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

House of Fire

The House of Fire feels like what you would imagine a medieval kingdom that’s heavily reliant on masonry and blacksmithing. The architecture is heavily reliant on stonework; the palace is constructed entirely from stone. The towns contain open air markets where multiple forgers line the covered areas. The streets are fairly crowded between the hordes of people and black horses pulling items up and down the streets. The House of Fire also boasts a very well trained full-time army, ready for a fight whenever one might begin.

Flag: A red flag with a black border and red-orange flames in the center.

Lay of the Land: A valley lorddom: two towns, six villages.

Potency of Magic: 6/10

Main Exports: Iron/iron ore, coal, oil, citrus fruit

Royal Family: High Lord Thomas Orion Halden, High Lady Samantha Louise Halden (Boron), Lord Kay Rory Halden, Lord Hayden Alexander Halden, Lady Ariel Elizabeth Halden

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Lily

House of Darkness

The House of the Darkness is a very curious House. The area is rich in population, magic and incredibly modern, but very weak in resources. They are obsessed with time and moving forward, hence the modernity. The leaders of the House of Darkness recognize the importance that the Middle Realm has placed on technology and manage to blend both technology and magic in a way that no other House has accomplished. They have a technological advantage, but their lack of fertile farmland has caused them to become incredibly dependent on other Houses to feed their staggering populace.

Flag: A black flag with a red border and devil horns in the center.

Lay of the Land: A valley lorddom: one city, two towns, three villages.

Potency of Magic: 7/10

Main Exports: Metal, machinery, watches. Center of Black Market trade.

Royal Family: High Lord Carron Hepti Infernos, High Lady Katherine Anna Infernos (Finite), Lord Faolan Alon Infernos, Lady Cary Elipse

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Lily

House of the Moon

The House of the Moon is tiny, but one of the richest kingdoms twofold. One, due to proximity to both a precious stone and a diamond mine, and two, because of its rich supply of magic. Its proximity to the moon creates some of the most powerful magical items, charms, and spells that can be cast during moontime. A very mystical land to unravel.

Flag: A light purple flag with a silver border and a silver full moon in the center with a crescent moon outlined in shadow against it.

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

Potency of Magic: 9/10

Main Exports: Magical items/artifacts, amulets, protective charms, clothing, precious stones, diamonds

Royal Family: High Lord Daniel Emrys Marseilles, High Lady Lily Evelyn Marseilles (Finbar), Lady Luna Illumine Marseilles

Political Alliance: Alliance of the Lily