Writer looking for world-building help

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I've been writing a series for 12 years now, and looking to flesh out the world the series takes place in.  I feel like I've begun to fall into a rut, so I think it would be a good idea to get outside opinion on it.

The series itself is not D&D related, it's in an original setting that I created myself, but I have run characters and settings from my series in homebrew D&D and Pathfinder campaigns over the years, and found that it has been one of my best sources of inspiration.  Also, I am well aware that D&D players are among the best at world-building that it gets.

Everyone who helps with the world-building process will recieve official mention in future published works in my series, as well as potential insider info about what is going on in the series before the books themselves hit the shelves.   The series currently stands at 9 books, with potential for expanding into other media formats.  Although I have spoken to publishers and recieved favorable replies, I am holding off on actually publishing until I have completed the series.

Mostly what I need help with is that I have about 10 major nations, and 35 significant locations/cities.  This has lasted me through writing the first 2 books, but now I have another 7 books with full plots and ready to be written, but the locations they take place in are hazy at best, and in some cases completely nonexistent...





A brief overview of the setting:  The world itself is called Fingaethia; there is a large pantheon of Elder Gods as well as lesser Gods and demigods, with twin brothers Mannas and Sirnas as the joint leaders of the pantheon.  I have created over 40 unique races for the setting, there are no dwarves, elves, orcs, or any of the other traditional fantasy races.  In D&D terms, this would be a low-magic setting, with next to no magic items except for certain rare relics, and with magic use being limited to certain racial abilities.

The world itself is split into two major sections: the Surface, which is about 70% land with the only oceans being narrow but extremely deep channels that split up the major landmasses; and the Sky Continents, a myriad of large islands raised into the sky by the Younger Gods.  There is airship travel between the Sky Continents and the Surface.

I won't go into too much detail here, due to concerns of potential plagiarism, and the actual work on world-building would be done on my personal website.
Interesting world, sounds somewhat similar to a homebrew world I am running currently:  community.wizards.com/detoxifier/blog/?p...
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
Your concept is startlingly similar to mine, actually... although the Sky Continents do not move haphazardly in Fingaethia, and there is nothing like the Nous.  However, during part of Fingaethia's timeline, there is a disaster which causes dense cloud cover over the entire Surface, forcing the population underground or into protected cities under barriers, while the Sky Continents are kept apart from them because their airships cannot survive the passage down through the clouds.  That is somewhat similar to your world as well...

What are your future plans for Morphose?  Is it going to remain a homebrew campaign world, or do you have higher aspirations for it eventually?
What are you needing the most?
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
I'm looking for help with mapping out the locations I've already included in the books and fleshing out the rest of the world.  I have a general idea of where the places of interest I've already used are in relation to each other, and generally what the world looks like, but the vast majority is just empty space.

I'm trying to find people who are good at creating cities/nations/political systems to fill in the rest of the blanks, as well as someone good at making maps so I can get it mapped out. 
I'm not particularly good at the maps - I haven't the discipline to complete them.

But, I do enjoy designing fantasy cultures, and I enjoy trying to avoid the cliche's while doing it (sample).  I might be able to make occasional contributions, if you are interested.

[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Your concept is startlingly similar to mine, actually... although the Sky Continents do not move haphazardly in Fingaethia, and there is nothing like the Nous.  However, during part of Fingaethia's timeline, there is a disaster which causes dense cloud cover over the entire Surface, forcing the population underground or into protected cities under barriers, while the Sky Continents are kept apart from them because their airships cannot survive the passage down through the clouds.  That is somewhat similar to your world as well...

What are your future plans for Morphose?  Is it going to remain a homebrew campaign world, or do you have higher aspirations for it eventually?



I do have higher aspirations for it (not least of which is fixing typos and grammar), I engage in a bit of creative writing and I'm searching for novel worthy material, not sure if this will lead me there or not.

I just thought since it mirrored so closely what you explained I'd post it. 

As far as maps go...I do a bit of it, and I'm rather detail oriented, but....more on this later.
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
YronimosW, I would indeed be interested in your input for various cultures in Fingaethia.  You have a delightfully unique and morbid creativity, I must say :D  whereas I have a tendency of making bright and cheerful cultures with hidden darker sides, you seem to come up with dark and dismal cultures that have a glimmer of light and beauty shining from underneath.  I think the contrast would play well into fleshing out Fingaethia.

