Dark fantasy project, set partly in Xinjiang with dip into a realms of fantasy & horror. My inspirations for the Illyany are:
The animist peoples North of the Gobi (pre-Mongol expansion)
The valley of the river Ili which is the main river flowing into Lake Baikal.
The Old Silk Road and the potential for that highway to become important again
Fantasy and Horror in general.
Those of you who are up to the geography will realise that the valley for the river Ili is to be found in North-West Xinjiang, close to Kazakhstan. Xinjiang (former Dzungaria) had an even earlier name: Kara-Khitai and it was where the old silk road entered China proper. The way the story is panning out, the animist elements could well be set on an alternate Earth – one in which a Golden Age Islam wasn’t crushed by Turco-Mongol hordes. The Turks were nomads; many of them, like the Mongols, were animists…. so far this comes to 3,000 words.
It’s currently gone back in the chiller but I’ve done three scenes.