Arund Chronicles

Arund Chronicles

The Arund Chronicles is the name of a proposed series of books by Korean fantasy writer Jeon Min-Hee, including the author's debut novel The Stone of Days. The Arund Chronicles are projected to be divided into five parts:[1]

1 The Tower of the Sun
2 TBA
2.5 TBA
3 The Stone of Days
4 TBA

Parts 2, 2.5 and 4 do not yet have titles.

Jeon Min-Hee wrote in the postscript of The Stone of Days that part 2.5 is to be a short (compared to The Stone of Days) novel about Ezikael and his adventures.[2]

Contents

World

The world of The Arund Chronicles is a world devoid of magic, due to the acts of Ezikael, the last great wizard ever known. Before humans were introduced to the Arund Chronicles world, there was a race dubbed the Ancient Isnamiers. They were said to be much larger and wiser than any race after. However, they were all exterminated when the Crevice opened. In the "current" world, the only legacy of the Ancient Isnamiers is the many ruins dotting the land, and Darkrose Castle.

The Arund

The Arund is the calendar of the Arund Chronicles world—in fact, the series is named after the Arund. It is made of 14 months, each 30 days in length. Each month, or "arund", has many astrological attributes, each said to have a tried-and-true effect.


Month 1 - Troubard

The star of bards and poets, La Trouba Drooe (often shortened to Drooe), is the governing star of this arund. During this arund, in the polar regions auroras can be sighted. The weather is soft and warm. Except for the infrequent snow, it is a good month to travel in. If one meets a traveling bard during this month, it is a tradition to request a song. Often, the bard does not charge the requester. This arund can be summed up with the phrase, "A song from long ago shows itself," and tells of learning the reason to find one's destiny, feeling one's potential, meeting one's mirror image, starting a long wandering, standing at a cliff, and a future for the past. This arund's color is violet.

Month 2 - Darkness

A dark star, Saasna Belle is the star of this arund. Just before spring, bad weather arises. Most of this month's weather can be described as "cloudy and wet." Often, the sun is invisible for seven days in a row. At night, Saasna Belle appears as a hole in the moon, a sign of bad events, and most days dry thunder and lightning accompanied with moisture and fog can be seen. Every once in a while, black rain—with similar effects to acid rain—falls. On those days, there is a high probability of bad luck, and all trips must be canceled. This time of the year, greed must be self-restrained, and small mistakes can make indelible effects. One must be aware of the harm of nature and disease, along with betrayal by trusted people. To ones with a strong will, there will be many hurdles in this arund. The end of Darkness is when Nisroeld retreats along with winter and Frangdu—spring—starts. Black Prophets met during Darkness speak more willingly than usual, and some fast on water and herbs.

Many people choose to commit suicide during this month. The Arna of legends threw herself into the Arna River during Darkness. The star named after Arna, Arnanee is positioned in the most narrow part of the constellation The River of Time. This arund is summed up by the phrase, "One gets attacked by a furry, roaring beast on a moonless night." Darkness also means the first major obstacle in one's path, the last hurdle one needs to jump over, difficulties one can barely pass by, tests of one's will, an advancement that will turn into an ordeal, a large payback for a small mistake, unavoidable misfortune, and a glimpse of the future to one who endures. This arund has no color.

Other than this, it is notable that people who are born in this arund usually do not celebrate nor tell others about their birthday. When asked when one is born, they often reply, "in a nothing-month," "never," or do not reply at all. The star Saasna Belle may not be a star at all, because it appears in front of the moon, while most stars are many light-years behind the moon. Also, Saasna Bell does not emit light. The slightly superstitious way of tracking this star, by plotting it as being near to the stars that represent the part of the planet that has undergone unfortunate events, has befuddled astronomers even more.

The deuteragonist of the book(s) The Stone of Days, Eurika, was born in this arund.

Month 3 - Arna

The virgin star Arnani governs over this arund. Unlike the Darkness arund before, this month has warm and temperamental weather. This month represents the human virgin Arna's love, who fell in love with an ancient Isnae-Dranialas Leo Roakin. There are countless poems and songs, and stories about her love. Her story can be heard anywhere in the continent, though there are regional differences. Arna and Leo are often used as the object of an oath—they are reputed to make lovers happy. However, because breakers of such oaths are punished, their names cannot be invoked lightly. There are many different opinions about what kind of person Arna was; and it is most widely accepted that she is an Elavida, both because of the Arna River and Arna City being in Isnameir (though most Mabrils do not agree: there is a much smaller Arna River in Rozondia. There also exists the hill where Leo and Arna first met). The water of the Arna River is often used in dubious "love potions" sold at marketplaces, at least according to the merchants. Also during this arund, Frangdiloas (a festival celebrating the arrival of spring—Frangdue) are celebrated all over the continent. During this month, nothing seems hard to do. Also, women become more beautiful during this month, and many marriages can be observed. Contrary to this, many peoples' love is lost. This month can be shorted into, "One follows an honorable virgin and gets trapped in a box of illusion," and represents young passion and young sacrifice, or the honor of such a sacrifice. The cost of happiness, the start of love with long lasting effects, evil veiled behind beauty, self-induced pain, sacrifice for purity, and a lifelong wait can be the meaning of this arund. This arund's color is green.

Month 4 - Tarophin

Also called the Mysterious Ore. The star that represents tarophin is Trophinni, which governs over this month. Tarophin is both rare and unresponsive to refining. The refined ore is heavy and strong, and can be comparable to titanium. The refined stone is believed to protect against curses, betrayal and evil. Pure tarophin is mainly used for magical rituals or in constructing secret, sacred buildings. The reason tarophin is not used much is due to the extremely small amount of deposits. Tarophin halls are envied by many regions. Also, tarophin is strictly controlled by the kingdom. This causes the actual number of tarophin halls to be countable on the fingers. Oaths taken on tarophin are binding—oathtakers are cursed if they do not fulfill the oath. This entices international treaties, alliances, weddings, and foundations of groups to be done in this arund. The weather is the peak of spring, with warm and sunny days that remind one of summer. "One gets the stone but doesn't hear" is the phrase of the month. The meaning is of getting only one of a pair, passing important things without knowing, hostility being relieved on the surface, pain submerging beneath one's conscious, stealthy deeds being done, earning one's trust at a price, and rethinking "trust". This arund's color is tarophin black.

Month 5 - Kitia

The arund governed over by the star and constellation of the yellow cat Kitia of legend, Kitiani. Kitiani is the guardian star of prophets and soothsayers, and yellow cats are its the guardian animals. Separately from the legends, there is a species of cat called Kitia. Kitia are wild cats twice the size of normal cats. Unlike what one would expect from such a large and fierce creature, Kitia are not as aggressive. Kitia do not move in packs. Kitia are thought to be the descendants of the legendary Kitia, and are deemed to be able to sense the future. This false belief caused many regions to prohibit harming Kitia. There is also a saying that seeing Kitia during this month will help one sense the future. There is not a single record of anyone domesticating Kitia. The legendary Kitia is the cat that the mother of human wisdom, Yenechetry, kept (in some tales, Kitia is Yenechetry herself). Unlike the currently existing Kitia, the legendary Kitia was not a carnivore and ate only the red fruit of the Merujong. The Merujong fruits in the Kitia arund and only grows in a selective area. It is used in foresight magic, diverse magical ceremonies and in brewing Apparition wine (환영주, 幻影酒). The Kitia arund is warm excepting the time of the first wet season Dime Rozond and the end of the month. In this arund, grass is as soft as a kitten's fur. Prophets and soothsayers perform grand rites and pay tribute to Yenechetry. The saying, "One realizes the cat in the wheat field", neatly summarizes this arund. Other attributes are noticing treasure yet unseen, feeling the future, longing for something, traveling to a place one can fully use one's skills, jumping headfirst into the wheel of destiny, and setting off on one's way with one's mind as a compass. This arund's color is yellow.

Month 6 - Guardian

This arund is governed by the star of the Guardian (or more exactly The Guide—인도자), Harianuni. Here, "The Guide" is not a pathfinder as much as one that "helps", and other times watches over one in the shadows. Strangely, this arund has no legend or myth related to it, even though the Guardian arund is one of the most ancient arunds and appears in some of the oldest celestial globes. "One meets a mentor that might change one's life, and one receives a cue from Fate" is a well known phrase. Most people interpret this as simply "a teacher, mentor, guide or helper met during this month is trustworthy", though connecting the meaning of an arund and events in the physical world is risky at best. Meeting a good teacher or guide during this month is quite lucky. However, people frequently meet bad mentors or misinformed guides. The Guardian arund is part of the first rainy season Dime Rozond. Rain might pour down one moment, then the sky clear out, only to rain again. Regardless of the amount of precipitation, the rain causes just enough humidity to be cool, and not sticky. The rainy season of Dime Rozond makes one predict the flourishing of life, and is both cool and sweet. Seeing a welcome friend in a long time is often analogized to the rain of Dime Rozond. This arund is summarized by the phrase "One finds where the rain falls and sheds tears", and can mean finding a dear person or object, following a guide by one's own volition, wanting to depend on someone, realizing that one's friend was a mentor, mistaking possibility and realization, and being redeemed at the last moment. This arund's color is transparent nothingness.

Month 7 - Herb

An arund watched over by the herb star, Erlani. Erlani is also the star of healing, and protects those who heal. The name of this arund might have been derived from the fact that many herbs sprout and/or reach the peak of effectiveness in this month. In ancient script, Erlani was the friend of the warrior Pabianne. Also, Erlani was supposedly named after the woman called the "girl with a pink glass bottle," Acelle the Edierna. Directly the inverse of the Pabianne arund, Erlani is often personified as a short girl with green hair, and is often holding a small bottle in front of her white skirt. Inside the bottle is a pink liquid called the Water of Edierna. Acelle wandered all over the continent during her lifetime and cured countless people with the water. Acelle's birthplace, Edierna, was believed to be a small ruin near the Arastan lake. Erlani heals both the wounds of the body and the scars of the mind. Also during the Herb arund, many people cut themselves free from the pain of the past, creating more pain in the process. Like all other months, the Herb arund has two contrary meanings. This arund represents both the most genial healer, but also warns against simply removing the wounds. The healer can also become the most feared murderer. Signaling the end of the rainy season, the wet mountains and highlands sprout many herbs and plants. Also, the weather suggests that summer is now started, with bright, clear days. Most herbs can be used at their most potent in this month, and the secretive potions used in magic and alchemy are made. "All poisons have an antidote" is the phrase that best represents this arund. Other phrases are running head on into the pain of one's past, discarding old things for new ones, becoming free of long illusions, new wounds to erase old ones, giving pain to others in order to forget one's own pain, giving help to others, and resting briefly before setting off again. The color of this arund is pink.

Month 8 - Pabianne

The second, smaller moon Pabianne, also called the Magical Moon, is the governing "star" of this arund. Pabianne can only be seen through this month, as it is almost always hidden by the sun. But almost as if to compensate for the invisible thirteen months, Pabianne shines bright enough to be seen during the day. In the final days of this month Pabianne slowly moves behind the sun. Often called the Amazoness of the Tiny Moon, Pabianne is entitled the "Girl of the Sky", or the "Hand that Slices Time," and is considered the progenitor of the Mabrills. She is one of the most ancient women in legend along with the "Most Ancient Mother" Yenechetri, and appears in many poems, pieces of art, and numerous other places. This helps scholars relate to analogies and symbols in such cryptic relics. The Pabianne arund can be personified as being "excited easily and dedicating everything for one's goal." Although it is a good time for training sword and bow, tender mindsets are quickly abandoned, and incidents that can be solved with words often lead to unneeded duels and fights. Ironically, Pabianne is right next to the arund of healing and stability, Erlani. The weather is both hot and dry, and water levels lower dramatically, causing lakes and rivers to run dry. Therefore, procuring water is the most important part of traveling. This can be interpreted as water losing its soft character and turning stern and cruel. The Pabianne arund is called the second season of passion, the first being month 4, Arna. The phrase "One ignores the dulling of his sword and rushes at the enemy" companions this month and is also represented by the phrases being overconfident in one's shallow ability, self-confidence deciding victory or defeat, excessive illusions about one's duty, giving one's whole self for others, passing near death without knowing, being ignorant of large mistakes, quickly passing obstacles, dealing a mortal blow to the enemy while being wounded oneself, compensating one's fault with one's death, and the missing important things with the loss of gentleness. The representing color of this month is the color of a bright flame, scarlet.

The protagonist and narrator of the book The Stone of Days, Pabian, was born in this month.

Month 9 - Harsh Miosa

(As stated above, the Korean name 환영주 literally means Apparition Wine.)

The star of this arund is Miosani. All brewing finishes at this month. The brewing of the magical wine 'Harsh Miosa' also finishes in this arund. This wine has power to connect to the power of ghosts, to predict, to hypnotize someone, etc. The phrase associated with this month is "Following vision, anguish is forgotten. But you must pay the cost quickly." Vision can be a blessing, but also a curse. The color representing this month is yellow orange, the same color of the Harsh Miosa.

Month 10 - The Wanderer

The second rainy season, 'Erm Lozond'.

Month 11 - Astrology

The first month of Monad (Autumn).

Month 12 - Alphabet

Month 13 - Gold

Month 14 - The Elder Sage

The star of the Elder Sage, Nansigro Ho, watches over this last month of the Arund. The Sage in Elder Sage is called the Elder of Law, and is both a kind old man and Death himself, who reaps and destroys everything Life has cultivated. Although every drawing and carving of the Elder of Law is an old man with white hair and beard, there are two subtly different ways of drawing the arund. One is a kind elder sitting upon a large chair, and the other is Death, with a black robe and huge scythe. The scythe held by the Elder Sage is the Scythe of Time, or the Scythe of Harvest. The meaning of this month isn't very clear. But if the Darkness arund means a blight with no reason, the misfortune of the Elder Sage's arund has a clear cause. During this month, insulting deeds or acts that can cause spiritual beings to harbor hostility should not be done. The weather is almost always low enough for water to freeze, and snow to fall. It is also very windy. The phrase that can best represent this arund is "the old man looks upon tomorrow before lying down to sleep." Good deeds cause good rewards, and vice versa. Favors are returned, and evil acts cause spite and revenge. The arund also hints at a final rest after a long travel, being rewarded (or punished) for deeds done, one's destiny being decided on and weighed sic, returning to one's home, and using past memories to peer toward the future. This arund's color is white, or silver.

This arund marks the start of winter (Nisroeld). Also, The Stone of Days starts in Elder Sage, in a small mountain town called Habiyanak.

Nations

There are two major nations, and a few minor ones.

Isnamier, where most of the citizens are Elavidians, is the largest nation on the continent. Next to it, there is Sesilmuze, a country of mostly Mabrillians. Rozondia, a small country above Sesilmuze is also mostly Mabrillian. Across the south sea, there is a nation filled with people similar in appearance to Africans. There are more nations across the south sea, but few are known, and only one is mentioned in the books.

Language

Ancient Isnamierian sounds like French. The ancient language is only used in spells of magic and identical nouns—mainly because most of the language was lost. On the other hand, the whole continent uses one language with the exception of traditional differences. The Mabrills use the word Prochen (프로첸) like Miss. The words Pronnu (프론느), Madik (마디크), and Madiren (마디렌) are used as Mrs., "young man", and Mr., respectively.

References

  1. ^ Jeon Min-Hee's official site FAQ.
  2. ^ The Stone of Days, reprint. Book 8. ISBN 978-89-90886-40-8

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