Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 6.3 - Seekretya - Da Races - FAE FOLK

Fae, or Faeree Folk are the most numerous and perhaps the most dominant Race, with the possible exception of the Trools. It is difficult to say which Race is the most dominant for several reasons, not the least of which is the Faeree tendancy for inconsistent politics and policies; lack of coherient organization within the Race and shifts in power over time.

The Trools are less numerous, but individually more powerful, more single minded in purpose and more uniform in their desires. Fae are whimsical, but powerful; small but energetic; disparate but numerous. Fae and Trool do not always find themselves at odds with each other but certain Ethnogroups are mortal enemies. For instance, Dwarves and Stoontrools have been at war since the inception of Seekretya.

NOTE: I just realized that I have been spelling the name of the social big Race incorrectly. By my spelling convention that long vowels are designated by doubling the letter, the English word, "troll" should be spelled "trool." I've decided to keep the spelling that way, making the pronounciation of that word more like: trawl (with a short o).

Fae live in villages, cities, and roving bands. Fae live in trees, underground, in forests, and on planes. They pride themselves in diversity and purposely change their habits when they perceive that they have been, "figured out."

They are the oldest Race after the Dragons. They may actually be older than humans.

There are only three consistant things throughout the Fae Race, they are between half and one meter high; they are romantic and they are monogamous. Even Dwarvs, who are considered stoic among Faeree, love to sing and are romantic about their spouses and mining.

-All Fae are contrary, except the Bluufae. These are the water people. They are always in a good mood and willing to help. They love water and build their towns as bridges over rivers. They sail and row everywhere, and love to swim. They are also the ones who fly airships (blimps) and airboats (hot air balloons).

Airships are blimps with 3 to 5 bags fireproof bags of Dragonskin (sloughed from Dragons when molting) and filled with Dragon's Breath (probably Hydrogen). These are wrapped in a sleeve of silk and a wicker gondola in the shape of a sailing ship is hung underneath. The silk sleeves are often in paisleies. Several pedalers power several large propellers and a large silk rudder is in the stern from the keel of the boat to the end the sleeve. These are used predominantly by military as highground for archers and as passenger liners on the civilian side.

Airboats are usually hot air balloons, but they could be Dragon's Breath balloons too. They are usually one bladder, but they can be two. They too have a boat shaped gondola and usually two propellers powered by one pedaler. The usual way of steering is to use the balloon as a sail and the propeller as a kind of keel. The balloon is raised and lowered to get into the right winds. In still air it can be moved forward by the propellers, buit there is usually not enough power in them to counteract any real winds. They carry small, precious cargo or passengers. They can be used by the military as observation platforms.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 6.2.1 More About the Wee

Wee are also known for stealing the babies of other Races, swapping them with their own, leaving their own and making deals for babies (notably first borns).

NOTE: Particularly heinous inter-racial crimes have been greatly curtailed by the system of Viswizards and Common Wizards. Inter-racial cannibalism and baby stealing are two of the chief incidents.

Because of the control of the Wizards the Wee have delightfully expanded their old tradition of confusing contracts. They still try to get away with the old tricks, but unless they are in an actual contract they are breaking the laws and may be punished.

- Brownees are a very particular group of Wee Folk. They have symbiotic relationships with big people. Brownees don't make their own homes or produce food, they live in the homes of others and keep the homes in exchange for a place to live (usually the attic or cellar) and food. They are very small and specialize in disappearing and making themselves invisible. They are also good at finding things and singing ballads and lullabies.

Brownees are attractive little people who keep themselves, their adopted homes and their own little corners very neat and tidy. They can be excellent cooks, but rarely do it because hovering over the stove is so obvious a chore and the don't like to be seen.

Brownees mate once a year, but once they are mated they always return to the same mate. They alternately travel to each others homes. The Brownee who is traveling will do so with explicit permission from the home owner or not at all. The receiving Brownee will prepare either the attic or cellar (whichever they are not occupying) for the visiting Brownee to occupy for the length of the visit.

When they get together they treat it as a courting ritual, but each day it ends in lovemaking, while all night they both clean and keep the house. The double work frees them up for more alone time. When they are not actually lovemaking they live apart. Visits last from the first full moon after mid-summer to the next full moon. Since the Brownees can be invisible they like the moonlight to travel by and don't fear being sighted.

