. I'm always interested in works that do have other species though because there's just so much potential for interspecies politics and conflict. Hooray! How did Darcy make his new race? Horrific breeding experiments, surgery and liberal applications of magic, what?

Zuu: hooray worldbuilding! see it's fun. maps are also good.

this is a section from one of my maps and it's actually obsolete now because I changed some stuff but it basically tells you where everything is. I mostly only changed some rivers which affected my biomes slightly so. yeah.



On that big island just to the north-east of Farasya is the Schoolyard, which is where the Teachers are based. It's also a town and a military garrison. The central characters' grandfather runs a ferry service from Nayundica to Farasya with a stop off at the Schoolyard. Take a fair while since he only has one steamship and it's for trading mostly but travel is possible! and since the Teachers don't use their steamship it's the most reliable way of travelling without crossing the Deadlands or the desert. Both of which are bad ideas!
 

Teh Ebil Snorlax

izombie, uzombie, weallzombie
@Harlequin: The Black Ruins used to be essentially polluted with a godfuck of magical radiation, which was why it was never settled before the Dark Nations took it over. That radiation had a tendency to produce magical monsters through mutation anyway, Darcy just harnessed it and used it deliberately to create them by mutating reptiles he was breeding for the purpose.

@opaltiger: It'll take a few years, but you'll hopefully get your chance in the future.
 

Harlequin

New member
Ooh! Radiation. I love a nice bit of radiation. In terms of intelligence how do all of the races compare? Do they have different strengths and weaknesses or are they all more or less the same?
 

Teh Ebil Snorlax

izombie, uzombie, weallzombie
Ooh! Radiation. I love a nice bit of radiation. In terms of intelligence how do all of the races compare? Do they have different strengths and weaknesses or are they all more or less the same?
Do you mean the different Dark Nation subspecies or the four major races in general?
 

Harlequin

New member
All four races. For example, in one of my worlds the gargoyles are less innovative than the humans but they're far better at maths, for example (not that they think of it that way, it's just kind of a natural thing for them). On Ellos everyone is human so I don't get to play with that.

or actually I guess it applies to any of the non-human bits of their psychology. What makes them different from humans psychologically?
 

Teh Ebil Snorlax

izombie, uzombie, weallzombie
All four races. For example, in one of my worlds the gargoyles are less innovative than the humans but they're far better at maths, for example (not that they think of it that way, it's just kind of a natural thing for them). On Ellos everyone is human so I don't get to play with that.

or actually I guess it applies to any of the non-human bits of their psychology. What makes them different from humans psychologically?
There are no major psychological differences between the Gasra, the Shimrakin and Humans because they're all descended from the same precursor race and their fundamental physical makeup is pretty much the same. The only major one I can think of is that the Gasra have no concept of left and right in their language and can only think about direction in terms of north-south/east-west. As a result, they have a pretty much innate ability to calculate direction by the position of the sun, since their brain has no other way of figuring out what way to go. Other than that, their differences are largely cultural.

The Dark Nations, on the other hand, are psychologically very different because they are always born magical (exceptions are as rare as albinism in Humans). Being magical actually means being able to experience an overlap between the mortal and immortal worlds and being able to manipulate the energies of the immortal world to make changes happen in the mortal world. Anyone from the other races who's born with magical abilities has the same experience but everyone in the Dark Nations experiences it, so, as a race, they view the world in a fundamentally different way to the other races, since the magical perspective on the world is their default perspective, rather than one that's only found in certain individuals within their race.

The long and short of it is that the Dark Nations don't really have a huge amount of concern for physicality, because the more important part of their existence for them is their spiritual one. Sex is solely a reproductive necessity for them, since intimacy and pleasure is better found in the interaction of souls than flesh. Death to them is a loss of contact with the physical world rather than an end to being, since only the body dies, while the soul lingers on.
 

Kratos Aurion

beep beep coming through
Pronoun
any
Okay, so I'll possibly be tempted to ramble about ad nauseam share a little bit about my various projects some other time, or at least babble about my current pile of ridiculous Pokémon/fantasy nonsense, but for now I've got a question and I'd love to have some outside opinions on this!

Conlangs are fun and fascinating and all, but for this particular project I just haven't been in the mood to bother with any, not even a simple naming language. (It wouldn't require anything more than that anyway, as there shouldn't be many actual sentences written/spoken in other languages at all). I would still like the character and place names to sound like they come from discrete, consistent languages, however, so what I've been doing is just... extending translation convention, if you will. Like, the common language is represented by English, as you'd expect, but then I've also taken other Earth languages and had those stand in for the other languages in the conworld. So, for example, the southern elves speak a language represented by Irish Gaelic and have names like Tighernan and Sinéad and Ceallach, and the orcs "speak" some hodgepodge of Ancient/Middle Greek and have names like Kallias and Syntyche and live in countries with names like Erythraea, so on and so forth.

...Is this too weird? Is it going to be distracting to the people who read about this stuff? Hopefully they won't be distracted by anything being used wildly improperly, since I know precious little about these languages but am trying to do at least enough research to not look like a complete fool when I throw a name around etc., but as much as I like the general idea I keep feeling like someone's going to complain or be thrown off when they start reading! Even if they're not familiar enough with something like Irish or Icelandic to recognize those immediately, the Greek, at least, is likely to stand out.

