Feast of the End, Sorta

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.

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Feast of the End 2, Prologue

This is a prologue for the book that I took out. The reason I took it out was because it was a large info dump that reintroduces the world and the major nations on it. While there is some new information here, the important stuff are all in the book proper. If you want to know a bit more about that world, such as the different races and what parts of the land they come from, it’ll be in here.

Now, here it is, the prologue on The Land of Aarhsolm

The Land of Aarhsolm is the sole location in the world where the sun still shines. The rest is a barren wasteland covered in constant darkness. Its name means the land under the sun. Even then, only a pale light can shine down from the heavy skies, leaving the land grey and dreary.

Three nations vie to be the major power in the land. There is a tentative peace among them, but conflict is always bubbling away just under the surface.

The first nation is Thalliance with its capital, Karnis. It is founded on rich farmland and large plains. The people there enjoy relative stability in their lives. Thalliance believes in magic, and they developed many ways for the regular person to use it. While casting magic is the territory of magicians and wizards that have trained for decades, they create special tools that hold spells.

The second nation is Betaia with its capital, Magloda. They can be considered the complete opposite of Thalliance. Instead of relying on magic, Betaia decided to forsake all of it and turn to science. Among the three nations, they are the most technologically advanced. Anything magic can do they believe technology can do it better and more efficiently.

The last nation is Sorcnon with its capital, Anmaul. They are considered the dark nation by the others for their focus on power above all. Sorcnon sees life as a commodity to be traded. A person is considered valuable if they have wealth, power and strength. With it comes the influence to obtain even more. They also practice the distasteful art of making feastends, that is, drawing the life force out of magical monsters known as dizaks that roam the land.

Surrounding the mainland is a ring of islands. It is made up of a few large islands and thousands of smaller ones. Old nations live on the largest of the lands. They are considered insignificant in terms of strength. It is only from the three major nations not wanting to provoke a war that the smaller islands are not taken over. The minorities of the land all come from the various islands.

To the northwest is the island of Misk, home of the Miskers. Their land is full of mountains. There is nary a flat place in the entire area making travel dangerous and slow. The Miskers are a distrusted race of people mainly due to their completely black eyes. In Thalliance especially, they are not welcome. A majority of them seeking life on the mainland travel to Sorcnon or Betaia.

To the west and the north is a long chain to islands known as the Chained Isles. It is actually broken up in the middle by Misk as it runs around the north. The Lumians live in the Chained Isles. They tend to be welcome everywhere due to their colorful hair, ranging from blue to pink to green, and natural physical ability. Many people that are part Lumian will have streaks of color running through their hair. They are the second most populated race, just behind the Prime race across the mainland.

The south is taken up by the Grey Lands. It is shared between the Lumians and the Sortans. While the land itself is barren, there are large stretches of free space. Combined with a lesser population, each person can have several acres for their home. The rocky terrain does not lend itself well to growing trees or crops of any sort, however.

Finally, to the east is Sorta, the place that receives the most sun in all of Aarhsolm. It is filled with plains of golden grass that carries a gentleness throughout the land. The Sortans have a darker complexion compared to the rest of the people in Aarhsolm. Being so close to the land where dizaks roam, they maintain a wall surrounding the island to prevent attacks from the vile creatures.

Beyond Aarhsolm is a great ocean. None have bothered to explore it, because what can exist in an area without sun?

Guardians of the Galaxy

The latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived, and it is fantastic. Guardians of the Galaxy focuses on problems of alien worlds and people, but they are every bit as emotional and easy to feel for as if the troubles were happening on Earth.

The tone of this film is more space epic with fighting spaceship armadas and great alien locales. Each place shown is new and exciting and the antics the team gets up to at those locations even more so.

While most of the Guardians of the Galaxy are aliens, they are easy to get attached to and fun to watch kick butt. They are no heroes. Most of them start out as criminals, but they are criminals that find the will to do good through friendship. And despite being criminals, most of them are pretty funny, especially Drax and Star Lord. The one nice member of the team, Groot, is the fun to watch as well despite his limited vocabulary. The special effects guys put a lot of effort into Groot’s facial expressions, giving him lots of life.

Throughout the movie they show how the different Guardians of the Galaxy have their past injuries healed by finally having a place to belong. And at the end, the group of criminals become heroes that save the day.

The movie boasts great visual effects, action and locations. Everything is kept together by the interactions between the characters. This film is definitely worth watching for those that like Sci-fi or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.