Nerding up the Prologue: Footnotes!

I just had an epiphany.

I am going to move most of the newly introduced made-up secondary world names from the very first “book excerpt” (about the Flats) into the footnotes, immediately following it, so people who do not care, can skip them and keep reading.

And those nerds who do care, can read footnotes!

I am a nerd, of course, but being hammered by a dozen made-up names of places on the first page seems a bit cruel…


Spat on everything, sat down and hammered 800 words in two hours. Probably crap—or mostly crap—but the camping scenes are finished, and I can get back to the Castle. At this point whatever moves me and all my people to the finish is good.


TTOW: 339,529 out of All Lord knows how many. Take that, 90,000-word novelists.

Castle Strata

The unfortunate abstinence of writing (life gets in the way all the time) makes me resort to stealing a second or two to blog random things—this is an unfinished sketch of Castle Strata as seen from the Up City cliffs, found in Dae’s notebooks—just to make me feel that I am not abandoning my story…

Map Updated Again

A hungry cat at 4 AM and general insomnia had led to another terraforming event. I rotated the map about 10 degrees clockwise, moving Norlay to the North, and Zurbah to South, ensuring proper climates in both countries. Added a bunch of cities and places, relocated the whole province of Qiehly, and moved Zafza up North of Zurbah, and Eastwell—down South (the land of Eastlann had to grow another dry land peninsula just to accommodate the change), all because I did not want to even think about fiddling with the logistics of Ethelle’s adventure in the prologue. She has to travel East to West straight, not at a reach.

But the map looks more and more complex and map-like:

The Circle of Known Lands' Map (.pdf, work in progress)

The Big Map Updated

Here is the link to the master .pdf file in Dropbox, and this The Circle of Known Lands' Map (.pdf, work in progress) is the same file if someone wishes to download it.

Added the whole new region on the North of Ordth, called The Shattered Isles. I am thinking the fringe Orthian clan, which attacked Ashe, might have come from there.

I probably need to file this under Projects so it could be accessed from the Art menu, but I am too lazy to do that.

The Peat Sisters

It bothered me a little that while the oldest and the youngest sisters are called Neena and Nonna, the middle one was given a structurally different name—Noriella. Seems odd for the parents to name their kids inconsistently.

So… Neenaeve (always wanted to steal this name), Noriella, Nonnalen. Makes much more sense. Neena and Nonna gals just prefer their short names over the longer ones.

On the Time Measurement System

So far the time measurement system goes like this:

Lunar calendar (Moon/Norphelail)

1 Week = 7 Days

1 Month = 4 Weeks = 28 Days (full phase of Norphelail, new moon to new moon)

1 Year = 13 Months = 52 Weeks = 364 Days (I added one extra month—in comparison to the familiar Earth calendar—just to keep the length of the year close to ours and to keep character ages relate-able).

Oh!!! Better yet: in the ancient times there were 14 months (to keep things round and balanced), but some mythical creature stole one… could be Zurbahnian or Kuomoqo folk tale… (that, actually, plays to the theory that Artifacts are, indeed, an alien tech, left on the planet after the crash of the interstellar vessel, which created the Flats, and altered the planet’s orbit, speeding it up… aside from the fact, that no fauna would survive the catastrophe of that magnitude, and all the life forms would have to re-evolve from scratch. Yes, it’s a Darwinist fantasy. Or it could be just a tale. :-) )

Day consists of 24 hours, 12-hour count resets at halfnight and halfday:

A(fter)H(alf)N(ight) P(ast)H(alf)D(ay), e.g. 10 AHN, 4 PHD

Days of the week:

Moonday, Rainday, Winday, Earthday, Fireday, Starday, Sunday

Month of the year (so far):

Sacrifice, Ice, Flight, Melt, Seed, Water, Grow, Harvest, Keep, Feast, Rains, Snow, Frost (many need work, but the story is set during the month of Feast, that one is all right, I think).

Western Countries adopted the year count since the Sacrifice, but got the date wrong.

The story is set in the Year 1000, near the end of the First Millennium.

Should I play more with this, to make it strang-er? Call the weeks “spans” or something, just to de-familiarize the world a bit? Months could be “moons”, etc.

More Things to Draw

The Crests, curse it!

Stormhold (I am tempted to make the Eagle two-headed to symbolize something I am not yet sure of—the equaity of male and female heirs, perhaps—but it might be too Russian…), Stormhold City Watch (Eagle on top of a shield), Boarland, Foxvale… lots of stuff, and in the style I have not yet explored…

The Red Trident (I kinda tried, but it needs more work. Everything needs more work, hex it…)

Zurbah (the lions on top of the map are clip art, they should go…)

Another Bit of Worldbuilding

Just thought of another cool thing, already put it in (that is in a very beginning):

“Their capital, Zuhle, is a mountain…”

“Do you mean, that it is built on a mountain?”

“More like within, my lady. They built great many buildings on the surface of the mount, and then they ran out of land, so they started burrowing in. Today the whole mountain is a city. Or the city is a mountain—you can say it so and it will still be true. It is absolutely magnificent… the Library, the Judgment Temple, the Palace… During the excavation of the grounds they discovered a series of caverns inside the mountain, one of which is now used as a most prestigious Music Hall of the land. The complex of connecting caves provides a very unique pattern of echoing through the space, drastically different, depending on the performer’s position on the stage. A single voice or instrument can sound like a choir or the full orchestra…”