Illustration by T Wharton
Illustration by T Wharton
This is not an "official" map. It's just the latest in a line of dozens and dozens of hand-drawn and computer-aided maps I've drawn over the last few years while writing the trilogy. I drew this one today, with so much snow falling outside we had to cancel a trip, so I decided I'd spend the time on a map. I was trying out a new art & design program, and didn't quite get everything to work right, as you can probably tell. Please feel free to use this as a rough guide for your own maps. There are no doubt some errors in it (for example I think the farm at Blue Hill is actually a little further east than this map shows. Also, the unlabeled river that flows out of the Wood and through the "n" in Bourne is the Bournewater).
The problem for me with maps & stories is that I love drawing maps and charts so much that I have to remind myself once in a while to stop with the maps and actually do the writing!
The reviewer wishes there was a map in the book. I agree! I wanted to include a map in the first volume, The Shadow of Malabron, but the publishers nixed the idea for some reason. This isn't the first request I've had for a map. The very first post on this blog has a rather crude map of the city of Fable. During the writing of these books I've made many maps for myself, and I would like to include one with the third book. Maybe if I start a petition, the publishers will change their mind...
At any rate, my next post will be about maps and the Realm of Story.
Q. What’s the difference between a mage and a loremaster?
A. In many parts of the Realm, mage is the title given to someone adept in spellcraft and divination who offers his or her service to monarchs, governments, or cities in need of magical assistance. Mages provide protection against supernatural threats. They predict the future (once in a while they actually get it right), they solve riddles and uncover arcane secrets, and they offer sage advice (sometimes it’s actually good).
Many professional mages begin their training at the college of magecraft on the island of Kyning Rore. They then go on to have illustrious -- or infamous -- careers at royal courts.
Sometimes mages who have different skills will band together as a guild or league and offer their services as a package deal. The people of Skald hired one such guild of mages, but the “deal” turned out to be a bad one for them. It has often been remarked that a kingdom was doing just fine until they hired a mage, and only then did all sorts of frightening and inexplicable things began happening. There are those who have even accused mages of stirring up or faking supernatural trouble and then stepping in to solve the problem, in order to trick the gullible.
A loremaster, in contrast, is someone who collects and tells stories. To some this seems like a far less important calling than that of a mage. But it mustn’t be forgotten that the Realm is a world made of stories. Magic comes in many different shapes and forms in such a world, and in some stories there is no magic at all. So the power of any mage or wizard or sorcerer is limited by the “laws” of the story they are part of. Whereas a loremaster studies and delves into the deep source of all magic and all stories: the fathomless fire.
This is the power to shape Story itself, and mages who do not understand this power use it unwisely, with disastrous results. The hasty and ignorant tend to disregard the work of loremasters in favour of the dazzling spectacles that some mages can put on.
Q. Why doesn’t the city of Fable have a resident mage or mage guild?
A. Some say this is because Fable isn’t important or wealthy enough to afford a true mage as advisor. No mage who wanted to make a name for himself would bother setting up shop in such an out-of-the-way place. There would be no renown (or money) in it.
Others suggest Fable has no mage because they’ve never had need of one. Fable has a resident loremaster, Nicholas Pendrake, a toymaker by trade. He may in fact be the last of the loremasters, although his granddaughter Rowen is said to have inherited much of his gift for Story.
The seasons no longer followed the yearly cycle that folk had lived by since time began. In some storylands winter refused to give way to spring. In others, summer lingered on and on, drying up rivers and withering crops. In many places the stars disappeared from the night sky, and the sun and moon rose at strange times and according to no rhythm or pattern that anyone could have faith in. Folk found that they had lost days, or years, out of their lives. Stories that had once been places of harmony and order descended into war, famine, and ruin. Many precious, irreplaceable stories, and storytellers, disappeared into silence.