I'm pretty well attached to the few names I've already given out—it just wouldn't be the same if Tighernan wasn't Tighernan, Sólveig wasn't Sólveig and Lucien wasn't Lucien—but maybe if it's legitimately too weird then I should just try to suck it up and change them anyway, haha. If I still don't feel like a proper naming language I could always just make up random bullshit words that are at least consistent-sounding random bullshit, but yeah I like what I have. :(

(...okay maybe Lucien could still be Lucien because I'm toying with the idea of the humans actually speaking their respective "translation convention" languages, so Lucien could very well be legit French, but the others...)
 

Blastoise Fortooate

Geographical!
I like it, Kratos. It's interesting, at least. People who speak those languages (when applicable) might find it... clunky? But I think it's a relatively unique way of going about things.
 

kyeugh

probably the only american on here 🇺🇸🗽🦅
Pronoun
she/her
Ooh goodie, I've been looking for one of these. Even though I've seen this thread before, I didn't really put it together.

EXTRAVA: Prior to Settlement
In the days of old, all was serene. There was a land of nature, and there were three classes of existence- class of Terrestrial Life, class of Marine Life, and class of Aerial Life. The dragons ruled the Terrestrial Life, the Leviathans ruled the Marine Life, and the Phoenix dominated the Aerial Life. Several sections made up the natural world- the Earth Realm (home of the Terrestrials), the Aquatic Realm (home of the Marines), and the Sky Realm (home of the Aerials). Per usual, creatures did not leave their corresponding Realms. There was no set rule for this, but it was simply more convenient for said species to live in a land tailored specifically for their needs. Occasionally, a creature would stray, and die quickly.
Each Realm did not know of the others, except for the Aerial Life. They were perched high on mountaintops, where they dominated the sky and saw the entire world before them. In this way, the Aerial Lifeforms were indeed the dominate ones, for they could eat not only the food provided in their own Realm, but also that provided in other Realms. Their speedy travel meant they could take what they needed and return home quickly, before the other Lifeforms were angered. But eventually, this came to an abrupt end.
The Marine and Terrestrial Lifeforms met, and they formed an alliance. From that point forward, the Aerial class was at something of a disadvantage. So it remained that way for the rest of time, that Marine and Terrestrial life got along quite nicely while Aerial Life was cruel and nasty to everyone but themselves.

EXTRAVA: Post-Settlement
Of course the humans had to go and ruin it all. It was not known how they appeared there, although there are many theories. All that is known is that they are there. They advanced rapidly, as usually, but there was an issue. They did not, for some reason, collectively spawn. Rather, the humans came about all over Extrava- that is, some on Marine islands, some on Terrestrial turf, and others on the Aerial mountain. They communicated with their neighboring animals, and were told the stories from their point of view. Again, the Marine and Terrestrial people had the upper hand, but the Aerial people had an advantage as well, that none of the other people could say they possessed- flight. So there was a vicious war between them, that had no end, because the sides were perfectly equal. It was hand-to-hand, claw-to-claw, and perhaps the bloodiest battle in Extrava's history. It all ended quickly, however.
The Grand Titan was born. It was a huge thing, with no certain appearance. Each race depicted it as something different. However, each race showed one thing similar- he wielded an enormous sword. Apparently, he also had the ability to conjure stone from the ground, and this he did. An enormous slab of white marble rose from the earth, and he jammed his sword deep inside of it. A magical discharge surged across the land, putting peace into the resident's minds. In addition, the strike contained such power that the Realms actually split apart into separate continents, so the creatures inhabiting it waged no war.
The Grand Titan has not been seen since, but the slab and sword remains an international sight to behold.
And the peace was not permanent, of course- the continents advanced technologically and intellectually on their own, and the time will inevitably come when the war repeats itself, an event that is called the Armageddon. Until that day, the empires of water, ground, and air are busying themselves, each developing in separate ways, creating their own weapons and tactics, building their own cultures, and training so that the day comes, they will be ready.

More later, perhaps.
 

opaltiger

actually very huggable
Staff member
Pronoun
he/him
Even if they're not familiar enough with something like Irish or Icelandic to recognize those immediately, the Greek, at least, is likely to stand out.
For what it's worth, I reckon the Irish'd stand out more. But I also don't think it's a huge problem.
 

Harlequin

New member


Some bits from my latest project. The fairies up in the north are descended from a common ancestor with humans which evolved a magical intelligence and capability before we did. Humans made a treaty with the fairies three thousand years ago which through some ridiculous situation allowed thirteen tribes of man to become magicians.

The project involves politics, eldritch abominations and war fairies. The war fairies are my favourite things.
 

Harlequin

New member
This is a link to a very large map of my current project's setting.

Some bits from my latest project. The fairies up in the north are descended from a common ancestor with humans which evolved a magical intelligence and capability before we did. Humans made a treaty with the fairies three thousand years ago which through some ridiculous situation allowed thirteen tribes of man to become magicians.

The project involves politics, eldritch abominations and war fairies. The war fairies are my favourite things.
 

sovram

Arrogant
Pronoun
any
This is a link to a very large map of my current project's setting.

Some bits from my latest project. The fairies up in the north are descended from a common ancestor with humans which evolved a magical intelligence and capability before we did. Humans made a treaty with the fairies three thousand years ago which through some ridiculous situation allowed thirteen tribes of man to become magicians.

The project involves politics, eldritch abominations and war fairies. The war fairies are my favourite things.
How the hell are you making these beautiful maps?
 
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