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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Writing "Colonies" Part X: Mapping Gemenon

If you've been reading my stuff for a while, you know I love mapping things.

I haven't made maps for every book in the Colonies series thus far, but when I begin to have to deal with multiple locations and making references in dialogue, it seems like the right thing to do.

Without further ado, here's the map I've crafted for Book Two: Gemenon:

Click to embiggen

There's a lot to say about this, but I don't want to.  I don't want to spoil the story too much.

Here are some basics, though.

Gemenon was initially named Pollux by the exiles from Kobol, because it was in a mutual orbit with Caprica (then called Castor).  The people of Virgo (you'll discover) became powers across the four systems and they called the planet Gemini.  Circa 800 years after colonization, the Virgo came to Gemenon and brought with them gold, some technology, and their languages: a high language (Latin) and a common tongue (Old English).  Over the years, the Latin evolved and became "Proto Gemenese," which is actually known as Macedo-Romanian or Aromanian on Earth (This is the real linguistic history of Romanian, by the way.  It evolved from Vulgar Latin to Aromanian to Romanian.  What was referred to as "Old Gemenese" on BSG and Caprica is, in fact, Romanian.).  Thanks to this influence, the name for their own planet at around YR 1150 is "Dzeamin" (almost pronounced like the "G" in "Gemini"), which is Aromanian for "twin."

The second half of the book takes place at about 1150 at an important time of religious strife.  The cities along the Gramada Mountains in the west are all monotheist strongholds.  There, they speak a kind of "Neo Olympian," evolved from the tongue spoken on Old Kobol.  The "Retreat" you see near Moreni is the fortress that was largely in ruins by the time of Caprica, and home to the Monad Church and the STO.  (It's what's on the cover of Book Two.)

The other cities are polytheist and had direct contact with the Virgo.  Their names are Romanian/Aromanian/Macedonian/etc.  Some of the titles they use may be derived from Latin or Old English.  For example, a cavalry unit from Calafatis is called a "horsefyrd," after the Old English terms for armies and navies ("landfyrd" and "shipfyrd").  The key conflicts in the second half of the book arise because, for a couple of centuries, both Virgo and Leo waged a kind of economic war with each other through Gemenon, which led to massive deforestation.  The trees of the Great Forest were larger than any others in the colonies and their wood more hardy.  This made them a desirable commodity and helped fund the rise of many cities near the forest.  But the rapid loss of the trees and the lack of care given to the empty space so near the windswept plains of the north has led to desertification.  The desert now creeps closer to these cities and withers their resources.  By the time of BSG, the forest will be completely gone and the desert dominates the continent.

I explained quite a bit more than I intended.  Oh well.

A couple of other tidbits?  Gallia on the map is a town named after the Galleon, the largest ship of the "caravan of the heavens" that fled Kobol, and marks the place where the exiles landed.  Oranu becomes the capital of the planet later on.  Illumini is kind of the planet's religious center, too, in later years as it contains the Pantheon and the Kobol Colleges.

I'm having fun writing about pseudo-medieval times and I'm trucking along.

Thanks for reading.