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[Cole Matthews] Gaia-Town - A Non-GA Approved Fantasy Fiction Project

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This is just a little feeler to see if anyone is interested in doing a shared project.  "Thieves' World" was a collaborative project with several established, and not yet established, fantasy fiction writers creating characters to live and interact with each other in a town called Sanctuary.  These writers could create stories and they would use other writers' characters within those stories. 


They had a few rules about how to treat others main characters.  They couldn't kill them off or substantially change them but other than that it was a free for all. 


Here were the Thieves' World criteria I would start with:

1. Each writer would share a bio of their main character

2. Writers could include other writers characters within their stories

3. Use of the character must be fair, don't kill off or substantially change them, though different viewpoints are not only acceptable but encouraged.


We would also need help with artwork.  We'd need a map of "Gaia-Town" along with some basic language and cultural agreements. 


I'm just putting this out there.  Let me know what you think.  This is a non-GA approved project.  I look forward to hearing what you think.  So much great talent here.  This could be great fun!!!



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Cool.  So, my idea is we write our own stories to this anthology using the common setting of Gaia-Town, a fantasy fictional place.  We'd each have a main character to develop that the other writers could include in their stories.  For example, I started writing about Waldron, a blacksmith who can forge magical weapons.  We could each pick a role and write within the setting whatever story we'd like.  Here are some roles we could include:


1. wizard

2. paladin or ranger

3. thief

4. prince or count or some regional authority

5. witch

6. healer

7. merchant

8. priestess or priest

9. blacksmith


This isn't a final list.  It could include other roles as well in this town.  Each of us would write up a bio for our character and share with the other writers.  If we could get someone to create a map of the town with different neighborhoods,  we could then establish some locales for interactions.  I thought Gaia-Town could be a market town so different cultures and kinds of people and creatures would be acceptable, not to mention money, religion, etc.  The characters could be any kind of race including shapeshifters, elves, dwarves, humans, whatever you want your character to be.  Within the setting, we'd be free to write whatever kind of story we'd like. 


The backdrop would be that some kind of war is coming.  We could all interpret that as we wish.

Let me know what you think.



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I think my next step is to write a proposed history of Gaia-Town and from there lets see who would like to be part of this. It doesn't hurt to try now does it! Thanks Cassie and Johnathan. You have given me the confidence to continue this. Yeah!

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Here is a description of Gaia-Town for reference.  Let me know if you'd like to be part of this anthology, what role you'd like to write about, and if there is an artist who would make a map, that would be awesome.


Description of Gaia-Town


Gaia-Town is a small city located in the southern central part of the large islan/subcontinent of Baurithish.  It is a semi-autonomous county that owes suzertainty nominally to the Kingdom of Surando which is situated like a horseshoe around the eastern, northern, and western parts,  of the island.  It’s relatively isolated from the kingdom due to geological formations and a wide, arid desert.  To the north of Gaia-Town are craggy mountains, The Ziriths, and closely forested hills, the Duranic Mountains.   These areas are populated with various non-human societies including elves, dwarves, trolls, and even gnomes.  To the south of the city is a string of high, difficult to navigate cliffs which lead to the Nomifidamian Sea.  Gaia-Town itself is nestled in a small arable valley and was at times an important trade route. 




The oral tradition of Gaia-Town suggests the valley was settled by eastern Suri slaves who escaped and traversed the Great Sayron Desert to find solace in the lush valley.  They lived a simple agrarian existence with little to no outside contact until the mages of the western part of Bauithish, the Ando, discovered them living in the Gaian Valley.  The mages invaded and took the valley for a short time introducing magic and livestock to the area.  After the death of the Archmage Filloman IV, the western mages abandoned the valley for several centuries. 

With the rise of King Quorish in the eastern realm of Sur, the Gaian Valley was overrun and made a county of that kingdom.  Quorish was able to thus defeat the western mages of Ando and claim the entire island for his own.  The Kingdom of Sur never completely pacified the mountains or the non-human societies in the wild center of the island, though they did pay Quorish and his heirs tribute.  As a result, Gaia-Town became a trade center for the King of Sur to collect the tributes of ore, gems, and rare woodland products.  It was from the Suri the town was introduced to metalcraft and additional farming techniques.  The valley grew more prosperous under Quorish.  Gradually Gaia-Town became a magnet for errant non-humans as well.

After the death of Quorish XII, the Kingdom of Sur underwent a dissolution leaving the Gaian Valley to live without much royal involvement.  During the long Regency in Sur, the western mages took control of their own provinces and the non-human inhabitants in the center of Bauithish began to self-rule.  Gaia-Town was the center of elven, dwarfen, and occasional even gnomic commerce with both the Andos and the Suris.  It was a golden time for the city during the Regency. 


Then, King Damosh came to the throne of Sur.  The Andos and Suris fought pitched battles until finally the Archmage Tellon offered his daughter’s hand in marriage and the Kingdom of Surando was born.  For the most part, the new combined kingdom was no threat to the Gaian Valley or the non-human inhabitants of The Ziriths or the Duranic Mountains.  However, after King Damosh died, his son, the new King Damosh II decided the Gaian Valley and the center of the island should submit to his authority as the descendant of the Quorish dynasty.  The Gaian Valley paid tribute but the other inhabitants refused. 

