In the world of Eshla, the flora and fauna have special properties which are harnessed and used in a similar way to the way we use electricity and chemiacls on earth – but much better! Therefore the inhabited parts of Eshla are covered in shiny copper pipes, cogs, wheels and carefully constructed contraptions to provide heat, light, communication and even translation! One challenge for me is describing and naming these machines and the plants without sounding repetitive or overly technical. I tend to use welsh words a lot, what do other authors do when they have to invent words?
“Quickly checking his shoes for mud, Eric decided to keep to the darker red rug that ran the length of the hall. He was aware of a hum again: a gentle, non-invasive hum that he had heard at the meadow. It warmed him inside and seemed to welcome him into the room whilst remaining in the background. He realised it came from the copper pipes that ran along the walls ending, every now and again, at machines of varying sizes which were nestled into nooks in the wall – whirring, spinning, pumping clusters of cogs, pipes, wheels, tubes and pistons. Eric longed to ask what these fascinating, works of art did but he knew there wasn’t time. Some were obvious – he could see pipes that led at regular intervals to glass bowls held on the walls by brass fixings. They were filled with brilliant golden particles that swirled around in the glass creating a bright but toasty light.
As they proceeded down the hallway Joel followed Eric’s gaze to neat little machine perched on a shelf. It was essentially a wooden box with a large trumpet emerging from the top. Lattice work in the front of the box showed a collection of cogs and pistons working away furiously inside and a fine pink mist occasionally escaped.
‘That’s where our heat comes from,’ Joel explained, ‘the leaves of the Ignis plant, when pulverised, create a tremendous heat which is carried around the room by pipes under the floor and blasted out into the air via the trumpet. The crushing process releases pollen which is pushed up and out of the castle via the main duct. The wind catches it and carries it back to Jarmuthe where it takes seed and grows more Ignis. So we never run out!’”