“Scenes of Riparialand and Places Beyond” (legally-free epub)

Summary: I wrote some stuff and I would like critique

I’m not selling this, it’s free, I just want people to read and tell me what they think of it. I posted it as an .epub because it seems like the most convenient way to provide it.

Click here for a direct download of this in .epub format
Click here for a direct download of this in .mobi format (for kindle™)

The Background

One of my dorky projects right now is to invent an imaginary fantasy-world.

It started (longer ago than I want to admit) purely out of nostalgia for the days long ago when we had a group that would regularly get together for sessions of “Dungeons & Dragons™” and related storytelling games. I dabbled for a long time assembling concepts for a world based largely on the quirks and tropes common to the classic “dungeon-crawling” settings, with the intention of someday running games in it again. It’s grown far beyond that into something that I’d now like to try to turn into multiple kinds of things (stories, audio series, maybe even novels or something, who knows?).

Recently, I’ve gotten more serious about trying to do something with it. I started more intensively developing a specific location in the fictional world to base “adventures” in. I’d managed to grind through getting a decent cast of relevant characters and locations reasonably well developed for the little village of Venison Heights where I was planning to start things off, and a few paragraphs about other settlements in the small, young, peaceful, happy, almost fairytale-like kingdom of Riparialand that the village is part of (don’t worry about the “fairytale-like” part, it’s due to begin getting harassed by bad things at any moment), when somebody on Reddit started up /r/Worldprompts.

The idea there is for people to post “prompts” in the form of an ideally context-free word, phrase, concept, or line of dialog, and other people respond in the comments with where or how the prompt’s concept fits into their own fictional world. Participating there has turned out to be gratifyingly productive for me. One day I realized just how much I’d churned out and decided that I should save every response that I wanted to keep as a canonical element of my fantasy-world setting and collect them into a single place for reference. Coincidentally, I also wanted to find out what was involved in producing an ebook…

The Free Ebook

I made an ebook.

I’ve got so much collected now that I feel like I’ve got a pretty solidly consistent theme going and enough information to give a good feel for what the setting is like, and now I could really benefit from having someone else see what I’ve got and get back some opinions on where I might have some inconsistencies or bad gaps, or conversely things that seem particularly interesting or enjoyable (to someone besides myself). The ebook gets updated regularly, so I made this page where I can keep a link to the current version of it for anyone who wants to can download it.

“Scenes of Riparialand and Places Beyond” is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License by default, so you’re welcome to (legally!) download, copy, republish, or even remix for your own uses (even “commercial” ones!) as long as you abide by the terms, i.e. give credit and allow others the same rights to the remixes. (See the link to the license text for the details).

If you download and read it, I’d appreciate any helpful opinions you might have.

The current version

Last Update to the Ebook: 2015-Jun-21 (Added .mobi,fixed truncated “Inverted Conjuring” story)

It currently has 57 entries, ranging from only one or two lines of text or dialog in a few cases, up to one complete short-story (“Not Without” aka “Mirror Wraith”) and one complete “meta-fairytale” (i.e within this fictional setting, there is a fictional author or authors who have written stories for this fictional world’s children in the style of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”. “Taken by the Borborygmies” is an example tale from this fictional collection.) For the majority of the entries, if this were a printed paperback each would probably be about 2-3 pages long at most, I think. A majority of them are really just very-short-stories, but some are more like short encyclopedic entries.

It currently references three separate parts of the fictional world:

  • The young Kingdom of Riparialand and its much older down-on-its-luck neighbor, the Republic of Sabbatalia [whose heraldically-awful flag is serving as the cover-image] represent the great majority of the locations in which these scenes and expositions are set. Nothing truly “adventurous” has happened in these places in several generations (until now).
  • There are a couple of mentions of a place where the settlements have names that are blatant parodies of names in a certain famous published setting for “Dungeons & Dragons™”. This is intended to be a place where “Adventurers” are a much more routine part of the culture, but this area won’t likely get much development until later.
  • The Infernal realms, down beneath the surface world, where all the various monster-people (goblins and so forth) live and plot the conquest of the sunlight-loving people above them.