Detoxifier, what say you to the idea of working together on our worlds; I see many opportunities for them to exist in the same plane as separate worlds, possibly close together even.  In my concept, although Fingaethia is the only world that I intend to write in, part of the backstory is that the world is simply one of an infinite number created by a mother and father deity, who leave their children behind as caretakers of the worlds (in the case of the world Fingaethia, the caretakers are Mannas and Sirnas, the twin brothers who rule over the other gods.).  I've kept in mind since early on in the writing process the idea that the other worlds might have vastly different systems of magic, races, and even pantheons, all because of the choices the Mother and Father made when creating them.

I think this concept would lend itself well to writing Morphose as another one of these worlds, and possibly we could even venture to write about the world the Archivian comes from.  The Nous could simply be the way that the caretakers of Morphose initiate change in the world, for whatever grand plan they have in mind; in Fingaethia, Mannas has a magical Cauldron that controls all forms of matter, and Sirnas has one just like it that controls all energy.  So Mannas creates things and Sirnas gives them life; the Cauldrons are also capable of creating magical elixirs that grant blessings upon worthy heroes that impress the gods, where the Cauldron of Power (controls matter) can grant abilities like great strength, speed, stamina, immortality, etc; and the Cauldron of Wisdom (controls energy) grants magical and psionic abilities.  The Nous could be like the Morphose equivalent of that, a driver of change and a source of power for the caretakers.

If we did go that route, as far as I'm concerned, we'd both retain ownership of our worlds and what we've come up with if it ever comes time to publish or whatever, but we'd expand our horizons by having our stories fit into a bigger scheme of things.  Also, that way, we could inspire readers to check out the other writer's work since it they are tied to each other; kind of like how in the Star Wars books, different series are written by different authors but they all tie in together into the same "world." 
Fascinating idea, I'm always for sharing ideas and bouncing concepts off of creative minds.  As for the Nous however, the canon behind that doesn't really lend it to being created, it was begotten, not made-thats not to say that our worlds could not exist in the same universe. 

To explain a little more in depth, Nous means mind, but its more than that, it is an overflowing fountain whose ripples create all of existence, it is the emergent phenomena by which all comes into being.  Ripples in the nous are its thoughts, and its thoughts are being.  The canon of my story so far is such that the nous is the beginning, and from the Nous came the Begotten, great and terrible primal beings representing the raw forces of nature (physics), from the begotten flow the fabric of space, time, and the elder gods, from the elder gods (titans) come the behemoths and the known gods, from the known gods the mortal races.

Morphose is less a planet, and more a living, sentient being.  The mystery in its discovery is not just that it exists, but where it is (if it is indeed in a place at all), and why there are no stars or heavenly bodies visible from its skies (with the exception of the yellow star).  It may well be the first ripple of creation.  

  
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
I like your origin story, the idea of an infinite number of planets each with their own caretakers...that is a monumental undertaking.  I'm sure you are familiar with the concept of a multiverse, our collaboration could be a story of two universes passing near each other, although on different planes, close enough to cause disturbances in each others essencia.  I have built about five other worlds in total, I've been running games on them for about the last ten years and writing short stories for them, the longest was about 200 pages or so-unfortunately it was lost in a move and I've never recovered it. 


Its a young, bleak universe where the mortal races struggle to survive, constantly under seige from malevolent forces.  Most of the universe being still in the early phases of aggretion a few blue stars burn against red skies filled with planets haphazardly flung out of their orbits into the dark void of space, these planets are referred to as the dark ones or the mayhem.  As they give life to nightmarish monsters that seek to invade the unsuspecting worlds they pass by, many civilizations have been effaced from memory with naught but a cold unending night brought on by a dark planet interposing itself between a world and its sun.         
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
Hrm... well, my universe does also have another universe that is parralel to it, and demons and such occasionally cross over.  I haven't fleshed that out at all yet because I hadn't intended for it to have much impact on the story until the second series.  If you were willing, we could possibly work it out that your universe was that one, and maybe even have crossovers between the stories?  That could explain why the demons that come to Fingaethia are so foreign and exotic compared to the natives, because they come from a universe that is completely different.

