Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This Land is My Land

So my loving kith chose to hit me up with a couple really annoying sets of words. This is where I really noticed that I should have been more specific in my request.

I, my, he, such, um, yes, daw!

How the heck am I supposed to craft a setting around a bunch of pronouns? Sure, I could tweak a couple of them by making them acronyms. But what am I supposed to do, create a guy who goes by "I"?

Hey, wait. That gives me an idea for a Lewis Carroll/Neil Gaiman type of setting. I can work with this...

In a shining white castle atop a shining white cliff, the Most Terrific Tsar, the Most Vital Vizier, the Most Magnificent Monarch reigns supreme. This kingliest of men is so important, in fact, that he believes that he is the only actual person in the world. Everyone else are merely props, there to help relieve his boredom. Since he is the only actual person, he needs no name, and is simply referred to as I. And since the whole world is his, it is known simply as My Land.

Fortunately for all the possibly imaginary citizens of My Land, I does not choose to relieve his boredom through idle hedonism. Rather, I believes that this world is an endless puzzle, a resource management game on a grand scale. My Land is hence remarkably rich and comfortable. But it is not happy, because I does not believe that his subjects have emotions. They should simply perform their assigned tasks to the best of their ability, and then be invisible the rest of the time.

There is one man in all of My Land who dares to contest I; that man is Jack Daw! (the exclamation point is a required part of his name). He is the leader of a rebellion to tear down the Solipsistic Sovereign. Well, okay, he mostly is the rebellion. He has a few friends who mostly just humor his crazy rantings, but who Daw! considers to be blood brothers and fellow soldiers in his war. I takes him very seriously, though. Primarily because Daw! is the only person who refuses to call him I, and calls him "Gus" instead (I's name at birth was Augustus).

There is another group that defies the Egotistic Emperor: the Yellow-Eyed Scoundrels, known to most as simply YES. This band of ruffians, pirates, and thieves is a scourge on the good people of My Land. They are led by the fiercest woman you have ever seen, Lady Xanthippe. Any person who wishes to join the YES must imbibe a potion. The potion grants the person increased strength, agility, and the signature yellow eyes. But the potion is also highly addictive, and withdrawal often ends in death. As Lady Xanthippe is the only source for this potion, it makes her forces unfailingly loyal.

There are some who point to a final force that escapes the rule of I. But the Unseelie Market, known to most as simply "the um" as it is bad luck to say "unseelie", is more of a neutral party than an antagonist. The proprietors of the um are the strangest of strangers, and will sell you anything you can possibly desire. Gold, beauty, forgetfulness, secrets, and even life itself can be found among the twisting stalls of this traveling show. But the Unseelie have no use for money. They barter in stranger trade, such as dreams, desires, and destinies. And they usually come out ahead in any bargain. When the um makes an appearance, it is an omen of strange events to come, both fantastic and terrible.

Magic is not simply a factor of the um, though. Not by a long shot. Rolling down the center of My Land is the great River Such. The Such is broad and deep, making it an excellent trade route. But it is far more than that, because its waters bear powerful enchantments. Any water taken directly from the Such has the power of a magical potion. Which potion? Who knows? It's random. It's usually not harmful, though. And, of course, the fish who live in it and the crops that grow on its banks show a number of interesting effects of growing within Such waters.

But changes are coming to My Land. Big changes. Because prophecies have been made and omens seen. The rule of I, solid and unwavering for over a century now, is to collapse under the onslaught of a rival know only as He. I, of course, is torn between fear for his position and anticipation of meeting another actual person. Everyone else is torn between a desire to maintain the current stability and a desire to see a world that has a bit more happiness in it. It would help considerably, of course, if anyone knew what He was actually like. The wise men know that He has been born, but that is all that they can say. (Oh, they are also quite adamant that Daw! is entirely too adorable and silly to be He, though they don't seem to have a lot of solid evidence to back them up on that.)

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