In Progress: Shard City & Surroundings

SnakeBack Mtns and Rookwax Valley

So here’s a thing I’m working on. This is made in Sketchup, using the sandbox tools. The mountains are part of the Snakeback Mountains, which is the leading edge of the Monot Rise. Shard City is in that divot in the right under the cliffs. I still have a ton to do, obviously, but progress!

IMG_20160903_142006

Here’s the map drawing I’m working from. From the right, the Applefloat River feeds Shard Lake. Tradegate River exits to the left. Down the center Rookwax River runs down Rookwax valley and feeds into Shard Lake. Shard City is mostly along the lake between the Applefloat and Rookwax rivers. Running along Rookwax is the old Timber Road. The modern 72 freeway comes down from the right, crosses Rookwax, and continues more or less parallel to Tradegate. The 72 replaced the old highway which ran closer to the river.

The Bluffs rise about 300 feet above the lake and continue at varying levels and steepnesses for like a hundred miles or something. The tallest peak is Lightning Strike Mountain, at the top of the drawing, with Gilroy Mountain and Saint Lila Mountain in the same range. This is all part of the Snakeback Mountain National Park, which features hiking, skiing, camping and other activities. Lining the cliffs are ghost oaks, pale and twisted oak trees. Also native to the mountains are shadow elms (which aren’t elms) whose dark bark and leaves make for eery groves.

Shard Lake is a tectonic rift lake formed millions of years ago. It’s named for the shard of rock that make up its beaches. It undercuts the bluffs and rockfalls into the water are common.

Shard City is named after the lake. It was first built where the Rookwax River met the lake and the old town is still called The Spokes for the rising sun like city plan. Shard City has about 220,000 people in about 40 square miles, and sits about 45,000 feet above sea level.

The Warehouse district runs along the Old Highway and Timber Road. Before the new highway was built, those roads and the Rookwax River were used to bring goods into Shard City. With the new highway, and the airport, the Warehouse District has gone to seed.

Nearby the Delta is a popular area for houseboaters and other water enthusiasts, with safe swimming areas for kids and many scenic paths along the rivers and lake. Another popular area are the Falls were the Applefloat River descends into Shard Lake through a series of rapids and short waterfalls. Shard Lake also has a number of small islands, about which sordid legends are told of smugglers, pirates, and ghosts. They’re a popular destination for birdwatchers as the thick foliage protects the native wildlife.

:(

I have no more ratties. I had to put down Ed last week. Ed had a big abscess that was possibly cancer and was getting smaller abscesses. I could tell ed wasn’t feeling good and ed had very little energy and was losing mobility in eds back legs. So I made the call. I’ll continue posting rat pics. At some point I want to schedule all of them to get through the like 150 pics, but I’d have to find the energy and focus.

Character Writing #14

What is your character’s preferred means of travel?

Andre prefers to drive himself. He gets panic attacks on public transit, in taxis, and in cars with bad or unpredictable drivers (like Wild Rush)

Charles prefers to ride shotgun or go by train / subway.

Daisy loves trains and finds the noise and motion very relaxing.

Wild Rush loves to drive. He drives fast and erratically and never gets in accidents, but accidents will happen in his wake.

Tectrix prefers to fly himself. This is a cheat – he’s got wings :)

Delia loves to fly. She finds seeing the country going by fascinating.

Joel likes buses and other public transit. He loves to people watch, and to just sit back and let someone else get him places.

 

Character Writing #13

Is your character a good cook? What’s their favorite recipe, whether they’re good or not? (Microwave mac-and-cheese applies.)

Wild Rush – no, not really at all. He doesn’t have the patience for it. There a few cocktails he likes to make. He can also do slower cooker stuff.

Daisy manages. She’s good at casseroles and other ‘throw everything in a pot’ meals. She makes kickass mac and cheese.

Charles is an awesome cook. Ne prefers to make fancy things and loves to bake. Neir favorite thing to make is omelets.

Andre likes to grill, especially steaks. He learned from Charles.

Delia can manage, but there’s a reason she has a cook. She is good at yummy salads.

Joel is better than his mom; he learned a lot from their cook. Because of his tremors, he tends to avoid things involving sharp knives. He likes to make pizza with premade crust, but also makes a mean chili.