Also, I wouldn't mind rewriting my concept of the Mother and Father to them actually being among the Elder Gods (titans) that you referred to as part of your heirarchy, which would allow the two worlds to exist in separate parts of the same universe.  I actually hadn't settled on whether they were the top of the food chain even in my own universe concept, so it doesn't change much for me.  Maybe they are just titans who travel a particular galaxy, not the entire universe.  Or, alternatively, since you said the Nous is the origin of the universe in your concept, maybe your series is the beginning of the universe, and mine happens much further down the timeline?

I'm not really picky at all when it comes right down to it, all I care about is that the individual world of Fingaethia stays true to my vision.  I don't care what universe it falls under, or who else is out there; it could be in the Star Wars universe, for all I care, as long as nobody tries to write in an Imperial fleet trying to take it over -_- 
This really makes me want to start writing again.  I think I'll do a few shorts and post them, might be a few weeks before I can really get to it...life is hectic right now.  I was already getting the itch, and this just solidifies my intuition that it was time to begin again. 


As far as the relation between two universes, it could be any of those, all of them, or perhaps something even more mysterious, something we must discover ourselves.  I often like to think I don't yet know what is going to happen to my worlds.  Stories evolve, and I am as lost in a fog as my readers.
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
...I'm not really picky at all when it comes right down to it, all I care about is that the individual world of Fingaethia stays true to my vision....



If you don't already have one, I suppose you ought to put together a sort of scriptwriting Bible for all the established canon and other setting "rules" and so on that we shouldn't bend or break.  It doesn't have to be anything complicated (and, for a campaign setting, it's probably best off to deliberately make it uncomplicated, leaving lots of plot hooks and holes for aspiring DMs and contributers to fill on their own).

Sketching up a quick script pitch to summarize what you visualize the main theme of the setting to be like would also help keep us focused a bit, and if you already have a short, sample adventure or story to use as a sort of pilot, it might help as well with setting a template for us to go by. These are optional, but might help get us rolling in the right direction.

Combined with the information from the original post in this thread, and perhaps a couple specific requests for us to get started with, I'd say we'd be ready to start brainstorming and putting ideas together.

Edit to add:  Of course, to carry the TV series comparison a little further, I'm sure we'll be acting more like set and costume designers and so on, and that our job will be to help provide you, as the main story writer, with a detailed setting and plot hooks and other material to work with as inspiration...?
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Ok then... The world is, of course, called Fingaethia. The pantheon is comprised of Sirnas , who has a magical cauldron that controls energy and magic, and his twin brother Mannas, whose cauldron controls physical attributes. There are about 30 Elder Gods under them, who were mortal heroes that ascended with the twins' blessings, and approximately 80 Younger Gods, who are the children of the Elder Gods with each other or mortals. The Younger Gods begin life as "mortals" with a bit of divine power, similar to the concept of demigods, but as they grow, they attain more power until they cap out just below the Elder Gods.

For the elder gods, Sirnas is now the unchallenged leader; Mannas has been in hermitage for more than a thousands years because of a conflict that led to a 2000 year long war of the gods. The other chief elder gods are Grainne, the first mortal to ascend to become a goddess, and the god of alcohol (can't remember his name, don't have my notes on hand at work), who was the second. The elder gods pretty much keep to themselves, although all gods in this world live amongst the mortals, there is no "heaven" or other planes that they live in.

The younger gods, on the other hand,interact directly and personally with the mortals, and have a close association with each other as well. Each of the younger gods "rules" one of the Sky Continents, islands that they magically raised into the sky during the war of the gods in order to save their followers from the chaos and slaughter that was going on down on the Surface.

The leaders of the younger gods are Brin, daughter of Sirnas and Grainne, who is the oldest of the younger gods and rumored to be more powerful than some of the elder gods, even. Eilton, son of Grainne and Mannas, whose Sky Marines rule the airways of the entire world and keep airship pirates in check. Kyarra, daughter of Grainne and an unknown father, who is the only Younger Goddess with no followers and no Sky Continent of her own, who instead prefers to live life as an adventurer. And lastly, Diagrienne, daughter of Eloch (an elder god, but not very renowned) with a mortal woman. All the other Younger Gods respect and defer to these four, even before the elder gods, and these four do not bow or curry favor with their elders, but instead act according to their own desires and plans.

The world itself is, as i previously started, mostly land with a few narrow but extremely deep oceans, although there are numerous freshwater lakes and rivers. In the beginning, things were different, the world was mostly a very shallow sea with lots of little islands, but the war of the gods drastically altered the lands. Long before the wart of the gods,in the dawn of time, Mannas and Sirnas had created many hundreds of races besides humans, but these races made war on each other and became known as Demons, and were wiped out by human heroes who were blessed with magic and great strength by the gods.

