Athera is a high resonance planet on which the events of the Wars of Light and Shadow take place.
Athera is smaller than Earth but has a denser core and a stronger magnetic field. This results in more extreme shifts in seasons. The scale of Athera is in leagues (3 miles to one league), and the distance from the western and easternmost islands on the interactive map is about 850 leagues. This is roughly the distance from New York City, New York to Los Angeles, California.
There are four seasons on Athera: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each season lasts for a three month period (there are two fortnights in a month). When described in the story, the author uses 'Early' and 'Late' to differentiate between each month of a season.
The day that falls exactly in the middle of the season is either the equinox (Vernal/Spring and Autumnal) or the solstice (Winter and Summer). The Winter Solstice is also when the year increases by one (at noon).
In the graphic below, one square is equal to one fortnight, and two squares are equal to one month.
The passing of time as a framing device in the story is simplified as an Era, a numbered Age, and a numeric date (as shown on the Atheran Timeline). There is a more complex underlying system for time measurement behind this simple date representation.
Paravians measure time and date with a sidereal measurement, rather than numeric dates or seasons. The Fellowship and High Kings adopted this system as well under Charter Law. Sethvir will sometimes mark a document with a star stamp, which authenticates the time and date with indisputable pinpoint accuracy.
Humans (such as crofters and town commerce folk) count by fortnights (14 day periods), divided by the wax and wane of the moon:
- First Moon Winter 1+ up to 13+, then First Full Moon Winter (14), then First Ebb Moon 1- down to 13-, and finally First Dark Moon Winter (14-)
- Mid Moon Winter 1+ up to 13+, then Mid Full Moon Winter (14), then Mid Ebb Moon 1- down to 13-, and finally Mid Dark Moon Winter (14-)
- Last Moon Winter 1+ up to 13+, then Last Full Moon Winter (14), then Last Ebb Moon 1- down to 13-, and finally Last Dark Moon Winter (14-)
Though the human system seems clumsy, it translates linguistically well into Paravian, where the "First", "Mid", and "Last" prefixes become suffixes "An", "Da", and "Alt" on the season name. There is a shorthand notation for these measurements as well:
- First Moon Winter 1+ Third Age 5637 = w/1m/1+ T.A.A. 5637
- First Full Moon Winter 14 Third Age 5637 = w/1m/F T.A.A. 5637
- First Ebb Moon Winter 3- Third Age 5637 = w/1m/3- T.A.A. 5637
- First Dark Moon Winter 14- Third Age 5637 = w/1m/D T.A.A. 5637
T.A.A is short for Tain Anien Akren, or "Third Age Year".
There have been three major languages spoken on Athera throughout history:
Other Useful Information
- Author's FAQ
- Email with Janny Wurts, March 28, 2009
- Email with Janny Wurts, September 13, 2018