Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 12 – Speculative Element

From 30 Days of Worldbuilding:

1. "Write down the snippets and images that you already know you want in your story."

2. "Next, ask yourself the hard questions. 'What if?' What would that do to them? Would that change my plot?"

2a. "Drill down on the big things and the details, decide what would happen if they work one way vs. another."

One thing that I forgot to mention is the influence of Jules Verne. Originally, when I was first coming up with the idea for this story I was playing with the title of Magicpunk. My speculative element, as has been very clear is Magic, as produced by Sourcerers and used by Wizards and Priestesses. What hasn't been clear is it's roll in the society on Wispollil.

I'm thinking Gilded rather than Ironclad, Filagree and Inlay rather than Boilerplate and Rivets. Wispollil is physically larger than England, but has less than one quarter the population. Think Victorian England without the population pressure to drive industrialization (also without all the sexual restrictions). This is a much younger society than Europe was by the time they entered the Gilded Age, there was no Roman or Egyptian Empires, no Classic Hellenic Age to look back on and model themselves after. This isn't Neoclassicism, but it is the dawning of Humanism (at least for the Fidchin).

The story leads the characters to Fjordland, a place that is more wild and dark ages, more Conan, Den and Tarzan, but they are coming from what they consider to be civilization.

1. Images of things within my magic system:

· Flying ships with great bird-like wings
· Dirigibles
· Magic-drawn carriages
· Magic Railroad (there is a single "railroad" between the Golchin capitol and the Fidchin capitols, it is a marble half pipe that runs absolutely straight, there is a single "car" that is more like a cross between a luxury steamship and a Roman pleasure barge, the car runs two round trips a day with only the rich and powerful as passengers).
· Ballistae as cannons, propelled by magic. There are no guns, but there are crossbows of all types and bows. Arrow and bows being better for use with magic than small lead pellets.
· Cathedral temples erected by Gray Wizards
· Brick and stone castles erected by Gray Wizards
· All Fidchin cities and towns have been rebuilt by Gray Wizards of brick and stone with very square dimensions and restrictions (some villages have not been rebuilt, but there had always been great order in Fidchin villages and they are laid out logically)
· Golchin cities have been rebuilt by Gray Wizards, but more noticeably by Gild Wizards.
While Fidchin cities are elegant in their utilitarian efficiency, Golchin cities are elaborate and ornate, but with a light and airy feel, a cross between Baroque and Gothic Revival. Something like Jackson's Rivendell, but without the connection to nature.
· Communication through magical means, (eg. palintae)
· Cities are lit by magical streetlamps

Wizards do not cast spells, they create magical artifacts that can be manipulated and/or triggered. Klelryn Priestesses do cast spells, with words, song, music, dance, gestures and most potently with sex.

What if? The idea here is to flesh out how the elements mentioned affect society, but I think I sort of gave that answer in the first few paragraphs about a magic driven gilded age. At least this is true of Wispollil.

The Fjordlanders have a different relation with magic. They have no proper Sourcerers or Wizards. They are just as sparsely populated, but they have no highly organized system of government or magic. They have Paladins, who serve the function of Sourcerers and Wizards combined into one person. It is more the age of heroes with a Viking feel. Magic is reactive to events rather than being a proactive system.

Some elements of Fjordland magic:

· Live in A frame houses (this is the predominant architectural style along with the upturned boat style).
· Heroic deeds done by Paladins in rescue or protection.· Paladins are honored and respected. They NEVER hold public office.
· Paladins are like a cross between Cincinnati and Achilles (or Heracles), Superman and George Washington.
· Magical artifacts are VERY rare, the most common of which are swords and armor.
· Paladins MUST hold down a regular job because they are not allowed to take compensation for their noble magical work. If they are craftsmen then they MAY create a magical item for themselves (to be handed down the generations). These are invarably tools of the Paladin art (thus swords and armor) or small trinkets like magical boxes.
· Magical artifacts are never everyday items (like magic pots or brooms).
· Magical artifacts are never to be made to woo the favor of a love interest. This has happened on occasion so those artifacts are out there, but they invariably disqualify a person from being a Paladin (misuse of magic for personal gain).
· There is a single romantic story of a Paladin forsaking their calling by making an artifact for a love or using magic to save a love over the community (depending on how the story is told). There are many morality tales of Paladins doing the same thing and paying dearly for it.
· Honor and duty are looked upon as higher than love (love is too easily confused with sex and infatuation), especially when the individual is blessed with magical abilities.
· When Fjordlanders encounter people of Wispollil and their banal attitude towards magic and magical items they are offended. They are particularly offended by their treatment of Sourcerers.
· They are also confused by the fact that the practitioners of magic (Wizards and Sourcerers) are looked down upon by the exploiters of magic. To them that would be like the normal people looking down on the Paladins.
· Fjordlanders are awed by the number and power of the magical artifacts a Wizard can weild.

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