the sorcerer in the north

Can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that the first thing Will did once he was out on his own was adopt a dog.

Imagine how many times he tried to adopt pets while he was living with Halt.
He shows up after hunting down bandits and “please Halt she’s adorable we can even keep her in the barn because cats hunt mice right”
Or Will shows up after patrolling the fief and “I know rangers don’t have dogs but loOK AT THIS ADORABLE FACE HOW CAN YOU SAY NO”

And then Will shows up at the gathering grounds with Shadow and Halt’s just like “for fuCKS SAKE why am I not surprised”

I keep seeing wizard AUs where it’s just neil with magic and that’s rad but i needed an andreil au where they’re both magic so here we go

neil is the sorcerer king in the north and the rumors say he killed his father to be crowned. andrew, co-ruler of the kingdom to the south, doesn’t know if he believes that, but if it’s true, it at least makes the northern king nearly worth his interest. neil would have to be incredibly strong to overthrow king nathan, which potentially puts him on par with andrew himself.

andrew and aaron co-rule their kingdom in part because they don’t actually know which one’s older. their mother would’ve told them at some point had she not died in what’s carefully framed as a tragic accident, using a spell she wasn’t powerful enough for. the other reason is that they actually complement each other really well even if they despise cooperating: andrew’s a wildly powerful sorcerer, whereas aaron is better at diplomacy and traditional weaponry

having heard the rumors they figure they should meet neil, but that means going to his kingdom because he doesn’t feel secure enough in his rule yet to want to leave. originally both twins are going to go but there’s a crisis to their east and aaron’s needed to go negotiate so it’s andrew who gets sent up to meet neil (which everyone thinks is going to end in disaster).

it almost does end in disaster because andrew decides the most reasonable way to test the new king’s powers is to try to fight him as soon as they’re alone, which would’ve led to all out war if neil had been literally anyone else

luckily neil knows his kingdom is in no state to fight a war and he doesn’t trust his court enough to call them in when andrew starts throwing spells (he doesn’t know how many are still loyal to his father) so he’s fine with just fighting it out, especially when it becomes clear Andrew’s not actually trying to kill him. his spells are powerful but they deliberately stop short of lethal

once neil very clearly starts fading, not used to holding out so long, andrew abruptly drops his spells and just gets straight to the point. “I hear you killed your father.” neil replies “I hear you’re mad,” which, to be fair, isn’t exactly disproved by what he’s seen of Andrew so far. Andrew’s heard the rumors, nothing neil says will bother him at this point, but he does say “so we’ve both heard wrong”

neil shakes his head and says “I killed the king” and andrew notices the deliberate change in language, “the king” instead of “my father.” neil is without a doubt nathan’s trueborn son, they looked far too much alike for him to be anything else, but there’s a clear distance created there. there’s also the fact that he changed his name as soon as he could, and in andrew’s few dealings with nathan, he can understand why neil wants to create that kind of separation. he’d always thought nathan was ineffective and ruled almost solely on fear, which isn’t a good basis for a kingdom (inspiring fear in your interpersonal relations is one thing andrew has lowkey terrified almost all of his advisors but ruling an entire kingdom based on fear just doesn’t work)

neil eventually loses patience with waiting for andrew to explain himself and he’s like “alright you came in here you tried to fight me, you haven’t been that helpful in other ways, what do you want?” and all andrew says is “you need all the allies you can get at this point” to which neil is pretty much like “what the fuck” because he might be new to being king but he’s pretty sure that’s not how alliances usually start. still, neil had felt how powerful andrew’s magic is, and he’d never met anyone able to rival him. nathan was a strong sorcerer by normal standards, and neil had killed him like it was almost nothing. despite himself, he’s intrigued by andrew. besides, it’s true that he needs allies, the position he’s in is fragile

but anyway onto the rest of the world: the moriyamas are a neighboring kingdom and riko’s a semi rogue sorcerer that has it out for neil. after far too many unsuccessful raids, riko manages to back neil into a trap that renders him unable to use his magic.

what he didn’t expect was for andrew to deliberately step into the trap as well, after neil tries as hard as he can to warn him. it should be an easy victory- neil’s allies are still putting up a good fight outside, but neil and andrew are the cornerstones of the magical defense- but the trap isn’t powerful enough to contain the two most powerful sorcerers currently alive. the wards fall, and riko’s killed in the fallout.

after the battle they have to negotiate with ichirou to stop an all out war but neil’s made more allies than his father ever did so even if the moriyamas managed to defeat neil’s kingdom they’re still surrounded. a forced peace is still a peace, in this case.

(side note on the topic of neil’s allies, dan is queen of a kingdom to the west, matt is her consort, and wymack is her trusted advisor. allison is a rogue princess who’s wicked good with a sword that turns up in neil’s court with renee, who has magic and is mostly a healer but when she goes on the attack you’d better watch the fuck out. allison allies herself and the small collection of knights that followed her with neil. nicky and kevin are in the twins’ kingdom- nicky is a duke who has little official standing but unofficially aids aaron with diplomatic missions, and kevin is a knight who defected from the moriyamas and managed to escape)

it’s the most prosperous time the land’s seen in ages. relations between many of the countries had been strained or outright hostile due to nathan, and the twins’ mother as well, but they’re repaired in time. neil faces his share of domestic rebellions for years after nathan’s death, and there are still some overly ambitious nations that think it’s worth trying to infringe on his land, but over time insurgents learn to flee at the sight of their king side by side with king andrew.

Religion in the world of Ranger’s Apprentice

In the world of Ranger’s Apprentice (and Brotherband), religion seems to hang in the background. Everyone knows it’s there, but religion is not a topic that is expressed on a constant basis unless it’s a cult or used in a curse. Despite this, however, there is often a gap between the ‘old’, or ancient, religions and the ‘new’, or monotheistic, religions.


The Skandians are known as one of the most religious cultures in the RA series. The first instance we come into contact with their religion is when Erak, Will, and Evanlyn find out about the Vallasvow. The Vallas are the Skandian gods of vengeance, and are evoked in cases of murder or fraud. They can also be used in the way of an exclamation: “By the gods of the Vallas”. In conjunction with the Vallas, it is shown that the Skandians have other gods, like Loki and Gorlog, as well as possible Heroes, like Thaki and Loka. Connected to the gods is the Skandian heaven, although we’re never told its name. Ragnak is said to have been taken to the highest level of heaven due to having died in battle as a berserker, and it is feared that if a Skandian dies without a weapon in their hand their soul will wander for eternity.

The Skandians are also very superstitious, believing in forest spirits and ogres, and have many myths and legends that account for different environmental happenings, e.g. The Great Blue Whale and the tides.


Arrida is an interesting country when it comes to religion. As far as the RA series goes, we only hear about their religion in terms of the Tualaghi or the desert. The Tualaghi are called the Forgotten of God, and Yusal admits that he doesn’t “pretend to know God’s will”. When it comes to the desert, they follow the Word of the Law, which states what one should do in the desert, such as leaving a man with water. This could be a parallel to Islam, but nothing is explicitly stated beyond this, so I am unwilling to state it outright.

More information is given in the Brotherband series. In Soccoro, a city on the north-western coast of Arrida, it is mentioned that the inhabitants worship three main gods: Hahmet (god of war), Jahmet (god of love), and Kaif (god of good harvests, fair weather, business success, and family matters). It is also stated that they have demigods, such as Ikbar. Later in the series, the Herons and Gilan come into contact with the Scorpion cult, who worship Imrika, the Scorpion goddess of death and destruction. It is said to have been based on a warped religious system, and it is possible that it is formed around the ‘old’, or ancient, religions.


Araluen, like Arrida, is a complex mix of old and new religions. There are many instances of an Araluen using the phrase “God’s sake”, “my God” or other phrases with a capital ‘G’ in god. This seems to indicate a specific god, more than likely the one in Judeo-Christian beliefs. This is backed up by the statement by Cullum Gelderris in Sorcerer of the North about Orman: “Wears a black robe like a monk, although he is no man of the church”.  Like the use of a capital ‘G’, this indicates a connection to the Catholic Church, which was prevalent in 10th and 11th century Europe. In the same way, in Battle of Hackham Heath, it is pointed out that Woldon Abbey was a nursing order, not a religious one, meaning that there was some form of religious healing orders like the Catholic monasteries and nunneries.

The old religion is connected to the ancient beliefs of the country. Not only do many Araluens say “Thank the gods” or “May the gods bless you”, but a few of the old gods are mentioned by name. Such as Ergon, who is revealed to be an obscure Araluen god in Brotherband: Slaves of Soccoro, or the Black Troll of Balath in the Royal Ranger. Most – if not all – of the Araluen protagonists we know don’t follow these religions closely. This is why we can hear Halt curse someone with many gods and then later with only one God. Hibernia is no better, as an old lady in Mountshannon makes the distinction between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ gods. It’s an underrepresented conflict, but it’s there.

I hope you guys got all of that! Thanks to @when-there-is-a-will for giving me such an interesting topic to talk about! Join in the conversation by either sending us an ask, or by reblogging this analysis and tagging it #raanalysis with your thoughts. Do you have questions or thoughts on future analysis’? Please send us an ask or submit it to us.

If you are interested in becoming a RA Analysis writer, let us know! We’d love to have you :)

May your coffee be hot and your arrows sharp!

The Knights of Kwantiko

-Part 3-

This was absurd. He should be out there with them, fighting alongside the knights to rescue his beloved. Not sitting here, stuck inside this infernal castle, waiting for news to come his way. It wasn’t that he didn’t have faith in the Three Brave Knights—he knew that Ser Derek would do everything in his power to bring the princess back home—but they were to be married within the next month. He should be the one going to get her. He should be the one bringing her home to the kingdom.

But then there was the fact that his skills with a sword were…how shall we put this…less than ideal. He’d never had the best coordination as a child and, despite the fact that his parents had the Master at Arms work tirelessly with him on his swordplay (he was the son of a lord after all), he never had been able to pick up the skills quite as well as the other boys. Now, his insane level of strategy made up for the fact that he wasn’t that good of a fighter, and it certainly accounted for the fact that their army was an unrelenting force to be reckoned with. But he couldn’t help but think about how badly he wanted to be the one to ensure his beloved Penelope was returned home safely.

A knock sounded at his chamber door. Kevin pulled himself away from the window, rubbing his tired eyes, as he crossed the room and pulled the door open to reveal Anderson, the castle’s lookout, standing on the other end.

“My lord,” he said, bowing quickly out of respect. “I have been sent on behalf of the king and queen. They request your presence in the throne room.”

“Any word on the princess?” Kevin asked. Though it had only been several days since the Three Brave Knights had set out, every day that passed without news weighed heavily on the lord’s shoulders. He’d heard stories about the dark sorcerer from the North. And the fact that his precious princess was in that monster’s clutches made his insides clench in fear. Penelope was too good to be in a place so evil.

Anderson sadly shook his head. “I’m afraid not, my lord,” he said. “But we may have a bigger problem on our hands.”

Kevin narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about?”

“It’s not my place to say,” Anderson began. “But there have been rumors circulating of destruction rising in the east. Destruction that may or may not be connected with the sorcerer.”

Kevin felt his heart sink slightly. “With all due respect to his and her majesty, my sole concern is the safe return of the princess. Until then, I can’t burden myself with other threats.”

“The king and queen understand your concerns,” Anderson replied. “Rest assured, the safety of the princess is the most important thing right now, but if these rumors are discovered to be true, the princess and the Three Brave Knights may not have a kingdom to return to.”

Just as Kevin was about to dismiss the lookout, he paused, his eyes widening slightly as he analyzed the meaning behind these words. “Anderson, what are you saying?” he asked.

Anderson took a deep breath, unable to stop his voice from fully trembling. “I’m saying…we think it might be back…”


As the sun began to sink lower in the sky, three horses emerged from the depths of the twisted wood, their riders slumped on their backs, nearly dead with exhaustion. Despite his best efforts to navigate his small party out of the dark, enchanted forest, Ser Spencer and his companions had found themselves surrounded by trees for what felt like an eternity. Their supplies had all but run out, and even Allyson hadn’t been able to catch anything as they crossed through the heart of the forest. As a result, it was with great relief when they finally came to the outskirts of a small village.

“Hey, kid. Do me a favor,” Derek said, fighting a losing battle against his growing exhaustion. “Next time your maps tell us to go through an Enchanted Forest, find us an alternate route.”

“For the last time, I didn’t know that the wood was so unpredictable,” Spencer replied, running a hand through his curly hair, making it look even more unkempt than before. “It’s been years since anyone from the kingdom has traveled this far. The records haven’t been updated.”

“If the two of you do not stop your bickering, I will nail your hides to these trees and leave you both here,” Allyson said, rubbing the sides of her aching head. “The point is, we’re out of that godforsaken wood and we are all tired and hungry. So why don’t we stop here for the night, get some food in our bellies and a warm bed to sleep in, and tomorrow morning, we’ll have a fresh start for our quest.”

“Until Ser Pretty Boy’s map here sends us on another useless week-long trek,” Derek said with a smirk as Spencer shook his head in disappointment.

“Allyson is right, though,” Spencer said with a nod towards his sister. “We do need to replenish our supplies if we hope to get to the sorcerer’s lair and back. Not to mention the fact that our horses are about to drop dead from exhaustion.”

As they entered the town, the three knights dismounted their horses, hoping that the decrease in weight might provide the tired animals with some relief. They made their way through the streets, eventually coming to a small inn in the center of the village. The beautiful blonde woman behind the bar gave them three pints of mead as well as three heaping plates of bread and chicken which the hungry knights happily devoured.

“I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything as good as this in my life,” Allyson said, closing her eyes as she savored the way the warm bread seemed to melt in her mouth.

“While I won’t deny that the food here is satisfactory, the idea you have of it being the best thing you’ve ever eaten is most likely due to your increased hunger and low-level of satisfaction at this current time,” Spencer began, but he was silenced by a hearty belch from Derek as he slammed his empty tankard of mead down on the table.

“I will say this,” he began, ignoring Spencer’s wide-eyed look of disgust or Allyson’s subtly shaking head as she cleaned off one of her chicken bones. “I don’t think I’ve had mead quite that good before. And that has nothing to do with my ‘low-level of satisfaction’ or whatever you called it. That has to do with that bartender knowing exactly what she’s doing.” As if sensing his compliment, the woman suddenly locked eyes with Derek from across the room as she filled another tankard.

“Derek, don’t tell me you’re going to—” But Allyson was cut off as Derek scraped his chair across the floor and headed towards the bar, standing in a way to ensure that she could see the magnificent sword sitting on his hip.

“And…we won’t be seeing him anymore tonight,” Allyson said, rolling his eyes.

“We will once she realizes that his fondness for his sword is just an over-compensation,” Spencer added, causing Allyson to inhale half her mead up her nose.

While Derek continued his efforts to woo the bar wench and Spencer buried his face in one of the books he had brought with him, Allyson’s attention was diverted by several travelers sitting in the corner, the hoods of their traveling cloaks up over their heads, smoke puffing from the pipes that sat between their teeth. She had been half-listening to their conversation for several minutes, but instantly became more interested as a certain phrase was uttered.

“…band of robbers was found beaten within an inch of their lives outside the county courthouse several mornings ago.”

“But is there any proof that he actually did it?”

“Ah, you know it’s impossible to ever catch sight of him. Dark as the night and quiet as a shadow, that one. But who else could it be? Who else could have effortlessly taken down that troublesome band like that?”

“Are you all talking about the Black Knight?”

The hooded travelers stopped their talking at once, turning to face Allyson. She noticed one of them eye her bow and quiver, looking as though he wanted to make a comment about her ability to accurately use the weapon (Oh please do it, she challenged in her mind), while the other two continued to puff on their pipes.

“You know about the Black Knight then?” asked the first traveler, the lower half of his face hidden by a thick and bushy beard.

“Only the rumors I’ve heard,” Allyson replied. “Is it true that no one knows his real identity?”

“The only ones who do have never lived to tell the tale,” the second traveler said, his dark eyes peering through the smoke billowing from his pipe. “But they say he can’t be killed by any man.”

“They say he was trained by a wise and powerful wizard upon a mountaintop with a sword fashioned by the god of thunder himself,” the third traveler said, though the smirk on his face made it difficult to tell if he was being serious or not.

“Oh please, we all know Excalibur is just a myth,” Allyson said, rolling her eyes.

“While that may be true, m’lady, the tale of the Black Knight is very true,” the first traveler said. “That I can assure you.”

“What, you saying you’ve seen him?” the second traveler scoffed.

“Even if I had, do you really think I would tell the likes of you?” the first traveler said, shaking his head before turning back to Allyson. “What is it you are seeking, m’lady?”

“Just the safe return of someone very near and dear to my heart,” Allyson replied, not wanting to disclose too much information until she knew for sure who these travelers were.

“Well, if you need someone to help you use that there weapon slung across your back,” the third traveler began, but Allyson hastily cut him off.

“Rest assured, my good sir, if my skills with this bow were at all like your skills at speaking to a lady, then I wouldn’t see myself fit to wield it,” she finished with a smile as the first traveler choked slightly on his pipe smoke and the smirk flew off of the third traveler’s face.


She turned to see her brother beckoning her back over to their table. She bid the three travelers farewell (the first two wishing her luck on her quest while the third one seemed unable to meet her eyes) before heading back to him.

“Well, Derek has disappeared,” Spencer said. Allyson looked towards the bar where, sure enough, Derek and the blonde girl were nowhere to be found. “And I think it’s about time we turned in.”

Allyson instantly recognized the tone in her brother’s voice. He had a bad feeling about this place. And now that she heard it, she noticed an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach as well. The sooner they could get some sleep, the sooner they could be back on the road towards their quest. She didn’t like the thought of poor Princess Penelope spending more time in a cold and dark dungeon than she had to.

However, though the twins were shown to a rather nice and comfortable room upstairs in the inn, and though the beds were some of the softest and most comfortable beds they had ever lain in, it was clear that their guts were trying to tell them something. Several hours after they had put their heads to their pillows, they were awakened by the sound of the door opening. Before either of them could reach for a weapon, half a dozen swords were instantly drawn and pointed straight at their chests.

“Well, this is less than ideal,” Allyson said under her breath as she and Spencer both raised their hands in surrender.


@original-criminal-fanfics@dontshootmespence @fandomsfeelsandfamily @athezombie @gubl-oser @stunudo @its-full-of-random-shit @cosmicjennifer @sassygeek77 @magnetic-electric @bookofreid @fox38953 @willthecrystalstageflowerchild @xxm3xx-blog @a-santah-blog @jeffersonthemadhatter @brooke0297 @haleyynguyen @mrscurtis4life @mxolh @twistednightshade @littlebluebatbrat @ultrarebelheart @knightcat03 @lazyemisfandomtrash @0they-call-me-mo0 @milkandcookies528 @worthingtxn @reiding-and-writing @cherrybombs-and-rabbitholes

anonymous asked:

I really liked the mermaid and genji Drabble! Could you maybe do pirate reader x mermaid D.Va maybe?

Genji one here.

You took a quick look over your shoulder at your shipmates, eagerly drinking the rum that the port town had to offer. You slipped out of the tavern, making your way to the ocean.

You gently sat on a rock and looked out to the moonlit sea, waiting.

“You been waiting long?” you heard and you eagerly looked at the ocean between your knees.

Hana squeezed the sea water out of her hair and whipped it over her shoulder. She slid her tail in front of her, settling back on her butt.

“Not that long,” you responded and she giggled, you watching her mesmerised.

She grabbed your knees, lips tantalizingly close to yours. A smirk crossed her face and she pulled you in, a large splash preceding you. You floated into the sea for a moment, Hana swimming to you and pulling you close.

Her hair floated around her like a halo and she kissed you, a bit of salt water entering your mouth. The two of you drifted up, popping out of the ocean and still kissing. Your hands wrapped around her waist and she giggled at the touch.

Water dripped from your eyelashes as you stared at her with open eyes, burning the kiss into memory. You only got to see her when you went to port, as there was no way for you to get to the water on a ship. Getting caught in the shipboat would lead to you being executed as a deserter.

“You could just come with me,” Hana said, her forehead pressing against yours, “There are rumours in the current that there’s a sorcerer north of here, he could enchant you to live underwater.”

“If we go there,” you said, “I’ll ask, but I might not be able to.”

You crawled out of the water, knowing that if you spent more time out here they’d get suspicious. She waved as you made your way to the town, getting ready to follow your ship.

How Old Are They? Part 2: Gilan, Crowley, and Halt

In the last post, we discussed the ages of Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny, and George, finding not only their age but also a rough timeline of events for the series. This post will rely on this timeline, as these characters’ ages are not as clear cut as the previous ones. Because of this, the ages I put forth are going to be based more on logical conjecture than concrete evidence, so if you have another reading of the text then please tell us!

P.S. As you can probably imagine, this has spoilers for The Tournament at Gorlan. Thou hast been warned!


The only time we’re given a direct age to start us off is in The Burning Bridge, when Gilan is talking to Will and Horace about his apprenticeship. Gilan says that he was apprenticed to Halt at the age of fourteen. We know that this occurred after the Battle at Hackham Heath as Halt became friends with Sir David during it, some sixteen years before. This would give Gilan a maximum age of thirty at The Burning Bridge.

His actual age, however, is a little less than thirty, as Gilan says that Halt used to come visiting in the time afterwards. As we know, Rangers have very little time for social engagements, especially ones who are rebuilding the Ranger Corps. In the same way, Sir David wouldn’t have been able to entertain a Ranger very often while the Kingdom got back on its feet, and as a well-respected Battlemaster he would’ve had a handful of paperwork to do. So it’s likely that Gilan didn’t start his apprenticeship directly after Hackham Heath.

Another issue we have to take into consideration is Will. He says in the first book that he’d never seen another Ranger beside Halt. If Gilan had been in his apprenticeship while Will was growing up, then he would’ve seen him. This means that Gilan was an apprentice when Will was too young to either remember or wander around. If Gilan didn’t start his apprenticeship until a year after Hackham Heath, then Will would’ve been six when Gilan graduated - still young enough to be watched constantly and kept from exploring too far across the castle and village.

So if we take fourteen, the age we know he started his apprenticeship, and added fifteen instead of the sixteen years, we get twenty-nine, an age that is supported in The Lost Stories. The Inkwell and the Dagger takes place during Halt’s banishment in The Icebound Land, a few months at most after the conversation in The Burning Bridge. There, Gilan went to an Inn in Highcliffe Fief and talked to the Innkeeper, Maeve. She’s described as attractive and being around thirty. For the sake of clarity, let’s say she’s thirty. Upon meeting Gilan, she describes him as “probably a year or two younger than she was” (p93), placing him in the range of twenty-eight or -nine.

If we accept this theory, then his ages in the books would be placed in this order (based of the previous post’s timeline):

Ruins of Gorlan:                                                                    28

Burning Bridge:                                                                      29

Icebound Land/The Lost Stories/Oakleaf Bearers:                29

Erak’s Ransom:                                                                     32

Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw:                             33

Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril:                                                 34

Emperor of Nihon-Ja:                                                             35

End of Lost Stories:                                                                40

Royal Ranger:                                                                        55 (commandant                                                                                                             at 52)


Crowley did his training in the same or at least similar fashion as Gilan and Will. In The Lost Stories: The Hibernian, we are told that the previous Rangers “selected apprentices to join the Corps, and submitted them to five years’ rigorous training” (p378/9). Pritchard is the oldest of the old, so it makes sense that he would’ve stuck to the old ways. In the same way, it makes sense for Crowley and Halt to base the revived Ranger Corps apprenticeship off Pritchard’s teaching and their own experience. If Crowley was apprenticed when he was fifteen and Pritchard had been gone three years after his graduation, that makes Crowley twenty-three at the time of The Tournament at Gorlan.

Between The Tournament at Gorlan and the Battle at Hackham Heath, there is a gap of time. Morgarath is seen reading about the Wargals when Teezal tells him about Crowley and Halt gathering the Rangers together. He still has to refer to the book when Teezal asks him a question though, so it hints that Morgarath has only just found about them. When he is seen at the end of the book with the Wargal, he states that it took him months to try and find them, and weeks to communicate and dominate the one he found. All of this occurs after they escape from the castle at the end of The Tournament at Gorlan. When Morgarath is looking down on his army in The Ruins of Gorlan right at the beginning, he says that he waited until the King had died and the Barons had left their fiefs. This only adds to the time. As I personally like round, clean numbers, I’m going to say that it’s been a year between The Tournament at Gorlan and the Battle at Hackham Heath.

On top of this, we know that “Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more…” (p86) by the time The Sorcerer of the North comes around. This is counted from his apprenticeship, and if we don’t put the year in between then we find ourselves a year short according to this statement.

With this in mind, his age timeline is like this:

Tournament at Gorlan:                                                            23

Ruins of Gorlan:                                                                       39

Burning Bridge:                                                                        40

Icebound Land/Oakleaf Bearers:                                             41

Erak’s Ransom:                                                                       44

Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw:                               45

Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril:                                                   46

Emperor of Nihon-Ja:                                                               47

End of Lost Stories:                                                                  52

Died:                                                                                         64


Finding Halt’s age was a bit of a journey. We are given practically nothing to help us, so many of us assumed he was the same age as Crowley, me being one of them. Until I reread The Kings of Clonmel. When Halt is giving his background story to Will and Horace, he says that “When we were [interesting how he doesn’t say when I was] sixteen, he tried to poison me” (p143). Halt continues by saying that six months after that Ferris dropped roof tiles near him, and then a year after the roof incident was the fishing incident. After that, he left. This makes him seventeen and a half when he left Hibernia. Due to all the travelling and events in Tournament at Gorlan (I’ll not bore you with the maths), it’s almost been two years since the first assassination attempt, meaning that by the end of Tournament at Gorlan Halt is eighteen.

We have the year gap which is further supported by Halt’s statement in Ruins of Gorlan. When talking to Will, he answers one of Will’s questions with: “Not too much if we’ve been an apprentice for a few hours…Those of us who have been a Ranger for twenty years or more tend to know what to do without asking” (p67). This includes the fifteen years between then and Hackham Heath, the three years with Pritchard, and the remaining two years between leaving Hibernia and the battle.

This means that in The Ruins of Gorlan, Halt is only thirty-four.

Yep, you heard me. Thirty-four. Halt is young!

In the same way as the others, this makes Halt’s ages look like this:

Tournament at Gorlan:                                                            18

Ruins of Gorlan:                                                                       34

Burning Bridge:                                                                        35

Icebound Land/Oakleaf Bearers:                                             36

Erak’s Ransom:                                                                        39

Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw:                                40

Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril:                                                    41

Emperor of Nihon-Ja:                                                               42

End of Lost Stories:                                                                   47

Royal Ranger:                                                                           62

Halt is five years younger than Crowley, which supports Crowley’s statement in Tournament of Gorlan: “”I’m younger than the rest of you - with the exception of you, of course,” he added, looking at Halt” (p161). This age timeline also supports Sean’s statement in Kings of Clonmel: “No…my Uncle Halt died over twenty years ago!” (p276), as it’s been twenty-three years since he left.

Thanks for reading this guys! I hope this made sense. There’s a lot of guesswork involved with these guys and I may not have everything perfect. If you disagree with my analysis, please join in on the conversation by rebloging this and tagging it #raanalysis with your thoughts on this analysis and the topic of the next one. Are there any characters you want me to find out the ages of that I missed? Please don’t hesitate to send us an ask and I’ll try my best. Got any other questions? Please send us an ask or submit it to us.

Next analysis: “How Old is Araluen?”, the first analysis posted by Ranger Rose!

May your coffee be hot and your arrows sharp!

How Old Are They? Part 1: Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny, George

As @when-there-is-a-will pointed out on the previous post, the books are very vague when it comes to specifying the ages of the main characters. At best, we are told their age and at worst we have nothing. In order to figure out their ages, we have to rely on references to previous events. By doing this, we can also create a rough timeline for the series.

Due to most of the references being connected to Will, this will mainly refer to Will’s age, but as Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny and George are all the same age, the answers will be the same.

We begin with the first book: The Ruins of Gorlan. This is pretty obvious. Will was found at Castle Redmont as a baby fifteen years ago and all the wards turning fifteen could go to Choosing Day. All in all, Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny, and George are fifteen, which places us in a good stead for the rest of the series.

The Burning Bridge occurs one year later. This is because all the discussions around Morgarath refers to the last war being sixteen years ago, compared to the fifteen years stated in the first book. As such, they are now sixteen.

The Icebound Land and The Oakleaf Bearers span across close to a year based on Halt’s banishment. Before that, however, it seems that there is some time between Halt’s promise and his banishment due to the fact that Halt’s rowdy and frustrated. It would be long enough for him to get desperate, but short enough so that he doesn’t feel like he’s lost them, so I’m willing to say that it’s been close to a week since Will and Evanlyn’s kidnapping. The Icebound Land does say that “For three days, they had sailed north towards Skandia through a sea that was calm as a millpond…” (p1), but it isn’t clear if it’s been three days sailing from the battle or they’ve just had good weather for three day, so this is up to your interpretation. Either way, it’s been close to a year and boosts them up to the age of seventeen upon return.

As we’re going through chronologically, the next book is Erak’s Ransom. Despite Will’s lengthy disappearance from Ranger training, he still completes his apprenticeship in the allotted five years. On their journey across the seas to Arrida, Will’s standing by himself on the prow of the ship, thinking about the graduation and how “He had spent the better part of the last five years relying on Halt” (p110). His hesitation about it and how he’s questioning it despite being previously arrogantly confident, suggests that the graduation isn’t far away. We can assume that at the time of graduation he’s the same age as he was on the journey: around twenty years old.

As @aseikh pointed out, Will stays with Halt for longer than the average apprentice - an excellent observation. Will stays with Halt for an extra year after his graduation, assumedly to help out and do what he would later continue to do from books 8 onwards. Remember, Rangers don’t get their fief until someone steps down, an opportunity that Bartell creates with his retirement in The Sorcerer in the North and The Siege at Macindaw. He then steps up to take Seacliffe. How do we know all this? Upon setting eyes on the peaceful coastal town, Will is reminded of Redmont and “in the last six years, of the deep affection that had grown between him and… Halt” (SotN p15). Not five years, but six, a fact later supported by Crowley and Halt when Will confuses them in the empty Gathering Ground: “”You had this young man with you for… what, six years?” Halt shrugged. “Near enough.”” (p87). It is also pointed out that Morgarath had attacked little over five years ago, placing these books six years since the Choosing Day. This makes Will, Horace and Alyss twenty-one years old.

The Kings of Clonmel, sticking to the pattern of most of the series, occurs one year after Macindaw. It points out that the siege of the Scotti happened a year before while Will is assessing the first years, and that Will thought he had proven himself over the past two years to justify a reassignment, last year at Norgate and the present year at Seacliffe. This makes Will and Horace twenty-two before the journey to Hibernia, and assumedly when they return, as it’s only been a few months since they left.

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja’s time is different. There is no clear statement about when it occurs, just that there is enough time since their journey to Hibernia for Horace to get bored. This could, in theory, only be a few months, meaning that Will, Horace, Alyss, and George are all still twenty-two during this book. It could be argued, however, that the amount of time that they take to get to Nihon-Ja and then spend there could turn it around to a year, as it took them weeks to sail there and then they had to wait until the snow melts to fight Arisaka. It is possible that they could’ve turned twenty-three in this time. For the sake of this analysis, let’s say they have.

Which brings us to The Lost Stories. I cannot define the specific time/age for each of the stories, but there are a few which we can glean information from. Purple Prose and The Bridal Dance are linked together as they are both connected to the Royal wedding. Horace back in book 10 said that he and Cassandra would get married when they got home, but it’s a wedding - and a Royal one at that! It would’ve taken months at least to organise it! I’m partial to say that it would’ve been a year at the very least as that’s the average time for a normal wedding to be planned today. If we accept this time frame, then Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny and George would be about twenty-four, twenty-five at the most.

The next indicator is in The Wolf. Bob asks Will how long he’s had Tug, to which he replies, “Must be over ten years” (p446). So we know he’s twenty-five at least. Later on, Crowley comes into play and talks about retiring horses, saying that they replace them every fifteen to sixteen years, but, because Tug’s injury quickened the process, they had to change now. Crowley states: “Normally, we would’ve prepared you for it over the next year or two” (p461). If Tug was uninjured then Will would have been preparing for Tug 2.0 a year before the minimum working time for the horses. If Tug only make it to fifteen years, then Will would’ve prepared for the change for a year; if sixteen years, then two. As it is, he didn’t have him long enough for the Rangers to tell or prepare him for Tug 2.0. So that means that he’s had Tug version 1 for thirteen years, making Will twenty-eight.

As to Will and Alyss’ age at their wedding, we don’t know. They’re at least twenty-eight, but it could’ve been later, but - again for the sake of this analysis - let’s say they’re that.

Fifteen years go by until The Royal Ranger. Maddie is fifteen and Cassandra was pregnant at Will and Alyss’ wedding. Will, Horace, Jenny and George are now forty-three. Alyss never made it that far, and - having died eighteen months prior - only made it to forty-one or -two.

Thanks for reading this guys! What did you think of this analysis? Join the conversation by rebloging this and tagging it #raanalysis with your thoughts on this analysis and the topic of the next one. If you have a question or a thought you would like to be answered in an analysis, please don’t hesitate to submit it to us or send us an ask.

Next analysis: “How Old Are They? Part 2: Gilan, Crowley and Halt”.

May your coffee be hot and your arrows sharp!

Magic in New England and The Salem Institute:

“Super Heri, Affectamus Pro Crastinum” trans. “From yesterday we strive for tomorrow.”

The oldest school of organized, European sorcery in the New World, the Salem Institute opened its doors to students in 1746, a full fifty years before its long-term rival, the Randolph-Poythress Institute. Founded by three extremely influential Puritan mages, the Salem Institute was created in response to the growing number of Muggleborns that had started to put a strain on the secret network of magical households and apprenticeships that had been used to keep the wizarding community in the New England colonies from being discovered.

Though it might seem unimaginable to Muggle historians (if we can call the poor, deluded individuals real historians), there were actually several magical families and individuals amongst the early puritans who came to the new world. Some of our nation’s oldest and most respected magical families, such as the Goodes, Winthropes, Stones, and Coopers, arrived on the stony shores of New England alongside those early Pilgrims. Some were driven by true religious conviction: Muggleborns whose discovery of their magical powers did not serve to defeat the faith with which they were raised, or wizards and witches from long and proud lineages who had, for one reason or another, embraced the Puritanical faith over the beliefs of their ancestors. Some, like Malcolm Cooper, followed beloved family members, unwilling to let them make such a dangerous crossing all on their own to such a dangerous frontier of European knowledge,both mundane and magical. Some came simply because they saw the opportunity in it, and donned the appearance of Puritan faith to blend into their new communities.

However they came, in the New World the Colonials, both mundane and magical, were forced into a close knit community to survive. For wizards and witches the stern prohibitions in Puritanical society against black magic and witchcraft was, of course, a strain, but it came with other types of freedom. Though still deeply patriarchal by nature, the importance and precedence of women in Puritan society allowed many female mages a chance to live more freely than had been appropriate England. Early democratic thought gave witches and wizards some measure of pull in their community, and if their magic was still outlawed then they were really in no worse a position there than they had been in Europe. Indeed, the close-knit relations could mean muggle neighbors and family members being more willing to overlook an occasional twitch from grandmother’s portrait or bread that baked in sunlight.

Of course something still had to be done for the children. In order to provide the best possible education for the young witches and wizards of New England, the Puritans turned to the proud tradition of apprenticeships. By working closely with their neighbors both locally and in distant towns, the colonial mages were able to both provide a broad education for their children and also keep them from staying too long in any one place. Magical outbursts were contained and the community was kept secret. For a time anyway.

As the population grew, new problems arose. Muggleborns had to be tracked down, strange new monsters dealt with, and when a witch or wizard died some of the more stubborn ones left behind specters that needed to be kept out of sight from their muggle neighbors. These specters proved especially problematic, for there was something about the dark woods of those foreign shores that positively bred ghosts from otherwise normal witches and wizards. It was only a matter of time before the Muggles took notice, and then the hunts started.

The Muggle inclination to kill witches is like a plague amongst their kind; some sickness spread by bad air and ignorance that even the vast Atlantic could not keep at bay. Despite their best efforts, it only takes one Muggle with an overly active imagination to start a panic, and panic the Muggles did. With the body of Alse Young hanging like a banner of dark times to come, the wizards of New England remembered so much of the persecution they’ve fled in Europe. Luckily enough for Muggle and Mage alike, the angry mobs rarely caught the real witch or wizard in their midst, but the fear was quite real for the magical communities.

Though official records show that the last person executed for witchcraft in the United States was probably in the last 17th century, there were always dark and out of the way places where good people might do terrible things in the grip of hysteria, and the executions of perfectly mundane individuals had left its mark on wizarding society. Few families would take in a young witch or wizard to apprentice, and the threat of discovery grew.

It was at that point that three powerful mages decided something must be done.  Jasper Windwood, a traveling teacher, was meeting with his colleagues Wolfric Stone and Molly Cooper in Master Stone’s sprawling, coastal manor house in what would one day become the state of Maine. Windwood had been intricately connected with the secret network of apprenticeships that had helped educate young witches and wizards, and he was deeply concerned at the strain his carefully constructed network was under. Molly Cooper, meanwhile, has her own concerns. As the most skilled witch in New England when it came to dealing with ghosts and revenants, she was deeply concerned with the growing number of hauntings facing the colony, and that she had no where safe to relocate sane spirits that did not risk discovery by Muggles. Both had come to Wolfric (an independently wealthy landowner) hoping for assistance, and the wizard came through in spades, opening his manor’s doors and his coffers’ largesse to young and dead alike.

Using his vast connections throughout the North East, Jasper was able to set up the original recruitment network for young magic users to find their way to the school and eventually gain support from the local Governors.[1]  Molly brought the ghosts, who in turn proved to be extremely valuable mentors for the young witches and wizards.  Within a few years the Salem Institute had a thriving class and curriculum, as well as the safe house in which the ghosts of New England could dwindle with grace or until they finally accepted their fates.

The Salem Institute, in the years since, has become one of the world’s premier academies of magical practice. It has the leading program in Spiritual Studies, and trains some of the best mediums and exorcists in the world. Its dueling program has long been a source of pride for the north eastern school, and its focus on history and tradition has given its students a firm base with which to build successful lives. Of course the school was also founded by Puritans, albeit magical ones, so the school maintained a doggedly religious flavor for until the early 20th century, when it finally dropped the required courses in Christian Religion and Theology.

Despite its name, the Salem Academy is actually located in southern, coastal Maine on a hidden cove. The original brick house still stands at the heart of the school, it gabled roofs towering over the rest of the campus buildings save one.Known as the Wolfric House, it still hosts the majority of the classes and houses the professors. The dorm halls, constructed in the late 18th century, run perpendicular to the main house. Students dwell in groups of four, and share bathroom facilities by year. It is rare for the school to reassign housing, except under extreme circumstances, so students are encouraged to resolve personal problems peaceably.

Other notable landmarks include the carriage house (hosting the caretakers and some of the support staff, as well as the flying instructor), the old kitchen, which now acts as the infirmary, and the chapel, which was once used for the mandated weekly sermon but now is reserved for special occasions and choir practice. Finally, the Lighthouse is the tallest point on campus, looking out over the school docks projecting a glorious aurora into the night sky over the school. The tower was the creation of one of the first Headmasters who was deeply paranoid about a raid by Catholic, Canadian sorcerers from the north. The tower wards the school against apparition and invasion by air. Its enchantments have been added to by every Headmaster since, and now the students speculate wildly about its proposed properties, claiming that it acts as everything from a sea-serpent repellent to a beacon for lost souls.

[1] To this day the Salem Institute has been the only other school aside from Hogwarts to be supported by the British Ministry of Magic.