Time to go on a journey, booknerds! Today I’m transporting you to the new world I’ve crafted for my Eerden novels. That’s right! Today I’m bringing you into this new world, specifically to the continent of Erhard where the first book takes place. Eerden is a massive world with several continents, but I’ll be showing each continent one by one as the books move to new locations. I worked with the super talented Sarah with The Sketch Dragon in order to bring Erhard to life, and it’s my pleasure to introduce you to this continent, and some of the cities the first book in the series visits.
So let’s start with the continent itself, Erhard, and the city the book starts off in--Euria. Fun fact: the shape of Erhard was inspired by Australia, and that’s roughly the size of the continent too, just to give you some perspective. Erhard is a dead continent though for the most part. The resources are drained, regulated to the cities, big and small, as those with natural magical abilities unknowing form a symbiotic relationship with their home areas. Their magic drains the land, bust sustains the place where they live, making an oasis of sorts. In between the cities there may be a few forests, fields that can support grass, but the soil is dead, nothing grows there. Then you get these long stretches, such as the Saxa Desert, where monsters dwell, hunting people with magic, making these areas even more of a no-man’s land. I’ve just always loved the idea of these big lands with lots of cities, but with such clear borders in between where there’s almost nothing between them.
I live in a sprawling city currently, so the idea of things ending in nothing appeals to me personally, mainly because it’s not a reality I currently have. But, I do live in a major city so being cramped with lots of people and high rises is something I am intimately familiar with: the noise, the long shadows of high rises, the areas you avoid at night because of crime, the pollution, the ability to get lost in a crowd surrounded by strangers even in the place you live. So those are the kind of cities that populate Erhard. Massive, bustling cities with skyscrapers so high they punch right through the skyline so people at the bottom can never see the top, let alone the stars.
Euria is such a city. Think of New York City, Downtown Los Angeles, and Bangkok all combined together just to give you a sense of the 1. Scale of this massive city and 2. How metropolitan it is. Euria is one GIGANTIC city that tappers out at the edges into farmland that makes it self-sufficient, before ending abruptly in dead, uninhabitable land. Euria thrives off capitalism where people are always struggling to move up (sometimes literally) and to get out of the ground levels that are polluted with the exhaust from the aerial and other ground vehicles. Euria is constantly growing up, as it can’t grow out. And while it has senators and lobbyists, an elected governor, and police that keep the peace alongside their android guard bots, there is a constant struggle between the legitimate government and the underground crime lords. The most powerful crime lords in Euria, and most places in Erhard, are casters with extreme elemental magic. Often these types combine their magic with technology with devastating effects. The government outlaws this magitech, but that doesn’t stop it. All the government can do to keep control is to have better emporiums, better technology and bio-tech and regulate the hell out of everything to various degrees. But, if they are powerful enough, the crime lords always find a way around those regulations and hide behind legitimate business, or help the elected officials with their casting ability, so they remain relatively untouched. Which is the case in Euria, whose underground crime boss is an earth and fire caster; his abilities help with the farmland so allowances are made to overlook some of his other criminal activities.
The other major locations the first book takes place in is Amaru and Anzor. Anzor, being a major city-state, is similar to Euria in many ways, though they survive mainly on their industry and therefore trade for food. As all the cities on Erhard are city-states, they are all run pretty independently of one another with loose agreements with the other governing bodies on travel between locations, and laws that keep the continent from constantly waring with other city-states. But not all city-states are the massive centers that Euria and Anzor are, case in point—Amaru. While still massive by today’s standards for a city, places like Amaru are not nearly as large or as built up as its bigger brethren. The luxuries are not as prevalent, there are more ground bound vehicles and people, there’s more of a gap between the poor and the rich, as the casters that dwell in these places aren’t as powerful as those in places like Anzor. There’s a reason for that: most casters cannot leave the city of their birth without their natural, elemental abilities being significantly weakened. A less powerful caster may want to go to another city and try their hand at operating there, but then they risk being completely powerless, which kind of defeats the point for them. In Amaru, the most powerful caster there, who also happens to be a criminal (absolute power corrupts absolutely and all that jazz) is nowhere near as powerful as the ones in Euria or Anzor, so it’s probably best for him to stay where he is, as he wouldn’t survive anywhere else!
So there you have it, friends! A little peek behind the curtain at the world that will be on full display in my upcoming books. It’s been such a fun world to create, a cyberpunk far future world but full of magic and incredible technology. The world of Eerden is ripe for adventure, conflict, and wonder, full of powerful, broken people all just trying not to be crushed under the weight of industry. Tell me what you think, and I hope you enjoy the map Sarah made as much as I do!