Worldbuilding June

Teemakuukausi, jonka aikana oli tarkoitus kertoa faktoja valitsemastaan mielikuvitusmaailmasta, minun tapauksessani Falatsur ke Qadaresta. Pitämällä hiirtä haluamasi kuvan päällä voit lukea englanniksi mietteitäni kustakin kuvasta ja kuvia klikkaamalla ne aukeavat täysikokoisena uuteen ikkunaan. Sarjaan voi tutustua myös Tumblrin kautta.

Introduction & Geography | People & Races | Regions & Governance | Cultures & Conventions
Religion & Magic | Language & Writing | Fauna & Flora

Introduction & Geography

Welcome to Falatsur ke Qadare, fellows! The name of this island cluster translates into “island of sunset” and the name comes from the slightly purple hue the sky always seems to have around here. (I really don’t have a solid scientific reason for it yet, but likely it has something to do with the gasses and/or other particles in upper atmosphere.) The largest land mass is in reality a bit smaller than Australia, but it might look a bit too large in the newest map here.

Speaking of the map, here’s an explanation of what all the markings in it mean:

  • The yellow borders are tectonic plates and yellow arrows the directions they are moving towards
  • The wavy arrows are air and ocean currents, red being a warm current and blue being cold
  • The broken green lines mark the borders of regions; there are total of three regions
  • The red dots are cities.

Where is this place located, then? In our world or somewhere else? The answer to that is a bit… Complicated. It is on Earth, but nowhere anyone could easily travel into. It resides in a so called pocket dimension or side dimension. It is very close to our own dimension and it is possible for things to travel from one to another - in fact this is the place where your keys fall into when you are looking for them from your purse where you know they should be but they just aren’t. Your focused energy makes the lost item resonate on an ever so slightly different frequency and poof, it falls into this island! It is possible for humans to do the same, but it is much more rare and is most often result of going into a very specific place where the Earth’s energy fields are exceptionally strong. (For example Bermuda triangle.)

People & Races

The word used for all of the people in general is namere, which translates into something like “humankind”. Biologically all the creatures summed under this term aren’t all that closely related to each other; they have evolved from primates, but that’s about it. Any of the creatures from the three categories (I’ll introduce them in a second) can’t for example breed with a creature from another category.

First of all I think I need to give an explanation of how all these races came to be. To put it shortly everything that exists does so in three different areas of existence: physical location, dimension and time. (Dimension doesn’t really mean here the same thing it traditionally does - check the previous entry for what it stands for.) Changing one of the variables can change things just a little or very drastically. All of the namere share originally the same location (Earth) and dimension (everything we can physically experience in our world), only the timeline varies.

Our point-of-view race in this world is qadanam, “people of land”. Most of the qadanam (or at least their ancestors who originally populated Falatsur ke Qadare) originate from a timeline more or less similar to our own; from a timeline where homo sapiens has spread everywhere around Earth. Some of the original inhabitants of the island were from different line of humans, though. For example in the southmost are of the island lives people that seem to have more genes from homo neanderthalensis than homo sapiens. They are also the most common people to have blond or brown hair, as from some timeline to the island came people with dominant gene that makes hair color vary from black to grey and white. (Grey is the most common.) If you have “colored” hair you are either related to the northerners or you are a newcomer, meaning you weren’t born in Falatsur ke Qadare but instead you have warped into its pocket dimension from the “main dimension” of Earth. Unlike hair color, skin color of qadanam varies the same way it does in our world and it’s mostly based on the climate you (or your ancestors) are living in.

The reason qadanam are bound pretty strictly to Falatsur ke Qadare and have for example done very little exploration to what lies behind the oceans are saranam, “people of sea”. They are from a timeline where some line of primates did the same thing as seals and whales have done and evolved to live in water. Like with qadanam there might be several different lines of saranam, but examining that is pretty much impossible, as most saranam act very violently towards qadanam. They are pretty much on top of the food chain of namere so clearly that they do not in fact have a concept of namere in their language: they see all landbound creatures as something far beneath them and instead think animals like octopus and dolphin as other people besides themselves.

The last and clearly the smallest group of namere is tsumennam, “people of sky”. Unlike other namere they are peaceful tribal people who live in the treetops of the second largest island of Falatsur ke Qadare. The island doesn’t have other namere inhabitants for the same reason qadanam have given tsumennam their name: there lives dragons on that island. Many qadanam believe tsumennam to live with dragons and even ride on their backs, but that seems to be more myth than anything else. Also haha as an interesting side note tsumennam resemble na’vi of James Cameron’s Avatar a lot - actually so much that I got teary eyed when I saw the movie for the first time, as it was almost like seeing your own creation on screen. =D

Regions & Governance

Falatsur ke Qadare has been split into three regions by its qadanam inhabitants. The regions share their government in order to maintain peace between the regions; therefore they are technically all part of the same country. The government consists of three rulers that have each been selected to their duty by their own region. The selection process varies between regions, but all of the rulers are assigned to their position as children and they remain as rulers through their whole life. The rulers don’t usually have children of their own, but there are known to be exceptions, and these sort of exceptions more often than not come with a lot of drama.

