Saturday, August 24, 2013

Memorable Worlds: Rizkaland


My Experience with this World: 

The Rowa was my first world, but Rizkaland, my second, was the one that taught me to have fun while world building. While the Rowa was inspired by Middle Earth, Rizkaland was inspired by Narnia.

When the first of the new Narnia movies came out, I went to go see in on the big screen with my family. This was the last time that we've been able to go to the theater, but ... oh well. Later, my sister, a friend (who shall henceforth be known as Maggy because that is her Rowan name) and I were hanging out at my grandparents house and we were talking about the movie. She had seen it recently, and had also fallen in love with it, though she hadn't read many of the books. (I had read every single one by that point.)

Since all three of us were into acting, we had a Brilliant Idea. There were a few issues that I had with the new movie (the scene involving the fox and the tree annoyed me, as did the fact that S and L sent a messenger to P and E to tell them that Aslan was dead - Edmund wasn't supposed to know that Aslan died for him!!!), so we decided to do the Natural Thing.

Write and perform our own play.

We had a few Problems, however. We were only three girls, so we would have to pull strings and find more friends to play the other parts. However, guys were hard to come by (and making Maggy's younger brother play every male part was not an option) so we changed every part we could to a girl. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy became Petra, Susie, Edna, and Lulu. We didn't have lion or beaver costumes, so Aslan became a giraffe named Jeptha (no relation to the Biblical character) and the beavers became horses (because we did have those costumes). We didn't have a faun costume, so Tumnus became an elf named I-is. (It later changed to Ritis when I was studying Egyptian mythology.) The White Witch became the Snow Witch. Since we were going all out and changing everything (so much for making a book-accurate production, Kenj) we decided to change the name of the world. Instead of Narnia, we named the country the sisters were going to go save ...


Eventually, however, my mother took me aside and informed me that Narnia was copyrighted and I couldn't just plug new names into the plot and call it my own. I had to change ... everything. She told me to stay away from watching or reading anything Narnia related for at least six months, and for the same amount of time, not write on, or even think about Arcaland. (Whose name, she kindly pointed out, was far too similar to Archenland.)

I'll admit that I did cheat a little and I only waited about five and a half months, but ... I'm an impatient person. My head was full to the brim with all sorts of interesting NEW ideas that I'd been gleaning from the other books I'd been reading. The first thing I did was change the name. Not a drastic change, but the word needed a new first syllable. Maggy wanted "Rishcaland," it sounded too much like rickshaw to me. So we did Riscaland. Later, I was playing around with my brother's leap frog alphabet refrigerator magnets, and I decided to get fancy with the lettering. And so it became Rizkaland.

I then decided to change the Snow Witch into a Lady Dragon who made it summer instead of winter (so that no one could go go school). I decided that a giraffe was a bit ... undignified, so Jeptha became a Jaguar. (Because, I reasoned, had Biblical events occurred in the Amazon Rain Forest, jaguars would have been used in place of lions.). I also finally decided to get fancy with the physics. Narnia was a flat world. What could I do to Rizkaland ... Oh, I know! Let's make it a cylinder.

What followed were three scripts in quick succession. Unfortunately, I'd make a huge change before I was finished, and I'd have to start over every single time. I was pretty satisfied with the last version, but we finally decided that making this a play just wasn't going to work. I started writing it in book format.

Rizkaland has worn many faces and held many stories. At one time, every book I was working on at a time was somehow connected. Bookania actually threw me for a loop when I created it, because I had no idea how it might connect to my beloved world. Rizkan characters make cameos in The New Division and in The Trilogy of Secrets. At one time, my pen name was to be Sandra Elizabeth Ned__ (sorry, it's my last name backwards, and I'm not sharing the whole thing with you), a very complicated character who I eventually discovered belonged to a four-dimensional world. I have since removed her and replaced her with a far less complicated Laura. (Though Sandra may or may not make an appearance in another book someday)


The following is the summery of the legend Jeptha's Hill, which is the story of Rizkaland's creation, as summerized in Water Princess, Fire Prince.

