Fantasy Maps and Cevalon

There’s an entire subculture of fantasy map-making and world-building, because Tolkein and Gygax together hammered into the genre of epic fantasy literature and gaming the need for a world to have an all-encompassing backstory, including a theogyny.

I’ve been farting around with a fantasy world of my own devising, known as Cevalon, since I was about 14. I’ve even written a novel set in that universe, which I still find interesting, and may, with some extensive editing, see the light of day. More likely, the first novel of that series will be set several thousand years before that. Because I’ve got backstory. I’ve even got the theogyny. It’s a riff off the Hindu Trimurti, with a Mother/Creator Goddess, a Protector God of Craft and Knowledge, and a Destroyer God of Fire and Renewal. There’s a bit of family drama between them, and the Destroyer God is that touch more Satanic, but…

Some of the stories I’ve written for Unnamed Journal, the Tygg and Drea stories — The Dying GoddessThe Barbarian on the Shore, and most recently The Sword in the Cave — are set in this universe. They take place on the periphery, so I’ve kind of expanded the geography of the world. This is as it should be.

For my birthday I got a How-To guide for drawing fantasy maps, which has inspired me to go back to my old maps and kind of rejuvenate them. This has been in my mind for  a while, but I will enjoy nerding out all over it.

I think that’s the trick.

Chaia Nov21 09-32
A totally random map made from Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator. https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/

Break Over. Time for New Work.

When you finish a big project, you’re allowed some downtime. Now that The Sword is in the hands of readers, I’ve been letting myself do nothing. Now it’s time to get the juices flowing again.

I’ve got some stuff to write for the next UJ, and I might squeeze out a novella before the year’s out, while doing an edit on The Sword. That’s doable in the next few months, and doable gives me momentum for the next big project:

It’s sword and sorcery. It’s high fantasy with a Robert Howard flair. It’s going to be rad.

Stay tuned.

When Creation Stories Sync – Veda and Bible

Doing a bit of research for a later novel set in a fantasy world of my own devising, I finally got my mitts on a cheap translation of (selections from) the Rig Veda. I do this because my world has a Trimurti of deities in differing similar roles to Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The written-but-unpublished first novel from this world, The Island Prince, makes mention of them.

Anyway, I’m reading the hymn known as the Golden Embryo, or the Unknown God, and I do find some striking similarities in the phrasing between it and the first chapter of Genesis. Both start with “In the Beginning”, both reference a “dome of the sky” and both speak to a mastery over the waters.

The difference lies in the Vedic uncertainty of which god did it – each line ends with “who is the god whom we should worship with oblation?” – when the Bible is quite certain who did it and in what order. Also there’s no mention of living things. Whoever this originator of creation – named Prajapati (“Lord of Creation” in Sanskrit) – might be, he’s not here connected with lower beings, save by the act of worship.

I rather enjoy the rhythm of the hymns as well. Stuff to absorb for later works.