DreamHaven Castle Synopsis

Taking place in a "swords and sorcery" fantasy world, Dreamhaven follows a noble in his efforts to create permanent peace on a continent shared by 6 races.  The immediate story takes place after the noble led the 6 races in a coalition to defeat an invading army apparently determined to destroy or enslave the entire continent.

The continent is broken into 4 major nations, dominated by the four most powerful races; human, elvish, dwarves and orcs.  Each has traditionally controlled a different region of the continent and sourounding islands they share.  The two remaining races, goblins and giants, are largely disenfranchised and displaced, without homelands, existing within the confines of other nations and facing discrimination in all four.  The various groups have different rivalries and relationships, but there is a perpetual tension and possibility for war.  The races are deeply divided, with intolerance on all sides.

This dynamic is shaken when a new race arrives by sea, and quickly crushes the defenses of all 6 races in an overwhelming and unified military campaign.

Davis Trent, a young human noble, rises to prominence during this time. As the "handicapped" son of a prominent noble family, Davis grew up with wealth and privilege, but experiences that introduced him to the injustice and inequity of the status quo.  Through a series of life challenges, he developed a vision of a world based on tolerance, collaboration, and equitable justice.

Davis is a strategic and political genius, with access to wealth and status in the human nation.  The war throws the established system into dissaray, and opens the door for him to create a coalition of the 6 races to defeat the invaders.

The war lasts 6 years, and though the Pangea nations are eventually victorious, all six are devasted, and face tremendous challenges in rebuilding.  Taking advantage of this period of fluxuation, Davis seeks to cement the continent-wide coalition, and build a permanent collaboration among the six races.

To pursue this vision, Davis creates Dreamhaven, a settlement on a previously undiscovered island.  Dreamhaven will be a joint project, representing a peace-time collaboration by the four major nations and involving all 6 races.  Davis's goal is for Dreamhaven to become a cross-cultural center for commerce, culture and politics.  The story begins here, with his efforts to intially establish Dreamhaven.

During this process, there will be political struggles within and between all six races, the return of the invaders, and a quest to answer questions about the origin of Pangea and the invaders.

Story Activities:  So, the entire epic revolves around founding Dream Haven, a special community, centered in the middle of pangea, where the various races will begin to live and work together, in the beginning of a new era of collaboration between the nations.  The goal is to have a close alliance between all the races, and a continent build on a foundation of peace and collaboration.

Davis's life is the vehicle for this creation.  His childhood and status give him resources to exploit and insight about a better world.  The war, as a destabilizing social force, opens the door to create change.  The main part of the story takes place after the war, when he is building his power base and the connection between the nations in dh valley.  

I have the vision of telling the whole history of Pangea eventually, and buidling connections to explain how it comes to be that Davis had the vision and ability to make it happen.  And it does happen, although in the realistic, political, messy sort of way that such things happen; there are no easy victories, and success always comes at a cost.  I think he will die before the reality takes place, although he will see great progress in his lifetime.

So, I haven't defined which story I'll really start with, but I think it will be the immediate post war period, with flashbacks to his past and references to the future.

Davis is the Baron of Kyrene when the story starts, with a new appointment as regent of dh valley.  He is on his way to the valley to establish a government and a community.  Most people think he is crazy for throwing away the chance to be emperor, and that he is on a fool's errand.

The entire first chapter is about building the basic foundation of the dh society.  I have the idea of focusing on one species per story.  The first would be humans; so the first story will chronicle the establishment of the human authority in the valley, and his confrontation with the human forces opposing DH, which are being led by his sister, adera.

Each subsequent story will focus on a different race, in this order, I think; orcs, dwarves, elves, goblins, the enemy, other continents of the world and throughout all the stories, hints about the founders, who created the planet.

Even though each story will have a focus on one particular race, all the nations will be involved and represented in each story, since the focus is on all of them coming together.  But looking at one group at a time will allow us to see how each of the nations percieves the others, and feels about the idea of dh.

So in the first one, we see how humans build relationships, good and bad with the other nations, the biases and motivations they have towards the process, the resources they bring and how they can benefit.  In the first one we will get an introducation to the key players, mostly human, but always a mix; that is who I've largely written up so far.  The action is in establishing the basics of the community; what laws apply, how are conflicts resolved, where do people live, how does this castle and valley work, how do we deal with commerce.  The climax is Adera's kidnapping of Isha and Corsana, with the intention of forcing Davis to take some action to end the dh experiment.  I'm not sure exactly what the action is; maybe ejecting non-humans from the valley, maybe arresting key leaders of the other nations, there for a summit, maybe signing over DH to a human bigot to run.  The resolution will come when Davis offers to sign over Kyrene to Adera, in exchange for their lives.  She will accept this deal, even though it betrays her co-conspirators (maybe she'll kill them?  I'm not sure how viscious to make her yet) because it gives her something she barely realizes she wanted; control of their home, a return to her lost past.

I think that arc will represent the first story, so that Davis ends having saved Corsana and Isha and maintained dh, but given up his home.  This is an emotional loss, as he knows adera will undo many of his innovations and harm the province, and it feels like a betrayal of his duty to his family (returning unresolved issues with his dead father), but it will also have practical implications for DH; Davis had largely been using the wealth and influence he gained from leading Kyrene to fund and support dh.  Having lost his position, he faces a loss of political power and money; dh is expensive, and he started funding it through the funds of Kyrene.  Cut off from that, he needs to make DH financially feasible.  This story deals with family and politics, and introduces key themes.

