I have been working on the world of Meridia, which houses the College of the Gods, since early 2017. It’s not even close to the first world I’ve created, but it’s certainly the best. It started with a short story that showed the death of the world and the death of the Gods. I’ve worked back from there, and the story is no longer a true event in the world of Meridia, but it helped me guide the development Meridia into a dynamic and full world.
Recently, I’ve been taking some downtime from writing and doing some outlining and world building. I’ve been tracking a lot of the world building here to use as a resource for readers and anyone else interested in my writing.
As I’ve outlined my next book (working title Dark Waters) I came to realize that I just wasn’t ready to leap into a city I hadn’t explored yet. I have an inciting incident and some general arcs in mind, but I haven’t yet explored Vellicia. So this weekend, while cloistered inside against the smoke, I decided to start drawing.
I started with the ideas about Vellicia I have established in Into the West. Vellicia is a city with canals. It’s know for it’s sweet citrus wine, and Vellician people have Italian sounding names (Isabella Constantia – Into the West). The obvious leap from that information is to take a look at Venice. I know little of the history of Venice itself, so I had to do a little digging on what Venice looked like historically.
Without leaning too heavily on historical context, my setting will be similar to medieval Italian city. For this book in particular, I am trying to be inspired by and not too similar to Scott Lynch’s Camoor, of Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen Gentleman Bastards fame.
Besides the Italian influenced setting and the canals of Camoor, I am hoping not too many similarities will be drawn. What I do hope is drawn as a similarity is the quality of the atmosphere I develop in Vellicia. I want it to be dark and foreboding like Camoor. A city with opulence, a dark underbelly, and intrigue at every turn.
Vellicia is a city where wealth flows. Trade across Meridia and into the heartland of the east moves through the harbor of Vellicia and with it merchants build fortunes. The city is centered on the immense Temple of Nethun, honoring a powerful God of the Sea in Meridia. The islands off the coast to the south of the temple contain the peak of Vellician culture. Shops, estates and manor houses fill the islands to the brim with high class people buying high class things. To the west of the Temple of Nethun, the docks are a warren of the classic kind of seafaring workers you’d expect. Taverns, inns and brothels are commonplace. To the east of the temple, the Drowned Quarter is home to many of those who work to serve the elite noble class of the city. Finally, to the north is where the bureaucracy of the College of the Gods makes their presence felt. A Florentine-style duomo houses the Gods judges, as well as the rest of the ruling government bodies. All of these parts of the city are cross-crosses by canals and roads, making it a thrives paradise of escape routes.
Vellicia is a city that houses a confluence of ambition, wealth, grit and devotion. I can’t wait to explore it more in Dark Waters.
I’ve been thinking about how much I love buying maps and merchandise from my favorite book series, and imaging ways in which I can monetize my book series besides the actual books themselves. It’s a hard road to make money as an author, and I don’t really ever expect to, but selling maps of cities that I’ve drawn, as well as other inserts to go with my novels seems like a good way. Either way, works building is a great source of inspiration when I need a kick start.
Thanks for reading,