ShadowLord_Lith

Another world builder apprentice begging for help.

16 posts in this topic

Hey, I'm working on a world and, while the magic is pretty well written, my world building is somewhat lacking. Could you maybe help me flesh some things out? I've got this much figured out.

Spoiler

Creatures:
Cold blood-  singular, any one reptilian/human hybrid( lizard most commonly found form.). Charmed by music. Can use Magic( vocal; incomplete data. All attempts at study have failed. Search further venues.)

Fae-multiple, shapeshifter, can use Magic(they gain the abilities of their current form.). Enslaved by magic(semi-permanent). Limits of Fae magic un-tested/un-defined. Further study will be appropriated.

Skin changer- singular, any one mammal/human hybrid( horse most commonly found form.). If a human puts a circlular man made object around its neck and keeps it in a human dwelling over night, the skin changer is enslaved to that person for seven years. Should the human master die from unnatural causes before the seven years are completed, the skin changer's enslavement is extended until the family's bloodline is ended . Can use Magic( speak all languages, can control basic elements, =2 Jack Frost's ice control. Are extremely weak in terms of magical power. Their magical abilities are not widely known. All attempts at using suicide to extend the enslavement period have failed. Further study required.)

All Fae and skin-changers have eternal youth and cannot die unless killed, deliberately or on accident, by someone else.

All three can be a wizards familiar, but fae and skin-changers are easiest to control and fae enhance a wizards power the most.( the extent of a cold-blood's enhancement of a wizards magic is unknown; a drifter team will examine the possibilities further at a later date.)

Skin-changers and cold-bloods are both anthropomorphic in form except the naga, satyr, and the centaur-like forms.

I know it's not much to go on, but maybe you could figure out some places that the creatures here would choose or be forced to live. Thanks for the help!^_^

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Hey there! What might be a good idea, if you haven't already is to watch some of the new and old BYU lectures on world building. Anyway, this is what I do to build up a world, and you might find it helpful.

So, to me it looks like you've got the bare bones of a world, races and such. So, where I normally go from here is figuring out culture and history of the races. You can really choose any sort of element of the world you like, however, I generally find culture a good one to start with, as you can build so much around that, and it's quite broad. So, some questions to ask yourself might be: Do the races intermingle or are they very seperate? Are they nomadic, or do they settle down in cities (or are they somewhere inbetween)? Are there social groups within each race? Do they have a government? You can start with some of those basic questions, and then move out to other areas, such as religion, philosophy, types of sport ect.

Also, environment is a something good to start with. Do the cliche thing. Draw a map. It doesn't really have to be well thought out, you can, if you want to, just draw some kind of squiggly circle and plonk some trees and mountains down. Of course, you can be more thought out about it than that. Working out the environment, or at least I have found, really helps me to imagine the races living there, I mean, living on marshland is somewhat different to living on snowing mountains. After you've figured this out, you can work out elements of the society around that environment. For example, does the race build up over the marsh, or do they just wade through it. If they're near the sea, do they fish, have boats and/or travel over the sea? If it would be helpful, if you decide to do this, I'm happy to ask some questions surrounding the type of environment and how it influences society. But, if you need help, Google is there to help, and you can probably find some sort of culture that has lived in that environment.  If you need some examples of environment, you could look at: grasslands, snowy mountains, non-snowy mountains, desert, forest, frozen wasteland, marshland, plains, seaside and bushland. Of course there are more, but those might start you out if you want to use this method.

These are the first steps that I take when building a world, and you can use them if you want to, but if they don't work for you, then that's fine. Also, if you want any help beyond this, just ask. Your friendly fellow human is here to help.

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Thanks Calypso. I'll look into that. I appreciate your help!^_^

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Any Ideas on how the magic aspect can be improved? I had planned on human's using dark/evil magic( which is soft ), and the others using light/good magic( which is hard ), other than that I haven't got much. Ideas, theories, comments? Thanks for the help!^_^

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@ShadowLord_Lith

What might be worth thinking about is what each of the powers do? Does it grant the ability of darkness/light (e.g. Making illusions, engulfing the world in eternal darkness) or is it just the nature of the powers (also, if it is the former, is it just socially labeled as being evil, or does the magic bend the mind of the user so that the user is dark, and if they are turned evil, why aren't they killed at birth?). It might also be useful to figure out how it fits into society, and if it is seen as something to be superstitious of, or is it openly accepted. 

What I tend to do, is, once I've got the groups of magic systems, to look at each of them, and firstly figure out what they can do, and what powers are granted to the user of the magic.

