New Year, New Words, New Me in Hesli | World Anvil

New Year, New Words, New Me

Time flies while having fun, and I for sure did have fun this WorldEmber! I lost a big persuasion check against my brain, and I created a huge trading enterprise in my setting (how much more Dutch can you get, amirite? ^^). Looking back at this year, I have accomplished quite a bit, if I may say so myself. According to My Plans for 2022, I have completed roughly half of the main species within my settings with multiple ethnicities and religions, and some bonus buildings and whatnot. I even drew a map! Me! So, not to shabby ShadowPhoenix, not too shabby.  
OI! Where did 2022 go?
— Me

Goals for 2023

So, what are my goals and plans for this year? Well, partially what I also had as plans for last year. I have two types of goals for this year, one for writing and one for my healthy whether that be physical or mental. Why do I put both of them there? Because they are tied in with each other! Writing when you don't want to write doesn't give energy, it'll only cost energy and that is just one example. So, let's see what shenanigans my brain has come up with. Most of the healthy goals are copied from my World Ember Pledge 2022 because they were pretty good!  

Writing Goals

  • I will create a new article to replace My Plans for 2022, specifically the 'To Do' part of the article. It's not just for 2022 anymore! I want to create a sort of hub for myself where I can track the progress of what I wrote when in WA. The hub will be filled with articles to do, articles that are finished, maps, and resources. Especially the resources might be interesting for people who stumble across the article and find something they were looking for. ^^
  • I will say this again, yes, as it was the goal for 2022: finish the starting zone in and around Limani so I can start plotting a campaign for my players. \o/ Will I do it this year? Well, I will certainly try, and even if I fail, the world is a few steps closer to that goal regardless. ^^
  • I will try to write something every other day. It could be worldbuilding, it could be personal, a paragraph for a novel/project. Just write something.

Healthy Goals

  • I will not force myself to write when I don't feel like it. I am allowed to see if I can break through a demotivated day by making myself write for 5 minutes. If, after that, I still don't want to write, I will lay down my pen for that moment and do something else.
  • I will enjoy myself while writing, so it gives me energy instead of costing me energy.
  • I will take a break and go for a walk when I have written for more than two hours, because breaks are important.
  • I will go to the gym twice a week, to ensure that I become more physically healthy.
  • I will try to walk for 30-60mins twice a week to get fresh air.
  • I will break up my writing tasks and ambitions into small segments, so they have a low chance of overwhelming me.

I finished my first writing goal already! \o/ The Hesli Development Hub is live and kicking! My first to do list is updated with new items that I created for myself because.. that's simply how this work. It even contains a spoiler-free to do list for my players who are already on WorldAnvil, so they can dive into some of the lore already. ^^ Already curious what I'll be doing? Go ahead and take a look!
Hesli Development Hub
Generic article | Aug 11, 2023

The article that keeps track of all the things happening in the development of Hesli. From articles, to art, maps, project, and more!



For me, there is a distinct difference between a goal and an ambition. Goals are something that you can achieve within a timeframe that you give yourself. An ambition on the other hand is striving towards something that you cannot always get done. It is that extra mile you want to go and achieve if possible and it is the thing that drives you towards your goal.   So, what is my ambition? I have three for this year that hopefully will give me drive and focus.  

Ultimately, I'm building this world for my players to enjoy and that means that I will have to put time and effort into creating a campaign that will leave them hooked for years to come. Knowing my players, there are a few things that I have to keep in mind when worldbuilding.
  • They are utter loreheads, at least some of them. They love reading into the lore and getting to know it better. I also have some that are no loreheads at all and just want to know the bare minimum to play and screw around. Finding the balance in that will be tricky, but should be doable.
  • The group consists of mostly good people and one or two that just want to screw around. With that in mind, I can already start thinking of how I can incorporate the different personalities into the campaign.
  • I don't allow all standard DnD 5e races in my setting, just yet. Therefore, character creating will be an interesting process to go through and won't be a simple session zero. Jotting down the details of their characters and what is possible and what not will be needed.
How not to get eaten by various phoenixes
During WorldEmber, amidst the chaos that is a hyped community, birth was given to an idea of mine that spiralled out of control. How Not To Get Eaten by Various Phoenixes, A Possibly Useless Handbook for The Aspiring Phoenix Master came to life, partially as a joke, but partially as a serious endeavour. What started as a gimmick for my world, has turned into an ambition to make it actually come to life.   After losing the persuasion check against my brain, I have decided to fully write this handbook with artwork and everything. Eventually, it will be printed and I will make sure it has a nice leather cover. Having an item from my world, a physical item with world lore that I made would be a dream come true.   Granted, I have no idea what will come of this project and how I will do this, but the prospect alone excites me already. I hope to put some effort into this project every month, whether that is through writing, through drawing, or some other thing that will get tied into it.
Next stop: 250k words!

