Here on the Worldbuilding Stack Exchange, we very often work to help others design their worlds, but we rarely ask what those worlds are like. I'm sure I'm not the only user who wants their world to be known. So, with that in mind, what worlds are you currently working on? What are they like? What lives there? Etcetera, etcetera, you get the idea.

This will help us figure out who has the most unique, interested, creative, etc worlds. But please let's limit it to 1 world per user.

  • I am in fully aware of the tag system on Meta, If other tags are appropriate, help would be appreciated. – TrEs-2b Jun 10 '16 at 15:16
  • About 99.9% of questions on meta fall into "discussion" you're good :) – James Jun 10 '16 at 16:18
  • @James it is? I am unable to find any of the 0.1% questions who don't. Can you or anybody else pinpoint an example? – Hendrik Lie Jun 15 '16 at 18:06
  • @HendrikLie That was sarcasm. – James Jun 15 '16 at 18:18
  • @James no, I mean, I really am curious about the remaining 0.1% who don't. If there is one, I'd like to see it, really. I'm sincerely sorry if my wordings do perceived as sarcasm :(, but I do not mean to be sarcastic. – Hendrik Lie Jun 15 '16 at 18:44
  • 1
    @HendrikLie for example: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/support – bilbo_pingouin Jun 28 '16 at 20:44
  • A little info for everyone seeing this thread and thinking "Wow, great! A place to publish my work-in-progress!": We have a blog! If you are interested in publishing for example little short stories, tutorials, detailed descriptions, ... to showcase your world you may want to check it out. Here is a list of past blog posts. If you are interested come to the chat room for the Universe Factory! – Secespitus Mar 8 at 14:09

21 Answers 21

Seminosia

(there’s a linguistic joke there, anyone get it?)

Technically speaking the western continent is named Seminosia but as the eastern continent plays no part in my story (at least not at this point) its close enough to a name for the world.

enter image description here

World Details:

The planet is earth like in most respects, I am not creating an alien world. I do plan to create some of my own creatures, for example a catlike sonic stalker of men. I am also throwing around another idea with telekinesis.

One major exception is that the world has two moons, as discussed in this question and this one. This plays into the cosmology a bit.

Cosmology:

There are in fact gods. One goddess in particular is important to mortals…mainly because she created them all…and the planet. Tentatively named Sophia (I may change it…doesn’t feel particularly creative) this goddess created physical reality basically as a science experiment. Though I have a mostly undeveloped idea that is based on the Aesir and Vanir I could use too. Sophia is in many ways based on Athena, meaning wisdom, warriors and crafts.

She first created a powerful though subservient race of elders who lacked will of their own. It bothered her that her creations did not have free will. Her second attempt was the mortal races or perhaps a common pre-curser race per this question: How would multi-race humanoid evolution happen?

Though it doesn’t particularly matter if she created them as one or each separately as things currently stand it may matter later on in my story.

So when she created the mortals she just ended up with the same problem in miniature. Around this time (before anyone really kept track of time) the rest of the gods discovered her little experiment. Some were intrigued and some were shall we say not…and wanted to destroy the physical plane.

A godly battle ensued in the void and in the course of the battle she was blasted into the material plane which destroyed her ethereal consciousness casting it across the entirety of the world granting her mortal creations sapience, woo! Free will!

At this point I introduce an Overgod. This deity is, as of yet, unnamed and does not interest itself in the affairs of the mortal world. What the uber-god did when Sophia died was issue a binding edict that the gods could not fight one another in the void, and they could not attack the physical world directly…unless they were willing to become mortal themselves.

So at this point things get a little crazy and move into the realm of history rather than cosmology.

Races:

There are a bunch of races that I outlined in this question.

The races are in many ways to traditional fantasy standards but there are a few tweaks here and there. Not mentioned in that post are demons and the elder race I mentioned above. These two races are actually one in the same. The demons are simply the elders that chose to support the gods who wanted to destroy the physical plane, thanks Christianity!

Magic:

Magic exists though it is not overly common, partially due to a natural rarity and partially due to a near universal fear and or hatred of magic. See that big crater…that was some magicians that got out of hand.

There is no true magic system in my world, there is no mana, and there are no special words, nor points or anything like that. Magic is based primarily on willpower. This gives me complete latitude when deciding how to use magic in my story. That said I have played a small DnD campaign set in the world and using the stock system worked fine, I just added some tweaks to fit in things I wanted that it did not allow for.

I do restrict magic somewhat in my own brain. If you are familiar with the Eragon series you will know that magicians are limited by the energy in their body (with some secret work arounds) and actions beyond can lead to the death of the caster. Magic in my world will be similar in that spells (at least anything major) will be a physical drain on the caster.

Ritual magic exists as well and would be the equivalent of divine magic in DnD. Whereas the willpower based magic above is drawn from the caster, divine magic draws upon the power of supernatural beings…its sorta dangerous and notoriously difficult to control.

Nothing system wise prevents mages from using both kinds of magic.

You may have noticed there are no links in this section...I haven't been able to come up with a site appropriate question mainly due to how the system functions.

History:

My history is pretty elaborate, at least at a high level. The calendar is Earth-like in that days/weeks/hours/years etc are the same length.

The calendar is based on named ages. So a major event, usually a large conflict of some sort marks the border of two ages, where the post conflict peace is the beginning of the next age.

As an example the formation of the super crater magic disaster was the end of an age of conflict and led to the age of the great empire that followed. I don’t have that spreadsheet handy at the moment so I can’t actually remember what I named the ages…

That said some questions I have asked have been in support of my world's history.

Themes:

My degrees are in philosophy and international relations and those very much impact the themes in my story. Religion and politics are central to the state of the world at the point in which I am writing my story. The other major theme is what it means to be human, which I haven’t gotten too much into here on WB mainly because the questions are almost certainly opinion based and way to discussion-y

I have a host of questions on these themes:

The big boom:

I have asked quite a few questions on a singular event. This event led to the very very obviously not natural crater on the map.

Miscellaneous:

A big part of the help the site has offered is a sort of...automation I suppose you would call it, in the form of questions like these:

I also have a couple specific locales in mind for the world I have asked about

And some other random uncategorized stuff.

  • Wow, thanks for cataloguing the questions here along with the description of your world. – Monica Cellio Jul 12 '16 at 20:47
  • 3
    @MonicaCellio Yeah you know it ended up taking me the better part of a day to put this together but its pretty handy for me personally to reference questions I have asked. :) – James Jul 12 '16 at 21:05

My worldbuilding career started off in the wrong order, with me writing novels before doing any descriptive work of the world they appeared in. I still need to go back and rework them, but I have finally gotten back around to that first world with my current project after developing half a dozen others to hone my worldbuilding skills.

My current world, Olon'tei, has already been featured on the blog. It depicts elves and dwarves as being human, but with changes to their DNA that make it easy or hard, respectively, to store and re-use the energy provided by an ancient creature living in the nearby star (i.e., magic). Periodically, that creature purges the star of heavy metals, providing all the benefits of a supernova (gold, for example) with none of the destruction.

Olon'tei has one-way connections from every other part of the universe (eg., the Bermuda Triangle), so humans would live for a short time on the planet before dying due to gravitational reasons. The first purge of the nearby star after humans started arriving morphed half the population into either elves or dwarves, and the rest died. Humans would later come by intergalactic spacecraft and attempt to terraform the planet. The native dragons disagreed and the technology was destroyed.

The energy emitted by the star-dwelling creature also prevents most forms of technology from functioning, so the planet's inhabitants are effectively trapped in a Medieval-style fantasy world with an exploding monster population while their own access to magic dwindles. There's an institute that still teaches the skills of yesteryear, but they see fewer recruits every year, due to the political intrigue that grips the surrounding countryside and the ever-increasing monster population that prevents people from making the journey.

The monsters I speak of are to the Cataclysm (see the blog article) as elves and dwarves are to the Reformation (the purging of the star). Some humans experienced changes to their DNA and now either develop monstrous qualities as they grow, are born as monsters, or give birth to monsters.

