The Land of the Seven Fresh Water Seas
This is my first novel’s setting. I plan to do a whole series of intertwined novels based on this setting. I will be posting samples and excerpts here as well as other artwork related to the series as we go.
Where did Akiniwazi come from?
The name is a corruption of the Ojibwe words for the subtitle of this page. About 13 years ago as near as I can reckon I came up with the thought when I joined a AD&D group of Christian men with Benjamin Lasiewicz as it’s DM and got to experience his creation of Rowath. I wanted to play a monk, but there were no monks in his world, and I did not feel comfortable playing with the Christian allegory religion he and Miah Oestreich had created. But they were kind and allowed me to create a monk from an alternate reality to play and introduce a little creativity from me into the mix. So I got to play Brother Reimar of the Havarian Order and his dog, Lily.
And that was the seed.
But the seed did not grow yet. Nope. More was destined to come to the mix. Some time later, I was playing one of my favorite games, Civilization (I don’t remember which iteration) and my people managed to discover Steam Power without discovering gunpowder. Bwuhhhh??? What a bizarre thing to see. So it got me thinking what a medieval society would look like if it had steamships and railroads… but no guns. Some really interesting though experiments took place but still this wasn’t enough. Though the character, now long having run his course continued to pick at the back of my head.
So I started to put together several ideas floating in my head that screamed to be heard. Now, mind you, at first, I thought this would be nothing more than a gaming resource for either Palladium, or D20 or something else. I originally spent time trying to craft this thought experiment into form. But it never quite congealed. Instead a few thoughts began to stick though. What came about to create the foundation of Akinwazi was the following:
- The thought experiment of what a Medieval society would look like if steam power was discovered but gunpowder or any explosives were not.
- Great Lakes and upper Midwest lore, myth and history. I am a Wisconsinite through and through often saying “I’m a Cheesehead, born and bred.”
- What if the Vikings had discovered North America… and stayed?
- Why isn’t there a decent, non-allegorical Christian fantasy universe that I’ve found that I enjoy?
Now mind you that last one is pure confirmation bias. I generally don’t like fantasy novels… well to be honest, I’m just really picky. So I don’t read it very often. That’s mostly because of my walk with Christ, I have to stay far away from paganism and occult based writing that is the foundation of almost all fantasy out there. Maybe I’ll share my testimony some day, but not today or here. Needless to say, the fact that I am writing fantasy at all is quite the irony to me.
So I sat on this bouillabaisse of ideas for years, trying to hammer it into shape for a gaming resource with no luck. The idea was so massive, so rich, so heavy, I just couldn’t lift it out of my skull into any coherent format! Madness! Madness I tells you! I had so many false starts or failures to complete this thing.
But. Isn’t there always a ‘but’ out there?
I had a lone loose thread: Brother Reimar. I loved playing that character, and the campaign he was in had always been one of my favorites. I kept looking back and saying “I’d really like to tell his story.” Then one day, I said it was time to do it, and so I rolled my sleeves up and started typing. But I couldn’t just start with Brother Reimar and Lily from a cold start. No. I kept seeing him as a 10 year old boy about to be taken away from the life he had known to become a monk! Argh! My brainal like substances! I have to create so much more???
Yep. I had to. And what came forth was the framework in which all those years of thinking and pondering could hang on. That meant all the time I had spent on it was no longer worthless! I just had to put it together on the back of a 10 year old boy, lost and confused on his way to become the character I had enjoyed playing.
And along the way, Reimar took over and started telling me his story. Then the people involved in his life came in and started telling me their tales as well. I was flabbergasted with how things grew. What I thought would be a simple trilogy of short books now was growing beyond even what I considered into an epic. One of my readers laughed at me when I said this was going to be short. He claimed it would be lucky to be less than 2000 pages.
Well Francois… you’re probably right, God willing. Stop gloating already.
And that is where Akiniwazi has come from.
I will be releasing resources about the world over time here so you can enjoy the story better as we move forward.
Thank you for your interest.