September 4, 2011 by News
This is my world
I tried not to let any outside influences affect what a wrote, but of course when elves are a major subject of the book there is a plethora of opinions as to who and what elves are. When possible I used Tolkien as a guideline(why do we do that?) and then I was inspired and in one case borrowed from other sources. I hope you like my world as I created it and do not find reason to hold it in comparison to Tolkien or any other elf-heavy game, book, or imagining of anyone else.
Elves: I’ve often resourced the Tolkien writings on elves and the complex relationships and traditions. I tried to incorporate some of them in my writings as I could, and hopefully without offense in any way.
Elven Society: Aerandora is a matriarchal society, from the queen on down. Families carry their matriarchal name and the women are the ones who make the decisions (hopefully with input from their family and life mate)
Elven Bond: When elves become joined they join their whole beings, not just their bodies and hearts. Their spirits and souls are bound together also. There becomes a special attachment where they can always know where the other is and even know what the other is feeling and if they are injured or even alive. Aleyne, even though she is not pure elven blood, was changed when she was granted access to Ibanthene. She is now pure elven blood – body and spirit. Her bound to Iacaus has grown complete.
Elven Naming: The first born daughter’s name is usually formed in the following way: Given Name + Father’s Surname + Mother’s Surname. The other children are named using their mother’s surname as their own. The use of any family surnames at all when naming is a choice not a requirement. Children can easily change their names as an adult, but most do not in respect to their parents and ancestors. Aleyne, althoughfathered by a man, was named using the elven tradition.
Names: Any similarity to actual names, or those already being used, is not intentional. I often used the internet to do a web search for the name I chose to see where it might be found. A few names I discarded if they appeared to be well known or connected to adult rated sites, I might have missed some and for that I apologize.
Ceremony of Joining: A ceremony to announce that a couple has become life mates. Elves don’t recognize marriage, to them a lifelong bound is formed when the couple consummates their love, no other ceremony or approval is needed. The Ceremony of Joining is a celebration of the union attended close friends and family, much like a marriage ceremony.
Elven life: Elf families traditionally only have two children. In the past children have usually born after the parents are 100 years old and quite often closer to 200 years old. Because the population of Aerandora is shrinking because the elves are being offered more positions and marrying outside of the kingdom so they are not having children until later in their lives, often only one or not at all. The Queen is encouraging her citizens to have children at an age younger than 100 years, more in line with the ages that men have theirs. Depending on which history you read, elves live anywhere from 300 years to eternity. In my book the lifespan is 300 years to no longer than 500 years except in some rare circumstances. At the end of that life, or when facing a serious illness, an elf will begin his “walk”. The walk is a journey to their final destiny. In the centuries before the elves broke their silence to travel outside of Aerandora to make their peace and alliance with the human race, an elderly elf would decide when it was time to end his life on this world and journey to meet Corellon. They would walk into the wilderness and travel upon the highest peaks of Aerandora and walk until they had no memory of walking. Now they end their natural life surrounded by their friends and loved ones, although a few still take the long walk preferring the solace of fellowship with the mountain. The journey song is an ancient tune sung to honor the person on their walk as they travel from this life to the next. It is also used as a memorial song when remembering those past.
Relationships: Elves are monogamous. It is not unheard of for longtime companionships to form between the sexes, but they are for adventure not relationships. It has been known for an Elf to fall in love with a woman, or a man with an Elf and to marry. (using the terms men) I thought it particularly interesting to find references on the web that gave the additional lore that if an elf was raped or adulterous they would die.
