Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Epikydes Underground and Maturation Rates Among Fantasy Rates

Having finished the introductory short story and started outlining the next story (which will be longer, but not Robert Jordan-longer), I'm thinking over things in the short story.

Right now I'm thinking about Epikydes's age.  He is half elven (on his father's side), which traditionally means he has a longer lifespan than humans, so he should look younger than his age.  That said, does a longer total lifespan mean an equally longer amount of time to reach physical maturity?  I don't think so.  If it did, elf children wouldn't have the "Terrible Twos" but the "Terrible Twenties".

That said, I could see childhood up to puberty being developmentally similar across the standard fantasy races with a differential not appearing until puberty.  Put another way, the longer lived races would be teenagers for a longer period.  This time would be no longer than twice human standard (who reach physical maturity between 21 and 25 years of age) and proportional among the other races based on total expected lifespans.  So elves wouldn't reach total physical maturity until roughly 35 years old and dwarves somewhere between 28 and 30 years of age.  So in my story, Epikydes claims to be 18, but looks 15 or 16 to Fadeyka.

Thinking about some of the backstory I want Epikydes to have, I'm not certain that's enough time.  In my mind's eye, Epikydes "ended his apprenticeship" around age 12, just before puberty (although the numbers in the text imply 13-14, or just after puberty).  Medieval and Renaissance children (especially in the working classes) grew up quick, even if physical maturity lagged, so Epikydes was able to "learn what I had to in order to…do what I had to do."  After that, he would have wandered several years, learning from the School of Hard Knocks, until he started his adventuring career properly around age 16 or so.

This means Epikydes had only about 2 years of adventuring, including the couple of months to decipher the dagger script in Aurelius's journal and then do the research to locate the places mentioned in it.  I really want this period to be 8 months or so, leaving about 16 months for adventuring and achieving his current level of competence.

I think the next round of edits will move Epikydes's age to 20 and clean up the implied time since he "ended his apprenticeship".  (Which wasn't pretty or pleasant and marked Epikydes in several ways.)  I think this will make some of the scenes in the next part flow better, particularly the introduction of the paladin.

That part's going to be fun - I'm looking forward to writing it.

Oh! Also, I'm switching posting date to Wednesdays.  It works better for my schedule and I should have done it a while ago.  It will still post in the morning at 7:00 CST.  This week will be an exception - this is the post for this week.


No comments:

Post a Comment