Character Tribute: Leo

Yes, I know this is Timothée Chalamet, but this is exactly who I envision playing Leo in a future Chasing Fae movie. So deal with it. xD

Here lies Leo Donovan Richardson, a kind soldier and a loving brother. May the Lady guide his soul.

My brother, Leo, was the kindest, most compassionate man that I have ever met. He never hesitated to do what was right no matter what that meant. Leo taught me absolutely everything I know. We were homeschooled together, and he loved to teach me about the book he was reading or how to navigate with a map. He wasn’t just my brother; he was my best friend. We did everything together growing up.

When Leo decided to become a soldier, my mother and I were both terrified. She tried to respectfully talk him out of it whereas I threw a fit and stormed out. I was just scared. Anything could happen out on the roads in this realm. He could have been sent to a peaceful town, or he could be sent south to the farm country where they’re fighting for whatever scraps they can get and they don’t care who gets killed. But he held out against both of us. Started training the day he turned eighteen and never looked back.

I was sixteen and he, nineteen when he was first hired to run security out in the trading ports of Bay Point. We cried when he left home, promising to be home in the spring. But we rejoiced when he sent home his first paycheck, and we could afford new clothes and fresh fruit from the market. Leo sent home every copper outside of his own expenses home to us. He had always said he wanted to take care of us someday like Mom had for all these years on her own, and finally, he had the chance.

Leo bounced around from job to job until six months ago, when he was summoned to city hall with the other mercenaries in his company. I thought maybe the government wanted to offer him a job, but no. It was the higher higher-ups. The Fae. The Fae have always had a hand in the politics of the Middle Realm; they control the alliances, the trade, the resource distribution. And they all just sit up there in the Upper Realm in their fancy castles and their bountiful homes with their magic and just watch us all run around down here like ants. The Fae needed their worker ants, a group of mortal soldiers, to come run security for a top-secret operation in the House of the Sun. They offered more money than anyone in this realm had ever even heard of, and of course, Leo jumped at the chance.

One more assignment, he said, and then he would be home for the Winter Solstice. Just one more assignment, and he’d bring me back something nice for the celebration. Just one more assignment.

Rest in peace, brother.

Middle Realm

Summary: The mortal Middle Realm has its high and low points. The atmosphere isn’t quite as spectacular and awe-inspiring as the Upper Realm, but it has its own unique modest beauty. This beauty can be found particularly on the coast and in the farmland. Cities, however, tend to be tiny and thick with people. They end up with high rise gray buildings with stacks upon stacks of apartments. Food is bought in small city marketplaces that hide under smoke and dimness. The richest people leave outside the cities in manors where musicians like Grace and her mom travel to to play. The outskirts and the poorest towns are filled with peasants and farmers who are just trying to survive. Some areas are facing extreme poverty and famine.

Flag: Deep purple flag with a circle of thirty white stars in the center.

Potency of Magic: 1/10

Main Exports: Copper, Mineral Resources, Salt, Farm Animals

Government: The Middle Realm government is a farce. It is a parliamentary government overseen by a puppet prime minister appointed by the Upper Realm. Speculation says he could be Fae himself. Each town and city elects two representatives to the main body of government which congregates in Clinton nine out of the twelve months in a year (30 places, 60 representatives total).

Lisden: Lisden has never been a city of glamour. The people do their best to make it one, but they have never had the means to be more than what they are: a factory city. The streets are filled with thick, pale grey smoke from dawn to dusk with little reprieve. The only spots to get away are high above the city. The factory whistles blow at 7 am sharp every morning although the smoke starts earlier. It’s that stand out sound that wakes you up in the morning and reminds you to get going. Lisden’s buildings are varied. You’ve got your silver skyscrapers that house the richest among the people as well as the most lucrative businesses. But most of the buildings in the city are brick and stocky and old. Doesn’t matter whether they house a factory or an apartment complex; they’re just old. The whole city is also crawling with tight alleyways. They’re really kinda sketchy. But they work very well when needed for discreet matters, especially for matters concerning the black market. Grace’s hometown.

