backstory, creation, creative origins, creative process, creative writing, fantasy, fantasy genre, fantasy history, fantasy novel, fiction, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, story ideas, world building
Yes, this is Saturday and not Friday, but I’m still awake so it’s Friday to me. Woo!
This is a rather difficult position to exist in. See, in many fantasy novels, the core cast of characters and protagonists are still fundamentally human. Sure, there may be dragons and magic and werewolves, but in the world tends to be innately relatable. Lord of the Rings was about humans rising, Harry Potter is about a human boy who meets centaurs and elves and other magical creatures. All of which makes a certain amount of sense, since humans are the center of their own worlds, there wouldn’t be a time most would consider them not the inherent good guys or core cast.
The world that the Tears of the Phoenix inhabit, that’s kind of different. The humans are not the central species. Well, that’s not entirely true. Stein is an Islander (see human) and is a main protagonist. Rather, I mean that this series does not extol the virtues of being human as a paragon.
Okay, now that my little clarification is out of the way, this is the history of the world. Much of this will never see the light of the page, and if it does, there’s a very good chance it’s a character discussing the matter so they’ll get a lot of it wrong. Think of that as a parallel of King Arthur. We know so much, the essentials of the tail, yet the details, the historical accuracy remains lost. Probably, we’ll never know. Sometimes, the myth replaces the facts and that’s all that matters.
It begins shortly before the First Age.
There are seven gods. Beings of eternal power. Concepts and concepts that can never extinguish. Also, I’m fairly sure they’re all female, not that it matters, since gods are concepts and icons, without being tied down needlessly to a sexual orientation. Anyway, they existed. No one is sure for how long. Time remains irrelevant to them. They exist at all points in time, simultaneously, while still traveling from past to present. They know what will come, the choices that will lead to splits in the universe, but they cannot change those events.
At the same time that they can effect events and choices determine outcome, those same choices will only lead to certain events. And knowing what comes does not grant even the gods the ability to change it. Not that they ever would. To them, the universe, all of time and space, IS.
Let’s call this an experiment, shall we? At some point, the gods became bored. They created two different species. The Ancient and the Neverending.
The Ancient were a race of some skinned obsidian jackals. Think, Anubis. They lived on the surface of the world, conquering the air and land with their cities. The Neverending appeared like angels. They were all light skinned, fair haired creatures with any number of wings sprouting from their backs. Ironically, they lived underground in vast cities that spanned half a continent. They existed for millions of years, their science and technology advancing far enough to take them to space. Almost inevitably, they discarded the gods as stories and myths.
Despite seeing this outcome, the gods were angered. They destroyed the world, sinking the Ancient and Neverending cities, subducting continents and remolding the world. In the process they wiped out every single Ancient or Neverending they could find. A society of over ten billion, burned out of existence.
And the world was bare.
So, obviously, none of that went well for the gods or the Ancient or the Neverending. The gods wanted to try again. So, after an unknown amount of time passed, they tried again. This time, they created six new species, and thus the Sovereign were born.
A small note: not all of the Neverending and Ancient’s died. They were reforged in the new age, the winded Neverending becoming creatures of metal, their wings and arms almost mechanical. Soft of like a gundam, really. The Ancient were sealed underground, at least one city surviving.
These races are the Zhi Huei, the Gong Zhen, the Islanders, the Shuang Xizhue Gul, the Fury, the High Born, and the Hun Xue’Er. More information on them can be found here, in a previous post.
The Sovereign were able, for a time, to live together in peace. Soon, however, soon the High Born and Fury began a war. They each decided that they knew the best way to keep the peace. They believed that eventually the Ancient and Neverending would return. They waged a war for over 10 thousand years. This was not a full out conflict, the same way we think of wars. No, this was sometimes merely ideological and others a hot war.
For the most part, the other Sovereign were able to live their lives in peace. If I had to put a definitive time line in place, I would say that the second age lasted about 30,000 years before the High Born and Fury began their conflict.
Their war eventually comes to a head. The High Born have retreated to an island in the middle of the largest ocean. There, they are protected by a sentient storm. The Fury stay put in a mountain range. When they do engage in open conflict, things go poorly. Like so…
The Fury decided they were tired of dealing with the High Born and wanted them sealed permanently. At the same time, a group of disparate travels wound up pissing the Fury off in the Fury’s territory. Each one possessed a piece of technology from the First Age, though no one really knew that then.
After chasing the travelers for a long time, the Fury eventually found that the travelers had decided to journey to the High Born Island. There, the Fury engage in a decisive battle with the High Born. The group of travelers helps stop the battle, using their technology, which they consider magical objects. They manage to banish the Fury to another dimension. As a final act of wrath, the Fury curse the High Born island, turning all the High Born to stone and killing everything living. The weapons/artifacts the travelers use become known in legend as the Keys to the Twilight, for their role in the twilight of two Sovereign races.
In the ensuing power vacuum, the humans rise into power. That’s probably the closest to our time that we’ve reached, going back probably about 5 thousand years. The human power lasts about 5 thousand years. And end roughly now.
The remains Sovereign despise being trivialized and reduced to legends by a world that, well, thinks they don’t exist at large. The humans also stopped believing in polytheism and the gods at some point (see real history). This period of human supremacy is known as the Long Night by the other Sovereign. This insurrection was lead by the Safehaven. They exacted a policy of zero tolerance. All humans were killed except for a handful. These were confined two separate island prisons. Their numbers are checked, kept down to about 2-3 million total.
Since the Safehaven took over, there have been 6 thousand years of peace. She established the Elite to train everyone in the use of their magic. They also keep the Islanders in check. Most Sovereign have racist views of the Islanders, for their past transgressions.
This brings the world to the present state when the Tears of the Phoenix starts.
- Fury Alley most likely exists in what is known as Hawai’i if we were to overlay maps.
- The Fury lived in the Rocky Mountains
- The Zhi Huei are European centric, with some Asia
- The Hun Xue’Er hang out all over. Just as humans did.
- The Myst Islander are the UK. Myst Islanders are blond or red haired, with fair skin.
- The Lone Islands are Japan. Black hair. Pale.
End notes: It should be make aware that some of this may change, depending on the fine tuning of the story later. The little details. Otherwise, this is essentially how the world came to be.