The largest of the three regions (the green one on the map) has most power over the other regions and for example has the honor of having the palace of the rulers inside their borders. This region trusts mostly to its sheer number of inhabitants as well as its good access to natural resources. Even the northmost island technically belongs to this region, but that area is mostly left alone thanks to the dragons I’ve mentioned in a previous post.

The smallest region (red one) is also closest to the south pole and has rather cold climate compared to most of Falatsur ke Qadare. The durable southerners have been defending this area as their last outpost from the ancient times. They have managed to evade the invaders by putting their trust in the power and size of their people, as the southerners are commonly a head taller than qadanam of the mainland. During the current time of peace the line between southerners and mainlanders isn’t that strict though, as multicultural families are a thing especially close to the region border.

The last but definitely not the least is the region of small, numerous islands (blue area). Even if qadanam are usually kept away from the ocean by saranam, the islanders are an exception and no one outside the region seems to really know why. The most persistent rumors talk about reckless magic that takes the lives of the islanders at young age. Whatever the truth, the islanders are known to be fierce and daring, taking on both saranam and invaders with bloodthirsty rage. Not many mainlanders trust islanders, but their ability to sail the seas is invaluable.

Cultures & Conventions

The group with most homogenous culture of Falatsur ke Qadare is likely tsumennam, as their population and territory is decently small. They usually live on the large trees in pretty naturalistic manner, meaning for example that they don’t often build any permanent buildings or other structures. They also use clothes and accessories more as a status symbol than to shield themselves from the forces of nature, as they already have fur coat to protect them. The most common living arrangement for them is to be part of polygamous family group of 10-30 individuals. Technologically tsumennam aren’t exactly an advanced group but that is just because they don’t need to be: they live in an environment that already offers them most of the things they need. The flip side of that is how most tsumennam communities value traditionalism so much that they can be pretty harsh for individuals interested in development and new things. Such individuals are known to leave live among qadanam on rare occasions.

On the other hand saranam population is full of different cultures, but not much is known about any of them thanks to how closed the communities tend to be for outsiders, including foreign people of their own species. There are some common aspects among them, though: most saranam communities consist of hundreds of individuals who are very territorial of their homeland. They value caves and other structures that form underwater air pockets a lot, as they breathe air instead of having gills. They can also build such structures themselves as well as craft jewelry and weapons. Many saranam are actually very keen hoarders, and pretty much the only commonly known (but still unreliable) survival tactic for qadanam who get attacked by saranam is to throw some interesting looking items to water and hope the attacker was more interested in the possible loot than actual fighting.

Then there are the qadanam cultures that also vary from one area to another. The technological advancement is commonly somewhere between the Middle Ages and Industrial Revolution of our dimension, though the fact that items from our dimension occasionally drop into Falatsur ke Qadare has skewed the natural technological progression a bit. The islander and southerner cultures were already talked about briefly in the previous post, but there is a lot of variation even among the mainlander communities especially regarding architecture and clothing. On the other hand some things like religion (I talk about religion in a separate post later) and marriage tend to be treated more or less the same way among most mainlander qadanam. To them marriage is primarily political and financial arrangement. It is usually arranged by the parents of the persons getting married and it is not uncommon to see marriages that have very little to do with love. That being said it is widely accepted for a married person to have a separate romantic and/or sexual partner who can become part of the family as well, meaning there are a lot of families who consist of several adults: two persons who are married to each other, their partners and often even unmarried siblings or friends. Different sexualities aren’t any sort of taboo, but it is commonly wished that at least someone in the family would bear children in order to continue the family lines. (Even if some of the adults in the family would have no genetical connection to a child, it is usually considered to be theirs, too.) Also most cultures don’t really have gender roles and because of that the concept of gender is pretty vague to many people.

Religion & Magic

The people of Falatsur ke Qadare mostly share one religion with a few different interpretations. There are some individuals whose religion comes from our dimension, but those groups are tiny and not many people outside of them are even aware of their existence. Atheists also exist, but because of how most people tend to treat their religious beliefs as facts (there isn’t really even a term for religion) there aren’t all that many of them around either.

