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Stormrend - The Setting



I've mentioned in a few blog entries about this passion project, it's a story I've been writing with the title Stormrend and while I was originally going to upload the first four chapters as a file for you all to download while this entry gives an overview to the setting I changed my mind and will just copy and paste them into separate blog entries and since I don't like spamming blog entries it'll be one a day over 4 days starting tomorrow. This entry will be giving an overview of the setting for my story, how the magic works and what each country is like as well as other assorted stuff.


So first off an overview of the world (yes that's what I've been calling it in my notes, I haven't come up with a good name for it) it's basically Earth in terms of it being round and having 70% of its surface taken up with water as well as being in the goldilocks zone for its star. Most of the cultures are similar to ones on Earth, although I've still to flesh out a few of them (I've got nothing for Not!America or Not!Africa, and the bare bones ideas for the rest of Not!Europe) the main one is called the Kingdom of Altair, this is where the two main characters are from and it's basically Britain without each part of Britain hating each other and is much larger, occupying a territory roughly the size of France, Germany, Holland and Belgium combined. Altair's government is a meritocratic monarchy (more on the monarchy part later) where (outside of a few VERY rare exceptions) one's ability to do their job dictates how far they can get promoted, even to the point of being able to become nobility based on their performances (again there are VERY few exceptions to this) this has resulted in a society where one's competency is at the forefront.


The other main countries are the Empire of Yamato (Japan, if Japan managed to conquer the rest of Asia,) Drekaland which is Scandanavia if they stopped conquering each other in fact the entire reason it's one united country as opposed to five separate ones is due to a disease that ravaged the five tribes forcing them to merge together into one in order to keep their territory. And finally the last one is the Alliance of Six States (simply called the States but not like the United States, culturally it's closer to Spain and Italy) which is a collection of six city states and separates their people into each state based on their elements (more on that later as well, it pertains to the magic) so children don't grow up with their biological family.


Additionally there are guardian spirits that can take up residence in various areas from a building to an entire country to a whole continent and the larger the territory they claim the more powerful they are and the more fantastical in appearance they are. For example a building might have an ordinary housecat as their guardian, a city would have a tiger the country a griffin and the continent something grand like a dragon (although Drekaland has a dragon as its guardian despite only being a country, hence its name "Dragon Country" in English) these guardians give many countries their names if the guardian deigns to share its name with the mortals inhabiting its realm (more mundane guardians don't have their own names and accept whatever name they're given by people) this has also resulted in Altair, the guardian for the Kingdom of Altair, pulling double duty as both the country's guardian and the guardian of its capital city which sprung up around his mountain home.


As for the magic it uses the basic bitch system of fire, earth, wind, water, light and dark categories however there isn't really a rock - paper - scissors system as all elements are effective against the others however like magic can't affect like magic so for example if two fire mages are fighting they are essentially immune to each other's magic so it's down to skill at arms or their ability to use other elements for one to come out on top although strength does still play a key part where if one mage is stronger than the other his flames can overwhelm his opponent and stop him from taking control of them. Speaking of other magic individuals can be born with access to multiple elements, up to a total of three and very rarely can they use opposite elements but only people born with just two elements can do that (these are called Chaos mages, because they essentially defy the known restrictions with magic.) Additionally individuals are occasionally born with their access to magic cut off, the gods take pity on these individuals and bless them with three gifts; immunity to all magic, a talent for a specific kind of weapon (called the Talent) and an artistic gift (called the gift) however once they regain their magic they lose the immunity to all magic but they do retain their Talent and Gift. This results these individuals, called the Blessed, being some of the strongest combatants (as well as some of the greatest artists, chefs and musicians) around thus resulting in their services being in high demand.


In addition to the magic there are fluctuations (for lack of a better phrase, for both mortals and gods) in the energy (called Mana, I'm really not imaginative and probably really showing my video game roots here) that is required to use magic,. These fluctuations affect entire generations of people (in fact it's usually multiple generations) and can result in generations with the most powerful archmages, able to utilise three elements, being all that's born or generations where the people born can barely muster a tiny spark of fire or a soft breeze of wind. There has also been an instance where a large quantity of Blessed were born, resulting in the various countries being able to create armies of Blessed, this lead to the Blessed War the only large scale war in the world's history since conflicts are mostly small scale skirmishes.


And speaking of conventional warfare, due to the widespread use of magic (and because no one until the time Stormrend takes place thought about crating them) guns don't exist nor is there any real artillery or siege weaponry (why use an onager or battering ram to tear down a fortification when an Earth mage can do the job just fine?) resulting in the crossbow and ballista being the most advanced weapons on the battlefield however this has resulted in an anachronistic society where you have swords and crossbows alongside modern conveniences like cars and telephones. There's also not really any wireless communication as just about everything is powered by mana which stops working above the Stratosphere so satellites don't get launched.


And finally there are the oaths and the gods. The gods a pantheon but due to them losing a bit of their power whenever they interact with mortals outwith certain scenarios (usually if the mortal is dead or they're interacting through a Prophet, their equivalent to angels) and the first thing to go is always their omniscience followed by their omnipotence resulting in them being stuck within their wheelhouse so to speak (so the god of the sea is only omniscient and omnipotent when it comes to the sea) this has resulted in only two gods being all knowing and all powerful: the creator god, known simply as The Creator, and the death god, known as the Mistress of Souls, these two can only communicate to the dead (and dead immortals since their souls are removed from the wheel of reincarnation on death so they can be put back into their fully healed body) or through their Prophets, however their Prophets haven't been born yet so only immortals can relay their words. Due to the provable existence of gods the world is polytheistic but there is technically only one religion and the gods have an agreement with each other not to set their followers on the followers of other gods. As for the oaths they're usually binding if sworn in a specific way and how binding they are is determined by how they're sworn with a blood oath (sworn through a specific ritual and by essentially exchanging blood through open cuts, usually on the palm of the hand) being the most binding and in some cases is treated as a marriage oath with the swearees (I don't even have a word or description for this, maybe oathees?) being treated as husband and wife (or husband and husband or wife and wife) in some countries if the knowledge they took this kind of oath becomes well known, the other component of this oath is the master and subordinate aspect of it where the person who swears the oath is subordinate to the person they're swearing to.


So that's a overview of the world I created, I've tried to get as much of what's in my notes in this entry as possible however as I write they are subject to change or have additions made to them. Obviously I've excluded character notes because I feel including those would be cheating for anyone who wants to read my story (and would make it too easy to fall back on them to explain things that people might have issues with in regards to my characters.)


Anyway I hope you've enjoyed reading this overview of the world I created for my story, there won't be any images attached to these entries either as they are purely about the story. I'll upload the first chapter tomorrow (or later today as it's 5AM where I live as of writing this)


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