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Friday, April 25, 2014

W is for: Woldland (#AtoZchallenge)

Woldland lies on the eastern side of the Gulf of Camac, a vast grassland of plains and rolling hills. The inhabitants, the Wolds, are a semi-nomadic people who herd cattle across the lands. The coastal town of Mastil serves as both a capital and a market.


In the time of Camac That Was, Woldland was divided into East Bay and Perinia provinces. Away from the coast, the land was divided into cattle ranches that provided beef to the entire empire.

The Madness, for whatever reason, did not hit the Eastern provinces as hard. On the other hand, Eastern farmers have always had difficulty in the dry weather off the coast, and mad souls destroyed many of the crops. Thus, while survivors in the West and North had no trouble feeding themselves, Easterners faced starvation (exacerbated by nascent “lords” who had little regard for the welfare of their subjects).

Before The Madness, the Eastern word wol’it (literally, a sense that anything would be better than the present circumstances) was used ironically or humorously. People would apply it to themselves (similar to how we might say “just shoot me”), or mockingly to others who were seen to overreact to minor setbacks (“drama queen”). But in the early part of The Lost Years, Easterners began to use it seriously. Westerners often pronounced the word as woldt, and it softened over time to wold and became the name of the people who migrated to the grasslands.

Meanwhile, the cattle lived on. As they broke down fences, and nobody came to repair them, they began to roam freely. Jira the White, in an attempt to alleviate the suffering (even though all the Eastern provinces had declared independence), sent word that the cattle were there for the herding (or eating). Starving Easterners began to make their way south, and over time were joined by Western and a few Northern folk.

Age of Heroes

Within a generation, the old province names were all but forgotten; the region was simply called the Wold Lands. The Wolds’ language was primarily Eastern, but mixed with Western and became its own language over time.

During this time, the Wolds were nomadic; they drove the herds north in spring and south in fall. They adapted a maze of sea caves on the northern coast as a summer home, and named it Tirfa-Wold (literally, Wolds’ summer dwelling). A large forest clearing, not far from Armyr (one of the Alliance cities), became Sufta-Wold (Wolds’ winter dwelling). These were the primary points of contact with the outside world for the Wolds; they traded cattle and exchanged news with nearby folk.

Modern Woldland

With Termag once again becoming more civilized, the Wolds found themselves needing to formalize a government, if only to have a way to communicate with other governments. Internally, each drive-clan manages its own affairs, but there was a need for an entity that could speak where needed for all drive-clans. And so, Woldland was born. Each drive-clan sends a representative to a council. The council in turn is authorized to govern how clans interact with the outside world.

Formal education is somewhat haphazard; each drive-clan decides for itself what is needed. A growing number of clans are deciding that literacy is a good idea, especially when dealing with foreigners.

Next: X is for: Xorsecc


  1. The Madness not hitting some areas so badly sounds like a total premise to be overturned later. Suspicion!

  2. If they starved, it was bad enough.

  3. I wonder if you're going to draw a map of all these places in this world, that would be really interesting. I think it interesting that the clans have decided that literacy would be a benefit....

  4. That's quite a world. I like how literacy was only important in dealing with foreigners. It's amazing how something so often ignored eventually forces its way into public life. Thank God for foreigners. If it were for them, the people of this world would never expand beyond their agrarian lives.

  5. John, it all evened out. Those the Madness didn't take, starvation or accidents (or suicide) did.

    Sonia, agreed.

    Helen, I keep trying to draw a map. I need to knuckle down and do it. I figure it will take five or six passes before I have it all down.

    Stephen, foreign policy is good for something, eh? Thanks for checking this out!


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