WorldEmber 2023: Pledge & Announcement
Heeeeeeere we go again!Good [timezone], dear readers! It's yet again somewhere in November - I've started writing this mid-November, but who knows when you'll see it. Hopefully before the start of December. It is once again time for WorldEmber, WorldAnvil's other yearly writing competition. I'm not going to lie, I'm still somewhat recovering from writing almost 65k words in a month for Summer Camp, but that doesn't mean I'm going to not do WorldEmber. Plus, I've got news! Fun news! I've been developing something very very cool! WorldAnvil released the beta version of its Boromir API in something like September - October, so I obviously immediately asked for access and then immediately started poking things. Some of you in the community already have access to the tool I'm making, because no good hobbyist developer throws stuff into the world without first testing it on their friends, so I hope it's been useful. The tool's name is Brigid, and we'll talk about her in a little while. Also, obviously, it's spreadsheet time again. As per usual, I've made a tracking spreadsheet for WorldEmber. Here's the link to it! Make a copy as you like. Want to see my personal one? I'll embed it here:
Week 1: Pledge Your GoalAh yes, deciding what we'll do. I already have a rough idea of what I want, so let's dive into the two-parter this is.
Choose an area of focusI've spent a lot of time pre-WorldEmber preparing my world for more general consumption. Using Brigid, I've been tagging articles with things like 'continents-north' (for Iskaldhal) or 'empires-althn' for the Aletheian Empire. The statistics page has thus been able to show me a rather comprehensive view of which areas I have put a large amount of focus on, and which ones I've ignored. Rather notably, despite being the main area for my campaign of seven-ish years, Valathe has barely been touched on for actual development. Whilst I've got an old map of it banging around somewhere in the echoing halls of my PC's filesystem, it's old and a number of the countries have changed since I first wrote them.
Create your pledgeI want you all to know that at first, I closed the homework doc here and then left it for like, three weeks. And then had to wrestle with a frankly irritating amount of software to get the pledge to LET ME PLEDGE IT. I suffered for this one. Tada! It's a pledge. There's nothing much more to say, really, other than to point out that the red clashes with Istralar's colours pretty horrendously. Could I have changed the colours? Yes. Did I? No. Am I feeling particularly sassy as I write this? Yes. It gets to sit in the pretty art box, even though that's fairly pointless for it, because I think that's funny right now. That should be very telling of my state as I do this mess of homework. I could be reading Harrow the Ninth right now. The things I do for badges. Also, in case it's not obvious - yes, I'll be competing in WorldEmber! I do two (2) WorldAnvil competitions every year, and have done them every single year. I missed out on completing WorldEmber 2019 because I forgot to finish up the Verdant Haze or the Endless Archive in time (but.. somehow won something for Lukas Falkenrath that year?), but I have otherwise completed and competed in every WorldEmber and every Summer Camp since I joined in Feb 2018. Life goes on, carrying with it this constant. Unless my AC breaks and it's over 40C all summer, in which case I'll probably just melt into a puddle and not finish any words, let alone 10k.
Submit your homeworkThis is a bullet point on the homework so uh... DONE
Week 2: Prepare your Area of FocusHonestly, considering I'm focusing on areas I've already spent a lot of time in mentally, this one's pretty easy for me to check off. Let's see...
Create a mini-metaGod damn it. If you know me, you know I despise doing metas. I don't feel they're useful for how I work creatively! My brain just prefers things not to be in the logical, consistent structure a meta provides. Istralar's meta exists, but it's a hot mess. I'd know - I wrote it. For this one, I don't particularly care to even do it - I'll be jumping around in my area of focus, and will be wandering beyond it as well. Thus - I don't think it'd be useful! Instead, you can enjoy these lovely few sentences of me rambling. You know, Mochi challenged me to make my homework longer than theirs, and then told me theirs is over 6k words. I'm at 1.6k. I don't think I'm beating theirs. Anyway. On with the homework, it's almost the 1st in my timezone.
Set up a solid category structureAh, this is going to be an easy week, then. So - Istralar's organisation. It comes up every now and again, and I continue to remain happy with how my organisational system works. If you'd like a rundown, it's something like:
Look at other worlds for inspirationThis is the one section I could spend absolutely hours on if I so wished, and probably crash WA in the meantime. There are so many beautiful worlds out there. Every year, I find new worlds that absolutely blow me away. I'm going to attempt to be very restrained about this, this year, because I really don't want to be here for six hours just fangirling over worlds. I do that enough in the Discord!
sapphic love in space
We didn't believe in angels until they invaded. One by one, the sunscrapers of Mercury fell. At Penumbra, we fight back. -— A wiki for Solaris, a sapphic space opera
Ethnis sprawls 1800 years into the future, beyond holocene extinction, alien occupation, and the discovery of magic. It's a canvas for roleplay, stories, and a card-based TTRPG ruleset. Come get lost in our dreams and nightmares.
