Tell me about your non-Medieval Europe based settings.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by BloodyHellSausage, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. BloodyHellSausage

    BloodyHellSausage Lore Master

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    Most fantasy involves a pseudo-Medieval Europe setting, which is fine and all, but it gets a little boring after a while. What about a civilization in the jungle, or on a group of islands, or in a snowy mountain? Any setting besides Medieval Europe is fine.
     
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  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Staff Moderator

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    Does "most" fantasy involve that? I'm not convinced. But I like both frozen and tropical settings. Those are fun. I also like far future fantasy.
     
  3. BloodyHellSausage

    BloodyHellSausage Lore Master

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    Well, a lot of fantasy does, at least. That dragon symbol for your logo is rather Medieval-ish.

    Not that relevant, but I got the idea of a Medieval Europe-type society that takes place in the tropics. How would that work?
     
  4. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Master

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    Ever look into the Crusades, Moors and other societies from around the Mediterranean around that time? Or, just played some Assassins Creed. Which, I admit, really isn't a good look at it, still. Or deal with the Spanish and the Conquistadors and how they dealt with the Tropical Americas. Just look into history and you can find what you need with it. And then add what flair and possibly dinosaurs and lizard people you need to go with it.

    My own fantasy settings usually start in the usual place, then make a beeline for the south and the tropics. And depending on the settings, one magical and one not, they operate differently. Though there are still dinosaurs in both. Because I'm seriously bad about that and I like them too much. They also go north and into the mountains and deserts (sometimes with sandworms) and look into Asian and Oriental sorts of stuff. It really helps that at least for the Eld setting that the main characters are scouts and therefore, scout the world.
     
  5. pmmg

    pmmg Grandmaster

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    I think its a fair observation that much of fantasy has a european/medieval flavor to it and i think there are a lot of reasons for it. But id hardley call it boring or played out. Its a big ocean, plenty of room for more swimmers. If its played out for you, well the opportuntiy is there to do something different. My current world setting I loosely based on scandinvia, which i suppose is european, but its also kind of a mish mosh of many cultures. How about you tell us about yours?
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I'd be willing to guess that most Chinese fantasy is set in China, most African fantasy is set in Africa, and so on. For that matter, most American private investigator stories are set in America and no one complains much about that. And darn near all cowboy stories are set in the American West, despite the fact that there are cowboys in Italy, France, Argentina, inter alia.
     
  7. BloodyHellSausage

    BloodyHellSausage Lore Master

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    I'm actually rather shy about revealing too much about my world. I think I would have to head out and experience foreign cultures some time so I could write better.
     
  8. psychotick

    psychotick Dark Lord

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    Hi,

    Most of my epic fantasy started out there. But it got altered over time. So initially in Maverick the humans live in a medieval Europe setting, but the elves of course have their own fantasy world (though it's part of the same world) where they live an almost Communist life style in the trees of great forests with magic thrown in. Then in the Godlost Land I created a new world which is probably medieval-ish but has cultural elements from most of the world thrown in. Mostly I did it so I could have creatures / races from different mythos all rubbing shoulders. In the Arcanist I returned to classic Europe, but then pushed the time period forward more or less to the industrial revolution, so I could have steam - and hence steampunk.

    More recently in two books I haven't yet finished, I've moved to Roman culture. One is set in another world which is magical in nature, essentially Celtic, two hundred years after the Roman Ninth legion arrived in it and built a great city. The other is set on an alternate Earth around the fourteenth century, but is again steampunk in nature so has loads of tech, and is part of the great Roman Empire - it never fell!

    I don't know that it's fair to say that most fantasy lives in Medieval Europe. For me I think, that's just been a starting point.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  9. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Staff Moderator

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    I think it's true that many Fantasy worlds are similar to Medieval Europe.

    The setting of my current story in progress is called Wander's Land. This world in particular is different to all of my other Fantasy settings, because it's quite similar to what England was in the 1860's or perhaps the 1870's. Wander's Land is actually my own version of the classic Wonderland.

    Instead of the normal countries of the British islands they have Ayngland, Skatland, Wails and Ayreland.

    They all are a powerful union, ruled by a mighty and dangerous Mage Queen. The Wandellian people normally live very happy and peaceful lives, but they are under constant threat from a rival Queen that lives across the sea. There are various magical creatures, Mages are well-known and in general the people fear and hate Magic.

    Wandellians use horses and carriages a lot, but they also have powerful steam trains and some of those are very large. Their cities have electric light posts even though electricity inside homes is uncommon. They need loads of lumber in Winter, and their weaponry are sabers, swords, rifles, bayonets and very advanced artillery.

    Their chemical industry has produced high explosives and very dangerous pesticides. They have a Halloween-like tradition called Hallewayn, and many Wandellian children love certain squirrel-like animals called Skaellyn.

    There are lakes of a violet sticky liquid very similar to honey.
     
  10. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

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    I had a long conversation with a Saudi friend [I would now like to call them] about what it is like to live in the Kingdom today and what their history/mythology says it was like back-in-the-day.
    It gave me a very different point of view to my western European/Anglo world.
    There was a distinct dichotomy between their personal belief in Islam and their belief in pre-islamic magic, stories, and myths.
    It was a fascinating chat and has given me a huge list of things I need to know more about.
    and BTW Saudi food is delicious! No Sheep's ***** but very tasty salads and lamb pilaf!
     
