Summer Camp 2023 Pledge in Salan | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Summer Camp 2023 Pledge

I pledge to take part in the Summer Camp 2023, and complete the **Diamond** Level. In fact, my goal is to complete all the 40 prompts, including the optional wild cards. Diamond or Die!   See my progress report & completed articles here!  

Scope & Plans

1. Working on my novel draft (during June)
I want to work on my novel draft from the Nano 2022 and 2021, that tells the story of Daursan and Kauteirin.
I will do this work in June, to prepare material to be worked into articles during the Summer Camp.

2. Expanding on the earlier history of the slavery under the Giants and the Holders of the Skyswords.  

Homework 1: Copper Theme - Power

Which are the powerful organizations within your world setting? Who are the powerful individuals? What kinds of power do they wield and what are their weaknesses and needs?

Main power themes

1. Gendered power
I want to explore gendered power within my world. I will explore it through the eyes of Kauteirin, a man, who, while disguised as a woman, ends up marrying another man Farinwél. He is in a unique position to observe the differences in the male and female power within my world, and how the different expectations affect him during the different stages of his life. His relationship with Farinwél also challenges the gender expectations of the society.

Generally speaking men hold more power during this time period in my world. However, the life of the men is filled with many expectations that lower their agency: they are forced to serve in the military, obey the commanders, and marry against their wishes. On the other hand, the women, while seemingly less powerful, are less affected by the bloody wars of the period, and have more agency over their individual life. Kauteirin initially seeks this female agency by escaping drafting into a monastery, but later decides to rather take part in the war.   2. Physical power
The main conflict of this era is the Giant Wars fought between the men and the giants. The giants are a race of great strenght, which gives them the physical power over the men. This power difference they've used to make the humans their subordinates. These people work as their eyes and ears, spreading their influence everywhere.

However, the men have superior intelligence, and the favour of the gods on their side. The giants are also too reliant on the human slaves for running their society, and once the humans start rebelling, their culture will eventually collapse.


Homework 2: Silver theme - Frontier

Where are the frontiers in your worldsetting? And why would anyone want to go there?! What about metaphorical frontiers, like the “frontier of medicine” or space, the “final frontier”?
  My story is set on a frontier: the space between the Serme Mountains that house the great cities of the Stone Giants, and the then forested region of Farensal, where the Forest giants reign. This region is the natural geographic border between the regions, as well as a political and cultural border.

This border area is the battlefield for the Giant Wars, and the stone and forest giants, and their subordinate humans, are constantly fighting over the control of it. The war is not only over the resourses of the foreign lands, but the people of both of the sides believe that they are deliberating the people of the other side from the power of their evil lords. However, they are blind to the influences that control their own culture.

Fronteers of research

The end of the Time of Wander is also an important transitionary period in terms of human culture and technology: humans began founding their first large cities, discovered many key technologies such as metal working and Greystone smithing, and sought their independence from the giant lords.   The greatest mystery intriguing the philosophers of this age was the impassable border between the life and the dead. Many effective rituals had already been developed to soothe and control the Táldar (spirits of the dead), and now many began to wonder, if it was possible to stop the spirits from aging and fading completely, or even bring them back to life. What is connecting the souls to the bodies? How can the spirits exist without the bodies? Greystone weapons had provided a technology capable of killing the souls, but the mechanism was poorly understood. Could it be possible then to kill the soul, but not the body?

These areas of research proved to be very controversial however, and many philosophers pondering the topic were accused of using murder as their research method, which was not appreciated. Many notable pioneers, such as Deremhos Nemar. later denounced the research topic, declaring that greystone should have never been invented. Many researchers took their research undercover, and much of the information disappeared forever.  

Homework 3: Gold theme - Relics

What aspects of the past are revered today in your world setting? Which peoples are remembered? And which are forgotten, and why?
  This theme fits my world perfectly too, because I'm currently writing about the early history of my world: these are the exact events, that will leave the future relics, and are remembered by the later eras.

My story focuses on the Wanderers, an early human people, that most of the later nations (Farens, Ara people, Tašals and Sayal people) trace their ancestry from, because they were so influential for the culture of the later ages. These people are the subjects of the greatest legends told: Heroes Daursan and Kauteirin and Ásinnár, Deremhos the Elder the father of smiths, Holders of the Skyswords who were great liberators and terrible warriors, and many more heroes whose deeds were never matched in the later eras. This is because in this time the humans were still closer to the gods, and many people had the blood of the gods or Giants in their lineage.

Many mythical items were also created in this age, the chief of them the Skyswords, terrible weapons that could kill not only the body but also the soul of their victim. This was also the time when the first great human cities, like Fares (Silford) were first built.

Because my setting is so far in the history, there were not many relics created even earlier, except the creations of the gods themselves. Also the great cities of the Stone Giants still stood great in their glory. These were a great wonder to the young race of humans, and already ancient by then, but only ruins and some enigmatic monuments (such as the statues of Arensande) remain of the Giants in the later ages.  

Homework 4: Diamond theme - Communication

How do people and organizations from different backgrounds or cultures communicate with each other? How does communication happen over short and long distances? Who in your setting communicates secretly or carefully, and how?

