Sunday 26 June 2016

Technology and development

Kitas' technological development sees sophisticated husbandry methods, strong, durable materials for large structures, ship trade routes between continents, and medicine that can remedy common ailments. People don't starve on the streets or die of everyday diseases. But travel is lengthy, exotic goods rare, and payments are done in natural goods rather than gold.
Common technologies include pocket sunclocks, spyglasses, and lighters. On a larger scale, glass windows, concrete, aqueducts fed by norias, domed buildings, and cannons make regular appearances. Farmers know about crop rotation, creation of black earth, and use clever irrigation methods. Medicine includes knowledge of epidemics, and use of anaesthetics.
"Straws were drawn who had to camp closest to the cannon site. Just the month before, a powder stock had blown its crew to bits so small there weren't even spirits left."
— Gabunda Hes, soldier
Spells play only a tiny role in technology; speakers are too quickly exhausted for everyday affairs and artifacts are notoriously ill-mannered. Instead, engineers invent tirelessly, with important schools in Lebridge and Bargassa, making mechanics powered by wind and water commonplace. However, the mages' taste for detail, and the wizards' open minds still put speakers at the forefront of scientific progress.
"Oh, curse this mechanical clock. The slightest movement, it misses the time. I'll never buy one of those idiotic Sawan contraptions again, and stick with the good stuff from Bargassa."
— Tilibriin, Ryaqan merchant

Artists' notes
I've learned a lot about what mechanics were possible in ancient times, and the Greek or Chinese were far more advanced than most people would think, so I had no problem putting complex, timed mechanics into play, and founded the two large engineering schools from which nearly anything can be expected. Technological advancement also allows for more interesting buildings, larger settlements, and peoples cultivating unfavourable lands. 

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Art on deviantArt: White forest dwarf and Standing Stones, and an announcement

New artworks have been published on deviantArt: a concept of a dwarf girl from the white forest, and a landscape concept of standing stones. You can learn more about dwarves in their article:

I want to increase the amount of artciles published here. I also want a picture to go with every article, and therein lies the problem; I create Genius Loci solely in my spare time, and making images takes much longer than writing articles. I will therefore also use sketches to illustrate my articles from now on. When I get around to creating a finished piece for any subject, it will of course be shared here as well.

Friday 10 June 2016

The Discordant Cities

"I don't care who thinks to be the first, greatest, or smartest. If I lose one more shipment of medicines because of their daft squabbling, I'll make them Tsiranian, and that will be that."
— Mainalhar II. of Tsir
The first of the Discordant Cities was Eligei, which was a rhu'khach city until they left, and returned to greatness some centuries later. Then the ruling families of Eligei began to quarrel all the time, until finally two of them left and founded new cities nearby. Then fighting started there too, citizens left, and founded their own cities. As they are located in the Tsiranian Gulf in Lozir, with rich fishing grounds and moderately fertile lands, new cities can survive easily. Today, they are twelve, and constantly fight among themselves. Pirates and mercenaries are set on each others' trade routes, cities are spied upon and sabotaged, embargoes enacted, and alliances are as short-lived as the morning dew.
"All the Oparikans have to do is acknowledge that Tassaar makes the better frigates, or we can just show them if they won't believe it. What do they take us for - Henassetans?!"
— Benengei, Tassaarian
On the other side of the gulf lies Lozir's largest kingdom, Tsir. The Tsiranian traders also fall victim to the dirty tricks of the Discordants, and the traditionally grumpy government grows impatient. Urlakal used to send diplomats, but since the Dimnerians invaded and the royal Urlakal family was exiled, it has been too unstable, and the Dimnerians are uncompassionate. Council city negotiators are still sent from Plokin, but the only solution - unification of the ridiculously likeminded cities - is openly attacked as an affront to the cities' sovereignty by all twelve.

Artists' notes
When I dotted city states onto the maps, a whole lot appeared around the Tsiranian Gulf, and I wondered how they got along. The more they became, the less they did, and now the "Streitende St├Ądte" are a mischievous bunch of rascals. It spun away into the political situation of the entire region; Urlakal's civil war fitted perfectly. I love it when the open ends of my world connect seamlessly.