It seems fitting at this point to make mention of the Ages as the Glimmdrad count them, for many records were written long ago among the lands of the faere-folke. It must be noted, however, that if this account is to be read as something of a textbook, the reader will quite likely find very little use from what he does not wish to learn and may as well skip to a much more interesting chapter. I once had an arithmetic instructor, when I was but a wee squib of a Gruagach, who would say that algebra was not meant to be dreich, for it was created as a manifestation of Elonru’s character and therefore had an inherent beauty about it. I therefore concluded that, after all, I did not hate algebra, I only hated learning about it. Likewise, History was never meant to be boring – it is only taught that way. Thus being said, I begin (I hope) this rather brief task. But we will not know exactly how brief it is until we quite possibly look back on page twenty-two and realise we have long overstayed our welcome.
I digress – ahem.
The ways in which the ages are counted differ immensely between, notably, the Quotidian (or Standard) Age utilised across most of the Rykris and the measure of time according to the Glimmdrad, which is the Circadian Age (or the Ælder, as it is named among the shining folke). The differences in these metaphoric time-pieces spring from somewhat opposite mindsets regarding the process of time – that is, as the narrator may explain it in as best a way that his ignorance of such things will allow, the Standard Age is largely based on a linear concept of time (from point one to point two to point twenty-six thousand, three-hundred forty-seven, and so on); whereas the Ælder admits a form of linear thought while also integrating a prominent theme of circular time. It is as though this latter view is watching a mouse riding a toy boat that is continually spinning in circles while all the while, the current is pushing our friendly mouse and boat down the stream. The toy is being prodded down the trickle of time while continually repeating its spinning movements as it bobs along. As one scholar and another have summarised it: ‘history repeats itself.’ The Glimmdrad are quite conscious of this fact and as such, have noted those patterns much more strongly in their records than have Men. Additionally, their system of numbering such years within each Epoch is based upon four-hundred, as it is a derivative of four, which they consider (along with three) a significant number, mostly because the two entities are considered as slightly varying presentations of the concept of balance. Thus introduced, the two systems – Standard and Ælder – are compared below:
Circadian Age/Epoch/Ælder Timeline
0-994 I.A. (Standard Age)** – The Anti-Epoch – Anti-Epoch ends with the War of Kin – 2194 A.Æ. (Circadian Age)
994-3520 IV.A. – First Æld – First Epoch ends with the Glimmdrad Departure to Varë/Čellimor; establishment of Hrethendawn – 8320 I.Æ.
3521-4002 (present day) V.A. – Second Æld – The Flight of Faelön; fall of Čellik – 100002 II. Æ.
As is evident, the dividing years between Epochs consist of notable moments within Glimmdrad history – many sub-timelines consist of similar battle and achievement markers, thereby re-emphasising the cyclical-linear interrelationship that characterises the faire-folke’s concept of time.
One monumental characteristic of time across the realms I must here expound upon: the ripping apart of the Rykris-seams which the Schism wrought thereby altered, through perhaps a warping of the this very fabric (the mechanics of this occurence rising far above the narrator’s knowledge), the flow of time in several Realms – that is to say, in essence, not only did the Schism alter the Seams, but it also introduced multiple dimensions of Time. The Standard Age method of measuring time used by humans and the vast majority of folkes and bloods in the Rykris is well-used across all but three Realms: Varë, Ysythria, and Ældor. In the first two, time passes faster in relation to Standard Age years – that is, whereas a few centuries may pass among the majority of the Realms, at least twice this timespan or longer will have already come and gone in these particular dimensions. In the third – Ældor – well, Time in this Realm is an altogether different matter, far less concrete and more complex than time as us Standard Age beings would know it. The details must therefore be relegated to a future account.
One must also recognise that these time differentiations do not in any way alter the definition of one year in a given Realm as the time required for its corresponding Spheres to complete one revolution about that Realm’s sun.
The faire-folke themselves live a good bit longer than do other Bloods, except for the Hybrikin, their half-kin who have inherited in one degree or another this lengthy bhærghym.*** The average lifespan of a Glimmdrad hovers about a breezy eleven-thousand Standard Age years. This, naturally, presents a sizeable dilemna as S.A. years only stretch to the present Fifth Age (briefly detailed a moment later in this account). It is therefore appropriate that their home realm remains Varë, where many, many more ages have passed than elsewhere amidst the Rykris. Glimmdrad largely keep to themselves within their dimension, although betimes one may see a faire-folke visitor journeying amidst the towns and villages of neighbouring Realms. Few, if any, ever venture to Ëorda. I am not even certain that humans not outside of Terras even believe in their existence – or that of any other non-human Blood for that matter. It is by nature of the time pecularities of the Varen dimension that the Glimmdrad are most adept at many arts of manipulating time and space, including portal-travel and lore-singing, and in guarding their ancient and treasured histories and lore. But more of this in the future.
Men, in contrast to the Ælder method, have systematically divided the years according to millennia; such is typically written as follows:
Standard Age Timeline
0-999 – First Age (I.A.)
1000-1999 – Second Age (II.A.)
2000-2999 – Third Age (III.A.)
3000 – 3999 – Fourth Age (IV.A)
4000 – 4002 (present day) – Fifth Age (V.A.)
And that is that.
Simply put, there are Three Veils (aforementioned in the First Account), Nine Realms, and Twenty-Three Spheres altogether. As the Veils have already made their brief and proper introduction at the beginning of these bookish writings, we shall move on to discuss the other two aspects. The narrator has listed each Realm with its corresponding Middlish (Common) and Glimmspråk names as well as their appropriate Spheres:
Asphydor – Eordä – Nine: Diarvan, Lera, Terras, Oriv, Mentris, Gargova, Meloss, Praxyd
Maalidor – Menendrian – Three-and-one-half*: Rurix, Orim, Ymyvka, half-Blasborg*
Čellimor – Varë – Three: Čellik, Čellaav (GS, ‘Sythroth’), Čellëor 》9.2 Č.E./V.E. = 1 S.A.
Berigox – Symfan – Two: Ërian, Lofiy
Ysthyria – Ortari – Two: Ysthyr, Rymwell 》2.11 Y.A./O.A. = 1 S.A.
Nodepierce – Isien – One: Taeyba
Mintagreyt -Vélimgath – One: Poesia
Palindriy – Aeldor – One: Malindrome 》P.A./Æ.E. remains indistinct and indeterminable; no direct conversion to equivalate to S.A. years.
Lavyndor* – Telehíl – Half: half-Blasborg*
*Names and terms labeled as thus are associated with the Ninth Realm – Lavyndor – which was severed into two rough and charred half-spheres; neither portion is inhabited save for fell forces of the accursed, and it is occasionally dropped altogether from the list of Realms in some records. Oftentimes, if the Realms contain but one habitable Sphere, the Sphere and Realm are referred to interchangeably by its Realm-name.
**See second chart for Standard Age Timeline.
*** bhærghym – ‘blessing-curse’