The World of HOOD just keeps getting bigger! We’re turning our gaze out from East Mercia and rewriting the history of her neighbours on the Anglia Isle, too. And we want people to join in the fun in creating a new history for Wales – or in keeping with its origins, Cymru – spanning 1141 to the present. We have some team members with Welsh heritage, but we wanted to reach out to people who know the history and culture better to aid us in our quest to create this new, fictional history.
Some things we’ve already decided – for example, Cymru was never annexed by the English and has retained its autonomy as a sovereign nation. But other things are still up in the air, or could use some texture from people who are part of that culture. That’s where you come in!
Setting the Scene
First though, here’s some context. HOOD is a reimagined Robin Hood tale set in an altered timeline reshaped by the presence of magic. The timeline split from our own in the 12th century when, with the help of Hycathae (magic wielders), Empress Matilda won the battle for the throne of England over her cousin Stephen. From there, everything changed, including the expulsion of the Catholic church from Europe in the 14th century, making way for the Hycathic religion (Hycathism) to become the dominant faith. For a quick overview of the HOOD story, check out the Introduction to the World of HOOD page.
Though the main HOOD story takes place in the present day Queendom of East Mercia, Cymru shares a border and is an ally. Down the line, it will become an important location (but we won’t spoil it by telling you how!), so we are already looking at how to build out this alternate Cymru before we get there.
What We Know So Far
After the First Hycath War, in 1141, Empress Matilda took the English throne and established a matrilineal society based on Hycathism, but this didn’t (necessarily) affect Cymru. In fact, Cymru remained its own kingdom (or queendom, that’s one of the things we want input on) for its entire history. In 1378 of our story world, England fell apart and instead of being one united country, became 11 queendoms. And Cymru didn’t want to waste the opportunity to expand their lands. Amidst the chaos of the transition, they easily conquered the newly established Queendom of West Mercia.
From then until roughly the late 1700s, East Mercia also expanded, conquering or marrying into various queendoms to become one of the largest on the island. The border between East Mercia and Cymru fluctuated during this period, with it eventually being settled with half of West Mercia belonging to Cymru and the other half to East Mercia.
Unlike other parts of the Anglia Isle, Cymru was not so affected by The Great Torrent of 1921. This was a catastrophic rise in sea levels of up to 60m worldwide as a result of climate change. East Mercia was not so lucky, however, losing much of its arable land and plunging the country into a dark period of scarcity that continues to this day. All across Europe, countries became more inward-focused in order to protect their own people from the ravages of climate change. However, Cymru and East Mercia remain diplomatic allies.
Want more info? Check out these wiki articles:
So Here’s Where You Come In!
We’re asking for help to shape the history of Cymru over the past 1000ish years within our story world. This includes input on:
- Political structures: would Cymru be a Kingdom? Queendom? Republic? Changing over time? Would there be one royal dynasty spanning from 1141 or separate houses?
- Any historical figures you think we should preserve – this can also be with a twist as we did with Empress Matilda and King Stephen.
- Myths, folklore, customs, foods, and other cultural practices and philosophies you think would be fun and fruitful to include.
- With their frequent interactions and shared border, what elements of the Welsh language might seep into East Mercian dialect. Or idioms that could also be used when translated to English (we already do this with Dutch as our creator is from Holland)
- Names for characters: for instance, because we want to stay close to the Robin Hood legend, we have a character who is our version of “Friar Tuck.” She originates from the area that used to be a part of Cymru, so we’d like her name to either be completely Welsh or half Welsh/half English. We’re looking for a first name and a surname – ideally the surname can then be nicknamed or abbreviated to Tuck – any ideas?
Allwn ni ddewis eich ymennydd?
Which is what Google translate tells us is Welsh for ‘Can we pick your brains?’ – so blame Google if we got it wrong…!
Do you have any ideas? Resources to share? Tidbits of awesome you think we should include? Leave us a comment here, or on the various Reddit threads we are posting to with specific questions!