Friday, April 8, 2011

H is For History

When reading C. J. Snasom's Soverign, one of the things that comes into question is how history is formed and perceived by the people living today. There are older books that cover events and laws that become... shall we say, inconveinent and are purged from the archieves. But this isn't a universal purge as a few places that are out of the way still have this knowledge.

But not only that, but there are still some older people who recall the actual events.

Imagine a setting though, where there are elves, dwarves, and other long lived, if not immortal creatures. This rewriting of history doesn't necessarily become impossible, but it becomes more tangled. After all, it's not like people don't lie, even to themselves of older events or aren't above trying to make themselves look good, as a certain mage in The First Law series of books showed.

But outside of trying to recapture the truth of the past, either for the sake of knowing the truth or because there is vital information that is needed, history can have tremendous weight. After all, H is also for Holiday and it's not like someone just wakes up one day and announces something is now going to be celebrated. That's not impossible after all as Sienfield and Festivus proved but for the most part, holidays are build or corrupted from older events and then tied into more modern events to align themselves more popularly with todays ideas.

History can also be found in the very buildings that a city is build of. The materials and stylings of the old town may be different than the new town which may be different than the noble ward which may be different than the merchant ward and so on. History can also be found in the different styles of painting, music, dress and even outward attitudes.

When looking at your fantasy city, think about what events have given the city weight. Which events has the city hidden? Which events have become wide spread and celebrated? Which events does the city vow will never happen again? Which events has the city at one time vowed would never happen again but vigilance has long since cooled?