In the beginning, Jeptha and His Father, whose Name is beyond speech, made Rizkaland.
When they had finished, they sent for eight humans from another world to rule their new world. Their names were John, Jane, Ralph, Violet, Michael, Michelle, David and Helen. To these children, Jeptha entrusted the rule of the world. These children were given helpers – the Elves. Shanner was the first, and Fnae was his wife.
John and Helen were given charge over plants and the crawling creatures of the earth. Ralph and Jane were given charge over fire and the lightning. Michael and Violet were given charge over the seasons and the weather. David and Michelle were given charge over the rocks of the earth. They were made kings and queens. Shanner was given the Book, which gave advice and prophecies. He was given instructions to record the legends as they occurred, starting with this very one. He was called the Bookholder.
Rizkaland might have been perfect, were it not for the fact that, with the eight children came Queen Amber, the Lady Dragon, and her husband, General Granite.
Amber and Granite came from another world than the eight. First they came from Luna, a dying world. Amber was the queen of a people well-schooled in magic. Granite was the General of a people devoted to war. Theirs had been a marriage of politics. Soon after their marriage, they had discovered the truth, and they were the first in centuries to turn their backs on the wickedness of their people and return to Him who we call Jeptha. When the world was destroyed, they were rewarded for their faith by being given a new world, called Lintooalintae.
They ruled this world wisely and in fear of Him who we call Jeptha for many years. But from their own world they had brought some of the evil magic, unwittingly. They both possessed a cloth, which keep them from aging, and healed them of all sicknesses and wounds that are not instantly killing. Soon evil corrupted them and they turned their backs on Him who we call Jeptha.
When Lintooalintae was a dying world, they fled it to come to Rizkaland in an attempt to possess it. Jeptha refused them it, giving it to the eight children instead. Amber and Granite flew off in a rage and possessed the islands instead.
But it was not in Jeptha’s plan for Amber and Granite to rule all of the islands. He sent for ten more children from the same world from whence came the eight. These children were Klarence, Andrea, Ansul, Isabelle, Theodore, Renae, Aaron, Lucy, Steven, and Jenna. They were given rule over the island Klarand, named for Klarence and Andrea, who ruled the heart of their island. Klarand was the fifth island, which limited Amber and Granite to only the rule of the last island, which is called Amber’s Island.
In order to purge Amber and Granite from their island, each child was given a choice of ability from Jeptha .King Klarence chose the bow. Queen Andrea chose gymnastics. Prince Ansul of Upper Klarand chose martial arts. Princess Isabelle of Upper Klarand chose the sword. Prince Theodore of Lower Klarand chose knowledge. Princess Renae of Lower Klarand chose the needle. Prince Aaron of Ea Klarand chose tracking. Princess Lucy of Ea Klarand chose the horse. Prince Steven of Wea Klarand chose running. Princess Jenna of Wea Klarand chose swimming.
With Jeptha’s help, the Ten purged Amber and Granite from their Island.
The children were given the order to never seek Amber and Granite out, or they would regret the results greatly. Most of them were able to ignore the fact that they existed at all, but John was an impatient and curious individual, and could not resist the temptation to know what happened to them. He and Violet snuck away one day, mounted their steeds, a pair of hinequas, and flew to Amber’s Island.
It was a trap, and Amber and Granite soon had them trapped in their dungeons. They might have perished there; had not Jeptha himself came to their rescue. John and Violet were given their freedom, but in exchange, Amber extracted a promise that she would someday have the rule over all of Rizkaland. Jeptha promised her fifty years, if she could Rizkaland of all its rightful rulers. And, at the end of it, they would have a fearsome battle where they would battle a boy and girl who looked just like them in almost every detail. If they could beat these two, they could rule Rizkaland forever.
For many years, the Eight and the Ten ruled their country and island wisely and well. Then they disappeared without trace, and were never heard from again.

Their children took their thrones, and Shanner and Fnae’s son took his father’s place as Bookholder.


I have drawn maps of Rizkaland, but I can't find any of them at the moment, and I'm not in the mood to draw up a new one. It's a simplistic enough world, however, so explanations won't be too hard.

As I've already mentioned, Rizkaland is a cylindrical world. It's proportions are about those of a 32 oz. can of Tomato Sauce. Short and squat. (I cook a lot of spaghetti, yes, I think in terms of tomato sauce cans.) No one has ever been to the top of the sphere, so no one knows for sure what's up there. (Personally, I think it's Jeptha's country.) No one can get to the bottom because it's submerged in an ocean of fire.

Flowing down from the top are seven Rivs, which are like rivers, only wider. Each holds water of a different color (See here for my post about Rizkan Water), and they are named after the musical notes. RivDo is red, RivRe is orange and so on and so forth until we get to the violet RivTi. These Rivs separate the mainland and the six islands.

