I intend to write a novel with this world as its basis.
The goal of the project
I'm hoping to provide a rich background to my story setting, which I can refer my readers to, as well as ground my plotlines in the logic of the world they are centered around
Leylan's Unique Selling point
The world is alive, and it rejects change. Leylan is a sentient being, a god even, upon which the story is told. To combat the swirling chaos around it, Leylan forces everything in its vicinity to stay the same as much as possible, rejecting even the slightest regression toward entropy. This means that humans living on Leylan live for a very long time, and with that kind of lifespan, the fear of death looms ever larger.
This is a fantasy setting with many dark elements.
Leylan is a place of incredible beauty and splendor, but it hides a darker side as well -- influenced by the Taint that humans have brought with them. The dead walk the land whenever they are not properly handled, and dark creatures slither out from the depths of Leylan's imagination.
The world has a duel nature in its incredible splendor, as well as its deep darkness. The characters will mostly be faced with the darker side of the world.
Balance between order and chaos
How to deal with death
The characters will have to mend the gap that exists between order and chaos, to reform the world.
The role of death in a world that rejects change
Death is pretty commonplace in our world, and although we often fear the coming void, it also motivates us to live life as fully as possible, and to continue our existence. In a world where life is very long, some of these characteristics must be somewhat muffled.
Take the point about living life to its fullest; humans as a whole are incredibly industrious and are constantly developing our societies and world with the intent of making a better tomorrow for all -- or just ourselves. Without death looming our shoulders, would we still strive for such industry? In such a world, what does it matter if it takes time to do something -- which means, why would you bother invent something to make something easier, when you have an eternity to do it?
Adding to this point, death on Leylan is no automated part of biology, but is a process in which the ecclesiastic orders are meant to cooporate. Chiefly, the Fate of Death, the Flynn, must carry the souls of the dead with him into the Void, lest the taint that they possess will fester on Leylan. If this process is not done, then the soul cannot leave the body, meaning that the essence of the being that once was gets locked into a slowly rotting corpse.
But the Flynn cannot be everywhere, and cannot predict those death which have not spanned their natural -- although extended -- lives, meaning accidents or killings. Thus either the orders of the other Fates, or Flynns own order -- preferably -- must retirieve the souls and store them until Flynn can arrive.
For ordinary people, the Flynn becomes a recurring sign of their own end, and indeed their dreams are haunted by him. In their every dream, the Flynn appears as a black dot on the horizon, ever coming closer. As children, one might not care, nor recognize the dot as human, but as they grow old, the Flynn becomes more and more clear to them, as their natural death grows ever closer.
Thus there is a constant reminder that death is slowly coming for them, which may give people the motivation they need to make the most of life, enough to be somewhat inventive, especially toward the end.
The role of symbols
Because of the peculiar nature of ether and the etherscape, symbols become incredibly powerful. When every word spoken in passing has the potential to become a spell, how people speak and interact with one another has an entirely different nature than what we're used to.
The nature of Meritocracies, Theocracies, and oligarchies
The three human nations are each developed after one of the above ideologies, all in their own twisted way. The supposed meritocracy does not truly give equal opportuinity to all, the theocracy has devolved into a tyrannical thought-police state, and the oligarchy has such a divide between the wealthy and the poor that they might as well live in two separate worlds.
The appearance of the Harbinger
Though humans have grown somewhat used to the presence of @the Flynn in their dreams, the sudden appearance of a second shape has made the world tremble. What does it mean? Who is this Harbinger, and what does it want?
The appearance of the Harbinger coincides with the night when the Wild Hunt rebelled and spread chaos across the skies, forcing the Fates to reign them in.
The unrest reignites old tensions between the human nations and the ancient @Fates, as they sense their very existence being under threat
Tensions between human nations
In the world of @Leylan, there are three great human nations, and many lesser realms, which may only command a single node of ley. The great nations has been at odds with one another since their inception, in the fracture of the second republic.LionessLioness is the land of warriors, who pride themselves on their martial and military prowess. They have been expansionistic in the past, but ever since being rebuffed by the @Freehedian mercenary army, and taught a lesson by the @Plumian zealots, they have begrudignly stayed their hand... until now.
