Hello there!

Today’s Quest of Fire Friday ventures into some interesting details about a couple locations central to the next book in the series. What’s especially fun about these locations (besides their fun facts) is the contrasts between each one and what they imply about writing as a whole. One location I’ve had the back story for and significance in mind for years now. The other came about through discovery writing and its back story grew from details of the scene it first appears in. One is enormously obvious in its geopolitical importance, but the other is just as important to how Quest of Fire unfolds. One has a silly back story, the other a more fraught one. One actually appears in scene and the other’s shadow looms over the series.

But enough about that. Here’s the two locations I wanted to reveal/discuss for today!

NAME: Cattingsford

APPEARS IN: Resurgence of Dawn


ERAS: Early Middle to Modern

FUN FACT: The town got its name because it is positioned along the Knight River north of Youngsland. There is a river crossing that is shallow and local lore has it that a settler in the region had some young lambs he needed to bring across the river to new grazing land. He was concerned the lambs might get swept away even in the shallower waters. As it happened, a cat had been following him, trying to coax the settler into giving him some the dried meat the settler carried. Scooping up the cat, the settler tossed him into the river. The cat landed in the middle and with a squall dashed to the other side. The settler decided if the cat could ford the river, so could his lambs. Once on the other side he gave the cat some of the cured meat and brought him along. Thereafter when travelers asked where to go to cross the river, locals would direct them to the spot where “Cat’s Can Ford.” Overtime the pronunciation got slurred and morphed into Cattingsford, which became the town’s name.

RELEVANCE: Cattingsford is the location where Anargen and his allies face an important inflection point in the Quest. The events in this seemingly unimportant farming town come to ripple out and affect the course of the Lowlands’ history.

NAME: Aridgulch

MENTIONED IN: The Gathering Dark, Shadows at Nightfall, Resurgence of Dawn



FUN FACT: The canyon known as Aridgulch for over a millennia separated the civilizations and corresponding nations that are presently known as Surcalido and Zilnen. During the Middle Era, the canyon became hotly contested as gold was discovered in the surrounding region. The Gado Mines were established and subsequently controlled by Surcalido. However, the end point of the canyon, a lake, Lago Amurgo, fell under the control of Zilnen. Because the lake allowed access up the river through the canyon and the land is mountainous and rugged near the mines, the most expedient route of shipping the gold was up the river. This forced Surcalido to pay heavy tolls to Zilnen to transport its gold from the lake up the river to awaiting trade caravans. As the Middle Era ended and the Modern Era began, the balance of power shifted in the region as the Rehalcyon Empire came to control both sides of Aridgulch and the Gado Mines. Surcalido was able to emulate its longtime rival Zilnen by forcing the Empire to pay hefty fines to transport the gold down the Yellencia River to the end of the Straits of Calido where Ecthelowall’s merchants then carried the gold farther east.

RELEVANCE: The lucrative arrangement for Surcalido and Ecthelowall was secretly in jeopardy and events in Resurgence of Dawn see the power dynamic of the southwestern Lowlands completely upended which has serious consequences for Jason’s part in the Quest.

Thank you for stopping by to read! My intention is to try to take the opportunity to share little insights like this as I finish up Resurgence of Dawn, so hopefully I should have more for you to see soon. May the Lord bless and be with you always.

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