The WafflePhoenix is the result of a cloning experiment meant to create a flock of phoenix messenger birds gone deliciously awry. What came of the experiment was a bird that, instead of bursting into flames upon their death, turns into a plate of waffles. Deciding the lean into the new species, the Limani Supplies Dealer created parchments for messages that turn into syrup when the bird carrying them dies, both as a layer of security as well as a nice breakfast topping.
The WafflePheonix is quite possibly the most unapologetically wacky articles I’ve read to date and I love it! It’s just such a good example of how a concept can fit in a world no matter how bonkers.
This interview accomplishes two major things in my opinion: world building and establishing characters. Just through the dialogue, I felt I got a really good grasp of the interviewer and interviewee’s personalities. The dialogue as well as footnotes sprinkled throughout the article also do a good job of providing context for the bits of worldbuilding discussed (which is really good since I prefer to judge articles like this in a metaphorical vacuum).
I like an interview being used to introduce readers to a world and some of its characters. This has actually been an issue for me since I have a fairly large world I’ve been working on for the last couple years and now I’m trying to figure out how I explore all of that with the reader.
The article gives a good glimpse into the Frost Elves, touching on their history and culture as well as more clinical traits. I particularly appreciate the mention of how after being forced from their mountain, the Elves were able to repurpose their water magic towards seafaring.
My main take away with the Frost Elves is that it reinforces the idea of how there’s still plenty of room for me to develop my own Elven race and the ethnicities attached to that.
Horan’s Rise has a tight history attached to it as it grew from a small village fending off pirates to a haven for all species, including the rise and fall of its own crime problems.
A big thing this article reminds me off is my intention of creating a criminal element for my world, both in how it’s used and combatted.
The Crystalline Wolves present an interesting magical creature that can easily be considered a hazard when trekking through the northern lands. The article also does a wonderful job detailing why the wolves are hunted, both for their furs as well as their crystals.
Honestly, this is a prime example of the types of magical creatures I’d love to write up for my own world. There’s a very clear high risk/high reward nature with them as the wolves are not to be trifled with, but their pelts and crystals are prized enough to make hunting them worthwhile. Something I would love to see is how might a more symbiotic relationship between the wolves and a local civilization. Do magic users form techniques by mimicking what the wolves do with their own?
A fun bit of lore depicting the mythological figures behind the winter season and the coming spring. Through the descriptions of each maiden, it shows how they relate to different phases of the seasonal thaw.
I really appreciate the lore and how it looks at something other than simply “this is why winter happens”. It shows the transition between seasons and that’s a bit of mythology that I don’t think I tend to see very often.
An interesting Sci-Fi spin on the term “Spell”, SBO functions as a way for synthetics to give themselves what is effectively an adrenaline boost, granting them increased speed and reflexes. The main downside is that, with synthetics being, well, synthetic, this is overclocking their bodies beyond what they were meant for and causes considerable harm to themselves via overheating and circuit damage.
Honestly, this is a pretty tight example of an ability that both makes perfect sense for who can use it (an android overclocking itself to boost performance) and a realistic drawback for it (overheating and circuit damage).
A fairly simple and straight forward depiction of how the profession is organized, particularly the ranking/categorizing of its members. While a little more detail on what a Realm Sealer does in the field would have been nice, the descriptions of the different units was nice, reminiscent of class descriptions on a character creator. The added detail of Realm Sealers often treating the job as a side gig instead of a full time profession given infrequent jobs is also a nice touch.
I like how it’s made clear that Sealer units have different strengths and how that lends itself to creating an effective team instead of just one character being OP and doing everything. Again, the side job aspect is very intriguing as I can see that having an interesting effect on the Sealers’ lives and work. All in all, this seems a good base as it broadly defines the skills associated with the profession, but doesn’t seem all that restrictive on a character who might find himself in it.
Another solid, straight forward article. Structurally, I find the Knights interesting as, while they are known to form units solely of Verdant Knights, they often serve as command for units made up of lower ranking fighters. Considering the training mentioned, this sounds like a good use of tactical resources when commanding larger forces.
Similarly, the depictions of the armor worn by the Knights is intriguing as it seems to heavily reflect the culture of the kingdom. It’s a touch I always like to see and work into my own writing as it gives more of an identity than “the knights in red armor fought the knights in the blue armor”.
Dreamsharing is essentially the sharing of memories between two Elves. Interestingly, the “memory” does not necessarily have to be factual, which leaves an intriguing amount of potential leeway that could be played with. Could someone doctor the memory they’re sharing to spread misinformation? How much might personal biases influence a memory over time?
A really nice detail about the history of Dreamsharing is that Drow have largely forgotten how to use the art. This is a fun bit of worldbuilding for me because it’s interesting seeing things like deep time come into play and what the world or parts of it forgot and why.
Resolutions For 2023
1. Get Back To Writing Stories Instead Of Articles
I've been workshopping story and worldbuilding ideas for years. By this point, I have more pieces and plots in the toy chest than I probably know what to do with and so many just deserve a story to bring them together.
Admittedly, I got pretty burnt out last year and while community events like Summer Camp and World Ember helped, I really need to get back to writing actual stories instead of just adding
2. Clean Up My Articles
Like I mentioned, been doing notes and articles for Vestria for a few years now and some are pretty out of date since I first started tinkering with the idea. I honestly can't recall when the last time I touched my notes for who was originally the main character (still want to use him at some point, but that's going to be down the line).
3. Just Interact More With The Community
I feel like I've been leaving so much on the table when it comes the community with WA and writing in general. To be clear, I'm not just talking about getting people to read my stories or buy my books. It's more being able to share and bounce ideas of each other, get feedback on articles I'm working on to take them that little bit further. Or find articles by other writers about stuff that I would never come up with in a million years.
From what I've seen in the past year, the WA community is just so supportive to each other and I feel like I've just been making myself miss out on so much it has to offer.