7 Tips to Traversing the Fantasy Countryside

Dragon Hunters

Dragon Hunters

You can’t have an adventure without traveling and the landscape can get pretty funky out there.  Floating islands, horse-eating grass, Starbucks on every corner, oceans of clouds and other distractions that you need to be alert for.  So, what are some tips for being careful on the road?

  1. The path with tons of sunlight and pretty flowers isn’t always the safest.  Sure, the ground looks even and you see the plume of smoke from a chimney just over the rolling hills.  Just make sure to ask around about that route.  Those flower patches might be growing off all the bodies that were left behind.  After all, what kind of witch or monster would make their lair look like a terrifying lair?
  2. Just because you followed a road up onto the sky doesn’t mean you can immediately walk on the clouds.  There are dead ends on the ground, so you can certainly find some up high.  Unlike a wall or gate, this one has a death-promising plummet when you make a misstep.  Toss some coins or acorns or whatever you have to see if they stay afloat or fall.  Then draw straws to see who goes first because there could always be a weight limit.
  3. Don’t camp out in the middle of the road.  It’s night and you’re tired, but don’t be a jerk.  People still need to travel and going around your pot of funny-smelling beans isn’t a welcomed detour.
  4. The countryside can be pleasant and relaxing as you go by.  Not a care in the world and you can feel the tension flowing out of your muscles.  A mild euphoria may come over your senses and the world is a brighter place.  This doesn’t mean you can take corn, apples, or whatever crop happens to be growing near the road.  Not every orchard is public property.  Go to the market and buy a bushel like everyone else, buddy.
  5. No shame in going around the mountains.  Time is not as limited as you think since you’ll probably be captured and held for longer than the detour would have been.  Not to mention rock slides, storms, avalanches, giant spiders, broken ankles, and all sorts of fun that comes with a rocky path.  Just go around or find a proven road that shows signs of heavy use in the last six months.  No footprints means be cautious.
  6. Doesn’t hurt to stop and enjoy the scenery.  Adventuring and traveling is tough work, which takes you all over the place.  Do you really want to say you went somewhere, but have no memory of what it looked like?  You don’t have to take a long time to get a few memories of a place.  Sit under a tree, smell some flowers, skip some stones, or whatever else comes to mind when you have a few minutes.  At the very least, the horses will enjoy the break.
  7. The swamp is not a short cut!  Doesn’t matter what the friendly old woman with the unfriendly cackle said.  DO NOT GO INTO THE SWAMP!

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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21 Responses to 7 Tips to Traversing the Fantasy Countryside

  1. Learn to love the rain. We do it, here in Wales, so remember that without that lovely rain you aren’t going to get the lovely whiskey at the end of the march…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Take some good salve. Everything stings, bites, causes rashes, or lays eggs under your skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. L. Marie says:

    Hopefully you still have a horse after discovering the horse-eating grass.
    This is hilarious and true. There are so many ways the environment can kill you in fantasy worlds.

    I can’t help thinking of Fellowship of the Ring (the movie version) where the hobbits grabbed a bunch of vegetables from someone else’s fields.


    • Maybe part of one?

      Forgot about that one. One of my favorite environment dangers were the trees in Wizard of Oz.

      Liked by 1 person

      • L. Marie says:

        Ah yes! They were great! So vicious. The trees in Fellowship were nasty too. I’m thinking of Old Man Willow. And now I’m thinking of the whomping willow in Harry Potter.


      • Hogwarts has to be one of the worst schools around. I mean, there was absolutely no attempt at make it safe for students. A tree that will smash you into paste? Staircases that move with a mind of their own? Yearly attacks by a Dark Lord? Just doesn’t seem like it should have the stellar reputation that it has.


  4. I think taking a shortcut through the swamp is like going into the basement in a horror movie. Just not done. Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish I had this list a few years ago!
    I always took the path with tons of sunlight and flowers, little did I realize those flowers gave off sleeping gas! It took me six months to get through it. Then when I was finally awake, I found myself standing on top of a mountain with a well marked path leading onto a bunch of clouds, did I stop to ask why it was there? Did I think it was a trap? No, I just walked out there and promptly fell toward the ground, luckily my fall was broken by a dragon… he wasn’t very happy to find me, let me tell you!
    Then I tried to camp in the middle of the road, I was given a ticket and my pot of beans was run over by a semi!
    I was hungry after that night, nearly got shot when I tried to pick a pear.
    After that I did try to go around the mountains, but I was in a canyon, no way out, so I started up the mountain and was promptly captured by a group of trolls, I was forced to write nasty stuff about people online for weeks before I managed to escape.
    Finally when I was free and safe from any pursuit , I stopped to smell the flowers, this is the only part of your suggestions that I disagree with, florists don’t like people dressed like bums wandering in and sniffing their wares, that guy chased me out of his shop and I think I would have been killed right then and there, but a kind old woman pointed me into a swamp… now I have a favor to ask, can you point the way out of this swamp?


  6. I love the description of the witch’s lair. It would look inviting, lol.


  7. What if the thing you’re looking for is IN the swamp?


  8. Pingback: Writing Links 3/20/17 – Where Genres Collide

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