A mated pair of Brownees rarely live in the same village. When the visiting Brownee leaves he or she must bring a present back to their adopted homeowners. This is usually something very small and/or magical that the two Brownees have made during the visit.

The children spend half their formative years with each parent, traveling with them on their annual visits. Since a pair of Brownees will typically only have up to four children and these five years apart on average, there are sill a reasonable number of Brownees visiting. Children that aren't switching, remain in their homes and provide uninterrupted service.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 6.2 - Seekretya - Da Races - Dragons, Trols and Wee Folk

Dragons ARE magic. Ley Lines are Dragon Lines. Some Dragons are actually the lines themselves. It was the Dragons who pulled the Ley Lines into Seekretya.

Dragons, in their natural state are very large, dark pterodactyls with longer hind limbs and more manageable heads. They can disguise themselves by transforming into human looking creatures. Dragons are social and solitary. They live in cities and alone in the highest, most inaccessible mountain peaks. Their capital is Obsideeopolis, a glittering crystal city on the edge of the Viioletpeeks, overlooking all of Seekretya. In Obsideeopolis all the Dragons are in human form.

Dragons have their own moral code, virtues and vices, values and drives. They are really very rarely sympathetic toward other races.

Trols are as heavy as Megans, but only average 9' tall, so they are much more bulky. They have shorter legs, but very long arms. Trols can go bald at times. They tend to be darker haired, skin and eyed, but there are some groups that are light.

Trols are never alone, even when they appear to be alone they are within earshot of others and never go anywhere without others knowing where they are and what they are doing. The others that are within earshot all consider themselves to be together.

Because of their size and food requirements, Trols do not form communities larger than villages (there are no Trol cities). Depending on the ethnogroup the villages could be clans, families, communes or what humans would consider normal villages. At a minimum Trols live in three house communities, even if there are only three Trols in the community. This is meant to be defensive and supportive. Trols often wall in their communities, with stone walls, wooden walls, hedges, and cut brush (like kraals). In some cases they will dig moats and in some cases they will dig into mountains. Trol houses are solid and dull. Most Trol ethnogroups pride themselves in clean house with few, well built furniture. They don't adorn their houses.

Trols don't go in for music or dance at all. Their art tends to be sculpture; either mountainous or tiny (Mount Rushmore or figurines). They have jewelry, but it's not for beauty wear. Jewelry is worn for its own beauty and is usually small and tasteful, not gaudy. Evening entertainment is food and story-telling.

Trols are monogamous and pedestrian in their sexual mores. They have a strict code of intergender relationships, courtship and marriage. Trols never divorce, but will remarry quickly when widowed.

Trol ethnogroups are lawful peaceful (gentle giants), lawful violent (militant), or chaotic violent (bandits or mercenaries). Sometimes the differences are in time, not by group.

Are about half as tall at humans to as small as half a meter. They are the solitary little people. They like to perform mischief and enjoy physical humor; they are quick to anger and are easily offended. They focus very highly on magic and are very good at it. They use it more often than any other Race.

They're less solitary than Megans, they get together in small groups often to eat and dance, but they don't trust each other and often with good reason. They are also hoarders, keeping crocks of gold and other stashes. They even try to steal from Dragon's hoards.

Wee never get married. They have romantic trists, but the never last more than a few years. During those years they are mostly apart, but come together for monthly week-long one-night stands. While romantically involved they may pine, write poetry and music. They are very passionate and monogamous during this time.

Eventually one of the parents take the child (or as-often twins) and raise them. It' is more often the mother, but about a quarter of the time it's the father.

FAE FOLK – Next time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Me – Books Over 500 Pages in General – Cryptonomicon in Particular

I think I've discovered something: I can't finish a book over 500 pages. I couldn't finish Aztec, though I enjoyed it. I can't finish Cryptonomicon either. I know it's LTC John's favorite book in the whole wide world. I was given it for Christmas by "Uncle" Mike a few years ago because he loved it and thought I would enjoy it too.
I just can't stand it anymore. I'm listening to it on CD and it is 34 CDs long, THIRTY FOUR! I've taken to skipping to the WWII parts because they are fairly interesting still, but this morning I had to skip through half a CD that talked about one character's milk and cereal.