In the second story he is dealing with the ramifications of the resolution of the last.  He has earned credibility from the other nations for defending dh (even though they think its a crazy idea, he is clearly committed to it!), but is struggling with finances, and has lost status in the human nation.  And the story will focus on the Orcs, who are flooding into dh to settle the newly opened lands.  The orc lands were the most ravaged by the war, and they have thousands of refugees looking for a new start.  They will be the first major non human population of dh.  This story will focus on the natural conflicts that arise as the human and orc cultures clash.  I'm not sure what the climax of this story will be.  I am thinking of having an orcish character who wants to lead the farming efforts, an unrespected profession among orcs and a threat to human agriculture.  But it will turn out that ancient orcish farming is actually well suited to dh land, and the sucess of their crops will help resolve some of the dh financial woes, and begin to establish dh as the breadbasket of pangea, bringing influence and more resources.  This will also address the unresolved mysteries of pangea;  why do orcish techniques work better in dh than even in orcish lands; because they date back to when orcs were the farmers of dh, when all the races shared it, before they broke up, and the orcs moved to farming hostile lands.  This deals with agriculture and stepping beyond the traditional boundaries of the races.  It will also deal with the basics of maslow; what do people eat?  How do you keep everyone healthy?  What safety net is there?  

The third is the dwarves.  The dwarves are the quintissential merchants and barters of pangea, and as dh becomes a commercial hub, they are drawn to it as both an opportunity and a threat to their commercial control.  I have an idea for this.  Dillan, the chief constable, is confronted by a number of dwarf related crimes, and dissencion between dwarf clans over how to deal with dh (support it, fight it, manipulate it, who will profit?) lead to the equivalent of a dwarvish turf war, as long simmering tensions erupt into conflict.  During all this, Dillan will be (apparently) targeted by an unknown individual(s) for actions he took as a dwarf mediator.  He will be forced to deal with unresolved issues from his past.  The political resolution is an agreement on how commerce will be managed and trade will be promoted in a way fair to all nations.  This deals with trade and economics.

Last of the major four nations is the elves, and there story will be about religion.  The elves are the most aloof and elitist of the species.  Many of their fundatmentalists are hardliners against dh, as a threat to the elvish culture.  Others will see it as fullfiment of ancient prophesies about the re-establishment of old bonds.  A group of elves plan to undermine dh through multiple ways, highlighting with the execuetion of babies from all the major races, including elvish babies, in a ceremony that will call forth mystic forces to destroy the non elvish nations.  I have a clear vision of this climax.  The dh crew, with the help of supportive elves (elvish society in general fordibs unnecessary death, especially of innocents) stops the mystic ceremony, but the main organizer, a master warrior and mage, escapes with the elvish babies, and still plan to execuete them, to punish the dh sympathisers.  Isha, Albern (non elves) and Aislin, a rejected part elf, track him down, but know they are no match for him in battle.  DH is no longer threatened, and he is only threatening elvish babies.  So they could just walk away; no one would ever know.  But they confront him anyway, knowing they'll be lucky to live.  He tears them apart, but with luck, team work and stubborness, they kill him.  They are too weak to go for help, and are all but dead by the time dh and elves find them.  An elvish leader, moved by their sacrifice, performs a special ceremony, giving part of his life to revive them.  He doesn't have enough energy to do it himself, but other elves are inspired to do the same, and the three are saved.  In a special ceremony later, bonds between the elvish community and dh are recognized, Isha and Albern are given elf bone swords (no other human has ever had one) and Aislin is recognized as an honorary elf.

Now, did I say last of the four MAJOR nations?  Thats true.  But there are a number of other smaller species, who exist in part or whole in the larger nations.  The two key ones are giants, and most importantly, goblins.  Goblins are the hidden lower working class of all the nations.  They are the only species that lives in all four nations, with various levels of status (highest with orcs, lowest with dwarves), but always existing as second class citizens.  Think of them like migrant workers in north america.  The giants will be something like the residents of appalachia; far removed from modern life, in poverty, but with a meaningful culture of their own.  Both hold parts of the secrets to the founders, and to tapping the power of dh castle.  Because both are the truest connections to the original species of pangea, and in fact have direct links to the origins of the land.  The cultural focus will be on the "working class" with an emphasis on these two, but also the working class and lives of all species.  While the normal focus of such books (and the previous four) is on the hero's, the wealthy and important, this will look more at life for the everyday folk, most epitimized by the goblins.  The larger issue will be the return of the enemy, who have, after years of quiet, returned for another effort to conquer pangea.  They have been hovering in the background, occasionally popping up to undermine dh, or staging sudden and mysterious raids, but they have mostly dissapeared.  They have been helping the bigots here and there, but politics are really their strength; they hit hard and direct, and don't mess about.  So now the will return with a new and more powerful magic and army.  They will find pangea stronger and better organized than before,  but have returned with a special magic and an unshakeable focus; conquer dh valley and steal its magic.  This will culminate in a direct attack on dh castle, only repelled by unified action of all six nations, which allows them to tap the hidden power of dh valley, to repel the new and stronger magic of the enemy.  This victory will improve the status of the "lesser" species, and cement the dh experiment; all nations will see its value now, and in the rebuilding after this current siege, it will become more and more a center of interspecies collaboration.

So we have politics, basics (food and life), commerce, religion and the common folk.  That will end the first four, with many beyond...