Úr’Dan: Exploring the Alternate Universe

I have talked about my upcoming novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, in mostly vague terms to this point. That is largely by design.

I tend to hold my own dreams and aspirations near and dear to my heart until I feel like I’m ready to express them to people beyond my most inner circle. But, I think it’s time I actually begin sharing some of the world-building I have been doing over the last several years.

WoEM takes place on a large subcontinent known to its inhabitants as Úr’Dan (pronounced oor-DAHN).

So, where is Úr’Dan, and what is it like there? Who lives there, and what do they believe? I will share snippets of the answers to these questions in a brief summary.

Geography

Úr’Dan is a peninsular subcontinent on the southern end of a much greater landmass. No Úr’Daní (oor-dahn-NEE) – the people inhabiting Úr’Dan – have been known to travel into this continent to the north.

Bordered by the nearly impassable Hundred Teeth mountain range to the north, Úr’Dan is largely isolated from any other region of the world, save for the sailors and pirates who visit its southernmost shores to trade.

The majority of the continent contains rolling plains known as the Uplands, with numerous great rivers running down the mountain slopes and hills into a massive marshland in the center, the Barger’s Marsh. The Uplands are hemmed by two more mountain ranges to the south, separating the Uplands from the more lush, subtropical cape region.

Pop Quiz! Who can name the region in which my short story, “Wolf’s Moon Night”, takes place?

People

Úr’Daní comprise numerous ethnic and cultural groups, defined largely by the regions they inhabit. From the immense coniferous forest of Everfeld, to the countless pastoral societies of the Uplands, to the gold-rich mining towns of Stonebreaker Gorge, the Úr’Daní hardly see themselves as a cohesive people.

The single unifying element of these groups is trade. The city of Driftport has sat in the Barger’s Marsh at the confluence of all of the great rivers of the Uplands for nearly a millennium. As the subcontinent’s trade capital, Driftport serves as the center of economic and cultural life in Úr’Dan, blooming to a population many times its humble five to seven thousand people each year during the autumn harvest.

Language

Due to the importance of trade to all of its communities, a common language is generally understood by Úr’Daní, although dialects can vary wildly, and the written word is used mostly for trade.

An ancient “mother tongue” has also filtered down from the Mythic Age when humans were first born into the world, but its origins are obscured by millennia, and most Úr’Daní only know a handful of words.

History

Due to the lack of a strong written heritage,  the “recorded” history of Úr’Dan only dates back to the founding of Driftport, about 1,000 years before the events of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

However, two key trends have shaped the history and politics of many Úr’Daní over the previous few centuries: the advent of iron- and steel-working, and the migration of more peoples into Úr’Dan, whether by land or sea.

Mythology

Although the Úr’Daní have no advanced concept of planetary science, they recognize that Úr’Dan exists on a world called Gó’Dan (GO-dahn), named for the being who built the world and gave birth to all life that exists there.

Gó’Dan is one of the First Four Vaí’ad (vy-‘AHD), the beings who created the world and all of the forces there: sky, stars, sun, moons. oceans… everything.

Want to Know More?

That is the most basic of overviews I can give of my world without turning this into a couple-thousand word essay.

So… want to know more? Have any questions about my universe or world building in general?

I’ll turn this into a series if you like.

Steve D

 

2 thoughts on “Úr’Dan: Exploring the Alternate Universe”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s