Secondly, I figure out how they do it. This doesn't have to be totally hard line, but I find it helpful to figure out when somebody can do magic. For example, do they need to eat some special food beforehand (is the food different for everybody?) or does it run off mana. You don't have to put this down if you don't want to, and instead want to make your magic more soft line, but I write more hard line, so that's what I do.

Thirdly, I think of what would make the magic completley OP, and then scale it back so it's not insanely and epicly powerful. Again, depending on the world and feel of the book, you could skip this as magic could be an insanely epic force. 

Fourthly, I add on embellishments, often to make the system more interesting and unique. At this stage you generally have a good outline, and this is just making the magic bigger. 

That's the general order I use to create my magic systems, use as little or as much as you want to. If you want help drafting some ideas for the systems, feel free to ask me, I'm always happy to help :)

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Thanks calypso, so far I have this:

"I'm trying to write a novel or series where, like in the cosmere, two gods who are opposites rule. After a great event or catastrophe caused Maer, the benevolent goddess of light and creation, to fragment, Lith, the Malevolent God of darkness and destruction, started to destroy the worlds that they had built together. Luckily, when Maer fragmented, many lesser beings picked up her fragmented self and, through her ideals/desires/magic they defended their worlds. Over time Lith has managed to destroy all but nine of the worlds by subverting and dominating the common race found on each of them, humans. In this world light magic works with the user having a complete understanding of their limits and abilities, while dark magic( of Lith ) works on a soft, do this and this happens for some unknown reason type basis. Dark magic does require you to both know a certain language and speak the correct words in the right sequence. Dark magic does run on a mana based system, though each persons mana pool is different. Human's have all but lost the ability to access light magic, and dark magic, while powerful, harms the user through prolonged use by feeding on all of a person's positive emotions over time, leaving only hatred, sadness, curiosity, disinterest, and desire/lust. Light magic does the opposite, instead propagating positive emotions, making such emotions easier to feel, and becoming stronger while the user feels said positive emotions. Light magic can, if used in a completely unselfish/altruistic way, surprise the user with the gift of eternal youth, though such a gift is rare, and is randomly given in such situations. Dark magic can grant the user eternal life, minus the youth aspect, if used in a completely selfish/anti-altruistic manner. While both let you life forever, it is like the immortality of an elf. You can die, but not by age or bodily failure."

 

The light magic I'm currently trying to develop takes three genetic forms:

Spoiler

Creatures:
Cold blood-  singular, any one reptilian/human hybrid( lizard most commonly found form.). Charmed by music. Can use Magic( vocal; incomplete data. All attempts at study have failed. Will search further venues.)

Fae-multiple, shapeshifter, can use Magic(they gain the abilities of their current form.). Enslaved by magic(semi-permanent). Limits of Fae magic un-tested/un-defined. Further study will be appropriated.

Skin changer- singular, any one mammal/human hybrid( horse most commonly found form.). If a human puts a circlular man made object around its neck and keeps it in a human dwelling over night, the skin changer is enslaved to that person for seven years. Should the human master die from unnatural causes before the seven years are completed, the skin changer's enslavement is extended until the family's bloodline is ended . Can use Magic( speak all languages, can control basic elements, =2 Jack Frost's ice control. Are extremely weak in terms of magical power. Their magical abilities are not widely known. All attempts at using suicide to extend the enslavement period have failed. Further study required.)

All Fae and skin-changers have eternal youth and cannot die unless killed, deliberately or on accident, by someone else.

All three can be a wizards familiar, but fae and skin-changers are easiest to control and fae enhance a wizards power the most.( the extent of a cold-blood's enhancement of a wizards magic is unknown)

If you have any thoughts or Ideas that might help, please share them. Thanks!

 

sorry If I seem repetitive, or if I'm missing your point, but thank you for your help. It really means a lot to me.^_^

Edited by ShadowLord_Lith
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One thing that might be interesting to look at would be how magic has been integrated into human society. Is it only for the desperate or the foolhardy? Is it taught openly, but users are taught to not use too much, and never use it once they have used too much? Also, something that might be cool to look at is the support that surrounds the users of magic for humans. Are there support groups for those who have used too much? Are they locked away? Killed? Ignored? 

Also, if you're looking for philosophical questions in your book, you could look at what makes the use of magic unselfish. Is it selfish to help a starving child, but the actions to kill a starving man, when a death was to occur either way? If one uses it to better themselves and say set up a shop, causing it to save the  from starvation, is that considered selfish? You don't have to look at it, but it might add a bit of texture to your story. 

