Creating a fantasy land of Mist as opposed to a dystopian underground society was the first decision when creating the sun-starved redheads, but then I had to figure out how to make the constant fog believable. It’s those little kernels of truth that give stories and the worlds they live in depth.
I came across this great article on fog. Some things that I learned include:
- The basic requirements for fog to form are moisture in the air – the closer to 100% humidity the better, and the air near the ground must be cooling to within 5 F (3 C) of dew point – this is the temperature to which air must be cooled in order for water vapor in the air to condense to liquid water. When the air near the ground cools to dew point, the water vapor in the air will become visible as fog in the air or dew on the ground.
- Fog can form at lower humidity levels if there are a really large amount of nuclei, especially if it is something such as salt.
- Valley fog is a localized form of radiation fog and forms most often in winter when there is a temperature inversions. This is where colder, more dense air settles in the valleys with warmer air passing above. It can actually last for days if there is no wind to mix the air.
You can read the entire article here: http://www.starryskies.com/articles/2007/10/fog.html
These details made sense, and so I incorporated them into my world. First, I needed a hot and cold source to fuel the fog. The hot source was easy – a dragon range. And of course, the dragons can’t inhabit the entire range, so if the range is naturally warm, say, a range of volcanoes, then there’s your constant source of heat. It also provides a daunting barrier between the lands of Mist and Illumia.
Second, I needed my cold source, and since salt water is also helpful for creating fog, I decided to border the other side of Mist with the ocean. This creates another barrier, creating a compelling trap for anyone banned to the Mist.
Thirdly, valleys are a great way to encourage and trap the fog, so the land of Mist became the valley of Mist. Voila, a believable world.
Here’s a rough map of the world I have so far:
Of course, it’s a fantasy, so there’s a certain amount of magic sustaining the constant fog, but there are enough real world elements there to make it plausible. Fun, eh?
I love learning new and interesting facts, as they help fuel my fiction. Do you have any interesting facts that you enjoy? Please share in the comments section. You never know what idea might fuel an important detail for my stories.