Bay Point: Bay Point is an ocean city closest to the border. Leo used to spend time stationed there. With its proximity to the Upper Realm, it is a frequent center of black market smuggling from the Fae side. It’s a fairly quiet town. Most of the jobs are based down by the docks in fishing, canning, and trading by ship. Because of this, during most of the day, the town appears like it sleeps all day. Cobblestone streets wind through aimlessly around small cottage-like buildings. The city centers around a series of fountains, located at different circles throughout the land. The beach lays at the bottom of a hill that cacades outside the city down to the water.

Lorraine: Lorraine is the town on the Middle Realm/Lower Realm border. It’s a very dusty town, reminds me of a ghost town. It can really only be considered a town due to its size, not its activity level. Lorraine is a mining town, and most of its citizens spend their time in the home or underground. When night passes over Lorraine, the air is very still and the buildings are very silent. The people seem forlorn and almost forgotten even as they move through their daily lives.

Upper Realm/Middle Realm border: The border wall seems only as tall as the largest skyscraper in the Middle Realm, but there’s a visible shimmering force field that fills in the space from the top of the wall up to the sky. The border is heavily guarded every day on the Middle Realm side by Fae soldiers. Nothing goes in or gets out without their say-so.

Middle Realm/Lower Realm border: The border wall looms large, a mass of solid rock that extends to the sky as far as the eye can see. The dark grey rock is jagged and rough with no easily viewable gaps or holes in which to pass through to the other side.

An Interview with Faolan

What is your full name? – Faolan Alon Infernos.

Where do you call home? – The streets of Dorchan, the palace city of the House of Darkness.

How close are you to your family? – My family isn’t… the close type. We don’t do affection very well. The person I’m closest to is my twin sister, Cary. She’s a badass woman, not as cool as me, but decent. She runs in a completely different circle than I do. She’s sexy and bold; She’ll tease everyone and then not give them even a chance to touch. She’s manipulative (she gets that from our father) and uses all the skills she’s got to get what she wants.

Who is the person you respect the most and why? – Myself. Duh. I don’t respect a lot of people’s authority. Perhaps my father’s, but that respect is aided with a little… violence.

Do you trust anyone to protect you? Who and why? – I protect myself. I don’t expect anyone else to do it for me. I am responsible for myself and no one else.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? – Running the black market on my own. Putting it together, finding the connections, making the communication work. Hell, suggesting mortal runners.

Describe a normal day for you. – I usually wake up with a beautiful woman by my side. I’ll usually take her to breakfast before sending her on her way. Then it’s off to either meetings with my father or I’m out on the town working with the black market. In the afternoon, it’s the same thing. In the evenings, I usually go out to dinner unless my presence is requested for a palace dinner. Then it’s to one of the local clubs to dance and pick up someone for a good time.

What is your greatest strength as a person? – My tactical knowledge and my ability to read people.

What is your greatest weakness? – Probably my need to be in charge of shit.

What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death? – The black market that lived and died with me.

Politics and Trade: The Upper Realm

Political Alliances

There are two major political alliances in the Upper Realm: the Alliance of the Rose and the Alliance of the Lily. Within these alliances, trade flows relatively smoothly, and each lorddom comes to each other’s aid when called in case of war or extreme conflict. While trade does occur outside of alliances, it is limited in scope.

