Across the Lake
In the first draft, I didn't know much about what was beyond the lake, but after six years of being with this manuscript I can tell you pretty much everything about the universe my characters live in.
For one, it's divided into four sections, AVRISTAR not only being the name of the island, but the name of the quadrant. I've broken down the quadrants for you, although my characters don't talk much about the other quadrants until book 3, you know, need to let this info out like air from a balloon, slow and steady, not info dump.
I've tried to find a way to explain planets without saying planets or realms because of the obvious sci-fi and fantasy connotations behind it. How my characters ended up explaining it is, “the lands scattered across the stars”. So, readers should be able to pick up the fact that AVRISTAR is a mystical island that exists physically, but not physically (please study Quantum Physics) on each of these Lands of Men, and that the right phrase will take the traveler through the mists and to that Land.
In the AVRISTAR quadrant there is the island and there are the seven Lands of Men. Their names are: TERRA (Earth), NIMPHALLS, AMALTHEIA, ARATHIA, MATAKASHA, RONANNON and SEVENTIA.
Again, the island of AVRISTAR exists physically on each one of these seven planets. The only difference is the magic that takes the traveler there.
In AVRISTYR, there is the main land, plus five Lands of Beasts, ANGRENOTH, CAM'WETHRIN, VELDEMAR, ARACHNIA, LAKEMNIA and then two extinct lands, HADWEN and SHEZZICK. Whether my characters ever talk about these places is irrelevant, but this is where the lesser villains hail from in most cases. These Lands of Beasts are just that, monsters, things that go bump in the night, etc. etc. I usually think all manner of nasty creatures.
In AVRIGARD there is the main land, plus eleven Lands of Immortals, NAZOLE, TALANISDIR, METAPHIS, AZAROTH, WINDELLA, SALLAS, REMNIA, DRACONIS, CRYZOLE, ZANANDIR, PERFIAS and SOMTOMA. There is one extinct realm from this quadrant, TEMPIA. My MC's first mentor Desaunius is from TEMPIA. Mallorn, my MC’s last mentor is from TALANISDIR. The beings in these lands are often thought of as immortal, they're dragons, elvens, shee (smaller faeries) or fae (full humanoid faeries) and they live a long long time.
In AVRIGOST there is nothing. There is the land that was exiled to the quadrant, and nothing else exists there other than that which cannot be used. It’s a chaotic realm, floating stones, always daylight, souls trapped and unable to go anywhere. Think, the worst place ever, a forever that stretches on, time that doesn't move, cycles of life frozen. It's a wasteland. This is where the Valtanyana are locked away, their former glorious forms reduced to dust.
And this is mostly in my notes now, I have woven parts of this universal knowledge into the storyline, but I haven't harped on it. The nice thing is when my characters need to go somewhere, I just pick a place on the chart and then create the settings as I go. For instance, in FLAME OF JUSTICE, Krishani goes to AMALTHEIA. It's got a blue sun, and no color, everything is shades of gray. And there were corn fields that led to a large fenced in village, with clay houses and dry soil. That then led into the hills, which were like the Badlands, all colored sand that could be formed into sand castles, and then crumble away.
I do different things with landscapes when I can, but I try to stick to traditional folklore. I don't want my readers getting too caught up with the setting, but because my characters have a relationship with the land, my readers need to have a good sense of it too.
And changing it up every now and again never hurt.
Tomorrow we’re going to discuss Spirits of the Land, which makes me squee!
if you missed part 1-3 heres the links again