Introducing the world of Kiln
In the beginning…Once upon a time…These are some of the most wonderful words in the English language. They spark anticipation, wonder, curiosity, and a whole host of other delicious moods and emotions. And they are especially epic and powerful when they occur in the genre of imagination: fantasy, science fiction, and the like.
Word building is one of my favorite things about writing fiction. As J.R.R. Tolkien put it, “we make by the law which we’re made,” meaning that as image bearers of God we are given the singular honor of imitating God by being sub-creators. I can no more create a real world than I can will the stars to change their courses flap my arms and fly, but creating imaginary ones, fashioned and inspired after this world, the primary one, this brings delight and stirs my soul.
As Tolkien also said, this sub-creation and world-building serves no functional biological purpose. And yet for those of us who have tread many miles over imaginary geography, life without such journeys would be pedantic and diminished.
It is with such thoughts in mind that I introduce the setting for my latest fiction series. And the name of this world is…
Kiln is a land of mountains, many many mountains and is far more rich in minerals and metals than our own. In Kiln, the known world consists of a single continent. At one time, the nations of The Four Wards, all allied and united as one, ruled the land in an age of tranquility and boundless promise.
But that was long ago.
Now, only two of those nations survive. Their names are Verisward and Inrisward, though they are commonly referred to by their shorter names, Veris and Inris. The Four Wards are also referred to as Warding and indeed in the current age, that designation is more common.
The individual countries of Warding, though an alliance of equals, have always deferred to the Fane of Verisward in most matters. The Fanes function much like kings or even emperors, but in theory they must answer to the Council of Shar. Shar is short for Selashar, the golden-domed castle of Gilding, capital of Veris, from which the Fane rules. Because they convene but once a year, for the most part the Fane’s power is seldom checked.
Veris (like Inris) is divided into four castings, Temper to the north,, Helver to the east, Farrier to the south, and Braize to the west.
“if there’s one thing you can depend on in Inris, it’s that we’re dependable.”
Inris lies to the north. It is largely unsettled, with vast stretches of open plains and rugged hills. Inris is a rainy land, green, but rocky. For this reason farm land is at a premium and farmers enjoy higher status than to the south in Veris where farmland is more plentiful.
Farming in the north consists primarily of potatoes, cabbage, and oats. Some wheat and barley is grown near the capital of Madrigal, but it does not do well in other parts and thus isn’t considered “dependable”. And, as a popular saying goes, “if there’s one thing you can depend on in Inris, it’s that we’re dependable.”
Inris is ruled by the Margrave, though he functions more like a governor under the authority of the Fane. Due to the large mountains separating the two nations communication is difficult, however, so the Margrave is often left to do as he pleases.
The castings of Inris are: Selvedge to the north, Limmring to the west. Aldric to the south, and Urlish to the east.
Rule among the cities and towns
Each city in Warding is ruled by a Daysman who sees that taxes are paid and laws obeyed. Each Daysman in turn has a Fielder who functions like a marshal over the stronghand militia and watchmen of the city.
In smaller towns, rather than a formal Daysman, a Fielder is appointed directly by the Margrave or Fane and functions somewhat like a Daysman, though with less prestige (and compensation), but oddly enough more authority since no one wants to be brought to the attention of the Fane or Margrave and the Fielders in the villages have an easier time keeping an eye on the inhabitants of their smaller settlements.
The rule of Four
In our world the number seven has special prominence. In Kiln, the number four has a similar importance. The weeks are four days long and are called a fourday. A two week period is known as an eightday.
The days of the week of course have different names. They are:
The Warding calendar year is divided into 16 months and is exactly 400 days long. The months are each 24 days long, with every fourth month running 28 days long. The year begins on the first of spring and the months are as follows:
And so it begins…
There is of course much much more to the world of Kiln, and much of that will come out in the stories set in this world, stories which are coming closer to print with each passing day. The map included here shows only the places featured in the first book in the series. There is much more to it!
Though the title of the books and the series have yet to be released, I hope you enjoyed this small taste of what’s to come. I’ll be sharing more about Kiln in the days ahead.
So keep your sword sharp and your eyes sharper for the upcoming fantasy adventures set in the epic world of Kiln!