World Map

  • "purges the star of heavy metals, providing all the benefits of a supernova (gold, for example) with none of the destruction" I find it hard to believe - and yet highly amusing - that a sudden meteor shower of heavy metals won't be a catastrophe... though one which makes the survivors rich. And radioactive? I also like the idea of society becoming warped and overshadowed by the odd case of monsterism. – inappropriateCode Aug 15 '16 at 16:28
  • 1
    @inappropriateCode More of a form of dust than large clumps of matter. That cloud has helped keep the planetary system undetected, as it blocks most instrumentation. – Frostfyre Aug 15 '16 at 17:11
  • That would make more sense, though be somewhat less amusing/catastrophic? – inappropriateCode Aug 16 '16 at 20:23

My latest world is a planet colonized by wizards. Most of it is still barren and the terraforming process isn't expected to be completed for millennia.
Its inhabitants have the habit of regularly launching stealth missions to Earth to steal any magically gifted child they can find and drop their own non-gifted children.

The main character of my story was abandonned on Earth as a baby. Years later, she his contacted by her older sister and travels to her native planet. She's still basically a muggle, but her presence is needed to cast a tracking spell that could allow them to find their mother, who has been missing for almost a month.

The story mixes magic, sentient robots, family drama and political shenanigans.

For now, I'm focusing on developing coherent magic rules, a realistic space-faring wizards civilization and building my main and secondary "mysteries".

Thanks for this interesting question! I am curious about the other answers.

I DM for a small group of newbe dungeons and dragons players. We do not bother that much about rules, rather than making the game work for us.

Being the DM it is (mainly) in my field of responsibility to design the world and what happens around my players.

Our adventure is set in a classic, cliché medieval fantasy world with orks, elves and the like.

Currently, my PCs are near a village that has been burned down by (yet) unknown forces and are about to search and solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the townfolk.

Spoilers follow below this line, so if any of my PCs will read this by chance (they are not on here, afaik, but only to be sure), DON'T, just don't. :)


One of my PCs plays an elve. He wrote me some fancy and detailed backstory about his family. Mainly his brothers. One of his brothers is missing and he is on the search for it. The other brother lives in dispute with him. They did not see each other since Thalion, the PC, left the elven kingdom. What they will now slowly discover is, that Thalions brother began to serve a mighty dark mage, that strives to form a world after his mind.
The dark mage hasn't been evil in the past, but after he had to watch his master get slaughtered while he was unable to do anything, he developed a hate that made him go mad and try to subdue the world.

The mage created a huge portal to another, dark dimension to gather military forces and servants for his plans out of the underworld. The presence of the portal also affected the world in that the monsters and wild animals that were once hiding, are now agressive and attack villages more and more.

I throw my PCs some hints, like unexplainable black stains on the hide of wild boars and evil goblins, or unnaturally black clouds everytime foes attack. They do not know the reason of it now though.

I really look forward to doing our next sessions, throwing some puzzles, sidequests and fun characters into the mix. This is not a totally serious community, currently they are their biggest danger themselves - our dwarf nearly killed one of our drow elves over a dead rabbit... Its huge fun! :)

The planet

The planet is a small gas giant, it has about twice the radius of earth (and 4 times the area), but its low density gives it roughly the same gravitational pull as earth. It has a small metallic core surrounded by a liquid mantle

Geology

In order to make the floating islands work, I'm using a twisted version of quantum phase locking in superconductors using phlebotinum and magic.

This phlebotinum (Ph) has two basic states:

  • Locked Ph or L-Ph
  • Unlocked Ph or U-Ph

L-Ph is made from U-Ph inside a black box deep inside the planet. L-Ph has the unique property that it levitates when placed in a magical field. The same way superconductors levitate when placed inside a magnetic field

This magic field that holds Ph afloat is not static, it is constantly pushing outwards, albeit very slowly. This means that the Ph that is generated deep within the planet will slowly rise.

L-Ph also decays into U-Ph (which doesn't levitate) with a half-life appropriate for the plot. This means that, as time passes, the Ph that had risen will begin to lose its 'grip' and slowly begin to fall to the core, where the cycle starts again.

Once again, thanks to magic, the planet can get hot enough deep down to evaporate and rain magma, so as the masses of Ph rise, they are coated with layers upon layers of minerals, emerging from the cloud cover of the planet as floating islands and continents.

Besides Ph decay, islands also suffer from erosion, beginning to lose mass as they rise above the molten metal clouds. So, while Ph loses strength, it also has less and less mass to hold up, resulting in a somewhat steady climb up to the upper layers of the atmosphere, where they lose grip rather quickly, comparatively speaking.

History

Humans were born in a small region of one of the largest islands (roughly the size of australia). There, they began to spread and soon after they covered the whole island. Thousands of years passed and humans adapted to live in this limited space. Once in awhile, someone would figure out how to create a path to a nearby island, but these cases were quite limited.

Eventually, humans figured out how to build hot air balloons. These flying machines don't have great endurance, but they were useful for moving to some of the slightly farther islands that non-flying means could not reach. Planes followed suit and after a few decades of trial and error, humans mastered canvas and wooden frame airplanes.

But the difficulty of mining metal made further advances slow. Metal is not particularly rare in this planet, but it's distributed in thin layers that spread across wide areas, meaning that mining it is quite cumbersome, making it expensive enough that industrialization isn't really viable.

That was until people discovered that deep islands were covered in metal rich soils and that by using special airships and suits, they were able to simply shovel it. This led to a massive industrial revolution and large scale wars over the control of these deep islands.

Magic

Besides the already explained magic which allows floating islands to exists, there is also another type of magic.

In these world there are spirits which can control certain forces of nature, such as fire, lightning, cold and life energy to name a few of the most common ones. These spirits can be captured and used to control said forces, so capturing a fire spirit allows you to control fire.

There is one drawback. A spirit must be fed with this force before it can control it or create it. So the fire spirit can be used to create and control fire, only if the spirit have previously been fed with fire itself. So, more than a form of creating things, spirits act as a sort of battery.

I've got a couple that I'm actively thinking about...

My most fleshed out world, where I actually have something like a story to go with it, is more of a multiverse Earth, where a traveler from a very advanced alternate Earth visits a bronze age Earth, has his tech used without his permission to introduce a sentient parasite from another alternate, and then has to transport the entire population of an island nation, along with their island, to an uninhabited alternate Earth to keep the parasite from escaping to the world at large.

Another world is a moon, whose planet was eaten by a black hole, so the moon is now just orbiting the singularity which has roughly the same mass as the former planet, so gravity wise the moon doesn't know the difference.
I don't have a story to go with it yet, but it's a fun setting.

My current world (or, in this case, galaxy) came about as a solution to what I considered my biggest storytelling flaw: for years I'd only written/drawn fan fictions, mainly for Halo and Skyrim. It was fun to put my own spin on these worlds, but I felt limited by them, and was getting really tired of having to boot up the Xbox whenever I needed to draw a new piece of armor.

So I began to create a sci-fi galaxy, similar to Mass Effect, with humans in their first steps to joining a community of aliens. Initially, I tried to focus on an idea for a series of stories where a few characters work as mercenaries and participate in all sorts of sci-fi combat, but I often ran into the same problems most sci-fi faces: how to maintain modern humans, modern warfare, and modern society in a world where you can achieve immortality, de-orbit moons, and communicate with hundreds of billions of beings across thousands of planets.

To solve this, I created disparity. Humans can transcend to godhood, but most who do are never seen again, and many of those left behind will never get access to the technology. Wars big and small can be waged as loopholes in the massive infrastructure of alliances are exploited, but no one can go too far without the great powers of the galaxy taking notice and squashing them. Humans were once a great and unified species, until they were welcomed into the galactic community by having their entire civilization annihilated. After half a millennium the broken shards of humanity have begun to reconnect, but many worlds still maintain their post-apocalyptic technology and culture. There's so much going on in this galaxy that I plan on having the Christian apocalypse come and go without most people even noticing.

While this galaxy is exactly what I wanted, and gives me plenty of room to tell virtually any story I want, the sheer size of it makes it nearly impossible to flesh out fully. There are more loose ends than there are connections, so my hope is that over the next few years I can tell very small stories within those connections while I work to tie up everything else. I still have a long way to go (most of the alien species aren't yet designed, let alone evolved, and I have absolutely no maps), but at this point I have enough localized data to start telling some stories, and enough empty space that it'll be very hard to accidentally make any contradictions.

