The name Bannock came from Scottish bread: bannock. There are sessions when I’m writing quickly, and I don’t have much time to search for a name because I want to ride the story wave. In this case, I think I may have been listening to Dean Brody’s Mountain Man and in it, he says he can make bannock.
BAM! The name of a village was born because it was as good as any I could find in that desperate moment.
The Land of Ath-o’Lea
We first hear of the village in Healing Stones. It lies along the trail between Moonsface and Inglenook. At the entry of the elf settlement is a sign post created from stone and a thick, carved log that reads: Welcome to Bannock, the hubbery of Knollton Mountain Range: Population 2,467.
Our first glimpse is through Isla of Maura’s eyes.
They passed the first dwelling. The land in front of it was over-grown with lush gardens filled with colourful fruit and vegetable plants. The orange pumpkins were as large as caldrons. Cute wooden statues peeked between the leaves of tasty squash and cucumbers, and a white pebble path winded its way throughout. A few benches provided a place for the gardener to sit and enjoy the sight and the sunshine. She stretched her neck to see around McGuigan to the other side of the road. That dwelling also had interesting gardens in front.
Bannock’s Gathering Grounds
The small village doesn’t have many places to rent a room. Lyneth tells the others the rooms are usually booked and expensive. However, Bannock boasts a large camping area called Bannock’s Gathering Grounds. It provides cut wood, water, a place to hitch a horse, hay for the horse and a latrine.
One of the most interesting places the small group happens upon in their journey is Weslia’s Wyrd. It is located near the entrance of Bannock and is owned by Weslia and her mate. She is a foreteller and will answer one question per person per moon for five bits.
From Isla’s perspective:
She scrutinised the front of the building. The bright purples, reds and gold conjured deep, forbidden magic.
However, Isla takes a chance and visits the shop to have a question answered. Her first impression:
Isla handed him the coins, and he led her into a room dimly lit with half a dozen candles. A woman sat behind a table decorated with two candles, a small dish, a deck of cards and a bright-purple tablecloth. She was as seasoned as the man who had answered the door. Her long golden hair held pale-green streaks. The light brown, short-sleeve dress she wore exposed a fair amount of skin around her neck and the top of her bosom. A small round pendant inset with a flat oval red stone hung from a gold necklace and rested above the dress line.
This may be the only time the group visits Bannock in the entire 10-book series. Or not.