Tree-World III: Religion

So, you join me again for my third post in this series of odd, most likely drug-inspired posts.  Hello.

In today’s post, I shall examine various religions of every race in my tree-world.

First, I’d like to say something about the general state of religion in the tree-world: none of them are right or wrong.  In most fantasy worlds, the gods take active interest in the goings-on of the world; in my world, it’s not even confirmed if the gods exist or not.  It’s entirely possible that they don’t, or, on the other hand, they could.

This doesn’t mean that priests and warriors of a religious orientation don’t have power.  In the traditional vein of fantasy, priests can heal people, and crazy-ass paladin zealots can religion-pwn people.  It’s just not clear where that power comes from; it could just be power naturally inherent to the world itself, and not have any divine source whatsoever.  Or maybe not.  It’s ambiguous.

So, the religions of the various races inhabiting the tree-world.  Let’s start with humans.  Humans have, as in all fantasy, a religion based on Christianity.  They’ve got churches full o’ stained glass, priests, and the occasional crazy religious zealot.  Of course, that’s only some of the human nations.  The humans are not a single unified political entity, but rather a series of little kingdoms, some of which do some nasty things like worship demons.

The dwarves…  the dwarves do whatever dwarves do.  Dwarves are never really too religious in fantasy.  They probably share some more orthodox and conservative version of the human religion.

The elves worship trees or whatever the hell elves do… actually, I can run with that.  Maybe the elves worship the world-tree itself as a god, and thus worship all the normal-sized trees as the world-tree’s children?  That’s an interesting concept… maybe the elves could have some kind of druidic-ness going on… maybe a stonehenge ripoff somewhere?  Ooh!  Ooh!  Maybe the human religion is gaining popularity in the elven lands, and it’s actively discouraging the old druidic religion… sounds fun, and also a great basis for some plotlines.

Now, goblins… goblins have a witchdoctor-y, kill people and do fancy rituals type of religion.  Not too complicated.

Trolls… I doubt trolls even have a religion.  They’re really not very smart.

Spiderlings… spiderlings have a crazy-ass religion.  I’m not sure what it should be, though… they should have a whole pantheon of gods, and have crazy rituals for them all.  Most of these rituals will probably involve a sacrifice.  Probably a virgin.

The Rhokar should also have a polytheistic religion, only probably a bit more benign than that of the spiderlings.  Who knows.  It should be very widespread, with small amounts of followers in human, elven, dwarven, and even goblin societies.  This would be interesting because it would introduce good goblins, thus blurring the lines of good and evil a bit.

The Glukkig… I have a pretty cool idea for the Glukkig.  They should worship water.  Like… all water.  This means that they congregate in areas with lots of water, as those places are of religious significance to them.  They should have a holy city, built where it rains the most out of anywhere on the whole tree.  The city shall be called “Downpour”.  Isn’t that a great city name?  …well, I think so, anyway.

And that’s all for today.  Tomorrow I’ll… maybe do geography.  It’ll be awkward, because I’ll have to get the look of the branches right… but hey, whatever.

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Post-Post Postscript: Post Postponed

Yeah, that post I talked about yesterday is being delayed, as I just had a 2 hour concert at school (in which I only got to do 3 songs), I have a final project for a class due tomorrow, I have to memorize some shit also for tomorrow, and, to be honest, there’s a new South Park episode on in eight minutes.

See you tomorrow.

Tree-World II: Races

In today’s post I examine the various races and cultures present on the world tree, and what their culture is like. I will most likely also discuss their environs.

Before I begin, however: I have solved the mountain problem! Or, more accurately, my friend has solved the mountain problem and told me. Whatever. Anyway, the solution to the problem is thus: Thorns. And yes, I know this wouldn’t work if we were being logical, as thorns don’t actually form in ranges or anything of the sort. But this is fantasy, so we make our own damn rules. If worse comes to worst, a wizard did it.

(Note to self: Don’t stare at the word “worst” for too long, because it looks REALLY WEIRD if you do)

So, we move on to what races shall be present. I won’t go over this as in-depth as I did in my last series of world-building articles, because if I did, I’d just repeat myself a bunch. Anyway, here goes:

Humans are in because, again, I need a control race. The humans inhabit the central area of the tree… the crotch. This is the lowest inhabitable area of the tree, and as such, water collects their often, forming large lakes, and fertile grasslands in between. The humans are stereotypical fantasy humans; they’ve got lots of castles and they beat the crap out of each other all the time.

