The Book of the Habits and Beasts Document in Symbols of Power | World Anvil

The Book of the Habits and Beasts

The all-encompasing growing encyclopaedia of the Haan Archipelago

It is my duty and passion to register the natural and cultural wealth of the archipelago for future generations and for all who are missing on this delightful knowledge.
— Veld the Imaginative, preface of their manuscript of the book

Thanks to the work of dozens of the best minds in the Haan Archipelago, through decades of effort, we achieved the release of the Book of the Habits and Beasts' 3rd edition.   This encyclopaedia is a work of love put together with collated research for hundreds of articles about every possible topic to be investigated about the world around us.

Meet the Main Collaborators

A portrait of Veld the Imaginative holding a copy of their encyclopedia
Veld the Imaginative



Veld the Imaginative, a Ruhk of Stunveldti family, has devised and worked on getting the best sources for each of the articles that they compiled into the book.   Never satisfied with the knowledge they have, they keep expanding the encyclopaedia with every new bit of information they can gather.
Portrait of Danae, a holding his peace bird pen and a book containing a map
Danae by Naelin



Danae, a Thaurian man, has been made famous for creating the most widespread, accurate to date map of the Archipelago.   He has provided plenty of insights on the geography of each island, and also helped Veld with the intensive editing of the articles.
Heroforge Welkinal
Welkinal by Naelin


Biologist and artist

Welkinal, a naturalist from Karte, is solely responsible for all the illustrations of the archipelago's creatures and plants.   His numerous research expeditions periodically provide newly discovered species, as well as new information on the behaviour and biology of the ones already known.

The Articles

The Book of the Habits and Beasts started (And continues to be in its evolving form) a series of loose articles detailing all the available information about a specific topic viewed usually from a specific angle, often with detailed illustrations and small snippets suggesting related articles.   These articles get constantly updated with new discoveries and information, new, updated and more accurate illustrations of maps and depictions of each creature, symbol, person of renown or item.   Copies of these loose articles usually get bought by the biggest libraries of each island, and the Knowledgeholders in particular are well known for trying to be on top of the never-ending stream of updates and new articles.

The first release and revisions

Picture of Veld, a societarian of octopus phenotype, holding his Book of the Habits and Beasts
Veld the Imaginative by TJ
In the year 3003 E.Alz, Veld decided that they had enough articles to make the first compilation. After intense editing, they coined and published the first edition of The Book of the Habits and Beasts in 31/03/3005 E.Alz.   The encyclopaedia became an instant success in all scholar and educative circles, and this helped Veld enormously to acquire new contacts from all around the archipelago involved in all fields of science.   The new and updated articles were being distributed through short magazines across the islands, and the book quickly got to be in dire need of a rendition.  

The Rust and the Second Edition

Veld and their team started working on the new compilation around 3012 E.Alz.   Only two years later, the High Rust hit the archipelago and impacted most things in it, requiring intense updating and rewriting for a team that was as hit by the consequences of the High Rust as anybody else.  
Though many of the collaborators and consulted professionals were lost to the rust, Veld and their closer circle considered the situation to require a second edition even more urgently, as many were using the periodic magazines to get accurate information on the situation of other islands, and sending their own news to Veld's team to research on.   In an incommensurate team effort, the second edition of The Book of the Habits and Beasts was released on 03/03/03 of the new Era of Rust with all articles updated to the latest news, and dozens of new ones to join the collection.

The Ideal Gift

All the instances of Veld's work have become a staple addition to bookshelves and libraries.   The complete encyclopaedia is sometimes too expensive for a family to acquire, but everyone owns at least a few magazines about their favourite topics.   The book is considered the ideal gift for young scholars and curious children.

