Every story must begin somewhere and in a Fantasy novel, it is usually an exotic or foreign location. This behind the scenes article talks about the very first realm that Sara and Erika come across when they enter the portal into the world of The Askinar Towers.
The Other Side of the Mirror
The idea of using a mirror as access to the Fantasy realm is not new; Lewis Carrol’s character, Alice, traveled through the Looking Glass into a world that was the reverse of ours. In book 1, Nexus of the Realms, Sara and Erika enter this world using a mirror but not in the traditional sense. I used the mirror to reveal the entrance more than the actual entrance.
They arrive in an alternate world or realm and assume that they ended up on the other side of the United States. It was lunchtime when they left their world and morning when they arrived in this new realm. They soon realized that it’s not their own country but an entirely different world when they spy the four towers in the distance.
The origin of this village comes from my years as a gamer (Dungeons and Dragons) and one thing I love is creating a fishing village that is near a large body of water. This is my second attempt at designing a town. My first town was based loosely on the old “one street town” you’d find in Old West movies. I never was one for creating extensive maps but using grid paper makes it easier to design.
Creating Rising Falls, I allowed myself to explore different streets and stretch out the town a little more on the property it resided upon. One of the hardest things in designing a town, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing, is making sure you have all of the necessary shops and places of abode available to make the town active and thriving. I may have gone a little overboard with Rising Falls, but you won’t notice it when you read the story.
The name of the town itself is self-explanatory if you truly embrace the world of Fantasy. The waterfall actually goes up instead of down but it feeds in the main body of water from both ends so it doesn’t really matter which direction it flows.
Right at the base of the hill, in which Rising Falls rests upon, lays a small farm village inhabited mostly by halflings and dwarves. Halflings being the official Fantasy word for Hobbit as used in Tolkein’s novels. Growing up in Ohio I was always used to seeing farms when you leave the city to travel to another. Greenblade valley is home to two dairy farms and the local seer or shaman by the name of Azalea. There are two ways to travel from Rising Falls to Greenblade Valley. The first way is the Trade Route, which is dug into the hill and travels from Rising Falls, down along Greenblade Valley and right up to The Askinar Towers. The second way is an elevator that was built by the dwarves that goes straight up the cliff alongside the falls.
The Towers of Askinar
Finally, we’ll look briefly at the towers themselves. For a longer look, you can check out my article on the origins of The Askinar Towers. Not every realm has all four towers available for access into the different realms. But since this is the first realm my main characters arrive in, I had to put all four towers in to give readers something to look forward to as the story progressed.
Each tower represents on of the basic elements and I chose water as the first tower for them to enter into when they left Greenblade Valley. The dark cloud cover and swirling vortex that forms overhead of the towers is a cheap story effect (Yes, I admit it). I wanted drama in this scene to show that although the towers look innocent enough, appearances can be deceiving. But it doesn’t always happen when someone approaches the towers, just on this occasion.
I hope you enjoyed this exploration of these realms. To learn more about other worlds in book 1, you can read about The Floor 17 Café and the Sherlockian Realm. Please feel free to make comments in the space provided and perhaps share the first realm that you ever wrote about or, if you a fantasy reader, what was the first realm that you read about.
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