The Way of the Sellsword

“Back to the company. Back to business. Back to the parade of years. Back to the annals. Back to fear.”

– Glen Cook, The Black Company (1984)

Mercenaries and mercenary stories are probably the most basic fantasy tales in a world with lots of rain and morally dubious characters. Sellswords are mercenaries – soldiers for hire. The way of the sellsword – a life of war on the road – is a hard one, but offer a high reward for those who survive. Continue reading “The Way of the Sellsword”

The Secrets of the Demon Hunter

The demons have lingered on the fringes beyond the border of your reality since the Dawn of Time, and one day the gates will burst open the gates and the world will end, or at least that is the beliefs of many loremasters.

These loremasters have always forged weapons to stave this off, and the Demon Hunters are the wielders of these weapons. Continue reading “The Secrets of the Demon Hunter”

Writing Fantasy Religions

“I pray to the four winds… and you?”

– Conan the Barbarian, 1982

Writing stories involving fantasy religions is fun and for some folks tricky. Religion is a large part of the human experience, and you lose some great story potential if you choose to omit religion from your world.

This post is not about the deities themselves. Great stories are about conflict and the darker side of human nature, so with that in mind, let’s proceed with some basic design choices, then get into the juicy bits with followers, dogmas, sin, heresy, redemption, and crusades. Continue reading “Writing Fantasy Religions”

Writing Fantasy Timelines

Anyone who has studied the timeline in the appendices of the Lord of the Ring knows what life is all about: writing fantasy timelines. Right?

You can easily get lost in your creation when you write a fantasy timeline. I know I have, so you should make some basic design choices and nail down some fantasy staples, before your focus on the core of your story: the needs of your characters.

The following is a generalization of (mostly) European history and fantasy tropes and may serve as a blueprint for a fictional history.

Continue reading “Writing Fantasy Timelines”

Create Fantasy Names and Languages

How do you create names and languages for your fantasy people and places? Do you make a unique creation, base it loosely on earth, or try to find some middle ground between the two? How do you mold random names and phrases into some consistent?

There are two ways of doing this: Hire a linguist and get it right, or you can fake it. This post is about faking it. Continue reading “Create Fantasy Names and Languages”