Alliance of the Rose:

  • House of the Day
  • House of the Sun
  • House of Light
  • House of Water
  • House of Earth
  • House of Peace

Alliance of the Lily:

  • House of the Evening
  • House of the Moon
  • House of Darkness
  • House of Wind
  • House of Fire
  • House of War (note: The House of War does operate primarily independently from the other Houses. However, when it does trade, it is with these Houses and there are legends of past administrations coming to the Alliance of the Lily’s aid. Although that hasn’t occurred in generations)

Trade

When I started working on this world, I knew I wanted to understand how trade flowed between lorddoms and between realms. So I did something a little crazy. I wrote down a multitude of crops, magical items, and other goods that might come up at some point in the story. I made an intense trading list of who produced what, who was importing it, and which producers were exporting. Although it sounds complicated, it actually reads well. It allowed me to summarize a lorddom’s best crops and exports in a separate document which then would be used to understand the individual cultures of the Twelves Houses.

Take a look of this overview of key items!

Magical items/artifacts: Produced by the most magically potent areas of the Upper Realm. Imported by the House of Fire, the House of Earth, and the House of the War. Few items present on the black market of the Middle Realm.

Amulets: Usually produced in areas with gemstone mines. Half of the houses produce, and the other half important. Items present on the black market of the Middle Realm.

Protective charms: Produced by the House of the Moon, House of Light, House of Peace, House of War, and House of Fire. Imported by the remaining houses. Few items present on the black market of the Middle Realm.

Clothing and Materials: Cotton, cotton fabric, and cotton clothing can be found across all twelve Houses as well as the Middle Realm. Silk is only produced by the House of Peace and the House of the Moon and is very expensive, reserved for the upper echelon.

Wheat: A main staple of a Three Realms diet. The only House that does not have the acreage to produce their own wheat crops is the House of Darkness. They have no choice but to import. This puts a great strain on their economy and their people.

Fruit: Most fruit is produced in the House of the Day and the House of the Sun. Their climates and geography are best suited for growing fruit, hence the bountiful harvests often showcased at local markets. These fruits drive their economies: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, and tomatoes. The House of Fire also produces a decent amount of fruit, from plums, to oranges, and peaches.

Vegetables: Another staple of the Upper Realm diet are potatoes, produced mainly in the northern half of the realm. Other vegetables such as peas, carrots, and corn can be primarily found in the House of the Sun and the House of Earth.

Furs: The best winter furs are found in the mountain regions: the House of the Evening, the House of the Moon, and the House of the Wind.

Coal and Oil: Possessed by the House of Earth, the House of Fire, and the House of War as well as select regions of the Middle Realm.

Salt: Salt is a key resource to a society thriving. Yet only two of the Upper Realm Houses (House of Wind and House of Water) have access to a consistent salt mine. This is where the Middle Realm comes in. Not only do they have a multitude of salt mines, but they have enough to supply their people and the Upper Realm on their own. This is what keeps the trade relationship between the Upper Realm and the Middle Realm alive.

I hope you found this as interesting as I do! Let me know in the comments below what you think!

Note: This is, of course, still a work in progress especially because I’m not as well versed in politics and economics as I would ideally be. I’m always open to hearing constructive criticism on my worldbuilding!

An Interview With Aiden

A rendition of Aiden.

What is your full name? – My name is Aiden Faolan Çaelic.

Where do you call home now? – Now, I’m a bit more of a wanderer. I’m with the House of the Sun’s military. I’m stationed currently in Shadowshore, a mining town in the House of the Day.

Do you have a lifelong dream or aspiration? – I’d like to find… I don’t know.. Some sort of meaning in life. Something to strive for. Something to live for. I want adventure in my life. I joined the military to find it, but I haven’t found it yet.

How would you describe your personality? – I’m… *smiles coyly* a bit of a flirt. You can ask around; anyone will tell you so. It’s healthy to explore the more… sensual sides of your personality. I’m straightforward with people. What you see is what you get. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I am loud and proud, and I like to showcase that. But don’t think I’m some airhead. I’ve got a strong head on my shoulders, and my magical abilities are nothing to chuckle at.

