Due to a restless night, I have started work on the literary side of my worldbuilding project. It is the beginning of a narrative that deals with the world depicted in the image below:
This first section is only just over a thousand words, and will most likely become the short introductory chapter, as it acts almost like a contents page.
Hullo, welcome, I am your guide to this world.
Look below and you will see a small planet, split into two
halves of colour. See now, as we travel over the surface how the waters are
dark purple beyond the upcoming chain of reefs? Those seas cover half of the
planet. We will not cross the reef yet, but instead will turn around and rise,
so that you may survey the more hospitable half of this sphere.
To the far north and south lie polar caps, from the north an arm of land
extends towards a central Pangeal landmass. There is a dark crack at the base
of the arm, running almost to the northern pole, It is the Great Break. We will
observe it closely later.
The main landmass is split into three distinct regions,
northern mountains creep down the centre a fair distance dividing the desertified
and forested areas that make up the northern half of the continent. The
southern portion is mainly marshes and plains, and the s coast is cloaked in a
large cloudbank. Known as the Thunderstorm Cliffs this strange weather persists
for most of the year, clearing only for a few days in high summer.
There are two large islands that are not directly connected
to this landmass. One, south of the Thunderstorm Cliffs consists of harsh
tundra that gives way to desertified areas closer to the equator. Ruined temples and cities scatter it’s surface,
most have been plundered by treasure hunters looking for offerings. The north-eastern
coast gives way to reefs and extinct volcanic islands, home only to shipwrecks
and gulls. The Thunderstorm Cliffs make sailing in the surrounding region treacherous.
The second Island lies close to the eastern coast of the
main continent, south of the landlocked sea known as Ecros Lake. It is known as
Deepwooden, for its forested land is mainly unexplored, save for a templed City
on the northernmost tip. The Deepwooden forests are home to strange beasts that
hunt anyone unsheltered during nightfall. Small paths have been cut to modest clearings
used to cultivate local flora. Large crops draw the attention of the wildlife
and perish along with their tenders.
The luxurious produce of the Deepwooden glades are shipped
across the channel to the cities that share shores with the Western Ocean and
Ecross Lake. These cities craft them into aromas, medicines and ingredients for
the richest of households. They are transported to either the lake cities,
across to the thunderstorm cliff territories or to the capitol itself in the
Divine Bay. Only the most luxurious of goods are sold at the capitol, so the
route it follows through the deserts, marshlands and plains are infested by
unstable clans supported by thieves and smugglers.
North of Ecros lake is the Wrecker’s Coast, a stretch of
desert coastline treacherous not for the currents or reefs, but for the
wreckers who move beacons to confuse and ultimately destroy the sea ships
reliant on them. Divers are the most respected and richest of the wreckers, for
they can attain the most precious of goods in the deep wrecks that were not
drawn to more accessible reefs. The wreckers are drawn into conflicts with
whoever takes authority over the beacons or those that try to install more reliant
signals. A deeply woven web of corruption within each of the nations surrounding
the area benefit from black market trade, and so resistance is never strong
enough to hinder the wreckers in their toil.
Of the materials shipped along these coasts, none are more
precious and dangerous than the refined ores that are supplied to the
industries of the Thunderstorm Cliffs. They are generally mined in the northern
ranges, the deposits in the dividing ranges are generally inaccessible, or have
been built upon by settlements not willing to tear their foundations apart to
help build the devices of the south. These northern mines are generally run by
families that reside in the capitol, their orders relayed to foremen who
organise the miners. Several mines have a history of cutting corners with the
infrastructure and support technology of the mines. This has lead to accidents,
death and subsequently strikes occurring more and more frequently. The grip of
the mining families on the political system is however tight enough to prevent
The farmland surrounding the divine bay suffer a similar
fate, the areas not left poisoned by the overuse of a Deepwooden pest control substance
struggle to meet the requirements of the capitol, and face either harsh
punishment for not meeting quotas or starvation. There are efforts by certain
individuals from the Ecross Lake area to develop and sell a countermeasure to
the poisoning that is plighting the area, but their efforts are met with harsh
resistance from those who are able to make a great deal of profit from the high
food prices the current situation generates.
Those too poor in the capitol and surrounding areas to afford the local crops
have to resort to the imported northern food, mainly fish, cheap, and usually
close to rot. The northern food has to be hauled across the mountains to reach
the capitol, as the sea east of the fertile waters surrounding the break are
saturated by deadly reefs, and the Ice gulf on the other side of the connecting
arm is home to whales and other large sea creatures. These beasts destroy cargo
ships and canoes alike, before returning to depths unreachable. Many
northerners die trying to develop more reliable and speedy trade routes, but
they still persist, as it is seen as a noble endeavour. Some have even tried to
explore the deepest reach of the break, to find the source of the fertile substance
that flows into the water. They believe if a more solid, or less volatile state
of the substance can be found, it can be sold for a higher price than the mere
food produced by its effect.
Explorers seeking new sources of food and wealth have tried
to breach the reefs bordering the edge of the sea, but find the legends of corrosive,
dark waters to be true. By this time they have no ship to sail back on. The few
islands in the border reefs are piled with bleached bones and corroded wood.