World-Building

Climate

There are four seasons on the planet, resembling Terran seasons. Winters, however, are relatively milder with temperatures ranging from below single digits (4) to double (20) (degrees Celsius), prompting abundant and fertile vegetable growth. Comparative Terran climates: Japan or Vietnam, with temperate regions.

Technology

Silver fish – Air blimps/air ships, powered by light magic.
Boats (fishing) – Used by the coastal villages.
Carriages – Basic transport for goods and people, drawn by ma.

Note: There were remnants of advanced technology, as evidenced by the Sea of Dead Ships – abandoned starships used by the colonists for their journey from Terra.

Geography

The main settlements took place on a cirque bay created by the crater of a long extinct volcano that was linked to a still-active chain of volcanoes named The Ridge. The bay was connected to a sea and water overlapped into the bay. The colonists made their homes along the coastal areas and gradually moved inland to inhabit the valleys and plains.

The overall feel of the land would resemble current Terran locations like Japan or Indonesia. Lush, rich, fertile – and intensely aware of the seismic and tectonic activity beneath the landscape. The City, for example, was prone to earthquakes; the Innerlands were no exception as well. Much of the sympathetic magic developed by the Innerlanders was based on knowing the earth and its movements.

As a result of this intimate link to its geography, magic evolved, deeply and strongly based on the landscape.

Anak Jamu is an active volcano, ‘anak’ being the Bahasa word for ‘child’.

Language and culture

Much of the inhabitants were descendants of first and second waves of immigrants from Terra, the majority hailing from Asian and Southeast Asian countries and states with a mixture of Chinese and Malay ethnic groups. The second wave was mainly Caucasian or European.

The language that was born after generations of interchange and cross-fertilization was a creole or patois of blended words, taken from the dominant languages. For example, “ma” and “yang” mean horse and goat in Mandarin Chinese, while “ayam” is chicken in Bahasa.

Likewise, wassail was a distinct influence from Anglo-Saxon languages. The Caucasian immigrants moved inland into the plains, hills and valleys designated the “innerlands” by the cartographers. As a result, their descendants are called the Innerlanders and are mostly farmers cultivating Terran variants of vegetable crops and livestock.

The creole: rumpai – mixture of blended words from Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa.
The lingua franca – englis – romancized version of Anglo-Saxon words (primarily English).
Other languages: huayu.

The coastal villages were occupied mainly by Chinese or Asian descendents who introduced a mélange of traditions and cultures. They cultivated seafood, including the highly popular and lucrative oysters and pearl-oysters.

There was some form of religion or spiritual practice. The women in the coastal villages worship Ma-Tzu, the Taiwanese/Chinese goddess of the sea. The festivals at the City are arranged in the pagan wheel of year.

However, with the colonization of the planet, the colonists also came up with new words to describe their experiences. For example, “sun-circle” denotes a full Terran (365) year. Pockets of traditionalists still existed and old languages were still spoken. An example of a traditional song sung by Mirra’s Grandmother – “The Sky Is Dark” – is an actual Hokkien folk song titled “Ti Oh Oh” , with ‘ti’ meaning sky and ‘oh oh’ meaning dark clouds or dark. Mirra’s village probably still speaks a variant of Min Bei (Northern Min) . To the listener hearing the people of Mirra’s world speak – say, the lingua franca of the world – he or she would be surprised that the language itself does not sound like any known Earth language. Listen closer – and he or she could discern distinctive words taken from various Earth languages.

Social norms and matrimonial customs were diverse. Polyandry was widely practiced by the coastal villages, polyamory being more prevalent in the City. Monogamy was accepted as well. Singlehood (Apart) was widely tolerated and accepted as it was deemed a valid life choice. Terms used were pairs, triads and Apart.

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