A Couple of Pictures

So, a short update today. I just wrote a 175 word composition, in French, in under an hour, which is a hell of a lot harder than it actually sounds, and my brain is pretty much broken. However, I did manage to accomplish a few things over the past few days,

I think the difference is obvious when looked at closely.

I think the difference is obvious when looked at closely.

Witch Queen is now sitting at just over 28,000 words, and the 6×9 version has been reformatted to a style that I’m more happy with. The original that I posted had way too much empty space all over the pages, so I downed the font size and paragraph spacing, and I think it looks a little better now. My only concern is making sure that it’s still readable, without anyone having to strain to see it clearly. I think that it is, but I’ve also been known to read in semi-darkness with no problem, so I’m probably not one to judge accurately. At 100% on my screen, though, it appears to be easily readable.

I also revised a few things that I had sketched out for the story sometime back. I had done a heraldry, and I think I uploaded to an older post somewhere, but I didn’t go back through my old posts and check. Last night though, I uploaded a picture of it into

Yes, the first letter is an 'E'

Yes, the first letter is an ‘E’

my editing software, and I played around with it and was able to make it look a little better than it did. It’s far more even and symmetrical, since I was able to flip the image to make both sides a mirror of one another.

And also? The lines are straight.

Sometimes straight lines are a really big accomplishment. Trust me.

The heraldry is (clearly) heavily influenced by Russian (the Russian Empire, in particular) and Prussian heraldry, though I definitely tried to make it unique. It isn’t perfect, and I may yet color it, but I’m pretty pleased with it.

I also have a sketch of sorts of Eirian that I drew, but for the life of me, I cannot get a decent picture or scan of the damn thing. Scanning makes every single mark ever made on the paper (or the ten pages before it) show up, and taking a picture of it takes away nearly every bit of detail and shading that I’ve done on it. It’s… a little frustrating to say the least.

I may attempt to put the picture into editing software, but I’m not sure. It’ll take a lot of work to get it to the level of ‘presentable’ that I’m generally comfortable with. Maybe it’ll make the next post, maybe not. We’ll see.

Cheers!

Mayuuya

NaNo World Building: Notes on The Monarchy, Nobility, and Religion

        So, I meant to post this yesterday, but I never got around to it. I had a lab in the early part of the afternoon, the the KnoxWrimo’s Kick-off party was in the evening. Its all good though. The party was fun. There was more than double the number of people that showed up last year, and our ML’s have clearly worked very hard at putting events together this year. 

        The not-quite-pub-crawl-with-books-thing sounds interesting. But anyway…

        First up are the notes on Politics, Nobility and the Monarchy:

 

World Building: Politics, Nobility, and the Monarchy in The Witch Queen’s War

Nobility and the Council of Nobles

        The Kingdom of Aiedria is divided into 15 provinces, excluding the capital province. Each province is governed by a Duke or Duchess, appointed by his/her predecessor, though the process is typically through heredity. Each province is then further broken up into regions, overseen by a Baron or Baroness.

        The fifteen Dukes and Duchesses make up the Council of Nobles, and advisory council to the Monarch. The council meets four times a year in the capital. In the event of an emergency, the Council may convene more often. The council comes together to vote on laws, the appointment of certain positions such as Admiral and General, and to vote on the declaration of war. For smaller issues, the Council does not need to convene for a vote; a written letter with a Declaration of Opinion will suffice.

        Though the Council has the ability to make decisions, the current Monarch reserves the right to overturn any decision made by Council members, though doing so is considered by the general populace as a very unpopular decision.

 

The Monarchy

        Aiedria has a hereditary monarchy. Typically, the first child born to the reigning monarch will become successor, given the title of Prince/ss Royale. There is only ever one person with the title Prince/ss Royale. Any other child born to the reigning monarch is given the title Crown Prince/ss. Any child born to a Crown Prince/ss is simply referred to as Prince of Princess. Once the Prince/ss Royale has assumed the throne, his/her successor inherits the Royale title. If the new monarch has no children, the title goes to a younger sibling.

