The World of Taura Explained (Sort Of)

It’s Week Three of the All Things Taura Appreciation Month, and I’m going to give you all a little more insight into the worldbuilding of this fantasy realm. Get ready to get nerdy, though, because this post might be for the Taurin Chronicles Superfans (all four of you).


At first, I thought all these pieces I wanted to cover were rather disparate and scattered, but then I realized that this is basically just the 5 Ws (and H) of the world I created. So I’m dusting off my high school newspaper co-editor cap and offering you all the 5 Ws (and H) of the World of Taura. These are not in the order I learned them in high school, but this order is more logical for this particular discussion of worldbuilding.

The Where: Geography, Cataclysm, and Kingdoms

I know, I know–I stuck with a sort of Northern European setting for this series, and yes, Taura basically looks like England, Eyria looks like Ireland, and the continent looks like Europe, but… well, it’s what I know. Not Europe, exactly, but the climate and some of the history. And I’m kind of an Anglophile, so it just felt natural.

In the backstory of Taura, there was a time when both Eirya and Taura were part of the main land mass and the whole empire was ruled by the villains–the same Forbidden creatures who are making so much trouble for Connor, Mairead, and all the rest in the current adventure. The first king of Taura, Cuhail, was the ravenmarked man who led the war against the Forbidden, and that war led to the breaking of the world by supernatural forces. The result was two island kingdoms, a continent without leadership, and a whole lot of geological instability.


The prophecies that drive the events in The Taurin Chronicles include one that says these Three Lands of the West–Eirya, Taura, and Culidar–will eventually be reunited. I don’t think that means that the seas will recede and the landmass will be reconnected–at least, not in this series–but there are some cataclysms to come, especially on the continent. Stay tuned…

The Who: Taurins and Eiryans and Tribesmen–Oh My!

The breaking of the world two thousand years before the events of Ravenmarked resulted in more than just a physical separation of land; it also separated people groups.

On Taura, there were two factions–a tribal group that managed to somehow resist the tyranny of the Forbidden all along, and a group of humans who were suddenly freed of the authoritarian rule. The tribal group retreated to the forest to pursue their ways and protect the Brae Sidh, and the humans were left to their own rule under Cuhail’s widow. This is obviously a much, much bigger story than I’m laying out here, and someday maybe I’ll write the whole thing, but for now, a summary will do.

The humans who were left on Eirya set up their own system of government, and over time, they became a fiercely independent sea power. While Igraine has a lot of complaints about how she was treated, the truth is that women have far more rights on Eirya than they do anywhere else in the west; they can own and inherit property, run a business, and vote (inasmuch as anyone can vote in a monarchy). It’s Eiryan jurisprudence that informs Igraine’s thinking about the rights of women when she confronts Braedan about Taurin law.

Finally, there’s the lost tribe–the lions of northern Culidar. This tribe was once part of the larger tribal group that retreated to the forests of Taura, but during the breaking of the world, they were physically separated from their people and left to the mountains of Culidar. This tribe still has a pretty big role to play in the whole series. We know that Mairead is the rightful heir to the Taurin throne through her father, but her mother’s lineage is yet to be revealed, and let me just say she may or may not be connected to the lions.



The What: The Relics

If y’all think waaaayyyyy back to Ravenmarked, there was a lot of talk about “the reliquary”–the chest that holds the relics of the battle where the world was broken.


I’m glad you asked.

The reliquary holds the sword wielded by Cuhail, the human hero of the battle; the healing tears given in death by the Syrafi chieftain; and the crown of the dying Sidh queen. All three of these heroes died to protect Taura–to preserve the pivotal place in history. The new Sidh queen was charged with hiding and protecting these relics for future use–specifically, to be used by a great deliverer to heal the world.

But although the lore of this world says that only someone non-human can actually use these relics for their intended purpose, that doesn’t mean very bad actors are going to leave the relics alone. They’re still looking for these relics, and their intentions are… not good.

The When: Then and Now

I’ve always pictured the events of The Taurin Chronicles taking place on the cusp of a Renaissance era or an Age of Enlightenment. The world is still pretty fragmented, and there are still powerful warlords calling themselves princes, kings, and emperors and competing for resources–so something like the Middle Ages. But in this world, there are hints of new things coming–new ideas about equality and human rights, stronger trade alliances, a rising middle class, and even waning church power and the hint of a reformation.

One big difference between my world and the real world is, of course, magic. Whereas people in the Middle Ages may have clung to vestiges of beliefs in myth, legend, and magic, those things really exist in The Taurin Chronicles. But I don’t think magic and science can realistically coexist, and as science and enlightenment creep into the world, the magic will fade.


This is actually a rising threat for some inside the world of The Taurin Chronicles. Queen Maeve senses that her people are under threat, and as humans learn to manipulate nature better, there will be no more need for Brae Sidh oversight. The Syrafi and Ferimin were largely gone from the visible world before the events of Ravenmarked, and by the end of the series, they’ll be gone from the world of men once more. And the earth magic… well, it remains to be seen how much of that will remain in the visible world. Stay tuned.

The How: Language

Maybe because of what I’ve been reading or listening to, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of language in a culture and economy. Of course, in fantasy, magic is also a powerful mover, but just for a moment let’s focus on language.

In the book Powers and Thrones, historian Dan Jones talks about how the caliph al-Malik dictated that civil servants would have to speak Arabic and conduct business in Arabic within the lands under his control. Presumably one could still speak whatever language one wanted at home, but if you were a Christian scribe who spoke primarily Latin, you suddenly had to get fluent in Arabic. It’s the same with any national language, official or unofficial–it’s the currency of culture, and if you don’t know the primary language spoken around you, you will be shut out of opportunity.


People have probably noticed that everyone speaks “Taurin” in my worlds–sometimes with an accent, sometimes with a different cadence, but always Taurin. Of course, this is largely because I only know how to write a book in English (and specifically, snarky GenX American English), but part of this goes back to the history of Taura and the Three Lands of the West. When the world was whole and the Taurin empire controlled much of the northern hemisphere of this world, Taurin was the de facto language of commerce, trade, and government. The vestiges of this period remain, because although the Taurin government is in disarray and not nearly as powerful as it once was, Taurin is still the language of the elite and the middle class–much as Latin and Greek were for hundreds of years.

The Why: To Be Continued…

Why is all this happening?

Well… why not?


I mean, why this whole world came to me all those years ago is a question that may never have a satisfactory answer.

However, the whole worldbuilding and character development feeds into a lot of bigger ideas–the themes of the series.

And that is what I will talk about next week.

Until then, thanks for hanging with me on this deep dive into the nerdy bits of my world!

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