One race of demons survived, known as the Jal, because they had immediately allied with the humans. They mostly resemble humans, but have both regular skeletons and insectoid exoskeletons that act like armor. They can fly by releasing bursts of magical energy from vents in their backs, similar to what we would call a jet pack. Even though they can fly, their best warriors fight while riding giant trained fireflies, and they are famous for making night raids, using the fireflies blinkers to send battle commands in code, so that their tactics could not be deciphered, and so that they were completely silent and could attack in the dark unexpected.

Other than the Jal, there were no races but human until after the war of the gods had already ended. The immense power used by the two brothers whenever they would meet in combat was so uncontainable that it bled off into the atmosphere and environment around them, so that the locations of their duels were like magical Chernobyls, radioactive with the powers of magic and chaos. Over time, this led to the humans(and all other life) in those areas slowly changing, and once the bled-off entered the water supply, it even got into the rain, and eventually the only pays of the world that weren't fully affected were the islands in the sky, above the clouds. Even they saw small changes, from travelers moving there and mixing in.

At the time of the series, there are quite a few races. There are Akhmasi, who are large, long-living but slow to act people, who are like a cross between ice elementals and humans. Tuomani, who are the exact opposite, a short-lived race of fire people who are very petite (5 ft tall average) but aggressive and fast-paved. Both races tend to live in tribes or clans.

Then there are the Na'avona, who are dark-skinned with ethereal wings that are like artists' renditions of their souls. One truly can judge a Na'avona book by its cover, because the wings tell all. There are the Callough, who live in the narrow seas and can shapeshift into any mammal they have encountered before. Their empire is brutal and child, charging tolls to sail on their waters and pirating ships at their pleasure, regardless of whether the tolls were paid. None can reach their cities, though, so nothing can be done about it.

The Devan, a race of extremely densely built people, are peerless craftsmen, and their neighbors the Shamess are the most technologically advanced race, even possessing basic telecommunications and firearms, although they operate on magical principles, not mechanical. The Shamess are a very strange race, though, as they have adapted to have almost plant-like biology. Their bodies have sap instead of blood, and can absorb nutrients through the air as well as the soil under their feet.

Even more strangely, when Shamess reach 80-115, they undergo a process that crystallizes them, slowly turning them into living statues of glass. Once the process is complete, their spirit leaves the body and can roam free like in astral projection. The spirit can then travel and study the world for time eternal, and can return to their body and vibrate the crystal in frequencies that the living (non-crystallized) Shamess can interpret. This means that no knowledge is ever lost to their race, which is why they are eons ahead in terms of technology.


The peoples of the Sky Continents avoided most of the changes, but even still, they were altered as well. They remained fully human in body, but some gained magical abilities that marked them as different.  There were Paladins, who served Brin, Eilton, and Diagrienne, and received powerful magic in return; Mages, who served all the gods and had a wide variety of magic that made them versatile spellcasters; and there were also Druids, who could speak to animals and plants.

Or even  rarest of all were those called "Spirit Mages," those who could interact with the Shamess spirits. Among these were Mesmers, who had the power to create complex illusions in their mind, complete with touch, taste, smell, and sound, and then project those illusions out to other people using their connection to the spirits. Diviners were another type, who could talk to the spirits and discover the locations of all sorts of things, spy, even view distant locations as if they were there.  Then there were Conjurors, who could give the spirits the power to interact with the material world, which allowed them to pick things up, create barriers, even make invisible blades that could cut through steel. Last of all were the Shamans, who could make pacts with the spirits that allowed them to channel them, which imparted all of the spirit's skills upon the Shaman, such as knowledge of how to perform a craft, the muscle memory and training of a particular sword style, or they might even be able to paint a work of art identical to one the spirit had painted in life.
Edit to add:  Of course, to carry the TV series comparison a little further, I'm sure we'll be acting more like set and costume designers and so on, and that our job will be to help provide you, as the main story writer, with a detailed setting and plot hooks and other material to work with as inspiration...?