        The current Royal Family is the Aryagall line line from the coastal province of Blackwater. The line has held the throne for nearly four centuries and have had many popular rulers, including the late Queen Caiomhe, mother of Eirian, Gwenlyn, and Tiernan. 

 

And religion/theology:

World Building: Theology and Religion in The Witch Queen’s War

Generalization

        Religion is relatively universal throughout the various countries in the setting. One deity is recognized, known as The Holy Mother. The church is built on a doctrine known as The Canon of Belief. Some Countries are known for being more religious than others. Aiedria is often considered to be quite religious, as its capital is home to the Mother Superioress.

 

Church Structure

        Leading the church is the Mother Superioress, referred to as Lady Superior. The Superioress keeps a council of fifteen, senior priestess, given the title Revered Mother. The head of a single church is a Prioress, and younger priestesses and initiates are referred to as Mother and Sister, respectively.

        The Cathedral of the Most Holy Mother, located in the heart of the Capital, is home to the Mother Superioress and the Revered Mothers. Several smaller churches are located throughout the city. Most mid-sized towns will have at least a small cathedral, and possibly one or two smaller churches, depending on size and population of the town. In many smaller towns and villages, documents chronicling birth, death, marriage, and so on are kept within the church.

The Canon of Belief

        The Canon of Belief is the doctrine of the Church. It tells the story of The Holy Mother’s battles against the demons and their banishment to the Void.

        Thousands of years ago, the people lived in constant fear of demons. Attacks, possession, and slaughter were rampant as demons controlled much of the world.

        The fear was endless, until one day a woman appeared. Sword in one hand, staff in the other, She struck down the demons that crossed Her path. It didn’t take long before Her actions drew a crowd, and that crowd drew the attention of a demon lord. But when the demon lord tried to attack the assembled crowd, his magic could not reach them.
The woman, arms raised, spoke to the demon:

        “Begone. Your kind has no place here any longer; your magic leaves no mark, your evil gives no control.”

        Raising her sword, a great light seemed to shine from within the metal as deity and demon clashed. As the battle wore on, it drew the attention of evermore demons. But the people, inspired by the Woman’s act of bravery, took up their own weapons in Her defense. The battles went on for days, until the ground was stained with the demon’s tainted, blackened blood.

        When the last demon was slain, the Woman spoke again to the crowd, now countless in their number.

        “Lay down your weapons. No longer will you be tormented by these evil beings. From this day forth, you are my Children, and I shall fight for you always. I will drive the demons back, and into a place from which they cannot escape. A dark place, where their magic can harm no one but themselves.

        “But the demons are wise, and they are cunning. They will tempt you. Those who use magic freely beckon them, and they will come. Never let them in. To let them in is to let them out. Never forget these words. For as long as my words are obeyed, you will be safe.”

 

        Once again, everything on here is subject to change once I actually start writing. These are just general ideas that I wanted to get down so that I don’t forget them.

        Cheers!

        Mayuuya (Chelsea)

        2 days!!!

NaNo World Building: Notes on Magic

So, the Biology Exam From Hell is already graded. I made a 106. Pretty sure my jaw is still on the floor somewhere. I didn’t even know there were extra points on the test. I never even passed a Bio test the first time I tried to take the class.

Anyway, on to NaNo. Still not sure if switching my NaNo project at the last minute was a good idea, but I think I’ll get a little bit farther with this plot than I would the first one. Still working on some of the characters, but I’ve got most of the major ones down.

This is what I’ve spent the past hour or so working on: Magic in the World of the Witch Queen’s War. This isn’t everything, but I feel like it’s a pretty good start. I’ll be doing a few more things like this in the next few days. Things like theology/religion, military/politics and the like. This is my first real experience with world building, so it’s by no means perfect.

