Muunfel Unexplored

A lot of Muunfel is left without a specific map of the area. The Timewilds of Synka used to be better known to cartographers, but because of the shifting nature of the region and its hostility to settlement, that knowledge has shifted to the coastline and not far inland. Going off the road in Synka is terrible luck, so says the superstition.

Another region that comes to mind is the vast forest covered by the Faelands. Some would argue this land doesn’t count as “unexplored” because it actively prevents anyone from truly knowing where they’re going. The local fae lords and the leaders of the whole nation are able to clear the roads for visitors, but they can also trap trespassers in an area that may not let them leave.

Most regions of Korvasin, Genfierz, and the North are pretty well known. Rutan’s desert and the lands beyond it were unknown until recently, but as the country gains more of a foothold in the international world, more corners of the map are being filled in to the west.

Holidays and Traditions

Holidays across Muunfel vary with the people. There are some regional variants that all center around the same idea but which are attributed to different gods. For example, a spring thaw festival over most of the continent celebrates the children of the earth god Kuro and their stewardship over plants and animals. However, in Rutan, the harsh desert nation, the same festival is held in honor of the god of storms, Elias, in the hopes that he will bring them plentiful rains.

Most people will have a low key celebration of the New Year on the first of Queen’s Eyes. It celebrates another cycle in the passing of time, and a new beginning. The Fae celebrate it for nine days, some for an excuse to party and others for their respect of the cycle.

Some other holidays found throughout Muunfel:

  • Korvasin has a Festival Day on the birthday of the reigning monarch, though it is mostly celebrated in the cities – more rural folk will actually prepare all year to bring some of their produce into more populated areas to sell.
  • Korvasin also shares a holiday with the Fae, in remembrance of the battle in which a previous king oversaw the maiming of a previous Una of the Fae. It is a somber day of reflection.
  • In Rutan, there is a three-day celebration of the formation of the Rebel Kingdom, one day for each of three key figures in the success of the rebellion: Aaron and Leah Stride, spies for the rebels, and Vale Rutan Galen, the first king of Rutan.
  • Genfierz celebrates the birthday of one of its most prominent inventors: James Mercy, the innovator of steam power. His contribution to the mainstream importance of invention is honored all over the country.

Who’s in Charge in Muunfel?

Korvasin: Run by a monarchy through bloodline, Korvasin used to be an empire that spanned a lot more land than it currently occupies. It has since stopped growing outward, but the economy is stable so the royals of Korvasin (the King/Queen of Crows, colloquially) are content to preside over their landlocked nation.

Rutan: Another monarchy through a bloodline, by virtue of being formed when a prince of Korvasin was cast out and fueled a rebellion against Korvasin. Its government is a blend of the monarchy and emissaries from the various groups throughout the vast desert.

Genfierz: Gen has a mixed Monarchy/Republic. The “royals” have always been figureheads and diplomats, and their duties reflect that. They are not offered as much decorum as the royals of Korvasin or Rutan, but they are respected as the voice of their nation’s leaders nonetheless. The sovereign and the heir-apparent of the royals of Genfierz are cursed to have tongues of living silver, though their “silver tongue” curse also grants them a natural charisma.

Meraev: Meraev’s main governance consists of several separate clans, each made up of multiple families, that govern their issues internally in most cases. Occasionally the clan heads will meet for matters of bigger importance but they usually keep to themselves. The cities in Meraev are where the non-Solian citizens tend to live, and the city governments cooperate with the nearby clans.

Faelands: The fae are governed, such as it is, by the Una and the Aubry.

Currency in Muunfel

In the middle and western regions of Muunfel, there is an easily recognized gold standard. Coins minted in Korvasin, for example, are acceptable in Genfierz or Rutan and vice versa without much haggling. Genfierz also employs a silver standard, and recently there have been calls for a copper one as well, owing to the material’s importance in the nation. In several cases, however, these three nations come to a direct bartering agreement when it comes to exports/imports.

In the North and in Meraev, the people blend bartering and currency much more fluently. With the people spread out in more isolated clusters, it’s simpler to go with what is easiest for both parties to manage when they do run into each other.

