Jharaz Brea

This morning I’ve been working on the map for Jharaz Brea, the land in which my re-worked story will be based (see the previous post for details). By cropping the world map and enlarging the image within Paint Shop Pro, it’s possible to add more detail. For each map produced in this way, I’m aiming to keep a separate folder along with a story and/or details of the area. In this way, I hope to gradually build up my knowledge of Rohinval – although that may well take a lifetime to accomplish. With any luck I should end up with numerous stories along the way. Well, that’s the plan, anyway!!!

Returning to the current project, Jharaz Brea is near the southern tip of the western continent, surrounded by impenetrable mountains, desert and an unforgiving ocean. Just as in my original story. It just needed a bit of coaxing for it to emerge!

Map of Jharaz Brea.

I’ve also made some more notes relating to the story and the land itself. However, before I start on telling the tale, I want to do two things:

(a) let the ideas and thoughts on the story continue to gather – I often find that they will slowly emerge, a bit like a jigsaw, pieces slotting themselves in as the whole becomes clearer;

(b) work out how to use Scrivener and decide if it is worth buying – I currently have a trial version. It looks promising but, as with any new software, I think it may take me a while to get used to it. If I don’t, then it’s back to Word, lol.


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The latest map

Yes, I’ve been quietly working on the map. Not a lot, but here is the latest version:

Rohinval as of June 2012.

You’ll need to click on the map to get a good view. As you see, it has changed enormously since I last shared the map with you. Although not marked, there is an equator and other lines of latitude, so that, unlike earlier versions of Rohinval, it is now far more complete as a world. There are polar regions; two huge continents and numerous lands and islands of varying sizes.

It is, however, still incomplete. Only one town is actually named at the moment, and not all the lands have names. Even those that do may change – I’m considering how much influence the ancient language of Rohiniem has had on the present world. In some instances, I have two names – one being the modern version; another being the ancient name. I suspect that most areas will eventually have names altered to echo the language in which the stories will be written!

As for the writing, I’m currently working, in note form only at the moment, on a re-telling of a short story that I wrote years ago. Having unearthed it recently I can see how it could easily slot into Rohinval – when it was written I had no idea of the overall world in which it occurred, just that it was a fantasy land. But there are parts of it that could easily relate to an area of Rohinval so that is where the new story will be set.

I’ll let you know how things progress, even if it takes a while…


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Yes, I know, I’ve been very quiet here. But I haven’t forgotten Rohinval, nor have I deserted my world or this blog. It’s just that there isn’t much to comment about at the moment.

So, what progress has there been since my last post, I hear you ask? Well, there has been a slight change in direction. From being a solely medieval-based world, technologies have begun to appear in Rohinval. Particularly in the Empire that rules much of the northern hemisphere. Although these advances are not in use in the whole world – as in ours, some nations are still trundling along in the ‘old’ ways – they impact on the rest of Rohinval. For example, trading vessels plying between continents bring glimpses of the new ways to those countries still ‘stuck’ in tradition, and merchants are beginning to sell the new goods to the less-advanced nations. Although not everyone is awestruck by progress – some are afraid of where the Empire is going, many feel threatened not just by the Empire but by how these technologies are endangering life on the planet.

I have also been working on Myr, the magic within Rohinval. Not just on how Myr itself works. But also on how it affects the cultures, the advances of certain technologies and the attitudes of the various races. It is a complex process, this mixing of Myr and technology. It brings certain problems but ones that I am trying to slowly resolve.

One way that this process is developing is by my writing very short cameos of differing situations and people. As yet none of these are for publication – they are explorations, often timorous, often misleading, revealing that I need to learn and explore far more before I can ever begin to write about happenings within Rohinval with any certainty. They are meanderings, like an infant taking first steps, forever falling and having to try again.

And yes, the map still remains unfinished!!! It is a work in progress, based on the development of new ideas and developing history. Certain things make me realise that, for example, the borders of the Empire should change or that there should be different geographical features between certain countries that make travel or communication between them either easier or harder. The whole of Rohinval is in flux and may remain so for a while.

So that is where I am. Enthralled by the development and the creative processes. When I have something more solid I promise to get back to you 🙂



Language and map

I think that I’ve finally got the grammar sorted for my language, and have given it a name: Rohiniem (of the Rohin). It’s an ancient language and underlies names of places, cities and regions. Current languages and dialects all stem from Rohiniem, especially the ‘common tongue’ used by merchants, travellers and anyone wishing to communicate with people from lands not their own. The ancient texts of Rohiniem, however, are largely forgotten as are the original runes used in the writing. Only scholars (Eda’dulaniemz) now fully understand those texts, although legend has it that the mythical sheyadeem (tree-people) or Eda’sheyamyremaz to give them their proper ancient name (tree-spirits) still speak the language in its original form. Few indeed, however, believe that the tree-people exist and most declare that they are long extinct – if indeed they ever lived.

I have yet to develop the runic script but here is a flavour of Rohiniem:

Eth azhimoss nara – I love nature.

Et azhimayss es – He loved her.

Fru es azhimoss et – Does she love him? (‘fru’ indicates a question, the remainder of the sentence remains normal ie. subject, verb, object.)