On the subject of light magic, simply getting rid of negative emotions does not make one automatically good and pure. For example, rage can be directed towards injustices done towards people. Sadness, although painful can cause growth in an individual, and can show depth in the world, and can also help you learn from experiences. Also, on another philosophical note, you can raise the question of emotions being inheriantly bad or good. I don't know if you would want to do that, but it's an idea to consider (and if you don't want to raise philosophical questions, then that's fine too)

Just let me know if you have any more questions :D

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Sorry for the the delay, I've had school and family things, plus I got distracted. Mostly this was just a daunting list to try and answer, thanks for the help though. I finally worked up the courage to answer these, so here it is. Thanks for waiting.  ^_^

 

First, the aristocracy zealously guards the magics secrets, only doling them out as absolutely necessary. They notice that there emotions and perspectives are changing, but instead of worrying them, it makes them want more. I imagine it as a parasite feeding upon itself, always sucking more life out of itself to grow stronger, yet never gaining anything, until a person uses it. Once used the parasite(dark magic) adds the mans emotions to itself as a food source, making the man want more while allowing him to have a wider range of abilities, though it can't cause extremely strong effects such as a tsunami or celestial-body-movement, and the like. Once a person is drained of their positive emotions, they start doing what was done to them. They feed off of others. This creates an oppressive air of negativity in a large area around the wizard-nobility, causing great sickness in those not born/used to it.

'Unselfish' behavior in this world is defined by one acting to protect/save/help someone with a complete lack of thought for oneself, though it is also circumstantial.

As for light magic, it doesn't erase 'evil' emotions it simply strengthens 'good' ones. I imagine light magic as a creature who feeds by giving and grows stronger through acts of kindness, sort of the opposite of dark magic. So the opposite of a parasite, I guess... It doesn't make much sense, but that's how I've been imagining it.

My main character, for example, gives up his freedom in order to save his brother. Because this is the most selfless act to have occurred in hundreds, if not thousands of years; he gains a small, partial bit of a fragment. This fragment, or youth aspect, causes him to stop aging completely, though no other obvious effects occur. He then meets a young woman for whom he must act as a steward/butler/servant. He comes to love her (possibly due to the partial fragment, possibly due to his races natural need to take care of the young) and she slowly becomes the center of his world, to the point where he willingly would give himself up to torture to prevent her from experiencing strong sorrow, or any greater harm than what would cause a bruise. It gets to the point where he allows her father to use dark magic on him to try and increase her protection. This leads to much greater mayhem, though that's besides the point.

 

I am curious as to whether or not you'd like to read the first two chapters of my story or not. I'll post it here if you want. Yea Yea or Nay Nay? ^_^

Edited by ShadowLord_Lith
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@ShadowLord_Lith

Would I be interested?! Of course! I'd love to read it! The premise of the world and magic looks really interesting, and I'd be excited to see wher this goes as an idea. Your main character sounds really interesting (and sweet), and it sounds like he would be fascinating to read about. 

Also, an idea you may (emphasis on may, you don't have to do this, it's just an idea and could or could not work depending on where you want to take the story) would be to look at how the morals of the magic system contrast to that of the society, and how it reflects when society changes. Again, you don't have to even look that this if you don't want to, but tension points can be interesting to read and write about.

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You have helped me in so many ways, I can't thank you enough. The morals of the magic reflect which god powers it. In dark magics case, a God of hatred, destruction, and cruelty powers it. In light magics case, three different gods power them, one of service and compassion, one of growth and change, and one of beauty and devotion. Though society changes, the gods stick to their own interpretations of the ideals. I'll post the two chapters as soon as I can get to a computer. Thanks!^_^

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Here we go, enjoy:

Spoiler

                                       A death of nine worlds

                            Book 2: A ndrogaea

 

Prologue

Merloch walked through the woods with his phoenix familiar, searching for a fae for one of his apprentices to take as a familiar. Fae were a powerful, dangerous race, but because of their incredible strength, they had incredible weaknesses. Fae had also become increasingly rare which troubled many wizards, especially those with apprentices, like Merloch. Fae were strange, beautiful creatures and even though they were the most powerful familiar, they were not the only creatures that could be used as one. Merloch pondered the possibility of giving his familiars to his apprentices and taking some skin-changers or, though unlikely, possibly a cold blood as a familiar. The ground sloped into a valley and Merloch saw a circle of massive, glittering stones. The stones seemed to glow as he came near and Merloch slowed to a halt just outside the circle. Something seemed to pull him toward the center of the area and his familiar seemed to strain toward that place. He took a single step into the circle and the phoenix rushed past him, stopping in the center of the ring of stones. Merloch felt something slipping away from him and before he could stop it, the feeling, and his connection to the phoenix, was gone. Merloch faced the creature that until moments ago had been his familiar. The fae started changing from the phoenix form it had been forced into for nearly a century, into a creature that would be able to kill a wizard like Merloch. It shouldn’t have been possible for the creature to have escaped the charm that had kept it captive for more than four centuries. Merloch stepped back completely shocked and horrified at the creature in front of him. He tried to run but the stones were a solid wall around them now. He tried to summon the magic to change himself into a bird, but instead found himself cowering with fear and questioning what was wrong with the world. Why had the fae been able to escape, and why wasn’t his magic working now. Was it the ring? The creature was now a banshee and it advanced on him. Just before it sang the song that would kill him, Merloch felt a throbbing pain emanate from the earth below him and realized why the Fae were disappearing. His world was dying.