Seriously, Neal Stephenson, PITH! Edit yourself once in a while.

Maybe it's just me. Once I get the gist of the story I can't put up with it, "Yeah yeah yeah, I get it, next."

I can read series, Discworld, Foundation, Sherlock Holmes (not books per se, but you know what I mean), Harry Potter, Nero Wolfe, Harry Dresden, Lensman, Sharpe, Hornblower; but I just can't stand those long books.

Funny thing is, I get into all those details when I write. I love to research and get tons of facts. These very 30 Days of World Building are a good example. How long have my 30 days been, three, four months? Very often I loose interest after doing the research and I have piles of it that I just can't part with. I like those kinds of details, but I probably do enough research for a book and end up with a 4,000 word short story. Something about actually putting all of that in a book turns me off around page 600-700.

Maybe folks with books like that should take a cue from movies and wait to put it out on the DVD special features. Something like, "Deleted Scenes from Cryptonomicon." See now, I'd read that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 6 - Seekretya - Da Races

Here is what the exercise has for Day 6:

"1. Spend 10 minutes figuring out what people who evolved in each major area of your world would look like. Then spend another 5 minutes asking "2. what if this group encountered that group?" Would they fight? Trade? Both? Inter-marry and blend their genetic types? Would they remain largely separate, with pure strains of both racial groups co-existing (not necessarily peacefully)? How would that encounter be brought about in the first place?" [I added the numbers]


Note: No Race is evil. Races are not paired.

There are 5 races in Seekretya, none of which exactly match the old Wee Folk of traditional tales. There are literary reasons and in-story reasons. Literarily, I don't want so many different races, I don't necessarily like the way they're depicted, and they don’t match the story mood. The main in-story reason is that when they got to Seekretya they had conflicts, wars, treaties and agreements as they jostled into the small, insulated world. They re-built themselves and their relationships.

The lingua franca of Seekretya is English, though there is a shared magic language as well and some groups may retain their original language in private, though that is becoming more rare.

The Races are reproductively separated. There are little people that are social (Fae) and there are little people that are solitary (Wee). There are social (Trol) and solitary (Megan) big people as well. The fifth Race is the human race.

Ok so these are somewhat paired, but it will turn out that ethno-grouping is almost stronger than race-grouping so it won't be an issue. I certainly didn't want to try to approach the question from the idea that there are pairs for everything, and the pairs play off of, fight, or complement each other. There is one Water People for instance and they don't have to be balanced by any other group. There aren't groups for all geographical features or ecological niches.

Any Race can perform magic and there are Wizards in all Races.

Although I don't agree with the idea of races in describing different groups of Homo sapiens, I think it is the right term to use in this story. These are all hominid races of people. They all share the same body type, generally the same abilities, minimum intelligence level and minimum technological development. They all have the same basic attitudes, desires and outlooks. In short, they are not aliens, but different people, more than just culturally different, but still people.

There is one species of sentient magical animals (and I hesitate to have these because I don't like talking animals, so I'll class them as Creatures) they are Dragons. They ARE alien intelligences.

The Races and Creatures are further divided into Ethnogroups. They call themselves clans, tribes, nations, peoples. Some of them have developed political territories with names like empire, kingdom, territory or land. These political areas I'll refer to as Lands. Races or Ethnogroups might coexist in a Land, or a single Race or Ethnogroup might divide themselves into several Lands and constantly struggle for control of their neighbors.

There are Ethnogroups that are generally pro-human and ones that are generally anti-human. This usually holds true throughout the entire Ethnogroup with individual exceptions rather than Land based exceptions, although an anti-human Land may ally themselves with Humans in the interest of dominating a competing Land (but they won't like it).

As far as the heroes are concerned, the anti-human Ethnogroups are generally evil. As Humans they see these people as unnecessarily cruel to Humans, or to have values normally considered as vices by most Human cultures.

MEGANS - Megans reproduce once every 3 or 4 years depending on if they have an omnivourous diet. Those with a more rounded diet go into estrus more often. Gestation is 16 months. Every 11 years everyone goes into estrus at the same time and they have what they call, "The Merging." Very large gatherings are held. There is a great celebration. Tents are set up for carnal visits (they are very private) and trading happens. The Mountain Megan trade sheep and goats, the Forest Megan trade fruits, nuts, berries and other vegetarian food stuffs.