Lioness reveres the @Fate of the Chariot especially, while the @Fate of the Martyr and @Fate of Strength are also held in high regard.
Lioness have a meritocratic, military government, where those who contribute are supposed to move up in the ranks. This is not always the case, which leads to unrest in the public and often times minor rebellions, from time to time.
Freeheed The land of the free, @Freeheed is supposed to have limitless fortunes for those who seek it, waiting for everyone. In reality, the land is controlled by a few very powerful families, who hold an iron grip on the supposed, democratic government. Decadence and cruelty goes hand in hand, as the poorest can barely feed themselves, while the richest can laze about in splendor.
Freeheed reveres the @Fate of the Emperor and the @Fate of the Empress, as well as the @Fate of the Wheel, due to its unpredictable nature. This is also where the @Fate of the Devil makes its home, although it hides in the dregs of society
Freeheed is nominally a democracy, with a chairman at the head of the execute branch, with a senate as judicial, while they leave the judicial branch to the order of Justice and Judgement
PlumagePlumage is the land of the @Whiteclad orders, those who beat back the @Blackclad in the @Fatebreaker war. The land is heavily influenced by the religious orders, and a fanatical adherence to scripture and the @Codex Laws. This nation is also where the breadth of human history is stored and taught, especially in the Oratorium, where the brightest minds across all the nations are invited to learn what the histories can teach.
Plumage reveres, and is even named, after the Fate of the Sun], @[Pluman . The Whiteclad orders of the Fate of the Moon and @Fate of the Star are also in positions of great authority
Pluman is a theocracy, with the head of the Order of the Sun as the leader. All laws are either directly taken from the @Codex Laws, or are inferred thereby, and it is the role of the orders to proclaim judgement of their own adherences.
With the appearance of the Harbinger, the relationship between these three nations grows increasingly strained, threatening war.
The Death of Leylan
Ever since humans crashed onto Leylan, the world has slowly been dying. The Fallassi have withdrawn to the highest tiers, after losing much of their power to save their god, and have left it to the elder races to deal with the troublesome newcomers. Meanwhile, the Pravdîn and the Dun Morrow have been dealing with troubles of their own, in the wake of the catastrophy, and have been slow to rebuild. After the Ravager wars, that saw humans pitched in battle against the elder races, the two races have been especially weakened, leaving their lands to the humans while retreating to the higher tiers.
Because of this, little interaction have been made between the troublesome humans and the elders, but as the Harbinger looms closer, these races realize how important the humans have become to the state of Leylan, and how their powers must be curbed or controlled, if catastrophy is to be avoided.
Tensions between the Whiteclad and the Blackclad
After the Fatebreaker War, the orders were separated into the Whiteclad and the Blackclad (and the neutral Greyscale), depending on whether they stood with the winning side (Whiteclad) or not (Blackclad). Due to this, the blackclad has been restricted by the Codex Laws for a long time, leaving them as empty husks of their former glory. Resentful, and wanting to change the status quo, many in the orders whisper of rebellion, and a new war to settle things right.
Tensions between the elder races and humanity
With humans being the interlopers, the elder races have kept their distance, ever since humans were begrudingly accepted in the wake of the Ravager Wars. As their delving into the nether threatens Leylan once more, many calls for the pests to be eradicated once and for all, now that they no longer have the power they once had.
The split in the Dark Tower
Within the Dark Tower, ethermancy has been given more priority ever since the Fatebreaker war. Put in a tenious position, the Black Tower has tried its best to survive, despite being branded a Blackclad order. Now that the Harbinger has entered the people's dreams, mumblings run through the tower that it is time for a change, and that the nether should once more be studied.