Summer Camp 2019
-July 30th, 2019 -- my god, I'm done, I can rest now-
SummerCamp 2019 AfterthoughtsThis was the most consistent writing I think I've ever done. This was one of the hardest writing challenges I've ever been a part of, as well. In the end, I totalled just over 40k words for the official 30 prompts. The 31st, plus the article critiques I left during the month, plus this article, and I think I'm at around 50k. That's a lot of words. My brain and fingers need a break. I learned a lot over the course of this! I learned more about the bones of my world, and I'm starting to see where the tissue connects to them. I learned I need to work on thinking my ideas all the way through, as more than a few of my articles are built out of half-baked ideas that I've word-vomited all over. I learned that the community is excellent, and full of incredibly talented writers! Mind you, I already knew that, but it's important enough to restate. I'm still new-ish to the community, but I'm grateful every day for it. I wouldn't have the drive to write this much if it weren't for the feedback, brainstorming, and general positivity found within the discord. If you're reading this, thank you! If you read any of my articles, thank you again! I really appreciate it. If at this point you haven't checked out Qurilion's Summer Camp Survey, I encourage you to do so! It was a great way to unwind after finishing the last prompt, and gave me a chance to think over my articles, and what I had done. Questions like "What did you learn" and "what was the most difficult prompt" can be found within, and were excellent to get me thinking about my process. For example, it helped me pick my favourite article of mine! Clockwork Moles was a lot of fun to write. I have other favourites too, of course -- probably a list of 5 that I could easily make. Now that I think about it, other favourites that came up were Senary and Top Floor Souls -- I left these two prompts for near the end, as I was scared of them. But damn if I'm not happy with how they turned out! It's actually surprising how much I enjoyed them. I'm definitely going to be developing those areas more. Again though, after a break ;) As for what's next... rest. lots of it. and then maybe some brainstorming for the next challenge. hehe. Everything below this line is left as-is, as it was written during SC!
SummerCamp 2019 Progress
Quick, text based overview
Let's keep this to a single paragraph, or less.In short, my plan: Cover mainly floors 5,6, and 7. I need to ensure my pathfinder campaign has enough material to keep moving during this month's writing challenge. If I have time, I'll sprinkle in some articles for the previous floors that my players have already cleared. I intend to have a very short teaser description for every prompt before I start. I've already decided what I want to write for each prompt, even if the content isn't figured out yet. I'm excited to get started on it, so let's get to the prompts! I may or may not change ideas as I approach them. This list is just my initial list, with my initial ideas! If better ones come to me, I won't be afraid to drop the current article and rewrite.
Describe a lush and fertile location in your world.
Level 2 ForestThe forest is talked about in other articles, but not described in depth. I need to do this. I ended up doing a different kind of article for this one! Similar to the Sommerson Ruins article I wrote before, actually. I did much more of a "prose" style article, as a note left behind by someone lost and broken within the woods. I tried to write with some nice flowery descriptions to still fit the prompt, having the "lush and fertile" location be described through the eyes of someone losing their mind within it.
Write about an important plant in your world and what it is used for.
Dark RootA dark root from the great tree of floor 5, found in abyssal caves. This was the very first article I wrote for Summer Camp 2019! As I write this description, it's also the only article I've written for Summer Camp 2019. But that's okay. This article hopefully starts a trend for me; I did all the art myself for this article, aside from patterns from the wonderful patterncooler.com. I'd like to keep it this way, eventually relying less on the patterns, and more on totally original art!
Describe a settlement that is famous (or infamous) for its industrial activities.
Stone Castle InvictusA ruined, almost abandoned castle, overrun with an industrious species -- self replicating clockwork. I am incredibly happy with the name of this article! Probably my favourite named Castle I've made so far. That's about where the happiness stops -- I'm not a big fan of the rest of the article. Could be because I'm tired, but the article feels like it doesn't have a coherent theme. I'll have to rexamine this at the end if I have time.
Write about a ceremonial building in your world and what takes place there.
Sommerson RuinsI've talked about the Waves of Sommerson, the island these ruins are located on, but I want to expand on that. I really wanted to write some dialogue today, so I decided to have the main bulk of this article be a dialogue between two characters! One of them knows nothing about the history and rituals of the place he lives in, and the other character describes them. I need to let this one sit for a while before I decide how I feel about it, but first impressions is that I'm happy with it!
Describe an inhospitable area in your world and what its environment is like.
The Down DeepA series of sprawling, abyssal caves. Located below the great tree and abandoned castle of floor 5. I was pretty excited to write about caves, but ended up making them a bit more mysterious than I intended. There's a lot of secrets I have planned for the caves, but I think I'm going to leave them for another article that I'll tie to this one later. Don't want to spoil my players!
Write about a constructed or natural landmark in your world.
