Hello there !
As some of you might already know I am currently working on a large-scale world building project that runs for a few years now. It really started as a support for my RPG campaign but then, as I was growing up and studying a little more, it became a consistent and more serious project, a joyful and worthy challenge. Alas, while I was working on it with a few friends for some time, I got abandoned by them since they seemed not as passionate as me for this kind of “weird time-consuming project”. This is why I write this post here for it seems to me that collaborative work is perhaps the only way to get it properly finished someday…
Moreover I do think that the very interest behind such huge project lies within the variety of imagination, melting together the diverse capabilities of its members to bring something consistent and rich. Don’t think of it as a pure crystallization of my own imagination but rather as a laboratory for climatic, geographic, cultural, religious, social, historical, linguistic experiences. There are just few regions where I can already approximately say what I want in the end. The entire rest of the planet is up to discussion and collaborative work! My hopes would be to see this world published in a way or another (Virtual or physical encyclopedia, novels, RPG, tourist guide like, etc.) for I’m not quite sure of what form it should take right now. Note that for this main reason I can’t promise for now anything more than participation to a huge-scale conworld. Who knows what could happen later on, perhaps publishing royalties (everybody can dream), perhaps nothing more than shared passion with others through demiurgic creation.
Let’s talk about some of the features of this project so far.
First of all, since this project already represents years of work, it always need to be discussed in common in order to maintain a certain degree of consistency through its elaboration.
• This running project is in some respects a “holistic” top-down one with certain “chronological” levels of creation. Holistic because this project pays a particular attention to the interactions of all those levels. At first we focus on macro-scale elements (relief, winds, sea current, geology, hydrography, biomes, etc.) in order to bring enough material for further micro-scale treatment (resources and food network, architectural styles, village placement, micro-climate, etc.). It remains however possible to go back to certain earlier stages in order to add or change some aspects of them but it is vital to respect those steps since languages, religious beliefs and others are originally based on what a people can experience from its physical environment.
Globally these are – in the order – the different stages of this project:
- The solar system (done)
- Landmasses (done)
- Custom mineral resources (partly done)
- Climate (done)
- General Hydrography (done)
- Sea currents and major winds (done)
- Vegetal biomes (done)
- Custom flora (in progress)
- Social species (origins, morphology, migrations, etc.)
- Culture (languages, religious beliefs, social codes, etc.)
- History (politico-economic structures and changes, interactions with other people, technological history, etc.)
• This project aims to present a world in which fantasy is reduced to its simplest appearance. I consider that some fantasy elements might add a nice touch to this world but frankly I think that too much magic and too many dragons might kill this whole project. Indeed if everything is given a proper explanation it’s easy to suggest fantasy elements quite differently than most med-fan conworld. (Imagine for example a subterranean lake in which an oobleck-style of rock is dissolved. Imagine now how it would react if the people living nearby come there and blow into a big horn to call their gods: Non-Newtonian Fluid on a Speaker Cone - YouTube, imagine that this substance could be traded with other countries, retaining its own native name in other regions, becoming a popular insult in some of them, etc.)
• This world would be stuck into a certain kind of middle age, mostly human. Though it remains difficult to anticipate every culture and every technological advances (furthermore their consequences) I would largely prefer things to go in this way. I personally find swords, trebuchet and city fairs more inspiring than carpet-bombing, gunpowder and stock market. And to repeat myself, I think orcs, dwarves, elves are not particularly necessary when you can conceive complex and detailed cultures through physical morphology, language, funeral rites, political and social identities, etc.
• As a support for all the work done so far, we can count on an online Wiki as well as on a forum for everything that is still under discussion. For some reasons I want these two to remain closed to public as some kind of protection. In fact the final result should not look like a Wiki written in a simple pseudo-scientific way. I hope people to discover this project with hand-drawn map, original languages, illustrations and other. Alas, actually the wiki is in French but I could eventually turn it into English if there are enough people interested.
Let me show some examples:
A satellite view of the planet
The latitudes and axis of rotation
A overview of late year rainfall
The respectives orbits of the three moons
A view of the red moon in the second part of year
• A friend and I created the Light-eating stone. It’s from the schist stone, heavily foliated (pretty much as slate), which vibrates when approached by light. In fact this stone is like a magnet for light that absorbs it and return its energy as a humming drone sound. Too much light disrupts the stone into its small original sediments. This is why we can’t find it on the surface.
Based on the geological map
and the relief map I made
we have placed the probable locations of this stone.
As a result, certain cultures won’t even know about it. Others will probably use it in some way (use it as a poetic metaphor for example).
• Another one is the Forest-Tree. It looks like a tree but behave itself more like mushroom. Its mother-tree is centrally positioned and expands itself through a dense network of roots. Killing nearly any other plant in the area, the Forest-Tree expands itself just as a forest would but since it is just one tree, its giant roots emerge here and there to support its gigantic branches. To sustain this impressive plant, the Forest-Tree not only use its leaves for energy but also fools animals and poison some of them. Lying there dead, the saprophyte bacteria, with which the Forest-Tree live in symbiosis, will decompose them renewing the soil for the tree.
Based on the description we made of its habitats and on the localization of the great biomes we can also imagine where you could encounter such infamous tree.
As you have probably noticed, my project is still in its “beginning” if we might say. Apart from a few ideas or projections that I make for some regions, there is still no languages, no cultures, no social beings, etc. There are around 50 minerals amply described (we hope to see more of these), and for now 12 plants plus 2 I’m currently working on. Little by little the project will focus on micro-scale but there is a lot of work to do.
Hear me fellow cartographers, worldbuilders, conlangists and creative enthusiasts if anybody is interested in anyway to help me create this world I would be pleased for it grieves me to play god alone. And if you just have a question for something, I’ll gladly answer! Just send me a PM.