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Soterion
2010-06-15, 02:18 PM
So I've been somewhat active in the Conworlding project, and it's inspired me to develop my own conworld, which might someday be the basis for a novel. However, in the meantime, I want to open it up to be a shared world project, and I wanted to know if anyone was interested. If anyone is, I'll create a wiki and start posting articles based on what I've come up with; I think it would be great if all the talented people in the Playground could add their own contributions to this conworld and make it (drum roll) EVEN MORE AWESOME.


So far, it's been based around the subterranean city of Thunderfall. Here's a map:

http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/img040.jpg

Thunderfall was colonized due to the plentiful lodes of silver in the hills above the northern part of the city. Duelphs under the leadership of Terrath Silvertongue began mining at Terrath's Well around 352 O.S.Y. The land around Terrath's Well is dry because it is in the rain shadow of the Olkane Mountains to the northwest of the city. Therefore, the initial story of the settlement of Thunderfall is the story of the search for water. While the underground Rivers Tin and Zirconia would seem to be a source of freshwater, they emerge from the cliff face at Thunderfall Bay and plummet nearly a thousand feet down from Rivergate Tin and Rivergate Zirconia. And the Zirconia was not potable, being contaminated with naphtha. Eventually, Terrath's son, Eorrath, rappelled down the cliff and spelunked through the raging torrent of the River Tin up to the Twins, a pair of islands in a subterranean lake nearly a mile inland. His map, made under extraordinary conditions, enabled the duelphs to mine down to the river, and through a system of pipes, begin irrigation of the surface.

By 517 O.S.Y., the city had become very prosperous. The districts of Silvermine, Tree Side Mine, and Narrowmine (later Hospice Running) had been excavated, and work had begun on Observatory Mine and Drunkard's Mine. Humans had begun to move into the region, bringing with them their mastery of magic and other arts. The Cark had built a trading post at the west end of Grand Fortress Island, and prosperity seemed to be waxing. However, two major concerns cast a shadow over this period.

In the northwest, excavations of Observatory Mine were encroaching on the Metnal, the Kemazotzin realm under the Olkane Mountains. Eventually, this would lead to war between duelphs and kemazotzin: the First War of the Blind and the Deaf.

The second major concern was the possibility of the silver mines playing out. Thunderfall's wealth came from silver; like most boom towns, it had no back-up plan for the eventuality of its sole natural resource drying up. The founders of the city had recognized the potential of Thunderfall Bay as a natural harbor, but the sheer cliff walls of the bay seemed to nix that possibility.

New discoveries of geothermal activity and iron deposits under the Dragondale (what would later become the Borehole Quarter) in the southeast gave city leaders new hope that the mining at Thunderfall might continue, albeit focusing on iron extraction and processing, rather than silver. However, a massive obstacle lay in the path of any duelphic plans for mining in the southeast: the River Zirconia. With three times the output of the River Tin, the Zirconia was a fast-moving, torrential hemorrhage that threatened to flood any shafts that even tangentially touched its channel. Long shafts through what would one day be the Mercantilists District had neared the Zirconia as early as 450 O.S.Y., but had been discontinued for fear of flooding the lower mines. Worse, the Zirconia was completely unchartable due to its high output, which made mining operations in the region unfeasible.

Ironically, it was the Zirconia's undrinkable nature--due to high concentrations of naphtha, sulfur, and salt--that allowed the duelphic engineers to track its course in the most unlikeliest of places: aboveground. Woody fellwort, black alder, and other plants grow only where the water is bad, in the case of black alder where the level of sulfur is high, and duelphic engineers used the growth of these plants to track seepage from the Zirconia on the surface.

With the coursing of the Zirconia came the wildly ambitious plan to tame the river and make it usable. Two steps were needed: first, to filter out the naphtha, sulfur, and salt to make it drinkable; and second, to carve a canal between the Twins Lake and the Zirconia to divert part of the river's flow. This plan and the epic task of constraining the Zirconia came to dominate the sixth century, being completed only in 584 O.S.Y.

Once the taming of the Zirconia was complete, exploration of the upper waterway was possible. This exploration led to encounters with the Xic tribes of kemazotzin, who lived a hundred miles further up the river in their city Kame Hun at Blue Nail Lake, and later, the Second War of the Blind and the Deaf.

(More Thunderfall history to follow)

I've created six races (so far) to inhabit it:

Duelphs (singular, duelph): The settlers of Thunderfall. A short race (about 3 1/2 feet tall) with pointed ears and a love of mining and beer. They worship trees. Very warlike. They can't do magic, but they're wizards with machines. There are many duelph cities in the world; Thunderfall is merely one of them. Female duelphs are notable for having antlers. While the Golden Age cities had surface and subterranean districts, after the Plague Ages, the vast majority of duelphs retreated underground, abandoning the aboveground portions of their cities. They can be very xenophobic; another relic of the Plague Ages. The name evolved from the archaic word "dwelf" meaning "miner".

