Summer Camp 2023 - What a Blast! in Aradeia | World Anvil

Summer Camp 2023 - What a Blast!

About three weeks ago, this year's Summer Camp ended and I finished with 24 entries, winning the gold badge.
I had such a wonderful time talking to the other writers and worldbuilders, dove deep into my fantasy world's lore that I fell into a bit of a slump when I returned to my irl duties. You see, I need a bit of creative time during the day to feel fully satisfied, so writing and really getting into the depths of what I imagined for Aradeia was not only one of the greatest things I could do during my work holidays, it made me feel accomplished and happy. I guess you can imagine how well I was able to shut down after having one of the greatest weeks this year... - I was restless and made sure to get my work done quickly, so I could return to my keyboard and... well... what? I stared at a blank screen, in hope that the muses return and bless me.   Good that we have this year's reading challenge to give me a small push after returning to mundane everyday activities. I'm looking forward to reading my fellow worldbuilders' entries and I'm planning to give it some extra time to properly phrase my critique and see what I can learn from their worldbuilding. For this years reading challenge, I chose three categories of prompts, including (but not limited to):  
  1. A resource that provides fuel or power
  2. A job that takes its practitioner to remote or faraway places
  3. A form of silent communication
There are many more prompts that I found really interesting, but these were the ones I found either the hardest, the most interesting or the most complex to do. Therefore, I will now choose three articles to begin with, starting with category no 1.  

A resource that provides fuel or power

  The first article I've chosen to read and address is 'Taken Cores' by Darkseid:
Really interesting, bit dark though   Immediately, my mind clings to the quote at the beginning. I love how it immediately pulls you in and makes you wonder how powerful this resource can be if it manages to make you a superhuman. (As a huge superhero and -villain fan, I approve.) It's intriguing to dive head first into data about a material that seems to only be sold on the blackmarket. Seeing its halflife represented definitely gave me story ideas as well. Imagine a thief stealing a few cores and realising that the delicate cores he collected were about to expire all along, since they hadn't been used? What surprised me was that taken cores can be used as both a drug and a power enhancer which made me think of my Dewdrop Lilies at first (since the cores are also hallucinogenic). Consequently, I was eager to find out more and decided to follow the world, so I can quench my thirst for knowledge asap. Thanks to Darkseid for this wonderfully faceted entry to this challenge!

  My second choice (I went for interesting names at first, ngl) is 'Blue Quartz' from Coyofroyo:
Roll the dice, everyone!   Originally, I wanted to see what this item looks like, since it has a more familiar name than materials which need completely new words. I was intrigued to find out how Blue Quartz fits into their world and what kind of power or use it's made for. To my surprise, it is a gem used in a DnD-setting. I'm a DnD 5e and 3.5e player myself, so I was intrigued to see what this little item can do.
What I loved especially about this item is that it has not only a use in battle (for attack and defense, respectively), but can also be used to converse with the creatures of the sea itself. That definitely comes in handy in a campaign that mostly plays on the ocean, right? What I've learned from this article is that I want to have a more concise and clear form in my writing. I tend to get to deeply into storytelling which can be fun, but might be too much for a campaign-like setting. I liked the straight-to-the-point style and will use it as an inspiration for my own campaign preparations.   My third choice is 'Realit√§tstinte' by Bursco:
Interesting Concept written in German
Yeeeeah, I admit I chose this one because it's written in my mother tongue. I couldn't help but have a look at it. Realitätstinte means 'reality ink' and, to be honest, the title alone intrigued me. I wanted to know what this reality ink is all about and even though it's a seemingly short entry, it goes quite deep. Reality Ink is one of three ingredients to create a new dream - a basis of new worlds in Bursco's universe. Bursco explains in the Genesis Myth how the world, that his species live in, was created and how a new world was made after the original inhabitants learned that their home was about to fall apart.
I love how complex it is and how far Bursco goes into detail. It has philosophical touch to it which I'm a big fan of, if i'm honest. Inspires me to get even deeper into my creation myth myself. Love this.

