This week in the Spotlight we looked at the afrofantasy world of Swordsfall by Tikal and their article The Divine Order of the Phoenix. The Spotlight takes place on the WorldAnvil Discord server, with the community invited to discuss an article with the spotlight host. This week it was hosted by Community Spark Qurilion.
Swordsfall is heavily entrenched in African lore, tales, environment and spirit, and provides an afrocentric spin on fantasy, designed for a book, and tabletop game in the works. This week, the spotlight audience examined Swordsfall through the lens of the Divine Order of the Phoenix.
You describe Swordsfall as Afrocentric. What does that mean to you? And what sources of inspiration do you use?
Afrocentric in general just really means Africa or African-American culture as a base. It’s something that doesn’t get said out loud, but works like Tolkien are very Eurocentric. So honestly I just pull from my general life and culture (I am a black man). The way we view family, life, and such. I pulled from the way the African Disapora viewed religion and life.
I pull from Africa as a continent. The climate of Swordsfall mimics the various biomes. Each of the cultures in Swordsfall are a mix of a few specific real life culture.
The Karu are based heavily on the Luba/Ludan kingdoms. The See’er are based on the Serer people and so forth.
The Divine Order of the Phoenix is an organization that exists to unite the people that live in land of Garuda. Their deities, The Divinity, traveled the land for a number of years, handpicking people they thought were capable of leading. They invited them all to be a part of the Divine Order, an effort to quell fights and bring, well…order.
So it’s one part government, one part religion, one part oligarchy as they do have a king.
In Africa, King just meant ruler. Pre-colonial it wasn’t a gendered term. I love that and embrace it. In Garuda its actually a Matriarchal line, so it passes through the King’s daughters. And did until recently when the original line was finally broken.
What was the genesis for the order, for you? What inspired it or what niche did you need to fill in the world with them?
We hoped you enjoyed this interesting spotlight roundup. Check out Swordsfall by Tikal on WorldAnvil for more reading. You can also support Swordsfall on Patreon. We’ll bring you a new spotlight next week- but if you want to join in on our next spotlight and offer your own questions, join us the WorldAnvil Discord!