The mainland (which is roughly twice the size of Klarand, the largest of the islands), is called Rizkaland, and the world is named after it. (Henceforth, to avoid confusion, it shall merely be "the mainland") In the center of this country is Loray Kastle, which is built around Jeptha's Hill. According to the long version of the legend that shares the name, Jeptha stood on this very hill as he made the world and commissioned the Eight's rule of the mainland. At the moment, I can't think of any other important locations on the mainland.

You might think that the mainland comes before the islands ... and I thought so too for the longest time ... but I recently discovered I was wrong. If you're counting by the colors and names of the Riv's, there are actually two islands that precede it, Amber Island and Klarand. Amber Island is the habitation of Amber and Granite, the Lady Dragon and her husband. Not a nice place to be. Klarand is the largest of the islands, and since its setting of Water Princess, Fire Prince, I've had to spend more time traveling in it, and have therefore become acquainted with the inhabitants.

Klarand is divided into four sections: Upper, Lower, Ea, and Wea. (There is no magnetic field in Rizkaland, so directions go by different names.) In the center is the Kastle, which is built into the Mountain. Since Klarand is only separated by a very crossable RivRe from Amber Island, it therefore must always been on its guard, giving the Kastle the feel of a Medieval fortress while Loray is more Grecian/Fairyland in in appearance. Each of the four sections has a smaller castle/fortress of its own. Just up of the Upper Kastle is the Waterfall, from which RiWa flows (what we would call rivers and Ri's in Rizkaland), and several miles down from the Lower Kastle is the Firefall, from which flows RiFi, which is the only Ri containing fire, and one of the few that travels up rather than down.

These two, RiWa and RiFi, travel to the Mountain, into which they disappear. Inside they form one Ri that is the only known mixture of water and fire - and a very dangerous Ri indeed. No one knows  where it goes, just that it exists.

The only other islands that has been developed in any extent are Chinok Island, Rintae Island, and the Isle of the Talking Beasts, but I don't know enough about any of them to tell you much. Rintae Island is the first after the mainland, and the smallest. Chinok is the second, and the Isle is the last and has a rather junglistic environment. I do not know the identity of the island between Chinok and the Isle. I just know that it exists.

Oh, before I go, I'd like to mention some more of my really cool physics in Rizkaland. First of all, tree leaves only turn green in fall. Otherwise they're any other color in the rainbow. I tell you Prince Theodore's reasoning for this, but it's a long and boring lecture and I don't rightly understand it myself.

Also, there are several ways to travel very fast in Rizkaland. Firstly, you could try a Door. These aren't actually doors, but rather doormats that can be placed anywhere and all you have to do is stand on one, say a certain password, and you'll show up on its counterpart doormat wherever it may be. However, these only exist on the mainland, though I'm not sure why. In Loray, there is a huge room full of these doormats so that anyone, anywhere, has access to the castle at all times.

The other travel method are the Hills. In the heart of every island (including Chinok, though the inhabitants don't know it) there is a replica of Jeptha's Hill, about half its size. These are mostly used as places of worship, but they are also modes of travel between the islands to the mainland. Klarand also has a replica hill about a quarter the size of the real thing in each of its smaller castles.

Peoples and Culture:

There are two main peoples in Rizkaland, the humans and the elves. There is also a selection of Talking Animals of My Own Creation, but they mostly stick to their own isle.

With the exception of the Isle of Talking Beasts, humans rule every single island. (And with the exception of Chinok, every island gives its allegiance to the mainland.) The elves, almost without exception, do not mind this arrangement. They are a more spiritually-minded people, and prefer to be the prophets and priests rather than the kings. Also, unlike your traditional elves of Tolkien lore, they possess neither super-human intelligence nor strength and skills. They have great memories, especially those in the immediate family of the Bookholder (more on this to come), but while they are good at storing facts, putting this knowledge to practical use can evade them. Physically, they are delicate creatures, none of them gaining a height of more than five feet. An overweight elf is a rarity that is almost unheard of. They do have pointed ears (can't change everything, now can I?) but it is a very delicate that can be overlooked if your not looking for it.

