What is the setting?
The stories take place during different ages in the world of Restless Deep, starting in the First Age which is an equivalent of the prehistoric ages on Earth. Later stories may take place in future ages, with the history of each age influencing the ages that come after it. Each age will have its own set of characters, events, and situations.
The setting was originally conceived as a setting for a online (MMO) role-playing game. The intention was to allow players to play through the different stages of evolution of the world; in other words, the goal was to have the players would define the history instead of there being a ton of backstory to support it. I enjoyed the concept of the world so much that I wanted to set stories in the world. Although I’m defining some aspects of the world, if I do make this world into a game these stories may not be canon.
What makes this setting unique?
Most fantasy settings start during the equivalent of the Middle Ages, with stories of a great empire that rose and fell in the past similar to the history of our planet. The history of the various humanoid races typically have them springing to life as the creation of the gods. You won’t find the millennia of history that our world has had at that period in our history, leading to inconsistent elements in the world. How would military tactics change if you knew the enemy probably had the ability to throw a big ball of fire in the middle of your formation? How would castle construction be different if your enemies had the ability to fly, jump, or climb over walls easily?
Magic is also a primary agent of change in the setting. Whereas some settings have a bit of magic that seems thrown on top of a romanticized version of the Middle Ages, Restless Deep is infused with magic. Even in the first age, we see that races like the Lelra, Korodan, or the Weres are likely influenced by the native magic of the world and would not exist without it.
I’ve worked to create a coherent set of rules for the magic and metaphysics of the world. Part of the theme for earlier stories is how the inhabitants of the world discover how magic works and how they shape magic because of them. I also have a set of metaphysics for how the spirit world works and interacts with the real world. But, you won’t find the pantheon of gods you might expect to find in other settings.
One of the main concepts for this project is “familiar but unique.” If you squint hard enough, you’ll notice some familiar concepts (Elves, Dwarves, etc.) but with a (hopefully) unique take on these common fantasy elements. There aren’t many people doing something like this.