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Worldbuilding 6 – Where oh Where is My Protagonist? August 14, 2009

Posted by Yarnspnr in Worldbuilding.
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se erde

Allow me to introduce you to the south central portion of Erde.  On the western side you see the bottommost peaks of the Corrin Mountains as they dip into the Rigga Sea.  In the northeastern corner is the capitol city of the Empire – Uppsala itself.  As you come south along the Selgen River, you pass the town of Selga, the southernmost town of the region.  Continuing south, you come into the southeastern part of the Rigga Sea.  As you turn southwestward, you pass the impassible Kyrrell Swamp.  Once through the channel you head back north until you reach the free city of Hummel.  It doesn’t belong to the Empire because no troops from Uppsala have ever attempted to travel this far south.  Hummel is a trading port, where even the tribes of the southern Weald come to barter their goods.  It’s an active fishing port with ample on shore fisheries that supply many parts of the Empire with various aquatic delicacies.

So where is my protagonist?  Well, she’s not been born yet.  But I can tell you this – she’ll be a member of a tribe of natives called the Vigroth who inhabit the small village of Thelra.  A strange people, the Vigroth.  They are unlike any people found here on Earth.  Their whole existence is predicated upon survival.  They live in an extremely hostile part of Erde, with enemy tribes that would like nothing better than to hasten their demise.  Even though most of them are above six feet in height, they are experts at camouflage.  They are so good at it that other tribes of the Weald think they are magical creatures that can appear and disappear at will.  The truth is that they train at camouflage from the age that your children would enter kindergarten. They get very good at it.

Their religion, called ‘Circle,’ emphasizes survival.  As does their family unit.  Families here on Earth have a mother, father, and kids, right?  That’s not exactly how the Vigroth handle things.  As children are born over a ten year period, they are assigned to a family group given an animal name.  Given the birth rate combined with infant mortality rates, each family group has between six to ten members, all ages within a ten year period.  Children stay with their parents family unit until they go through a coming of age ceremony.  This is usually around the age of ten.  Then they leave their parents family unit and live in their own clan abode.  From the time they can barely walk, the members of their family unit undergo education in survival.  These ‘classes,’ if they can be referred to as such, start at daybreak and continue to sundown.  They learn simple things like ‘focus’ and ritual singing and using a knife and bow.  And they learn not so simple things like the Vigroth Deep Chat or Gibwa Rach in their language.  The children are together from the time they start training, from the time they move into their home, until they die.  The best way I can put it is – it’s like they are all married as a unit.  In other words, these six to ten people are together all their lives.  The Deep Chat brings them even closer in relationship.  Everything they do in life, they do it with each other.  This causes an incredible closeness.  I’ll give you an example of how close they become.  If one is hurt, the others feel it instantly. By the time they go through their coming of age ceremony, the Deep Chat even allows them to communicate with their minds.  Simple one or two word thoughts.  Again, others think of this as magic.  But you can see it’s actually a learned skill.

Anyway, it’s this kind of family unit my protagonist is born into.

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Comments»

1. Beth - August 14, 2009

I’m really enjoying reading about how you’re creating Erde!
The culture you’ve created is very intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing how everything plays out (and learning about your protagonist).

2. Yarnspnr - August 15, 2009

Thanks for stopping by, Beth. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. Please feel free to drop in anytime, and if you have any questions – feel free to ask.

3. matthewgraybosch - August 15, 2009

This is interesting stuff; you’re certainly putting more effort into your worldbuilding than I am, but perhaps that’s to be expected since you appear to be starting from scratch. But isn’t Uppsala a city in Sweden? It sounds like your world has a Scandinavian flavor to it.

4. Yarnspnr - August 15, 2009

Hi Matthew. Indeed, Uppsala is a city in Sweden. The premise is that city and town, some river names and so forth have names either the same or slightly different to cities, towns and rivers in the world (Earth, of course) the the OutSiders came from. It’s like many of the cities in the United States were named for cities in Europe where the first settlers came from. Not everyone’s efforts in worldbuilding need be as intricate as my own. All this was some ten years in the making. But then, I’m picky about what I write about. And I can use this for many different novels. I have two started already.

5. matthewgraybosch - August 15, 2009

So, the OutSiders came from Earth and brought place names with them? That makes sense. Did the OutSiders pass down stories of Earth to their children and grandchildren, or did the OutSiders’ descendants eventually assimilate so thoroughly into this new world that the name of Earth means nothing to them any longer?

Thanks for adding Proper Gander to your blogroll, by the way.

6. Yarnspnr - August 15, 2009

Yes, much like the New Amsterdams and New Londons here in the US. Yes, stories came down in the form of myths from the older OutSiders. Technology from the newer. However, everything brought from here to there had to pass through the Empire’s laws. The biggest issues are religion and guns. People that refused to comply ended up in jail for hundreds of years, or dead. The OutSiders are well aware of Earth but they tend to look at it with a bit of negativity, not realizing they’re making some of the same mistakes that were made here historically. The possibilities are endless when you dig into it. 🙂 Glad to add you. You’ve got a nice blog.


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