  11. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    My world is kind of a mish-mash of time periods. For instance, the Italian peninsula is divided between the Roman Kingdom which never focused on conquest and never became an empire. Instead they focused on knowledge and discovery and so became the leading area of scholarship in the western world. The aesthetic at the time of my current WIP is based on early Italian Renaissance. Northern Europe is much less advanced, but is composed of various stable societies based mostly on pre-medieval Europe. Much of it is made up of a confederacy of Celtic tribes. The rest is also mostly clan/tribe oriented. Then there is the Greek-Egyptian Allied Empire which is strongly based on the Greek Classical period and the Egyptian Late period. In this version Alexander never conquers Egypt and instead Greece and Egypt become allies, helping each other to stay in power over the centuries. There's also a strong Imperial Japanese government, based on Japan's Heian period.
     
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  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Staff Moderator

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    I don't see why not. It's all in the execution. You might take into account how geography and climate shaped aspects of medieval European society, and then either adjust your tropical society according to don't adjust it and come up with a rationale for why it works they way it is.
     
  13. elemtilas

    elemtilas Mystagogue

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    Sounds interesting!

    Did Brunel's broad gauge win out *there*!?

    [​IMG]

    The Welch's Concord Grape Juice Syrup Lake District? :)
     
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  14. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Forgot to say what the other power on the Italian peninsula is. To the north of the Roman Kingdom is the Etruscan league which covers most of northern Italy.
     
  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Dark Lord

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    Hmm, trilogy I'm working on starts in a clan/viking-esque frozen setting, with plenty of ruins, where the culture "squats" in castles a previous culture left behind. Book 2 takes these people through open plains, pitted against a more northern Euro-medieval people, and finally they will reach jungles and other stuff.

    Another book will take place on equitorial islands with sort of a morrocan falvor to the architecture, but the culture will be based on their religion, so can't really compare to Earth much.

    Lots of weird mashup and stuff based on religion.
     
  16. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Staff Moderator

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    Thanks for your comments, Elemtilas.

    If you find my Wander's Land setting cool and interesting, maybe you would like the story in question. It's called Alice into Darkness and you can read it at Wattpad. Just find me there, I am Sheilawisz just like here in Mythic Scribes.

    It's not finished yet, but I am getting very close to the ending!

    About the giant steam trains: No complete description of them is provided in the story. They are military trains, used to transport very large numbers of troops and also artillery, shells and other weaponry in times of war. These trains are described as being far too large to arrive at civilian train stations, and they have railways of their own.

    Also, the sound of their steam is described as deafening and monstrous.

    The lakes of sticky violet liquid are more common in certain parts of Ayngland, and they are a natural thing not related to Magic. This liquid is used as a sweetener in breakfast, since it's cheap and delicious.

    My protagonist almost drowned in one of those lakes after getting dropped there by a giant raven.
     
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  17. psychotick

    psychotick Dark Lord

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    Hi,

    Just as an aside you might want to look into the history of Breitspurbahn - Hitler's proposed broad gauge railway. In his case it was proposed to be three metres wide and the trains that ran on it something more like land based ocean liners.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  18. DeathtoTrite

    DeathtoTrite Lore Master

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    I like the steppes/ silk road/ middle east. So much of the way I world build stems from trade and resources, so these locations really lend themselves to take inspiration from. Plus, awesome leaders, battles, and stories come out of these regions!

    Honestly, I feel like western Europe gets a bad rap. I think the problem is people think they can use it without research or thorough world building. Just have some barons, an evil duke or two, plucky, well-fed peasants and a smith that churns out steel like no ones business. Throw in anachronistic taverns, white-wash organized crime into a guild, and sprinkle on some travelling wizards and done! Now you can focus on that peasant boy destined to defeat [insert ominous name here] and his army of [insert always chaotic evil race here]

    Hell, I'd say don't call it medieval europe setting. I'd call it a lazy setting. Iberia fought in the Reconquista. HRE had fascinating internal politics. Italy was an incredible confluence of cultures. Scandinavia explored and traded far beyond its borders (except Finns of course, which are a wholly different cultural entity). Lithuania resisted Christianity for centuries after its neighbors converted. France fought heretics and cobbled together a country filled with different ethnicities. England was the great melting pot of Celtic, Anglo-saxon, Norman, and Viking cultures.

    Point is, if medieval europe is somehow boring, the author is doing it wrong.
     
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  19. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Lore Master

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    I've churned out five novels so far in a more-or-less Polynesian setting that knows nothing of European ways. Yes, the first three (the Malvern Trilogy) had a European find his way into their world, whom I used as a bit of tongue-in-cheek take on the whole 'white savior' theme (he's the one who gets saved, much of the time). In the latest two, the stories are told purely from the 'native' view. One to go before I desert the world of the Mora.

    I've nothing against the pseudo-Medieval Western setting, and I've done stuff that at least tends in that direction. But there are an whole lot of worlds and cultures out there to, um, appropriate. :)
     
  20. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Very true. What most people call a "medieval Europe" setting is really more like a pseudo-historical ye olde English setting or a "this is what I generically think medieval Europe was like based on history classed I didn't pay attention to 10 years ago".
     
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