Origins

 

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.

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Origins

 

I’m a genealogist in my spare time, and this hobby provides the perfect opportunity to discover unique names, including place names. When I stumbled upon Moonsface in an old record for Newfoundland, I knew it was also a place within the Land of Ath-o’Lea. The place name no longer exists on Earth maps, but it was supposed to be in the Burgeo-La Poile District and was used as early as 1825 and as late as 1857.

 

The Land of Ath-o’Lea

 

We first hear about Moonsface in Shadows in the Stone, book 1 of the Castle Keepers series. Lady Glynn Dasia of Aruam Castle mentions it and says she was born there. In book 2, Scattered Stones, Morrigan Fae tells others she was born in Moonsface.

In the short story, The Pledge, Alaura of Niamh mentions she might visit the village one day.

The cast of Castle Keepers don’t visit the large village of Moonsface until Healing Stones. It’s located on the long, winding water course Blue Myst River. It’s situated south of Edgewood and north of Eld’s Keep. By horseback, it’s about 35 days from Maskil, longer in bad weather.

We only get a glimpse of Moonsface. We learn the majority of the population are elf and in the centre of the village, there’s a pillory in a small green space. The two shops named are Ample Bothain, where the group drops off a package and picks up another job, and Eoghan’s Keep. They are located across the dirt lane from each other with wooden sidewalks in front. Ample Bothain is owned and operated by mates Bess and Harry.

 

Ample Bothain from Isla’s perspective

The little shop overflowed with a wide variety of foods, and the magnificent aromas filled her nostrils and made her think of the bakery in Maskil. When they were done, she planned to buy several of the fruit displayed on the counter. They were like nothing she’d seen before. They resembled an apple, but they were dark purple.

I’m certain we’ll visit Moonsface in future stories.