After writing Confessions of a Lazy Writer I decided it was time to get down to business in world-building. I’ve talked about this world at some length in my character profiles (Nyra, Astrid and Tullio) for Making Patterns. My original hand drawn, 8×11 map was just a crude outline of relative geographies. As the plot for Making Patterns grew so too did the need for identifying more specific places on the map other than those mentioned in the text of She Will Become. (seen at left).
The first thing I did was divide The Western Ways up into provinces. (seen at right)
From there I had to invent a cast of Nobility to control these provinces and figure out who among are allies and who are enemies, and why. I even used a nifty website called My Blazon to design family blazons and shields. (This was pretty fun actually, I may post some as the weeks and months progress).
Of course, once I marked out the boundaries I realized I was running out of room to add new landmarks, locations of cities and castles. So, as a typical American, I immediately thought “BIGGER IS BETTER!” A trip to the store and .33 later, I was the proud owner of a blank poster board just waiting to be etched with a bigger map offering the requisite space.
I put down the first layer in outline, ocean and waterways. Since I didn’t do a transfer graph for relational sizing some of the coast line changed shape just a smidgen but that comes with going at it free hand.
Two more days of progressive work saw the northern parts of The Western ways gain shape and texture. I’m rather proud of the outcome.
And here we have a close up of all my hard work in blended color pencil.
Being able to draw the world in my head (my second, imaginary home) has given me a chance to think about Abiniam in ways entirely different from what’s requires for writing. As I draw in the mountains and rivers, forests and plains I imagine the people who actually live in these places.
The people of the East Remunds are a harsh folk accommodated and accustomed to life in the mainly inhospitable climes of the treacherous crags to the north; the West Remunds are a tamer bunch. Easterners bear a rugged, swarthy complexion with the wild red hair of a massive warrior clan. Westerners are much fairer complected with very light blond hair and blue eyes and are known more for their farming and trading.
The Ostian River Plains are the font of the Ostian religion. Populated by highly devout, strict traditionalists after the words of the Ostian prophet, Amryllion, the Ostian River Plains provides much of the realm’s food supplies as well as materials for fabrics. Sporting a complexion cousin to those in the Eastern Remunds, those people in the Ostian River Plains tend to be sun-bronzed with darker hair and eyes.
Because the Remunds and the Ostian River Plains are so far from Abiniam’s ruling seat at Castle Westphalia in mid-WW, and even farther from the real capital, Quoral, on the west coast, these people don’t adhere to the same style of dress or hierarchical structure. They recognize the crown’s and the church’s authority but don’t play into the manipulations, drama and intrigue of southern culture. In the Remunds there are no official Lords or Ladies, or titles of fealty beyond clan alliances.
The north and easternmost provinces of Fihan, Vidus, Kocien and Adavia abide by the same hierarchical structures as the rest of The Western Ways but try not to become engaged in realm politics.
The further south we progress we run into the provinces of Naenad and Ainsberry, both fertile, forested lands ruled by Duchess and Duke, respectively. Naenaders are inland farmers and hunters, renowned for their woodworking skills. Some of the best hunters come from Naenad. Like their northern cousins, Naenaders are of lighter complexion but with more darker-haired folk than blonds. Those in Ainsberry are also traditionalists in farming and hunting but also have a stronger pull toward politics and warfare. Closely aligned with House Westphalia and thus the crown, Ainsberry is one of the Upper Peerage.
The provinces of Westphalia and Windlam sit smack dab in the middle of the country, the two provinces abutting. Westphalia houses Castle Westphalia, seat of the crown and the Ostian Church. Castle Westphalia is actually built around the Ostian Church’s first Sanctuary, or Rome’s equal. This is also where the main plot of She Will Become takes place.
Due to its size and number of members filling the lower nobility, Windlam actually serves as a buffer between Westphalia and the province of Dasir, whose ruling family was once a contender for the crown. Primarily a farming province, Windlam is home to She Will Become’s sibling duo, Gwyneth and Endecai, who hail from the farming village of Lysandra. Windlam’s capital seat is at Castle Endemere, a provincial castle built atop a butting mountain next to the realm’s largest waterfall. Most of these folks are red-heads, brunettes, and darker blonds. This is also the area thickest with political morass.
I’ll be adding more geographical detail and content to the map as the days go by. In my next post I’ll likely talk a bit more about the provinces of Galywen, Dasir and Amontis (a most important province in relation the crown and its 300 Year War, aspects of She Will Become’s plot), as well as the southernmost provinces of Jeralen, Elares, Alalen, Trelawen and Graeves.
That’s it for today’s post! Thanks for reading! Check back to the Inkspot or your email (for all you lovely subscribers) for more updates!