It’s amazing the strange routes my mind takes on the way to exploring a part of my world. Back in November, 2015, and after finishing my second NaNo project, I launched into writing short stories. They’d finally clicked for me and over those last ten days or so I went wild, writing one each day.
The fourth one was called, Shadow in Winter. It took place in Draskrith in northeast Tremjara and was about a serving girl, Drayka, who waits for the day the Shadow Lord who killed her parents would come into the inn where she worked.
It explored a few aspects of Shadow Lords and their minions. It also touched on the environment. As the name suggests, it takes place in the winter. The winters there are harsh, the rolling lands heavy with pine forests. While outside, Drayka wears many layers, the snow several feet deep.
Shadow in Winter was a compelling tale. It was also far too big for a short story and so I haven’t touched it since.
One final note before I move on. At the end of the story its mentioned that there are those who assist people fleeing Draskrith and help them to cross the channel and gain entry to Pannulus where they’ll be safe. It was the first time I’d ever mentioned the island nation in anything.
Fast forward to 2018 when I decided to take my infatuation with Pannulus seriously and started worldbuilding it. One of the problems in Pannulus is the hostile relationship it has with its neighbor to the north: Draskrith.
Although I’m only working on my Pannulus worldbuilding intermittently, I have explored a few issues in Draskrith as they relate to problems in Pannulus. Despite its problems, Pannulus is one of the more enlightened human societies across Tremjara, especially when it comes to magic and many social issues.
Draskrith is a brutal patriarchy on steroids ruled by cannibalistic Shadow Lords. It’s built into the religion and government and is the basis for its obsession with what they call gender purity. Many of those attitudes have filtered into the heads of some of those on the northern Pannulus island of Scurpia. There, it’s led to cults and associations with crime lords and other problems.
So, I’ve come full circle in a sense and it’s now more likely I’ll do something with Shadow in Winter. Meanwhile, there are now a multitude of Pannulus short stories (Taking Flight is on the website) and a drafted novel. In a sense, my mind continued on that journey first hinted in Shadow in Winter.