The Mortal Lands: Summer Camp 22 Edition!
Where Tink pretends she has any sort of self-incentive abilities
My Pledge for the Summer Camp of 2022To learn, to grow, and through these two synthesize a realm of wonder and adventure. Or maybe at least fill in a few borders of the map.
For the longest time I have wanted to expand on the Mortal Lands and iron out the various races that inhabit it. I have pages and pages of notes, but very few are compiled into a neat and organized system. And for every idea I have, there are five other aspects that I haven't considered. I want to use Summer Camp to get me motivated to not only fill in a few entries left unfinished, but create and design new aspects of the Mortal Lands.
As much as I would like to set myself the goal of answering every prompt, the reality is that I'm going to miss a few or just not have the time I want to dedicate to each prompt. By setting a more realistic goal, I can not only set myself up for sucess but give myself room to go above and beyond, and not hate myself If I only hit 29/30.
GoalSilver Status (16 Prompts)
In addition to ideas I've yet to consider, there are some parts of my world I wish to use Summer Camp to fully expand upon. (Or at least write the article)
When I first set up my pledge, I didn't quite understand how the 'theme' aspect worked. After looking over previous years' summer camps and prompts, I have a better understanding of what they mean by 'Theme.' Of the Four, Discovery is the one The Mortal Lands most aligns to. That being said I look forward to using the different themes to push myself creatively.
- The Ancients
- Digital Forest
- The Nature of Magic
- The City of Asigea
- Oblivion Mine
- The Gaetes
- Cartography and the history of mapmaking
- The Nature of Adventuring
- The Eternal Battlefield
- The Castle of Dalreme
- The Emerald Isle
- The Ancient Devise (Tomestone vending machine)
There once, and long ang long ago, before the sun and moon we know were lit to sail above the world, when first the shaggy woods unfurled, and shadowy shapes did stare and roam beneath the dark and starry dome that hung above the dawn of Earth, the silences with silver mirth were shaken; the rocks were ringing, the birds of Melian were singing, the first to sing in mortal lands...-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lay of Leithian
Twas this quote (or something very similar) in the play Of Wardrobes and Rings that first inspired the name of The Mortal Lands.
The Lord of the Rings
I'll admit, it's probably harder to find a fantasy series that hasn't been influenced by Tolkien in some way or another. That being said, My 'inspiration' that draws from Tolkien isn't so much direct from his races, lands or magic system, but rather his style of writing.
Discworld's biggest influence on the Mortal Lands is its entire structure: A world where multiple stories can take place and intermingle and stop by for a cup of tea. Sir Terry Pratchett's style of witty sarcasm and parody filters into portions of the world, and indirectly (Or not so indirectly) influenced many of its characters.
The Legend of Zelda
While I haven't played Every Zelda game there ever was, Skyward Sword made enough of an impression on me to inspire one of the cities in the Mortal Lands. It also inspired a couple of the races, and reminded me that not everything has to match Earth's timeline precisely when it comes to technology.
Final Fantasy XIV
I've been playing this game for....2, 3 years now? And while I haven't stolen anything from XIV (yet) Smaller aspects of the gameworld have trickled their way in. It's the landscape and the adventures into old ruins that help inspire the Mortal Lands, the ancient races and the smaller tribes that dot the land. In particular, inspiration for a Tomestone vending machine that I'm still not entirely sure what to do with...
Once again, it isn't the people or the events that inspire the Mortal Lands than its worldbuilding. Technology and 'magic'/super-powers mixed together is always inspiring, and I like finding that fun balance where one does not overwhelm the other.
This is a weird one, I know! But there's a few particular YTers (who I won't name here) that have inspired minor characters in my world. I mostly use them to go on 'mini-adventures' and build the rest of the world, even if their stories will never be officially published.
My Catholic side is showing again, I know. It's not just the old bible stories that influence the mythology and history of the Mortal Lands, but the very concept of how the Bible is constructed and archived: The Old Testament is the history and the explanation to why the New Testament and Jesus' coming drastically flips the table on everything the ancient world knew. (Literally, I might add; When someone asks 'what would Jesus do' flipping tables, making whips and calling people out for monetizing what's supposed to be a genuine sacrifice is a viable option.)