Physical realities

One of the interesting quirks of my setting is how limited the means of communication are. The means of travel are very limited: the fastest mode of transport on land are the wobbly goat carriages, that can only travel one Goat's Track a day. Ships on the coast are a bit more speedy, but rely on steady winds or availability of manpower for rowing. Important messages are transported via runners. Rumors are spread slowly by travelers, but they are rare. In smaller settlements they are welcomed warmly, and people gather around to hear news from the outside world.

Writing is also yet to be invented. This means that all messages and information need to be stored in human memory. Some effective memory techniques have been invented for that, including Saial Memory Songs, and epic poetry, that is sung in hexameter verses.

The giants seem to able communicate secretly between their settlements, but wheter they have magical means for doing so, or if it's done through the long tunnels connecting their cities underground, or through their network of human spies, is not known for sure.

Supernatural communication

The gods of Salan are polypresent and polyscient, but not ominipresent or omniscient - they need to communicate with their mortal subjects to receive information. Rituals and sacrifices are regularly performed to seek the help and knowledge of the immortals. The gods also actively seek interaction with the mortals: they can appear to them in dreams, or waking visions, bringing them instant information from far away. However, mortals cannot control this mode of communication.   There are also the táldar, spirits of the dead who still linger on the mortal lands. They still hold on to their past memories, meaning the oldest spirits can communicate information from deep past beyond the living human memory. The táldar can move invisibly and in secret, and their presense also goes to the lands of the dead where no mortal can enter, but they are unreliable.

However Fading affects all the spirits, making them forgetful and unable to communicate effectively with the living people.

Fronteers of supernatural communication

Having an access to reliable means of communication through the dead would be a huge advantage, so much research is being put into slowing down and reversing the effects of fading, or even bringing the dead back to full life. On the other hand there is a compeeting effort of learning how to calm the spirits down into their sleep, to keep the mortals safe from their influence.
Here is my previous diamond badge for some inspiration (pressure)!

Powerful articles

Leaders of the Monastery, that have power over Kauteirin and the other Sisters of the monastic order.

Valinarda, commander of the Highland Army.

Stonelords, the great kings of the Stone Giants who are the ultimate commanders of the Highland Army. However, their weakness is, that they rely on their enslaved humans on all day-to-day matters.

During the Summer Camp I could expand on various topics around the war:
the associated units & formations
war machines and vehicles (=goats).

There's so many questions to answer:
How are the soldiers accomodated?
What do they eat?
How do the army source equipment and rations both beforehand and during the battles?
How do they transport equipment?
What's the chain of command?
What is the armor and clothing like?

Salan, 50 BFS

Fronteer articles


Relics to write about

Ulum, the great mine of the Giants
The overcity of Stonelords' Throne
giant statues of Arensande
The individual Skyswords and their holders
Grand temple of Áfawarsal
Dragons, who were still more abundant in this age
Great forests of Farensal, that were later cut down for building material
Tales of the great heroes in myth or document articles
World Tree created in the beginning of the time
Gifts Ásinnár used during her Journey to the Underworld

Sociolinguistic setting

My setting is relatively close to the creation of the mankind, and the languages have not yet diverged far on Salan. Proto-Ara-Faren is the language spoken by the most, although the proposed sayal-tašalian family must have existed in the area too.

Apart from humans, relevant races for communication are the gods, wild spirits and Giants. Gods and spirits usually talk in human languages. Giants are able to talk in human ways too, although they have their own tongues too. Those were never learned by more than a handful of humans, but some half-giants are known to have spoken both human and giant tongues.  

Communication articles

by Kuebi = Armin Kübelbeck
goats, goats, goats
Tašal language

Goat breeds, goat carriages, war-goat charriots
runners (profession)
rituals for talking to the gods
Poetic meters


Please Login in order to comment!
Jun 8, 2023 22:17 by TJ Trewin

Congrats on achieving the diamond badge last year!! I'm sure you'll smash your goal again during this summer camp :D are you looking forward to any particular article templates?

Journals of Yesteryear
You're invited to explore my new world!
Jun 9, 2023 08:28

Thanks! It should be fairly easy, because I'm also summer-unemployed (the benefit of being a teacher lol), so I should have all the time in my hands . As a linguist and conlang-enthusiast I'm always exited about the language prompts, but I'm trying to gather good ideas for all of them in advance! :)

Check out my Summer Camp 2023 wrap-up here!
Jun 9, 2023 14:59 by TJ Trewin

Oooo I do love a good language prompt!! I've always had a blast with those and end up going on a deep dive for inspiration :D   I guess we'll both find out soon enough what templates the prompts have in store for us!

Journals of Yesteryear
You're invited to explore my new world!
Jun 25, 2023 04:29

Congrats on last year and good luck on getting to Diamond again. I shall definitely be stopping by to see what you do for communication, as you seem much more excited and prepared for that prompt set than I am. But the expansion of our worlds in areas we may not necessarily have gone on our own is a good part of the Summer Camp experience. Enjoy this year as you go an the quest for Diamond again!

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Jun 25, 2023 10:21

Thanks, I've got so many ideas brewing in my head, that it's hard to decide what to write about! :D I definitely love the unexpected prompts too, and the feeling of getting done with a prompt that initially felt hard.

Check out my Summer Camp 2023 wrap-up here!