Milly, Characters of Jathy

This time, it’s about some of the characters we meet in Jathy. First up, the talka. Tonzi┬áis the talka guide, taking Milly on his half of the quest. When I decided to have two guides, it seems to make sense to have two separate pieces to find and to have one of them be the guide to each.

Tonzi is the one that took Milly to the valley where they must find convince the local tribe to help them. He’s a friendly guy, moreso than some of his is fellow tribesmates.

The chief of the Shimmer Moon Tribe is Raerdu. I don’t have too much notes on him.

For the people of the valley, the Sand Keeper tribe, I wanted do show something different from the rest of the talka tribes. While the Sand Keeper tribe is generally suspicious of outsiders, they do try to be welcoming, especially to those that show good intentions.

On the kaafu side, the guide is Karik. So, when I decided to make two separate quests, I also decided to split up the guides. It just made things easier and to not have too many characters, especially since the guides were going to be arguing a lot if they were together.

Karik is friendly and helpful. He’s a bit more laid back out of the two.

The other major kaafu character is Jakwindo. I wanted to show another side of the kaafu, so he is an inventor. I also wanted to show that just because a race can fly naturally, they would still want machines to help them fly. He would be the steampunk inventor type of character. A haughty fellow that wants to show off his creations.

The last character I wanted to talk about is Ashar, the high priestess of the city. Now, this will be spoilers for people that haven’t read the book, so please go read it!

Anyway, when I had two separate races, of course you are going to wonder if they can crossbreed, and Ashar is the answer. While Ashar is special and the leader of a city, I wanted to show a lot of her insecurities as well. It’s not easy being the leader, especially if people only put you there because you’re special.

By using her separated aspects, I could show how she was feeling, the things she would hide when she had full control of her emotions. There is a lot of hurt and anger underneath her calm exterior.

At the end of the story, Ashar gets some support, so I hope she becomes a good leader for the first city with both talka and kaafu.

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Milly, People of Jathy

For a while, I decided that I wanted there to be two dominant races in Jathy. I tried to base them off common desert animals. One is a race of cat-people. The other is a race of bird people, more like falcons. While they weren’t originally going to be small, I think I like the direction with that. They are the small races of Bentas, being around children’s height. Still, both of them are quite strong.

The cat-people are the Talka. They live as nomadic tribes and are usually active at night. Everything they own is easy to pack up, pick up and move. They travel across the desert looking for supplies and water, though most of the tribes have certain routes they always follow. They even have animal pens to keep livestock.

Each tribe is like a small village that consists of a few families. There are around thirty to fifty people for each tribe.

Most of the tribe names are related to the skies above, but there is one tribe that isn’t nomadic, the Sand Keeper tribe. They live in a valley, and the valley gives them everything they need. They are the only tribe that is good at farming.

The other two named tribes are the Shimmer Moon Tribe and the Slippery Star Tribe.

The other major race in Jathy are the Kaafu, the bird-people. They are active during the day. They have great wingspans, especially when compared to their height. Each wing is around as tall as they are, maybe more. They mostly fly, but when on land, they prefer to hop around on sharp talons.

The kaafu live on top of mesas. They build small outposts with a lot of wooden towers. There are lots of places for them to perch, though it’s not that comfortable for anyone else. There are also swings that they use for fun.

The kaafu are mostly active during the day. They soar through the skies to hunt, but they also practice some farming. It’s not easy to farm in rock on top of the mesas, so they have certain spots on the ground nearby where they farm. It’s not a problem to them going up and down.

The kaafu mainly wear loose robes. They are firm enough not to snag on their wings or talons, but give good airflow and can block the sun.

Both the talka and kaafu enjoy wearing jewelry, though the talka use more bone and stones while the kaafu will use metal on occasion.

Next time, I’ll talk about the individual characters a bit more.

Milly and the City In Between

It’s finally here, for those that asked for it! (Which was none of you). But it’s time for my writing notes and thoughts on the fifth book in my NaNoWriMo series, Milly. This time, she is off to the Desert Province, and I am almost certain I spelled it wrong in the book. This one turned out a bit different than how I envisioned it, mostly due to the constraints of NaNoWriMo.

First, let me tell you what was the same. Jathy, the Desert province was always a place where there were two races. I was thinking a bit on Elder Scrolls 4, Oblivion when I made it, specifically the Shivering Isles. Of course, it’s not as dangerous, but I wanted a place where two races were in charge. In this case, they are the Talka and the Kaafu. The talka are cat people and they’re awake during the day. The Kaafu, on the other side, are bird people and they’re awake during the night. While they mostly don’t interact, I wanted the central conflict of the story to have something to do with the both of them. That’s why I had the grand city of Zhaba-Toru or Toru-Zhaba.

