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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A is for: Age of Heroes (#AtoZchallenge)

Let’s just dive right into Termag: A to Z.

A is for: Age of Heroes

Like our own ages, the Age of Heroes is a convenient tag that historians give to a distinct period. In Termag’s case, it covers roughly fifteen hundred years after the destruction of Camac That Was. The first several centuries are often called “The Lost Years,” although that era is historically a part of the Age of Heroes. The beginning of the age was a dire time, as Jira the White, Protector of the North, wrote at the time:
Take twenty of the folk. Twelve of them fall to The Madness. Seven more perish, by the hands of the mad, starvation or accident, or their own hands. One is left to carry on, the horrors of the last few months forever etched on her mind. Can this tiny remnant re-establish order? Is it even worth trying?
Three Protectors (of nine) and ten Captains (of fifty) survived as well. In normal times, Protectors and Captains were how a far-flung empire maintained order; they stood outside the normal system of governance, but were charged to take command during any crisis. Thus, in the greatest crisis in history, all looked to them for advice and aid.

At first, the remnant hoped to re-establish Camac’s government and reach, to protect the remaining populace and maintain what infrastructure and knowledge had survived. But as the East declared independence, and Isenbund and the Faraway North succumbed to climate change, the focus began to narrow.

Goblins, driven into hiding after the First Goblin Wars, emerged anew and threatened to destroy what little was left of humanity as well. The Second Goblin Wars spanned centuries, and ended with the final defeat and extermination of the Goblins in their fastnesses near Isenbund and what is now Roth's Keep.

End of an Age

With the Goblins wiped out, there were several attempts to reunite the old empire (largely by Ak’Koyr, which saw itself as Camac Reborn). But by this time, none of the population centers, old or new, were willing to give up sovreignty. Ak’koyr itself never managed to extend its rule beyond the western Gulf of Camac, the Northern Reach, and a few nearby Eastern provinces. The role of Protectors devolved into little more than the leadership of the Conclave of Sorcerers, and Captains as ambassadors at large or privileged adventurers (Captain Chelinn being a conspicuous example of the latter).

Sorcerers mark the passing of the Age of Heroes at the winding the Seventh Trumpet outside North Keep (on the shores of the Northern Reach), but historians mark it with the dissolution of the Council of Captains some fifty years later. With various nations going their own ways, and many territories yet wild, many Captains saw their office as a relic of an era that was gone forever. The Council voted to dissolve itself, and folk marked it as the passing of an age.

Next: B is for: Bailar the Blue


  1. Nice description of this age. I like Jira the White, and I look forward to learning more about Termag.

  2. Those goblins are a right pain in the arse, aren't they? Happy A to Z, Larry!

  3. Wow. You're off with a bang, Larry. Already that's some amazing world building.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

  4. Interesting to know about Termag. Hope to read more. Stopping by from A To Z Challenge

  5. Very good description and backstory Larry and the tircksy Goblins will always cause havoc.

  6. Great start, Larry. I'm looking forward to learning more about this world. Do you think Bailar will be sharing any spells with us this month? :)

  7. This is a pretty good intro to the world! Also, sounds like there is enough material for half a dozen hotels in this age alone.

  8. It was interesting to read some more insight into your world. I always enjoy goblins myself. Do you envision your goblins any differently than the standard type? Looking forward to future posts!

  9. Thanks, David!

    Cathy, they most certainly are. More at the bottom of this reply.

    Thanks, Patricia. As I said in the reveal, I've been building this world since 1980. I've found that knowing little details about a world, even if you don't put them in the story, still manage to enhance it.

    Ilakshee, good to see you. I've added you (and all the other responders here) to my browser tabs so I won't miss anything.

    Helen, those Goblins have some bad habits, no doubt!

    Thanks, Chuck. I don't know if Bailar will share any spells, but he's featured in the B post…

    Sonia, while in college I did write a (perfectly awful) novel. It will likely never see the light of day, or even blog, but it has a lot of "historical" significance.

    Thanks, Philip. When working with a long-standing trope, especially in a genre that's already full of the standard model, I like to put some kind of twist on things. Since G is already reserved, I'll put a little info here.

    Goblins of Termag can sleep indefinitely if not disturbed (for whatever reason), shun magic, don't function well in daytime, and will avoid large bodies of water when possible (which begs the question of how they ended up on certain islands!). Like most depictions of Goblins, they're twisted both physically and morally; they were made by the Evil One, who wanted to prove himself equal to the Creator, but the darkness in him was also in his creation. Still, there is room for pity and even redemption. There are hints of the latter in my stories, in which some people are thought part-Goblin. During and after the First Goblin Wars, some Goblins essentially switched sides. They were cautiously accepted into the edges of human society, and even produced viable offspring in some cases. (I won't go into details. :-P)

    At least two words from the Goblin-tongue were adopted into the Western tongue: hiu'mani (red flower), the origin of the word "human." Western folk have a reddish complexion, and love the sun; there was an implication of delicacy, something easily crushed. The other is bowgnoash, which was their word for something unfit to eat, or one of their own they wished to disown (such as those who switched sides?). Among humans, it's considered a rude insult, with "rotten meat" the more polite substitute. For example, in Water and Chaos, Mik tells a fraudster "I recognize a barge-load of rotten meat when I smell it."

    OK, enough infodump!

  10. I know about those historically important but terrible novels. Also, just realized I wrote hotels when I meant novel. Though I am sure the age could support hotels too...


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