The first story I'm trying to tell is about three mercenaries from three different militaries joining forces to battle a startup army that threatens the growing cooperation between human armies. I'm trying to build a system for how wars are fought and how armies are bought and sold, and at the same time I want to break that system so that stories in the future can have a sense of history. Plus I just want to draw a bunch of comics where people are shooting at each other, and so far this is the least complex story I came up with.

Tales of the Plytha River

A series of short stories, currently W.I.P., but the world now has its own site!

Sentient Species

  • Human. Just like me, and I assume most users of WB.SE. Ape descendants.
  • Elf. Basically like Tolkien's and Paolini's. Ape descendants, and in fact split from humans about a million years ago.
  • Mayom. Macaque descendants. Very curious, prone to wanderlust, and love to tinker. Humans consider them essentially a pest.
  • Brocc. Badger descendants. Keep to themselves, live underground, eat grubs and tubers, occasionally trade with humans.
  • Boar-Troll. Some kind of ungulate-like descendant. Big, mean, opportunistic eaters. Some scholars debate their inclusion on this list, despite that they wear loin-cloths, make and use tools, and engage in some sort of religious rituals.

    Spolier! There is a sixth intelligent species, but the characters in the stories don't know it yet. They're called Black Dolphins.

History

The as-yet-unnamed world is on the cusp of both its industrial revolution and age of discovery, almost simultaneously. Constitutional monarchies still prevail, at least among human nations, but experiments in democracy have begun. The central nation in these stories, called Nivalla*, formed from the gradual merging of several tribes, sometimes violently, but has been basically at peace for 1100 years.

The neighboring Elf nation to Nivalla's west is far older, probably tens of thousands of years. The ruling Council of Elders is self-appointing.

I'm still working on the histories and governments of other nations.

Geography

The eponymous Plytha River flows from north to south through the Kingdom of Nivalla. It serves a similar function to the Mississippi River of our world's early 1800s, as a central corridor of travel and trade. Nivalla is located on the south shore of a continent that spans from the north pole to 30°N, and also spans about 90° of longitude.

There is another smaller continent due south of the main one, and a chain of volcanic islands straddle the equator in between. The seas between these two continents and around these islands are sailed frequently for trade, travel, diplomacy, and immigration. However, the ocean beyond is virtually unknown in the time frame of these stories.

Up to three other continents or major islands exist. Like I said, the age of discovery is near!

Magic

Definitely! Any of the sentient species can develop abilities. Elf wizards are the most powerful, and at least 80% of elves have at least some magic. Brocc, mayom, and boar-trolls with magic generally just have one specific talent, like tele-kenesis or heightened senses. Humans are somewhere in between.

The black dolphins' magic leaves the elves in the dust!


*Nivalla: A deliberate "malamanteau" of Nirvanna and Valhalla.

  • 2
    BADGER PEOPLE!! I love it. Also the phrase "opportunistic eaters" is amusing for its needless creativity. – inappropriateCode Aug 15 '16 at 16:24

I think this thread is a great idea. I'm a bit late to the party, but I hope people still take a look at it from time to time. It seems to warrant more postings. Now, on with the show...

My World: G'bihon

Low Gravity, High Atmosphere Planet In 2:1 Orbital/Spin Resonance Around an M-Dwarf Star. (Hard-Sci-Fi)

enter image description here

"G'bihon" is a working name for the world, and may change as the world progresses. It's a derivation of "Gibeon" the name of an ancient Canaanite city mentioned in Joshua 10:13 (Old Testament). Here is the passage:

Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

The world I'm building is an ongoing art project, of which the world-building component is both fodder for the artistic component, as well as part of the art itself. My longer-term goal is to create a series of digital paintings and sketches, coupled with short written vignettes in the style of National Geographic or Wayne Barlowe's Expedition.

Being a hard-sci fi world, this is meant to be as plausible as I can make it. I'm working from the ground-up. I've calculated the parameters through extensive spreadsheets, deriving most of my assumptions from reading over the latest in published exoplanet research and exoplanet modeling. I've already created an extensive series of maps (some of which I've shared below) as well as started on the rough sketching of organisms and environments.

Below I'll share a bit of what I've worked on, in 2 parts:

  • Part 1: The stats and overview.
  • Part 2: What's it like being there?

Part 1 is straight-up description, while Part 2 is in the form of a very short story meant to give a more artistic impression.


1. The Stats and Overview

  • STAR
  • Star Temperature: 3310K (Red Dwarf)
  • Star Luminosity: 0.0185 sols
  • Star Mass: 0.395 sols

  • ORBITAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Orbital Period: 27.44 Earth-days
  • Rotational Period: 13.72 Earth-days
  • Solar Day (Sunrise to sunrise): 27.44 Earth-days
  • Spin/Orbit Resonance: 2:1
  • Aphelion: 0.1622 AU
  • Perihelion: 0.0991 AU
  • Semi-Major Axis: 0.1307 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2415
  • Axial Tilt: 0.09°

  • PLANETARY CHARACTERISTICS

  • Radius: 5007km
  • Mass: 46.54% Earth’s
  • Density: 5305 (kg/m^3)
  • Surface Gravity: 0.756 Earth’s

  • OTHER

  • Ocean Tide Heights: Varying. 16-73m common depending on time of year and location.
  • Atmosphere: Oxygen & Nitrogen with less than 2% Argon, CO2, and Water Vapor
  • Air Pressure at Sea Level: 3.2Bar
  • Mean Real Temperature: 289.7K (16.6C)

enter image description here

enter image description here

G'bihon rotates slowly, having established a 2:1 orbit/spin resonance long in the past. The planet spins exactly twice for every one of its short 658.56 hour years. This, coupled with a moderately eccentric orbit, has created what is by Earth standards an unusual set of characteristics. Days and nights are hundreds of hours long, with the exact ratio of day/night varying based on longitude. The darkest areas of the world have a night almost twice as long as their day, while the brightest areas experience the exact reverse. This effect is consistent year to year, millennia to millennia.

Compared to a tidally locked world, our world is somewhat between an "eyeball" distribution of solar flux and a "banded" earth-like distribution, with the highest annual concentration of flux in the "Perihelion Zone," the equatorial zone facing the sun at perihelion. Since there is no permanent night-side, G'bihon has a moderately warmer night-side than tidally locked models predict, and a more moderate day/night temperature difference. It also has only about half the latitudinal temperature variation of Earth.

This moderation in temperature is promoted by two additional factors. The first is a thick atmosphere derived from an abundance of volatiles and above-earth average volcanic and tectonic activity. The thicker air not only aids in the more efficient distribution of heat, but has a secondary warming effect on the climate, holding heat closer to sea-level and increasing the global greenhouse effect.

enter image description here

The second factor is that—unlike Earth—the slow rotation creates a low Coriolis force, preventing the formation of multiple bands of atmospheric circulation. This has led to the development of two huge circulatory cells, one in the north hemisphere and one in the south, with areas of exaggerated eddies above 70-85 degrees latitude. These cells are essentially giant Hadley cells, and like the Hadley cells of Earth they efficiently transport heat from lower to higher latitudes.

Mean difference between day and night temperatures is be about 14K, with temperature variation over oceans and other large bodies of water moderated by water’s impressive thermal inertia, and temperatures inland experiencing greater thermal swings, particularly in the desert regions.

enter image description here

Overall, the environments on G'bihon vary from cool to hot, with only a few smaller biomes experiencing regular sub-freezing temperatures. Ocean ice is unknown, and glaciers can only be found in two large mountain ranges.

enter image description here

A few random facts:

  • The thick atmosphere, lower gravity, and higher partial pressure of oxygen are fantastic conditions for the evolution of atmospheric life forms. There is a greater variety of sizes and forms in the flying and floating creatures of this world than on Earth. This includes impressively large genera that have evolved methods of atmospheric locomotion unseen in Earth organisms.
  • Denser volume of air requires more energy input to move than a less dense volume of air. So significant winds are harder to start up and appreciable breezes and storms generally only form near major low-pressure zones of upwelling atmosphere, or mountain ranges.
  • Organisms living in the areas of longest night have adapted to make due with a year that is 2/3 night. The sunlight—when it does come—imparts less warmth and less ecosystem driving energy. Many organisms have evolved habits of dormancy, and "mesotrophs," organisms that derive energy both from sunlight and organic matter are more common than in the long-day side.
  • Tides are immense. Depending on location and time of year, they can range from several meters up to over 80 or more meters. On the coasts that experience the highest tides, the ocean may travel dozens to a hundred km inland over the course of a week before receding. This sculpts coastal landscapes dominated by vast tidal flats, immense cliffs, severe erosion, and temporary salt water ponds and lakes that exist for days before rejoining the sea. The ecology in these areas are often vastly different than anything on Earth.

