Week Three, January 2015: Dress up Games

Coralia

This week I have been spending most of my time working on the story I mentioned last week. It is longer then I planned, and I think it needs editing but I really love it. So Last night I decided to spend some time playing with a dress up game to create Coralia, the mermaid in the story. This is something I love doing (and dolldivine is a brilliant place to to it), you see I don’t think in images, until someone draws a character for me I don’t really see them even though I know them. So playing with these games allows me to see what they might look like, and allows me in turn to describe certain parts better. I can’t always get an accurate picture out of a dress up game, but it makes me think about what they look like more. I find this improves my writing, generally I will focus more on how a character sounds, acts and moves; I only give a rough idea of colour and that is about it. However after playing with these games I am more confident in describing a character visually.

Do you ever use Dress Up games? Can I see some of your characters?

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Back in Time for NaNoWriMo

So I’m back, trying to get into my writing again. What better way than NaNoWriMo? And this year is going to be even more fun than ever! This year I am taking a whole new generation of novelists with me on the adventure known as NaNoWriMo. I am a after school care worker and when asking to put up a poster about the YWP my boss responded with “You could do that with the students!” I am really looking forward to this, one of the boys is writing a story called Llamas Vs. Zombies.

But before that I have to finish my assignments without getting too distracted by my story ideas. How is your NaNoPrep going?

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Aetheric Turbulence

Turbulence in Aetheria has a different meaning. Turbulent pockets of the Aetheria are places where sudden changes are more likely to happen. Avoiding them is preferable, but the Aether is thick with them so this is not always easy. They appear to most observers as “clouds” of various materials, from bubbles to dust to vapours of various colours. This manifestation however does bleed off some of their severity, a patch of turbulence which has not created a cloud around it will often develop changes more quickly and with less warning.

The clouds will fade as they use up the chaos in the turbulence. This can either be through creating objects or dissolving them, though sometimes the magic goes into messing with time in the area, or with the perceptions of space. Turbulence cannot dissolve a sentient being or their closest possessions as their own idea of themselves leaves an impression on the Aether that allows them to maintain their presence. Non-sentients may be dissolved, but are often recreated elsewhere, though not exactly as they were.

Aetheric turbulence can not, on its own, create life. This complexity is beyond the ability of the random nature of the changes. Life may appear however and the Aether has maintained an imprint of something it has dissolved and has recreated it. This recreation may happen anywhere though their are theories that their are currents in the aether to allow these imprints to move around.

Some clouds in Aetheria are actually quite stable, the turbulence having been used up simply creating them. These will dissipate over time as turbulence slowly dissolves it. This is also a main factor in the argument of not simply avoiding all clouds, as these “stable” clouds are safer then clear aether. However there is no way to know whether a cloud is one of these “stable” clouds or a dangerous one.

It is a matter of much debate amongst explorers as to whether the best thing to do is to avoid the cloud or to fly for the clouds. Consensus tends to be that just flying straight is preferable, Aetheria is dangerous enough already and its a death sentence to spend any more time in any part of it then you need to. All this talk is often irrelevant though as in most places in Aetheria these clouds are so thick there is no way to go but through them. Some travellers swear by certain strategies to picking which clouds to fly through, (ie. cool colours, vapourous only, thinnest or thickest) but their is evidence to suggest this is only superstition and has little actual information. The clouds merely indicate areas where the aether is more susceptible to chaos, and by the very nature of chaos the fluctuation which caused the cloud to come into existence may be either more or less violent then any other fluctuation, or the cloud might never happen at all. Some even argue that the cloud itself is not a clear indicator, and that turbulent patches have only a 25-33% chance of causing a cloud, while the other two thirds – three quarters of the time the turbulence throws up something more dangerous or complex.

Studying the aetheric turbulence is extremely difficult, as it is simply chaos. Pure chaos cannot be studied as there is no underlying pattern, and as more druids pool their information at Corazon it is becoming clearer that the turbulence is so close to being purely chaotic that no study with current techniques will uncover its inner workings.

Information on Anglia

Anglia is one of the odder planets in the galaxy. It is ruled by a monarchy, this is not odd. Its main export is mercenaries and weapons, again not odd. What is odd is its devotion to the old ways. From medieval Europe to early Asia they value the cultures where national civilisations were formed without complex technologies. They mimic these cultures, with fashions drifting from eastern to western, including their crafts and their fighting styles. This would seem odd at first, but in fact this has given them an edge. While the rest of the galaxy developed more advanced technology and finally mastered hand held laser weaponry the Anglians stayed firm. The rest of the galaxy also developed new electrically based shields to block these laser technologies. These technologies became prevalent in the rest of the galaxy. At which point the Anglians stepped in, their metal weapons ignored shields and disrupted them in the process. Their new alloys allowed their plate wearing knights to withstand old fashioned metal bullets, and their weapons to do more damage then any expected. However the plate armour was easily heated by lasers, burning the knights inside. A new balance in battle was made, back to the old ways of swordsmen and spear-men supported by ranged fighters. This new order was part of the Anglian legacy.

Anglia keeps a policy in all wars of never taking sides, which is odd considering that even their royal family will work as mercenaries. Officially however Anglia never favours one side over another, instead all mercenaries will take contracts as they please. Anglia is in fact a fairly densely populated planet, and many Anglians live off world. This means that at any one point in time there can be an army worth of Anglian mercenaries taking contracts. Only those who own property on Anglia must pay taxes to the monarchy.

The Anglian monarchy owns five moons, two moons orbiting their own planet and three orbiting their gas giant companion. All five are mined for their rich deposits of iron and other metals. They are protected mostly by trade and peace deals with other planets.
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Aquatics

Aquatics are sentient beings which exist only in water. They include mermaids, octmen and sea serpents. Water magic is very highly valued by all of these breeds.

