Song of All Songs

This material is intended for those who have purchased the Audible version of Song of All Songs. It may contain spoilers. 

Appendix 1: Experiencing Time

MELFAR do not think linearly, but rather conceptu­alize all time in terms of cycles. They utilize a lunar calendar over­laid on a solar one, measuring time in tides, returns, and meeds. A tide is a full lunar cycle. The only consistently named tides are Darktide, Brightening Symmetide, Sun­tide, and Darkening Symmetide (corre­sponding to periods encompassing winter solstice, vernal equinox, summer solstice, and autumnal equinox, respectively). Other tides receive descriptive labels, which vary from one return to the next (e.g., Fogtide, Budtide, Fruittide). A return is a cycle of all the solar seasons, with a new return always beginning on the full moon closest to the start of Brightening Symmetide. There are twelve named returns corresponding to the twelve types of stone from which a Benison is crafted to mark the start of each return (see below). A full cycle of returns comprises a meed, and meeds are named in the same sequence as returns. The completion of a full cycle of meeds is known as a Great Turning. Returns of the cur­rent cycle are called New, with previous cycles referred to as Old, Ancient, and Preterit, in that order. To the Melfar, “Preterit” means both “before” and “after.” To “date” a par­ticular event, one might say that it happened during a Cloudtide of the Amber Return of the Old Turquoise Meed.

MUNDANI, on the other hand, utilize a rigidly linear solar calendar. Their equivalent of a Melfar return (our year) is a passage. Pas­sages are sequentially numbered, beginning with the birth year of Razak Caloyer, a revered prophet. Each passage is divided into twelve stints, each with exactly thirty days, comprised of five sixes. These stints are not named, only numbered. To regularize their calendar, they observe a period of five (sometimes six) days at the conclusion of Twelfth Stint. These days are called the Binder. The new passage begins on the longest day (our summer solstice), which they call Full Sun.

Appendix 2: Map

THE MAP below represents the Mundani world. Melfar don’t use maps as such (see Chapters 12 and 32). The eastern “Waste­land” is what was once the Melfar Forest of Cödweg and the southern “Wasteland” is where the Forest of Cesta once stood. The Melfar Forest of Serani lay at the foot of the western mountains. For the benefit of readers, the map shows the approximate locations of the following places that are important only to Melfar:

  • Beniford
  • Aldbeck
  • Lindmor
  • Woodclasp
  • Gorshfen (on the lake called Glasllyn)
  • Selbourne
  • Túl
  • New Beniford

Appendix 3: Glossary

aurynx: The organ that sonically verberates biophotonic patterns. It is located in the throat near the larynx.

Benison: A stone monument crafted by Melfar to com­memorate the end of one meed and the start of the next. Each Benison contains the imagery of a song.

billbug: A biting insect similar to a mosquito or horsefly.

cabra: A goat-like mammal sometimes kept for milk.

Calumet: A “peace-bringer” who serves as a respected social and cultural leader among the Melfar.

cavouti: A species of large rodent raised for meat.

clauster: A sacred space often associated with a Mundani temple.

equid: A horse-like mammal kept as a draft animal.

fahm: Coal. Deposits of fahm are found mainly in the remains of ancient storage facilities.

fellspan: The distance to the horizon on relatively flat ground. Approximately 4.2 miles.

fireblock: A fabricated fuel made from waste material soaked in groundfat.

gnosic orb: The sensory organ that pertanges biopho­tonic pat­terns. It is located in the center of the brow just above the eyes.

groundfat: Petroleum, raw or refined. Found mainly in the remains of ancient storage facilities.

kinren: Any of the employees, servants, clients, appren­tices, and women attached to a particular Sidayen.

lamin: An alpaca-like animal kept as a beast of burden and draft animal.

Migrant: The ineffable presence that, according to Melfar belief, motivates and em­powers everything.

Palinjian: A devotee of Zibal Palinj.

patkány: A very large species of predatory rodent.

pertange: To sense in a tangible way the biophotonic and sonic verberations of people and natural things.

Revelant: An individual who has died and come back to life in the same body.

Sidaya: A code of moral conduct among the Mundani.

Sidayen: One who adheres to the Sidaya. Alternatively, a high status exclusive to Mundani men.

Token: An individual who recognizes the indwelling of the Migrant.

verberate: To sonically generate biophotons.

vital nexus: The energetic network centered around an indi­vidual’s heart.

waif: A stone associated with a Benison and sharing some of its properties.

zaki: A large predatory feline.

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