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October 16th, 2005, 05:48 PM
In preparation for the novel I will eventually begin, I am creating a world. This means writing loads of descriptions and histories... This is a piece about a certain war. I havent finished typing it all up, so it ends abruptly. It isnt supposed to be a literary masterpiece, but a good segment of history from my world. Lots of things (such as who the saints are) are not explained in this piece, but I can explain if you ask.
Im not really looking for critique on my writing skills, but on my world-crafting skills... Im pretty proud of the world Im making.
Please tell me if there are any certain parts or glimpses of history which you like the sound of...
Tell me what you think!


In the Ancient Days, Nemaria was a prosperous nation south of the Silver Mountains. Ereth Nemalas was its capital, its other chief city being Celdin in the south. There was also a colony across the sea, Diranec the Spice Port, placed on the fertile coasts west of the Red Sands. The Nemarian colonists here traded in spices, and merchant ships would regularly sail the channel between Celdin and Diranec.
With the departure of the Saints, like many other civilisations, Nemaria fell into decay and disrepair. Ereth Nemalas was deserted and overgrown, and the royal family fell back to Celdin. Over the years, Nemaria was reduced to the small state of Elsterin on the southern coast, with Celdin as its capital. Northern Nemaria was deserted. The colonists in Diranec cut their ties with the Nemarians, and became their own people, living among the sands which surrounded Diranec. It was at this time in history that a new people came across the Red Sands out of the east. It is thought they were descended from the people of ancient Hiranmair, a now desolate region, as Ereth Hiran had been devoured by the Wild Wood.
These new people took control of the land around Diranec, and set up Red Rock, a haven for the great ships they built, and they took to raiding and plundering the coasts of the world. Diranec remained open to trade overseas and became known as the Old Spice Port, though it forever lay under the authoritarian shadow of the Corsairs of Red Rock, as they became to be known. The last fertile land to the west of the Red Sands, where Red Rock and the Old Spice Port lay, became known as Diranhad.
A new king inherited the throne of Elsterin, Tirgon II. He was ambitious and ruthless, and he was determined to rebuild Nemaria and reinstate Ereth Nemalas as his capital. What was the north of ancient Nemaria was now a large rural nation known as Magritanion. Its people were farmers and country landowners of various races, come to the fertile land in hope of a peaceful and easy life. How wrong they were, as Tirgon prepared to retake what once belonged to his ancestors. The people of Magritanion were easy prey, with no fortified towns and no unified government. Tirgon had for many years been forging a friendship with the leader of the Corsairs of Red Rock, Sentheon. When the dark-skinned and well-armed men of Diranhad drew their ships into the harbour of Celdin, Tirgon presented them as friends to help in the upcoming wars, and the men of Elsterin were glad. Rivalries and old scores were forgotten, as the Corsairs had ceased their raids on Elsterin three years back, and had concentrated their pillaging further north up the coast. However despite what friendship their leader had formed, the Corsairs only desired plunder, from whomever posed the easiest target, and they were not interested in national pacts and alliances. Such was their nature, indeed Sentheon had only agreed to cease the raids on Elsterin due to the promise of great plunder in the war.
Ruthless and determined as he was, like any good leader, Tirgon would have preferred to regain his lost empire without bloodshed. He offered to unite Magritanion with Elsterin, and promised to rule its people justly. However the Magritanians refused, determined as they were to keep their indepedant lifestyle. So Tirgon hoped where diplomacy had failed, war would succeed. The men of Elsterin with their vicious allies began their attacks on the undefended and leaderless Magritanians. They fought back bravely, but were no match for Tirgonís disciplined armies on the open field. They were pushed back, and the Elsterinian borders expanded northwards. The Magritanians struck back with guerrilla warfare, ambushing Tirgonís armies among the hills, and destroying their wagon trains. Generals were felled with well-placed arrows, supplies burnt, and lines of communication cut. The armies began to fall into disarray and mutinies threatened. However, encouraged by the savage enthusiasm of their allies, the Elsterinians limped northward. Farmsteads they burnt as they marched, and the Magritanian landownersí mansions they took as fortresses. Eventually forces reached the overgrown ruins of Ereth Nemalas.
