Fantasy Friday! Cavernous Kingdoms Aren’t Real – Or Are They?

If there’s a common fantasy theme that’s almost a trope it’s dwarven kingdoms of huge proportions. All those dwarven kingdoms hiding beneath fantasy mountains couldn’t exist though – right? There are no caves that long or deep. People don’t live like that out of the sun. That’s right isn’t it? It’s just the stuff of fantasy and that’s fine if you can stand that well-worn trope once again.

Or isn’t it?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Here are some real-life underground, caves and dwellings that defy your understanding of what’s possible and where people have – and do – still live.

Cavernous Kingdoms 1First, let’s talk about caves. Most of us think of the tight places of tales and local legends and maybe visited a few pretty amazing caves with some pretty amazing formations. I’ve been in a few over the years and some provided quite a trek. But fantasy books come up with some pretty outlandish settings that just can’t exist – right. Wrong. There are some places underground around the world that have never been fully explored because they are so enormous. Some were lived in by numerous people on a daily basis. Let’s visit some:

First, here’s a list of the deepest caves in the world from Wikipedia. The deepest of which, Krubera, was explored in a National Geographic special.

But what about those massive caves described in some books which go on for who knows how long? Yep, those exist too. Case in point – Hang Son Doong in Vietnam which has some mind-blowing proportions and has never been fully explored.

Next, let’s discus cavernous dwellings because everyone knows that while people have taken shelter in caves for thousands of year there just aren’t vast dwellings out there. Well, there are some examples.

Derinkuyu – this underground city in Turkey is actually the largest of numerous, ancient underground cities in the region. This place could hold thousands of people – and animals.

NCavernous Kingdoms2abateans/Petra – is an ancient city built into a mountain which is famous from movies. The Nabateans were able to store and control their water supply in cisterns with a system of channels. This location became the main stopping point along caravan routes which meant the inhabitants collected lots of money in taxes. He who controls the water controls the gold.

What about those vast mines dwarves are always making? Yep there are several. One excellent example is Wielczka Salt Mines. This mine was open for about 700 years in Poland and runs for over 170 miles. It is adorned with statues and chapels and is now a major tourist attraction.

Cavernous Kingdoms 3So when reading fantasy and those incredible dwarven kingdoms are part of the plot, they have some basis in reality. Whenever there’s a major underground trip in a book, it may not even rival what exists in the real world. Authors would do well to research many of these caves, cities and mines as they provide excellent source material for describing them in any work of fiction, especially fantasy. Take a look around on the internet and you’ll find that people still live in underground complexes all over the world so don’t rule out books because you think of this as a well-worn trope in fantasy literature – it’s already well-worn in real life.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Photos via free section


Using Scrivener As Your Reference Library

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

The Inspector in Scrivener hides a number of useful features. Previous posts on Archer’s Aim regarding the Inspector include:

Inspection! What Scrivener’s Other Bar Does

Strategic Usage of Snapshots in Scrivener

Keywords & Project Searches in Scrivener

Lost Your Scratchpad? Here It Is In Scrivener!

Duly Noted In Scrivener

Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list

This week we continue with use of Document References from the Inspector.

Just as a refresher, the Inspector is turned on by clicking on View in Scrivener. Slide down the menu to Layout and click on Inspector in the fly-out menu that is displayed (for keyboard command enthusiasts use CTRL + Shift + I).

Scirv Turn on Inspector

The Document References are accessed using the second from the left button located at the bottom of the Inspector.

Scriv Doc Refs Highlighted

To toggle between Document References and Project References click the up-down arrows.

Scriv Doc Refs Toggle

There are several other controls for the Document References. To Add/Remove references click on the +/- buttons. The + button reveals a menu that allows adding internal references from the project as well as external references (Look-up and Add or Create), all of which are pictured below:

The Add Reference Menu

The Add Reference Menu Displayed


Add Internal References Menu Displayed

Add Internal References Menu Displayed


Adding An External Reference Displayed

Adding An External Reference Displayed

Personally, I’ve been using Document References of late when writing posts. If I start researching aspects of my post then I add the references that I find which are usually external. So when I add the external reference I give it a title that makes sense and the web link to the page. This way I can access the information or add the link into a post. To add the referenced web link to your document, double click on the reference to open it. Then copy/paste the page link that’s opened into the your document via Scrivener’s link command.

Using references can also be used in various types of writing besides blog posts. The internal project references are also very valuable for larger projects, especially those involving research.

the-bow-of-destiny-by-p-h-solomonPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

Mailing List Artwork Mailchimp

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.

Privacy Policy

This blog does not share personal information – including email addresses – with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies (which is a function and not mine).

You can turn off the use of cookies at any time by changing your specific browser settings.

I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission.

This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).