Welcome to the first of many design notes for Feast of the End 2: Wistful Article! This time, I’ll start with the new land of Sorta, a place where most of the events of the book take place. There shouldn’t be any spoilers here. Hopefully.
The island of Sorta is located directly east of Aarhsolm. It partially extends down to Sorcnon and north to Betaia, so both of the large nations tend to help out if needed. There is a huge wall around Sorta to protect it from the dizaks infesting the water. The other islands don’t need so much protection because they are not close to Sorcnon. Remember that dizaks only prowl around the Sorcnon area. There is a reason for that which I will get into in the third book.
For the culture of Sorta, it’s a bit of a mish-mash between African and Middle Eastern. I definitely tried to strive for a more Middle Eastern feel to the names, sometimes even accidentally. For instance, I made up the name Basma, but it turned out to be a real name that means smiling. I had a lot of fun researching the foods that those cultures ate and tried to show off how different it was compared to Sorcnon.
For the landscape, I wanted something a bit more different from typical forestry and plains, so I went with a more savanna kind of look with the addition of golden grass instead. Sorta is mainly small villages with the occasional large city where major things happen. A webway of dirt roads travel between all the towns and cities.
The idea of the Autumnal Feast actually came from an old Greek or Roman tradition (I believe. It’s been a while since I learnt it. I could be completely wrong.) There, the rich people would take turns throwing massive feasts for the entire community, mainly to show off their money and influence. It was something of an honor, really to be able to display their wealth.
If there wouldn’t have been a disaster, the Autumnal Feast probably would have played out like the above, with the rich from individual villages throwing their own party. With the storm, however, the Autumnal Feast turned into one island-wide feast.
I added in two somewhat other-worldly landmarks into Sorta. The Drooling Wall and Olak’s Spiral. I wanted them to obviously feel like an intentional creation, but they weren’t created by man. I mentioned several such structures all over Sorcnon as well, such as a massive archway and how Forehearth Forest’s floor had ripples in them. All of it will play to the overall history of the world in the next book.
That’s about all the notes I can think about for Sorta at the moment. If I come up with more, maybe they’ll be a part two. Next time, I might talk a bit about Betaia.