The Fae deal in favors and information. Not all of them are instantly good at striking a deal, but the ones that are should be dealt with carefully. People have gotten themselves into deep debt without realizing it, and debt to the fae will be collected.

In the elflands and the timewilds, they lean towards a barter system but have a silver standard for trade with Genfierz, their most regular trade partner.

Civilizations/Architecture in Muunfel

Because Muunfel is so varied in geography and peoples, this largely depends on the area you’re looking at. However, there are some common trends among certain locales. I’ll break these down by country.

Korvasin: With mainly fertile plains and flat or gently-hilled land, even the smaller towns have enough economy to build decent walls for defense. The buildings are a mix of wood and stone, and the streets usually meander – they don’t use grids. The biggest cities, like the capital in Divali, sport extremely high walls with multiple openings for defenses.

Rutan: The desert was once occupied by the Solians. Their cities remain in some places, with rounded buildings and advanced infrastructure like aqueducts throughout. The ruined cities are repaired with wood and newer stones in places, but are largely left unaltered. Colorful glass and tiered city levels are a theme with most large settlements in Rutan.

Genfierz: The landscape is more hilly and sometimes abrupt than other areas, but there are also several ruins of Solian cities in Gen. The Solians tended to either use grid patterns for their streets or radial patterns. The big difference between Rutan and Genfierz is that Genfierz is more friendly to technology, so it attracts more innovators, builders, and creatives, and thus the ruins are more modified with machines. Newer cities try to imitate the style of the old Solian cities, but with more consideration for building and invention.

Meraev: It is occupied by Solians, mostly, in separate clans consisting of a few families. These clans don’t often get together, and their settlements tend to differ to the tastes of the individual families. They don’t build large permanent settlements like the empire used to.

Faelands: Foresty wilds hide buildings and structures connected directly to the trees. The local fae tend to have an influence on how these clusters of buildings are organized and styled.

North: The people of the north are hardy and more familiar with war. They tend to build into the sides of cliffs, hills, or valleys so a lot of their architecture looks like it’s growing right out of the earth or being buried.

Muunfel’s Inspiration

It’s the final day of World building June, and I made it to the end! Somehow I managed to condense a bunch of my nerding out over this project into smaller posts that I hope were easy to follow! For the final bit of world building, I want to go into the first ever inspiration for the world of Muunfel.

Way back in my high school days, I had a random dream about a train in a desert. That train was derailed and tipped over by bandits. That’s all I really remember from the dream itself, but it sparked much more.

From that inspiration I came up with the story of a certain thief on a prison train, and what would happen if some other criminals came to his rescue. Rutan and Korvasin became the first countries I thought of for Muunfel, and from there I developed the train network, the fiery desert, and the maps of these places (which I then continued to expand and expand, adding more paper as I needed). Before I knew it, I was coming up with lore halfway across the continent and completely unrelated to this prison train.

But I won’t forget my roots. The Desert Rises is the first planned story in the Muunfel project, and for July I am going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, just like last year! It’s back to Ness and Aaron and Calista, my desert golden trio. This story will shape the history of Rutan and Korvasin, and hopefully you’ll tune in for any Letters from Camp posts I might make, with updates on progress and excerpts from what I’m working on.

Korvasin Folly

One of the more popular songs in Korvasin and Rutan, well before Rutan had even become a recognized country, was the Korvasin Folly. It told a tale of a curse supposedly laid on the empire by the fairies, though no one truly believed it for a long time.

In Korvasin there lived a king,
son of last king’s daughter.
He ruled the Empire from a tower
o’erlooking Snake Eye water

The King of Crows flew out to war
with the Forest of the Fair.
At Yarrow’s Gate he made his claim
on rivers, trees, and air.

Sweet Una, patient Aubery
laughed gaily at this game
“The Queen gave up her crown too soon,
her cub lacks Lion’s Mane!”

“Though valiant among mortals, he
is wanting in her wisdom.”
With anger on his brow, the King
struck out at their Fair Kingdom.

A woeful day for Fae and Man,
when a Korvasin Grey Arrow
struck lovely Una, gentle queen,
through spine and shattered marrow.