 

A job that takes their practitioner to remote or faraway places

  Here, my first choice is 'Wayfinders' by Wulvenfire: Let's explore!   It's not so easy to describe how much this idea sparked my imagination. The way Wayfinders are portrayed in this article formed movie-like scenes in my mind, plotlines for explorers and their students, pictures of scholars with notebooks leaning in to sketch their latest discovery at the edge of the world. They reminded me of my tale keepers in a way, but Wayfinders have a more adventurous approach to their craft, making them extremely useful in a vastly changing world. I can imagine these in a TTRPG setting or even in a novel, since its wide range of activities and places to work in make them extremely interesting in my book. Made me think of classics like the Atlantis or Treasure Planet films. Great read, loved it.   My second choice for this prompt is 'Fanfiction Author' by IndigoChronicler: Anyone else a fanfiction writer around here?   Yup, this was another choice of mine that happened due to the name, you got me. I was like - how is a fanfiction writer someone who goes to remote or faraway places? - and, being a fanfiction writer myself, I felt really stupid thinking that after I finished reading the article. In all fairness, I don't know a lot about OUAT (Once Upon A Time), but I know that it uses a lot of beloved characters from fairy tales and children's stories (among other things). You can't really ignore it if you're a fan of Captain Hook, just saying.
I thoroughly enjoyed that IndigoChronicler made fanfiction writers not only the people from the outside writing about already existing worlds and characters, but the people from the inside, too. It's focussing on the characters who are able to change their own fates by rewriting their stories - a concept which I still absolutely love (think Alan Wake, Descendants, or even Ever After High - and yes, these differ greatly in both genre and audience). Really thankful for this rather humorous but wonderful idea.   Last but not least, my third choice for a job that makes you travel places is 'The Deep Delvers' by ChroniclesOfEvalaw:
Gorgeous Character Art incoming
First things first, how absolutely beautiful is that setup?! I am really impressed with the layout of that article and that character art is so well made! Big props to you for making this. Now, let's read.
- Oh... first of all, this text reminds me that I need to step up my game when it comes to word choice. Beautifully written, definitely. The way they portray Deep Delvers makes them appear like both an authority and a legend - unique titles, abyssal artifacts, vanishing into the void.. There's a lot of amazing ideas in here that I feel inspired to find in my writing as well. Hopefully, I can achieve the same depth as they did in their universe. Valas and Ilatheri, the two Deep Delvers that are portrayed on the sides, are wonderful examples of two sides of the same coin. I highly recommend having a look at it :)
 

A form of silent communication

  My first choice for this category is 'Whisperspeak' by G34RS:
Do you hear the whispers?
  This device by G34RS is a tool for silent communication that enables its user to contact another whisperspeak user secretively, making it extremely useful in loud environments or spaces that prevent open speech (useful for spies, diplomats and the like). The device's users can develop their own gestures and show messages as well as emotions. I love how it combines scifi and fantasy elements. Reminded me of Minority Report in a way and I really liked it ^^     My second choice for a form of silent communication is 'Hue' by zpire:
All the colours   First of all, I appreciate a page being so colourful. It makes sense in context, but oh, I really enjoy looking at this page. Now, reading into it, I am fascinated by how different the entry is to everything I have read so far. It introduces you to the Dollies, a species that usually works with camouflaging itself with their background to stay safe. Hue is there way of communication when they feel safe. With patterns of all kinds starting with the 'Little Circle', they convey feelings and greetings, small and big stories and even prayers and songs. The examples given in the entry are easy to understand, which I truly enjoy. Also, I love how they also show the disadvantages of Hue - being visible to predators if they aren't careful. If you want to read something out of the ordinary, this is definitely something worthy to look into.  
My third choice, and the last for this challenge, is 'Halfling Body Language' by TheOwlGod:
This calls for Lulu!   This is a wonderful take on how halflings communicate among themselves and how it influences the way they are perceived by the taller folks around. Since halflings are also an integral part of my world (Lulu Stompfoot, I'm looking at you), I really enjoyed imagining it, especially the part about halfling bards telling stories in their dances. Love the concept, might think about incorporating something of this for the way halflings use magic.

 

So, what are my goals for the time coming?

  Well, there's a lot to do. I am currently writing a first draft for a novel set in Aradeia, mostly using the characters that are already established over here. Since I do not plan my writing but rather go with the flow, I come up with new characters as I go along and will add them here accordingly.
Also, reading these articles gave me some new ideas for the future. I am truly grateful for all the input and even got into coding a bit, so I can polish my articles after summer camp is done.
Thanks for all that are reading this, have a great summer and a wonderfully cozy autumn.

Cheers!

Cover image: by AI (artbreeder)

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