But as King Tirgon stepped through the gates of his ancestorsí court, he fell with an arrow through his throat, shot by an unseen archer among the ruins. It was then that Sentheon of Diranhad seized his chance, for secretly he had desired the Elsterinian throne and a foothold on the continent for himself. Dark rumours abounded that the arrow came now from a Magritanian guerrilla but from a black-clad Corsair. But whatever Elsterinain soldiers thought, they kept their ideas to themselves. Through promises to continue the war and rebuild the glory of Nemaria, but no doubt through dark threats and the exchange of gold too, Sentheon was instated as Lord of Celdin. And with reinforcements arriving in the ports by ship, continue the war he did with doubled ferocity.
The Magritanians were soon to be overwhelmed. Refugees fled east to Esgharad, while the guerrillas continued their desperate war. But it was not enough, and they were tiring. Under the leadership of cruel Sentheon, the corsairs slew all they found. The caravans of refugees were not safe. Before long Sentheon had control over all what was Ancient Nemaria, and due to fear and threats, he was now a king.
It was then that a hero emerged from the Silver Mountains; Erghal was his name, and he brought with him a host of sturdy mountain folk. It was Erghal who had the first victory against Sentheon on the open field. The people of Magritanion united behind him, and the first successful resistance against Sentheon began. The Magritanians began to push the Elsterinians back to their own territory, and they retook the country strongholds. Sentheonís forces began to doubt and become uneasy; the corsairs were tiring of land warfare and being outmanouvered by the guerrillas in a war which was not theirs, whilst the Elsterinians were beginning to get angry with being ruled by a foreign pirate. It is thought a few assassinations were attempted, but they were intercepted and covered up. By executing a number of rebellious generals, Sentheon was able to ensure loyalty among his forces. Sentheonís own company of men took control of administration in Elsterin and silenced any opposition. He became a tyrant, and continued the war.
Erghal knew that guerrilla tactics could not win over armed might in the end. Things looked bleak as the Magritanian refugees were being driven back into the war-torn hills out of Esgharad where they had fled to. Erghal knew he would have to make a stand. So he led the people into the mountains where he had come from. He led them into Black Cleft, an ancient valley from which a long forgotten river once flowed, but it was now dry. Impassible cliffs sheltered its sides. The only way in was up a winding narrow path and through a narrow opening; here Erghal built a great stone wall. This proved a strong defence; the only way for the enemy to assault the wall was by marching five abreast up the winding mountain track. It took a long time to reach the wall which was high up, and as the enemy attempted the long climb up they were easy targets for fire and arrows from above. This way a small force of determined and well equipped men could hold out against a much large army indefinitely.
With the people of Magritanion apparently cornered in Black Cleft, Sentheon was quick to put them to siege. He would have to stamp out this stubborn resistance if he was to rule all Nemaria, and here was his chance. However, the defences of Black Cleft held firm, and the Magritanians held the wall for assault after assault. With their women and children in the valley behind them, they were fighting for their survival and would not yield. Despite vastly outnumbering their foe, Sentheonís forces could not reach the gate. For two months the siege lasted.

To be continued when I have time to type up my work more...

October 31st, 2005, 08:14 AM
wow- you are writing a lot of background. would never be able to be that patient. perhaps you do not need to be quite so detailed, though. I was just readng an interview with Garth Nix and he advised against over-detailing the world so as not to destract from the plot. You are very dedicated, though, and i'm sure you'll be able to find a balance once you begin...

October 31st, 2005, 08:17 AM
All this background will not detract from the plot - in fact it probably won't feature in it at all. The reason I'm writing so much background material is just to make my world believable and to bring it to life.... plus I enjoy doing it! Worldbuilding is so much fun. If in the end this war never gets mentioned in the novel... Im not bothered, Im gonna have loads of background stories like this about the history of the world.