Thursday 13 July 2017

The Waters of Lurekin

The Waters of Lurekin are an assembly of waterfalls, ponds, and rivers in Gderet. The delta is beautiful on its own, but the waters are also a place of power with some fame in the region. Numerous old battlefields in the vicinity mean lots of spirit collectors, who come here to cleanse themselves of the spirits trapped within them. Also, fleeters seem to have a liking for the spot and can often be met in and around the waters.

"By all rights the Waters should be within Nalsiir's borders. It's unfair they put down their oversized weight to rob us of our rights to possess such an important place. One day they'll learn they can't treat us this way."
— Bakaada Tsureen, Nalsiirian

The waters are a famous place to make the voiceless into speakers, granting formerly ordinary people the power to cast spells by channeling the Fifth Power. There is also a fairly large hall of voices here that manages to remain almost entirely invisible to the visitors unless actively sought, even if the place is teeming with listeners who also accompany the visitors to dangerous tasks if necessary.

"Lurekin is a fascinating name. It's the name of a nearby city that now lies in ruins; three speakers of the name are known, but only two came through here; finally, there's an artifact called Lurekin's cap, which isn't a hat at all."
— Ma'apik, historian

Artists' notes
That mages aren't only born but can also be made is one of my most important decisions about Genius Loci, I think. It's also nice for the artistic side because, naturally, places where such a change can be accomplished will be mysterious, legendary, remarkable in many ways and therefore, fun to paint.


  1. Hey Ranarh! I was wondering... how do you come up with names for places and characters in your world? What inspires them, and what cultures do you draw from, if any? I love seeing evocative names in fantasy fiction, and yours definitely give your world a flavor all its own.

    1. I do spend some effort on my names, maybe that's all the difference. Since Genius Loci is supposed to be non-classical, many tropes don't apply - the desert people Desertim, the lizard people Krchsskim, the elven Lalamin...
      When a region comes up I look what names I've given and use similar patterns - deep vowels, many syllables, short, light, apostrophised, ... I have a bit of a language knack and collect sounds, some of which are hard to write down. We consider deeper sounds to be round, calm, friendly, lighter or clicking sounds as sharper, smarter, and quicker, for example (compare Kiki and Bouba :)).
      Humans can form roughly 140 different sounds, not counting breathing rhythm, so I don't think I'll run out of names any time soon. When inventing a region's names, I take into account that some will have been meaningful once but now the language has moved on the true meaning is forgotten; and sometimes names just become a term, like the Rocky Mountains or Black Forest or White River. I analyze foreign languages and try to emulate the rules, like syllable languages similar to Japanese, but not the same syllables, and maybe I mix in something else to break the similarity. Or open vowels and strong Rs and hissing throaty sounds to emulate Arabic. Then I make sure I don't put them in places that look to similar to the mainstream - the Arab sounding names don't go into the deserts.
      There are, now that I list them up, quite a few principles I follow for names :) And I have my likings. I regularly pore over my name collection (I have a spreadsheet file to look up how Redforesters or northern Lozirian are called) and make sure it's not too repetetive.

      To be more specific: I came up with Lurekin because the place is well-travelled and should be easy to pronounce and remember. It sounds a bit relaxing with the U, but not too elf-y with the R and K. The first quoted, Bakaada Tsureen, is native to a city with a double vowel, Nalsiir, and appropriately has double vowels too. The second, Ma'apik, comes from the south where I've already established tongue-clicks and plosives are common.

    2. Really great reply, thanks for taking the time for that! Your experience definitely shows. Language has never been my strong suit, though I do appreciate when some effort has gone into making believable ones. There's nothing quite like a good name to really show off a culture, and I think you do a great job of making that level of worldbuilding that much more immersive.