Writing Mondays are all about Space-wolf’s projects – mainly Sons of Lur.
Last week we covered the origin of magic with a little bit of the major faiths in Rhegan. This week we’ll be looking at the peoples of Rhegan and it’s surrounding lands. And because I’m … *ahem* … lazy, we’ll look at the Kotorai first.
Did you know I’m “casting” Sons of Lur? You may or may not agree with the current choices, but take a quick sneak peek at the list here. Some characters may change as sections are written, but between you me, it’s an oscar winner for sure …
The people of Kotorai, or the Nine Counties, are ruled by an Empress, or rather “The Empress”.
The reigning family of these lands are the Zhou Clan, a tempestuous family that has had many daughters. The land is ruled by women and tradition has it that the Empress has nine daughters, one for each of the nine lands given by the All-Mother. The daughters begin to make a special mask on the eve of their twelfth birthday and spend nine years crafting it as they travel the lands, learning a little of each kingdom they may govern. On their twenty-first birthday they open the box to see which mask they have made, and which kingdom they have been destined to rule. They then leave their family and become the ruling heir of another clan. These sister clans do not have daughters and the new Imperial heir takes up her place as the eldest child, learning the comings and goings of her new people until she reaches the ages of twenty-five and takes her place on the Council of Nine.
The masks take the form of types of foxes, illustrating the characteristics of their destined Clan. With the Imperial White Fox forming the mask of the Queen. Arctic Foxes are considered sacred for their pure pelt and their changing coat, gifted by the Goddess to mark them as her servants.
The Empress only has nine daughters whose ages fall nine years apart from youngest to oldest. Until the time of the reign of Zhou Wei, no Empress has ever birthed ten daughters. Zhou Wei has been the unfortunate one to have given birth to twins and has ten daughters aged nine years apart. This has lead to an unfortunate dilemma, and the belief that Zhou Wei has been cursed.
Kotorans are wary of magic and dragons from their tormented history during the Long Night and any magic user discovered in their borders can be killed on sight.
The current daughters (of interest) are:
Zhou Tianyi: 9th youngest daughter of Zhou Wei, this little minx has been crowned Empress. Claimed to be Zhou Wei’s favourite, she has been primed and trained from a young age to accept her place as Empress. However, she has made very few friends amongst the other daughters and there are rumours that she worships a dark God in the depths of her chambers.
Zhou Cai: 10th youngest daughter of Zhou Wei, she has been told she was unwanted from the moment she was born. Just as Tianyi has been trained to rule, Cai has been trained to be her sister’s servant. She has developed a poorly controlled shape-shifting talent that is unheard of in the Kotoran people.
Yu: Meifeng: Eldest of Zhou Wei’s daughters and one of the three daughters of the Royal Consort. Servant of the All-Mother and leader of the Yu Clan, Meifeng has been a wise friend to Cai, almost a mother to her. It is she who holds the knowledge of the whereabouts of the Great Library and through her the party find the centre of the Labyrinth.
Lin An and Lei Wu: The third and fourth daughters of Zhou Wei, the twins who are believed to have caused Zhou Wei’s curse. An is the quiet silvered diplomat to Rhegan whilst her sister is the famous leader of the Kotoran army, a skilled if ruthless woman trained in the art of war.
If you can’t tell, I’ve drawn my inspiration of the Kotoran from medieval chinese and japanese mythology, working in my interest in oriental culture and costume. Part of my interest comes from Lian Hearn’s Tales of the Otori books and films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “The Banquet” and “House of Flying Daggers”. I hope that I get to write a major section of the novel in this kingdom, or at least give you a glimpse into this world. Maybe in the future you will get to spend more time here.