Summer Camp 2022 Pledge

Having just just reached my first anniversary on World Anvil a few weeks ago, I'm finally feeling like I'm starting to come to grips with the platform, the interface, and getting into the habit of writing. I've been trying to enter the writing challenges each month, and have learned a little more about formatting and layout each time - my articles have come a long way from the first, text-only, ones I wrote! Budgeting my time is still a major problem, as I spend long hours at work as digital services librarian, doing a job that nobody else in my organisation is qualified to do. I usually scramble to complete the challenge in the last week, and did that all the way back to the first Summer Camp, right after I joined!  

Creative Goal & Motivation


I want to continue expanding on the world of the Sundered Lands, but now that I've got a solid core of assorted 'drop-in' material, including locations, characters, a pantheon, and so on, I want to start writing more structured content like adventures and specific regional settings, suitable for inclusion in a sourcebook. My gaming group are excited by the world and the adventures we've had in it thus far, and I want to explore the possibility of eventually having something ready to be Kickstarted into a printed, real-world, sourcebook.  

Challenge Goal


Having achieved Diamond by the skin of my teeth in my first Summer Camp (last article submitted hours before the deadline!), I refuse to accept anything less for this one. I'm not going to go for anything insane like Double Diamond, though - I demand quality of my writing, not just quantity, and I'm not yet a fast and proficient enough writer to manage both.  

Themes


Expanse
There are numerous areas of expanse in the realm of the Sundered Lands, from the rolling yellow sand ocean of the Dry Lands, to the wide flat marshes and bogs of the Haglands and the open fertile farmlands of Brankara. All contribute to the setting and help create the world, and are part of the living ecosystem that is the shattered continent.  
Leadership
After-effects are still being felt even centuries after the cataclysmic magical experiment that utterly destroyed the continental centre, and converted the remainder into the island chains known as the Sundered Lands. Survival in many regions can still be precarious, and strong leadership is the only thing holding many communities together. That may be demonstrated by wise, cunning, or ruthless community leaders, or by the bands of heroes that rove across the realm, uncovering and defeating threats to civilisation that vary from hobgoblin armies to cultist plots.  
Discovery
Adventurers and explorers are crucial in the Sundered Lands, whether to discover threats so they may be defeated, or unearth remnants of the civilisations which were destroyed in the Sundering. Huge hoards of golden treasure, magical artifacts, and great knowledge, were lost during the disaster. Only the ceaseless efforts of those in search of adventure and treasure aid in discovering that which was lost, and returning it to aid the modern world in surviving long enough to become a stable and prosperous realm once more.  
Monstrous
The threats to the Sundered Lands are many, and all seek to take advantage of the after-effects of the cataclysm. Whether it is feral dragons building lairs within range of struggling villages, monstrous secret cults like the Servants of Dusk preying upon the innocent for their blood sacrifices and cannibalistic orgies, or creatures twisted unnaturally and driven insane by the Blight, only valiant heroes can hold back the darkness in hope of the population surviving to the new dawn of civilisation.  

Meta inspiration


Two areas of the Sundered Lands are particularly fleshed out: the great northern city of Bajapur, influenced by feudal-era Japan, and the southern region known as The Desert of Desolation, which has medieval Arabic influences.   The Desert of Desolation, as first region created, has an extensive Pinterest board and themed sub-boards.  
Towns in the desert are often heavily fortified...
...because the threats are significant.
For the brave explorer, though, the rewards can be equally great.
Derek & Brandon Fiechter have some superb selections of their music themed to cultures from around the world, such as their Arabic & Egyptian-themed playlist.
  The current focus of much of my worldbuilding is the city of Bajapur, having just finished a nine-month D&D campaign there with my gaming group and preparing for the next. It reflects influences from feudal-era Japan in some elements of architecture and culture, while being wholly original in others. Other elements it draws upon include Indonesia and parts of high-fantasy 'medieval' Europe.  
The city has enough Asian influences to be recognisable, without leaning into stereotypes.
Art of a fantasy Asian city, lit by lanterns. Pagoda rise toward towering trees at the back of the picture.
Bajapur suburb by Unknown
The swords-and-sorcery element is significant throughout the city.
Parts of the art are distinctive, allowing my players to instantly visualise references...
A room filled with Asian-themed bowls and pots, and large golden peacocks painted on the wall facing the viewer
The Peacock Room by Smithsonian
...while others draw from different areas of the Asian region, meshed with fantasy elements to seem strange and new.
Statues guard the entrance to an ornate golden palace, with a gold dome rising above it
Palace of the Great Tycoon by Unknown
Fiechter music again provides a useful atmosphere, while their long Japanese music playlist is also particularly handy.
Samuel Kim's music is a regular favourite and often plays while I write. His Star Wars Epic Samurai playlist, of Star Wars themes recreated in Japanese styling, is a bookmark that gets used a lot.
To reflect the more generic 'fantasy medieval' influences, there are two other pieces of music:

 

Writing Schedule


While my work schedule is irregular enough to make daily writing difficult, between needing to stay late on short notice to supervise a shift or provide reports to management, I should be able to get at least two writing sessions in during the week on weeknights. The bulk of my writing time will be found on Saturday afternoons and Sunday nights.  

Support


My support comes primarily from two places; firstly, my D&D group, in particular my GM & occasional co-DM, who originally came up with the Sundered Lands and serves as a loremaster and periodic source of ideas for it, all from the ideas kept in his head. He is a continual cheering section and never fails to provide that key inspirational concept or piece of sketch art which will trigger several thousand words, a map, or a timeline from me!   The second source of inspiration is the WA Discord group, who provide support when I'm blocked, technical advice when I'm not sure how to achieve a particular look or layout, and ideas, playlists, images, and links to their own writing which may trigger an idea of my own, or simply a place to unwind for a while. They provide commentary and encouragement when I post links to my work, and I enormously appreciate the generosity of spirit demonstrated so universally by the community.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
17 Jun, 2022 22:33

I feel like I'm in a similar boat as you, being new to WorldAnvil still, and having a lot of other real-world responsibilities on my plate (I often work late myself and am working on starting a business!) I'm quite excited about this Summer Camp challenge and the possibilities. Best of luck!

18 Jun, 2022 06:09

I joined partway through last year's Summer Camp, and I do find the challenge deadline really useful in forcing myself to knuckle down and actually write, instead of thinking, "I'm too tired/busy tonight, there's plenty of time to write this tomorrow." Well, tomorrow usually turns into next week! :D Good luck with your writing, and I hope you do well in the challenge!

My Summer Camp prep entry is up! Visit the Sundered Lands for RPG worldbuilding, adventures, and other content.