The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 2: World/Setting

Well, there was SUPPOSED to be a post on Tuesday....

Obviously that didn't happen.

Oh yes. I have a partial schedule now.

Every Tuesday, I'm going to do a tag post. Taggy Tuesday, I'm calling it.

Now, why am I (being notoriously bad with schedules and deadlines this past year) attempting this madness?

I assure you, it was for dire reasons.

Between now and this time last week, I managed to acquire 2 more tags. Bringing the grand total up to....10. Not counting the next 4 tags of this series. Even doing double and triple tag posts (which is going to have to happen anyway) is not going to clear it before April. Especially if I keep missing them like I did this week. *grumbles*

Hence, the need for a schedule. I picked Tuesday in case Beautiful People comes back, or I decide to do Top Ten Tuesday again (which I haven't done in forever).

But enough chit-chatting!

There is a whole new world to explore! Because today is the day that I get to introduce the story world of my WIP, The White Rose!

Let us be off!

What would we immediately notice upon stepping into your storyworld? (What would stand out the most?)

The simplistic, cleanly beauty of the surrounding landscape. Full of variety of colors and shapes. It is quiet with the exception of an occasional strain from an eija (which is a small wooden flute) or a bird chirping nearby.

What place in this world (Earth) reminds you most of your world? (Or provide a picture that you think best defines your story world.)

Well...I suppose it would be a mix of England, Scotland and Nevada. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

England and Scotland give that Celtic/Germanic feel, but neither one of those climates has the mountains of silver, whereas Nevada does.

So imagine the western coast being like an English beach....

and then for most of the inland being a mix between northern England and Scotland, with a fair amount of rivers.

and then in the northwest the terrain changes to sparsely vegetated flatland before shooting up into large gray mountain ranges. These are the Fihells Sidabras, in English, known as the Silver Mountains. 

I'm still working on the rest of the kingdoms and states.....

Are there specific foods/dining habits particular to this world?

Exotic food is often given as a gift in Duventoliel, as well as choice wines and other exotic alcoholic beverages.

The traditional gift between soveriegns for the Karala Games is the Saoirse-Tesni shrimp. This shrimp lives in the warmest waters of the Sea of Saoirse-Tesni, often near undersea volcanos and underwater cliffs. Divers take small nets down to these cliffs to harvest them.

Because of the relatively small habitat, the dangers of harvesting it, and the difficulty in packaging and transporting's a rare delicacy in any case. 

One other exotic food is the Gwydion chestnut, also known as a sweet chestnut. They are bigger than the average chestnut, have more sugars present and are a little softer than ordinary chestnuts. The husks also have less tannins so the bitterness is dimished. These can only be grown in the Woods of Gwydion, in the low kingdom of Tawarthion (which borders Aistaraina to the north and Ceberlandon to the south).

Are there biases in your world, and how do they define the people? Is there a class structure and how would it affect the characters?

Believe it or not, Duventoliel honors it's working class and working by the sweat of it's brow. There is more money in working as a laborer than being a manager. Most landowners will eliminate the manager and just manage it themselves. The expenses and workers wages eat almost all of the sale profits. But at least the workers all have good sound houses, plenty of food and can afford medical care and even a little savings.

There is a small number of nobles, but they are also contributors to society. There are the standard servants, and it is considered a high honor among the middle and poorer classes to be chosen for the royal household (a status). There are no nobles ladies-in-waiting for the royal women in Duventoliel, but there are trusted maids.

The class structure isn't really discussed in the story, except for the question of royals marrying commoners, as it is done in Ceberlandon, the third "high" kingdom.

What belief structures/ worldviews do your characters hold? What are some philosophies of your story?

Laziness, frivolty, deception and pride are shunned in Duventoliel. Tanned skin is valued more because it means that you are a hard laborer.

The good of the kingdom is always stressed above personal convictions when it comes to passing down the throne. But it is the opposite in marriages. The king the undisputed head of the kingdom, the queen the undisputed heart of the kingdom. And nary shall the roles be switched, as they are equal in dignity but complimentary in role.

Duventoliel society values honesty, transparency, and purity pretty highly. As well as chivalry.

They also highly value piety. 99% of the citizens, including the royal household, carry a paderau with them at all times. They go to church daily if they can and even the royals are heavily involved with fostering community life in the parishes of Duventoliel.

A paderau....also known as a Rosary :)

Describe the general infrastructure (i.e., cities and what are those like?) What are the main locations in your story? (Bonus points: include a map.)

The main location is Castle Sidabras, the home of the Sigurdnirs and the headquarters of the Karala Games. There is some moving around to a large arena in Sidabras (the capital of Duventoliel), and to Aistaraina.

At Castle Sidabras, there are extensive gardens, with a few trees and streams. There are a couple of groves of trees – one being a grove of linden trees. There are gentle rolling slopes in the ground, with some flat sections. The city of Sidebras, the capital of Duventoliel, is a few miles off in the distance because the Castle Sidebras is surrounded by three large estate farms.