I could say much more about G'bihon, but I'll leave it at that! The images should help flesh things out further, as should the small story (a blurb really) below.


2. What is being there like?

Imagine for a moment that you find yourself about to embark on a journey. A device is about to transport you somewhere, though you don’t know where….

Crackle! Pop!

Disorientation. Your head spins. You breath deeply. One breath. Two. It seems a bit difficult to breath, the air muggy and thick. Perhaps partly that’s the disorientation effecting you. Three. Four. You start to feel better. The spinning slows and then stops. As you get your bearings you notice that its darker, much darker, than the sunlight summer field you were just in. A storm? No. The sky, though generously covered with a broken sea of high-altitude clouds, is obviously calm. The clouds drift past, slowly, sure of the course of their barometric pilgrimage. The breeze courses over your skin, light and warm. Twilight then? No…that’s wrong as well. The clouds are pink, as might be expected, but something isn’t right. The pinks are muted. Desaturated. Not the vivid salmon pink you expect. And from behind the drifting clouds, a sky the color of a sun-bleached robin’s egg peeks.

Your pupils dilate slightly, adjusting. Though unusually dim there is still plenty of light to see by, and you begin to notice the land and its colors. You are on a vast plain of pebble studded sand. Looking around, you see that the plain stretches horizonward in all directions, its flatness interrupted by frequent undulations, some gentle, others abrupt and violent. Boulders of varying size and color strewn the landscape: pale-white, concrete, brick, slate grey. Nothing unusual in those colors.

Taking notice of where you stand, you look down at your feet. The pebbled sand yields beneath your weight, and as you lift your right foot you can make out the sharp impression of your shoe in the soft ground. Flattened in your footprint lies what appears to be a plant. Matte black leaves cluster around a small orb, reminding you vaguely of sargassum weed.

For the first time you notice your shadow. It lies small and diffuse beneath you. Looking up, you attempt to pinpoint the sun. After several moments a few clouds drift out of the way and you can make it out: a pale white sphere, tinged pink, lulling lazily in the sky. You’re startled by its size. Looking around again, you see that the plain slopes gently, almost imperceptibly eastward, towards a shimmering sparkle on the horizon. Perhaps the glint of sunlight off water? Unsure, you choose to walk in the opposite direction, upslope, westward.

enter image description here

The temperature must be 30C you think as you wipe the sweat off your brow. Despite your labored breathing, you find the going less difficult than expected. You seem stronger, less prone to tiring. Which is useful, since obstacles are not in short supply. As you traipse across the plain you continuously weave a meaning path around boulders. Most are small, but some are the size of cars or houses. Many seem firmly embedded in the sand, but others protrude at abrupt angles, their immense hulk supported by only a few points of contact with the yielding surface. And trickling beneath and around some boulders, small streams flow eastward, back in the direction of your receding footprints.

Water is everywhere. Pools of it. Ponds of it. Salty as the sea and all filled with life. In one small pond dense mats of black weed bob on the surface. Beneath the weed small forms jitter and dart, momentarily revealing themselves as they move between the fronds. And around every pool, small shelled creatures adhere to stone and pebble. Most seem dormant, but a few intrepid individuals expose their softer flesh, wiggling minuscule appendages back and forth in the air, or gliding over smooth stone from one wet spot to another.

The muggy aired is filled with chatter, rasps, and trills. Not insect or birdlike, you can’t quite place the sounds. But it’s obvious from where some of them originate. Noisy, airborne creatures whiz past you. Small, buzzing forms like insects flit about. Larger forms dive and bank, often dipping into the larger ponds before ascending rapidly. Most keep some distance, so you have trouble making out the details of their aerodynamic bodies. You think you see four rapidly beating wings, but you can’t be sure. Much higher up in the air you just barely discern a cluster of forms, hundreds strong, strangely not moving with the westward breeze. They seem to hang in the air like silent sentinels.

From the center of one particularly large pond a trio of scaled stumps jut three meters out of the water. From the top of the stumps dull blue strands, each centimeters thick, spill over the scaled body before splaying outward over the surface of the pond. Like the strings of a wet mop, each strand seems sodden with water. As you approach to get a closer look, a flyer, about the size of a seagull, glides down to the surface on two pairs of wings. It settles to bob for a moment. Whoosh! A large splash of water and two glistening appendages, each easily the length of a man’s arm, snap upward from between the blue strands, clamp onto the flyers body, and pull it below the surface of the pond. Waves ripple outward. In less than a second it’s over. Below the surface you see the shifting of something alive. Largely hidden by the black weeds and blue strands, you can’t tell what it is. You decide to give the larger ponds a very wide berth from here on out.

After awhile, you can tell you’ve made progress. The plain is starting to slope more sharply upward, and what’s more, you can for the first time make out what seems to be a forest in the distance. In the muted light, discerning colors—especially distance ones—is often difficult, but you think you spot shades of blue and purple. Mostly, it just looks…dark. Black. Above you large flocks—composed of both two winged and four winged flyers—move in great undulating lines, sweeping here and there as they trill unearthly songs.

In the thick air you walk for what seems hours, unsure of the exact passage of time. You look up towards the sun. Strange, you think. It doesn’t seem to have moved at all…

  • 1
    Wow! Very cool exposition. And I really liked the story. By the way: We have a Blog! If you are interested in "publishing" some stories to showcase your world like you did here, or you for example want to show the process of how you created your world in some sort of tutorial form I am sure many people would appreciate that. You can see a list of past blog posts here. There are all kinds of articles there. – Secespitus Mar 7 at 18:25
  • @Secespitus I'm pretty new, so I'm not familiar with the blog. What would you most be interested in? I think writing a few short stories would be fun. I also have many sketches of the creatures I'm considering. I could share those as well along with some explanation of how they fit into the world and my thought process. – n_bandit Mar 7 at 20:21
  • You can post whatever you want. It might be a good idea to check out the chat room for the Universe Factory. Our mod Monica Cellio is mainly organising the blog and you can ping her there. You need to create a free account on Medium (I think you can log in via Google or Facebook, too) and then send Monica the link to your Medium profile. She can best tell you whether something would work on the blog and what's up next. Normally stuff would get published every three days if there are enough submissions. – Secespitus Mar 7 at 20:29
  • Currently there are none I am aware of in the queue, Personally I like stories set in a world to get a glimpse of the world (I have posted a few stories, too). Others like to read tutorials about creating aspects of a world, such as "How do I design a map?" When a new post is published there is a notification in the main chat room and the Universe Factory chat room. Monica also features the updated blog collection for a week so that you get some exposure to the general WB community (you can then see the link on the right side where you see "Hot Meta Posts"). – Secespitus Mar 7 at 20:29
  • I'm in awe of your maps. If you're looking for reddit karma, you should post these in r/imaginarymaps. – rek Mar 8 at 0:10
  • @rek I took a look a r/imaginarymaps. Some interesting posts there. What info and maps do you think I should post from here? All of the maps would probably be too much? I also have a "satellite view" map (i.e. photo-realistic) that I'm working on. It has overlaid place names and is quite huge. That one isn't quite ready for prime-time yet. – n_bandit Mar 8 at 2:28
  • 1
    Wow, this is great! And yes, if you're interested in sharing stories set in your world, or illustrated descriptions of your creatures, or articles about how you developed the various parts of this, they'd be welcome on the blog. – Monica Cellio Mar 8 at 2:50
  • 1
    @n_bandit You know, I hardly ever see wind or ocean current maps there. I would post those. – rek Mar 8 at 3:57
  • @rek I'll do that then. Thanks for the suggestion. – n_bandit Mar 8 at 17:04
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio I'll look over what's published to get a feel for the content that would fit. Thanks! – n_bandit Mar 9 at 1:23
  • 2
    @rek I added it: reddit.com/r/imaginarymaps/comments/833qvk/… – n_bandit Mar 9 at 3:45

Let us say that, in the future, some scientists have created satellites capable of something that seems science fiction for now—punching the walls of the universe to study an alternate reality. By that scenario, some hundreds of “alternate Earths” from hundreds of alternate universes would already have been discovered and meticulously studied. As much as half of them would still be ruled by humans, unfolded by events that turned out differently. One universe, for example, had an Earth where 9/11 never happened, or where the outcome of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars ended up differently.