Abyssal ChasmThis fathomless chasm tears diagonally across the floor of strength; heat and light radiate from within. I tried a new method of writing for this article! I've never done an article in a "second person" style, so I decided to give it a shot on this article. I wrote about the chasm through the viewpoint of the reader seeing it and exploring it, before something happens.
Describe an isolated or frontier settlement and how it survives in your world.
HollowsOriginally this was going to be about the isolated settlement living within The Great Tree of the Fifth Floor, but I changed it due to a suggestion from discord. Instead, I wrote about a travelling settlement within the desert of the Third Floor! This article came together fairly quickly, but is rather bare-bones. I'm not sure what else I'd like to add to it. /shrug/. I'm happy enough with it as is though! And it helps me to get a bit more content completed for my lower floors. Before this, I'd mostly been focusing on floor 5.
Write about a creature that is used as a beast of burden or transport animal
Clockwork MolesOne of the few clockwork contraptions not corrupted, suited for everyday use. These little things turned out way more adorable than I expected! I really had a lot of fun writing this article, and making the art for it. I thought of making clockwork moles first, then drew the picture second, and article third. I think making the art first really inspired me for the rest of the article; the art is the main reason I'm so happy with it.
Describe a country in your world, including its political structure and history.
SenaryA massive city on floor 6, one of two cities of Synthacrosia that can claim floor-wide ownership. At first I started writing about only the city "Main City", but I realized that didnt really sound like a full country. So I expanded the scope to be the entire floor, expanding the cities walls both metaphorically and literally. The city now takes up the entire floor! I tried to give the city a bit of a corrupt, wealth based government as well. I'm not well versed in politics and government however, so I'm unsure how good of a job I did.
Write about a typical house or dwelling in one of your cultures or countries.
Tree HousesThose who are confined to live on the great tree have had to come up with unique living quarters. I worry this article turned out drrrrrrrrrrry. I really tried to spice it up as much as I could, but I feel a fair amount of my "work" brain took over, making me write short, to the point descriptions, intended to be followed for construction. Still, I'm mostly happy with it. And making the plans for the houses was nice! The thing I'm most happy with is the "Hotroot" in this article, based off of Korean "Ondol"s.
Describe a culture in your world which has particularly warlike traditions.
Top Floor SoulsOn floor 7, Castle Town follows its traditions of assaulting the final tower, with holidays and mock battles. This WAS going to be only about Castle Town, but I realized I was working on the wrong template for the prompt. So the article I was writing transformed! I wrote then about all of the people of the floor. I also at this point finalized the kind of landscape that the top floor souls live in; I went with an icy landscape. I think the article turned out well, and with it helping me to decide on ice, it also helped me to figure out my collection recipes prompt -- it'll be based on ice!
Write about a tale surrounding a mythological creature in your world.
GhostsThis was originally going to be an article about a massive living statue on the seventh floor. But seeing as that statue isn't a myth, and actually EXISTS, I changed the topic to... GHOSTS! I had fun doing a large part of this article as quotes. Ghosts were also an interesting subject to cover in regards to my world, as everyone's already dead -- so where would ghosts even come from? Outside purgatory.
Describe the tenets or precepts of an organised religion in your world.
Followers of the Infinite AfterlifeWhat a wild ride this was, writing this article. I reaaaally struggled with ideas for this one, took ages to get something I like. Then when I did find something, it was slow going in the start. But then I made a quote sound "stoner-ish", and gave the religion rules that made it sound like an MLM. And the article took off! It was an absolute blast to write after that. The images were easy to make for this, and the words came quickly. This has to be one of my favourite articles I've done for Summer Camp so far, as my 25th article.
Write about an influential woman in your world and what they achieved.
Isemred FarleeThe guild master of the ship builders guild of blackridgepool. Phew. My biggest article I've written for SC yet. This thing clocked in at over 2600 words! I ended up throwing in wayyyyyyyy more information than I intended -- and likely more than what's needed. I wrote this entire thing in first person, which was neat! It's supposed to be a personnel sheet, filled out by Isemred herself. The guild she's a part of has decided to take stock of what every members qualifications are. Now that I write that, I feel like I should really have added a resume section... Ah well. Maybe if I have time at the end of SC!.
Describe some common idioms and sayings from a culture in your world.
Tree SpeakThe isolation of living in the great tree for so many years appears to have tainted the local speech. I know absolutely nothing about making languages! Pretty much all I did was make up sayings that sounded like it was related to tree sounds, or parts of tree. It was surprisingly fun and easy to write as well. I'm going to come back to this one later based off a suggestion from Rexaven on the Discord server, to add an entire section on expletives. Muahahahaha.
Write about a conflict that shaped the political climate of your world.
