Okay! Circling back to “Ages as Books” after we’ve had some time to think and process and do a little research, and I found something that I think is perfect to kick off our deeper exploration of The Age of Magiq.
So, the most concrete evidence we have to study regarding the question of periods of time as “books” comes from Deirdre’s conversation with Mr. Wideawake (yes, I’m aware how ridiculous it sounds that we’re taking the words of an anthropomorphic talking bird as concrete evidence.) For reference, here’s the first relevant part of their conversation:
“He said he didn’t know what was in The Book of Briars, which I thought was the obvious first question. He said some think it’s a new story wanting to be told, but no one knows for sure.”
Okay, so that checks out with everything we know so far. We know that this time, whatever it is, is ending, and what’s coming next is The Book of Briars. But Deirdre’s next question complicates things further:
“I asked him what Neithernor really was. How it came to be. He said according to what’s left of the Monarch history (which may not be completely accurate) there was experimentation with wells. They were hoping to find answers about our changed world in them, and sometime in the Book of The Wild someone managed to harvest a piece of the Fray deep within a well, to study, but it began to grow. They were afraid it would take over our world so they tried to send it back, but reaching out to The Fray is unpredictable and dangerous and it wouldn’t accept the piece. They tried to destroy it and thought they had but it actually grew just outside our world, and it eventually became Neithernor. A place where magiq and imagination could be fully realised without limit, without fear of misunderstanding or retribution, but with its own risks and dangers.”
This…is more difficult to follow. At least for me. I don’t think we really have a clear understanding of the Fray? Right? I feel like it’s still relevant to the “ages” discussion because whatever it is, it seems to be, at least from this example, kind of outside the bounds of the “books,” although I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the physics of that. Especially the bit about how the piece of it then became Neithernor. (Another question to explore in the future?)
What comes next is his explanation of the naming of The Book of the Wild and The Book of Kings, and the process of editing that would have had to go into changing them, which I didn’t include because it’s stuff we’re all pretty familiar with at this point. What I’m interested in is this:
“‘So someone edited out magiq,’ I said.
And he said ‘No. We believe someone edited out the Briar Books and all magiq followed after.’”
Okay. Cause and effect. We’re getting somewhere.
“I for some reason thought the Silver or the Storm had changed things but he said that no one knows who did it. But he knew it all came back to the Briar Books. The Little Red House. He said there’s something at the core of those books. They think it’s the source of great magiq. Magiq that someone changed all of history to erase. They don’t know who it was but they believe sometime around the early 2000s history was changed, and the ripples of that change moved outward until it had altered all known history. As far as they know only the wells, a handful of memories, and Neithernor survived.
It wasn’t the Monarchs and it wasn’t The Silver. He said it’s a mystery greater than any of this. And that’s why The Monarch houses want the book. (I was wondering what all of this was about. He hadn’t brought me to the warren just to answer all of my questions.) He said that the Monarch houses want The Little Red House, to protect it, to study it, to understand its place in the changing of The Book of The Wild.”
So nobody knows who the mysterious “editor” is, but we do know that the change from The Book of the Wild to The Book of Kings had everything to do with the Briar Books.
I think a few of the most obvious questions are:
- Who? Who would have done this, and why?
- What was it that warranted such drastic, and devastating action?
- How were they able to do something like this?
Those are a few questions I have in addition to general questions about the ages, like how are they determined, who names them, are they just names or something more, etc. etc.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions, and as we come to some kind of consensus, I’ll update this initial post to reflect what we believe to be true. I’m moving the comments from our initial conversation over here so we can continue that conversation.