Not quite.  I'm mainly just trying to develop a world map to plot out the major locations, and fill in some of the details in between them.  For instance, on the Surface all I have for points of interest are these:

Tiwa and Faerid: two clans of Akhmasi who guard opposite sides of a mountain pass leading into a valley where their ancient High King is laid to rest; their goal is to keep out trespassers and grave robbers, and to help escort pilgrims who want to pay homage to the High King, but they constantly fight over which clan's view of their duties is correct.

Oberfrew: the ancient palace-city of the High King that the clans are guarding; it was once the most powerful city on Fingaethia, but according to legend, a dragon attacked, killing the royal family and many of the citizens before disappearing.  Most of the city still stands, 2000 years later, but it is a dreary ruin, and much of it is buried under the northern snows.

Dayle's Military Academy for the Gifted Youth of Fingaethia  [Edited to add: yes, this is a very cheesey name.  It's cheesey for a reason, Akhmasi tend to be very dry and intellectual, and Dayle is even further behind the times than the average Akhmasi...]: Dayle is a 300+ year old Akhmasi war veteran, who was chief strategist for many kings, queens, and empresses over the years.  Now he is headmaster of a school open to all races and nationalities that aims to teach military skills while fostering good will between the future leaders of armies.  Dayle's philosophy is that, in the event that the military is needed, they will be proficient; the rest of the time, hopefully, friends will not want to make war on each other.

Komdiera: capitol city of the largest nation on Fingaethia, "The Queens' Empire of Komdiera."  The city itself is the most ancient on the planet, formed from the very same village where Mannas and Sirnas lived while they were still busy shaping the world.  Eventually, Grainne, the first mortal hero to become a Goddess, was princess of the tribe that lived there at that point in history.  When she Ascended, the tribe received a massive influx of pilgrims and immigrants, and eventually became a kingdom, but the initial method of determing the ruler (by degree of relation to Grainne) became inefficient and led to squabbles over the throne.  Finally, a peasant woman who had a shaky claim to distant relation eventually won the throne, with the help of her husband, who happened to be guildmaster of the newly formed assassins guild Evatru Medel.  Ever since, a Queen has ruled over Komdiera, and the Queen's husband has been guildmaster of Evatru Medel.  As millennia passed, the kingdom expanded and conquered its neighbors, and each new state would have its own queen, who stayed at the imperial capitol as a member of the Court of Queens, over which the Queen of Komdiera ruled as "acting" Empress.

Homeland: a mountain which is hollowed out into a series of massive caverns containing the sister cities of the Devan and Shamess.  They have no name for their "homeland," and since they are so secretive about their location, the majority of other Fingaethians do not even realize the nation exists, and therefore a definitive name has never been needed.  The Devan live in the network of caverns at the base of the mountain, while the Shamess live in the upper levels.  The summit is carved out into a single vast cavern called the Chamber of Living Stars.  A shaft pierces the center of the mountain from top to base, lined with mirrors.  The Chamber of Living Stars is where the Shamess elders go before their bodies crystallize, and therefore, as the sunlight/moonlight passes through the central shaft, it lights up the entire chamber, and the statues reflect the light beautifully.  In the Shamess culture, there is a saying that goes "The brilliance of our ancestors lights the path to the future" and the few outsiders ever to see the Chamber of Living Stars is awestruck by the sudden realization of how true that saying is.

Baile Kyeola: this is the home village of a group of outcasts known as the Tuatha de Fuilteach, which could vaguely be described as Fingaethia's equivalent to vampires.  The Council of Elders meets here periodically throughout the year to administrate , while a small group of permanent residents is there to help provide a safe refuge for Tuatha who have grown weary of the world and need a place to rest.

The Great Cauldron: a crater formed when Mannas and Sirnas fought a duel during the war of the gods.  The destruction was so terrible that the sides of the crater actually project up, piercing the sky higher than the clouds, as well as down into the earth.  The magical overload of the region has led to a warped environment and ecosystem, with a rainforest, plains, and a lake and river populated with flora and fauna unlike any seen elsewhere on Fingaethia. There is a small village of Na'avona living along the edge of the crater, which was the origin of the race.

(unnamed): the capitol city of the underwater Callough empire.  The empire is ruled by the Quatrad, composed of a General, Minister, Magistrate, and Constable.  Each holds equal amounts of power in the governmental process overall, but absolute power in their own field.  The Quatrad are selected from among eligible members of the 38 noble families, but due to extreme corruption in the government, they typically all hail from the same family.

Mol'lochoahl: the kingdom of the Jal, the single race of Demons that were allowed to live in harmony with Humans after the other Demons were wiped out and driven from the world.