Now he would be too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1: taken,

 

I ran stumbling through the dark, dying woods that surrounded the nest site. Next to me my younger brother ran as well, though he didn’t stumble. As we ran I noticed the trail he left behind himself, made of bright green plants with healthy leaves and freshly grown undergrowth, and I grimaced. My brother had chosen his soul and could, in a year or two, have a broodwife. I was still soulless, partly by choice though I envied his luck. More than I envied him, though, I was afraid for him. His face was blank, vacant, and I knew he was hearing the song that the Lith were singing. Our people were very sensitive to music, we lived with souls of sound, and the clutch hunters knew it. He was slowing down beside me and I was forced to grab his arm and almost drag him along. If he got much slower, clan law dictated that I would have to leave him. I didn’t plan on it coming to that. I knew it would give me nightmares for years, what was about to happen, unless I got us to the clan in time. I ran slowing as I had to pull harder on his arm to get him to move. Why hadn’t he blocked them out by now? We had both been taught the trick that let us ignore their songs, but he wasn’t using it. I glanced at his wrist, where his brand of clanship should have been, but it had fallen off somewhere along the trail behind us. That explained the stealth forsaking growth song. I glanced behind us. The clutch hunters had gained on us, and I could almost see them through the canopy above our heads. I knew of a way to save my brother, though it would doom myself. I took a long look at my brother, sealing his entire form to my memory. The sweat that glistened on his scaled brow, the look of sadness and desire on his face, the swirling red and gold pattern that was predominant across his scales. I memorized every line, every curve, every scale that made up his being, and I gave him up. I ripped the band of soul-wood off of my arm and forced it onto my brother’s arm while whispering a song of danger. He immediately started running faster and he quickly got ahead of me. I smiled in sorrow and longing, and then the songs hit me. Two powerful melodies, one pained and begging, the other sweet and loving. I felt my ‘self’ change and grow in a new way, and then I felt the final notes of the sweet song die off as the changes finished, and then the song of agony took over. I slowed and stopped running, tears flowing from my eyes as I searched for the creature that released the song. Nothing deserved such agony, I had to find it, had to stop its pain. I ran towards the sound, songs of healing, relief, and peace gathering on my tongue, until I found the source of the song. Two men and a woman walked towards me, or rather, in my direction. The men, dressed in red robes, looked perfectly fine, though they helped the song grow and reverberate, but the woman, wearing a red dress and cloak, looked as though she were in a coma, or sleep walking. I quickly ran for her, and, before they even knew I was there, I was at the woman’s side singing songs of healing more powerful than I had ever sung before. The woman stiffened and her song broke off as color returned to her cheeks, and any pains of any kind that she currently felt disappeared and were replaced by pure relief. I smiled and started to look at the other to, to see if I had missed anything, when one of the men grabbed my wrist and slapped a band of slavery onto my arm. I suddenly fell to my knees, screaming in agony as the cold and painful magic of Lith wormed its way inside of me, twisting my soul and forcing me to obey. “Well,” said the man who had enslaved me, “I’ve never seen one this colorful before.” “Neither have I,” said the other man, his hair was black as the soul of Lith, “I think we’ve found one of the rare one’s.” he smiled and kicked my stomach hard enough to stop my screaming. I collapsed to the ground moaning, my muscles spasming in agony. “Is it necessary to hurt it?” asked the woman, her hair was a strange mixture of red and gold, like the Maers’-blood flower. “Of course it’s necessary, he tried to hurt you.” Said the dark haired man, he smiled cruelly as he started kicking me in the chest, avoiding the areas that would leave permanent harm and hitting just softly enough to not break my rib’s. “I actually feel better than I have in months,” said the woman, “and don’t tell me it didn’t do it. You guys knew nothing about it, then it runs out of the woods, says a few words, and I feel better. That is not coincidence.” I felt the kicking stop as the black haired man turned and glared at her. “You can’t be serious, Narissa, they don’t heal people, that implies a culture of some kind. You know as well as I do that their only savages.” The woman looked uncertain at this and the dark haired man pressed his advantage. “The lack of culture that these savages endure makes them weak. They can’t record knowledge, communicate with us, or heal people.” I managed to sit up and stare at them through the pain. I wanted to help the woman win the argument, and there was a simple, if painful, way to do it. “Hello,” I said, “I hope you liked the healing.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2: maer’s affliction,

