I think I have a problem: ever since I decided to make my own world-maps, I haven’t been able to stop. I’ve always had a detail-oriented personality, which is why I still have reams of world-information needing translation into a wiki or something, but the sudden ability to quickly visualize trends and demographics has kind of overwhelmed me.
It’s not that these are necessary — though they’re certainly useful. It’s just that I really like to see Halci as if it was real, tectonic plates and all.
I already showed off the tectonic map earlier, but that’s okay. I have more!
So let’s start with this one. I can’t remember if it was requested or if I just decided to do it because I was feeling twitchy with the need to create. This is a rough distribution of the languages in use on (the known areas of) Halci in the current era, covering all the surface-dwelling races. Which makes me realize that I should do a distribution-map of subterranean races…
The language depicted in red is Imperial/Altaeran; it makes up the base tongue of the story, i.e. the one that corresponds to English (or whatever language the book gets translated into in the future).
The main ‘foreign’ language that gets used within the story is Northern Gheshvan in medium green. Since it was previously the dominant tongue of the northeast, it has spawned a few related dialects that also show up — Corvish in particular, that sort of fleshy orange tone in the mountains in the upper middle.
In book 2, some of the pink language (Caioleth, the tongue of the wraiths no matter where they live) starts showing up. Some of the yellow language (Talishan) might start appearing in book 3 or 4 but hasn’t yet. That olive-colored language (Thiolanc) has technically been spoken within the story but not with actual words, just sort of ‘and then they spoke in Thiolanc’.
So far, I have a small dictionary for Gheshvan and am working on its half-hieroglyph, half-kanji writing system. For Caioleth and Talishan I have a few handfuls of words. I hope to expand them and maybe add one or two of the other languages to the building-slate, but I don’t currently plan to flesh out all of them — that would be a trial. Fortunately, as mentioned, a few are just dialects: Corvish and Zhangvan from Gheshvan (along with Brinvan), Xiroacen from Thiolanc, Lisalhanian an archaic version of Cirithen spliced with Caioleth, et cetera.
I have figured out how to conjugate my Gheshvan verbs visually though! So I’ll be showing those off in another post soon, once I’ve cleaned them up and drawn more verbs.
Like the caption says, this is the skin-tone distribution map for humanity. Most of book 1 takes place slightly right of center, in the ‘bronzy’ area, with a trip through the ‘tawny’ area extending to the northeast. Obviously not everyone in these areas is that tone; there has been a lot of intermingling, trade, travel and conquest, which is why there are dark bands up at the top that somewhat match the ones near the bottom. This is more of the ‘average’ or ‘base’ tone for the population, with individual differences depending on family history.
I should also note that the equator cuts through the continent right below the tip of that southern dark band. In the ice age, ice sheets also covered the land down to the lower edge of the upper dark band, but these days the ice has withdrawn enough for the territory to be populated. This is the reason for the wide regional variation; the continent is fairly small — only the size of the contiguous United States — but has extremes of sunlight exposure that required a variance of physical adaptation.
For reference, here is where the equator hits on Earth:
So technically, Halci’s main continent spans climates from the Amazon rainforest to the Canadian taiga, all on one landmass the size of the States. As seen below:
This makes the world pretty stormy:
Back to the subject of the people:
One of the reasons there is still a tone-variance despite the smallness of the continent and the regular historical migrations is the presence of skinchangers. Humans migrate far more often than skinchanger tribes, which would usually rather die than leave their territory. However, skinchangers continue to breed with humans as new migrants cycle through their land, perpetuating the general tone of the populace. Additionally, migrant skinchangers will adapt their own skin-tone to that of the local tribes, both to reduce conflict and to handle the new climate. This means that dark-complected skinchangers who move north tend to lighten, while light-complected ones darken if they move south, even if neither breeds with the local population.
The only exception are the ogres, who — while technically skinchangers — generally refuse to adjust their coloration to suit their surroundings. Their spirit supports them in this; however, albino ogres are becoming more frequent among the northern ogrish populations despite Oega’s wishes.
All this being said, populations of the same skinchanger-type can vary widely in coloration due to locale, even though they have the same bloodlines and are connected to the same spirit. Skinchanger (and beastfolk, and bloodline) distribution shown below:
Additionally, there are the elemental bloodlines, which — though they do not often interact with humanity and skinchangers, let alone stoop to breed with them — still have a significant impact on Halion life and culture:
Finally, a request from my cover-artist: a brief map of the conflicts occurring in the known world circa Book 1. The ones with arrows are the aggressors.
Whew. That’s it for the moment — though I will mention that I whipped up the weather/storm map in the middle of writing this post because I suddenly really wanted it. Can’t…stop…myself…