War of the FractureWhile I've written about the wars from Floor 4's point of view, the more important part is what happened from Floor 5's point of view. This article wound up being WAY bigger than I expected. It clocks in at over 2000 words! (BBcode included, though). It's a little bit of a mess content wise I think. I've written myself into a rather confusing corner with this whole war of the upper floors thing, and I'm going to need to fix it in my eventual rewrite. Still, I've got it mostly figured out here now!
Describe the tales in your world designed to make naughty children behave.
AgingSynthacrosia exists in the afterlife, in purgatory. People don't age, and children arent born. Any child in Synthacrosia therefor died as a child in their life. To ensure they behave, stories are told of evil clockwork fairies who will force the child to grow old and slow. This article was both quick, and fun to write. Nice and simple, I'm happy with it!
Write about a great thinker in your world and the impact they had on society.
Prime ArrivalThis WAS going to be about the Mayor of Floor 7, but there was a mini challenge created on the discord regarding this prompt! It was to create an article about an adorable predator that is one of the greatest thinkers in your world. This article... it went in a completely different direction than I planned. It ended up being a much more humorous article than intended, so I kinda rolled with that and tried to add more humor to it as I went. Drawing the picture of ol "Smarty Arty" also helped, as I cant look at that little old lizardman without laughing. I hope I get a chance to bring him into the pathfinder campaign.
Describe a physical condition associated with old age in your world.
Self CrystallizationThis prompt went through a few changes on it's way to the final product. It began as "Soul Fracturing", but I just couldnt get that to a point that I really liked. That, and I had no idea to actually have it manifest as physical. So instead... Crystals! It was good I did the Soulglass article before this, as it really helped lay the groundwork for me. Souls and souls and more souls, all attempting to take control of another single soul! I'm worried the resulting article is a bit confusing, but overall I'm happy with it.
Write about a mental illness in your world and how people respond to this.
DissillusionsMy previous idea for this prompt was "broken core", but it was going to end up being FAR too similar to "Soul Fracture", my current idea for the old age prompt. A good friend of mine mentioned something about people not believing their dead as a sort of bipolar disorder, and it sparked the idea of "Dissillusions" for me. It turned into a much more sad article than I planned, but I shouldve expected it due to the subject content. I'm not the most versed in mental illnesses -- how they come about, how they're treated, how it affects life. If you have any comments towards it, I would greatly appreciate it! I like where this article is at, but I feel it's important, and want it to the best it can be.
Describe the culinary traditions that are unique to an ethnicity in your world.
Second First FoodThe need to eat is not something people existing on the lower floors even feel. It's a bodily need unique to the upper floors. In the old days, there would be a celebration when someone climbed high enough to feel hunger once again. Some people still carry on that tradition. This article made me really hungry to write. I like foooood! In particular, I really enjoyed writing the example foods for the upper floors. The stew, cake, and mushrooms were fun to come up with. I think the formatting of this article came out really nice and clear!
Write about a material which is extracted, mined or quarried from the ground.
SoulglassThe material needed to create the Crystalline Power Bracelets that every marked soul carries. Originally I had this material known as just "crystal", but ended up transforming it into a material literally made out of souls! I'm rather pleased with how this article turned out. The art for it is among my favourite art I've made for an article. And I think the content turned out really well.
Describe the functions and uses of a commonplace item in your world.
WaterTypical of the lower floors in Synthacrosia is water being cursed, or poisoned, or having adverse magical properties. WATER. Precious precious water. I really enjoyed making water a unique-ish substance in Synthacrosia. I'd love to put more effort into planning the route of water from the top of the tower to the bottom. I'd also like to figure out where the water comes from -- and show more detail for the towers water reclamation systems.
Write about the history surrounding a unique artefact or work of art in your world.
Binding Hammer and Ancient SpikesFound throughout the tower, this unique pair of items are intended to exist as a single unit. Storied to have contributed to the construction of Synthacrosia. This pair of artifacts was originally going to be a bit smaller. Instead, I worked it into being a single powerful hammer, with multiple spikes used to anchor reality into whatever form the wielder wishes. I'm a bit unhappy with this article, but I cant put my finger on why. It might be because of how I've laid out the information, or what information I've chosen to show. It's another one I'm going to go back and rework later I think.
Describe a major technological breakthrough and the impact it had in your world.
The Ancient ElevatorThe Elevator was a late addition to Synthacrosia, during the Era of Accumulation. It's addition allowed upper floor residents to return to the lower floors, and visit old friends. However when Locorin disappeared, it ceased working. I wrote this one rather quicky -- and only added one image, down the side of the article. I kinda like the way it looks, with the sidebar taken up by the elevator and elevator shaft. I'm not sure if I've added enough information to this article or not however... it gets the point across, but it might be the wrong information? I'm not sure. It's something I'm going to revisit later for sure.