Then, there came the discovery of Luxilium, a very powerful metal that was found to have interesting qualities.  It could be used to create incredibly hard and sharp weapons.  Luxilium also had magical qualities which were craved by the western mages.  The Andos and Suris almost erupted into a civil war until the Gaian Valley count agreed to pay equal parts tribute to both sides.  However, that truce seems to have only heightened the greed by both sides for more of the mineral which lies beneath the ground in the higher reaches of the valley on the southern side.  Now, with the death of the count leaving no apparent heir, the citizens of Gaia-Town are worried either the King or the Archmage could attempt an occupation of their valley. 




Gaia-Town has a very heterogeneous population with “natives,” Suris, Andos, and various non-human inhabitants.  There are a few Guihanla, the desert nomads, who also live in the city.  Several religions are practiced among these populations though the state religion is officially the worship of Qe, pronounced, Kay, a father-like deity, and his wife the goddess Fedis.  Qe is a warrior god while Fedis is the goddess of the harvest.  Their feast days are October 9th, Fedis-fete and May 21st, Qe-fete.  While the Gaians celebrate March 1st as New Years, the official new year begin on July 23rd


The coin of the realm is the Quor, which is equal to about a Maker’s day salary.  Several other monetary systems are also evident in this trading town as well as bartering of goods and services.  While slavery is considered illegal, there are “servants” who are bond to their masters and mistresses for life. 




Gaia-Town has several quite distinct living areas.  Holy Alley is where the temples are located and quite posh on the east end of town.  The Market is in the center of town; open air with stalls and shops set up along twisting gravel paths.  Old Quarter is in between Holy Alley and the Market and that’s where the richest merchants and guildhalls are situated.  New Quarter is on the west end of town and most industry and tradespeople live there.  The south part of the city is around the Guardhall and the College and a younger, more impoverished population lives in that area.  To the north are the slums, the eastern one is called Cutpurse Corner and only the bravest and most adventurous travel there.  On the northwest side, the brothels, gambling joints, and roadhouses are evident and the people living in the area are very poor.  Like the poor everywhere, the north side of Gaia-Town is very suspicious of strangers, though many come to sample the offerings there.

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I'd like to write a story about a ranger, who is very picky in choosing his company and also secretive about his past.

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Sounds good Aditus. Just give us a brief bio so we can include if we'd like. I'll post Waldron and Adron's bios tonight. So far we have

Ranger - Aditus
Merchant - Johnathan
Blacksmith - Cole

Wizard - Scotty

Please let me know if your interested in contributing to Gaia-Town. All are welcome.

Edited by Cole Matthews
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Here are brief bios of my two main characters from my chapter:



He's a dark haired, bearded swarthy blacksmith who owns and operates a furnace and forge in the New Quarter of Gaia-Town.  He's not evil but very selfish and could be described as neutral morally.  Waldron is from the western part of Surando where the mages hold sway.  He's not gay or bisexual, he's more tri-sexual, as in he'll try anything.  Waldron gets an commission for doing something that isn't legal and it doesn't bother him a bit.  He has three apprentices whom he makes partners, and not because he's a nice guy. 



He's the senior apprentice at Waldron's blacksmithy.  He's a slight man around 19 years old with long reddish brown hair.  Adron's definitely gay.  He's educated and runs the shops books since Waldron is illiterate in Suranese.  Adron comes from a family that was once well-to-do and had to become a smith apprentice because of his family's downfall. 


And, there you have it.

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Taranis is of mixed heritage, nobody can exactly say which, only that an elf must definitely have been among his ancestors. He is tall, about six feet three, but slim with wiry muscles. He wears his waist long silver hair usually braided. One eye is blue, the other brown. Taranis has an ivy vine tattooed around the wrist of his left hand and up to his shoulder. He is always accompanied by his wolf Fearghas. His favorite weapon is the long bow Mabon; he also has two short swords he usually wears in a harness on his back, which he wields with great skill. Very picky in choosing his company and also secretive about his past, he likes to be on his own. There are the wildest rumors flying about his sexuality because nobody has ever seen him with someone, man or woman.


rough draft

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry I've been away. Grandma broke her hip and shoulder and I've been dealing with that.  Anyway, I was thinking we could shoot for a February 15 date for our first stories. What do you think? Is that too soon? Let me know.

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Sounds good Aditus. Just give us a brief bio so we can include if we'd like. I'll post Waldron and Adron's bios tonight. So far we have


Ranger - Aditus

Merchant - Johnathan

Blacksmith - Cole

Wizard - Scotty

Madame - Jo Ann


Please let me know if you're interested in contributing to Gaia-Town. All are welcome.

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Would it be okay if I write a introductory short piece about Taranis first, maybe him visiting Gaia-Town, going to the blacksmith etc. to get a feel for him?

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