The Four Edged Sword & The Kingdom of Ben-Eden
In fiction, some of the most incredibly detailed worlds had their origin in someone’s imagination. It had to be conceived and illustrated by a person who had the ability to invent a world quite unlike our own, yet with similar features. Whether it’s Tolkien’s middle Earth, or Lewis’ Narnia, that world had to at least be as believable as our own. Some authors go to extreme lengths to create a world from scratch, even going to the extent of creating a whole history of culture, religion, governance. Nowhere is this detail more evident than in Martin’s Game of Thrones.
Sometimes when I get the opportunity to, I teach young people about world building, which always starts with a map. They thoroughly enjoy this opportunity and even the least creative of them manage to produce an original world. Although in their limited experience, their worlds are simple, some of them are able to produce something truly original.
But how does one set out to create a truly unique world? Well, as in all things, it starts with a simple idea. Mine was to create a world and a history for my future epic, The Four Edged Sword. To do so I looked at some of the more famous authors’ work and attempted to mimic what they had done. The first thing I did was to draw a map (see below). Then, happy with the style, I drew another larger map. I named features on the maps according to what they resembled and also taking into account the environment, climate, kinds of people, history (proposed) and story.
The next step was to name the land. I settled on Ben-Eden, which, according to my research, “can” mean “Eden-like” or “A place like Eden” or “beneath Eden”. I chose this name because it both represents the beauty of the place, but also contrasts perfectly with what actually happens. Once I did this and added all the detail, I then mapped out specific journeys individuals and groups must take as part of the story. I named the larger towns according to the folklore, legends and history and named certain features according to how they impact on those individuals and people.
I drew each map using nothing more than led pencils on large white paper. But I photographed them and added the names and tracks in PowerPoint. I then manipulated the images to make them seem more ethereal. I am taking my time with this project, which has its roots way back in 2012. It is a story of four kingdoms and four Kings (actually one is a Queen). They are all searching for the Shards of Eden, the four separate pieces of the great Four Edged Sword (or four bladed) of legend. The Legend tells of an ancient sword which, when all four blades are combined, has supernatural power. On their own the shards are useless, but together, the one wielding the sword can command legions of armies or even dragons.
Central to the story are a father (the one true heir) and his daughters, who have been captured by a Queen and held to ransom. With the help of their elder brother (next in line), they escape. The Queen, enraged at the deception, threatens war and the four kingdoms are plunged into a protracted battle. The true King, together with his trusted Mage, devise a cunning and dangerous plan to trick the Queen (who is actually the King’s estranged wife).
I expect to finish this project at the end of this year or the beginning of 2016. This will be the longest novel to date at about 600 pages and may well become a series. If you are a fan of Fantasy Fiction and want to get involved, I welcome all feedback for my books, especially in the development process.
Please note: The cover designs here are not final and are in an evolutionary stage.
Copyright©2015 Paul G Day
Copyright©2015 Paul G Day