The World of Byrlothia
Brylothia is a major work in process. I am looking for any and all help/suggestions/criticism/commentaries people are willing to give. I am working on following Moonhunter's suggestd task of "ten posts in ten days", with this thread alone, which will hopefully force me to get as much as possible down for you to all read and, hopefully, enjoy. Again, let me know anything you think of, I'll definately appreciate it.
Themes and Images:
The Dragon Mages are the ultimate rulers of Byrlothia. These Pah-Magi(false wizards), as they are called by the populace, gain their power through the capture and enslavement of souls. They have control over a number of dragons (hence the name) and are complete dictators of the races of Byrlothia. The Byrlothian Resistance was formed to combat the Dragon Mages.
Byrlothia is a series of flying islands with no greater ocean or landmass below. These islands are orbiting in set paths, determining the calendar, as well as other things. The islands themselves are mostly of a plains terrain, with a number of small woodland areas spread throughout. There are three tiers of islands, a middle tier, where most of the inhabitants live, a lower tier, darker and much warmer, which is mostly uninhabited and an upper tier, which is extremely cold and has no known inhabitants. There are rumors of a tier below the lower tier, but no one who has attempted to travel there has ever returned.
The islands are composed of a lightweight but hard coral-like material called aeristite, created by the digestive processes of a species of large grub called an air-worm. These grubs also excrete a gas that is lighter than air. This gas becomes trapped in the tunnels that the air-worms burrow through, holding the islands aloft.
Byrlothia contains earth-like plants and animals. More specifically, it contains plants which resemble various earth plants: ferns, palm trees, funguses, scrub brush like holly bushes and some vegatables, etc... These plants are strains of the species which do not require a lot of water to survive, and some of them even store water, such as the suka tree(resembles a coconut palm, but it stores water in its trunk like a cactus).
The animals of the world are also both similar and different from Earth animals. There are eagles, racoons, squirrels, frogs, and others that we have here, but there also fantasy creatures. I will be making a thorough post about these fantastic beasts later, but for now I will just give the example of the wrok. The wrok is a massive hawk-like bird, large enough for two full-grown men to ride it. It feeds on smaller avians like eagles. There is a tribe of humans to the harthern coast of Harandis which has the wrok as its totem and tames these magnificent birds as guardians and mounts.
The most important resource in Byrlothia is water. The islands have no standing water and they rarely get rain (a light shower every few weeks at best). Any rain they do get is immediately sucked up by the plant life. Granite is another extremely precious resource, as is any stone or ore. The aeristite contains little amounts of other minerals, except for that of the islands in the lower tier. These islands are loaded with great amounts of various minerals, which explains their lower altitude, compared to the middle tier.
Races and Peoples:
The races of Byrlothia are few, but varied.
Humans: Humans are the most barbaric among the races of Byrlothia. Typically living in yurt camps, there are several tribes, each taking after a patron animal, such as the horse, boar and eagle tribes. They tend to stay away from the more civilized races, except for when interested in trade. The humans average around 6 feet in height with many variations in hair color and eye color. They tend to have tanned skin, due to their outdoor style of living.
Elves: The elves are the most common race amongst the islands of the middle tier. They are great airship flyers; the most famous captains are from among the elves. A few of them have the innate ability to control magical forces and enter into one of the many sects of sorcerers. Elves are a few inches shorter than humans, on average, though the females are generally taller than the males. They tend to wear their usually dark hair long and in a braid. They generally have lighter colored eyes and an off-white shade of skin.
Dwarves: The dwarves are among the greatest the craftsmen on Byrlothia. They typically stand about 5 feet in height, with dark skin, brown or reddish-brown hair and dark eyes. The dwarves used to live mainly on the island of Lesser Harandis, but when the Dragon Mages came into power, they were arrested and transferred to the other islands in order to make room on Lesser Harandis for whatever plans the Dragon Mages had. While dwarves are usually slow to anger, mention their usurped birthland and you’d better have somewhere to hide.
Kreesha: The kreesha are a race of cat people, said to have descended from a mythological demi-god who frequently took the form of a humanoid cat. Whether this is true or not, the kreesha are an amazing people. Standing tall, with an average height of around 6 and a half feet, they are extremely lithe and agile, with massively powerful legs, allowing them to propel themselves a full 8 to 10 feet straight up from a standstill. Their fur color ranges from white to gray to black to brown and everything in between and their eyes are generally green or yellow, with an elliptical iris, just like normal cats. They have claws, which they can retract into their hands, and a kreeshan who has training with a weapon is rare, as they take a great pride in unarmed combat using their own claws.
The sentient species of Byrlothia are at peace with one another as a whole. The Dragon Mages are from all the different species of the islands, the only major conflict is directly related to the tyrannical rule of the Pah-Magi.
There are ten months in the calendar of Byrlothia, dictated by the movements of the four largest islands in the upper tier that are visible from the middle tier. In order from the beginning of a halo (year) these months are: Darth, Syim, Toral, Castan, Portou, Jhaleg, Makim, Tyril, Yasa, and Bortha.
Their directions are different than ours, since, without an actual planet, there is no magnetic pole to determine direction. Instead, the Byrlothians use the alignment of the four islands of the upper tier, which never changes as their standard. Their four main directions are harth, milin, rek and fult.
Laws and Morals:
The only political power in the world is held by the Dragon Mages. Different Dragon Mages hold control over different areas of the dominated islands, ruling with extreme cruelty. The Byrlothian Resistance holds no actual power, though many people of the world are collaborators to one extent or another.
The main standard of currency on Byrlothia is water. Gold and silver hold minor value as luxuries and can be used to buy things, but water is so limited that a man with a moderate amount somehow stored (a moderate amount being maybe 50 - 100 gallons) is considered filthy rich. A couple examples of exchange values is two gallons of water for a well-forged sword or enough bread, cheese and killik (an alcohol made from the fermented fruit of a myria bush) to feed a man for a full three days. A well-trained horse may cost up to 10 gallons of water. Obviously, carrying water around in these quantities is difficult, so there are bone coins made which have a magical sigla on them to prevent counterfeiting. One coin is the equivalent of a quart of water and can be turned in at any water-repository (like a bank, water is delivered to the repositories from the water-plants for distribution) for an equivalent amount of water.
Technology and Common Power:
Military Weapons and Tactics
Math and Science:
Magic is a diverse issue on Byrlothia. There are a number of different "schools" followed by different people of the world. The most readily noticable and publicly known is the soul-magic of the Dragon Mages, siphoning energy from captured souls to create mystical(usually destructive) effects.
The barbarian humans train their shamen and wise-women in the practice of moon magic, or natural magic, this magic uses the excess energies of nature itself. The strength of a moon magic practicioner waxes and wanes in relation to the current phase of Silvanus, the largest of the three moons of Byrlothia. Natural magic is(obviously) oriented in the physical, creating food and water, helping crops grow, forseeing the future weather patterns and enhancing natural abilities of hunters being the typical uses.
The elves and dwarves use rune magic. They draw sigla on objects, gesture them in the air or tattoo them on themselves, with different combinations of runes producing different effects. This style of magic is very exacting in practice, requiring the memorization of dozens of runes and all their myriad of combinations. The uses of rune magic are widely varied, with different combinations of runes being able to accomplish almost anything, though the current practicioners have little knowledge of the nuances of this magic, and so far have yet to learn how to do much with these runes.
Like I said, a work in progress. I plan to fill in the remainder of this worksheet, then continue on and flesh out other areas, such as the magic system, etc.... Let me know what you think!
5/26 Updated Economics, Calendar/Standards, Flora/Fauna