Dwarves are in because they kick major ass. The dwarves live in the mountains on one of the several branches splitting off from the tree-crotch (I’m thinking there should be three branches). They live relatively near to the human lands. The role of the dwarves is much as it is in most fantasy: they mine wood from the thorny mountains they live in, and occasionally trade it to the humans. They keep the best wood for themselves, of course. I’m seeing many varieties of wood… I’m gonna have so much fun making wood equivalents to Mithril, Adamantine, etc.

Unlike last time, Goblins are in, mainly because I have a kickass backstory planned for ’em. Goblins in my world shall be stunted little creatures with mottled green-black skin, about the same size as dwarves. They live in the mountains, roughly the same area as the dwarves, but only the more wild, less settled areas. I envision them as having a kind of tribal, voodoo-ish culture, maybe they’re cannibals. They should be in a constant state of semi-warfare with the dwarves, who don’t care enough (or have a large enough army; no one’s really sure how many goblins there are) to wipe them out permanently, but occasionally send out little extermination parties to keep the goblins away from their mining operations.

Trolls are in, too… the way trolls are being portrayed in this game is, basically, as the goblins’ big brothers. Hulking, twelve foot tall behemoths, emerging from their layers deep in the mountains to spread terror, havoc, and that sort thing. I think there shouldn’t be too many trolls… it should be rare (and probably fatal) to run into one. Trolls would be, I believe, stupider than goblins, but many, many times stronger. Goblins should consider troll-fighting a kind of sport: stick two trolls in a pit and see who wins. Woo.

I think I’ll include Elves, too… wow, this is starting to seem more and more like a completely stereotypical fantasy world. ‘cept for the tree thing. The elves should live in the forests of the tree-crotch, with maybe a bit of land extending onto one of the branches. Elves should have a sky cavalry… they should ride birds. It shall be fancy.

Okay, then. I’ve covered all the stereotypical fantasy races I wish to include. But I desire… more. So… let’s go into races of my own… creation.

Mwahaha. Italics are so… evil.

For the first of my creations (mwahaha)… I introduce the spiderlings. This is a race of being about the size of a human child, with pale gray skin and pure white eyes. They have an extra joint on their arms and their fingers, giving them a vaguely spidery look that leads to their name. They live far away from all civilization, in the wastelands and blackened forests far to the end of one of the branches. Their society is one of pure, unholy evil. The only reason that some of the more righteous nations of humanity have not yet put an end to them is simply that they haven’t made contact yet.

The next of my creations (mwahaha) is a race known as the Rhokar. They are, to put it simply, birdmen. They have… you know… wings. This means that they can fly, and are thus the most widespread race of any of them. As they can fly, quite a lot of their cities are on leaves, as opposed to the actual tree. The Rhokar act as tradesmen; they are the merchant race of the tree-world. They are welcome in the cities of the dwarves, the humans, and the elves, as such they have quite a lot of influence in the politics of the world. No one’s quite sure where their capital is, but they assume it must be on one of the upper branches, as they certainly haven’t found it yet.

The third and final of my creations (mwahaha) is the Glukkig. These are basically frog-people. They dwell mainly in the lakes that collect on leaves of the world-tree, but also in the rainy, rainy lands where all that rain goes (the ones I discussed last post). This is the ideal environment for an amphibious race.  The Glukkig are pretty benign, wanting only to be left in peace.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow I shall discuss the state of the Gods and religion in the tree-world. Farewell.

Tree-World

Well, here it is. Oddness.

The basic concept for the world I am about to start inventing is a fantasy world… atop a giant tree. This has been stewing in my head for some time, ever since I read this (I suggest you read that whole series of articles, by the way, they’ve been very inspirational for my personal world-building exercises). The thing that got me thinking was this:

“So I’m looking for style now. And don’t confuse “style” with “gimmick.” Making your world “Greyhawk, but on a giant tree” is kind of silly. Better to consider what sort of world might really evolve on a giant tree.”

I kind of took that as a challenge. So, I’m now going to conceptualize a world that exist, in its entirety, on a giant tree. Kind of an odd idea, when it gets down to it.

