Updated: Sep 28, 2020
February is Fantasy month!
And as a way of celebrating this, I’ll be doing some special blog posts this month as part of a month-long Blog Tour all about Fantasy!
You can find the full blog tour schedule here: http://jenelleschmidt.com/fantasy-month-tour-schedule/. There will be lots of great posts from several different bloggers, all throughout the month!
Today’s post is a little about world-building. So, buckle in and here we go!
Welcome to Arameth…
…the world it took me 12 years to build
Arameth is my fantasy universe, the place where my series, The Lex Chronicles, takes place, and the world around which I plan to write future series as well.
I wrote my first drafts of stories in Arameth in 2005, and wow, has the story changed since then! My first book in The Lex Chronicles, the debut trilogy in Legends of Arameth, was not published until June 2018, and in those intervening years, though many things about the story changed, Arameth itself remained mostly the same. However, how all the parts interacted, the larger picture of Arameth, transformed completely from the early days until now.
The world I began building in 2005, I eventually set aside in despair as I just couldn’t get the story to feel “right.” But in 2016, while working on a brand-new NaNoWriMo book, I suddenly realized my characters and storyline for the new book would fit perfectly in Arameth… and after much tweaking, everything just… clicked. It’s like the world was waiting for this revelation, and suddenly it all fit.
The map I drew back in 2005 is still the world map. The cultures and peoples I created back then are still the ones I have in the world now – but everything has deepened, and the plot is completely transformed. As I wrote and developed the three books in The Lex Chronicles trilogy, more and more pieces fell into places, and Arameth became what I’d always believed it could be – a fully-developed world with many stories to tell.
My original map looked like this:
And the final map looks like this:
Not much changed in the map itself, even though the story, cultures, and character backstories are so very different and so much more complex than how they began! You might notice, though, that initially Arameth was the name of the island in the center, not the world in its entirety… again, there’s a reason for that change, and it goes so deep into the lore of the world that I can’t reveal it here, but I’m excited for how everything ended up coming together!
I have loved Arameth for more than a decade, and I’m so happy to finally be releasing the books that introduce this world. Books 1 & 2 of The Lex Chronicles are already out, Book 3 releases in March (2020 update: it's now available!), and there will be more to come in the larger Legends of Arameth series from there!
The journey through Arameth begins in Book 1 (The Edge of Nothing), and continues in books 2 & 3, with the map in the front of each book expanding to show the sections featured in that book. Book 2 (The Path to Paradox) includes most of the map with only a small section not yet revealed, and by Book 3 (The Ends of Exile), the full map is included in the front of the book.
But I’m including the maps here with some additional explanations about some of the different cultures in this world. The Lex Chronicles trilogy follows the POV of Lex, but he is not alone – and the group of friends who fight to protect Arameth alongside him are from a variety of cultures and backgrounds within the world. And because Arameth is a nexus – something I can’t go into too much detail about without giving away parts of the story – some of the characters are actually from outside Arameth, as well. But here’s a bit of basic info on my world’s “people” without being too spoilery:
A mysterious and isolated people, the Ancients possess the original magic of Arameth. They are powerful… and dangerous, especially now that they’ve become entwined with an even-more powerful sorceress whose dark magic has corrupted their own. After the Great War 200 years ago, the Ancients confined themselves to The Core. Though few believe they even still exist, dark and frightening things are beginning to happen in Arameth, and it all seems to lead back to The Core.
Sephram and Alomman
The Sephram and Alomman are separate but allied tribes with a common origin but each with their own distinct, magical abilities. Each tribe specializes in a form of magic, and though they share a common heritage with the Ancients, they couldn’t be more different. The Sephram and Alomman used to live openly among the humans of Alleanza, but in the years following the Great War, magic began to be feared, and the Sephram and Alomman hid themselves away. When they must travel or interact, they try simply to blend in, no longer using their magic in sight of the non-magic peoples, and keeping associations with those outside their tribes to a minimum.
Alleanzans are, for all major purposes, the regular humans of Arameth. They go about their day to day lives, totally unaware that they are surrounded by hidden magic — tribes and peoples afraid to show themselves for who they really are. In the aftermath of the Great War, in order to protect the magic-born of the land from the fear and hatred of their non-magic neighbors, a group of magic-born wiped magic from the memory of Alleanza as a whole. With no sign of it in over two centuries, magic has faded into little more than a fable… until now.
The closest relatives of the Ancients at The Core, the Arcalonians are secretly thriving after having been banished to the small shore country of Arcalon by The Ancients themselves, for crimes of intermingling — and intermarrying — with humans. The Ancients don’t want the bloodlines diluted, but the Arcalonians just want to live in peace. Most humans in Alleanza believe Aracalon to be uninhabited, their people a myth — but not by accident. The people of Raith and in Batherol’s Stand patrol the areas, ensuring no one makes it to the shores of Arcalon who isn’t meant to, protecting their alliance with Arcalon and protecting both themselves and Arcalonians from igniting the ire of the Ancients once more.
The people of Raith
Raith is its own isolated kingdom, populated with non-magic humans and magic-born Arcalonians and intermarried family lines of each. Raith was protected from the erasure of the memories of magic, due to their intermarriage with magic-born, and after the Great War, they walled themselves in and cut off all communication outside their borders, save with Arcalon itself. Raith is so well-fortified inside the impassable mountain range of Batherol’s Stand that the general population of Alleanza doesn’t even know it exists — and that’s exactly how Raith likes it.
Harthgil is just a fable, a land spoken of in bedtime stories… a place of magic unlike any other. It isn’t real… or so most in Arameth think. But there are a few who have reason to believe otherwise…
Galgor was once uninhabited, but in recent years, strange reports of horrible monstrosities have been drifting back from those who have sailed near its shores. The waters between Galgor and The Core are unnaturally dark, as though something evil lurks among them… but the biggest rumor surrounds a mysterious sorcerer, Malleck Dross, who few have seen but who seems to be controlling the monstrous creatures now appearing across Arameth.
All the pieces of Arameth intertwine as the story unfolds, revealing more about each place and people and how they’re all connected. There’s so much more I could tell you, but I don’t want to spoil anything!