It’s been a while since I’ve posted here for Quest of Fire Friday. A lot of that has to do with the COVID pandemic making my work as an infectious disease informatician crazy for a long, long time. It’s only now calming down to what it was pre-pandemic. Toss in several major deadlines early this year (an announcement related to that is coming with next week’s Quest of Fire Friday 😉 ) and it has been tough pulling the time (and myself) together to do these. My hope is to get back into showing you more of the Lowlands and its expansive cultures, history, and stories.
So, to start things off, since I’ve just been bemoaning how much time I have for this, let’s talk about time in Quest of Fire.
1. Time passes roughly the same way it does for us.
2. A day in the Lowlands is about 24 hours just like ours and the year takes roughly 365 days and either four seasons or the rainy and dry seasons common to our world.
3. There are twelve months, but their names are very different from ours:
Month——————-Lowlands Month Names (Inspiration)
January—————— Premgelee (Modified French for “First Frost”)
February—————- Misbyr (Welsh for “Short Month”)
March——————–Villiris (Norwegian for wild iris, which bloom in March)
April———————-Windechel (Made up around the word windy)
May———————-Blomsen (Made up around blooms, ‘April showers bring May flowers’)
June———————–Solfylte (Norwegian for sunny)
July————————Daraleath (Irish for Second Half, referring to the start of the year’s 2nd half)
August——————–Gladiol (Gladiolus is the birth flower of August)
September ————- Aurigids (Meteor shower long held to happen regularly in September)
October —————– Fylleth (Old English for full moon)
November————— Fómhar (Autumn/harvest in Irish)
December————— Gŵylgoleuni (“Festival of light” in Welsh)
For a bit I just want to break to add, why the month names are different. For us English speakers, the month names we have are almost exclusively from ancient Roman names for the months that got carried over from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar we use. Since there’s no place named Rome in the Lowlands and that explicit culture history are absent, the names for months had to be unique. I’m facing something similar for days of the week which are named for Germanic/Scandinavian deities, a Roman titan, and the sun and moon. In all of my world-building workshops, I point out that writing is an act of balance between familiar and fantastic elements. As readers we need something familiar to hold onto and anchor us in the story world so that we can fully appreciate and engage the fantastical aspects of the story. With time keeping you’ll note I stuck with the familiar for #1 and #2, that way when I came to #3 where I had to move into less familiar terms it hopefully isn’t as jarring. Especially because #4 really goes into drastically new frontiers.
4. There are three eras of history in the Lowlands:
Era (Events Starting and Ending the Era)
Ancient (Creation of the Lowlands till the High King’s first coming)
Middle (The High King’s first coming to the Second Battle of Kirke)
Modern (The Second Battle of Kirke till the end of the Lowlands)
You’ll notice there are triggers for when the Lowlands changed its dating scheme. The key protagonists of Quest of Fire, Anargen and Jason, are from the Middle and Modern Eras respectively. The start date for each teen’s story in Quest of Fire: The Gathering Dark is Daraleath 22, 1605 Middle Era and Fylleth 24, 355 Modern Era. The Middle Era roughly corresponds to the 17th Century AD and the Modern Era the first two decades of the 20th Century AD. With those timing parallels come a host of familiar elements, but interwoven and ensconced in the fantastical history and world of the Lowlands.
NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Big Things Ahead