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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PREFACE - On Kjeld, Keld, Kjeldorans, and Keldons



Clearing up confusion...


PREFACE - On Kjeld, Keld, Kjeldorans, and Keldons

History is not always kind to those who report upon it. Similarly named individuals, places and things exist at different points within time's continuum, daunting and defying the historian to make sense, or even connections, between them. Good King Darien has a grandson named Darien, who in turn names his son Darien, and historians call the first the Great, the second the Bald, and the third the Foolish. Then Darien disappears as a name for a few dynasties and comes back again, or worse yet, becomes the favored name of another nation's royal house. At this point most historians give up and start numbering the Dariens for no other reason than to preserve their own sanity.

In Dominaria, a similar problem exists between two nation-states, separated by a vast gulf of time and several thousand miles of open ocean - the nation of Kjeldor in Terisiare, and the nation of Keld in the far-off lands of the Domains. Through fat and fortune, both are of recent note, but it must be made clear to the reader that they are not one and the same place.

Kjeldor (the "j" has a soft "y" sound among the students of old languages) as dealt with within this volume is one of the nations of Terisiare during the Ice Age, occupying the same general patch of land as Argive did during the Brothers' War and the same land where the reborn nation of Argive eventually arose (another case of history going out of its way just to irritate the historians). It is a kingdom made up of a handful of walled cities including Soldev, Krov, and Kjeld. Its capital at the end of the Ice Age is not Kjeld, which is named after the state's founder and is the site of the king's summer palace, but Krov, which is larger and more centrally located to the state. Natives of this region are known as Kjeldorans.

Keld, on the other hand, is a state that still exists on the world of Dominaria and boasts its own long and violent history. It's located across several oceans from Kjeldor and Terisiare in the lands called the Domains. The natives of Keld fought a famous and ruinous war with the Phyrexians roughly a thousand years ago and more recently led an invasion of Jamuraa. As a people, they are known as Keldons, and their warlords are legendary for their martial prowess.

Any connection between Kjeldor and Keld is obscure at best, thought it has been suggested by some scholars that one was founded by exiles or refugees of the other. This historian can neither confirm nor deny the truth of the matter but does feel obligated to bring it to the attention of the reader and to thereby (hopefully) avoid further confusion.

An Editor's Additional note:

The war between Phyrexia and the Keldons is detailed in the novel Bloodlines by Loren Coleman. The present-day invasion of Jamuraa by the Keldons is chronicled in Prophecy, a novel by Vance Moore.

                                                                                                                                     - Ed.

* * *


Oh okay... wait- wait?

That Editor's Note at the end is a bit jarring. Clearing up the differences between Kjeldor and Keld are important, and I get why this was placed in the beginning of the book. But...

...At first the whole thing reads as if it's being told in character, perhaps by Arkol, Argivian scholar from The Gathering Dark... then all of  sudden without any indication it's coming, the fourth wall is seemingly broken and we're being told information directly about which events are told in which books.

[Note: Read Throughs of those books to come eventually. They have to wait their place in line.]

That information is important too, but it could have been conveyed much better than it was here. Just writing "An Editor's Additional note" wasn't enough to clearly let me know that it was a note from a real live editor in the real world. For all I knew it could have been "Arkol's" editor. The use of square bracets "[]" would have been nice, or at the very least let us know who the main preface is attributed to so we know that we're moving from the text of one author to another. Even without an indication that we're jumping from being in the story world to being in the real world, knowing that we're jumping from one person's writings to another would have made the change feel much less abrupt.


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