Techrat doesn’t cook at all and relies on microwave meals, delivery, and meal replacement options.

Gimmick is a pretty good cook. He likes to make pancakes and bacon, chili, and steaks.

Jill just barely manages. She’s like Techrat in that she considers cooking a distraction. Her best recipe is homemade ferret food. She also makes a lot of casseroles and soups for herself.

Nyjichun word of the day – chun

How about a word that I’ve actually got a sentence for?

chun – cat, to be a cat, to be cat-like

  • paucal / plural: chɯɯnnu / chunnu
  • said: chum / chɯɯnnu / chɯnnu
  • IPA: tʃoɱ / ˈtʃɯːn.no / ˈtʃɯn.no

moŋ chunɯn βijy ŋazyvzɯ?
Is that your cat?

moŋ chun-ɯn βi-jy ŋa-zyv-zɯ
2.SG.POSS cat-ACC that-NOM 3.SBJ-3.POBJ-Q
ɱɜŋ ˈtʃɯn.ɯŋ ⱱʏ.ˈtʃi nɜ.ˈzi.zɯ

Nyjichun word of the day – nyki / natryyki

Woo! I’m up to 137 ‘words’ (lexemes) in my lexicon and 55 entries that don’t count (affixes and roots).

Here’s a couple of words:

nyki – leaf, feather, or scale.

  • paucal / plural: nykyyki / nykiki
  • pronounced: mity / mityy’ki / mityki
  • IPA: ɱɪ.ˈdi / ɱɪ.ˈdiːʔ.gʏ / ɱɪ.ˈdi.kʏ

And a word derived from it:

natryyki – leafy, feathery, scaley

  • from ‘nyki’ and ‘-atry-‘ (converts stem to a descriptive)
  • paucal & plural: natryyryki
  • pronounced: motβyy’ki / motβyy’riti
  • IPA: ɱɜd.ˈⱱiːʔ.gʏ / ɱɜd.ˈⱱiːʔ.ɾʏ.dʏ

I need to come up with example sentences for both of these. I’m open to suggestions

Character Writing #12

How does your character react to temperature changes such as extreme heat and cold? 

(Hey, I’ve got a writing snippet that talks about this a bit!)

Wild Rush doesn’t really notice it. If it’s super hot or cold he might change what he’s wearing a bit, but not much.

Daisy feels them and either snuggles with somebody or tries to cool off.

Charles tends to run hot and Andre tends to run cool, so they even out. Andre prefers to run around in bright shirts and Charles likes skirts and dresses sometimes.

Delia doesn’t get cold that often, but can get really hot. She’ll blast the AC or take a cold bath or something.

Joel tends to run cold. He has tons of blankets to wear and warm jackets.

Leonard Burton (Delia’s brother-in-law) loves to go skinny-dipping when he’s hot or lay in front of a fire (preferably with a girlfriend) when he’s cold.

Morning bird or Night owl?

Delia and Joel are both naturally polyphasic sleepers and tend to be night owls. Delia has an easier time in the morning than Joel.

Leonard Burton is also a night owl and is often a slug-a-bed. But he’ll get up to make breakfast for people.

Wild Rush is totally a night owl. That’s when all the exciting stuff happens.

Daisy is more of a morning person, but likes to stay up with Wild Rush.

Charles is totally a morning person. It’s quiet and ne can relax and read or get caught up on things or whatever.

Andre honestly isn’t super fond of either. He’d prefers during the day when there’s lots of light.

Sergeant Aurita is totally a night person, for the same reason Wild Rush is. Night time is exciting.

Silver Dollar loves to sleep in late and stay up late. It’s a really really bad idea to wake him up without a good reason.

Techrat is… none of the above. He keeps a very bad and erratic sleep schedule and often gets his days and nights reversed.

Gimmick is a morning person. The earlier you get up, the earlier you can get stuff done. He likes to watch the sun rise with breakfast.

Donna Cooper is about the same. If she gets up early, she can get started on stuff before people starting bringing more problems.

Swordcat is another slug-a-bed. He takes catnaps and is up all night.

Mask is another morning person. Usually because he couldn’t sleep. He tends to go to bed early because he’s exhausted.