Before I start, I’d like to say this: this world is not intended to be used in a game of any sort, although it would certainly be possible. I do this simply for the joy of creation.

So. First, I need to think… what the hell would a world on a giant tree be LIKE? And what kind of tree should I use? Apparently, I have some decisions to make.

First of all, I’m going to decide what kind of tree to use. It should be deciduous, for one thing. Easier to build a world on a deciduous tree, because deciduous trees have crotches. That’s the part of the tree where the trunk splits off into several large branches. It also happens to be a readily available source of naughty jokes, so that’s all good.

The tree my world shall be on should have a *braces himself for widespread giggling* very wide crotch. What I mean by that is that the branches should emerge from the trunk at a vaguely horizontal angle, creating a wide plateau as well as providing relatively flat land on the branches. This allows for a larger world, which is a good thing.

Now, what kind of cultures would develop on massive tree-world? Obviously, most would be centered around the areas of land furthest away from the edge: building a city on the edge of nothing is not a good idea.

The existence of a world upon a giant tree would allow for some interesting mythologies. Most societies would have myths involving giant birds, and perhaps even stories of horrific beings from the roots. Creation myths would be very interesting… I wonder if it would even occur to them that there could be a ground below the tree, or would they just believe that the trunk extended on into eternity?

Some myths could even involve other trees, and other worlds upon them… most likely as a land inhabited in some sort of “golden age”, a gimmick used in way too many fantasy worlds as it is, but still a good gimmick.

The traditional fantasy features and stereotypes could be brought into line with the tree-ness of it all, too. Dwarves would mine wood. Of course, the wood of the world tree would be much sturdier than the wood of normal-sized trees, and probably equivalent to metal.

Birds would be equivalent to dragons… the human kingdoms could be ravaged by massive hawks, and deeper in the wilderness, ravenous vultures and crows would kill anything that looked tasty. This strange concept could be emphasized even more by the use of small dragons in place of birds… plus, I’ve wanted to have falconers using little dragons for a very, very long time.

Also, what kind of physical features would a world on a giant tree have? Would it have little trees? Rivers? Mountains? Who knows? An, uh… how would water be dealt with? Wouldn’t it kind of… fall off? These questions all have to be answered. Personally, I’m for little trees, as well as rivers.

Mountains I’m not so sure about… on one hand, mountains on a tree seems just downright silly, but on the other hand, mountains are a wonderful tool for dividing lands from one another… I mean, in LotR, the defining fantasy world, Gondor and Mordor are right bloody next to each other, but there’s a bunch of mountains in the way, and it makes them very much more separate.  I’ll think about that later.

I think I have managed to solve the water problem, though. The way I see it, although the water does fall off the world tree, as it falls it gains speed, and eventually evaporates into the atmosphere, where it later rains back onto the world. This method of explaining the world isn’t foolproof. The problem is that to match the amount of water being lost daily, some areas will have to be under constant rainfall. This isn’t too much of a problem, though, as it can lead to some interesting names for various lands… maybe there’ll be someplace called the Rainlands or something. It’ll be fun.

So, that’s all for today… this is a really long post. Oh well. Now that I’ve explored some of the meanings of a world atop a tree, I can get on to explaining the individual lands, races, cultures, all the fun stuff. I have quite a lot of ideas stored up for the upcoming posts, and I’m really looking forward to it. See you tomorrow.

My teacher’s gonna kill me

Yeah, this isn’t that new post I talked about last post, but I figure I might as well post it anyway.

The story is thus: We have a block on revolutions at school. For the final project, we must make a “clarion call for change”. I chose to do a death metal song. I figured, “hell, this blog is for my creativity, so I might as well post my song”. This is the song:

http://www.freewebs.com/dcfa/songforschool.mp3

You might have to copy/paste to get to that link, or you might not. Who knows.

So anyway, expect that post that I promised you tomorrow. It shall be wonderful.

Something new coming soon…

I’ve been doing some thinking recently, and I think you’re about to get something pretty cool.  It’s going to involve world-building, and it’s also going to involve high levels of weirdness.

So, yeah.  Stay tuned.

…aaaaand I lost interest.

Yeah, sorry. Dinosaur MMORPG is done. I’ll post something else as soon as I get inspiration.