Worldbuilding Blogfest Day 5 – Catalyst Worldbuilding Excerpt

Wow, day 5 already! Okay . . . I wanted to finish the map hubby was working on for me, but I ended up with a migraine last night, so that didn’t happen. It MIGHT still happen at some point this afternoon/evening, but hubby has a dentist appointment in two hours, so it’ll all depend on how he’s feeling after that (he’s probably going to need a tooth pulled :/ ).

Also depends on how quickly I finish this synopsis. *pokes it like a dead animal – with a very long stick from very far away*

I’d really like to get my OWFI entries in well BEFORE the midnight deadline. I’d like to be asleep before 11 pm for a change.

Day 5 – Worldbuilding Excerpt

This excerpt is from Chapter 4 of Catalyst, an interaction between Taphim & Sachi, the two main characters. It’s . . . somewhere around a thousand words. Don’t really remember at the moment. (FYI: Sachi POV, the first line of dialogue is Taphim’s.)


“Teach me. Teach me why this is so important. I do . . . want to know about you. About the people who shaped who you are.”

My smile stretched from ear to ear as I tugged him closer to me. We sat cross-legged next to each other and I picked up one of the parchments. With soft, reverent tones, I began to read and explain the Rishka to him.

Every human has the potential for good or evil within their hearts. The Rishka have always done what they could to pursue the good. Our strict code of morals and disciplines were not kept out of obligation, but because we love to change and grow. To continually better ourselves.”

My eyes fell shut as I remembered the nights spent around the fire with my family as Mama and Father shared the histories with us. I opened my eyes again, turning to see his face, before I continued.

“The Rishka and the Kashtophim used to be one race.”

The look of shock spread across his face shocked me. Have the Kashtophim truly forgotten their origins?

“It was generations ago when a man named Kash rebelled. He wouldn’t have had to if he’d spoken with the elders, they would have told him it was perfectly acceptable to have questions and doubts. We all do at some point.

“Instead, he decided the Rishka life was not for him, and he began to live his own life separate from the ways of our ancestors. But he didn’t want to just live his own life – he wanted the rest of the Rishka to see there was freedom away from the disciplines.

“He didn’t understand when very few of us even listened to what he had to say, that we each chose to live as Rishka. So he left. None of the Rishka heard from him for many years. And when we did . . . it was far too late.

“He had married, many times over, started a family, and made allies. He gained wealth through ways unacceptable to the Rishka – using weighted scales in the markets and the exploitation of his fellow brethren. He acquired land – the land that had belonged to our ancestors – and charged exorbitant taxes and rent, but he offered something the Rishka didn’t. He offered a life without accountability, without consequences. Many of the younger generations liked that better than the Rishka ways.

“He began to amass an army on his side, led by his sons and daughters. He’d told them the Rishka stole his rightful inheritance. The truth was his father had given away the inheritance as he saw fit, because the Rishka shared  wealth freely with those who had need. If he’d simply asked, it would have been restored to him.

“There was a battle. The Rishka were outnumbered, and soon it became apparent if we were to survive an agreement would have to be struck. So we surrendered – our wealth and freedom in exchange for our beliefs.

“Generations passed. The Rishka forgot what it was to be free. We thought if we did what the Kashtophim wanted they would eventually forget about us and leave us alone. We were confined to the poorest, most run-down parts of the cities – unless we denounced our ancestors and the Kveres – and it was easy to lose our newer generations to the seduction and wealth of the children of Kash.”

“The Kveres?”

I inhaled and exhaled slowly. How would I explain the Kveres? I’d never been required to define this before. “They-” No, they wasn’t right, but neither was it. “Your language doesn’t have an equivalent word. Fate or destiny is similar, but the Kveres is more like . . . hmm . . . the force behind fate? And it is . . . cognizant.”

Taphim looked puzzled, but I didn’t know any other way to explain the Kveres. I hummed quietly, trying to think of a better way to explain, but he noticed my distress.

“Don’t worry about it, Sachi. You left off when the Rishka were being confined.”

I gathered my thoughts for just a moment, remembering when in history that happened. Ah.

“Soon there were more of the children of Kash than there were of the Rishka, and our existence became intolerable. They didn’t start hunting us down immediately, though. It began with people – especially children – disappearing, never to be seen again. Those with positions in the judicial system began to look the other way, eventually condoning it, when the Rishka became targets of crimes and persecution. It was soon commonplace for false accusations to be targeted at the Rishka.

“The Eye of Kash was constructed by the second Kash, this you probably know.”

Taphim nodded, but a confused look crossed his face. I paused, certain a question would be following momentarily.

“It has been said the Eye was constructed by the Rishka. Why?”

With a sigh, I gently gnawed at my lip, thinking. There was a fine line I would be treading here, because it involved the Namings.

“At our Namings, we are changed. It is responsible for the visible difference in our eyes, as well as . . .” How should I say this?

“It grants us access to power. Power that cannot be revoked or denied, even if one turns away from the Kveres. It was Rishka who turned to the Kashtophim ways who helped construct the Eye.”

A spark flashed through his eyes, curiosity surely. Kveres, help me answer his questions wisely. Help me know when I shouldn’t answer them at all.

“If the power remained after turning away, why has the power died out? Could they not have passed it on to their children still?”

I was fairly sure I could explain that one easily. “No. There are safeguards set up in the rituals, and specific criteria must be met by the officiant, and the authority is bestowed, not inherited.”


If you would like to read more of Catalyst, you can find the first three chapters posted for NaNo Virtuosos. 😉