Countries of the Mind, 3: What’s cookin’ in Edrais and elsewhere.

The Jotun giants are playable in the game. Ill...
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Quite a while ago I promised that I’d talk a little bit about how my fantasy world has evolved.  There’s still a lot of silliness, but I’m starting to find that this is fertile ground.  I’m working in a world in which magic plays a large part.  Here there be dragons and all that.  (I have three so far: Amurdal Vash-Draechenth who you might remember as the sorcerer Ignatius Bijagy, his brother Azhinidem Vash-Draechenth who belongs in the Micah Darcy part of the universe (Yes, the Micah stories are out of print, by choice.  I was never really happy with what I’d done with them.) And finally Narrestil Fath-Cedrasul who is a rock star.  No really, he is.

Right now I’m working on the gender-bending swashbuckler, a tale about Arnau Corwin, a cheerfully polyamorous, bisexual rogue who actually does end up doing the right thing fairly often.  But not always.

The key worked, and Arnau slipped into the dark, quiet house without a sound.  He made his way up the stairwell slowly, under cover of his shadow spell. Arnau had a nice repertoire of such glamours, but becoming one with shadow was his favorite.  He much preferred it to the chameleon one which was really only useful if you were standing in front of a background that wasn’t too busy or vivid.  (He’d once made the mistake of using the chameleon glamour to blend into a mural by Baptiste Donvier.  The owner of the house he was trying to rob laughed so hard that Arnau was able to escape.)

 

Another story within this same universe is “Anna Magdalena’s Song” about the life and loves of a castrato.

For his own part, Max had hoped that marriage would spell the end of the embarrassing flood of proposals and propositions from women all over Edrais and even further afield.  They made him frankly uneasy, particularly the letters which were pornographic or included items of (all-too-frequently unwashed) intimate apparel.  Unfortunately the announcement of his engagement simply changed the tone of those proposals from interested to desperate, and in some cases even violent.  One woman, already married to a wealthy businessman from Radosch, threatened to kill herself, her three children and the  family dog if Max didn’t give up Zoë and marry her.  Max had sent the letter to her husband with a note begging the man to restrain his wife.  There had been no formal response, but the lady in question disappeared from society shortly thereafter and was said  to be visiting her relatives in Bogatyr.  Max was relieved; he’d been a bit worried about the dog.

I began a retelling of The Ring of the Nibelungen for a friend’s anthology but it got too long and wasn’t doing what I needed it to do.  I was trying too hard to make it fit his requirements.

Architect brothers Fasolt and Fafner Riesenstein, of Jotunheim Design and Planning Associates, were jubilant when they were awarded the contract for development of the Asgard site.  Valhalla, as their clients already referred to it, was to be an extensive reworking and expansion of the old complex of government facilities, private residences and pleasure gardens that had dominated the Asgard district for centuries.  In fact, the district itself had been expanded recently by some judicious real estate purchases made by the government during the recent Fimbul-Winter scare when property values plummeted as owners vied to make a little money before Ragnarok made wealth and power moot.  Since then, along the borders of Midgard and Niffelheim, old commercial and residential properties had been razed in preparation for the development and in spite of the fact that lawsuits had been filed by the Nibelungs of Niffelheim and the human residents of Midgard, where questions about the source of the long and unseasonable winter weather were being debated in the city councils.

We’ve agreed that it’s going to be much too large and I’m working on another for him,  a story of enterprise and adventure:

Sir Archimboldo Khedive’s work was well known across Edrais and even into parts of Nüwa.  The famous Nenuphar Gate that straddled the narrows that led into the Sea of Arcadia linking the southernmost tip of Tammuz and Padi?ahinkizi, Bul-Bul’s capital city was Rennie Flynn’s design, but had been grandiose and impossible.  Khedive had turned that monstrous impossibility into something awe-inspiring — an enormous sunrise-colored glass archway, graceful yet strong enough to withstand the infamous storms that swept through the narrows each spring.  It shimmered with a soft internal light that welcomed visitors day or night.  Flynn became famous for his design, Khedive was knighted by the Queen of Bul-Bul and given a commission to construct a canal between the Sea of Arcadia and the Sea of Silk, so named for the groves of nyam which surround its eastern shore.  These trees were the favorite home to the giant silk spiders of Satyagraha, and Queen Lejka had long desired to find a quicker, more reliable route to the silk markets than the long and arduous (and sometimes dangerous) overland routes.

Each of these stories explores a little facet of this world, and as I work, I find out the most amazing things about the characters, the places, and the way things work in a universe that runs parallel to our own.  It’s what I love most about building a fantasy world.  I’ve gotten lost in these places; they were there for me when I needed some sort of distraction, and now I owe them my attention.

If anyone has any questions, I’ll happily try to answer them.

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