Lumh'ien is a fictional world by yours truly (Arwym, that is). It is still a work in progress.
I started working on this world when I felt that one of my "biggest" stories, Where Dreams Begin, needed a more solid background, due to the complexity of some of the concepts presented in it, which were often related to how the world in which it takes place works.
Lumh'ien (or Lumien) is the result, and although not finished, already has enough information written down for me to feel comfortable sharing it. And here's what I have so far. Feel free to comment, suggest, ask further questions, etc.
Here I cover different subtopics about the world of Lumh'ien. The first one is Geography. They're all unfinished works, so if you'd like to offer some feedback, feel free to do so.
(Note: I am ware that the apostrophe in the title is misplaced. Sorry about that.)
The World of Lumh'ien
The world of Lumh'ien, or simply Lumien, is small but diverse. It is comprised of three continents, many islands and archipelagos, and four different nations or kingdoms. But to the surprise of many, there happens to be a fifth kingdom, known as the Lunar Kingdom in lore. This fifth kingdom is trapped in a "sub-dimension" of Lumien, however, and is therefore the gateway between Lumien and other worlds.
The three continents and their kingdoms are divided as follows.
Four kingdoms: Anria, D'agoran, Adoria, Er'umin
Hidden kingdom: Lunar Kingdom (magical)
Note: There is relationship of hatred between the people of Anria and D'agoran, for a war that occurred 20 years ago. (Current time corresponds to the story told in Where Dreams Begin.)
Anria and D'agoran lie to the South. Er'umin to the North, and Adoria between the Er'umin and Anria territories.
The dominant nation of this era is Anria.
Note: Other lands exist outside the main land, but they will probably not be mentioned in the stories. However, I do plan on detailing them too later on.
The Northern Lands (Lumh'inai)
Kingdom of Er'umin (Home of the Enternal Winter)
Er'umin is a falling nation. The inhabitants are poor and hungry. They have become poorer as the people migrate into the growing Kingdom of Anria. They claim to hold the key to unlocking magic into the world. Er'umin and D'agoran are the longest-living nations in Lumien.
The Eastern Lands (Lumh'ened)
Kingdom of Adoria
Adoria was blessed from the beginning. They had a small but diverse land, and decided to use that to their advantage. They have built the best technology in Lumien, but now have Anria as their competition.
The Southern Lands (Lumh'enai)
The largest among the three continents. It has been in war for two decades. In the present, the two warring nations have made an agreement and the war has stopped. But if one of the nations decides not to follow the agreement anymore, it will start again. There is still a deep hate between the two major enthnic groups that share Lumh'enai.
Kingdom of Anria
Anria is the dominant nation in the Southern Lands. It formed 300 years earlier, when a group of Lords and members of the Court who emigrated from Anria and moved into the lands to the south, a place they thought would be perfect to start a new life. More people followed after them. Soon, the kingdom of Anria was formed, and a ruler was elected. Everything was peaceful. They never dared to step into D'agoran's territory. But they would become powerful enough to compete with other kingdoms. One young king had a vision of expansion. He proposed D'agoran to unify the two kingdoms, but D'agoran, in their pride, refused. The king wasn't happy with this, so he decided to declare war against them. And this is how the war began.
D'agoran was prepared for war, but their technology was inferior, and the kingdom had no support from the other nations. They were alone in the conflict. After three years of active combat against Anria, they decided to propose a treaty, known as the Pact. The king of Anria accepted under certain conditions, and D'agoran ended up supressed. Groups of Anria and of D'agoran alike weren't happy with the Pact, and began to attack enemy territories without a warning. Who started first was never confirmed.
Lore and Others
The main race of Lumien is the Humans, but there are myths that mention other races. Some even mention magic, yet few believe that magic ever existed. The closest there is to magic in the known world is a mysterious discipline developed and practiced by the D'agorians.
Differences between the Humans of the different nations are only of skin color and other features, but mainly facial features. However, the D'agorians are a little more different than the other races, a reason for which they are often rejected by other ethnic groups -especially among Anrians-.
The D'agorians have a slightly darker skin color. They also tend to have darker hair, and bigger eyes.
The cultures of these four main nations are very similar. Anria and Adoria share the same language, with some minor variations in the way some words are spelt, and in accent. Er'umin has a language that is similar to that of Adoria in structure, but not quite the same. However, the two languages are commonly spoken and accepted in Er'umin. D'agoran has a very distinct language that is only shared with some of the islands located close to the Main Land's southern coast.
The majority of the myths are shared between Anria, Adoria and Er'umin. But, as always, D'agoran stays apart. D'agoran has very different culture, technology, language, etc.
There are many myths about the people who inhabited the world in its very remote past. It is said that the world was once "magical". The people looked slightly different, and had the ability to control a supernatural force that most prefer to call magic. It is also said that some of these people were able to transform into other beings. One of the creatures that is often mentioned in these myths is the unicorn, a symbol of innocence and freedom.
It is said that this people still exist, somewhere in the world. Some talk about a hidden kingdom. This kingdom is commonly known as the Lunar Kingdom, because it is rumored that it can only be found at night, under the light of a full moon. Where it is, and how it is entered, appears to be unknown.
The mythical land of dreams. According to the tales of the folk, this is where the Luneans come from. The Luneans are magical people (who look mostly like Humans) but who have the ability to manipulate the forces of nature. It is also rumored that they can transform into other creatures. There are different levels and types of magic that vary. (More to come on this.)