Other InspirationsIf you've managed to find me on other social media (no prizes for guessing what my username is on every platform..), then you may be aware of my habit of diving into new fandoms and gathering gems from each and every one, hoarding moments and memories as inspiration for just about every facet of my world. Istralar's inspirations have been many over the years. Right now, I'm reading the Locked Tomb series, so expect to see more necromantic influence - especially as I have Morgan's "In Spite of the Inevitable" to read next! But aside from that, have some other sources of inspiration:
Week 3: Welcome your readers!HELLO READERS.
Review your homepageMy issue with this sort of homework task is that I always struggle to figure out how to word what I'm looking at. I like my homepage right now; the improvements I want to make to it are mostly upgraded visuals rather than functionality. I don't have time, patience, or money enough to do exactly what I want to the front page at the minute, and most everything a newcomer to Istralar would need is presented right there, in their face, the moment they take a wander downwards into starry oblivion. I mean, I could make the page gyrate, but I don't think anyone would be happy about that.
Week 4: Last minute prep
Use this week for any remaining prep you need to make sure everything is ready before December 1stWhoops. It's quite literally December 1st in my timezone as I write this, and I certainly didn't do TOO much prep this week! That being said, I've done a lot this year to make sure my world is far more organised and far more ready for WorldEmber. I've got tea aplenty, my air conditioning is being fixed at noon (or, well, it's meant to be...), and an entire list of ideas. And my campaign's on hold until after xmas, so - no prep/game interruptions, woo! Now, why don't we talk about the tool I've made that made prepping a bit easier?
Announcing Project Brigid
Some of you already knew this secret, as my willing test subjects.. thank you for helping out, and for keeping quiet!As soon as I received my WorldAnvil application key to develop something fun for the community, I wanted to try my hand at making a mobile app for the site. Unfortunately, we're not quite there. I had been trying to get the editor finished and ready for WorldEmber when my AC died, and it's just not possible for me to code without that - it's too hot in my room! Fortunately, though, Brigid is still a wonderful tool with wonderful capabilities, and I'll be continuing my work on my custom editor when the cooling is back and when I'm not buried deep in WorldEmber writing. When the editor's done - I'm porting the entirety of Brigid onto Android at minimum. You'll be able to use WA from an actual app! It'll work offline to an extent, too, hopefully!
Wait Han what is Brigid anywayOh I'm glad you asked. Project Brigid, as it currently is on 01/12/2023, is a website that allows you to view your articles, sort them, filter them, add tags to them quickly and easily (you can even paste them in), edit excerpts, view world-based statistics, and export your entire world to a CSV file. It also has a full search that will let you search across EVERY FIELD in EVERY ARTICLE for information (so long as that info is available through the API). For the tech nerds among us, it's a React and Next app, and I'll gladly take help with working on it if any fellow coders are interested! Here are some screenshots of Brigid at the moment! Brigid can be accessed here. If you find a bug, want to request a feature (please, request anything you think would be useful!), or want to help develop it, the GitHub tracker is here. The project is opensource, so you're also welcome to spin off your own version, too! I hope this helps some of you to find stubs to work on during WorldEmber, or otherwise to organise your world! I'll endeavour to keep making it more useful, too!
To finish up, let's just have a quick reminder of something in the real world. As some of you know, I moved to Australia a while ago (I'm English). Australia always was and always will be Aboriginal land. Sovereignty was never ceded. Here, there's a long-standing tradition of respect and acknowledgment for the people who have lived here for so long, whose country this will always be. And so I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that I live on today, for it is their long history of storytelling that shapes so much memory and life today. I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. I recognise their continuing connection to this land and its waters. If you have never heard this acknowledgement before and would like to know more, the Wurundjeri have a website here, and the Acknowledgement of Country is explained here. And since we're all storytellers - here's a narration of one of their stories, the tale of Bunjil!
Other Inspiring Worlds
wow that's a lot of stars
a sci-fi adventure of dubious intentions
12 planets connected by metadimensional space, divided by ideals, and held together by one beleaguered organization.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science
Vazdimet is a character-focused science fiction fantasy setting exploring the meaning of life, family, and belief in a spacefaring universe where death has become optional.
World of Wizard's Peak
A hole in the world opens up to a different world or reality every day. Come see how the Kirinalos balance politics and innovation against multiversal invasion.
A dark fantasy setting where magic was forcefully introduced to the world only fifty years ago.
Fifty years ago, the world of Melior was forcefully introduced to magic during an apocalyptic invasion. Folks are questioning their old traditions and faiths as they struggle to rebuild amidst the new dangers of everyday life.
Five and a half thousand years ago, the world of Etrea awakened with no memory of what had come before.