In my efforts to add my major maps to the Map tab I now arrive at Pannulus. I can think of the Tremjara map as my epic achievement. Carrdia, being my first map, has, like its name, become a piece of my heart. Pannulus, though, is my crown jewel. It’s only fitting that its evolution is an extraordinary tale, one chronicled in early last year.
Filling the map tab was my motivation for this short little series. My discussion, though, has been focused on my reaction to these maps now that time has passed. For the other two maps, that was a couple of decades. Pannulus, though, is quite young, a mere few years. Regardless, I don’t need time to know that I remain enamored of the map, and of the nation. It’s turned out to be all I wanted, and more.
Pannulus was born of story and continues to thrive as a muse. There are so many unique aspects and, it seems, each day more come to light. Its geography begs me to write more stories. It helps, in crafting more intimate tales, that most of the conflict in Pannulus is from within and often fueled by its clearly diverse regions.
Worldbuilding aside—and oh, the worldbuilding is rich in Pannulus—the geography is diversity itself. Dense forest. Towering peaks. Isolated coves. Islands, big and small. On and on it goes.
I’ve mentioned that the island nation was born of story and continues to be a muse. The stories that gave birth to it were short stories that now number a couple of dozen. There are also six novelettes (they’re linked to a novel) and five novellas. Pannulus is its own little world in the sense that characters crossover, some making appearances in other works. Although I’ve set a story of one kind or another on each of the major islands, each of the novels has occurred in west central Sancthor Island.
- Stealing Light begins in the capital city of Arthune on Lake Arcana, but events eventually shifts to Cape Caprice on the Vortex Gulf where Thornwillow School for the Gifted is located.
- Protecting the Pneuma Key takes place in and around the city of Cather on Lake Magus. Cather is notable for its ebony rock formations that can rise a hundred feet or more.
- Case of the Deadly Stroll, which is kinda sorta a spinoff of Pneuma Key, occurs in and around the city of Duskspell on Lake Arcana. Its most notable feature is its fog, also known as Azure Fog during moon season.
- Following the Essence Stone returned me to Arthune and the hills outside the city.
Pannulus represents all the traveling I’ve ever wanted to do. The east coast of Scurpia Island is known for its cold, harsh winds and raging seas crashing against a rocky landscape. In contrast, the southern shores of Shorus Island are known for their beaches. People flock there to enjoy the relatively milder climate. Part of the reason I’ve written so many novelettes and novellas is so I could fit in more travels.
No other map has stirred my imagination to such a degree. I literally have filled my computer screen with the map, leaned back with a cup of tea, and traveled. Those sessions have always yielded a story. In turn, those stories have each yielded new details about the location and, quite often, Pannulus itself.
For instance, Dagger Point on the extreme eastern tip of Sancthor Island. Wondering what life would be like in such a location gave way to a short story of 5K. From it, I learned more about potion abuse, Pannulus secret agents, and the literal sea monsters that inhabit the waters around the islands. Sea monsters, as you might have guessed, add additional stress on the importance of airship travel (though Pannulus is the leader in a special device that helps mask maritime vessels).
Of the stories on this site, two, Taking Flight and The Bridge in Distant Farthing, both occur in Pannulus. In fact, the town of Farthing later yielded a novella, along with the concept of resort towns in the nation. That, in turn, led to the town of Looking Glass outside of Duskspell that makes an appearance in Case of the Deadly Stroll. See how it works? One inspiration leads to another and another.
Five lifetimes wouldn’t be enough for me to record all the stories in Pannulus. I’d call this map a success.