Forest Megans are almost exclusively herbivourous. They are the tallest of all Races, at an average of almost 14'. They are ambivalent of Humans, and prefer to stay clear of them. The more omnivourous of them will eat a Human if the opportunity arrives, but that's very rare (like a man-eating hipo), usually when a Forest Megan is weak, sick or very old. These are generally the "trolls" in stories like "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."

So, going back to 30 Days.

1. Spending 10 minutes on what Megans look like, They are leggy and square shouldered. They are twice as tall as humans, but only about 4 times heavier. They aren't beefy. When they are overweight they get pot bellies. Their hair, skin and eye color are all across the spectrum. They do then to have thick hair on their heads, faces and bodies. The women have only slightly less hairy on their bodies, with their hair only slightly thinner. Their facial hair is much thinner, and not often noticeable. They then to be strong in the way thin, wirey people are. Their clothing is widely varied too. Some groups go almost naked, while others wear so many layers that you would think that they are all overweight.

2. I've already talked about how different groups of Megans interact. They tolerate the presence of most Trol groups, though they have no interaction with them. They think of Wee folk as pests, like insects. They are most likely to eat them or kill them without thinking much about it. Wee folk in their turn delight in tormenting Megans, considering them slow and dimwitted. Fae avoid Megans and vice versa. When they do come in contact both groups would give ground and leave the area. Faery lands and Megan lands do not overlap at all.

Coming Soon: DRAGONS, TROLS, FAES and WEES. Watch this space.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Day 5 – Seekretya – The Map

FINALLY! I got a chance and an idea on how to do the map.

I had an idea in my head, but I really wasn't able to realize it. I tried several methods, but nothing worked except hand drawing it and that didn't even work well. All I had was a tiny sketch. Finally I pulled out a full size piece of paper and a ruler and drew it.

It's still not good, not at all, but at least you can get an idea of the kind of thing I was thinking about.

I was working from these ideas:

A plateau in north central Montana (southern Alberta) about a mile high and 100 miles in diameter.
  • 7 Valleys
  • 7 Spurs
  • 7 Rivers
  • Valleys are Alpine leading down into Aspin woods, then into Temperate Rainforests and finally down to the 7 Bay Lake
There are 9 Lands
• Two span two valleys (one is The Confederation of Light in the north and the other is The Dark Empire in the south (capitol is Obsideeopolis))
• The Orange Valley and the Yellow Valley are divided in two by the river (the OV borders the CofL on the west and the YV borders the CofL on the east)
• The Green Valley is divided into three by elevation
• The rivers and the center of the lake are generally considered the be Water People "Land"
• The working titles for the single valley lands are Bludland (in the Red Valley on the west side of Seekretya) and Akwaland (in the Bluu Valley surrounded by the Bluu Mountains and the Green Hiits)

Working Titles for Ridges
- Red-clifs
- Oranj-hils
- Yeloo-ridj
- Green-hiits
- Bluu-mountens
- Indigoo-peex
- Violet-buut

7 Colors = Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

General Color rules
Big people (Trols and Megans) use Violet and Indigo
Humans use Green
Little people (Faes and Wees) use Yellow, Orange and Red
- Exception - the water people who are Racially Fae use Blue almost exclusively
- Accents – Silver, Black, White, Brown

Wizards (use colors too)
• 7 Archwizards
• 49 Viswizards
• 363 Common Wizards
• 399 Wizards Total

Total 5/mi2 = 40,000 Total
5% (2,000) Human
10% (4,000) Megans
15% (6,000) Wees
30% (12,000) Trols
40% (16,000) Faes

Humans are in 7 towns
• Heeleeos [I don't really know the names to use, maybe Suntown] – 1,000
• Fegareeos [maybe Moontown] – 500
• Afrodiiteeos [maybe Venustown, or Tuestown] – 100
• Areeos [maybe Arestown or Wenstown] – 100
• Zeusos [maybe Jupitertown or Thurstown] – 50
• Kronos [maybe Saturntown or Friitown] – 50
• Hermeeos [maybe Mercureetown or Saturtown] – 50
• Scattered outside of towns or nomadic - 150