Clans Tiwa and Farid are in the far north in a valley deep in a mountain range, with Oberfrew behind them in a side valley.  There is a small Human trading post run by a mysterious individual named Elaet that sits about halfway between the two clans.  The mountain range surrounds the valley in a vaguely circular arrangement, with smaller Akhmasi clans spaced evenly around the outer edge in the midlands.  The entire region is about the size of the state of New York, located just slightly offcenter from the north pole of Fingaethia. It is surrounded by a vast taiga generally the same size as the real world Russian taiga, but it radiates outward from the mountains rather than appearing as a long, wide strip like the Russian taiga.  This land is mostly unpopulated, except for small tribes of Akhmasi and human settlements.

If the Akhmasi northlands would be considered the "north pole" of Fingaethia, then the Queen's Empire of Komdiera would be located about where the USA would be on the map (and no, there's no hidden meaning behind that, just using simple comparisons to describe general locations...).  Komdiera city itself would be somewhere around Lincoln, Nebraska; the Academy would be near Omaha, Nebraska; and the Homeland would be near Des Moines, Iowa.  The border would be vaguely along North Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, the northeastern corner of Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, across the Gulf of Mexico over to Cuba, over to the Dominican Republic, then diagonally back across to Virginia, then up the eastern coast to New York, up into the Ontario region of Canada, and back over to North Dakota.  The empire takes up the entire continent it is on, so the borders are oceans.  The Callough imperial capitol would be located somewhere near the corner between Idaho, Utah, and Nevada.

The Great Cauldron would be about the same size and location as the Tibetan Plateau (yes, I realize that's friggin HUGE, but c'mon, two Elder Gods fought a duel there, they're going to screw stuff up...).  The Na'avona village would be about where Kathmandu is, while Baile Kyeola would be where Qinghai Lake is in the Qinghai region of China.

Mol'lochoahl would be located about where Palau is in Micronesia (it's a small island chain in the Pacific, east of the Philippines).



My problem is that this still leaves almost 60% of Fingaethia's land mass as undefined territory; I don't even have countries to put in this area, or even any ideas of what to do with it.   Rather than needing plot hooks, etc., I mainly just need ideas for what to do with it.  I would love if people came up with their own ideas for nations and cultures in these regions, in however much detail they felt like going into.  I also most importantly need a cartographer T_T

I have ideas for several more nations and points of interest on the Surface, but they are all involved with the second series, which takes place almost 800 years later, and I'm fresh out of ideas for cultures/countries/places of interest that aren't just recycling the ideas I already had.  My greatest talent with writing comes from creating complex characters and relationships between them, and sadly, creating settings is the worst of my skills... 

I'm up for just about any culture or nation or place that anyone can come up with, as long as no new races are created to populate them.
Did you guys lose interest in it, or are you busy with other things?  Just curious
No interest lost...I just work a lot and have limited time.  I don't like posting lazy responses like this one....sigh
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
Have you considered single gender societies? An amazon culture where they take a potion that allows a woman to give birth without needing "input" from a male? A Drum of Population Booming where 2 or more males contribute some blood to the Drum, the drum is covered and the dads stand around drumming till a babies cries are heard. The baby produced is a toddler and needs no weaning. This would be a magical equivelent of the uterine replicas used in "Ethan of Athos-by lois mcmaster bujold". Would it be ineresting if the two societies shared a border and worshipped brother and sister gods?

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

This is weird... I posted here a few days ago, but it seems to have been swallowed by the forums. Oh well.

So, to paraphrase what I apparently never said:

1. How do the mountains float? Magnetism? Magic? Phlebotinum?
2. If you're going with mutliple planes/universes, have you considered a Watcher-type character who guards the Cosmic Balance (or something equally mystical) and must never never never interfere (but becuase the bad guy has messed with the Deep Laws of the Universe, he can tell the heroes some stuff or even intervene a little)
3. For unused land, perhaps its a blasted wasteland, scoured barren by the Great War (or whatever). Maybe it's surrounded by mountains and the gods live there when they're walking in the world. Perhaps there's a reclusive Higher Race that lives there (if you have that type of species already planned, given your comment about no new species). Maybe there are ruined cities or temples of an ancient race, now extinct. Perhaps there's a huge library filled with tomes of lost knowledge. Maybe the bad guy is hiding in the middle of the unclaimed land. Maybe the world is just so big that it hasn't been fully settled yet. Maybe there's a huge river that can't yet be bridged until more technology is developed. You mentioned a dragon destroying a palace - maybe that dragon is back. Maybe he's lairing in the wasteland. Maybe he has a family, and he's now the elder of a massive dragon clan.
4. For mapping, I'm assuming you want a publishing-quality map to go in the front of your book. In this case, you may want to hire a professional cartographer.

