Musings on Mu: The Setting


The richest environments you can imagine: highly detailed, colourful, vivid. There is a visceral sense of power in Mu, and the environments will convey it perfectly.

Huge rivers to cross; waterfalls splashing through gullies, lofty mountain passes, sacred grottos, hidden lagoons, eerie marshes haunted by will-o’-wisps and faerie lights, the ancient mists of the northern seas, the bright sun and rustling grasses of open plains, the broad reaches of sloping valleys, the wide and mysterious Western Moors… hidden glens with dappled sunlight, dusty mines with forgotten treasure, rain-soaked forests with deep pools… a small shrine next to one, and further back; a wise woman’s hut, hidden amongst the ferns… the friendly light of a candle in her window…


In certain areas (deep in nature, or in any place abandoned or untouched by humanity), there is no music, but rather sound effects: trickling water, the rustle of air in the treetops, a lone wip-poor-whil calling its lonely greeting… Mu is very much wild. If all the soul’s wildness manifested, this is the world you’d get.

These ambient environments would often exhibit subtle shifts, creating a need for “dynamic listening“. I’ll give you an example: say you were sailing about on the open sea, and found a small inlet leading to a lagoon. This lagoon is beautiful, and you are already captivated by its clear water and the mossy slopes on its banks. Your crew will probably want to go swimming, but you want to look for an way leading further into the interior, as you have heard rumors there is a lost city deep within the jungle-like forests which form this part of the continent (it’s the next location you must visit). Your ship is forced to move slowly through the warm waterway, as it is small and only just big enough for a vessel of its size. Here’s where the dynamic listening comes in: you reach the end of the lagoon, and there is no discernible passage leading further inland. Naturally you are frustrated, and think this trip was all in vain. But wait… and stop the ship. Now listen: what do you hear? What do you see? Just watch, and keep your peripheral vision (and hearing) active. You will notice the sounds of the natural environment slowly begin to return to it; birds chirping, the sound of a nearby creek, perhaps the distant howl of a monkey. You see rays of sunlight shining off of a mossy log. A cloud passes by overhead. You see the shadow of a large fish emerge from underneath your boat. That’s odd, how was that there the whole time? Was it following us as we were moving? You see it move lazily towards a patch of grass near the mossy log. Suddenly, with a flash of its scales, it disappears. A trail of sediment leads right into the bank of the lagoon… without alerting your companions, you drive the ship slowly forward, on nothing more than a hunch. Noticing what you’re doing just as it happens, your companions cry out! … but it’s too late. Right before your party members’ and your own astonished eyes, you find your ship passing through a brief swath of moss and vines, and then into a narrow, sheltered waterway. The creek you heard earlier is louder; it seems to be coming from up ahead. As your ship moves forward, the broken vines and scattered moss behind you reassemble, leaving a blank wall of vegetation. You quickly look back at your friends, who are just as shocked as you are, and just as ready to fight. You look back.

There is a Venus Djinn perched on a nearby branch, gazing calmly back at you.

~ – ~

Sorry for getting carried away! These are just some the things I have planned for Mu. Hope you enjoyed them! Also, here’s the link for the image I used.

~ Daft



  1. jdmj90 said,

    May 11, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Wow. that’s quite a good piece of writing. i love how you just like calm peaceful and interesting and then *bang* a djinn. That would be like the perfect chapter ending.

  2. November 3, 2009 at 1:02 am

    […] on Garoh… or the various Overworld themes) I desire that the landscape match the soundscape. Read this if you want clarification on the vivid detail part. Ah, perfect time to end with… 4. Motoi Sakuraba Nuff’ […]

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