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A Brave New World?

posted Jun 3, 2014, 1:32 PM by Ben Kreucher
Have you ever tried to build a world?  What's the weirdest you could imagine?

I keep thinking, "What if North America were discovered sooner and colonized by knights?"  And, "What if, instead of driving off the natives, the nobles intermarried with them and created alliances?"  How different would history be?

Some of the natives might have still resented the noble lords taking their lands and resisted.  Some might have willingly joined with them, if they thought fortune favored the colonists.

Not much would change from the initial history of the colonies.  But, what if the nobles didn't try to eradicate the natives and instead, they made them lords and vassals, knights and serfs?

Would America have looked like medieval England or France?  Would castles dot our landscape?  Would native heritage mingle with chivalry?  Would America still have rebelled against the crown?

All these questions make for excellent paths to wander.  I could get lost in their twists and turns.  Perhaps, so could others.  Perhaps that's what makes a world.

It's not an easy thing to build a world.  It takes patience, perseverance, and practice.  "What if...?" exercises are a great way to sit gingerly at the potter's wheel and shape something before your eyes, especially if you only change one thing.  You'll soon find yourself rabbit trailing off that one change into multiple layers of depth or thinking deeply how one thing can really cement us into a reality.

Don't believe me?  Try it.
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