At the moment, I'm sitting just shy of 120k words in my world. According to my friends, that's a heck of a lot of words. According to my brain, it is not. xD Which is all well and good, because that means I have much inspiration to wow them even more.   Last year, I believe during SummerCamp, I finally broke through the first milestone I set for myself: 100k. With World Ember now over, I can look back at a successful year of writing. According to my dashboard, I almost doubled the number of words in my world. With the Handbook project in the pipeline, and a lot of prep for the campaign in sight, I suspect that the number of words for this year will increase drastically.   Therefore, my next milestone is 250k words! In all shapes and sizes! These words can come from the handbook, worldbuilding, character building, and what all else writing I can think of that I put in WA.

Awesome Articles

There are many awesome beans in the community who have written excellent articles that have inspired me in one way or another. Here are a few of my favourites!  
Tradition / Ritual | Dec 12, 2022

A popular strategy-based card game originating in Melior that's enjoyed even beyond the rifts.

TJ always produces amazing articles that are a joy to read. I love their writing style and their artwork is simply to die for. While I cannot draw well myself, it certainly has inspired me to take up that pencil and practise again. A picture says a thousand words and that certainly works in TJ's favour here.
Species | Aug 28, 2023

A cetacean species from Ocearia. Slow-whales are famous for their slumbering natures.

Mochi creates one of the best species throughout WorldAnvil if you'd ask me. The strength in their articles is in the length. It is short, sweet, and simple, yet packed with all the information you need. While I always tend to go into (too) much detail about.. well, anything I write, Mochi's work always reminds me that sometimes, you don't need to convey all the information to create an awesome and rich article.
Her Highness Princess Luna kitten
Character | Jan 20, 2024

Luna kitten is the cutest and most intelligent kitten of them all, and anyone looking down on her for her mixed pedigree and criticising her manners is a rude imbecile! >:( Thankfully, she'll bite you before I'm forced to deal with you.

Amélie always manages to create true works of art with her articles. Whether that's through the style of writing and humour, or the clever use of containers for the looks of her article. This time, she has outdone herself with this hilarious article. It is just spot on with humour and imagery. I especially like the use of icons to convey the visual message even further. Definitely something I could work on for my articles!

Qualic Scriptorium
Building / Landmark | Jan 15, 2024

An extraplanar library of qualia: instances of subjective conscious experience.

What a stunning article this is. The depth of knowledge poured into it is simply astonishing. What I love most about Hanhula's work, is the use of AI generated images. It just goes to show how much you can do with technology nowadays to provide articles with fantastic images that cater towards the idea that you as the writer has regardless of one's drawing skills.
Cotton Candy Dwarves
Ethnicity | Mar 14, 2024
The title of this article caught my eye immediately. Cotton candy and dwarves, that must be good and boy was it! The information portion of the article was short and sweet (no pun intended), but what really added body to it was the recipe for Dwarven Brittle and the prose about the Festival of Colour. It just goes to show that different types of text blocks can make a huge difference in conveying information! Personally, I only use quotes and aloud boxes with well, quotes and flash fiction or 'did you know's in the aloud boxes, but I can definitely learn from these Cotton Candy Dwarves to spruse up my articles with even more variation.
Boar's Cooks
Profession | Nov 20, 2023
What is a world without good cooks? Exactly like my world, utter chaos, but that aside. I like the simplicity of this article. Sometimes you just need something straight to the point in your world and there is nothing wrong with that. This article certainly proves that!