The kingdom has a magical social structure. Nobility titles and the like are not just titles, but they are enforced by magical properties. When a title is given to an individual, the magical powers associated with it (including an alteration of their lifespan, if any applies) are also passed onto them. This same structure is what puts the Witches as the ones with the most power. They are in charge of enforcing the law.
The Royal Family is more of a representative of the people, and guardian of the Star and the Garden of Dreams. Members of the Royal Family are second in power to the Witches, but often more respected by the people. A king, however, has certain privileges that the Witches don't, and vice versa. The king decides for the people, and if his decisions are not the best, the people will be negatively affected. The Witches cannot alter the social structure that easily, though. The Garden only responds to the Star, and the Star only responds to the Royal Family, and more directly, the king. This is determined by their royal blood and the magical essence that is transmited through the generations, or by the magical powers assumed with the Nobility title, in the case of a King who was born as a commoner and later selected as ruler. In such situations, only the"commoner" King, and not his family, is recognized by the Star.
The Witches' Council is composed of five witches. There is a head Witch, who makes the final decision over which laws are approved and which aren't. It is often the king who proposes the law to the Council in the name of the people of the kingdom. There is a law that would allow them to dethrone a king, however. But in order to execute it, the the king's tyranny or unethic behavior must be proved, and then all the Witches must evaluate this evidence and apply the corresponding law. It is then that the king is dethroned, and in some cases, another member of the family is made king. If however there is no other member of the Royal Family who can assume the position, then the Witches will become the representatives of the kingdom, until a new king is chosen. The selection of a new king is very complicated, as it means that a peasant is chosen to play the role. In order for a peasant to be a candidate, several conditions must be met. First of all, the candidate's direct family must prove to be an example of loyalty, righteousness, and wisdom to the people of the kingdom. There are other conditions, such as the completion of certain rituals. (I am too lazy to describe them at this time.)
The Witches are granted with immortality; but just like the king, if they prove to be unworthy of the privilege, they will become mortals and their charge will be taken. The Witches are not allowed to marry. When a new witch is needed, a Witch apprentice is selected. There are very few apprentices in the kingdom, so the selection is narrow. Usually, the apprentice is a noble maiden (can't be married and must be virgin –more on why this is so will be explained later) with true magical potential. They are very uncommon, of course. Nobles, while not immortal, can live for centuries. The closer they are to the Royal Family's bloodline, the longer their lives can be; it is an effect of the royal blood. However, the King, for being the king alone, regardless of his blood, is given additional life and power.
Each Witch is allowed to choose a man with true magical potential. And just as there are Witch apprentices, there are Wizard apprentices. These Wizards are called Servants. When a a Wizard apprentice becomes a Witch's servant, he swears loyalty to her and vows to follow all of her orders. There is a sacred pact between the two.
A Witch is not allowed to resign to her position without a fair reason. These reasons may vary.
There have been stories of Witches who have fallen in love with men, sometimes with their own Servants, and chose to abandon their title in order to be with that man. But there is a law that punishes a relationship between a Witch and a Servant. A king, however, can choose a Witch as his wife, but then the Witch would resign to her position in order to become Queen, and part of the Royal Family. Only witches and nobles can become part of the Royal Family. It is important to clarify that, when a commoner is selected as a King –and this only happens in very rare cases where the former king has no descendants and a suitable candidate is found among the people–, his family is not promoted to the title of Royal Family, just like it is not recognized by the Star as such.
The Star is similar to a deity for the Luneans. She keeps the Garden of Dreams alive. The Star cannot die as long as she stays within the Garden's limits. But once she leaves the Garden, she becomes mortal, and her light slowly begins to fade. It can take decades and even hundreds of years for all of her light to disappear. By leaving the Lunar Kingdom, she becomes weaker. And the farther she is from the Garden, the more in danger she is. She can return to the Garden in order to restore her light. Just as the Garden depends on her, she depends on the Garden. They share their life force. The Star can pair with a Human or Lunean, and the resulting children will have some of her potential. But only the females can become Stars. Stars can perform a special magic that differs from the Witches'. That is why only the Stars can stop the effect of a spell they cast. There have only been three different Stars in the history of the Lunar Kingdom. Never has a Star become a Queen, even though most of their lives are spent within the confines of the Castle, where the Royal Family lives. Sometimes, they are the only people they'll see during their long lives. That is why there have only been three Stars. They don't pair with men because they don't have contact with them. Why and how the previous Stars gave birth to children are details that few people will ever know. But some say that an affair between a Star and a member of the Royal Family ocurred once, though there is no evidence of it. It is not officially against the law, but it would be controversial, especially within the nobility. The Star is often seen as a deity that few Luneans have the privilege of meeting. By the way, it takes 30 years before a Star's daughter can become the new star and replace her mother. (Note: consider revising the amount of years, since stars live for a very long time...) Once a star is replaced, the former one must leave the Garden and become a mortal.
The Garden of Dreams is said to hold the dreams of all the beings in the Universe. This is the main function of the Lunar Kingdom: to take care of the dreams. Furthermore, it is believed that, if something bad were to happen to the Garden, all the dreams would die, and the Universe would enter a state of Chaos; nightmares would take over.