What changed. I think in my original notes, I had Jathy as being full of mirages, though I don’t think they played much of a part at all. I did want to throw in an oasis part and a buried temple part, though. Though not quite as grand, I wanted the buried temple part to be like having 1% or less visible above ground with a majority hidden away.

Another thing that changed was that originally, Milly was going to spend more time in the main city to figure out what was going on. To do that, though, I was going to have to write slower, since I needed to figure out what to investigate and how to lay out the clues. I couldn’t do that for NaNoWriMo, since I had to write at a certain pace. So I mainly had Milly and her friends exploring outside of the city.

I mainly cut out a lot of the getting to know the city part by turning the inhabitants into some sort of magical state where they were stuck in a loop. That gave me an easy way not to have Milly bothering with more long-term actions.

I think it turned out fine. It gave me a lot to do around the desert. I had a lot of cliche settings I wanted to show off. I know you might have seen them before, but I think they’re still great fun all the same.

Next time, I’ll get more into the people of Jathy as well as the city. Stay tuned!

Milly 4, Animals of Vias

Welcome to my thoughts and notes on the animals of Vias! They are a mixture of fish and furry animals. Some are adorable, some are dangerous, but I tried to throw in some strange and wild stuff, too.

Bullbop are large fish that’s used a lot for food. It’s where the kundun get their steak.

The doxon are furry, yak-like creatures. They’re mostly used for milk.

Ribbon dog. I didn’t give them an official name, but they’re like the pets and guard animals. They are pretty friendly, though, so their main use is alerting people someone is there.

The ginka. I had fun with these. They are round penguins! I think making things into the shape of a ball makes them adorable. I have some stuff animals like that. I wanted them to be cute and non-threatening.

The wallowtail are fish that live in the mist. They never stop moving, and they move really fast. They have sharp turns that easily makes people lose their position, meaning they are among the toughest fish to catch.

The junka are the work aniamls of the kundun. They’re kind of like doxon, but with thicker fur and humps on their backs. Oh, and they have webbed feet. For that, I was sort of going for a snowshoe like effect that allows them to stay on top of the snow.

Wind Squirrels are squirrels. They live in what little trees there are in Vias and they have wind magic.

The Baringa, now these were something I wanted to add. They are like merpeople, and what fantasy story couldn’t use some merpeople? I made them the dangerous kind that lures people in. Vias was the only place with a lot of water, so I had to throw them in.

I had fun with the entire section. It’s an entire wrecked ship area that just has a great feel to it, for me. I hope it was atmospheric for you, too.

The clossis. Now these guys are something I added for the sense of wonder and danger. One thing I’m afraid of in deep-sea animals is things so large that they can’t possibly be supported on land. These are not quite that big, but they are the sea serpents that show up on the maps. Their design is based on a similar monster in a video game. I had them eat magems mostly as an excuse for them to attack the cruise ship, because otherwise cruise ships would be far too dangerous in Vias. Most of the time, they stick to themselves.

Alright, now for the spackilo. These are the giant mosnters of the depth that I think about, things so large that if you’re too close, you think you’re looking at a wall. These fulfill the fantasy of an entire town being inside of a living creature. I want one massive-type animal for each province, like ancient spirits that have always been around. The spackilo are those for Vias.

There are a few named once, but Vannuk is the oldest. Maybe there are other spackilo’s with whole towns inside them. Who knows? But they are considered guardians of the ocean. They are helpful and rescue people that fall in. It’s sort of what they do, though they don’t let people out afterwards.

The spackilo people was perhaps my favorite part of the book. It’s just a interesting town that survives and thrives inside a giant whale. I don’t have much more backstory to the spackilo people, though. They aren’t some offshoot of the kundun. They are their own thing that has always lived inside the spackilo. I wanted to give them a mysterious feel, so I had them all wrapped up. They get dried out easily, so they need all that protection.

That’s it for the creature and animals of Vias. Next time, some closing thoughts on the book!

Milly 4, the Kundun

The kunduns are the residents of Vias, the Ice Province. Their design is based on an old video game character. You know Darkstalkers? It is an old Capcom fighting game. There is a character in there called Sasquatch. He pretty much is what his name implies, a furry, cute guy with a huge mouth. That’s what I wanted the kundun to look like, but I made them smaller.

For their culture, I probably mixed together a whole bunch of cold weather stuff. I took insipiration from Alaskan Natives a lot as well as some other places, but mostly, I made stuff up. Some of their building designs come from viking stuff, others were thick, log structures. I think Skyrim structures influenced my thinking a lot. I liked that the kundun are an artistic race, but they mainly keep their art to themselves.