Her body lamed, her lonely cry
brought end to that short battle.
The king had wronged the Fairy kind,
but only he was rattled.

The Aub’ry, standing tall and strong
did scold the King of Crows
for seeking more of what he has
instead of what he knows.

“Your kingdom never East shall go,
nor south from where you are.
You seal the fate of Korvasin,
you blot its brightest star.”

The King of Man could tell a curse,
much like one tells a blessing.
He pleaded with the Una then,
“O please, I’ve learned my lesson!”

With painful breath the Una sighed
and honored last king’s daughter.
“I spare your kingdom from its death,
but ban you from West Water.”

“The Ocean you will never touch,
O Korvasin the Mighty,
your line will break, I promise you
your heirs will e’er be fighting.”

“A brother casts a brother out!
An heir goes to the Fire!
And in his heart, O King of Man,
the power to inspire!”

“Your Korvasin will break, O King,
much like the heart you broke,
when you did choose to chase a dream
and felled me in one stroke.”

The Una never walked the earth
Not on her own white feet,
since Korvasin’s young foolish king
did she in battle meet.

The Winged One

Underneath the capitol of Rutan, there is a dungeon chamber that has existed since the solians built the first part of the city. For almost 1000 years (as of the current year in Muunfel), a solian of considerable power has been imprisoned down there.

Her name is lost to the records, and even she scarcely remembers being called anything but “The Winged One”. She is trapped in a circle with manacles leading to her limbs, with extras on her wings. She is fairly free to move around, but within the circle she’s unable to use her magic. She could even pull free of the circle if she really desired, but the Sunforged Steel chains are latched on in such a way that this would tear her wings beyond repair.

Only a few members of the court of Rutan are aware of the prisoner underneath their city. Rutan’s current king is well aware that the end of her mysterious sentence approaches, and is prepared to make sure no one gets in her way when she makes her exit.

Pantheon Spotlight: Elias

Elias Dawn, in life, was a human bard and interpreter to an oracle in Meraev (solian homeland). His demigod heritage gifted him several abilities, when he chose to use them. However, the trickster side of him could tend to overwhelm him if he did this too much, and Elias did his best to rein that in whenever he could.

After ascending to godhood fairly recently in Muunfel’s history (a story for another time), Elias gained much more control of his abilities. He was able to find more inner peace, as well, as he took on his role as the god of storms. His other domains include the hunt and protection.

His laid back but mischievous nature remains. Elias isn’t officially a god of mischief (there isn’t one), but he’s one of the tricksters of the pantheon and he’s probably the most active in that regard. He likes to mess with people just the same as he did when he was mortal.

In most places, Elias is prayed to out of fear of the destructive storms he can bring. However, in Rutan, where the deserts are harshest, Elias is given his own holiday in the hopes of drawing his eye (and a few rainstorms).

“Gods above, below, and in between, friend, where’s your sense of fun?” – Elias, shortly before his ascension.

Fiorebell’s Blight

Near the eastern border of the country of Rutan, the land is fertile grassland before giving way to the massive desert that takes up the bulk of the nation. In the northeastern corner of this region, however, is a significant patch of land that has not grown a single plant in centuries. Even the banks of the river winding through this area are barren of life.

This region is known as Fiorebell’s Blight.

Muunfel is known as the land of the gods because the pantheon often appears there in corporeal form. Ages ago, there were sects of mortals that resented this, seeing it as an intrusion. Resentment towards the gods was stronger in some places more than others.

Trace, the god of mind, wandered more easily among the people than his siblings. In his travels, he met Fiorebell, a demigod of plants and growth, and the two fell in love.

However, not long after this, the mortals of the area caught wind of gods in their presence and attacked. Trace was badly injured, and even though gods can’t truly die, his corporeal form could have been destroyed for quite some time.

When Fiorebell intervened, the mortals managed to take the upper hand against her. She was executed, in a public affair that caught the attention of much of the pantheon. Trace was especially devastated by her loss.

Before she passed, Fiorebell laid her curse on the people, promising that their descendants would receive nothing from the land. The curse remains in place, and no amount of gentle care can coax even the toughest of plants to grow in Fiorebell’s Blight.