To compensate for their weaknesses, each has a special gift. Some can run fast, some can breath underwater, some can fly, and so on and so forth. Many gifts are common, such as lightening-quick fingers (very handy for sewing and other detail work), others are rare, such as healing touch. These gifts are given to the elves in the form of a small wooden box about the size of a quarter on an elf-child's twelfth birthday. Once the box is opened, they will wear the box around their neck for the rest of their lives. (This is thanks to a type-o that Miss Jack posted on Facebook once. I told her that she inspired me.) Elves age slower than humans, so a twelve-year-old is closer to the age of eight, and eighteen is more like thirteen. They do not reach maturity until they age of twenty-five. The average life-span of an elf is 140-150 years, as compared to the human lifespan of 80-100, which is better than their earth life-expectancy, but still not as great as the elves.

The only elf of great importance in all of Rizkaland is the Bookholder. As mentioned in the legend of Jeptha's Hill he is in possession of a special Book that contains prophecies, orders, and advise from Jeptha himself. He is the only one who can read it, but anyone, day or night, rich or poor, small or great, has access to him at any time, since his quarters are only just down the hall from the Hall of Doors (which is, as you may remember, just a big room full of doormats). He is also the keeper of the legends. In Rizkaland, the word legend has a different meaning than it does in our world. Here it is a story based on fact by we have no idea what of it is real and what isn't. In Rizkaland, every word of every legend is undeniable, set in stone fact as recorded by the Bookholder of its time as told to him by multiple eyewitnesses. Even if he himself was an eyewitness, he will have others at hand to verify facts and fill in details. A shorter version of the legend will written down first, followed by a much longer version that includes all the details. A Bookholder has the best memory of any elf, as it is his job to recite the legends at important events (usually the short version, but on very special occasions, it might be the long version), and every Bookholder has a storytelling voice that is impossible to ignore.

Also important are the daughters, and at times, greanddaughters of the Bookholder. These are called Bookdaughters, and like the Bookholder, they have amazing memories and magic storytelling voices. However, once they have had their eighteenth birthdays (another important birthday, but I won't say why for the sake of time), they are also prophetesses in their own right. In hours of great importance when the Book is not on hand, they will sometimes speak prophecies. However, they are usually unaware of what they say when they do so, so they are also used when a prophecy is private and only one person needs to hear it.

The eight kings and queens on the Mainland each has a gift like the elves. However, while each elf has his own personal wooden gift box that stays with them their whole life and is buried with them, the royal boxes are made of silver and are passed down from parent to children. They close upon their death, and whichever of their children who can open it becomes the next king or queen. A spouse is then chosen for the chosen heir with the box of the surviving parent, which also closed. Once a new king and queen are selected, they are crowned, tied together, and everything goes on business as usual.

There are no marriage ceremonies in Rizkaland (actually, they may exist in Chinok, but I've already mentioned that Chinok doesn't follow the rules). Instead, they have tying ceremonies. The young man and woman travel to Jeptha's Hill or one of the replicas, where their hands will be tied together with special leather cords and left to spend the night just them and Jeptha. By morning, the cords will disappear to sight, though they can be felt by the tied parties for several hours after that. This is actually an engagement ceremony, but it is as serious as our marriage ceremonies (and perhaps mores so, since divorce is an unthinkable crime). Marriage is a private affair. Humans must be at least sixteen before you can be tied however, and usually they only permit that young age in the case of the kings and queens. (Elves wait until they are twenty-five). If either of the chosen heirs are younger than sixteen, they will be tied together with normal ribbon as a symbol that they will be tied someday, which will happen on the younger's sixteenth birthday. If this date is near enough, they might just wait to hold the ceremonies then.

Marriage between elves and humans is not permitted, for it would be unproductive. (There are actually, two exceptions to this rule, but the humans were very special, but I can't go into that at this moment as it's an important plot point for a future book.)

There are two languages spoken in Rizkaland (three if you count the language of the Chinoks). Most people use English for everyday use. But for special occasions of grave important, they use Rizkan, which was my second attempt at making up my own language. (My first was Kendrish, but Rizkan has absorbed most of that childish language, so it really doesn't count) It is an unchanging language, but not a strict one. Its chief charm is how it's written. Unlike our language, where we write every word individual, spaces are only used between sentences. Like so:

SheaTuaWintinArka. KlillyNoahaJin? AkAkTanaJinTanaJin!