One of the most interesting to note was a planet that scientists call “Alternate Earth 111”, known to the public as “Great Lakes Earth”.

Why?

Because at first glance, it seemed that almost every continent is dominated by lakes, even those larger than the Great Lakes that we have in North America. What is its history? What points of divergence would we expect to see in this particular variation?

This proved to be a long, backbreaking investigation because when our alt-satellites picked up Great Lakes Earth, it has discovered traces of civilization—traces roughly 100,000 years old. However, after years of picking up the pieces and speculating on the rest, we believe that we have mapped the entire geography and the best of the history of Great Lakes Earth.

Warning: What you will shortly read about is a) the most ambitious pet-project I work on, and b) the one with the most indirect reason of coming-to-be.

The world I am talking about is called World1A. The World has come-to-be as the enabling factor for a video-game idea I had some years back1B. Long story short, I wanted to make things as plausible as possible wherever I could, thus, out of this necessity, the World was born.

The plans for game itself, only referred to as (the) RPG1C, have gone through many revisions themselves as well. From starting out with a mineral-based magic system, towards a (more) science-based conjunction of Victorian- and Industrial-Age society & technology. With some unobtainium to make for cooler airships1D.

From a story perspective though, the idea has always stayed the same: The player takes the part of the Protagonist1E over the course of an indefinite amount of, comparatively, content-rich episodes1F.

1AIndeed there is still no better name for it. Eventually I will get around creating a protolanguage which then will contain word for home/world
1BOr rather a cool idea based on the fact that a bus-parking-spot on my way to work was marked as "Hotel parking spot", forcing upon me the question how the thing fitting into that parking spot can be a whole hotel.
1CI mean, there is a WIP-name for it: AirPunk - let your imagination roam and all that..
1DDon't get me wrong there, airships are the most amazing thing ever! But transcending them from their more fragile form into flying steel behemoths is just so much better more rewarding.
1E
1FE.g. the first episode will be about the Protagonist travelling from their hometown to the capitol of the region. There will be different ways to reach that capitol, ranging from rather short: riding straight through to the capitol, which can be done in some 6-8hrs; to rather long: accompanying a travelling merchant which will alternate between telling stories and passages of silence, which would take some 24-36hrs.


The World Further referred to as (the) [P]lanet2A

In order to make flying and thus airships more preferable over land-based transport I needed to come up with reasons that do make transporting bulk goods2B on the ground more difficult. The solution I came up with was to condense all the landmass on this planet into two humongous continents at either pole of the planet. That way I could eliminate most bulk shipping via water ways, as well as have a reason for creating circular mountain ranges in order to make trains more expensive.

Since then the time I spend on developing my conworld has mostly been spent on the Northern Continent2C and especially the Nordlande2D and its military-body.

Oh, and naturally there's three moons. There must be multiple moons!

2AI never really get to play around with the markdown formatting options that much in normal questions, so I sorta go over the top here2A-1.
2A-1Bear with me.
2BOr anything that is nowadays transported primarily by ship/train/lorries.
2CI can be creative if I want to, I swear.
2DGerman word, translated to english that'd be: Northlands - Lands in the north. Yes.

The Northern Continent

Map Northern Hemisphere

A Western Empire
G Free Regions
H Eastern Reich
J Southern Lands
K Nordlande
L Border Lands

1 Equatorial Belt    | Saltwater
2                    | Saltwater
5 Northern Polar Sea | Saltwater
6                    | Sweetwater

As you can see there's still lots of room. Building a world is a tremendous undertaking as all of you know, and it isn't made any easier if you want to do things such as evolving languages or merging populations. So there's still plenty of room for more questions.

People

Even though there have been dwarves and other magical folk at the very beginning, by now there's only humans anymore. I realized that I do not need to create/introduce more races to create tension, humans are plenty good at that by themselves. And so, at the time of the RPG there will be plenty of conflict to fuel many tales.

Religion & Sociology

While the Western Empire is more traditional in its ways and the Eastern Reich more aggressive and expansionist, there's plenty going on in the Nordlande as well.

Three kinds of people, all with their own religious views and societal structures, have been slowly mixed and melted into one mutual group inhabiting the area of the Nordlande and the Free Regions over the course of a few thousand years.
They've all kept parts of their origin and individuality which reflects in this area of the world being nothing like the classic countries of earth. Instead they have eventually come to form what is currently called guilds, collections of people/families that own land & resources and engage in trade with them. I hope that this setup and behaviour will lead to more dynamic borders and a very exotic world to explore.

  • 1
    Your image, i.imgur.com/taYD5m6.jpg, is obscenely bothersome to render for some reason. A big spot o' black into which my CPU time sinks. Otherwise, best of wishes in your endeavor, which looks almost like one or two projects of my own. – can-ned_food Apr 21 '17 at 23:22
  • Seconded @can-ned_food please make the map actually viewable! I just get a little black box with an X in it for both here and imgur. – inappropriateCode Feb 2 at 14:06

I have a few worlds I am currently building, all with the goal to one day write novels about them - I am not urged and often take months/years to develop my settings before actually starting writing (and as a side note, I am too young for having seriously started more than one novel, but actually I have been worldbuiling since I was a kid and have a lot of abandoned writing beginnings and far more worlds waiting for their turn).

Main project :

So the one novel I am currently writing takes place in a world very like ours, but with a totally alternate history and a small bit of mystical background (primarly based on superstition and very light "magic" elements). The plot takes place in a late-middle-age-like era and a central Europe-like environment. There are no countries or kingdoms (at least in this part of the world) but only cities, each of them having its own political system. There are very few wars ; in fact what characterizes the people from my novel is their lack of interest for the rest of the world : most of people never leave their native town, don't know what the world looks like elsewhere and actually have no interest in it. People are very superstitious and believe the ancient times where ruled by mystical forces, from which only remains the curses and benedictions some rare people have. Nobody knows where these comes from but they are real, hence a lot of fear and rejection exists towards the cursed.

The story is about a day-deamer girl who leaves everything for a long unprepared trip with the objective to reach the far, unknown and almost legendary North to see the northern lights. She mets a boy of her age, a wanderer who plays music and hears the universe singing, but is cursed with the impossibility for him to see the sky. They travel together in quest for beauty, understanding and meaning - and ultimately seeing / hearing the northern lights - in this world nobody apart from them is interested to explore. It's a story about dreams, seeing beauty in the world and being young.

Other settings I am working on :

  • A world which have been shaped by a giant sapient species instead of humans, where humans really don't understand anything about these giants and the world is really hostile for small creature like we are. The plot would be centred around two human characters forced to leave their safe community and struggling to survive.

  • A civilization living underground under a cold, hostile, inhabitable ice land which turn out to be Anarctica. (See How could a human civilization have happened to live underground, in Antarctica? and Would a black population whiten over generations because of living underground?). The story would show how these people's culture and way of life differ from ours.

  • A civilization in some aspects similar to the Aztecs, with the main differences being they are way more technologically advanced. They use the universal flux in which the Aztecs believed - and which in this setting exists and flows in everyone - to power their technology on a daily basis. I don't have a story to put in this world yet but I have done a lot of worldbuiling work since I started thinking about it in 2012.

Cube World

Posted here but the world itself described here

It's a 6-faced cube with a flat disk world on each face. 4 of the faces have day-night cycle of a yellow sun, but different atmospheres and possibly different gravity. 2 faces have fixed red dwarf suns, but one is out-of-order leaving a frozen wasteland.

Life forms from many different planets are stocked in suitable environments, the whole thing being essentially a terrarium or zoo as befits a K-2 civilization.

It came from another galaxy and is moving through at high speed.

The Years Long Day World

Some of the older users on the site may know of the Years long day world which was included in my earliest questions and is one of my oldest worlds.

enter image description here

Planetary Description:

The Years long day world or Erre was at one point, extremely similar to Earth. Until the sudden slowing, which killed 95% of vertebrate life, occurred. After the sudden slowing occurred, the moon became much larger and faster and the day went from 36 hours to 9 years. Another odd feature of this world is its unusual amount of volcanoes and small water percentage.

