As I write this I've been ill and fairly out of it for a few days now. However I promised myself I would write another entry as soon as possible, and since I am having trouble maintaining my focus on studying chemistry during my break at work now seems as good a time as any.
I think I mentioned in my last entry that I had done some more creative writing recently and this seems a good time to talk about that. Basically I left work super-upset a couple of Fridays ago. When I got home my wife and our house-guest weren't really hungry, having eaten a late lunch, so I had a snack and cloistered myself in the bedroom where I began to expand on the gazetteer of the Fantasy setting I have conceived of. I had already come up with two fairly well developed nations: The Vyzalvian Empire, inspired by the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires with some Egyptian, Arabian and pan-Middle eastern flavor in the mix as well. Their rival to the north is the Confederation of the Martine Archipelago, a loose alliance of late-medieval to baroque European style island states that trade freely among themselves and ally for the sake of common defense. I already had short write-ups on these two nations finished, and had written the words, "The Raj of Bactristan," on a new line in my notebook in preparation to write about a different country. For Bactristan I took my inspiration from the pre-colonial Indian sub-continent, with a bit of Persia added to my recipe. A fuedal kingdom with natural fortifications in the form of mountain ranges to the north and densee jungle to the south separating small communities connected by an elaborate network of rivers that serve as highways. I didn't stop there.
About a month earlier I had thought it might be interesting to add country with a pre-colonial African flavor to the mix. This is something that isn't commonly explored in Fantasy literature (not in any sort of respectful way anyhow. The result was the Kingdom of Lumba and the Keewok Protectorate. This country is actually two peoples; the heavily agrarian and hierarchical Lumbana of the plains and the tribal Keewoka who survive by hunting, gathering and subsistence agriculture. The two cultures frequently skirmish with one-another over resources the other is covetous of, but they actually have much in common culturally and unite against aggressive actions by outsiders towards their lands.
After this I just kept going with new ideas. What was East of the Martine Archipelago and north of Bactristan and the Vyzalvian Empire? I found myself writing of a vast wilderness dotted with small Duchies and Principalities of limited power, ranging tremendously in terms of technological and social development. Forests frequented by highwaymen. Nomadic Herding peoples and raiders. And at the end of it all , far to the east where scrub land gives way to the fields of glass, the city of Shi He Sai. Traders from all other countries travel to Shi He Sai to exchange their wares for exotic goods and artifacts of unknown origin. Many suspect that Shi He Sai is the gateway city to a fantastic isolated empire, but none who have attempted to explore beyond the city have ever returned. I wrote a pretty extensive explanation of the truth, but why should I give everything away here?
Next up for my creative writing projects: A personal log for the character I play in the pen and paper RPG I participate in every other Saturday. Yes, I am that big a geek.