I didn't think Bionicle would influence my world at first; the Mechanicals that populate the landscape are purely man-made. But then the idea of 'robot heaven' popped up and I couldn't stop myself. When I do eventually flesh this idea out I'm going to try to make it less blatant, while still a homage to one of the most influential media of my childhood. (and my original inspiration for writing.
Real-world InspirationsFor every fictional inspiration, I've encountered something in the real world that sparks my imagination just as much. Sometimes it is a historical event, an old building, or even a little bit of art I spot along the street. Here's a list of just a few things that have inspired me as I travel: The Halifax explosion of 1912:
A devastating accident that, before WWII, was the largest man-made explosion in history. during WW1, a coal barge collided with a military munitions ship in Halifax harbor, detonating all the explosives on board. Over a thousand people were killed and the city was devastated. However, a tradition that continues to this day emerged from the rubble: In thanks to the city of Boston for sending aid and supplies within a day of the event, Halifax sends Boston a Christmas Tree every year. The Oregon Trail:
A decades long phenomena/travel experience where settlers and colonists traveled across the still-mostly-wild regions of western America to settle the furthest coasts. Wagons would begin their six-month journey at the Mississippi river, heading for destinations that would soon become Portland, Seattle, California, and more. Many people lost their lives to sickness, Native American raids, or just wagons falling off perilous cliffs. However, many fortunes and dynasties were established in that time. Cinque Terre:
A collection of small villages on the Italian coast, they are collectively known as Cinque Terre, or Five Terraces. It is a beautiful stretch of coastline, where one can walk from the city straight into a vineyard on a hiking trail.
Gardens by the Bay:
A large botanical garden in Singapore. Towering artificial trees sparkle and glow in the setting sun as grand glass-and-metal greenhouses hold a lush variety of flora throughout the year.
I'm planning on having two separate workstations for Summer Camp: My computer desk, and the back porch. The goal is that by splitting the work into a 'draft' process on the patio and the 'finalization' on the computer, I can reduce the amount of time I sit staring at a screen and increase the amount of time I spend outside. I want to sweep the dust/cobwebs off the deck before the end of the month, spruce up the plants and make it a bit more pretty. Perhaps also invest in a nice pitcher to make ice tea with. I also need to clean the misc. clutter off my computer desk. Except for the bubble wrap. I may also play with the settings on my monitor to reduce eye strain.
I tend to have a mixture of podcasts and playlists going when I'm at the computer, although I'll admit that the SMP series I've been watching has been more distracting than not. I'm going to make some playlists of FF and Zelda music to keep me focused without listening to dialouge or trying to follow story beats.
I just bought a bulk batch of tea not even a month ago, so I don't think I'll need to buy more for a while. However, I do want to find another non-caffiene brand I can get at the grocery rather than through my online supplier should I run out mid-month. Proper hydration is important, so a nice big glass of water will follow no matter where I am.
Between my job and commuting, I spend most of the day away from the house. I don't plan on writing a prompt every single day, but bashing out the drafts of 2-3 one day, then writing them out over the next two. Again, I'm not going for all 30 or Prompt-a-day, simply because I don't have the time that I would otherwise normally commit to something like this or NaNoWriMo. The Weekends are going to be my big catch-up days for anything I missed throughout the week.
The Support Network
Have I mentioned I'm an Intorvert? The problem with spacing myself out over a wide variety of social groups means I have a hard time keepings tabs on individuals and events, especially seasonal ones like Summer Camp or NaNoWriMo. I do want to make a concentrated effort to be more social with the discord folks, especially people like Qurillion and thechangeling who seem to be Summer Camp Experts.
Everyone's pages look so PRETTY. If I have time in the next 6 days I want to play around juuuuuuust a bit more with CSS and BBC and pretty up my pages just a bit more so they have some flair, or at least get a CSS template made. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice.
Meeeeh.... Steam summer sale is so tempting! Maybe if I tell myself to complete X amount of prompts each week, I can give myself a game as a treat! How long does the sale last again? ....oh, first week of July. I"ll have to buy them ahead of time then. The Bonus prizes are yet to be determined, but I'll do some research on pretty things I don't really need.
WEEK Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 BONUS 1 BONUS 2 BONUS 3
GOAL 4 Prompts 4 Prompts 4 Prompts 4 Prompts 4 Prompts 4 Prompts 6 Prompts
REWARD Final Fantasy IX Psychonauts 1 Death's Door Octopath Traveler Prize TBD Prize TBD New Lego Set?
Wait... I did homework for once?