How does this sound? 
  With so much open ground,why not NOMADS. They travel and come close to many cities and races. Viewing these races through the eyes of

  wanderers gives you and the reader a different perspective.

  Among the tribes are the Arcanum Magnetums. They draw the magic.Guided to places of power,they lead their tribes in an never ending ebb and

 flow. Flush with magic,they are the healers and diviners. They are both feared and revered. Finders of water and shelter,seers of the future.

  But,they burn out after a while. The tribes remain where one has fallen until a new one is revealed.

  This will allow you to explore the spaces in between and the people the wanderers encounter along the way.


                    Hope this helps, good luck to you in this venture. Look forward to reading your series.
How about a city based loosely off Venice? A giant or dragon uses a magical shovel to dig a system of canals 100 feet wide and 100 feet deep. A river runs thru the city and the canals drain into it. By having 100 north-south canals and 100 east -west canals this creates a grid system of numerous city blocks. Each city block features foot bridges to at least three other blocks. Each block is controlled by a clan. The clan is responsible for making pathes that lead to bridges. Bridges are arched enough to allow passage of gondolas. Each year a Festival of Fire is held where oil is pored into the canals and set on fire. This does not kill the giant , man-eating eels. There should be room for at least 8 buildings per block and some room for a fruit tree or two. This city has trees with silver apples that are an ingredient in Healing potions. Also produces a lot of apple cider.

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

When I create a society I like to follow the 4 changes rule. There's a management theory that says that you can't effectively manage more than 4 subordinates,that a good management tree is ! manager-4 deputies-16 people divided into 4 teams-etc. So you should never introduce more than 4 changes to a society without making it overly hard to comprehend. Some sample changes 
cannibalism
Robert Heinlein wrote "Stranger in a Strange Land" which dealt with the return of a pseudo-jesus who said that when communion was invented Jesus actually wanted followers to eat his flesh,drink his blood. A society where they eat their dead would leave few components for necromancers. Any body who wasn't eaten would be guilty of the crime that creates ghouls? Do the banks charge you an arm and a leg in late fees?
No paper
An isolated area that never developed paper would use clay tablets and cuniform for permanent records. Slates and blackboards for temporary messages. Colored chalk drawings outside of stores as advertising and price lists? Would a spellbook be thin leaves of silver with stamped letters of cuniform?
Aluminum Age replaces Bronze Age
Suppose that shortly after someone makes the alloy of braas and tin known as Bronze they figuredout how to create aluminum? Small canoes could be made. Aluminum arrow shafts are lighter and straighter than wooden ones,+1 to hit,range increase as well? A Hawkeye type could carry 2 dozen shafts ,hundreds of different screw on heads like modern archers use. A mighty composite bow could made from aluminum rather layers of wood and bone. Add a pulley sytem and spider silk bowstrings and you could have a + 10 mighty composite bow? An underground civilization like the dwarves might use aluminum insted of wood,crossbow stocks of aluminum and bolts of aluminum,improved combat abilities. Aluminum cans for storage?

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

Mykrox had a good idea with the Nomads. Your world probably has ice caps and polar seas but the equator is land all the way around. Now if your world is 22,000 miles around and  nomadic trbes migrate 2 miles a day,this means a human can circle the globe twice in his lifetime. Now ,imagine that an empire is bulding a great wall around the world. The wall is extended by one mile a day and would be completed in 22,000 days , but, there's a world eating dragon that is eating the other end of the wall. If the wall is 1 thousand miles long the empire could ignore the dragon? Arrest people who mention it? When the empire finds ruins of the wall do they claim its another civilization? Every so often the population doubles and the empire splits leaving a dukedom,do they all die when the world eating dragon shows up?

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

Mark Twain once wrote of the Republic of Gonder. During an election candidates stood around a giant bowl adding coins untill only one candidate was left. This candidate got to use the bowl of money to run the government. When the money ran out a new election was held.

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.