Week One: The World
- The basic terrains and their relative location to each other.
- Types of animals and in what terrain they reside.
- Kinds of food/plants that are both wild-growing and manually grown.
- Natural resources in the land (gold, ore, etc), and whether or not they’re exploited.
- How the inhabitants first got to the world (evolution, by the hand of a god, planetary immigration?).
- How far back is the known knowledge of history?
- If there are important aspects to your world/culture, imagine how they began (if music is important, what were the first instruments? if religion is important, how/when did it first begin? and so on).
Mountains` The mountains are the world of the dead, similar to what we would think Hell as. This is why centaurs never ever venture into the mountains, and everyone who has has never come out again.
Foothills` Few herds have the bravery to stay long in the foothills, for fear that their younger children will wander into the mountains. Still, herds defend their territory here because the close proximity to both major water sources makes the soil rich for growing and finding food.
Lakes` There is an unspoken law that the two lakes can never be claimed by herds, and their shores are open to any centaurs who need water. Still, the land around the lakes are often defended as territory, and any intruder caught fishing or gathering food will have to face the consequences. There are of course a few other small ponds and lakes scattered about that aren’t shown on the map, but those do belong to the herd whose territory they are in.
Rivers` There is one large river connecting the two lakes, two smaller rivers, and another two streams that each break off from one river. Just like the lakes, the rivers are not claimable, with the exception of the streams. The streams both end in little pools, which are very popular bathing spots; these pools switch between ownership more commonly than any other territory. The largest river has several waterfalls within it, and only a few spots are safe to go into.
West Forest` These trees grow close together, and only the most agile and lithe centaurs are capable of living here. However, it pays off, because most hostile or territorial creatures (bear, moose, wolves, etc) do not come here. These woods are home to many deer, burrowing and tree-living animals (rabbits, squirrels, etc), snakes, and small birds.
North Woods` These woods are difficult to walk through, despite the trees being fairly evenly spaced apart; the river feeds the soil, and many bushes and other growth block paths. The abundance of fruit is definitely worth the effort, however, and the North Woods are a very sought-after territory.
East Forest` These trees leave plenty of walking space between them, and anyone can easily traverse here. A lot of this wood is home to bear, moose, owls, wolves, coyotes, etc. They give good shelter to those who live here, with a fairly decent amount of berries and the best herbs to be found. Some wild corn and strawberries also grow in various parts.
—Marsh` The marsh sits in the bowels of the East Forest, and the only good that ever really comes from it are herbs. For the most part, the marsh is left alone. Desperate centaurs without herds usually come here to see what frog, newt, or fish they can catch to eat.
Cliffside` The cliff, below/beside the East Forest, is completely barren land save for a few tufts of grass and a bit of rock. Some wild sheep herds live here, constantly roaming for food. With their wool, they are the few creatures that can withstand the strong wind that whips across this land.
Dry Plains` These plains sit below the West Forest, and are hot and dry most of the time, with tall, and just as dry, grass growing. Prairie dogs and wild hens are just about the only wildlife found here, if you don’t count the droves of mosquitoes. Still, for hardy centaurs it’s a fine place to live, and every once in a while a refreshing breeze blows in from the west.
Fertile Plains` These plains, sitting in between the two small rivers (and about a mile or so on either side) are perfect for crops, or just foraging for naturally grown food. Mice, various birds, badgers, and sometimes coyotes are most often spotted here. Another highly sought-after territory that is mostly won by villages.
Beach` The best place to find seashells, or fish for crabs, lobsters, and oysters, the beach is seen more as a resource than a vacation spot. Nonetheless, no one can deny the serenity of such a place, and centaurs don’t mind bringing their foals to splash in the water.
The year is broken into five seasons.
New Season` [in human dates, approx. March - May] Snow is melting, the air is warming up, and creatures are coming out of hiding. Besides the lakes being unfrozen and full of fish again, food supply is still low while berries and herbs are growing. This is the most common time for adolescents to start seeking out mentors and learn their trade before they are busy with the Planting Season. There are scattered, small celebrations within herds who have plenty of left-over food from the Cold Season, but for the most part things are still quiet.
Planting Season` [approx. June - August] It’s warm- sometimes a bit too much- and the perfect season to begin planting most crops. Food is abundant and very few herds have trouble finding nourishment. This is the busiest time of year, even the young centaurs who don’t help plant or forage are put to work all day with their schooling.
Harvest Season` [approx. August - October] The weather is cooling down again, and it’s time to harvest all the crops from the previous season. This time of year is usually the happiest and most care-free, provided Planting Season went well. Many herds hold their alliance competitions during this time, and have many little celebrations in-between.
Cold Season` [approx. November - December, February] Time to start preserving the harvest and packing it away from the frost. This is also the major foraging time, with not only year-round foraging herds, but villages also send foragers to gather the last of the wild fruit and veggies for a better chance of outlasting the snow. After the Dead Season, most centaurs spend their days trying to outlast the cold while staying warm and entertained.
Dead Season` [approx. January] The coldest, darkest, and most dreaded season. Even the beach doesn’t wash up much food during this time, and centaurs rely heavily on the food stock that they have saved. To keep themselves preoccupied, herds set up small competitions within themselves for the children to compete against each other in strength, wit, and agility, while the adults are the audience. These competitions last throughout the entire month, during the light hours of the days. At night, the herd gathers around a bonfire while the bards recite stories, poems, and songs.