Bear with me. This is the first post I have typed on my phone…
My next book, which I am currently working on, is about a war between two enormous Empires and their various proxies and opportunistic enemies.It is a more modern conflict in that it is driven by ideology and politics more Than migration, expansion, or the need of resources.
The Domains of the Chosen is an Empire based around the city of Krass, the last city to survive the Reckoning. This event was the magical equivalent of a nuclear war, beginning with powerful spells and ending with apocalyptic storms of uncontrolled magic. The people of the Domains survived putting aside their differences and banding together. Their union is an imperfect one, and is held together as much by magical Oaths and fear of their enemies than anything else.
In book terms the Domains are represented by familiar fantasy races and cultures. Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, powerful mages, and even Vampires were forced to coexist in a confined space and work together to survive against tremendous outside forces. When they emerged into a post Reckoning world, they were mostly united.
The societies outside the Domains are my own creations or inspired by the odder ideas in the world of fantasy and history. The Wirn to the West of the Domains are a people who seek to finish what the Reckoning started, reshaping the world into a new form. They claim to be the children of wild magic and exhibit the ability to twist the weaves of traditional magical forms. More interestingly the Wirn have a shared consciousness which allows a remarkable degree of cohesion. The Kirifans descended from nomadic survivors of the wild magic storms, mutating and changing as they migrated to escape the dangers. They have strange eyes with slitted pupils and aquatic adaptations. Their society is based around a symbiotic relationship with the massive coral spires which they shape with their magic.
The Vvath are a true Empire, like the Domains. They, too, predate the Reckoning. Khazak Krim was once part of a larger Dwarven Kingdom. It was a border fortress overlooking the only land route between the continents of Sudra and Ithal’Duin. When the Reckoning began the wealth of the Dwarves was a tempting target to the Gifted, and Khazak Krim quickly found itself cut off from the rest of the kingdom. They shut their doors and decided to wait out the worst.
Meanwhile the first Sword-Bearer was born. While forging and enchanting a weapon, an old smith created a strange blade. He felt odd when he made it, disjointed. It was later discovered that his spirit had bonded with the blade. Eventually they discovered the true powers of this process, including the ability to possess the wielders of the blade, and used it in their conquest. However, the immediate problem of the early Sword-Bearers was acceptance among their own people. They realized that their abilities could be seen as monstrous, or even tainted magic. So they claimed that their lore was a gift from the great forger.
The Kings of Khazak Khrim, however, are not Sword-Bearers. Knowing that they would be seen as terrible if they tried to wield power directly, the early Sword-Bearers agitated for the nobles of the Fortress to declare a new dynasty and then made themselves indispensable to the new king.
The differences between these two Empires stem from their seeds.
The City/The Fortress: Krass is a mighty city. While its walls are high and kept out the worst of the Reckoning it was always a place teeming with people and it only got more crowded. The city is a place were cultures mix and barriers are broken down and replaced. Racial and Ethnic tribalism were replaced with factional politics and class warfare. Khazak Khrim on the other hand began as a Fortress. Virtually unassailable, the Dwarves of Khazak Khrim put security above all else. They never learned to mix with other groups and emerged with a sense of racial superiority, encouraged by the Sword-Bearers who see living things as chaff.
Refugees/Military Colony: Krass took in many refugees during the early days of the Reckoning. The last of these were some of the most powerful magic users left alive, some of these had even begun the war that led to the magical storms. The multicultural aspect of Krass is not good for unity or purity of vision, but it allows the Empire to absorb new people and ideas and grow. Khazak Khrim has retained the militant mindset of the fortress. To them it is conquer, or be conquered. Strength is what keeps them safe. Enslaving and destroying other races is seen as desireable, and the Vvath employ a kill em or convert em methodology.
The Chosen/The Sword-Bearers: The people of Krass had the foresight to see that the Chosen would be needed to undo the damage of the Reckoning and hold back any tainted creatures that made it over the wall. They made a compact with the very people they feared the most to ensure that they all would survive. The Chosen are bound to them by oath, although they lack unity and vision. The Sword-Bearers were united in their need for secrecy and have a common vision for the Empire. They believe in strength and authority above all and seek to secure their Empire at all costs. Because of the powers of the blades, they are able to take over the bodies of potential foes, often conquering an enemy simply by giving them a blade as a gift.
The Krassian Empire and the Empire of the Vvath are both huge, sprawling affairs. The people of the Domains believe in freedom and prosperity, but are still nationalistic and often violent depending on which group of Chosen is calling the shots. The Vvath are more careful, but their system of morality is repellent, involving racism and even slavery.
To be continued…