The Sudden Slowing

The Sudden Slowing was caused by a shower of extremely large meteors hit the planet at an angle against its rotation. These meteors came when a nearby planet crashed into its moon sending extremely dense, iron rich fragments into Erre. Its moon blocked a lot of these but many still hit Erre. The ones that hit its moon increased its Lunar cycle to 3 days and the ones that hit Erre slowed its annual cycle to 9 years.

How Life Found its Way

Like I said, billions of animals animals went extinct during this time. The effects of the shower ere not as deadly as the night was. Very few animals knew to migrate and even fewer plants could survive the night. The species that best survived were marsupial Bipeds, as they could avoid the risks involved with pregnancy and walk long differences (these became the Erre equivalent to primates).

Lokk Ness

The dominant species on Erre are Lokk (pronounced Loch (as in loch ness, hence the pun)) a species on bipedal marsupial-like mammals. They appear to be similar in form to baboons, rats and big cats, giving birth to litters of up to 7 while only really raising the 1 or 2 that are most intelligent, leaving the others as bait (though modern parents let all 7 live, they do indeed still pick favorites).

Old Ideas

There was a time when I thought that for some reason they would use air-ships on this world:

Another odd idea was that the would need to farm to be sapient (untrue as early humans were hunter gatherers)

  • I really like the map, and am intrigued by the length of days, lack of water, and marsupials. It's like a very odd game of Civilization! – inappropriateCode Aug 15 '16 at 16:16
  • 2
    @inappropriateCode you would likely be shocked to find that this world is made primarily of worldbuilding leftovers. – TrEs-2b Aug 15 '16 at 16:18
  • Delighted, more like! – inappropriateCode Aug 15 '16 at 16:34

Disclaimer: I may in the post below have some words on theology based on an atheist's point of view. I do not intend to hurt, or convince, or anything. This is just part the process of constructing my world. In a word, if you're sensitive on that subject, don't read. Though I won't try to be mean.

The main idea

My idea is to create a world where essentialism, teleology and gods are not only a thing, but also not disputable. Through magic (and reliable testimony), everybody knows and can't discuss that.

The main goal is to explore the consequences of those three items (and other things I consider to be based on belief) and try to find the implications of them. From basic to sociology, I intend to show what people's belief implies.

Of course, the world is always more complex than we think, and I have to admit my ultimate goal is to show that whatever the world is made of, it doesn't matter as much as what we do with it.

The world

Geography

The world is a flat. The surface is a disc roughly the area of Europe (or the USA).

As of right now, there is no definitive map. The center is the most humanly active part of the world (and the center of my story). The North is cold, the South is warm.

Geology / astronomy

The world's surface is flat-ish, but the world is not a disc, it's a cylinder (it's height is unknown). As plate tectonics doesn't exist, mountains actually pop up like teeth. Most geological formations we know will exist too.

That big cylinder is under a dome where the sun, stars and other are hung. Yes, that dome is blue.

Physics

The classical elements are the basis of all mater. Not that matter is only made of those elements, it is also the way they are bound together through essence that really counts.

The Aether is totally a thing and it is hung to the dome. Light propagates in that medium and, through magic, that medium can be manipulated. The Aether is curved making light naturally go slightly up, giving the impression of an horizon.

Note also that light is actually emitted by the eye and bounces until it reaches a source

Gravity is a constant field, pointing down (duh). It is most probably the force that bends the aether.

Biology

Humorism is at the basis of how biology works. Why? Because the gods created everything that is living and that's how they saw things to be fitting.

Theology

There are two gods, we know, because they pass by every thousand year or so.

One is called The Spark. Known to defend life, freedom and compassion. Their holy book (a.k.a. The Holy Book) cannot be read by anyone but the high priests. According to the priests, it's a direct order from The Spark. According to (a very few and secret) others, the priests heard what they wanted to and interpreted it how they preferred.

The other one is called The Shade. The Shade's reputation is... not good. Their holy book (a.k.a. The Book of Shadows) cannot be read, as the few known copies are destroyed by the fire. The Shade is worshiped by necromancers (see below) and is believed to want everybody dead.

Even in the canonical Church, The Shade is not considered to be all bad though. After all, they created their half of the world, and the light cannot exist without darkness. Basically, The Shade and The Spark have a beef. Humans must worship The Spark, as they're the source of life. However, no human will insult any god, even a dark and deadly one like The Shade.

When The Spark passes by, summer lasts for the whole year. Wars stop. The elders feel young and the Kingdom expands. When The Shade passes by, winter lasts for a whole year and a lot of people die. To the record, the gods haven't both been around at the same time since the creation of the world.

Anthropology

There are a lot of different races. I mean, not different skin colors. More like different sizes, shapes, hair and also color. Most races are near-humanoid though, and white skinned humans are the dominant race in the central kingdom.

All non-humans endure a form of oppression, though with different forms and degrees. Some are just looked down as "a bit less than us", some are put to slavery, some have the mark of The Shade on their stomach and must be slain at birth.

Race is mostly hereditary, though it doesn't seem to work in 1% of births, resulting usually in very disgruntled parents.

Sex however, is much simpler in this world, as intersex people don't seem to exist.

Politics

The current King is the all-powerful ruler of the Kingdom, and his word is law. The capital, which is literally the center of the world is a flamboyant testimony of his power. Meeting the king is quite the difficult task, as you have to navigate through a huge and diverse court of nobles representing the different duchies and external settlings, as well guild-masters and priests.

The dukes hold most of the territory under their influence, they are together more powerful than the king, but mostly quarrel about duchy boundaries and taxations.

Nobility comes from birth and with the exception of the royal crown, most titles are inherited by the eldest sibling (gender is officially not a problem, though there is sexism in practice). The king is decided between the dukes and cannot have children after their nomination. Younger children will usually be knighted by a Duke (unless they join the clergy).

Titles:

  • King
  • Prince (aka King successor, usually a duke)
  • Duke (they run the show, there are around 20)
  • Count (do the heavy lifting of territory management, around 5 per duke)
  • Knights (usually have no territory, executives, some dukes have hundreds under their orders)

The justice system is (officially) the responsibility of the Church. The ruling nobles can override any decision, but they usually don't. After all, when you write the law, control the police, and the judge is your brother, you seldom feel like pardoning people. Notably, the King is also the ruler of the clergy and can declare himself judge of any trial.

There are other kingdoms around the Kingdom. The north and the west areas are organized in small tribes, most of them being nomadic. The east has small countries that maintain independence by being ready to gang up on the Kingdom if attacked. The south is unified and democratic and is mainly left alone because it doesn't have much resources. The border, being practically uninhabitable as no governing.

Economy

The Kingdom's economy is based on mercantilist. Any economic entity requires the approbation of the king or a duke.

The most valuable resource is the Crystal. Crystals have various properties (depending on the type) and are considered to be the key to any power. The rest of the economy is pretty much equivalent to Europe's economy during medieval times.

There is fierce competition within the Dukes and all-out war can happen after a famine. The outer territories rely heavily on the Kingdom's sizable economy and often gamble on that competition to their benefit.

Society

I will focus on the Kingdom's society, other territories are organized differently but keep to a lesser or higher extent the outward xenophobia.

The nobles compose the leading cast. They have money, influence and land. It is pretty much agreed upon that only nobles will have an influence on history. Work is not considered degrading, as long as it's noble work: military officer, minister, counselor or company owner are the kind of jobs that are reserved for nobles.

The clergy comes second. Though the highest parts of the clergy are children or siblings of the dukes. They are the most educated members of society and will often serve as unofficial counselors to the executive nobles. They are the administrators and the scholars. Since they are the plumbers of power without owning anything themselves, their corruption is fairly common. To a commoner, joining the clergy is usually a social boost. Some nobles, however, consider this demeaning.

99% of the population is the commoners. Most of them are farmers, heavily religious and happy with their condition. Almost all non-human are commoners.

Crystals

Crystals is a magical matter that can have different colors, shapes, and effects. Its mining and trade are a primary goal of any country, to the point of obsession. According to the gods, they are a gift of power to mankind.

