Voices from Alandar
In world creation, it is the little things (I think) that make a world real. Sure, you can spend pages describing how sorcery works or what the climate of a planet is like, and the reader understands how important this is in the abstract. If you spend a little time, though, describing how their lunch tastes or what kinds of profanity they use, and everything suddenly becomes more immediate. This is because we experience the world in the immediate, not in the abstract. Yes, we currently live on a planet with seven continents and possess the technology to destroy ourselves, but that doesn’t do much to put you in the shoes of a person walking down the street in a residential neighborhood in Chicago or driving a truck across the Sahara desert. You’ve got to get to the little things.
As I’ve developed Alandar over the years, I’ve put together a wide variety of little sayings and proverbs and little jokes told by its inhabitants. These speak volumes about the place, I think, or at least make it seem more real. Now, as I am pretty tired today and don’t have a lot of new material in me at the moment, I figure I’d share some of them with you for your amusement (assuming they are so). Some are derivative of real sayings, some are inspired by famous quotations, and others are purely my own. So, here we go (I apologize for the weird spacing, but nothing I do here seems to fix it):
“If you see a Verisi in the street, beat him—he will know what he has done.”
–Traditional Akrallian Proverb
“Akral only invades if it has nothing to do. You should thank us for keeping her busy, my lords.”
-Attributed to pirate Jeddard Squid, while on trial in Eretheria
“Remember your dead fathers, for today we ride to meet them. There is no escape for the living and no victory for the meek.
Now, my brothers, let us CHARGE!”
-Last words of Captain Rushan Fieron, Wardenrider
“What’s more complicated than Eretherian politics? That’s easy—Eretherian women!”
-Bretholm Parthlake, Galaspiner Prankster
“Galaspiners, you say? Better get more supplies, boys—we’re here for the long haul.”
-Tobar Ephril, Mercenary leading the siege of Haldasburg, a Galaspiner colony
“Thieves, cheats, and liars
Rule the City of Ihyn,
Where good, light, and decency,
Clearly has never been.”
-Traditional Eddon Nursery Rhyme
“If you have the misfortune of being a religious man, go to Rhond to be cured of it. That place could make Hann sick of himself.”
-Sir Merrot of Dalscies, Akrallian Chevalier
“I’ll say this about the Verisi: they might be thieves, pirates, and no-account scoundrels, but they are the most entertaining thieves, pirates, and no-accounts the world has ever birthed. They’ve sunk six of my ships, two while they were under me, and some of those bastards still make me chuckle.”
-Marzel Doora, Ihynish Merchant Captain
“They call it the Dreaming City, but I never found a dream while I was there. Nightmares, on the other hand, have street addresses.”
-Vernar Horona, Mage
Our Power is vast as the steppes, our Will as ineffable as the eastern tides, our Hosts as innumerable as the desert dunes.
We are Eternal, we are Almighty, and we have claimed the land upon which we walk as our own.
We are the Nine, and we will not be denied.
-Attributed to the Nine Queens of Kalsaar
“You can buy just about anything on the streets of Freegate. Except a conscience, of course.”
– Marcus Coormint, Ihynish Merchant
“Hurn is the nicest, most beautiful, most peaceful, most dreadfully boring place I’ve ever been assigned. What good is a diplomat in a city full of people who don’t talk?”
-Vernar Horona, Mage
“Some are strong, others are quick, still others wield great magicks or have brilliant minds. Me, I’m well liked, and a fat lot of good it does me, too.”
-Artemus Davan, Saldorian Rogue
“Monsters!? Gods, man, griffons ain’t no monsters! They’re just like horses, ‘cept with wings, and beaks, and claws, and such.”
–Four-Finger Pollik, Delloran Griffon Trainer
“He who wears a sword will have one stuck through him, sooner or later.”
-Marcus Coormint, Ihynish Merchant
“Ah, Saldor—the greatest city in the world. Nowhere else can a man see a fellow turned to stone in the streets and pass by knowing that all is well and that the city watch is merely doing their job.”
-Othon Feddemeer, Peddler
“Magic is not esoteric, or strange, or even magical. Magic is the world, the world is magic—it is in you, it is in me, it makes up both objects and empty space, both motion and stillness. Magic is the essence of existence, the rules that define both being and the lack of being, and to understand it is to be both wise and powerful.”
–Keeper Polimeux, 57th Keeper of the Balance, Treatise on the Nature of Magic and Sorcery, Chapter 1
Posted on April 9, 2014, in Alandar, Fiction and tagged Alandar, fantasy, world building. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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