Some notes individual characters. For the kundun, the ship captains are in charge when out in the ocean. It’s not really like a military, though, more like civilian ships. Things aren’t that strict, but a captain’s order are expected to be followed. Like Captain Ratu, who is a fishing vessel captain, or Captain Varq of a cruise ship.

There’s Halmin, who is just a wise old woman.

Balli, the guide for this province, wasn’t even created when I first started the story. Originally, I thought Captain Varq would be the guide. But then I realised his personality wouldn’t allow for it. I needed someone else to help Milly through the province, so I made up Balli. That’s the reason for his relatively late introduction compared to the other guides. It did help give him a good reason for helping Milly, though, against what his people would normally do.

That’s it for the kundun. Next time, the animals and creatures of the Ice Province!

Milly 4, the Ice Ship Escapade

This has been a long time coming. I finished this book last year, and finally, time for some of my notes on it! This will contain some spoilers, so please go read it! It’s free for everyone here.

For this post, I’ll talk about the design of Vias, the Ice Province as well as some other stuff later on. For Vias, I had a choice between a large tundra and an ocean with ice floes. I decided to go with the ocean. It also plays into another fun setting I enjoy, cruise ships! I know I didn’t spend a lot of time on the ship, but I had a lot of fun writing it.

Additionally, it helps the theme that certain provinces preferred to be much more controlled about their visitors while others allow anyone in. Vias is one of those less welcoming ones, so a tour ship is a great way to make sure no one wanders around. Of course, it didn’t help with Milly and her friends.

Having them go on an adventure wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I just had to get them off the cruise ship fast, otherwise it would be pretty mundane. Perhaps I glossed over a lot of the sailing parts, but I don’t know that much about it.

With Vias doubling as an ocean province, I could also do any of the fun fantasy things people do in oceans too, only in a winter theme. I had islands that move, massive sea monsters and all that fun stuff. The cruises are usually really safe and fun. It’s just that Milly needed an adventure!

Towards the end of the story, there were some stuff that needs to be changed. I already did part of it but not all of it, so anyone reading it at the time this blog is posted might notice some plot inconsistencies. I decided to make the portal opening a once in a hundred year thing. Before, it was an all the time thing as long as they could make the device. Hopefully, once my changes are done, it will hit a fantastic aurora scene.

That’s about it for the setting of Vias. Next time, I’ll talk about the kundun. Oh about the weather, it’s always cold and snowy there. Aretto, the wizard city in the center, is the only place with seasons. That happens when prevailing winds blow. Vias gives them winter. Other provinces gives them summer, fall and spring. Some places are neutral, such as Murt.

Milly, Book 3 Closing Thoughts

Alright, this might be the final post on Book 3 of Milly, and this will be a collection of random final thoughts. I don’t think there’s much more to add.

Will I do another book where another character is the point-of-view character? I’m not planning on it. Book 3 is currently going to be the only one. It will be Milly for the rest of the books. Now that’s not to say I won’t do it, but I’m not considering it at the moment.

Book 3 was interesting and fun to do. I don’t think I did the perspective shift as well as I could have, but it was a cool experience. In my original plan, Milly wasn’t in the book as much, but in the final version, she and Cornwilla had a decent amount of time together. I think it works better because it gave more to them compared to a few quick meetings.

As for what Milly was up to during that time, she mostly had an easier way getting through Murt. Not as much interesting stuff as compared to Cornwilla. That’s the way of things, isn’t it? The people not the point of view character tends to have easier times. And if they didn’t, it will be told either through flashback or through the character retelling it. Since neither of those things happened, you can assume Milly was just walking along during the times she was not with Cornwilla.

I also enjoyed bringing Chrillo back into this. For a quick reminder, Chrillo is the guide for the Forest Province. I was actually planning something like this since the first book, the eternal nighttime plot, I mean. That’s why I made Chrillo more sickly and weak, so he would be more affected by the lack of sunlight.

I tried to give Milly and Chrillo a good conclusion, even though Cornwilla has less reason to care. It might be a similar problem in the future if I want to bring Reting back but Milly is the point-of-view character again. Reting doesn’t really know Milly at all.

Random info, out of all the guides so far (including the 4th book), my favorite guide is Nathootha (the guide from the Mountain Province). I enjoy writing Slivhl (the guide from the Swamp Province), too.

Thinking about the series as a whole, you might think there will be 7 books in the series. I went through two provinces in the first book, so there’s six others I’ve been going through one book at a time. I think I want to have an 8th book though. What will be in that? Who knows. Who knows.