Astrom: an Introduction

Welcome to Astrom. This is the epic world that I have created. It is an imaginary continent on a fictitious planet, very like our own. This planet contains many continents, of which Astrom is by no means the biggest, but it is the most distinctive, the oldest in conception, and the main setting for my stories.

Come in and explore this website. You’ll find lots of information about the world that I’ve created, its characters, stories and history. My first novel, Oron Amular, is due for release in November 2019, and this is a place for fans to find out more.

First, more about Astrom…

As you can see from the map I’ve drawn, It is largely diamond-shaped: growing up from the hilt-like peninsula of Lurallan in the arid south, through M-shaped Maristonia, so close to my heart, past the main body of Aranar and Hendar, with the sharp jutting projections of Ithrill in the west and Kalimar and Ciricen in the east, before finally up across a haunted isthmus to the ragged frozen expanse of Urunmar in the far north. For the traveller, it is over 4,000 miles from north to south and some 1,700 miles from east to west. In terms of square area, as accurately as I can make out, it is slightly over 5.6 million square miles – which would make it half-way between the size of Europe and Russia. It is a vast canvas on which to act out my drama, and which took countless hours to fill with landforms, flora and fauna.

Incidentally, it is while writing stories on such a demanding backdrop that I realised the requirement facing the fantasy novelist to have a working knowledge of most things, in order to make their world realistic and believable. Of course, it is make-believe and can bend the rules when necessary, but to really draw the reader in it must ring true most of the time. I suddenly found myself having learn about different types of tree and rock, the locations of different kinds of minerals, the history of various civilised activities like mining and medicine, and so on, covering a vast encyclopaedia of knowledge in subjects on which I had hitherto mostly been ignorant.

Quite a lot of research was required for this, in which my historical expertise came in very handy, for history touches every other realm of human endeavour. But the names and landmarks were my own creations, needing no research, but simply an unleashing of creative impulses.

Astrom is peopled by many species and races, by elves, dwarves, men and women, trolls, dragons, wolves and so on. I have tried to give them my own unique slant, and only the reader can judge my success in this. My one new addition to the list of races is the armists. Before reading Oron Amular, it will be well to give a full description of these folk, but here let me suffice to say that they are a stocky, mountaineering folk, half-way between dwarves and men in stature and character.

In Astrom there are thus four main civilised species, who between them occupy nine distinct countries or kingdoms: elves in Kalimar and Ithrill, men in Hendar, Ciricen, Aranar, Lurallan and Urunmar, dwarves in Carthak, and armists in Maristonia. Between them they speak a variety of languages, but the most developed of my philological creations is Kinyar, the ancient high speech of the elves, spoken alike in Kalimar and Ithrill, although with different dialects and inflections. Édulyar is the elvish name for the language that men devised for themselves when they first came into being, and for many centuries its various forms were in direct competition with elvish before a common tongue gradually evolved. I have even devised a working alphabet to go with Kinyar, meaning that true elvish writing would have to be both transliterated and translated in order for the reader to understand it.

That is about all I have time for now. To truly convey Astrom in all its fullness, and do it justice, will take many books, never mind blog-posts, but I hope that for now I have whetted your appetite to find out more. In the coming months I intend to write separate posts about the history, geography, religion, mythology, culture and inhabitants of Astrom, so make sure you come back soon to keep exploring.

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