Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Grand Families

Just over half of the inhabited star systems in Shayla's time are ruled by one of six Grand Families.

After a period of relatively peaceful interstellar expansion, civilization collapsed in a thousand years of bitter conflict as fledgling empires grew impatient with the slow process of terraforming. Humanity as we know it nearly ended there, but a few centers retained both industrial capacity and technical knowledge to build starships.

The rulers of these few centers founded the Grand Families. With their unmatchable technology and wealth, they subdued nearby systems and have kept their grip on their territories ever since.

The Family Skamensis was always the most powerful, and holds a commanding central position in human space. Successive Skamensis rulers styled themselves "Emperor", with greater or lesser success. At the time of Ghosts of Innocence, the Skamensis rule is strong, with the other Families signing treaties of allegiance, so the current Emperor can proclaim himself Emperor of all humanity with some justification.

Of course, that doesn't stop the Families plotting constantly against the Emperor, and against each other. This is what gives Shayla the opportunity to get close enough to the Emperor to destroy him.


  1. Wow; that sounds pretty in depth! Also sounds like a good opportunity for conflict and intrigue though.

    Fellow A-Z bloggy buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

  2. If there's bad blood involved, that just makes the stakes even better. : )

  3. I'm impressed by the amount of worldbuilding. Still anxious to see the book.


  4. This is great. Gotta have the conflict, sadly. I keep telling my hubby--who hates all the conflict in books--that when the conflict ends the story is over.

  5. Jamie, plenty of opportunity!

    Kimberlee, most of the bad blood is between Shayla and the Empire. The plotting between the Families is almost a gentlemanly game in comparison :)

    J, you know how much worldbuilding goes into stories that aren't based on Earth ;)

  6. Donna, the trouble with conflict is that is takes some people outside their comfort zone, so the story can be uncomfortable to read. I find that myself with certain kinds of conflict, and I have trouble reading or watching even though I know it's only a story.

  7. For some reason, this puts me in the mind of some of the conspiracy theories of the fact that Earth actually has certain ruling families. How interesting that this is on a much grander scale and an actual known truth for your story instead of a shadowy myth in our world.

  8. I'm really looking forward to reading the results of all this fabulous worldbuilding :-)

  9. Its fun to develop families of power and then have them plot against each other. So many directions you can go with this.

  10. Angela, conspiracy theory? I thought that was a given :)

    Sarah, one day I hope. With all the changes in publishing since I start on this journey, I'm giving traditional publishing a limited try (it was one of my goals to be able to hold it in print) but will look seriously at self-pub otherwise.

    Stephen, this book has been fun.

  11. This is so cool! Wish I could come up with stuff like this. Makes it so much more fun! Long going family feuds make interesting stories. :) Good to find your blog!


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