Write about a popular card, dice or board game in your world and how it is played.
MowlingBased on the popular game played in The Down Deep of the same name. This table top game is often enjoyed in pubs, over a round of drinks. The response to the small "Mowling" section of my Clockwork Moles article was so well received, I had to do more! That, and a few members of the community helped give me ideas for how to transform Mowling into the prompt-fulfilling article it is now. I think I might actually have to give Mowling a try, I think it sounds fun.
Describe the functions of a vehicle used for military practices or conflicts.
Clockwork TankA nearly incomprehensible mess of gears, pulleys, and alloys. For the first time in my worldbuilding, I added a stat block to an article! I have plans for my players to eventually be able to take control of one of these babies, and use it to assault an army. I cant WAIT for that to happen, it's going to be so fun. The tank its self was pretty fun to write about. I did a double quote in the first section of the article, which I enjoyed. I might redo the art eventually -- I like what I did, but I'd like better looking art to be shown for it.
Write about the properties of a material which is used for clothing in your world.
Barkweave SoftclothesResidents of the great tree of floor 5 live based off what the great tree can provide. This includes their garments. I pounded this article out pretty quickly, but it's a fairly concise and well written one I think. I struggled to make an article related to clothing material really unique and interesting, but I think I did an okay job on it! Doing the art for this one was rather fun.
Describe a commonly used vehicle in your world and who its used by.
Wandermeran Stone ShipsThe Wandermeran scientists and magicians have helped Wandermere to become known for it's stoneshaped ships. Again, another topic I don't really know the most about, but I decided to write about it anyways. I wish I had time to devote to proper research into ships! I find them fascinating, and I'd love to do them justice. These ships I wrote about ended up being fairly simple, but enjoyable to write about. The "flamethrowers" or, chemical throwers, were a late addition that I was pretty happy with.
Write about a collection of culinary recipes from a particular culture in your world.
101 Cool Uses for IceThis WAS going to be just a general cookbook of recipes from Main City, within Senary, on the Sixth Floor. But I thought that was boring. I couldn't think of a way to really make it interesting, as I didn't have any characters or stories really developed for that area yet, and wasn't sure where to even begin. So instead, I moved a floor up, and wrote about a recipe book from the icy Seventh Floor city, Castle Town. This was the last article I wrote, and one of my biggest. AND it was really fun to write. Pretty happy to finish SC with this one!
Describe the traditional summer activities or pastimes of an ethnicity in your world.
Desert Mind WalksOoooo! The Secret 31st prompt! I'm super glad everyone who was unable to go to the meetup/picnic was able to gain access to this. This prompt is a weird one for Synthacrosia. The tower doesn't have seasons! There's no summer! So instead I went with the next best thing, heat. I made my tradition take place in the hottest place of Synthacrosia, the Third Floor desert. As for the tradition its self... I already had these "drug" cacti there, Mindwalk Cacti. It's already used to explore memories, so I figured it could be a bit of a yearly tradition to take a trip to the desert, to take a trip through ones memories.
Summer Camp!The SC Home Page
The DiscordWA Discord The best place to go for feedback, and a wonderful community!
HighlightsSpeaking of the Discord Community, there's a wonderful rule there I'd love to talk about! Everyone loves getting feedback on their articles, and the folks over at WA have implemented a rule that everyone has to follow before posting their article and asking for comments. You need to read, think about, and comment on the THREE articles posted before you may post your own. This is such a great addition to the rules, and I'm so happy to see it! I'm going to 100% be making use of this, and I will post below some articles I read this way. This is going to be a highlight section, updated in tandem with the best of the best highlights I'll be putting in my SC2019 Prep article, which is linked in the main body of this article.
Izhaso, the Forge of Bones
These forges sing not with iron and steel forced into shape, but with the bloody corpses and slain monsters made into arms and armor.
By: Kustaanos Watcher
Beauty, brilliance, and curiosity fills these mysterious shapeshifters
A small, yet impactful individual with a love for making songs and giving advice
The only harbour in Ildres which is not under Ildrish command. It belongs to the Treil people.
Gliders upon which the soldiers of Ytzklapon ride to surround their enemies.
The Shrines of Stone
Ancient draconic shrines linked to the land's ley network lying mostly dormant across Iskaldhal.
Focusing on the relationship between good and evil, this philosopher is very controversial on Orkanis.
A pile of useless junk for some, the accumulation of a lifetime of work for others.
Metal that's very good at absorbing Colors. It can be used to create threads using in Color embroidery.
Masks in Dhanû society show all who the wearer is and all they wish to be. Monster, hero, performer or peasant.
The Jewel of the Sea
Once used to chain a god, this item is now the centrepiece of a famous necklace.
The Erin Reef
A chain of floating islands that developed due to the skyfall that occured in Ireland.