Hello Champions! Today we’re going to talk about a topic I’ve been sitting on for years: Baris!
To the new Champions who have only recently joined us, the countries in my fairy tale world are usually inspired loosely by various real-world historical empires. (Usually I try to model my countries after the country of origin of the fairy tales that take place there.) Germany was the inspiration for Mullberg and Arcainia, Trieux and Loire are reminiscent of France, Erlauf is represented by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, etc.
Baris is a country I designed long ago, even though Apprentice of Magic is the first book I’ve written that officially visits it, and it is loosely molded after the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
It’s a strange country in terms of its geography, so you’ll also see touches of German and French culture the farther north up its coastline you go, and by nature of being inspired by the Byzantine Empire you’ll also see a Roman influence as well, which makes it a bit of a hodgepodge.
The architecture is more reminiscent of the Byzantine Empire–the palace is loosely inspired by the famous Hagia Sophia–a Greek Orthodox Church that currently serves as a museum; it was built in what was Constantinople and is now Istanbul. Additionally, the Baris country color–a specific shade of purple called Tyrian purple– is actually the shade of the Byzantine Emperors. Even the Baris crest–a two-headed phoenix–was inspired by the Byzantine Empire’s symbol, a two headed eagle.
However, if you look at the government, I based it more off the stories I read in One Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights. Baris is rather unique in that it has one King, but many “princes” and “princesses” who are usually related to the king and rule over individual cities/territories. This was inspired by the opening text of One Thousand and One Nights as Baris will be the setting for that particular story far, far in the future. (The opening story of Arabian Nights explains why the king–who kills every woman he marries the day after he marries her–fell into that pattern and mentions his brother–a prince whom he gifted one of his territories.)
In geography, Baris became more of a catch all. It’s the only country to have a desert and a volcano, but it also has a great deal of coastline and some forests.
Baris is also known for being the most magic-friendly country in the continent–even back when magic was taboo in the times of the Snow Queen it was considered acceptable in Baris. It also is home to a lot of magical texts and artifacts, which seem to congregate there. I decided to give Baris this particular background as I am well versed in a lot of roman myths and I delight in the tales of One Thousand and One Nights. I thought it was fitting that countries with such rich stories would be the inspiration for the magic-accepting Baris.
And that concludes this look into Baris! Thanks for reading, Champions, and have a lovely weekend!