Scouts – Rangers – Thieves – Rogues: In England, the 1572 Vagabond Act defined a rogue as a healthy person who has no land, no master, and no legitimate trade or source of income. Raul and Aleyne and those that they travel with are known as scouts by their profession. Scout is a generic name that more describes the skill set – like scout, hunter, woodsman, tracker; they all involve using similar and overlapping but not necessarily the same skills. Because thieves and brigands possess many of the skills that scouts have, scouts were called ‘thief’ or ‘rogue’ behind their back from jealousy or disrespect. Soon the term that was meant as an insult became synonymous with a scout. Declaring yourself a thief doesn’t mean that you steal, but it has become to mean you have skills that surpass most. It’s not certain that a scout or two might have been tempted to be a thief more than once. Being considered a rogue doesn’t mean you don’t have property, title, or income. Some rogues have all three. Scouts are most commonly known by their close-knit brotherhood and great skill. Most all are above all others bow using bow and dagger, although some prefer sword. All weapons they know and are deadly with. All are trackers and pathfinders, all can ride well. Their woodlore is their life, not something they use when they go outside. Scouts as a whole are a society within themselves. Generally a ranger is a scout under the employ of another, such as those employed by the king or privately.
Scout-speak: It is inspired by Braille and AMESLAN . This language most commonly used by scouts and thieves and has a visual component and a digital (as in using hands and fingers) component. Using signs when distant and by tapping fingers directly against the skin the users can speak to each other. The finger talk (known and finger tap or tapping) has a similarity to Braille. The positions of dots inspired the position and movement of fingers. It is comprised of common shorthand and spelled words. The distance language also uses signs that do not translate to finger talk. Scout-speak allows the speakers total silence while communicating sometimes complex information and messages. An air of the covert and clandestine lends intrigue, don’t you think?
Surroundings: Most of my ideas for the buildings, weapons, and clothing are from what I researched from the medieval era. The words for everyday things in a life where royalty, chivalry, and servants abound I also tried to research. Where I could I used the terms I found. You might see uses of these words in my story that are not the same as you understand in today’s world. These were discovered while I researched, sometimes in dark corners of the internet. (I know, one should not trust what they find in dark corners) The terms used for combat sword training are entirely from my mind, as are ones for fighting and travel. I did reference some military terms which gave me a pain to keep them all straight. The equestrian terms are stolen from classical dressage, mostly to describe what the horses are doing, not to say that they are doing them anywhere near correctly. In a past life I was an equestrian, so my ideas about what a horse can learn and their personality is based on then.
Trail-gait: A trail-gait is a gait that a horse uses when traveling to get someplace, rather than wander and eat or explore. It is usually a little faster than a walk, whether it be an amble, jog-trot, trot, single-foot, a four-beat, or any other gait. It is usually a gait that suits the horse, not one that is forced or endlessly trained. So a trail-gait might be different from horse to horse, it is practical, not provoked. It is a gait that can be maintained for a long distance and would get the rider to where he is going faster than a walk but not use the energy that a faster speed would need. The trail-pace is usually safer on more dangerous trails as well.
The geography & scale: The scale of the different kingdoms gave me fits. Originally it was one day travel from Aleyne’s cottage to the fort, but that limited the size of the kingdom. Besides, why would Aerio and the orcs take over Ethaia if it was an hour to the village? So the distance increased, and I had to rewrite everything I had written up to then to reflect it (which was really quite a bit) One day travel became five, a day from Aleyne’s cottage to Ethaia and four days from there to the fort, based on a wagon day of 20 miles or so. When the lower kingdom was introduced I made the distance the same, four days, with a fort and at least one village on the way. The bottom lands where the farming and ocean is, who knows? They keep growing as my kingdom does. One has to feed all the people, don’t we? Aerandora was another country that just kept growing. I expect it to grow some more as Aleyne’s life goes on past this book. I’ve left plenty of room in the plains along the icy bay to expand. Euphica also has a lot of its map still covered. Aleyne has just traveled a day into it, there is more past where she has been. They have to grow things somewhere, do they not? There are already some wonderful surprises that will come from the kingdom of Euphica. As I learn and create the map expands, there are places just touched on and places not even created that I know will evolve and appear as if from nowhere. (Of course)
As for Ethaia, she will always be large enough to hold all who enter and want to stay.