Magic in Niorath
Spell | Jul 4, 2023
Kefkejaco has the ability to create impressive overview articles without making them feel like a drag. The history provides just enough context to understand where the magic came from and the overview of the magic types with the articles attached to them fully complements the job. Adding the complementary articles explicitely with the context is something that I could work towards, as I tend to simply put them in my side bar and let them... exist.
Irathian Funeral Pyres
Tradition / Ritual | Feb 28, 2024
This is such an amazing and detailed article, it is downright a masterpiece. However, the most impressive part of the article is the map combined with some clever magic. It is an interactive way of learning what each region or country uses for their funeral pyres. I don't know how just yet, but I do aspire to make some of my articles more interactive to give readers and players more toys to keep them hooked to the article.
Organization | Jan 29, 2024

Nobody expects an Inquisition. No, really, they don't. And then an Inquisitor stands before them, asking about this small pendant hanging at the wall above the family altar or this book nobody reads...

The Inquisition is yet another example of a versatile article. Instead of putting the prose at the end like in the Cotton Candy Dwarves, Eddie has put the prose right at the beginning to lure you into the article. Once hooked, there is no letting go. The article has an immaculate sense of detail without overdoing it. I also love the variety of images for displaying how the Inquisitors can look, yet another good use of AI art generation!

Character | Feb 2, 2024

Cato is a young, cunning business woman, whom trades in information.

Last but not least, I picked a character specifically from the adventure challenge to write about someone from the community. There are so many creative answers, but this is one of my favourites for sure. I love the energy of the article and could not help but giggle at the many jokes. There are so many awesome beans in our community that I too feel compelled to see if I can incorporate them more in my world.

Cover image: Hesli Banner by ShadowPhoenix


Please Login in order to comment!
Jan 5, 2023 16:37 by Mochi

Thank you so much for picking the slow-whales! I am honoured that you think so highly of my writing <3

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 5, 2023 16:44 by Mochi

And I absolutely love your healthy goals! I am very tempted to "borrow" some ideas if that's okay xD

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 5, 2023 16:58

Your work is awesome Mochi, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ^^ And of course, feel free to borrow and adjust any of the healthy goals to your needs! Health is most important and I'm very grateful that my goals have inspired you to make your own. <3

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 5, 2023 18:38

Some great picks shadow! And thank you for including me on the list, means so much to me ! :D   As for your goals I am happy to hear that you will create more around the not getting eaten by phoenixes! Looking forward to what you will bring forth this year :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Jan 9, 2023 13:42

Thank you! Your work is awesome, so I really had no choice but to include you. ;)   I'm so excited to work on the phoenix handbook, so trying to balance that with regular world building and campaign building will be a challenge but a fun one at that. ^^ I'm looking forward to your work this year as well! :D

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 6, 2023 10:09 by Annie Stein

It makes me happy to see people working in health goals too! Best of luck Shadow!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jan 9, 2023 13:44

Thank you! Best of luck to you as well! :D

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 7, 2023 23:22 by TJ Trewin

Thanks so much for your kind words!! You've got some amazing goals there and I'm glad to see a list of health ones, too :D   You're going to have an amazing and inspiring year of worldbuilding! :D I'm excited for you

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 9, 2023 13:47

Thank you! Here's hoping that I can adhere to my health goals better during the year than I did during world ember ^^ Every step forward is a good one!

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 9, 2023 10:00

A great selection of articles, and those healthy goals are very good to have. Good luck with 2023, and I'm sure you'll hit that 250k mark! GANBATTE! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jan 9, 2023 13:48

Thank you! Good luck this year to you as well, it will to be epic for sure. ^^

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 12, 2023 21:38 by Emily Armstrong

Thank you so much for checking out the Cotton Candy Dwarves! I'm glad you enjoyed them, they're sweet lil guys <3 Looove all the inspo on this page!! Absolutely soakin' it up, fantastic job everyone! What a lovely WorldEmber :D

Check out my worlds of Beckettville and Culinarypunk!
Jan 15, 2023 13:23 by Bart Weergang

I was honestly surprised to see an article of mine in the list! I was slowely scrolling and reading, admireing all the cool stuff and suddenly I see a familiar header XD. Thank you Shadow