Describe a normal day for you. – Let’s see… I normally wake up alone or with my latest find if it’s a weekend at whatever lodging the troop has stopped at for the night. I like to cuddle after sex; I would rather have my women stay the night. Now, I can be an early riser during the week, mainly due to mandatory obligations to the military. If it’s a weekend, you better believe I’m sleeping in. During the week, it’s training exercises and patrols and the like. I try to search for a little adventure or some skirt to chase. I usually save that for the evening though. Nights are for prowling, throwing back a couple beers with some friends, and just generally having a good time.

How close are you to your family? – In general, I’m pretty close to my family. My mother and I are the closest. She’s always been there for me, always helped me through any and every situation. My father and I have a little bit more of a cordial relationship than a clearly loving one. But we respect each other. My brother and I aren’t really close though.

What are your reasons for being an adventurer? – I’m an adventurer for reasons that are fairly simple. I want to find something in my life worth fighting for. And I’ll face every challenge, climb every mountain, and chase every storm until I find it.

What do you believe makes a successful life? – Freedom to be who you are. To live out a life that’s exciting to you, no matter in what way that is. Enough money to live comfortably and a family to share it with. Life is short. You have to live it to the fullest. Or else, what’s the point?

A Playlist for the Twelve Houses

1. House of the Sun: Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran

2. House of the Moon: Mirror Haus by Lindsey Stirling

3. House of the Day: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

4. House of the Evening: A Night Like This by Caro Emerald

5. House of Fire: Radioactive by Pentatonix and Lindsey Stirling

6. House of Water: Fleet of Hope by Indigo Girls

7. House of Earth: Fairytale by Alexander Rybak

8. House of Wind: Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust by Owl City

9. House of Light: Some Kind of Beautiful by Tyler Ward and Lindsey Stirling

10. House of Darkness: No Place Like Home by Todrick Hall

11. House of Peace: Gavi’s Song by Lindsey Stirling

12. House of War: Born for Greatness by Papa Roach

Demonology: The Creation of the Lower Realm

Written by a man lost in love, who unendingly finds himself lost in the depths of amazement at his own wondrous luck.

My girlfriend’s book is truly incredible and awe-inspiring for me. Her dedication and perseverance is something I truly envy. I couldn’t have been happier helping to build something for her book.

I’ve got a different writing process than Cady does. I’ve always been a bit off-the-cuff with my writing. Just writing what I think and feel. And I’ve always had a fascination with a magical world. I find demons and demonology a thoroughly interesting topic. The power of them… the enigma behind them. I looked at them in her world and wanted to see their presence more. As a matter of fact, in my desire to show my appreciation to my love, I wanted to help her in any way I could.

I came up with an idea of a layout for the Lower Realm and the demon race. They’re strong, stronger than the Fae by a great deal, but I felt that should play out in a more unique, organized fashion. With her go ahead, I began to design this race of being with a dark enigma. Their power should feed this mysterious Lower Realm, so of course, shadows, manipulation magic, and confusion should play a large role. I took her notes and began to write. My thoughts would move fluidly. The real trick for me is to let it flow, just write what you think. Then go back and edit what you feel is pointless and extraneous.

My idea: Demon magic increased in strength based on age rather than birth as Fae magic does. They were given stages of growth with their power growing exponentially at each stage until the end of their lifespan, if they can make it that far, that is. Their minds are ravaged by magic at birth; they cannot begin to control it. As they grow older, they develop a greater control of their powers and of magical foundations themselves. They gain the ability to think and comprehend slowly, creating powerful monsters who are shrouded in mystery by their growth.

The first stage is the Youthful Demons, from birth until about a century old. These demons are reckless and wild, happily charging into anything with the intent to play. They care nothing for their own safety and play without thought to consequence, often resulting in the death of others. They cannot communicate with others at all.

The second stage is the Elder Demons. These demons are able to take caution in their actions and gain the ability to communicate, albeit with extremely crude methods. They can use magic in its pure form to show intent and communicate thusly. They are anywhere from 100 to 5000 years old.