 

Three weeks, eight torture sessions, and seven hundred ninety four interrogation sessions later, we had traveled out of the forest I knew, across a plain-land, and into the valley city that made up the city I would be sold in. The humans call it ku’igachi, my people once called it Maers’ tier. The city was larger than it had been, all those centuries ago. According to legend, centuries ago, when Maer yet lived, humans and the brood-clan’s had mingled and been friends. My people had built this city as the last act of our allegiance to Maer, and the humans had responded by chasing us to the woods, defacing Maers’ monument, and taking the city as their own. My people’s soul sung buildings could never be destroyed, by age or intent, so long as the souls who had helped build them remained within them as its protectors. I saw buildings that, once, had grown like trees and towered above the rest, sheltering the lesser buildings from Liths’ magic. They now looked like dead depressed statues carved from some extremely small mountain. The only things that looked alive in the city were the people who populated it. Humans and slaves of every shape and size thronged the streets, giving life to the dead monuments that loomed overhead. I stared at the throngs of people who moved around the cage I was in, and I tried to see their souls. They were surrounded by souls made of color and sound. That wasn’t surprising, most souls looked like that. What did surprise me was the color that the people’s souls had. Everything in this city had blood-red smears on it, and the people just layered it on top of itself. There were shades of black red and gray I had never even seen. That one moment of auric sight shocked me more than anything else I had seen so far. I moved away from the bars.

 

It took us almost an hour to get to the center of the city, all but the last fifteen minutes of it spent in the wagon, and I grew very sick of it all. I saw beggars and widows, cutthroats and thieves, and more terrible than any of it were the wizards. The wizards had no souls attached to them, instead they had living creatures bonded to them. I noted them all as we climbed out of the wagon and they put some kind of bronze collar on me. One had a bird made of flame on his shoulder, another had a creature with a horse’s body from the waist down and a human man’s body from the waist up, pulling a cart with about eight hundred different flower varieties tied to it. We began walking towards the slave market. One red haired wizard had a young brood mother that he rode. That sight made me miss a step, causing me to stumble and receive a sharp slap to the cheek. Only three minutes before we arrived at the slave market, I heard the crack of a whip and the cry of a hatchling being hurt. I whipped my head in that direction and saw a man preparing to whip a young human girl who lay on the ground crying. I ran out of the procession, my neck seeming to catch fire, then freeze, and then get torn out,  over and over again, with each step. But I was entirely focused on the crying child. I blinked and looked at her soul, hoping this would be worth the pain. Floating around her were three souls, one red, one green, and one deep pink. She was too young to be bonded, but she had the chance for love, growth, or evil. I begged the forgotten mother that she chose on of the former. As the whip came down I dove on top of her, keeping the whip from connecting a second time. I heard the girl scream as I landed on her, and I felt some scales fly free as the whip connected. For a moment all was stunned silence then the man with the whip swore and, putting the long thief whip away, pulled out a much shorter, much stiffer, slave whip. I stiffened my back as the first blow fell, then I pushed myself off of the shaking girl, and stood looking away from the man with the whip. He continued to whip me, and with each connecting slap, the spines on my back and forearms, usually reserved for display during mating season and defense during the hunting season, displayed themselves more and more prominently, until I used them to cut his whip to ribbons. One benefit of having instincts, is getting to use them. The girl had scampered off by now and as I returned to the slave line, I saw her duck into an alleyway. The man backed away, and I advanced on him until my face touched his. Then I hissed, turned away, and walked back to the slavers. My hands and ankles were chained together for the remainder of the walk. When we arrived, I was relieved of my chains and then chained to the ground. I would be sold the next day. The thought horrified me, but I quickly resigned myself to the indisputable facts. The simple truth of the matter was that my freedom was dead, long live the slave.

 

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Okay, I'll post the chapters here when I finish them. Thanks for the up vote!^_^

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I created nine worlds right after one another and m, until I have each planets name, I just called them book/world one, book/world two, and so forth. I must've forgotten too get rid of that, since the title is the planets name. Thanks for the catch!^_^

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