Smell of fields outside while inside it’s more of a dank, and musty smell. A lot of the people have the windows open for the fresh air. There are several flowerbeds around, especially near the princesses’ wing. It is especially prevalent near Alvilda’s room. Though you can smell the white rose bushes around some the castle ballrooms and especially in Janina’s room.

How is trade carried out through the story world, and how do the cities and nations interact with each other?

Duventoliel is known for the silver trade. The silver industry is still based in Sidabras, even though the production is based in other cities in Duventoliel. Aistaraina is known for the jasna or glass trade. Ceberlandon is known for it's paper and books. Each kingdom and state has it's primary export and several smaller exports. Food is generally not exported unless it is exotic, like the Saoirse-Tesni shrimp or the Gwydion chestnuts.

Trade is either done in inland market cities or in port markets.

Countries may also interact with each other during international social events such as the Karala Games, as well as annual diplomatic visits. But the bulk of the interaction is through trade.

Are there any special or unique traditions or ceremonies that your world is known for?

At last! I can explain the Karala Games!

Known also as the Queen's Games (because it was named for the first queen of Duventoliel), it is a tournament of games to gauge a lord or sovereign’s strength, chivalry, and character. The Games last several weeks, in which the “bride” known as the Blue Star, mingles in with the contestants and gets to know them on a personal level. The champion is determined by the princess, and they will set up an official courtship.

The particular events that are to be held are chosen by the Blue Star - often to test traits that are complimentary to hers. For example, one potential event is the horse taming - an event that requires gentleness, firmness, and patience. If a woman has a fiery temper, these traits are necessary in order to bear it.

The Karala Games are only held when a girl of royal descent is:
 a) of appropriate age (which by Duventoliel standards, is 3 years after the girl's Moon Reckoning...which is the start of the monthly cycle in)
b) of appropriate maturity (it takes great strength of character to be a queen or high noble).
c) has no previous marital arrangements (such as an engagement)

There is also one other tradition that is a hallmark to all the "high" kingdoms: The Unstained Ring.

Above is what I imagine Janina's Unstained Ring to look like.

Crafted by the Angelas, (or Angels, as we call them) these rings of silver are inlaid with many stones corresponding to the month in which the girl was born. After a girl receives the Mark of the Dove (known to Catholics as Confirmation), the Leberecht (the priests) place this ring on the girl's left ring finger, and it painlessly partially binds to the skin. Only a matrimonial vow and blessing can release the ring's hold. It would only cause harm to the girl if her virginity was stripped by her own free will (if she was raped it would lose it’s sheen but would not blacken)

Are there any significant historical events which affected the way your story world is now?

Well, as I haven't totally nailed the history of this particular world yet, I suppose I can talk about the creation of some of the "races" in my world.

See, there are three "high" kingdoms in this world - meaning that the original citizens descended from Elves. How they are descended is, interesting, to say the least.

You see, before the humans settled in this world, the Elves held a thriving trading civilization over the lands of Duventoliel, Aistaraina and Ceberlandon. As it happens in a lot of stories, the Elves wished to move on after a few centuries, especially as men started to populate the area.

Apologizes for the ginormous was pixelated otherwise!!! 

The Elvish men of Duventoliel wished that no trace of Elvish blood remain in the land. Some Elvish women of the settlement, wishing that their legacy would live on in their progeny, intermarried into the nearby settlement of men by disguising themselves as mortals. The people of Duventoliel are descended from several clans of Elvish women/mortal men unions. One clan – the Sigurdnirs - became the royal line through conquest, helped by an old silver Dragon, as the legend goes.

In Aistaraina, all citizens descended from a single union of an Elvish man named Daermaethor and a mortal female named Seraphina, the eldest of the line being a daughter who married an original settler of Duventoliel who did many services for her father. Thus he was named Leofwine (elf-friend).

In Ceberlandon, 3 families of Elves stayed behind when the others left. Their descendants intermarried naturally into the men living there. Thus those of Ceberlandon heritage have more Elvish characteristics (they are taller, have much sharper vision, and are stronger. They almost always lack the pointy ears).

What do you love most about your world?

Umm...can I say everything?

Figuring out the littlest details has been the most fun for me. Like lately, I've been playing with standards, wax seals, and specific colors for characters. I love how it's all falling into a pattern! Once I get the royal family situated, I'll probably move on to developing more of the cultures and ethnicities of all the different kingdoms and states that are in this world. Which honestly should be NAMED one of these days....

As you can see, I still have a looooong way to go with developing this "world" of mine.

And now, I shall release you dear readers so you can go check out all of the other story worlds that are being revealed today!!

