In the middle of Space and Time is a brief treatment of “the Reignalmia incident.” From the other side of things, though, that “incident” is an extensive story in and of itself, which will become one of four (so far) planned “sub-series” of the Shine Cycle. Today’s post is a brief introduction to the Reignalmia sub-series.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post describing the setting—the planet Reignalmia, its people, their societies, and some of the fantasy elements of the world—very briefly.
At the time of the story, most of the (several hundred) traditional states are independent, and many have withdrawn into isolationism. But the world has been united under a single government several times before (not always by force—there’s precedent for nations trying, and succeeding, to persuade others to accept their leadership for a time), and demographic trends have begun to shift, so the situation is poised to change.
Our story begins with the (separate) appearance of two strangers in the country of Reignalmia (so named because it was created as the “federal district” of the first world government, centuries ago). The two are Jon Royal, the ruler of the Shine and Wild Empire, and his queen Primrose, but the curse that transported them from the main world of the Shine Cycle to Reignalmia has struck both of them with severe amnesia, mitigated slightly in her case by her abilities as a seer.
The current king of the country is an old, childless man near death; he’s considered all of his nobles as candidates to succeed him, and rejected all of them, but after a few months of discussion he names Jon as his heir and soon passes peacefully. A scientific and cultural renaissance dawns in the country, the flowering of seeds sown by the old king half a generation ago. Courtiers begin to suggest expansion (which, since the country of Reignalmia is one of the “warm circles” amid the northern ice, necessitates either conquest or trade), and the two strangers develop the inexorable … intuition … that their memory can only be restored by uniting the world. So they consent to initial plans.
Events seem to bear this hunch out; as the country of Reignalmia expands through conquest, fealty, and federation, they remember more of their prior lives, and of their relationship with each other, little by little. Over the course of years, probably decades, they unite most of the world and slowly regain their memory of their lives before their arrival—and putting their earlier lessons to work, they forge a government and a society that will outlast them, and thrive in their absence. At the end, the last memory to be restored is when and how they came to Reignalmia in the first place, and they quickly transport themselves back, where they resume their proper place in their own story.
The two characters I know about now are “the two strangers,” Jon and Primrose Royal, though they may not be known by those names for the first while. I fear that this may turn into an “expanding story” like the Wheel of Time (i.e. early minor characters becoming major, viewpoint characters with their own arcs later—I hope not, or at least not that complicated!), but this is still so early “on the drawing board” that I don’t know any of the other characters yet.
As you can probably gather from the brief plot summary, the one theme I aim to bring out through the whole thing is the theme of memory—it’s possible that Reignalmia inserted itself into my plans to give me a way to include an extended prose portrayal of that theme in the Shine Cycle, as it’s also one of the main themes that ends up quite often in my poetry. I’m also (though, again, this is effectively “back of the envelope” design here) thinking about how I might effectively at least hint at the theme of the nature of good government.
And (from the list of topics for these posts in the series introduction) one last note: The Reignalmia sub-series is, of all of them, the most self-contained. But it’s not merely the explanation of the absence of two central characters from the “main line” for a time; Reignalmia will turn up again in the main story later, I’m sure.
Any comments or questions?