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Introduction to Arda Almayed

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Arda Almayed is a poetic and myth infused high fantasy middle-age-arabic inspired world where legends and reality come together as one. The world is hopeful and bright, filled with many different people and overflowing with ancient history and mysteries just waiting to be discovered. It was first created to be a setting for a TTRPG campaign, but has since then evolved to be the home of a variety of projects.
The world of Arda Almayed, while it is vast, focuses mostly on the (same name) region of Arda Almyed and its surroundings. For more information on the reigions of Arda Almayed, check out the Adventurer's Travel Guide! The region is filled with many different species, ethnicities and cultures.

The World is Hopeful:

Whilst life may not always be easy and bright in Arda Almayed, its inhabitants never despair. Hope and passion are core characteristics of the world, and well intentioned people can have a lasting positive influence on the life of those around them.

The World is Mythical:

The gods exist, and history and myths are one and the same. What is remembered becomes what happened, and different stories of identical events are all equally true- to a certain extent. Nothing is ever certain when talking about the past.

The World is Magic:

Magic in Arda Almayed is a powerful storytelling tool, as it allows to bend reality to fit the needs of the author. It explains contradictions, and allows for endless creation- however, it should always act following the themes of the world.

The World is Ancient:

Many people have lived before our time, and traces of them are still very present. Landscapes and cities are littered with ruins- sometimes they rise above the ground, sometimes they hide deep under temples, forgotten under layers and layers of dust.

The World is Dangerous:

Outside of the well guarded roads of the Danatelian Lands, powerful monsters and creatures roam the wilds. They make exploration difficult, and adventurers better be prepared to encounter them, lest they take the risk of dying.

Themes

The world of Arda Almayed distinguishes itself from many other fantasy worlds by drawing most of its inspiration from amazigh, berbere, persian and arabic cultures (specifically around the pre-islamic era, medieval era and renaissance era). The climate is generally warm, ranging from desertic to mediterranean.

Reader / Player Experience:

The world feels large and mysterious. There are mysteries, intrigues, things to discover and explore, quests to go on, new legends to write. The world is beautiful, wonderful and full of hope. Its Mood Alignement is between Graybright and Grayglow.

Tone & Setting Alignment
Generic article | Oct 17, 2020

Learn more about the Noble/Grim & Bright/Dark scale

Recurring Themes:

  • Loss and grief: these themes are present across many myths, especially concerning Samara the Enchantress. Struggling with these feelings before coming at peace with them.

  • Archeology and history: listen, I just love old stuff. Finding ruins, hidden treasures, all that Indianna Jones stuff, its right up my alley. Add some realistic problems such as old untranslatable languages, all that kind of stuff and we're golden!

  • Gray areas: 70% of what I worldbuild is conjecture. I rarely speak of the truth, but instead of the various things people in my world think are true. I find that a lot more interesting. As such, almost every single story or myth has different versions, and all are true and wrong.

  • Magic is poetic: the way magic works is a bit mysterious. There are rules to magic, created by the people of my world, but Magic on a large scale acts mostly in ways that are best described as "poetic" or "narratively fulfilling", whatever that may be.

  • Technological Level:

    The technology in Arda Almayed is more or less similar to Renaissance / late Middle Ages. There are no guns, and the most complex feats of engineering tend to be in the domain of architecture. However, many innovations are made daily using Makwa.

    Relevant Events

    In the recent history of the world, the most notable event has been the arrival of magic, on a very wide scale. Powerful creatures such as Ikemo have started materialising on a regular basis, causing havoc around the lands. Adventuring has become a common profession, as this newfound access to magic has kickstarted a sort of cultural and technological revolution.

    The mysterious and recent disappearance of Laykan has caused some havoc amongst the Saohri Temple and the Danatelians at large- coupled with a growing number of missing stars, some groups have started to claim the end of the world to be near.

    New discoveries in the realm of science and magic have lead to new dangers being uncovered- the rise of powerful and dangerous Mages, and the people of Arda Almyed have learned to distrust those who seek power without understanding it.