What is your favorite part of the "world"? Is there something that I should add? Any confusing details that I need to fix? Any suggestions for a name for this huge complex universe that I have? Chat with me in the comments!

Scribblingly yours,


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  1. I love the world, it sounds amazing!:) I also love that it has a scottish feel to it.

  2. I love how DETAILED your world is! It's like you've decided on EVERYTHING, and it's EPIC.

    1. Aww, thanks Faith! (Though on the contrary, I haven't decided on everything. I still have states to name, ethnicities to nail down, histories to write...lots to do....) There probably are a few loopholes that I still need to sew up too....

  3. The Karala Games seem interesting :D And I like the name too!

    1. Thanks Keturah!! I hope to develop them more soon - it's just a bare bones right now...

  4. *is forever in awe of y'all fantasy writers*


    Can't wait to read more about this story!

    1. *giggles* I've always been a little on the meticulous side when it comes to world building. If I'm not careful, I get really bogged down in the details...

      Thank you Gray!!!

  5. Reading this reminds me a lot of reading things by J.R.R. Tolkien :)

    1. Hmmm, where did you get that idea....LOL. I've been really heavily influenced by Tolkien...something that may or may not be a good thing...

  6. This is so detailed! It's incredible. I think I'd love to visit this world of sounds beautiful. :)

  7. The trade section (or everything, really, but that section in particular, I thought!) really shows the work you've put into creating the countries! You say you have a long way to go, but you're waaay past me. ;P
    - Jem Jones

    1. Aww, thanks, Jem! Though to be fair, some of it has been worked out over a long period of time (Aistaraina was developed long before I thought of The White Rose), I just happen to be building off of that.

      You have some good bones in yours! It just needs a little fleshing out, that's all!

  8. Awesome! Out of curiosity, do the people with more Elven blood look down on others? Or are they viewed as equal? Or is Elven blood a bad thing, maybe?

    1. Hello Jeanne! Welcome, so glad you visited!

      Those are excellent questions! The people with Elvish blood certainly are not hated, they are looked as leaders, like nobility almost. It's a mark of pride to have a full Elven bloodline.

      Most citizens actually have a drop or two of Elvish blood in their veins because of the 3 main ethnic groups being started by Elves. It actually has a strong bearing on From The Cave (a story that takes place later in this universe) - whenever a portal is opened, no one with Elvish blood can pass through, only pure humans can.

      Thank you again! Hope this helps :)

  9. Julian is never late...she arrives to her own tag precisely when she means too.

    Though this time I was delayed...

    But this book. WOW. AMAZING. Your worldbuilding is spectacular (or is it just because I absolutely LOVE Scotland??)! But Elves. Yes. More Elves!

    1. I posted mine late too - don't worry!

      I love Scotland too - though I'm a little biased since my mother's maternal side is from Scotland - Isle of Skye, Mackinnon and McAlister clans.

      Thank you Julian!!!

    2. I'm half Scottish, Clan McCallum, on my father's side. But also half Slovak (as in, grandparents on my mothers side came over when they were kids). I've been to England (for Presbytery), but we didn't make it to Scotland on the trip, sadly. But maybe next time!

    3. oh how cool! The other half of my family came from Poland, so I also have Slav roots :).

      I haven't been across the pond yet, but my mother has visited England and Scotland for a band trip (though I think she only made it as far as Edinburgh). I dearly want to though!!

    4. England was quite beautiful - we went in the Spring and had clear weather the whole trip except for one day, when we visited a castle (see my blog photo!). I hope to return someday!

    5. Oh is that where that picture came from??? That is so cool! I loved that picture!

  10. I just realized I had forgot to reply to your post last Friday. NOOOoooooo... *adjusts hat* Better late than never.

    Your shrimp and divers sound so /cool/!!!!! I would love to see how that takes place. It sounds like you've done a lot of world building!

    1. Ain't that the truth!

      Well, now let me see if I can shed some light on that! There is a specific group of people that train for their entire lives for this trade - cause they are free divers they have to learn how to hold their breath for longer periods of time, not to mention get used to the hot water.

      So, they free dive in the water with small woven nets around either a hot spring or near a warm cliff and scoop up as much shrimp as they can in 10 seconds. It can only take place during the "winter" as the water is simply too hot during the summer and the summer is when the shrimp breed anyway.

      I have done a fair bit but I still have a LOOONG way to go! Lots of little details have to be settled such as dynastic politics, recreation, etc.

      Thank you for commenting, Evangeline!

  11. So cool! Your world kind of reminds me of a utopian fantasy, because all the people, well, there's no class system. The good things are valued more. It's awesome. :D

    1. Well, there is a class system but class differences are not nearly as touted as they are in this world. The nobles are looked to as leaders, so they are scrutinized and judged much more harshly. It's a very merit-based society.

      So glad you like it, Snaps!!

  12. Wow! So much detail! I really like it. I'm excited to read more!!!


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