Mihkel Rand

Writer and Worldbuilder

I feel like there should be a good quote here about me by someone else but asking for that seems weird and I'd rather avoid it and write this awkward mess here instead.
— Mihkel "Dhelian" Rand
  In the unlikely scenario that you have ever wondered who the person behind worlds such as Lethea and Golden Awakening is, well... here's an article about me. So if you were for some weird reason wondering about my journey as a worldbuilder or just curious about who I actually am, feel free to read or skim through this article.

The Past

 
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Before I get to the vaguely interesting bits, let me just briefly summerise the boring parts (i.e. most of my childhood). I was born on January 5, 1999, in the town of Paide. Let's just say that the first three years of my life didn't really go very well, and I'm somewhat lucky even to be alive. I spent most of my early childhood in central Estonia and then later moved to the capital, Tallinn.

There I was horribly bullied in kindergarten and school, I attempted to practice karate until I ended up in the hospital for days, and I began drawing weird battles between different coloured dots on paper. After two years of school in the big city, we moved to an old house in Saare County, and I've been living here ever since.   The new school had fewer people, but the bullying still continued. Eventually, I managed to stop most of it by getting into a random wrestling match with one of the boys. After I won that they bothered me less. Or maybe they just grew up. I don't even know, but saying that I'm responsible for that ending is a better story.  

The Start of my Worldbuilding Journey

What's the point of a first-person quote by me when the entire article is written in the same way?
— Mihkel "Dhelian" Rand
  At some point, I started making massive modern city maps on multiple A3 papers that I would then tape together. Soon after, I got the idea to build a nation based on those cities. The very first nation I ever made was in the real world in Corsica and northern Italy. Because I really liked the word "liberty" at the time, I named the country Liberia, completely failing to realize that a country in the real world already had the same name. At around that time I was also told that I had Asperger Syndrome but me being the dumb kid that I was, I mostly just ignored that and continued living without a clue what that meant.  

Yarthan

In either 2013 or 2014, I created the map for my very first fantasy world. As I hadn't been the most creative teenager on Earth, a lot of the names and cultures from that world had been liberally stolen from reality. I had lifted Francia out of human history and tossed the name on my map. Another horrendous thing about that first map was the rivers. They just kept forking like there was no tomorrow.   After making that horrible mess, I started working on modding it into Crusader Kings 2. That went reasonably well, but I think I lost the mod's files at some point and then I gave up. When working on that mod, I came up with the name, Athe and even back then I had made it an important religious place just like it is now in Lethea. I had also attempted to write a book in that world, but I only managed to finish two short and cringey chapters.  

The First Lethea

It's Lethea, Jim, but not as we know it.
 
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The first iteration of Lethea was born sometime in the summer of 2016. Its original purpose was to serve as a playground for the Dungeons & Dragons 5E games that I was hoping to run in the dorm with a few of my friends. The longer I kept working on the world and coming up with my own custom content, the more problems I discovered. The first version of the world had far too many forking rivers, too much civilisation for a D&D setting, and not enough magic for 5E.  

New Lethea

In the summer of 2018, I decided to work on a new and improved map for my world. With the new map came big changes. Countries were wiped off of it, other states lost massive swaths of territory, and the whole history of the world was heavily tweaked. Doing these large changes allowed me to break free of the shackles of D&D. Before I started working on the map I also created my World Anvil account and now I'm here and apparently, there are people who like what I write which is pretty nice.

Year of Birth 1999 (20 years old)
Birthplace
Paide, Estonia
Current Residence
Saare County, Estonia
Biological Sex
Male
Sexuality
Heterosexual
Eyes
Greyish Blue
Hair
Short, dark brown
Skin Tone
White
Height
1.81 m
Weight
84 kg
Known Languages
Estonian, English
OG_Athe.JPG
 

The Lost and Abandoned

After I had given up on Yarthan for reasons I can't quite remember, I started working on other worlds. Unfortunately for those newer worlds, they were also somewhat bad. All of my world up to today (with the exception of Golden Awakening) have started off with a map.   Before Lethea, I hadn't really bothered doing any other worldbuilding. I just liked making ugly maps for worlds where the rivers really liked forking a lot. For one world I had also attempted to make my own conlang so that I could come up with names for the towns.
Introduction to Lethea
Generic article | Jul 23, 2019


Cover image: Among the Sierra Nevada, California by Albert Bierstadt

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