Akiniwazi is a complex project. It’s roots are based in some big philosophical questions:
- Can you make a Christian based “magic system”?
- What would the world look like if the Vikings discovered the New World
- What would a civilization look like if it discovered steam power but not gunpowder?
Number two and three have been possibly some of the most fun while number one has been the most trying. When laying out the rules of the world in my mind, and on many scraps of paper (I tell you if this thing becomes a blockbuster, there are going to be so many scraps of real source material floating around for collectors after I die if I don’t burn them). The biggest, even before I realized the alternative history aspects that are many of its roots is that this is based on the philosophy of what I call the “War Behind the Veil”. The idea that there is a war between God and his rebellious creations following Lucifer and the effects it has on the physical world.
Now, originally, this was to be a complete fantasy world with nothing in common to Earth and the world as we knew it. But… I hit upon a huge problem: How can you have Jesus and Christianity in truth, if you tamper with the the world and make it all fantasy.
I was stuck!
I realized you could not have that if there were any changes done to the “Old World” of Asia, Africa and Europe. I had to leave them be, untouched and historically the same. That single realization was a terror to overcome. How could I have this setting I envisioned with the world being exactly as it was historically? Then I stumbled upon it,
The New World can be totally different!
The map was mutable. I could make the new world and have it all the way I wanted, save for one last issue: The Skaerslinger.
It is painfully obvious that I have taken heavily from Native American cultures. The names of the lakes are taken from corrupted translations of Ojibwa words, for example. But something I want totally divorced from this is to make the Skaerslinger anything like the actual indigenous people. While the old world medieval Viking culture and related materials have to be at least honestly researched (maybe not perfect, but darn good enough to satisfy all but the biggest nerds/experts who will pick at this), I needed to abandon the same level of research and historical accuracy to the Skaerslinger.
I can’t do this, because I am not going to be accused of hate speech or racism (though some might try it anyway) because they want real world accuracy on their cultures in a fantasy novel. So there is a big reason why I have thrown historical research for all New World cultures out the window and thrown in multiple influences into the mix from Celts, Cossack to Zulu to Aztec and Inca. Plus many other ideas I have that make for a good ‘spice palette’ of the culture as it develops.
There are some very strong black and white lines because that is the nature of the novel, but I do not want to have anyone claim I’m saying “insert Native American culture is Satanic”. I’m not, and will not. But there is a reason for the structure, what I have to say and what is to come. It will be illustrated throughout the entire series.
So that’s the strange dichotomy. All things in the old world and before the discovery of Akiniwazi are going to be considered as truthful and attempts will be made to make it accurate. The New World, its people and geography and events there are a rapidly diverging splinter timeline and world from the base because it is fantasy and it MUST be. This gives me freedom to create from raw cloth as well as just spice things up a bit from time to time, or even take interesting aspects from those cultures and use them as a template.
Many of these things will not really come about till book 3-4 I think, but you’ll see hints as we go.
BTW, I am toying with releasing another sample chapter as it passes through the third or fourth edit. Let me know below if you want to see another chapter out of the book!