The World – Bifrons

The age-old fantasy writer’s dilemma: how much of the world exists – both in your own head and more importantly, in the heads of your characters. If your setting is only medieval-level, it would strain credulity for all but the most exceptional navigator to have an accurate map of the entire globe (or flat sheet, or dome on the turtle’s back, etc.). But I work best starting zoomed-out and then zooming in as needed. And with a world like Bifrons that has such varied landscape depending on location, you need to see the bigger picture.

The human inhabitant of Bifrons – no, there’s no lost colony, they just happened to evolve there in a masterwork of convergent evolution! – are at a roughly 18th-19th level of tech. So it’s not unreasonable they have mapped the majority of the Dayside. The Nightside is a lot harder to explore, but I’ve handwaved it a little by deciding that the “educated guesses” by the world’s best geographers tend to be uncannily good. A shame they won’t recognize it for another several hundred of our years.


The cartographers and historians of the Academy of Brythenmar are considered the best in the world. Below are excerpts from their treatises on the natural world. Click to enlarge.