The third stage is the Ancient Demons. These demons are over 5000 years old. They have full comprehension of their actions. Cold and calculating, their magic can destroy the strongest of Fae with no more than a flick of their finger. However, they see no point in attacking foes that are weaker than they are. They can easily control Youthful Demons and can influence the thoughts of Elder demons. Ancient Demons are obsessed with their image and pride and tend to fight amongst themselves. Their struggles are capable of obliterating entire realms. There are rarely more than two in existence at any given time due to the difficulty of living to this age.

The final stage is Demi Demons, a level that has really only been hypothesized about by demonologists in the Upper Realm. These demons are believed to be so advanced, they have mastered every form of magic in existence, are fully sentient, and can destroy all matter with a blink of an eye. They would be hundreds of thousands of years old and would have shed their physical form long ago to be the purest essence of magic. Their power leaks magic into the world. These demons are theorized to have created the universe in the beginning of time and spawned the entire rest of the Demon race.

Each of these stages has been uniquely developed, and I’m quite proud of how they turned out. But, I’d love to thank my dear girlfriend for the opportunity to help write for her, to help write for all of you for that matter. The original draft of this, I jumped around a lot mentally and had trouble explaining details. Although, I have to say, Cady helped to tone down the extreme erratic nature to a slightly more controlled version so that this was readable for her audience. But the crazy erratic nature of my writing might feel more comfortable to those who wish to try another style of writing, so I may like to explore that with you in the future if there’s interest. Even so, these are my words and my interpretations of the mysterious world that is her Lower Realm.

House of War

Inspiration for the House of War

The House of the War is a unique self-sufficient community. They have enough resources to nearly fully sustain themselves without assistance from any of the other Houses. They keep to themselves mostly because they can afford to. They have the largest army out of all of the Houses and keep their people well trained, ready to move on a moment’s notice. There aren’t many weak links in their system.

Flag: A dark gray flag with a red border and a stone hammer crossed with an iron sword in the center

Lay of the Land: A valley/river kingdom: one city, two large towns, six villages.

Potency of Magic: 7/10

Main Exports: Iron/iron ore, nuts

Royal Family: High Lord Brandon Electus Caddell, High Lady Cahira Helen Caddell (Kelley), Lord Duncan Malin Caddell, Lord Gideon Lewis Caddell, Lord Lachlan Marshall Caddell

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Lily, intermittently

House of Peace

The House of Peace is a serene utopia filled to the brim with the best intellectuals and artists that the Twelve Houses has to offer. Its main creed is to protect nature, knowledge, and innocence throughout the Three Realms as best they can. The river flows through the center of the lorddom similar to the canals in Venice. Heavy Greek influences throughout.

Flag: A white flag with a blue border and a dove with an olive branch in the center.

Lay of the Land: A river lorddom: one city, one town, five villages.

Potency of Magic: 8/10

Main Exports: Protective charms, clothing, silk, figs, fish

Royal Family: High Lord Gabriel Engel DiAngelo, High Lady Sarah Angela DiAngelo (Davis), Lady Seraphina Cindy DiAngelo, Lady Kiara Lucille DiAngelo, Lady Lara Daniella DiAngelo

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Rose

House of Light

Inspiration for the House of Light

My inspiration for the House of Light came from Disney’s Tangled and the kingdom of Corona. I enjoy the brightness and animated atmosphere and wanted to translate that into this House. Due to an abundance of fertile farmland, this community is mainly based in farming villages with one large market town as pictured above.

Flag: A pale yellow flag with a red border and a sunburst outline in the center.

Lay of the Land: A valley lorddom: one town, four villages

Potency of Magic: 6/10

Main Exports: Animals, animal products (eggs, milk, beef, etc), sugarcane

Royal Family: High Lord Aaron William Blake, High Lady Maria Deliana Blake (Swanson), Lady Alena Dawn Blake, Lady Aurora Meira Blake

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Rose