Dev Blog – Creating Altear

Last week I wrote about my inspiration and influences for the world I set out to build. Now, I want to discuss how I plan on and the process I currently am undertaking to build the world of Altear. This will of course talk about a few more major influences, specifically this time will be the historical events and myths I looked into.


Earlier Incarnations

Altear is and has been a world I’ve had in the works for a while. Most of the universe I create are in a way related to each other. Some are connected to previous projects, and others are ideas I had in relation to a show I watched or other media. Altear was influenced by my time in Ireland and my interest in celtic society. I didn’t just jump into its creation though and I spent a month reading up on Faerie Lore, and Celtic myth. Eventually I constructed the world of “Altear” and started a game called the Sundered Way. Note, the name “Altear” is taken from the Irish world Alltar which means “Otherworld” in Irish. It actually came about because I didn’t know how the Irish word was spelled and apparently my Irish teacher had a strange means of pronouncing the word.

The way how the Sidhe acted and even the war with the “Aesir” was something that was set in stone for a while. How magic worked was pretty straight forward and the idea of an “Iron and Bronze” age storyline was fixed in stone. After the game ran for a bit it slowed down and eventually went on hiatus. Between that time I ran a small-town game known as Oak Cross which featured several Fae creatures; a viking age roleplay (much of the Aesir lore is based on that game); and then a high asian fantasy game based on Wuxia film. All of these evenetually came to be part of the modern incarnation of Altear. The world of Nara in my asian fantasy is now part of Ishua, and the creatures of Oak Cross came to influence the universe of Agaera (the name Altear has given earth).


Art by Himmapaan


The Major Historical Influences

Much of what Altear is based upon media I’ve experience and come to like over the years. The primary inspiration at the end of the day is simply, mythology. I love human mythology and the stories created by people long ago. There is just something about reading the Epic of Gilgamesh, or reading about the coming of Ragnarok. This is something people years and years ago truly thought was real; something that was a truth of how the world simply worked. Through the various games I created I came to not only like the mythological figures and tales I read, but also the period they were set in.

Much of modern fantasy is set in a pseudo Medieval or Middle Ages based timeline. There are also a lot of steampunk, victoriana, and more recent pieces, but Medieval Fantasy seems to be the main stay. There is also a lot of emphasis on more recent European and Peoples rather thant he groups that existed years ago. Before there were Caliphates in the middle east there were the Sabataens and the cities of Sumer. Before Rome rose over the Mediterranean the Phoenicians were creating the basis for most modern Western Alphabets. Basically my interest is in pre-christian, islam and even judaism lands that use to worship gods with various features.

This was a time when science was pretty much and afterthought. Even in the modern day folklore found in the countryside is often more powerful and connective than what we read in a book. Its these ties of ancient and the old that I love. This is why Altear focuses on the earlier Tribal period of humanity and also focuses more or less on a mythological Pre-Roman Europe. The final aspect is also a tinge of the Dark and the Viking Ages. A time before Russia arose from Moscovy and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden or even Norway didn’t even exist.

Basically Altear is suppose to represent a world where large nations are rare, and the focus is more on smaller nationalities and polities (countries). Because states were far more fragmentary danger was more evident in the wilderness and towns were havens of safety. This makes the monsters in the world more evident, the bandits more of a threat, and means war when conducted has to be done for more than just the kicks of the local nobility. Basically, I chose these influences because they tend to favor consequences being more evident up front with longer spanning reactions being harder to detect. There is also something about a world being ruled by blood and iron rather than gunpowder, or knight’s being a rarity rather than the norm that is slightly interesting.


Art by Lenimentus


Weaving the Various Ideas Together

At its core Altear is a gigantic mash-up of ideas. There are feudal societies, tribal peoples, and nomadic peoples. The region of Everyn borrowed from the start a lot from Western Europe. However after that was started I dropped the original idea in fantasy to use France or England as inspirations. I went straight to old Ireland and Scotland. Tossed in a mixture of baltic, slavic, and then nordic states along with it. Effectively I skipped the area around “France” and went straight for the Baltic Sea. :D When I added a Roma like race I skipped a lot of their traditional notions and borrowed heavily from Hindu and Sikh mythology.


Common Points

So cover the common points are:

  • All Fae races descend from the various Titan tribes. One racial lineage per tribe. The subraces often have different cultural interpretation of their Immortal and Titan ancestors!
  • All races have a stance on the “Giants” or creatures like Ogres that they combat (Oni are another example).
  • All recognize the existence of magic, spirits, and the Land of the Dead in some form.
  • Some recognize that most of the “Gods” are now dead and only a select few still walk Altear.


Altear is created by connecting related ideals of mythology and story points. The Ramathi and the Aesir mythologies are based on opposite ideals, but both share ideals of destiny and universal order. For this reason I connected the Viking-esque folk of the north to the Sikh / Hindu like folk of the winding roads through their racial mother, the Lady Fate (Primordial of Time and Destiny). The Sidhe and the Ashurites are related to a common feminine Creator Goddes via Ishtar / Danu. Basically the connections are created via commonalities. Even for the Jadeborn the Mikujin of Wa in Ishua are based upon the Japanese, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be related to the Jade King if they call him by a different name.


Art by MathiasZamecki



Once I began looking into the major influences, themes and connections I started thinking about the scope and size of the world. A lot of fantasies often focus on a few choice locations, have the same set of races, and or the same ideas repeated over and over again. That is not to say that there are plenty of completely awesome and original fantasies, only that are a lot of similar worlds out there. Altear is not without similarities to other worlds, but I did want it to have a particular flavor and feel to it. This was not suppose to be the typical Tolkien influenced (in the racial and basic make up department) world with elves, dwarves and orcs. I’ve done that and after a lot of thought I moved away from using those tropes and focusing more on creating abstract ideas to see how they mix.

When I set out to make Altear long ago, I was coming off a Song of Ice and Fire high mashed-up with a my time in Ireland. The original concept was also heavily influenced from an earlier game I ran called “Binding Attrition” which used a lot of strange esoteric ideas based on various pulp fiction writers. The one thing I wanted in the scope was a sense of profound wonder and expanse. This is a world where I want to get a similar sense that I get when I visit new countries or learn about new languages. Basically the world is MASSIVE so I wanted Altear to feel massive and yet cohesive. I want my history to be fantastical and yet have key relations to how real life migrations and settling for peoples occur. Finally, I wanted it to resonate with people, and with the idea of a world where -our- mortal mythology actual exists and where -our- ancient tribal ways of life still exist.

Hence the “Where the Old Ways are kept” tagline :3

Remember Altear is also not just one world its one of nine. There are two other fully populated worlds to be filled, Altear is the just the primary one!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>