Worldbuilding Wednesday — Worldbuilding a Beginning

I guess worldbuilding a beginning to the world of Airtha-Eyrassa really only started after I read The Silmarillion (which is also one of my favourite books of all time). While I did not start the world by writing the beginning and creation, it was soon apparent once I’d started that it was a necessary part of the worldbuilding to make it really feel authentic and influence the worldview(s) of the people inhabiting the world.

The beginning of the world was quoted last week, but — in case you missed it — I’m repeating it here:

In the beginning, when there was only Agrai, the world of Airtha-Eyrassa was created. Agrai, called the One by the peoples of Airtha-Eyrassa, created the world and then gave it one sun and one moon. Then Agrai kindled four great stars from which all other stars in the night sky are descended. These four stars Agrai created to show the people of Airtha-Eyrassa their way by night. And they were the greatest and brightest in the night sky.

Then Agrai looked towards the world of Airtha-Eyrassa, and the world was entirely covered in water. With a single word Agrai parted the land and the water, just as the sun and the stars had been kindled.

Agrai then created the plants and animals, filling the land and the waters with them. For an age they grew and lived and, once they had thrived and filled all the lands, the Age of Morning dawned.

As you can tell if you’ve read the Bible; this piece was highly influencd by Genesis 1, i.e. one creator God that speaks the world into being. (If you’re unfamiliar with Genesis 1, you can click here to read it.)

I decided to go against making it “too mythical” and taking the route of Norse or Finnish creation myth. (If you’d like to read these, get your hands on the Eddas, especially the Younger Edda (Norse) and Kalevala (Finnish).)

Okay, so of course you can’t just have happy people running around always being happy when you write stories, so I had to write where the first uber-bad-guy (in the normal sense of the word uber, not the ride sharing thing) came from. Enter “The Fall”. Turns out, there’s a murder as well…  

And, as you can see, I’m really stealing for fun and profit here!

One of the Airus, however, wished to create his own world apart from that of Airtha-Eyrassa, but found that he could not. This angered him greatly and he flew into a rage, cursing Agrai and swearing to forever stand against the Creator.

He took to calling himself Nasjand — which means ‘saviour’ — and told the other Airus that they were mere slaves and pawns to Agrai’s will and that, if they wanted to become free, had to follow him and not Agrai. Nasjand promised them that they would become free of the fetters of the world, creating their own, better world in its place where they would be the supreme rulers.

These Airus left the towers and gardens where they had lived and sundered themselves from those they now deemed to be slaves and lesser than themselves. They trekked across the Rhager Mountains and made a new home for themselves from the red rock.

The eldest of the Airus, Sifa, who was also Nasjand’s twin brother, went to this new home, but was slain by Nasjand and his body cast into the ocean. When the Airus learned of this, they started calling Nasjand Lewjan, which means ‘betrayer’.

In seeing what had happened and that death had now entered the world, Agrai put in place a Veil that would divide the mortal lands from the immortal lands. The immortal lands were pure and without sin, suffering, or death, while the mortal world had fallen.

This Veil is also where the name for Airtha-Eyrassa (“The Land Beyond the Veil”) comes from. Next week I’ll go into the different good and bad guys as well as The Diminishing some more as this is still important when the Chronicles actually begins with The Knowledge Stones.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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