1993: The Oldest Words
Brace yourselves, this is ugly! Here it is--the oldest scrap of writing set in the Defender's world. But it's Geren who makes a written appearance first. (Misspellings and other errors left in.)
"You're not telling me you think the Avar are really still around, are you?" said the burly red-bearded farmer.
Well you can't think all the stories about them are just
"But they don't exist now," maintained the farmer, gripping his mug of beer in a beefy fist, "no ones seen a sight of them in all my years.
"I'm telling the truth, right?" he continued, swinging around to point his question at a lanky grey-whiskered man sitting at his right. "Ain't it
"That's right Bill. That stranger friend of yours had better not get it in his head to look for them or we won't see him again!" he laughed at his own joke, and turned back to his beer.
"But there's got to be some still around somewhere," the young stranger insisted.
"Well, it's none of my concern where they went or whatever happened," said the farmer, draining his mug and standing. "See you later lads!" he called as he departed.
The dark-haired stranger departed soon after, intending to
That is a good sample of my native, wholly untrained writing before I set out on these subsequent decades of self-abuse. I hope nobody's eyes are bleeding.
The above snippet took up a page of lined paper torn from a notebook, and when I neared the bottom, I stopped. There is no date, alas, but I believe I wrote this in either late 1993 or early 1994. My miserable outdoor summer job so fried my brains in those years that there's no way I'd have written anything during the summer of 1994 (or 1993), and by autumn of 1994 t'DoL's world as I conceived it was much closer to how it is in my books (as I shall show below).
I still remember bits from the writing of this, and I can deduce more. What I remember: I put in the stupid names of Bill and Harry because I wasn't going to derail myself trying to come up with their 'real' names, and because this scrap wasn't going anywhere anyway.
The other things I know (and can be observed)--the different use of 'avar' rather than 'avarii' (which was 'avari' for some years until I realized the inadvertent Tolkien rip-off, ahem). The fact they'd disappeared far more recently than it now stands in my Geren books. And yes, Geren is unnamed. I might have been playing coy because the guys in the inn don't know him, but I think it's far more likely I didn't know his name yet myself. Nor did I know t'DoL's nickname, or I'd have certainly mentioned it here.
That's because this earlier Geren was a different man than the bereaved farmer introduced in Geren book 1. There was no plague in his past, no wife or children or any family. He was just out bumming around looking for avarii because that is what was 'supposed' to happen. I like the latter developments much better--gives him grounding and motives, and is far more realistic, besides!
My second-oldest bit of writing is from November of 1994: the latter part of 'Brann and The Defender,' with a header added at some point that contained an awful sketch of Hileko, telling the tale to Geren.
The oldest draft in my possession of Geren's meeting with Imro/Imro's tale that would become the start of Geren book 1, chapter 1, is dated May 2-3, 1995. But I know I had an previous draft, much more hilarious with what I did in writing it, because I remember it. But unfortunately (or fortunately) I can't find it.
1994: The First Timeline
|Preliminary Timetable begun 11/22/94|
|"0"||Birth of The Defender|
|"20"||Death of The Changer and destruction of Avari.|
|"23"||The Defender reaches the Hyarmi Settlements in the "Old World" and meets Heruvael.|
|"24-45"||The Defender roams the world searching for Avari and learning more shapes and languages|
|"60"||"The Defender" gains his nickname|
|@ 252||Brann and The Defender|
|333||First Beginnings of The Empire|
|354||Birth of Heruvael's wife _______|
|394||Birth of Imro|
|422||Birth of Hileko|
|423||Death of _______|
|424||Rescue of Renell by The Defender and Heruvael|
|429||Death of Heruvael and withdrawal of The Defender|
|440||Return of The Defender to the "Old World"|
|444||The Defender finds a way to reach The Sister|
|452||Birth of Geren|
|461||Birth of Yaya|
|476||Deaths of Thani and Ahrilah, wife and daughter of Geren, as a result of plague.|
So there it is--my first timeline, leaving out most of the subsequent additions. I also excluded the very last '477' entry, as part of it contained book 1 spoilers.
However, this is dated by t'DoL's age, not the hyarmi AK year-markers. It's easy enough to convert any date, however--just subtract 40.
It was fun to type this out, as it stirred both memory and realization--for one, I hadn't realized I came up with the names of Geren's wife and daughter before Heruvael's mate (long just 'Havenn,' until I belatedly remembered to add the 'Hu-').
Other comments on entries:
23: No mention of Hu-Harek yet here, but I never had any conception of fledgling t'DoL running across Heruvael himself--it was always someone else who set up that meeting.
24-45: This more spread-out, undefined period was in my mind even up to writing Hope's Passage. Events look different now, thanks to writing 'A Gift for Parting' and 'Nothing Gold can Stay.' I would like to explore more between 28 ('A Song in the Twilight') and 39 ('A Gift for Parting') at some point.
60: Didn't get that story written until 2009.
333: Yes, the Dominion was called 'The Empire' until 2000, I believe, though I always knew I wanted a less Star Wars type name.
354: Hu-Havenn's always been quite important, but I didn't have the guts to tackle her story until the awful year of 2017.
423: Which is to say that I believed for decades Hu-Havenn died by suicide when Hileko was only 1 year old.
429 and 440: Fun to see the 'core' of what would become 'Reunion' in place this early. Also the groundwork for the origin of Kaliah as well.
444: And this one didn't get written until 2013. Crock pots have nothing on my brain for percolation time!
454: I added the strikethrough and date here, as it pinpoints the exact point at which I abandoned the stained glass window in a chapel-like building in the woods concept for what would eventually become the woodcarving that shows up in Geren book 1, chapter 1. That stained glass window is important, however--the crystal jewel Imro set in the place to represent t'DoL's eye was the first fuzzy beginnings of what would become the Masterstone, and for that matter, all scrying stones. The Masterstone evolved quickly, as I was beating my brains over 4-dimensional objects in the winter of 1994-1995 as research for it (the Masterstone is a 4-dimensional 'hypersphere,' just in case no one has guessed that yet). It never actually changes size; the portion of itself that intersects our 3-dimensional plane merely gets shifted.
461: She didn't get the name 'Ilyava' until many years later, when I decided to make her name more Goddess-friendly in keeping with her heritage.
476: Got that figured out--a crucial step forward from the snippet above.
Details added before I started a new timeline after graduating were events such as the Changer's age at his death, Hu-Harek's death, t'DoL reaching maturity in his plumage in 28, Heruvael's union in 376, and other character births, like Geren's grandfather, his daughter, and the Black Prince. No Warder, Separatists, or redheaded mages on the chart yet at this point.