Now that Riika has discovered the rifle, and Kavela and Ullane have joined with Alvaiinen and Chauncer to become part of the Celestine arm, it is time to shift my attention to the champion Salaam Aktelon I at the walls of Birrigat, the second ward. Chapter Five is called Intruders in the Sun. I took the inspiration for that title from a William Faulkner novel called Intruder in the Dust, which has a passage about Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863 that inspired my vision of the final battle at the tombs of Birrigat. It is about courage, and failure, and glory, and the changing waters of history. I believe that all of these are important subjects when talking about the ward of time.
I called it Intruders in the Sun because all of the belligerents before the tombs of Birrigat are intruders there, trying to take for themselves the peaceful and meditative home of the linearists. This will have different repurcussions for all of them, as the champion works to unite the wards and the Teilarata fights to retain their power in Malvada. Also, they are so far to the north that the sun shines almost twenty four hours a day. Indeed, time seems to stop at many stages during this novel, as the world sorts itself out into a new order that follows the Talevala. That is what the ward of time and the timepiece of Flave do–force everyone to examine the changes made by time, and respect the patience required to understand what cannot be forced by human hands.
In my original draft, Salaam Aktelon I is in his command tent with Antoni Phillipi and Dreck, two of his valetins, when Romal al–Hashimi, vallain of Celestia, arrives with his arm. The two valetins doubt that he is the champion, but are with him because that is the way they feel the wind blowing–that is, they feel that they can personally profit from joining his arm. Romal al-Hashimi is a different sort-he already has power, and he has been loyal to the Teilarata. However, he has chosen to follow the Talevala and accept the champion, and this makes him the finest ally of Salaam Aktelon I. In front of the valetins, Salaam Aktelon I proves that he is the champion and this quiets their doubts. Then Salaam Aktelon I travels to the tombs to try to convince the linearists to turn from the Teilarata without bloodshed.
In my rewrite, Salaam Atkelon I arrives at the tombs with his arm, but has serious doubts about his goals and the men who follows him. He knows he is the champion, but he doesn’t know what it means or who to trust. He doesn’t know how to continue. The two doubting valetins come to the tent to force Salaam Aktelon I to prove he is the champion. Then Romal al–Hashimi arrives with his belief and his arm. Bolstered by the Celestine, Salaam Aktelon I decides on his course of action. His solitary trip to the tombs will occur in the subsequent chapter.