The base of the religion is the trinity of everything that exists: everything is made of matter, energy and/or soul. In our dimension (as well as the pocket dimension of Falatsur ke Qadare) nearly all things are a mixture of the three, but there are other dimensions where the components are more free of each other. The components all have their own agenda that for example is the reason everything dies, as the components eventually pretty much tear the being they form apart. Matter wants to stay forever still, energy wants to be constantly moving with full speed and soul wants to know and experience everything there is. The exact amount of the components in a being determines how it commonly spends its existence: stones are rich in matter so they just are, some insects are rich in energy so they are constantly moving around almost mechanically and humans (as in qadanam humans) are rich in soul so they are always looking for new ways to go through their life.

The myth of creation also revolves around the three components. It is believed that in the beginning, when there wasn’t really time nor space as we know them, all the soul particles were united as one. They had all the knowledge there was and so they were satisfied. In the center of the souls was a block of all the matter there is, forever unmoving and therefore satisfied. In the center of that solid crust was a hollow space where all the energy in existence was swirling around, never staying in one place, being also satisfied. In the middle of all this, in a space no energy particle could fill because it would get trapped there and could stop moving, was a single particle of soul. It was isolated from its kind and had no access to knowledge of why it was there, being the only single particle that couldn’t fulfill its nature. That’s why, after suffering through time that didn’t exist yet, it finally reached out to energy around it in order to ask one question: why?

That disturbed the delicate balance of things and everything shattered. A huge explosion (the one we know as Big Bang) of energy tore through matter and soul, ripping particles from their harmony. The single unfortunate soul particle that started it all fluttered through this new chaotic world that kept on expanding in three different aspects that had just been born: space, time and dimension. (Once again let me mention that dimension here doesn’t mean what it usually does - it’s more like “plane of existence”, but that’s a bit long name to use constantly.) Eventually the soul particle found other particles and realized they were all in agony: they had lost the other ones of their kind and instead in most cases they were now stuck with whatever other particles they happened to stumble upon. The original soul particle collected other particles to join it and therefore sort of created itself in order to observe the new world better. The better it saw everything the greated grew its horror as it understood how badly things were - and it was all its own fault. It had no other choice than to start fixing things. It named itself Raooloos (means basically “beginning” in qadanam language) and started going from one place of space, time and dimension to another in order to find out how things could be fixed.

After myriads of other places Raooloos made its way to Earth. Its arrival created the pocket dimension Falatsur ke Qadare resides in, and it used that place as its home as long as it stayed here. By that point Raooloos had realized the separated soul particles had lost all the collective information they had stored, so everything had to be collected again before the state of the universe could be reversed to its original harmonious form. To ensure the particles would have the best possibilities to experience everything they can on Earth, Raooloos did the thing it had done in all other similar places before: it created three guardians, the first three ketsuere, N’sereketsuuli, Tverdiketsuuli and Jiieketsuuli. They represented energy, matter and soul and their first task was to explore Earth in order to bring information about its specialties to Raooloos. After they had returned with the info Raooloos created even more ketsuere to guard Earth together with the first three.

After that comes a hazy part where different religious schools differ a bit. Some believe Raooloos and/or ketsuere brought the first people and animals to Falatsur ke Qadare, others believe everything mortal ended up getting there by accident. Both of the theories have their pros and cons, but everyone seems to agree that by the recorded history of mankind Raooloos had already left to some other world, only leaving ketsuere behind to keep things in control. Someday, when souls have finished collecting all the possible information and experiences there is, Raooloos will reverse the explosion and all particles will have their harmony once again. But, in order to do this, it must seal itself into the center of it all once again, knowing very well that as it loses its contact to other soul particles it also loses its knowledge of why everything happened. Then, after suffering alone through time that doesn’t even exist, it might start the cycle all over again.

In Falatsur ke Qadare Raooloos is considered extremely sacred and it isn’t for example portrayed in art as anything else than a symbol. Ketsuere on the other hand are worshipped in much more mundane ways, but the exact methods vary by area and people. Generally qadanam tend to worship the first three the most, tsumennam worship every ketsuere evenly and saranam worship only Sareketsuuli. Among qadanam ketsuere are quite feared beings: common people tend to mostly thank them for things and asking stuff from them is left to priests, as even if ketsuere are believed to be able to grant magical things to people, it is commonly thought that they can and will ask for horribly great prices in return.

Language & Writing

For the longest time Falatsur ke Qadare was a complete mess of languages. There were languages from all over the world and even from different timelines, as well as languages that had evolved on the island. This changed only after some particularly bloody wars between qadanam when the current form of governance was established. To promote unity between people the first three rulers decided it was time to create a language everyone all around the country would speak. Some scholars were given the task of creating a spoken language as well as writing system for it by taking elements from some of the most commonly used languages around and simplifying it a bit to make it possible for everyone to learn it to some degree. In our dimension creating an artificial language (like Esperanto) hasn’t been all that successful, but in Falatsur ke Qadare the power of the first rulers was enough to pretty much force people to start using it for example by making all officers (who cared of their job or even life) use it.