An eldoa aboss shremies – The child is beautiful.

An eldoaz aboss lyrdi – The children are small.

I aimed for a relatively simple grammar partially based on English, but also drawing from Esperanto and Laadan. I was also aiming for a relatively soft sounding language – there is no C, K or Q in Rohiniem. There is still much to do – the script, for one, plus increasing my fairly limited vocabulary. So far I’ve avoided using computerised word building software, preferring to add words by ‘feel’ – using words and combinations of letters that feel right. This may change, though. Far too many words need to be added for me to stick rigidly to the method I’ve used up until now!

On another note, I’m also working again on the map. Why, you ask? Well, when writing Sharli I became very aware that the world was extremely unbalanced. All the lands were in the northern hemisphere!!! As I’ve continued to think on Rohinval, I’ve also realised that certain parts of the map weren’t working. Here is the current version: only outlines, rivers and lakes added so far:

Rohinval, new map, landmass, rivers only.

I’ve also done a more detailed map of the island nation of Neriadeem (now in the southern hemisphere). This is for a fantasy map swap – I chose to do Neriadeem as it’s a vital area in Rohinval despite being relatively small. Plus it is one of the few areas that I know a fair bit about!


Update complete!!! Now, back to mapping and language construction 🙂


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Back to the drawing board…

So, after that rash start, I quickly realised that I don’t have enough knowledge of the world or the language to write the story!!!

First hurdle was the word for ‘magic’. My initial word Mi’a doesn’t fit the grammatical rules of my constructed language. Nor was it easy to fit that particular word into the rules to allow a term for ‘magic-user’ (mage). And there was the niggling query – why use a new word and not just use ‘magic’? After much consideration I came to the conclusion that it was because I feel that ‘magic’ doesn’t convey what MYR (my new word) means in Rohinval.

Definitions of magic in the Chambers dictionary:

> the art that by use of spells, supposedly invokes supernatural powers, or sorcery

> the practice of illusory tricks

> any mysterious or extraordinary quality or power

Now, the third of those comes close. But what if MYR is an intrinsic part of the fabric of the world and not mysterious as such? Albeit limited in its use to those who have the innate ability but nonetheless not something that is extraordinary? Although in fantasy worlds magic is sometimes regarded in that way, I still wanted a word that set it apart from the reader’s views of magic as spells or conjury or trickery. So I’m sticking to my resolution to create and use my own word.

Along the way, those thoughts led on to other thoughts and ideas. And by the end of all of the note-making I came to the inevitable conclusion that my concepts of Rohinval were incomplete and still changing. So, I am abandoning the telling of the story. And going back to the drawing board. Revising ideas. Working on the language. Telling the histories, myths and even the creation stories of Rohinval. Once all that is sorted I may be in a position to write the tales of Zentara and Sharli. But that, I think, is a long way off!!!



The Seekers


Framed in dark lurriba wood, the crystalline mirror hung from the ceiling of the small room, the only light emanating from its surface. Josia lounged within the depths of his creamy leather armchair scanning the projection of the world of Rohinval, searching for the bright dots that indicated the use of Mi’a.

And so begins my new novel. After much consideration I’ve decided that I won’t be editing my NaNoWriMo novel “Sharli”. Nor will I edit the tale of Zentara that I did for the Travelling Artists’ Guild project. However, what I learned doing both will be incorporated into my new novel.

I plan to interweave the stories of the two women as they seek different things. Hence the working title.  I also plan to use the Eda’lanaz, the teachers based in their university of Anatha Em Lanie, to somehow hold the stories together and to provide insights for the reader that are denied to Sharli and Zentara. Josia will be the chief narrator for the Eda’lanaz, at least in the beginning. He is a Master of the Seeing, not one who can see into the future but one who can see things that are hidden from others.

And thus we start with his scrying of the crystalline mirror that he uses to see the world. How much to reveal is something I am still trying to decide upon. But I think the reader will learn of the disappearance of the Thrazeem from the world in the first chapter. It is a mystery upon which much of the story hinges.

It feels good to be writing again. Although I’ve only written three paragraphs so far it has opened up the land for me once again. Rohinval lives. And I’m looking forward to discovering more of its secrets as I explore the world, the people and the mystery of the Thrazeem.


Posted by on 06/02/2012 in Fiction, Story, world-building, Writing



…but not forgotten. Definitely not forgotten even if life has intruded upon my writing and my created world. There is no DO NOT DISTURB sign that can block out the world. Tempting sometimes to wish there was such a thing but real life feeds the Muse. Without reality there would be no experience on which to draw, knowledge would be extremely limited, life bleak and uninspired.

Despite festivities and health issues and other mundane events, thoughts continue to stir. Visions of Rohinval, of the characters, of the magic, of the world itself appear, often misty and difficult to identify; ideas drift into reach and away again before their meaning can be fully explored. Fragments are jotted down.  Concepts are gradually pieced together, the whole becoming clearer as time slips on. Such processes are slow. Often much slower than I would like them to be.

But do not worry at the seeming lack of progress, or the disappearance of posts. Rohinval lives. It just needs some more consideration before it begins to bloom…

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Posted by on 20/01/2012 in Fiction, Story, world-building, Writing


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