Their usage is reserved to nobles and (sometimes) clergymen. Though the black market is quite developed.

Example of crystals:

  • Dark crystal: produces "negative light" that cast a shade around them.
  • Sight crystal: allows the user to see anything on the surface on the earth.
  • Fire crystal: used with skill, a lighter, used without skill, a flamethrower.
  • Power crystal: power source that can increase other crystals reach.

Necromancy

Necromancers are children chosen by the Shade to slaughter as much people as possible. They are the bogeymen except they are real. They are feared mostly because of how unsettling they are: it's something to see your family killed, but it's something else to see your family killed by your 6 years old neighbor with a gesture and then to see your family get back up and attack you.

Necromancers rarely reach adulthood, though, and thankfully so. In their first month of practice, a kid can slaughter a village and you need a dozen armed people to stop him. A teenager with a few years behind them can only be stopped by an army.

What is not known, however, is that necromancers don't choose to be that way. They have little to no control over what they do and most of them commit suicide early on. With puberty comes control over their power and necromancer usually go underground before that because they don't want to face an army. Moreover, necromancers don't like each other, and two adult necromancers meeting will almost always result in a fight to the death.

What even most of necromancers themselves don't know is that they can use crystals in ways that are not supposed to work, and a power crystal in the hands of a necromancer is pretty much the end of life on a 10km radius minimum.

  • are you ever going to complete this? – dot_Sp0T Jan 8 at 17:57
  • @dot_Sp0T Yes, I think I will. I had to put worldbuilding aside because of work. Thank you for reminding me! – PatJ Jan 9 at 12:39

I didn't know this thread was a thing. Choosing just one world to post about is tricky, but I guess I'll go for the Auraverse, the first (and currently only) universe I'm using for multiple projects.

[Note: I'm still building the Auraverse, plus I'm typing this up at work without access to my notes and such, so this is subject to change. For convenience, dates are given not using the world's actual calendar system, but BCA and ACA - Before and After Chaos Aura, the RPG for which the Auraverse was originally created.]


1. Creation Myth

The world was created by six goddesses, the Divine Spirits: Spirit of Sky, Spirit of Sea, Spirit of Land, Spirit of Light, Spirit of Night, and Spirit of Life. It took them six attempts to get it right: the five "Precursor" worlds that came before were garbled hellscapes filled with eldritch creatures.

Through a series of "Divine Compromises", humans were granted eternal life through their souls, while other creatures were made mortal. Parallel worlds - heaven and hell - were created to house these souls, and the Divine Spirits used their powers to create two more Divines to guard those realms.

The Spirit of Hell - henceforth referred to as "the Eighth" - gradually became twisted and corrupted from being surrounded by the worst elements of humanity. Seeing all mankind as inherently evil and unworthy of enjoying her Sisters' creations, she waged war against the world, but was defeated by the other seven Divines and sealed in crystal. In the "Last Divine Compromise", the remaining Divines crafted a seventh, perfect world, and sealed themselves inside it, never again to interfere in the affairs of humans.

...until the events of Chaos Aura, in which the Eighth awakens from her crystal slumber and begins summoning eldritch creatures from the Precursor worlds in an attempt to cleanse the world of life. With the help of the Divine Spirits, the Eighth is defeated and destroyed for good.

2. The world itself.

The Auraverse mainly centres on the Kingdom of Albion, a generic medieval fantasy kingdom filled with greenery and life. To the northwest lies Akylia, a nation of mainly desert, ruled by a dynasty of warrior princes; to the east, across the sea, is a (currently unnamed) archipelago nation with a strong navy that, as of 5 ACA, is being decimated by the dread pirate Secorda.

Albion is prosperous, but there is plenty of poverty, especially in the Lower Quarter, a large slum in the south of the capital that has sprawled out beyond its walls.

There are plenty more kingdoms and continents around, but I haven't started properly fleshing out the geography yet.

3. Witches

Throughout the world, there are individuals capable of tapping into the residual power left by the Divine Spirits, and using it to perform feats of magic. These individuals are known as Witches - White Witches can cast primarily light and healing spells, and Black Witches can cast primarily fire and lightning spells. Extremely rarely, you will find a Silver Witch, who can cast both black and white magic.

In 30 BCA, a Black Witch attempted to assassinate Albion's king. He survived with only minor burns, but was enraged, and in a fruitless attempt to hunt down the assassin, he ordered the execution of all Witches in Albion. His advisors quickly convinced him to reverse the policy, but Witchcraft remained punishable by death, and some rural areas continued to summarily execute suspected Witches.

Witches banded together to form underground networks, with their own slang. For example, an "Oasis" is a town that's friendly to Witches, while a "Mirage" is a place that pretends to be an Oasis for the purpose of luring them out and killing them. In some cases, "underground" is quite literal - the capital city is home to the Storm Drain, a secret network of tunnels where Witches gather to buy power-replenishing Elixirs and spellbooks, or simply to hide from persecution.

After the events of Chaos Aura, the ban on magic was lifted, so long as it is not used to carry out crimes. The Storm Drain remains, now a tourist attraction as much as it is a Witches' haven.

4. The stories of the Auraverse

  • Chaos Aura. An RPG Maker VX Ace game that I've been working on for some time. An adventurer named Xeron and a White Witch named Tara find themselves pitted against a mysterious and powerful Witch, who is summoning horrific creatures to attack the people of Albion. Their quest gradually escalates into a battle to stop the Eighth, the Divine Spirit of Hell, from destroying all creation.
  • Thief's Aura. My NaNoWriMo 2017 story, set in 1 ACA. Martina Valencia, a homeless thief, is arrested by the King's Guard and given a chance to lessen her sentence. With the help of a young Guardsman named Tyrell, she must infiltrate the Masked Men, a notorious gang of thieves and robbers, and bring them to justice.
  • Pirate's Aura (name subject to change). A planned RPG Maker game, set in 5 ACA. The dread pirate Secorda is terrorizing the seas to the east of Albion, but the Divine Spirit of Sea intervenes, outraged at his actions. Believing that Secorda is capable of redemption, the Spirit of Sea gives him six tasks to complete in order to be reformed.
  • Regal Aura (name subject to change). A planned RPG Maker game, set in ~14 ACA. After the death of Albion's king, Princess Adelaide ascends to the throne and holds a tournament in order to find a husband. She chooses Arlan, a younger adventurer, but this angers Davor, one of Akylia's warrior princes, who ignores his brothers' wishes and declares war on Albion.
  • Sounds interesting and I like how you didn't simply say that the combination of black and white magic is grey magic as seemingly every other game I can think of would have done it. Silver Witches sound far cooler than Grey Witches. Also, in case you didn't know about it: We have a blog! If you are for example interested in publishing little short stories or How-To's you should check it out. Here is a list of past blog posts. – Secespitus Mar 8 at 12:51
  • @Secespitus Thanks! I agree, Silver Witch sounds much cooler. I knew about the blog, but didn't know it was something anyone could contribute to, so it's something I should definitely consider. – F1Krazy Mar 8 at 13:11
  • 2
    To publish something on the blog you need a (free) account on Medium (I think you can use your Google or Facebook Account to log in, too). Afterwards you should copy the link to your Medium profile into the chat room for the Universe Factory and ping our mod Monica Cellio. She can best tell you how to proceed. As far as I know there is currently nothing in the pipeline, so posts would probably be published quite fast. Once published there is a message in the main chat, UF chat and a feature on the side bar on Main for some exposure – Secespitus Mar 8 at 13:16

In my world humans and ET's (the grayish kind) have met, and humanity is starting the process to join some galactic federation. The gray have telepathy, whereas humans do not... And even the ET don't know why, since the brains of both species look alike so much. In order to better understand it, they start making hybrids of both species as part of a scientific experiment, which is shocking to most human societies. Most hybrids are abherrations and none so far has shown any signs of having telepathic powers.

Most of my world-building process in this universe has to do with describing biomes and ecossystems in other planets. I specially love designing creatures that could have evolved in our own planet.

I'm working on a game which takes place in a portion of the galaxy mostly inhabited by humans, who are just starting to make contact with a few alien races on the edges of their domain. The portion of space the humans are expanding through was gutted by war before we developed tools, so it's mostly empty of advanced aliens, though their relics and ruins dot some of the worlds the humans have colonized, including Europa, where we found our fist FTL engine.