It took its time but the plan worked enough to call it a success. This day most qadanam are bilingual from childhood, but especially among higher classes it is not uncommon to only speak the official language. On the other hand there aren’t many qadanam who wouldn’t speak or write it at all, as it is very difficult to go through your whole life without needing it at some point. Tsumennam are also capable of learning and speaking it, though with somewhat heavy accent as their own languages contain much more consonants and clicking-like sounds than any qadanam language. Saranam aren’t likely able to do the same, as their languages are formed from sounds that resemble whistling and dolphin-like noises. But there are at least stories of lone saranam learning to write qadanam languages to sand.

The writing system created for the official language was first made so that it would be possible to burn the letters to wooden slates with a tool with three heads: one head with long line, one head with short line and one with round head. It is more than likely that the letters have evolved a bit since those days as writing on paper (and other paper-like surfaces) has become more common, but I haven’t yet had time to think what sort of evolution that has been. Numbers on the other hand have never had such a consistent form of writing: most commonly upper class uses Roman numbers and common folk uses simple “stick figures”. That’s because the official language didn’t originally have separate signs for numbers and it was intended that people would write the name of the number instead of using a symbol for it. (For example writing “twenty three” instead of “23?.) As that wasn’t really a practical solution it eventually faded into only the most formal documents.

Finally let’s just have some translations to words I have used during writing these texts!

  • Falatsur ke Qadare = Island of Sunset
  • -> Fala = Sun
  • —> Faa = Fire
  • -> Tsur = To go down
  • -> Ke = (Someone)’s (something)
  • -> Qadare = Island, land mass
  • —> Qada = Ground

  • Namere = Humankind
  • -> Nam = People
  • -> Ere = A group of something
  • Qadanam = People of ground
  • Saranam = People of ocean
  • Tsumennam = People of sky

  • Ketsuere = Guardiankind
  • -> Ketsuuli = Guardian
  • N’sereketsuuli = Guardian of energy (It’s written without ’ in the official language, but when pronounced the emphasis is strongly on the first n.)
  • Tverdiketsuuli = Guardian on matter
  • Jiieketsuuli = Guardian of spirit
  • Faaketsuuli = Guardian of fire
  • Qadaketsuuli = Guardian of ground
  • Balreketsuuli = Guardian of wind
  • Sareketsuuli = Guardian of water
  • Musareketsuuli = Guardian of ice (or frozen water)
  • Lujoriketsuuli = Guardian of light
  • Shumiketsuuli = Guardian of shadow

  • Raooloos = Beginning
  • Ngumere = Animalkind
  • Lue’ere = Plantkind
  • Harere = Artificial, “non-living”, things

Fauna & Flora

Animals and plants of Falatsur ke Qadare are the same sort of mixture as the island’s languages originally were: there are things from our dimension, things from different timelines and things that have evolved on the island. Generally speaking plentiful animals like rodents and insects are pretty familiar looking and larger animals are the ones that tend to be evolved to thrive specifically on their new environment.

In the newest picture shown above there are some desert animals (the two brown ones), small creepy crawlies and a large, thick skinned herbivore related to hippos. Though this species is much more mellow and has longer legs than hippos and it is the most common animal to be used in pulling heavy objects and cargo. It isn’t really fast, but instead it is reliable and very strong. The tree on the other hand is the main source of cotton-like material often used in fabrics.

But hey, why talk about any other animal when we can talk about dragons! Because, as I have previously mentioned, there sure are dragons on the volcanic northmost island of Falatsur ke Qadare. They are pretty animalistic sort of dragons, meaning they don’t speak or have magical properties, even if the latter would look like to be false on the first glance. That’s because they do for example breathe fire, but that happens by spitting phosphoric liquid (evolved from poison) that combusts when coming in contact with oxygen. They also do fly and possess six limbs, but even that is result of pretty unlikely evolutionary occurrence. Dragons were originally some sort of small flying reptiles, likely a species of pterosaurs. By mutation a single individual happened to gain two set of forelimbs, but against all odds it didn’t become a hindrance and instead was at first surprisingly harmless and eventually started to even become useful, when the lower limb pair started to take responsibilities of hands and forelegs, leaving the upper pair free to develop into even better wings.

The last mystery surrounding dragons is the fact that they do not always live on Falatsur ke Qadare; they mostly come there to breed. But where they go is still a complete mystery. It seems to suggest there might be another continent somewhere in the pocket dimension, but not a single qadanam or tsumennam has seen it and saranam are unwilling to share their knowledge with anyone.

And with that the Worldbuilding June has come to an end. Hopefully I didn’t bore anyone to death with my ramblings! =D