Magic in The Witch Queen’s War

Types of Magic

Magic is split into two “types”.

        White magic: Most common type of magic. Fairly common throughout the setting. Involves potion making, some mastery over elements, and healing. Training in defensive abilities such as barriers is also common. Rarer abilities include shape shifting. All 10 Court Mages are white mages. 

        Black magic: rarer type of magic. It is believed that for every 500 white mages born, only 5 black mages are born. In addition to the abilities of white magic, black magic includes psychic abilities such as telepathy and limited mind-control. Even most white mages are weary of black mages.

Training

        Mages are trained in the capital at Anse Keep, a large castle close to the shores of Lake Anse on the outskirts of the city. They are mentored largely by a single senior Mage, though occasionally train in groups. Family is allowed, and encouraged, to visit on the weekends.
Mages remain an apprentice for an average of two years before testing. After apprenticeship  mages spend a minimum of two years studying advanced applications of magic. Many specialize in either a single element type or healing.

        Anse Keep trains in only “white magic” arts. Black mages are trained, but never in their mental/psychic abilities. Many black mages are viewed with suspicion by their peers, and often their seniors, as well.

        Anse Keep is over seen by a Headmaster/ Headmistress chosen from among the ranks of the Court Mages.

Use in the World

        After they complete a minimum of four years of training under a mentor, a mage is free to pursue their own interests. Many mages continue their training and take on apprentices outside of the keep. Some run apothecary’s, specializing in the creation of various potions and herbs.

        At any given time, the Royal Army employs numerous mages, both as offensive warriors and healers. Defensively trained mages are also employed to help fortify defensive and positions. The Navy has also been known to employ elemental mages in order to bring down enemy ships. The Royal Mounted Cavalry also utilizes mages, though mainly as healers.

        The Palace Guard includes mages in their ranks. A gifted team of healers is always on hand within the palace and the monarch’s entourage always includes at least one, usually two, healers. The Guard has also been known to use shapeshifters to aid in espionage activities.

The Court Mages

The Court Mages are an elite group of 10 mages tasked with various positions, delegated by the Monarch. Positions include: Oversight of Royal Healers, Adviser to Her Majesty, Adviser to the Palace Guard, Adviser to the Royal Navy, Adviser to the Royal Army, Headmaster/Headmistress of Anse Keep. Three other mages are appointed to the 10, serving as general advisers  All Court Mages are white mages.

        Court Mages are appointed by the monarch, usually on the recommendations of other Mages. Age has no bearing on position: Skill level, past deeds, and political savvy are major factors.

Black Magic and Demons

       One reason that black mages are regarded with weariness, beyond fears of mind-control, is their apparent ability to attract demons. Demons, with their own psychic abilities, are drawn to the idea of humans with similar abilities.

        Demons must be invited into the physical world, so many appear to targets in their dreams, when the line between the physical world and the Abyss is blurred. Demons lure their targets with promises of power (stronger telepathy, clairvoyance, even the ability to control another person’s physical form) in return for a foothold into the physical world. Agreeing allows the demon into the mage’s mind. As the mage relies more and more on the power of the demon, more of the mages mind is given up to the demon, until the mage has given up all sanity to the demon. If left unchallenged, the demon can fully take control of the mages physical form.

Exorcism

        If a mage is found to have entered a deal with a demon, an exorcism becomes the last line of defense. Many humans are uncertain as to the true nature of an exorcism, having never seen on, usually basing everything they know no rumors and hear-say. Priestesses of The Holy Mother perform the exorcism through prayer.

        While the demon is often driven from its host, no exorcism is ever completely successful. The strain of having a demon invade their thoughts often leaves the mages minds shattered. Exorcism also has a high chance of rendering a mages powers unusable, though whether this is caused by the demon’s magic, or the ritual itself is unknown.

        Many mages who survive exorcisms have taken their own lives. Legends say that it is these broken souls who become new demons in the Abyss.