A duelph:
http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/img038.jpg


Men (singular, man): Men are tall, strange creatures about twice the height of a duelph. They don't live underground, and they're not good miners. They drink wine instead of beer. Sometimes they grow beards; we duelphs don't know why they do that. Their women are very ugly because they have ungainly bumps all over their bodies. Plus they don't have antlers; we don't know how they tell them apart from the men. They're good at magic, we'll give them that. Personally, I don't like them. You can't trust giants, especially giants who like to hide their faces under hair.
(the editor would like to thank Kerrths Dwybellingen, trading duelph, for his contribution to this post)

Cark (singular, Carkum): Seagoing and mysterious, the Cark keep mostly to themselves. Notable for their ability to hold their breath for hours at a time, the Cark are great fishermen, sailors, and maritime explorers. They rarely build cities, instead keeping vast fleets of nomadic ships, roaming from port to port. They're based on seagulls, penguins, and other oceanic birds. They never go anywhere alone; the Men have an adage: "As useless as a lone Carkum". They fought a (very) minor war with the Duelphs of Thunderfall, the War of Ar-Seleng's Nose.

Kemazotzin (singular, kemazotz): A subterranean race who live in the "cavern jungles" in the Metnal system of caves under the Olkane Mountains. Their capital is at Kame Vukub. They're blind, from centuries living under the ground. Talented necromancers, they believe that bats are the spirits of the dead, and that the surface world is the afterlife. As a result, their shamans and necromancers perform fell rituals at the mouths of caves, which they consider to be portals to the realm of the dead. Men, Cark, and other races that habitually live aboveground are considered demons. They fought two wars with the Duelphs of Thunderfall, the First and Second Wars of the Blind and the Deaf. However, in modern times they are largely at peace with the duelphs.

Hippocamps (singular, hippocampus): Small naiads of the sea. They're not very bright. Small, about six inches long. They like seaweed.

Dragons (singular, dragon): Dragons are large creatures about seventy feet long. They keep gardens, which they put a lot of effort into maintaining. In addition, they are very musical and have beautiful voices. They eat almost anything they can catch, although they particularly like female duelphs.

A dragon:
http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/img041.jpg

If anyone's interested in working on this shared world, let me know! I'd love to have some partners in this.

Maximum Zersk
2010-06-19, 08:58 PM
Oy! Where 'ave you been?! :smalltongue:

Looks interesting, but I probably won't be able to work on it in the immediate future.

Soterion
2010-06-29, 11:32 PM
So more races I've come up with! Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Geits: Solitary, mountain-dwelling creatures that herd glaciers and practice ice-magic. They consider themselves to be the oldest race, preferring to be left alone, and are amused by the other races and their struggles for dominance. Less-worldly duelphs and men refer to them as "trolls."

A geit:
http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/geit.jpg

Barbars: A race of large, reclusive warriors who live in bands or tribes deep in the forest primeval. Massive, with huge tusks, they are rumored to eat people. They have no particular brand of magic they call their own. Most people living in "civilized" lands regard them as being a myth, and sometimes call them by the name "ogre".

A barbar:
http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/barbar.jpg

Here's a picture of a hippocampus. Hippocamps live in the ocean. They're about five or six inches long, and are very dumb. So dumb, in fact, that their language, Hippocampian, consists of three words:Ep, Eep, and Eeeep.
"Eep Eep Eep Eep Ep Eep Ep Eeeep Eep Eeeep Eeeep, Eep Eep Eep Ep Eep Eeeep Eeeep Eep Ep Eep Ep Eep Eeeep Ep Eeeep Eep Eeeep Ep Eep Eep Eeeep Eep Ep Eeeep Eeeep Eeeep Ep Eep Eeeep Eep Ep Eeeep Eep Eeeep Eeeep Ep Eeeep Eeeep Eeeep Ep Eep Eep Eeeep Ep Eep Eeeep Eep Ep Eep Eep Eep Ep Eep Ep Eep Eeeep Eep Eep Ep Eep Eep Eeeep Eep, Eeeep Eep Eep Eep Ep Eep Eep Ep Eeeep Eeeep Eep Ep Eep Eeeep Eeeep Eeeep Ep Eeeep Eeeep Eeeep Ep Eeeep Eep Eep Eep Ep Eep Eep Eep!"

http://i948.photobucket.com/albums/ad326/finn_de_siecle/hippocamp.jpg

ufo
2010-06-30, 10:02 AM
This certainly looks very interesting. You should definitely keep working on it. I'd like to help you, but I wouldn't be able to commit myself to it very much, since I have a lot I must do these days. If you want a second opinion on anything, though, feel free ask :smallsmile: