Visitor’s Guide to the World of the Purification Trilogy: Eilir:
When I started writing the Purification Trilogy, I needed to create the world it happens in. When I went on to write the second book in the Trilogy, my knowledge of the world of Eilir expanded. So for you people who are reading the Purification Trilogy, here is the world of Eilir.
- A white moon which is the larger of the two. The white moon has a thirty one day cycle This means that there are twelve white full moons each year except for every third year, which only has eleven. The Ceilteach and Gautar consider these years with only eleven full moons inauspicious. The white moon’s cycle results in full moons occurring on different days from ochtú to ochtú, year to year, thus the white moon represents variability, chance, or luck in most cultures. To the Ceilteach peoples months with two full white moons are “moon ochtú” and believed to be especially chancy or risky. Both the Ceilteach and the Gautar view this moon as male. The Ceilteach peoples call the white moon Iorwerth (ior “lord” + berth “handsome”). The Gautar call the white moon Álarr (“warrior”). The Hunnoi consider the white moon to be female, and call her Abaqai (“princess”), daughter of Leiðaarstjarna (the “lode star” or north star, also known as the “wagon star”, Vagnstjarna). For the Hunnoi she represents the elusive qualities of the warrior, the unpredictability that may confound the opponent.
- A green moon, the smaller of the two. The green moon has a twenty four day cycle, resulting in fifteen green full moons in a year. Due to this cycle, green full moons always occur on the same days in each month from year to year, so the green moon stands for constancy and permanence. The Ceilteach and the Gautar view the green moon as female. It is known to the Ceilteach peoples as Tegan (“fair” or “beautiful”). Tegan a green goddess who guards the hearth, capturing the heart of the wayward, wandering Iorwerth, the warrior who always goes to battle yet returns each time. The Gautar call the green moon Álmveig (strong elm tree), who is the sister of the sun, Sól. The Hunnoi consider the green moon to be a male, which they call Baildughci (“the warrior”). The constant cycle of the green moon represents the loyalty and constancy of purpose the Hunnoi admire in a warrior.
Double full moons (green and white full moons on same day) are significant and rare occurrences, called “mated moons” by the both the Ceilteach and Gautar peoples, who think of it as a marriage between the female green moon and the male white moon. Occasionally the green moon (Iorwerth/Álarr ) eclipses the white moon (Tegan/Álmveig). Mated moons are considered an auspicious time for marriage and magick. Close but not exact double full moons are more common in this world, with one or two occurring each year. These close conjunctions are referred to by the Ceilteach and Gautar peoples as “courting moons”.
The Ceilteach call days “fingers” and reckon them from night fall to night fall. Fingers are arranged into weeks of five fingers each. There are nine hands to a month, making a month 45 days long. Because there are eight months in a year, the Ceilteach call these months ochtú (“eighths”).
Each weekday is related to one of the five elements:
- First Finger: An Sruthlach (“washing day”), also called Latha-Moire (“lady day”), related to the element of water. Ceilteach tradition holds that marriages and loans are to be avoided on this day because work begun this day will never be a week old. It is also considered to be a bad day to begin endeavours of any sort.
- Second Finger: An Gàirneilearachd (“gardening day”), related to the element of earth. This day is about grounding, a good day for beginning projects.
- Third Finger: An Chéadaoin (“first fasting”), related to the element of air. The Ceilteach peoples consider this an auspicious day, and a good day for travelling.
- Fourth Finger: An Fèill (“market day”), related to the element of fire. This is the principal market day for these peoples.
- Fifth Finger: An Fèis or An Ròiceach (“feasting”), related to the element of spirit. This is the day of rest and feasting at the end of the week, a day for worshipping in the Fanes and Garráins.
The Ceilteach peoples recognize four seasons:
- Shield Season: This is the winter season, a season of earth, starting at Samhain and including Yule, the winter solstice.
- Sword Season: This is the spring season, a season of air, starting at Imbolc and including Eostre, the vernal equinox.
- Spear Season: This is the summer season, a season of fire, starting at Beltaine and including Litha, the summer solstice.
- Cauldron Season: This is the autumn season, a season of water, starting at Lughnasad and including the autumnal equinox, Mabon.
Each season pairs two ochtú. The first finger of the first hand of each ochtú is a celebration (“Fèill” or “Fèis”). The ochtú of the Ceilteach calendar are:
Samhain: The Ceilteach new year’s celebration bears the same name as the month it falls in, Samhain. It marks the beginning of the Shield Season, of winter.
Nollaig: The festival that starts this ochtú is Méan Geimhreadh, which marks the winter solstice.
Oimelc: The festival that starts this ochtú is called Feile Bhride or Imbolc, and marks the beginning of the Sword Season and the celebration of the first signs of spring.
Méan Earraigh: The festival that starts this ochtú is Alban Eilir (“light of Earth”), marking the vernal equinox.
Bealtaine: The festival that starts this ochtú bears the same name as the month it falls in, Bealtaine. It marks the beginning of the Spear Season.
Meitheamh: The festival that starts this ochtú is Alban Hefin (“light of the shore”) and marks the summer solstice.
Mean Fómhair: The festival that starts this ochtú is Lughnasad, and marks the beginning of the Cauldron Season or Harvest Season. “Fómhar” means “autumn”.
Deireadh Fómhair: The festival that starts this ochtú is Mabon, and marks the autumnal equinox.
Days are reckoned from night fall to night fall.
Like the Ceilteach peoples, the Gautar organize fingers (days) into hands (weeks) of five days. Like the Ceilteach, the Gautar divide the year into eight months, which they call Áttungr (“eighth”). Each áttungr consists of nine hands, just like the Ceilteach calendar. Monthly Gautar festivals, like their Ceilteach equivalents, are celebrated on the first day of the first hand, and are called hátíðir (“tides”). Like the Ceilteach peoples, the Gautar reckon their days as running from sunset to sunset. The days of each hand are named for deities:
First Day: Mánadagr
Second Day: Týsdagr
Third Day: Óðinsdagr
Fourth Day: þórsdagr
Fifth Day: Frjádagr
The Gautar recognize four seasons:
For the Gautar winter starts at midwinter, the winter solstice, which they consider their new year’s day. This puts the Gautar seasons one ochtú out of sync with the Ceilteach ones, as the Ceilteach new year is a month earlier than the Gautar new year. The eight Gautar áttungr are:
Hrutmanudhr. The “tide” that starts this month is þorrablót or Frøblót, marking the Gautar new year, the winter solstice, and beginning of Vetr (winter).
Einmanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Jólablót or Vetrarsólstöðublót.
Gaukmanudhr orSaidtidh: The tide that starts this month is Disting or Distablot, marking the spring equinox, marking the beginning of Vár (spring).
Solmanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Várblót or Sigrblót.
Tvimanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Sumarblót or Miðsumarsblót, marking the summer solstice, marking the beginning of Sumar (summer).
Hanstmanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Freysblót.
Gormanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Vetrnóttablót, Haustblót, or Haustnótt, and marks the autumnal equinox, marking the beginning of Haust (fall).
Frermanudhr: The tide that starts this month is Vetrnaetr
The Jovaian Empire uses quite a different calendar from the people of the West and North, the Ceilteach and the Gautar. The Jovaians use an eight day week, arranged in nine months of five weeks, with only three seasons (winter, summer, autumn) which reflects their warmer climate. Eight day weeks are called “octaves”. The first day of each month is called the Kalendae, the days marking the first and third quarters of the month are called Nonae, and the middle of the month is referred to as the Idûs (ides). Being a culture which sees the divine in the sun, Jovaian days are reckoned from sunrise to sunrise. The nine Jovaian months are named for Jovaian saints:
Avitus: Marks the beginning of winter.
Canus: Marks the beginning of summer
Corvus: Marks the beginning of fall.
The Hunnoi calendar is a lunisolar calendar tied to the constant cycles of the green moon, Baildughci (“the warrior”). The year is divided into fifteen moons of twenty four days each. The first day of each month is a green full moon, so the first day of their first month, their new years day, is the tenth day of the first month of the Ceilteach calendar and the tenth day of the last month of the Gautar calendar. This means that every month has a green full moon, but occasionally you have a month with no white full moon. The Hunnoi consider these months with no white full moon auspicious.
Each succeeding pair of years alternates between male and female genders and cycles through five elements (wood, fire, earth, iron, water). Each succeeding year cycles through fifteen animals (mouse, bull, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, eagle, dog, boar, goat, ferret, vulture). The year that starts the story of Fionúir’s Mural is the year of the female earth snake and the following year would be the year of the male iron horse.
The Ceilteach peoples populate the North-western nations of Eilir. There are three nations: Pictavia in the north, which resembles the realm of Scotland on our Earth, Eriu in the south, which resembles the Irish lands of Earth, and Guoidel in the mountains of the east which separate the Ceilteach realms from those of the Silvandii Federation and those of the Gautar. Guoidel resembles the mountains of the Welsh peoples of Earth. The language is of the Ceilteach peoples is Gàidhlig.
The Silvandii Federation:
The Silvandii Federation is named for its ruling tribe, the Silvandii. The Silvandii Federation came to into being after the first Purification Crusade in order to form an alliance against the Jovaian Empire. The ten tribes of the Silvandii Federation are the Silvandii, Caillandrii, Briguverii, Cucullatii, Chattarii, Anoniredii, Tecterii, Urbii, Batavii and Camulandi. Their lands lie to the east of the Ceilteach nations, in the middle of the continent. Much of their history has been dominated by intertribal wars. They’re related to the Ceilteach peoples, and share the Ceilteach calendar, customs, and spiritual beliefs, but their language differs from the Gàidhlig language of the Ceilteach peoples of the West.
The Gautar are the people populating the northern realms of Eilir. There are three principle realms are Gauthiuda to the north of the Silvandii lands and Midgardr in the northwest, bordering the Pictavian lands: Midgardr in the far north, and Gauthiuda. Gauthiuda is divided into two parts:
- Västergauthiuda: the western realm, where the capital city of Thórsá is situated, and;
- Ostergauthiuda: the eastern realm.
The Jovaian Empire is situated in the southeast of the continent.
The Hunnoi are a loose federation of semi nomadic tribes that populate the steppes of the northeast.