Jill loves to go out at night, dancing and drinking, and causing trouble. And then she gets up at a reasonable hour to do research and stuff.

Mick Adler is not a morning person at all, unless he woke up with an idea. He also likes to go out at night, but if possible he’ll go home with somebody fairly early.

Character Writing #11

I really need to finish these off. Let’s see what I can do…

How is your character with technology? Super savvy, or way behind the times? Letters or email?

Delia – pretty darn good, since she works at a technology company. Not as good as Mick (Future-Tech’s resident genius) or her son, but she gets by. She prefers phone calls to letters or email, but emails and texting are fine for quick stuff.

Wild Rush – he gets by. He doesn’t really care about computers. If he needs something, he’ll get somebody to do it. He writes letters if he’s in prison, otherwise he’ll visit in person.

Daisy – pretty good. Learned a lot in school – she didn’t have a computer at home and couldn’t visit friends to use theirs. She’s picked up a lot since then. She likes to make phone calls.

Andre – really good. He’s smart and a quick learner and not afraid to experiment with things. And he grew up pretty spoiled, but his parents weren’t rich, so he got lots of things to play with.

Charles – ne does alright. Ne’s not as good as Andre, but ne has lots of friends ne emails and ne’s on social media a lot. Ne loves the internet to find new recipes.

Joel – he’s really good. He’s studying computer science and does a lot of hacking and computer stuff to help out his mom. He also likes rc planes and cars. He prefers email to letters, because of his disability.

Shard-verse Rambling about multiplicity

I swear I’m going to start actually drawing the comic, but I keep getting distracted by my conlang.

I know I have at least a couple multiples who read my tumblr, so if you want to comment / critique / offer suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

I’ve been a bit annoyed because I have two multiple-ish systems 1  who are both villians / antagonists. 2 Which sucks, because that’s about the only exposure people get to multiples/pluralities.

I had already planned on having Delia’s admin assistant at Future-Tech be multiple, but that’s just one (and I want to change their system name) and I don’t know how often they’ll show up. BUT. I’m going to make Delia’s cook (Jane Quigley is the legal name) also multiple – and they helped the other guys get the job at Future-Tech (both groups belong to a multiple like club/support group thingy in or around Shard City). I gotta figure out how exactly that’ll work and work it into the story asap (Swordcat first appears in issue #5). Jane first shows up in the story after that.

I kinda want to keep things simple for the first few issues – keep the Burton’s to Delia and Joel, with her brother-in-law showing up briefly as support / someone to elicit some info-dumping. But I may switch those two stories around, because I’d rather some civilian / good guy systems show up before a criminal one. 3 And I still need to figure out who the people in the Quigley system are.

Darn me and my attempts to be a responsible writer.

  1. I say multiple-ish because in-universe they’re questionable. Swordcat doesn’t really have two people in one body – one has a body of its own, it’s just that that body is a sword so it also uses Swordcat’s. Because swords don’t have, like, legs. The other is Iosis/Ostanes who are questionable because they split themselves with magic alchemy.
  2. If Iosis/Ostanes were the protagonists, they could be anti-heroes, because although they kill people and stuff, they’re doing it for a good reason and they don’t do it indiscriminately.
  3. Iosis/Ostanes won’t get published for years still, so Swordcat should be the only problem for a while. And neither of them are really terrible people – Leon is kinda sweet actually  – but they’re still in prison and stuff, so…

How do you say ‘dork’ in Nyjichun?

I’ve been working on my conlang a lot. I have a newer version of the tiddlywiki to upload, but since everything is tagged ‘wip’ I’m holding off. I also started a tiddlywiki lexicon instead of doing it in Excel, because it’s more useful for translations and notes. I’ll upload that as well at some point.

I recently changed the alternation so I have to redo all my words, but here’s one that’s done:

morass
  • Gloss: up, to rise, to climb
  • Stress: mo.rass
  • Phonetic (IPA / Nyjichɯn transliteration): ɱɜ.ˈɾaz / moraz

:(

I had to have Nayda put down on Thursday. Zie was the sweetest, friendliest rat you could ask for. Zie was about 2 years, 4 months old.

Of the three I had (Ed, Nayda, and Allard), only Ed is left. I’m going to continue to post pictures of all three, because they’re adorable and I’ve taken a lot.