Every so often, an author stumbles into a world that is so real in their minds that they can almost smell the dust on the breeze. For me, that is Ogun, the planet where the iliri reside. Yes, in my head it has a name. No, I don’t use that name in the books for a very long time because it’s not important to the stories.
Now, if you do a small amount of searching (which I’ll spare you) then you’ll see that Ogun is an African deity of war and iron. On a world where metal is hard to come by and rarely is found in ore form, I thought it was apropos. And many of my careful readers will notice that most humans are described in shades that are typically dark… I dunno, think there might be a link?
I’ve always seen the landscape as being rolling with extreme outcroppings of mountains. The climate should be temperate (think Northern USA/England) due to the size of the continent. The two moons in the sky that orbit in tandem would make ocean travel nearly impossible. Just imagine the severity of the tides! In my mind, the sky is so blue that it’s blinding. The planet is simply gorgeous, filled with flowers, vibrant trees, and all of the beauty of a spring countryside. It’s the type of place that fairies should play and myths should live.
Yet, there’s war. It seems when humanity is involved and resources are scarce, there’s always war. The stronger tend to take what they need from those weaker than them. It’s a part of humanity’s animalistic instincts that we can’t seem to leave behind. Isn’t it ironic then, that the iliri are the ones called animals? They growl. They bite. They live in packs, yet their civilization hunts rather than makes war.
Then there are the towns. Without metal, so many things are impossible. Electricity, as an example. How do you transport it without a conductive wire? What about pumping water? That requires either gravity or electricity to move in any kind of decent amount (or a lot of mechanical power). Cisterns on roofs? But wait! Without metals, building a structure capable of handling that much water would be cumbersome and clunky. It would encourage the population to embrace massive structures for the strength to have their luxuries. Over thousands of years, wouldn’t a world like this revert to outdated traditions that seem nearly medieval to us? And yet the technology wouldn’t necessarily be lost.
I find that dichotomy of civilization to be fascinating. I can spend hours thinking about how a street should be built. Debating the cultural changes due to differences in governmental types is one of my favorite past times. I mean, would living in a judiciary have a more passive population than those in a true democracy? What about a parliamentary republic?
I’m six, nearly seven books into this series, and I feel as if I could call this world home. I’m in love with it. I hope my readers can see the wonders buried in the mundane workings of the cities and countries that the Black Blades travel through. I also can’t wait to reveal many of the other secrets lurking beneath the surface. History does have a way of being discovered, and I think a far flung world would be no different.