Third Edition

As the second edition of the book was a work focused on gathering the most comprehensive information possible on the Rust and its effects and to make it available as quickly as possible, many on the team felt it to be a rushed work.
Immediately after release, they focused on polishing the encyclopaedia and revamping the design, making it a more enjoyable and attractive read.  
Heroforge Welkinal
Welkinal by Naelin
Other areas of the encyclopaedia were reworked on their entirety, such as its timelines, including one that detailed the events of the High Rust from start to end, accompanied by a reworking of their article on the High Rust's events.
Welkinal prominently put his hands to the task of reworking the zoology articles and polishing the artwork on each, bringing both astounding reference pictures and decorative illustrations.   Their advertising pamphlet was reworked in time for the release of the brand new edition, on 09/10/08 E.Ru.
Manual, Scientific
Authoring Date
1st edition coined in 31/03/3005 E.Alz
Ratification Date
2nd edition 03/03/03 E.Ru

Related Publications

The instant fame of The Book of Habits and Beasts and the success of its "compilation of short articles" format gave birth to several parallel publications, many made by the same team and with articles also included in the original book, but focused on more specific topics.
"The Book of People" and "The Book of Sex in the Archipelago" are two of the most successful derivatives.  

The Book of People

The Book of People is a compilation of all the articles related to individuals from the archipelago, and a few of the things directly related to them such as discoveries, works or organizations.   The book features famous and influential people such as monarchs and religious leaders, but also ordinary people from tailors to cookie-bearing grandmas, as it is an effort to document the life in the archipelago in all social strata.
While there are no specific conditions to have an article done about you, being featured in the Book Of People is considered a great honour, and grants recognition by the person's community.

The Summarizing Pamphlet

Introduction to SoP: The Book of Habits and Beasts
Document | Jun 20, 2022

Start here to learn how to navigate this world


Symbols of Power

Veld and their team are considered to have coined the term "symbols of power", to refer to the cultural phenomenon ocurring after the High Rust, where the people left in countries and settlements with broken governments and militaries started holding on to any intimidating representation, to the point of changing their flag or founding new kingdoms based on them.

Cover image: The Book of Habits and Beasts by TJ & Naelin


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 20, 2021 01:32 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

So meta, I love it so much. I LOVE that this is the framing device for your world. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 20, 2021 02:27

Thank youuu! I'm glad I finally got some time and inspiration to put the concept out there!

Jan 3, 2022 16:00 by Simo

I love this frame for your world. It's so clever!

Jan 12, 2022 00:56

Thank you Kros <3 It was a very organic development! It's kind of mind-blowing to find and check very old SoP files on my computer to discover early concepts and snippets that are still true to the canon when I completely forgot they went that far back!

Jan 3, 2022 20:11 by TJ Trewin

I love how this article is the perfect balance between meta and in-universe lore and explains the team of which characters play a role in documenting the incredible world around them! <3   I featured this in my inspirations article for the reading challenge! :D

TJ's WorldEmber 2021 Inspirations
Generic article | Nov 20, 2022

Get inspired and try out some of these techniques in your next article!

Journals of Yesteryear

Please consider voting for me in the 2024 Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 12, 2022 01:01

Thank you love <3

Jan 4, 2022 13:18

It's such a cool idea to have the book be both a in-universe entity and the way to organize stuff on WA as well - really awesome :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jan 12, 2022 01:03

Thank you Q! A bit of Out of universe trivia: The name of the book is actually the name of the file I used to store all the information before I found WA!

Jan 18, 2022 16:13

The idea of integrating meta with the world's lore is so interesting, and you've done it so well!   I love it :D

Come visits Terraloga and the story of a fictional Ancient Roman trying to rule the world.

Jan 18, 2022 16:35

Thank you very much Adcheryl!

Jan 23, 2022 21:21 by Stormbril

This is a really excellent idea Nae, I love how meta it is and how well it works to explain in and out of universe things :D

Jan 25, 2022 09:38 by Maybe Stewart

This is such a fun way to frame what you are doing within the context of the world itself! So often, meta articles like this are written to be funny. But your work is always so sincere, it doesn't have to take itself seriously to feel real. The story fits right in with your world, and I appreciate that. Lovely work!