Friday, August 15, 2014

Random Fridays: A Whole New World

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Hallo, everyone! For my Random Fridays post this week, I'll be talking about A Whole New World- specifically, Berstru, the world of one of my main two WIPs. Now, I haven't done nearly as much formal worldbuilding for Berstru (or the world of my fairy tale remakes, the name of which escapes me) as I possibly should've, but what I have done has been fun. So, want to take a trip through Berstu? Let's get started with some of the highlights of your journey!

We'll start in Port Metre, Beylend. Perched on the southernmost tip of Berstru, Port Metre is known as the largest port city, and one of the largest cities of any kind, on the continent. Seafaring merchants from seven of the eight countries in Berstru stop here to sell their goods and take on new ones. Port Metre is also
Port Metre
home to Beylend's impressive Royal Navy, a force that's made Beylend the undisputed master of the seas for well over a hundred years. Do watch your step while you're in town though, especially near the harbor. Sailors aren't known for their good behavior, and as you might expect, Port Metre is swimming in them. And though Port Metre is decidedly safer than Saint's Rest (another major port, known as a haven for pirates and worse), it still attracts perhaps more than its fair share of troublemakers.

Arrain
We head northeast from Port Metre and pass through Diopas on the way. There's not much to see here; Diopas is mostly grasslands and sheep flocks. On its western border lies the Arrain Desert, an area claimed by no country, despite rumors of great lodes of gold, silver, and gems beneath its surface. Like Saint's Rest, the Arrain Desert has a reputation for being populated by highly dangerous criminals. This, however, isn't quite accurate. Being outside the jurisdiction of any particular country, it does have its share of outlaw gangs and criminals hiding away from the world. However, it has an equal number of fairly honest folk, mostly those who came to seek treasure or explore Arrain and its canyons and just never left.
Castle Elgea

Once we're out of Diopas, we come to Hoaka, and in the center of that country lies our next destination: Elgea, Hoaka's capital. This grand city is considered a center of culture even by the people of other countries (who might normally insist that everything about their own country is the best, whether or not it actually is). One look at the grand Old City, the marble temples, the stately Hall of the Bards, and of course
the elegant Castle Elgea at its center, and you can probably guess why. Elgea is also one of the oldest cities in Berstru, and there's a long-standing debate among historians about whether or not it was actually the first major settlement on the continent.

The Hall of the Bards
The biggest reason for Elgea's reputation, however, is the number of bards and bardesses who make their home in Elgea. Many of Berstru's legends, myths, and fairy tales come from Hoaka, so it's no surprise that the bardic headquarters, the Hall of the Bards, would be found in this city. The Hall is open only to bards; even the royal family may not enter without an invitation from the head of the Bardic Order. Within its walls, however, is the greatest treasure-trove of knowledge in all Berstru. Every story, real or fictional, known to the bards is written down and carefully preserved in the library, and in most cases, there are multiple versions of each tale.

Leaving Elgea, we continue northwards to Uldea. This is one of the youngest countries in Berstru, so it
Uldean forest
doesn't have nearly as impressive a reputation as Hoaka or Beylend. It's mostly forest, with towns and a few modest cities dotted along rivers and smaller settlements dispersed through the forest. The country was founded by a group of Hoakans who, displeased with their monarchs (who they thought had lost touch with what the common people needed) and the way the country in general seemed to be moving, moved north to found their own country. This history influenced a major (and unusual) tradition of the Uldean monarchy: for part of each year, the heir and next-in-line are sent away from the capital to live more or less as the common people do. This is supposed to make sure that the future rulers appreciate both the needs and support of those they rule, and so far, it seems to have worked.

From Uldea, we could cross the Dragons' Roost Mountains and return southward down the western half of Berstru. We will not do so, however, for two reasons. First, I haven't done nearly as much worldbuilding in the west as I have in the east, where my stories of Berstru have, for the most part, taken place. Second, very few people venture into the Dragons' Roost Mountains, which split the continent down the middle. Most of the peaks are near-impassable, as far as anyone knows, and most of those who set out to find passes never return. Why not? Some say that it's because the explorers were lost, ran out of food, or some other mundane reason, but most have other ideas. After all, they're called the Dragons' Roost Mountains for a very good reason. 

So, that brings us to the end of our tour of Berstru. I hope you enjoyed it!


Calo anor na ven!

-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

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6 comments:

  1. I love how you have created a world which feel so real. I want to visit. *sighs*

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    1. Thank you very much! I'm honored! I have been thinking of editing the stories set in this world and either posting them on the TPS forums or trying to self-publish them . . . we'll see.

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    2. Please publish them! I'll love to know more about this world. =)

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  2. Hey there! It's triplet from WI. This is such an awesome post; I love the pictures!

    You can feel free to check out my blog but I am really just in the process of getting it started.

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    1. Hey'a, Triplet! And thanks, though I actually didn't take any of them. xD

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