Most of human space is nominally controlled by the United Corporate Council, which grants corporate charters for colonization to private organizations, though in practice the larger corporations have significantly more power than the UCC and fight fairly constant low-level wars against each other for resources and influence. The UCC does its best to pull strings from behind the scenes and prevent outright war, as well as trying to marshal some modicum of cooperation from the corporations to fight against external threats.

I've posted a few questions while developing my world, and have also found that answering other people's questions has given me some fun ideas to introduce into the setting.

My main world is a science fantasy that leans more towards the fantasy aspect. Here's a rough draft of the first chapter from the main religion's Holy book.

The Book Of Kur

In the beginning there was the lightness and there was darkness and they were without form and were one. And among this formlessness there was also one with form. One who was neither man, nor woman, nor anything that walketh upon the earth. And from this Formness the world took shape. With the lightness and darkness upon its body and in its hands it divided them. An explosion of lightness and darkness erupted from the Formness' hands, ever expanding and ever reaching. Going faster and faster than any man can hope to dream. And although the lightness and the darkness were divided they were still without form. And so the Formness created a new force, that drew the lightness together, forming the stars and the great expanse above and the great void beyond it. And these became known as the three primordial magics. The Light, The Void, and The Gravity. And form these magics the Formness continued its work. It took the three forces into its body, mind, and soul and created the sun. And from the sun he drew out its heat and created fire making a fourth. The Formness then took the fourth and created the celestial bodies. Forging them and binding them together with the lightness controlling the day and the darkness the night. And the two would always give way to one another. And with these new bodies there were now five. But still unsatisfied with its work the Formness created water and air and had the lightness glitter upon its surface and the darkness take hold of its depths and gravity to hold it all together. Still the Formness was unsatisfied. The world's needed something more, something vibrant and colorful, something like itself. And so this time it took all the magic within itself and created Life, Soul, and Unfiltered Magic and populated the great expanse with many creatures and spread them out across the lands, the oceans, and the skies. And it created man and woman and gave them both lightness and darkness within their hearts and filled their bodies minds with souls and magic. And then the Formness rested for it was dieing. The magic of creation, the magic of soul and life had taken its toll. For nothing can be created from nothing and all magic comes with a price. And its last days it gave up the rest of its magic and divided it into 13 celestial beings to nuture and take care of his precious creation and then it used it's body to create a place where all mortal men may go when they die. And so the Formness, the Foremost of Heaven passed on and became known as Nergal, the Watcher. For even though it had died many still believed it continued to watch over its creation.

I've two I'm working on at present, firstly - the fantasy world.

The world

Similar to our own, the world consists of several continents, the largest of which, Ereskine, is where the action is to take place.

Elves, Dwarves and many other fantasy creatures exist, but magic is pretty hit and miss - being used more for combat and other large "industrial" use as it is inaccurate, grossly powerful, and dangerous even to its own users. The politics of the setting are largely city state based, and there is generally peace, as around a thousand years ago the various factions of humanity, Elder-Man (elf) and Drewomae (dwarf) united to wipe out the dragons. The golden peacetime since has led to a time of peace and prosperity that has benefitted all.

A few hundred years ago, a magical ore was discovered that did not weigh what it should. It turns out this magical material exerts a magical upward force counter to gravity equal to its percentage alloy. This makes it very useful for armour, and creates weapons with a much different balance than ones made from steel. It's expensive though, so only the nobles of the setting really have access to the ore.

The dwarves discovered this metal in one place, and one place only. They mined the Linscor hills extensively, creating a vast city of tunnels. Along with the ore, they found vast veins of gold, huge deposits of diamonds and scores of rubies bigger than fists. Their job was made easier by natural tunnels, enormous caves and vast caverns riddling the area. Their wealth coupled with the challenges of sustaining the growth from dwindling resources fuelled a huge innovation boom, and clock, steam and coal powered devices of a most unusual sort began to make an appearance. Vast blimps shipped their produce abroad. The surrounding human towns, particularly the city of Lins, did very well indeed out of the booming dwarven economy.

The Cataclysm

Unfortunately, one of the little known problems with the ore is that it amplifies itself - that is, you get a large enough amount in a small area and its force against gravity begins to increase. The network of tunnels and honeycomb of caves and rooms eventually led to a series of earthquakes. The earthquakes destroyed the dwarven city, and devastated Lins. The townsfolk worked to rebuild, only to be hit by another devastating earthquake a few months later that lifted the Linscor hills into the sky. Worse, shorty after the rise of the hills, strange creatures began to be seen deep in the crater - winged silvery creatures flitting between the floating island and the ground.

Soon it became apparent that the dragons have returned after the cataclysm. Lins rapidly militarised as a result to protect itself from the threat posed by the creatures, whose vicious adult form feeds off steel and iron.

Current state

The dwarves were held responsible for the death and destruction and are ostracised from society, scratching a living as miners, tinkerers, and vagrants. The Lins Milita still control lins with an iron fist, and although dragon attacks come pretty much daily, they have managed to pull together a system of defences which minimises death and destruction. Other cities, worried about Lins apparent military might, are also building their armed forces, and things look to be getting interesting.

Dragons

Dragons in this setting digest and alloy metals with their scales and bones. As youngsters, they crave and eat precious metals, giving them a silver and gold sheen. As adults, they move onto iron and copper. They have an as yet undetermined relationship with the ore, as their bones are a form of this metal, aiding in their ability to fly.

Copper dragons are more reclusive, and prefer natural sources of their metal. As the copper in their scales oxidises, it turns them green.

Iron dragons are hot headed, vicious, and will actively hunt humans for fun, saving their iron and steel for later. The iron in their scales turns brown, and then a strong red as they age, with black dragons being the eldest.

All of these types are dangerous, although particular care should be taken to avoid mother dragons, whose defence of their young is legendary.

==

The other setting I have on the go is the setting for my upcoming RPG series i'll be running with friends. Its a series of worlds, each different, and really only one reigion on each so we can do a classic monster-of-the-week game. Only over-arching thing really that needs designing in a worldbuilding kind of way is the huge gribbley insectoid bug-monster I'm inetending to be a recurring enemy.

I have created an as yet unnamed world, which features the most unimaginatively named continents possible - owing in part to creativity being invested elsewhere, and also in the pursuit of plain English. It will be the foundation for a story I shall write.

This is an earth-like world ruled by one empire. Society can be described as something of a hobbit utopia; food is plentiful, work rarely necessary, technology exclusive to the elite, and the people predominantly rural.

The empire's political and military power is split between the five estates: the crown, the nobility, the peasantry, the church, and the witches. Each estate is equally represented in the imperial parliament. The crown controls the navy, the peasants control the army, the witches control the airforce, the nobility control the intelligence services, and the priesthood controls the police.

The empire has ruled for centuries, but though it has brought peace and prosperity, tensions between the estates threaten to boil over into civil war. The estates themselves have to worry about internal and external threats. The noble houses hate each other, the priesthood is split into sects which hate each other, the witches are composed of clans which hate each other. And the peasants regard anyone from outside of their village with great suspicion.

Female witches are the only magic users in the empire; men can't use magic, magical ability is inherited from a witch mother, and almost all witches are female. Each clan has mastery over a specific sort of elemental magic; which allows them to monopolise imperial industries; food, heating, lighting, water supply and purification, mining, minting, etc. This has the effect of dampening and discouraging technological advancement amongst the other estates.

The witch clans are not only different in magic, but reproduction. Each clan has a specific means of procreation. One has men and women like the rest of humanity; with a strongly matriarchal society, and they are the exception. All other witch clans are by default females. One clan is like termites with large spontaneously pregnant mothers, and small infertile workers. Like the last example, another clan does not need to mate; they became pregnant asexually and birth nearly identical offspring. Another can choose to change its sexual organs from time to time. Another is something like a tree, having male and female sexual capabilities; when they mate they both become pregnant.

The witches and priesthood are mortal enemies, representing a struggle between matriarchy and patriarchy. The nobility and peasantry also hate each other more than most. The witches are thus friendly with the nobles, and the priesthood is friendly with the peasants. The empire has managed to peacefully balance all of these tensions and inequalities for centuries... but for how much longer?

physical map

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .