I first created the world of Ashvalia when I was seven years old. I am now in my early thirties, and over the years Ashvalia has been through more changes than I care to document. In its current state, Ashvalia is a small world in which four nations reside. The northernmost nation is called Jiveraenia, the Eastern nation is called Idwanistad, the Western nation is called Nevalis (or Venice), and the Southern nation is called Imjaa. Most of my stories and writings are set in Imjaa, although the other nations have gone through some development as well. In order to understand the stories that follow, there are some pieces of background information that are important. What follows is an excerpt from one of my journals, meant to set the stage for the rest of what I will write about Ashvalia.
“Unbeknownst to the masses, there exist hundreds of portals deep under the Atlantic Ocean. These portals lead to what is known as the Seasphere – a vast ocean that on which many alternate worlds can be found. The expanse of the Seasphere is not (nor will it ever be) known, but each of the discovered worlds can be accessed through channels that lead into each world’s coast. One such world is called Ashvalia.
Time, in Ashvalia, passes extremely quickly and is measured using two methods. The first is method, called Calendar, is useful for setting appointments, recording history, reporting events, tracking seasons, and staying connected with other nations and worlds. The Ashvalian year has only 20 days. The first five days make up the Spring season, the next five days make up the Summer season, the following five days make up the Autumn season, and the final five days make Winter. Each day is made up of twenty-four hours, and there are no months.
The second method, called Biological, is used to mark the progression of one’s passage through the stages of life. A person can live an entire lifespan – from infancy to senior adulthood – in a Calendar measurement of three to five years. Instead of birthdays, which would happen once per year, Ashvalians celebrate aging ceremonies – which happen every set number of days*. A person spends so many days in infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and senior adulthood before crossing into the next stage of life. Because no one has ever lived longer than five calendar years, a generation is said to be five years long. The rapid passage of time creates, in most Ashvalians, a sense of urgency about enjoying and cherishing life. However, cultural ideas about how to enjoy and cherish life vary vastly between each of Ashvalia’s four nations.”
Knowing this little bit of background will help to make sense of what Ashvalia is (an entire world, not just a country) and why time seems to move so quickly (and why some of the dates don’t sound like they make sense) in my stories/overviews.
Here’s hoping you enjoy following along!
*[Beginning in 2005, I would play “The Sims 2” and use my game-play to create and write stories that were set in Ashvalia. In “The Sims 2”, a person’s life-span was as follows: 3 days of infancy, 4 days of toddlerhood, 8 days of childhood, 15 days of adolescence, 29 days of adulthood, and your remaining lifespan (senior adulthood) was based on how good of a life you had given your sim up until that point. Since many of my stories were based on my sims, I ended up adopting this time-system for Ashvalia]