The Land of Two Moons: Languages & Cultures of Tsurennupaiva

I did quite a bit of worldbuilding when I first started developing the world of The Land of Two Moons. Most of my attention was focused on the Rennuryhpa (rennu “moon” + ryhpa “people”), who are the majority ethnic group of Tsurennupaiva. Originally, they were referred to as “Selenians” in English – just like Tsurennupaiva is called “The Land of Two Moons” – but after writing the entire story, I realized that I never actually used any of those words to refer to them.

When you do a lot of worldbuilding, not all of it makes it into the actual story. In this case, I’d say that most of it didn’t make it into the actual story.

Now on to the actual point of this post: the languages and cultures of Tsurennupaiva.

500-ish years ago, the moon Ellinen blew up and destroyed 90% of living species. This was later called the Cataclysm. The remnants of humanity spent ~250 years on Sairren, another moon, and returned back to the planet. Then they founded Tsurennupaiva.

During that time on the moon, most of humanity (who came from all over the planet, not just one country) developed a new culture and started calling themselves Selenians (in Rennukat: rennuryhpa). Their language, Rennukat (rennu “moon” + kat” language”), is not a creole or mixed language like you would assume, but a lesser-spoken language that was chosen to be the language of the new Selenian people and adopted en masse.

Selenian culture was, to a large extent, constructed in order to deliberately avoid the mistakes made by the Old Humans – the people who lived before the Cataclysm. The Cataclysm was and still is seen as a punishment from the gods for the behaviors and lifestyles of the Old Humans.

The Ciniáne and Miryani people are two of the largest minority ethnic groups in Tsurennupaiva. Brithan Thiosciare is Ciniáne, and Ren Fennel is Miryani. Both of those characters (and their cultures) came from the second version of The Gate at the End of the World.

Both the Ciniáne and Miryani people existed before the Cataclysm, and have largely managed to keep their cultures & languages intact despite everything that happened, including the pressures to adopt the Selenian culture and language.

While the Ciniáne language is a naming language with slightly more fleshed-out grammar than usual and I’ve thought about the culture, the Miryani language and culture are…nonexistent. This wasn’t going to be the case, especially when I was working on The Gate at the End of the World since Ren was actually a main character there. But in The Land of Two Moons, she’s a secondary character who’s primarily out of focus.

I definitely did not get a chance to explore everything about these things that I wanted to. A large part of the problem, I think, was the (necessary) switch from a comic to prose. There were a lot of things that I planned on showing through visuals that simply that did not make the transition to writing.