A few weeks ago I posted an article on a project I called “The Great Fantasy 2015.” It was dumb name, a really dumb name, but it was on purpose. The name was always a placeholder and I’m a firm believer that placeholder names should never be cool, because you never want them to be better than the actual name.
With the poll in place and some votes already in, most of them focused on the type of Vampires or Elves you don’t want to see, I’ve begun working on the setting for this fantasy series. And today I’ll tell you a bit about it.
Let me introduce you to Summersalt.
The Town of Summersalt has gone through many names. Bonemere, Dragonpearl, Ironwrought and many more, usually based on whatever’s making them money at the time. Right now it’s The Salt, central to their wondrous crafts, technology, medicine and, if sufficiently refined, even cooking. Summersalt harvests the substance from the noxious salt flats on the outskirts, a lasting reminder of the last Great Blood War. When the Exalted Artificer launched a Sunstone, the clear Summersheen Lake evaporated, as did the last Ravager Kings and their armies and allies, camped around it. The Sunstone’s wild energies continued to pulse for centuries, vaporising anything that came even remotely close to the lake’s shore. But then, opportunism won out and some brave (or stupid) souls risked the flats and brought the Salt with them.
Salt, while abundant is closely monitored and regulated. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to break the system. That’s where Summer Knights come in, not so much local law enforcement but Salt Regulation Agents, yet more capable than the army forces. That’s because unrefined Salt is volatile and highly unpredictable when consumed. Knights deal in the unpredictable and well, the weird. Each Knight comes from a highly specialised background, excelling in combat, saltcraft, mechanics and even politics, but unless someone’s broken the Salt Regulation Act, they are powerless and have no jurisdiction. As such, no one takes them seriously and everyone mocks them at will. Being a Knight is not a glamorous job, but those drafted have very little choice in the matter, because not only is it mandatory and could get them in prison for refusing but also most of them burnt so many bridges Knighting might just be their last leg.
The world Summersalt resides in is large, with wonders and nightmares. No Vampires or Elves left in the world, Werewolves long gone and no wizened sorcerers in mystical towers. Magic is subtle and intrinsically tied to technology, to handle the complex operations needed to alter the laws of causality and world’s rules. Even the simplest of spells requires calculations and variables few minds can handle without at least a pen and paper.
This isn’t a world of errant knights and warrior princesses. It’s a world of people making the best of a bad hand, making bad deals for big promises…but there’s also redemption and second chances, though they rarely come and when they do, there are some very bad strings attached to them!
So, this is what I have so far. I’ve already come up with a few characters, but I don’t want to say anything about them with the polls still ongoing! They will stay open for a long time, so you can still vote, but they won’t be about The Great Fantasy anymore, but Summersalt. Do note that this is an early concept, and until the polls close, it’s subject to change. So if there’s something you don’t like, you can still add it to the poll, though please do drop a comment and tell me why you feel like that. I would especially like to know what you don’t want to see with the characters!