text and illustrations © 2002 Boudewijn Rempt
An imaginary world
Andal is an imaginary world I've been working on since I was about twelve. That means for close on twenty years. I've written a slew of stories set in Andal (all in Dutch), a novel, and another novel I should be working on right now. I've also hosted role-playing adventures in this setting, but the primary function of Andal is to serve as a vehicle for my writing, sketching, sculpting and composition urges.
As far as imaginary worlds go, Andal is quite unusual. It is not Medieval England with unfamiliar names, nor another version of Middle Earth. It isn't Greece in Indonesia, like Gehennum, nor Alexandria in Nehwon. Nor is it post-apocalyps, pre-civilistation or alternate history.
In fact, I'd have a hard time characterizing Andal in terms of familiar cultures. There's something of Song China in it, and traces of Nepal under the Nevari Malla kings.
Years after I had created the words Andal, Charya (Dutch spelling: Charia), Hanudan and others, when I started studying Sanskrit, Pali, Nepali and Classical Tibetan, I discovered that most of these words have a very apt meaning in one or another of the languages of the Indian sub-continent. Andal is a Hindu goddess, sri Madva Charya is a dvaita saint. Hanudan, of course, is almost the same as the monkey god, Hanuman. Curious, those coincidences.