 

Mermaids

  • Appearance: Humanoid torso, arms and head with sealife additions.
  • Diet: Will depend on their additions (eg sharks are carnivores, manatees herbivores)
  • Civilisations: If living on coral reefs they will usually begin building cities.
  • Mermaids are very diverse groups, and are often suspected as being unidentified cross-breeds of humanity and other sealife (perhaps even non-sentient life).

 

Octmen

  • Appearance: They are essentially octopi who use their nimble front tentacles to manipulate their environment
    • Some rare varieties are like Jellyfish
    • Even rarer are the squids
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Civilisation: They create great cities under the coral reefs they use as farms and hunting reserves
    • Jellyfish create floating cities
    • Squids live in the darker regions of the oceans.

Sea Serpents

  • Appearance: Thin serpent-like bodies with nimble flippers they can use like hands and a fanned tail. They have catfish-like whiskers and are scaled. They survive in water as whales would.
  • Diet: Omnivourous
  • Civilisation: They live in underwater, air filled caverns. They value learning greatly and keep large libraries.
  • Magic: All sea serpents have an affinity with water magic of a mage nature. Some rare breeds also have superb control over air which can allow them to fly as well as they swim.

 

Gryphs

Gryphs are quadrupeds with avian head and forelegs. They use their nimble front claws to manipulate their world and to walk. Some Gryphs are winged some are not. All breeds of Gryph that can fly value any sort of air magic.

Here are some of the current identified breeds of gryphs:

Hippogryphs

  • Appearance: Songbird forequarters, ungulate (hooved) hindquarters.
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Civilisations: Tend to be primarily wild grazers or gentle farmers.
    • Sometimes they will build complex aviaries in giant forests or partway up mountains.
    • Wingless versions live mostly in the open, or in cities on the plains.
  • Communication: They communicate using complex songs unique to their songbird forequarters.
  • They tend to like naturalistic magic.

Gryphons: Felines

  • Appearance: Birds of prey as their forequarters (often owls) with feline hindquarters
  • Diet: Carnivorous, will hunt hippogryphs, centaurs or small mammals (if gryphon is small in stature).
  • Civilisations: Tend to value noble sensibilities with a strong sense of proper societal roles.
    • Will also build complex aviaries in giant forests or partway up mountains.
    • Wingless versions will become livestock farmers often
  • Communication: Their language is harsher then their Hippogryph cousins, with a screeching quality
  • They tend to like weaponised magic, thus only valuing druids for their air control.

Gryphon: Canine

  • Appearance: Much like their feline counterparts, more like to have raptor forequarters
  • Diet: Carnivorous, will hunt, but also scavenge if needed.
  • Civilisations: They prefer to be in small tribal groups and will in-fight for status.
    • Prefer natural caves to forests for their aviaries.
  • Communication: Much like the communication of other gryphons
  • They also tend to like weaponised magic, thus only valuing druids for their air control.

Gryphons: Vulpine

  • Appearance: Much like other gryphons, more like to have vulture forequarters. They are smaller than the majority of other gryphons (though there are small canine and feline gryphons)
  • Diet: Carnivorous, mostly feasting on carrion.
  • Civilisations: They are often in pairs or very small packs, meeting only at carcasses where they’ll fight for their fair share.
    • Prefer living in burrows and nests in forests.
  • Communication: Much like the communication of other gryphons
  • They also tend to have little preference for any one sort of magic.

 

 

If you have any other Gryph breeds you’d like considered in this universe please share. By the way the Aetherverse is open for anyone to write in as long as you link back to my world-building page.

Humans (Aetheria)

If it walks on two feet, has two hands, mostly fur-less skin and possesses sentience it is counted as a human. The diplomats at Corazon are still trying to decide on whether there should be further identifiers. A radical branch of architects (calling themselves the true humans) are trying to implement height restrictions but breeds such as the dwarves, fae and giants are fighting the motion.

Here are some of the current identified breeds of humans:

Architects

  • Height: between 5 foot and 6 foot 5 inches tall.
  • Civilisation: City based surrounded by specialised agricultural land. Tend to develop an advanced barter system or a currency.
  • Tends to prefer mages of any sort over druids for their versatility and power.

Elves

  • Height: Between 4 foot and 5 foot 5 inches tall.
  • Civilisation: values nature, their hunter gatherer lifestyle in forest favouring their shorter height. They like to leave as little impact on their surroundings as possible.
  • Tend to have improved smell, hear and/or eyesight to help in their forest lifestyle.
  • Values druids (mostly) and mages with power over growing/life/fertility.

Dwarves

  • Height: Between 3 foot and 4 foot 5 inches tall
  • Tend to be incredibly strong for their size.
  • Like architects have a  city and agriculture set up but maintains this underground.
  • Due to their underground habitat they find metals early in their civilisation and become very skilled with its manipulation.
  • The agriculture of dwarves will be at least partly underground.
  • Dwarves have an excellent sense of direction and sensitive eyes.
  • The like druids which specialise in the earth and mages that specialise in fire or metalurgy.

Giants

  • Height: over 7 foot.
  • These are defined mostly by their size.
  • They live on open plains and might develop architect-like cultures.
  • They live mostly off of herds of large animals which they may begin to farm.
  • They have preferences to magic defined more by their environment or civilisation then by breed.

Fae

  • Height: under 1 foot tall
  • These are also defined mostly by their size.
  • They live in thick sheltered forests, and may either stay gatherers or build tiny cities in the roots or branches of trees.
  • They live off of berries, small rodents and nuts, all of which they may farm.
  • They prefer druids of land and air.

 

If you have any other human breeds you’d like considered in this universe please share. By the way the Aetherverse is open for anyone to write in as long as you link back to my world-building page.