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  • The Element of Fire

    As with the novel White Silence and the fifth-season episode The Stone of Scone, The Element of Fire breaks the normal pattern of the typical Highlander episode in that the events of the story take place entirely in the past. Spanning prerecorded history up to February 1898*, the novel follows Duncan MacLeod’s transformation from his elder kinsman’s clumsy young student to that of Connor’s equal as a more seasoned Immortal of 305-years-old. Prior to the events of the novel we see, in late May 1896, Duncan barely avoided losing his head to Axel Whittaker in Boston (Rite of Passage). The next Chronicled date in the Highlander Timeline after the events of The Element of Fire finds Duncan in New York City in 1905, helplessly watching as his Italian immigrant friend, Giuseppe, is gunned down by the mob (Revenge of the Sword). The novel's "present-day" (1898) events go nicely in this span of otherwise un-Chronicled time in Duncan's life.

    *As originally written, the author, Jason Henderson, placed the novel’s events in late January and early-to-mid-February 1897. The novel makes mention of French poet and playwright Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac and, while the play truly was written in 1897, its exact month/date of publication is unknown. Additionally, the earliest known performance of the play occurred in Paris on 28 December 1897 at Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin. It is my opinion that there simply isn’t enough time for Cyrano’s popularity to have developed to the point where Connor could have purchased a copy in England in the author's original setting of January 1897. Irrespective of the possibility of it being an English translation (as the well educated Connor of this era very likely could have read it in its original French), it would have had to have been published much earlier—likely, at least, in the previous year. As previously stated, since Cyrano was first known to be performed on 28 December 1897 at the Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin, Paris (with Constant Coquelin in the title role), the events of The Element of Fire should, more realistically, take place beginning in late January 1898 to be plausible. The American premiere of Cyrano took place on 3 October 1898 in the Garden Theater, New York City, with Richard Mansfield as Cyrano.

    Additionally, although it was established in the first episode of the Series that Connor MacLeod had been Duncan’s mentor, The Element of Fire was the first story detailing how the two MacLeods first met and gives us a glimpse at their early days together. The manner of their first meeting was later contradicted in the fifth-season finale episode Archangel. It was this version that was detailed in Donna Lettow’s Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM as the official version of how they met. At that time in 1997, Archangel was to be the Series’ finale and it was hoped that Christopher Lambert would be able to reprise his role as Connor MacLeod to show this momentous occasion on film. However, Lambert was unavailable for shooting the scene, and the footage of a Connor-double hiding in the shadows ultimately was not used when a shortened sixth season was authorized for production. Avid fans had to wait for the theatrical release of Endgame to actually see Connor find his younger kinsman. However, because this event was filmed, this third version takes precedence, and is now the official version of how they met. I have included it as such in the breakdown of the novel's events which will follow these notes.

    Despite these discrepancies, and a couple of others detailed below, the rest of the novel flows fairly smoothly in the Highlander Universe. The story references characters and events from the original Highlander film, as well as Series episodes: The Gathering, Family Tree, Road Not Taken, Mountain Men, Band of Brothers, Saving Grace, The Lady and the Tiger, Under Color of Authority, The Samurai, Line of Fire, They Also Serve, Star-Crossed, Song of the Executioner, and Finalé II. Connor’s personality is quite accurately translated from the big screen to the printed page and the reader is treated to a bit more time spent with the elder Highlander—something that is sadly lacking in the Highlander saga.

    There have been discussions among fans in the past that this novel isn’t considered to be canonical. Some remarked that this was due to the age of the novel's villains Khordas and Nerissa. It is generally frowned upon to think that these two Immortals may be older than Methos, who, at 5,000+ -years-old, is accepted as having the honor of being the most ancient of all Immortals. I argue that it is canonical for two reasons:
    1. The Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM clearly lists the novel as an episode of the Series, and one of Connor MacLeod’s aliases in his profile comes from the story. Furthermore in this line of thought, Khordas is mentioned in the official Highlander calendars released by Davis/Panzer Productions, Inc. from 1997 to 2000. Although throughout my research, I have proven several dates in both the CD-ROM and the calendars to be incorrect, many dates for events in the Highlander saga became official due to the release of these calendars.
    2. Band of Brothers initially indicated that prior to Duncan confronting Grayson in February 1993 he had not faced such an ancient Immortal. However, when the Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM was released and assigned dates of birth for all the Immortals from the Series, Marcus Korolus, another Season One Immortal, is said to be older than Grayson by at least 70 years. Korolus's age at his Final Death had not been revealed by the See No Evil script, just that he was at least 300-years-old when MacLeod defeated him in 1925. This places Korolus' death 67 years before Duncan confronted Grayson. Additionally, in Band of Brothers, the so-called "Legend of Darius" indicates that nearly 1500 years prior to February 1993, at the gates of Paris, Darius beheaded the oldest living Immortal at that time and became a priest. This tale—the exact year (410 AD) and the Immortal’s name (Emrys) were later revealed in the novel Shadow of Obsession. If Emrys was the oldest living Immortal, then he would have to have been born prior to Methos. So the argument that Methos must be the oldest of Immortals holds no weight. