The Prodigy Chronicles: Geography

March 25, 2016

If you’ve read Gambit, you already know quite a bit about Willow’s world. You know she lives in the aftermath of a global prodigy war. You know the Red Mountains were named for the bloody battles that took place there. You know her village lies in the ruins of Glasgow, and that a fierce storm boundary separates the desolate Outlying Lands from the advanced Core city that was formerly London.


But there’s more to this futuristic United Kingdom than you’ve been told. So if you’ve ever wondered about the journey Willow took from McKaireth to Callayo—and how that geography relates to the rest of the country—allow me to give you a glimpse of the post-war terrain.


Pretend, for a moment, that you’ve been assigned to the security floor of the Roanoke Center. A snug black uniform hugs your body, and a laser rests comfortably against your hip. The Roanoke insignia gleams proudly on your right shoulder. All around you, guards are loading the weapons racks and arming themselves for their next shift. You’re at the front desk, chatting up the friendly and ever-courteous Malcolm, when he excuses himself to take a call through his earpiece.


“Yes, Commander Reece,” he says. “An alternate route? Absolutely. Give me a minute to check the map.” Walking over to one wall, he taps a floor-to-ceiling TYZER screen…and something like this appears:





Impressive, right? The awesome team at Bizango put this map together for me. I needed a visual for the next book, and they did a spectacular job. Technically, this screen is for someone at Tiernam Industries and not the Roanoke Center, but you get the gist. And before Malcolm gives my favorite commanding officer an official route through the woods—one that will be totally ignored, of course—let’s break down the region.






The prodigy wars did more than destroy prodigies at a cellular level—they altered the Earth’s geomagnetic and vibrational patterns. Air and oceanic currents were permanently changed, disrupting the weather in ways no one could have foreseen. The wild, untameable beauty of the Scotland Highlands is gone. Now a vast stretch of ice and snow, the area is void of natural resources and considered by most to be uninhabitable.





During the wars, the Grampion Mountains and much of Northeast Scotland offered shelter to a large group of prodigies who fled there. Together, they mustered a strong defensive force. Many battles were fought in the Grampions, and many people (normals and prodigies alike) lost their lives. Due to the massive amount of bloodshed, villagers took to calling them the Red Mountains. Willow has never known them by any other name.





South of the Red Mountains is a semi-fertile lowland that supports crops and wildlife. This area, known as the Outlying Lands, is home to a cluster of villages initially set up by the survivors of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Willow’s home, McKaireth, sits on the southernmost edge of the Outlying Lands and is particularly vulnerable to drought and the dust storms that often tear through the desert scrub.





Major areas of southern Scotland and northern England were laid to waste by the vibrational weapons. Wales, had it not sunk beneath sea level, would have suffered the same fate. The desert scrub supports some plant and reptilian life, and a narrow strip of woods hugs the upper eastern border. These are the woods Willow and her party travel through on their way to the Core.





To keep prodigies in—and normals out—the Core set up a man-made storm boundary across the center of the country. Only Core military, peddlers, and members of the biker chain are allowed through. Storm shields are required for the journey, which takes at least two hours on horseback, but no other active technology will work inside the storm.





A dismal island, west of the storm boundary and across the Irish Sea, is all that remains of Northern Ireland. Once a political refuge for prodigies, it’s now an area of such intense electromagnetic energy that it cannot sustain biological life. After the war, similar areas began popping up across the globe. Any human who ventures into one perishes within hours, and in 2050, the Global Alliance of Prodigies (GAP) officially labeled them Dead Zones.





The Core is actually a large, fertile patch of land that covers the southern region of the country. Solar tech and blue energy have contributed to the survival of the residents of the Core city (also known as Callayo). The Core stretches out for miles and is divided into ten districts, including the agricultural district where Willow and Reece were attacked.





A rocky peninsula lies due west of the agricultural district. Sheer coastal cliffs and deep gorges make it undesirable for crops or residential life. Though the Core military makes regularly scheduled flyovers by helicopter, no human population has ever been detected.



And there you have it…a geographical look at Willow’s world. It’s a lot bigger than she ever thought it would be. Her life is about to get very interesting. :)


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