    Running a TTRPG

    Arda Almayed lends itself well to a variety of TTRPGs. Whilst it was originally built for D&D 5th edition, it has since delved into becoming its own setting, which dungeon masters could easily adapt to work with various fantasy oriented TTRPGs. Throughout the wiki (often in authors notes), you will be able to find references concerning equivalences to D&D 5th edition, such as what ethnicity might correspond to what D&D race, and so on.

    We make the recommendation of completely seperating the technical terms of an RPG (such as classes, spell levels, etc) from the world of Arda Almayed. For instance, not all priests are clerics (they could be warlocks, fighters, druids, so on), and not all clerics are priests. There is no such thing as "an order of paladins", only orders in which someone could play a paladin.

    As a mater of fact, I take specific care to avoid using "RPG lingo" in my worldbuilding. Words like "cleric" or "rogue" correspond to the realm of players, not to the world of Arda Almayed. An active effort of interpretation is asked of players to translate D&D mechanics into flavour and lore which fit the world.

    Arda Almayed
    by Albert Joseph Franke

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    Cover image: by Tom Gainor

    Comments

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    3 Jan, 2022 21:09

    The magic of the unknown is amazing... I love how it makes Interarcanum both very similar and distinctly different from ours.   Also, neat structure of the article. It will help me make my when time comes. :D

    Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
    8 Jan, 2022 18:40

    Thank you so much for the kind words!! I'm glad it had the desired effect :'0

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    8 Jan, 2022 18:41

    Oh and please send me a link to yours as soon as its done!! I have your WE articles opened for me to read too, and they look very promising :D!!!

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    4 Jan, 2022 11:18

    Very nice introduction! I love how you focused on the themes of the setting with the first section and then the real theme section. and every time I was reading something, I was remembering of some of your articles and thinking "ah yes!", so that's a good sign XD   Only thing I think is missing is a "what to read next" section right at the bottom of the article. Since it's going to be read by new readers, it's nice to point them directly in the right direction :D

    To see what I am up to, my latest article is Geography of magic for the River Challenge
    8 Jan, 2022 18:41

    Sorry for the late answer, I accidentally deleted to notifications =_= thank you for the kind words!! And oh my gosh that is a very good sign :'00 that means a lot!   And excellent idea- I'll add one right now :)

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    16 Jan, 2022 21:34

    Congrats on the new world name, and very well done on this introduction to the world! I really enjoy the way you introduce the world in the beginning there, before getting into the themes. Loss and grief is so powerful to explore in worldbuilding, too <3 Great work TC!


    Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
    ~
    Come explore my competition entry, River Artazia
    18 Jan, 2022 15:44

    Thank you!! I'm very happy with that new world name hehe :D thank you so much for the kind words <3

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    22 Jan, 2022 21:35

    Beautiful introduction article. <3 I love the new world name, and I love the themes you are bringing in through your work. The 70% conjecture bit is great.

    23 Jan, 2022 12:22

    Thank you Emy!! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm glad you liked the new world name hehe :)

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    23 Jan, 2022 08:43

    Vocally laughed at "poetic and myth infused high fantasy middle-age-arabic inspired world" lol   Great introduction! More than anything, this gets across the vibe of your world perfectly!


    Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
    23 Jan, 2022 12:27

    Lmao yeah god I was pulling a very =_= looking face when I wrote that one, glad I'm not the only one amused! And thank you so much for the kind words hehe, glad to see you around again!

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
    6 Feb, 2022 16:21

    I really like this intro! It has piqued my interest in several regions. For one, what other projects are you running with the world? Or, what is Makwa? And are you writing with other people (parts of the article have the second plural voice)?   Also, the music matches well with the tone you have established in the article and the mood of your world.   Looking forward to the articles that come after this :)

    7 Feb, 2022 11:04

    Thank you very much for your kind words! To answer a few of your questions, I have ideas for projects more than I have actual projects (woops), and I used the royal we for some reason (I don't know why, I'm alone...). Makwa is the name Danatelians give to magic, and I'm hoping to pump out an article about it soon!

    Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!