(Those are actually the only three phrases that I can say off the top of my head. They mean "We will never retreat" "Did you win?" and "Attack, attack, to win, to win!" I can also say Yefae (yes) and Nalow (no) but the words of greeting and farewell have slipped my mind. I do know, however that greetings and farewells are always accompanied by the placing of a fist over their heard. A person will also lower their head slightly when addressing someone in command over them. This is to say that their rule. The person in command will look in whatever direction up is, as to say that they gain their rule from Jeptha. If they are disoriented and don't know which way is up, they will glance towards the sky.

Of course, before I go, I shall talk about some of the animals I made up for this world. There are a few animals that nearly identical to our own animals, and go by the same names, but most are very different.

My favorites are my four types of horses. Truth be known, all of them were actually created with the Rowa in mind, but they've all migrated to Rizkaland. (Truth be known, my sister and another friend of ours Gardenia by her Rowan name, helped me come up with a two of them.) First is the Rowanda. Rowanda means, literally, Rainbow Horse, and it is a fitting name, as they come in any color in the rainbow. They are also very, very fast, and can leap very far. It's not an exaggeration to say that one can run around the whole of Rizkaland for it's morning run.

Second are the Hinequas (pronounced hen-ee-KWA, but I haven't learned what it means yet, perhaps Wing Hoof). They are magnificent winged horses, and they only come in the colors silver, gold, bronze, copper, and white. Once in a while there are reports of black ones, but this is rare. They can, um, fly. Very well, and carry up to two passengers.

Third are the Harandas, which means Horned Horse, which is fitting since they all have a single spiral horn in the middle of their foreheads. Like the Rowandas, they can come in any color, but they tend to be the deeper shades (so much color that they are almost black until the light hits them just right and they ripple with color) or so white with the faintest drops of color. Harandas love running, but they don't have the speed of the Rowandas or Hinequas. However, if they need to get anywhere very fast, they can blur themselves to anywhere they have been before. In fact, it is hairs from the tails of hinequas that make the Doors work.

Fourth are the Kiallas, which means phantoms. They are nearly invisible, appearing to be made of pure glass. Occasionally there is a colored tint to them. I really don't know anything else about them.

My other favorite animal is the Quaggleshump. It's a large bird about twice the size of a condor. It resembles a pelican, but is bright purple and has what looks like donkey ears. They are quite ridiculous, but has quite a tasty meat. I've been told it tastes like chicken. It is possible to ride them, but very few are intelligent enough to know what do do with a rider.

The king of the Isle of Talking Beasts is a very old centaur who goes by simply the Centaur. It is unknown if he has another name or if he is capable of dying.

What I like about this world:

The fact that is so well developed. I have lived so long in this world that visiting is like coming home for a holiday. I love all my crazy physics, all of my adorable animals, and most of all, the stories set against its backdrop. It's also a changing world. In book two, the eight rulers of the mainland will be reduced to six, and in book four, it will be raised to ten. Even Amber, the villainess, only lasts for the first two books (whereupon I shall have to seek new villains).

What I don't like:

The fact that there's still so much left that I don't know. It's frustrating. Who or what lives on that next to the last island? How big is it? Does popcorn grow there? (I've already discovered that they don't have chocolate or bananas ...)

What I learned from this world: 

Have fun! Take risks! If I want to have water in all seven colors of the rainbow, I can! Elves don't have to be superhuman. I can put type-os to use! History is a fluid, changing thing. Timelines can be valuable.

Oh, and time travel can be fun too. There is some in this world. So can cameo appearances in other books.

These world-building posts are for the promotion of the upcoming release of my book The Ankulen. Feel free to do one yourself, just make sure you refer back to my blog and let your readers know about my upcoming book. If you do write a post, post a link in a comment somewhere on my blog and I'll add you to a giveaway for a copy of my book.

On another lovely note, I should be receiving my proof copy of The Ankulen today! I'm so excited!


  1. You should see Kendra cook or wash dishes while making this stuff up ... it can be quite amusing.

    On a side note, one of her baby sister's (Sunshine)early first words was "Quaggleshump" .. which would reduce the then 2 year old into endless giggles.

  2. I applaud your ingenuity, Kendra! It takes a truly original mind to world-build "outside the box" as it were (or rather, outside the globe?) and play around with familiar concepts and Creatures. I enjoyed reading your treatise on Rizkland--now I want to read your books and get better acquainted with it and its inhabitants!

    God bless,
    ~"Tom wild Rose"~

    "Quaggleshump"--I love it! Ooh-hah!


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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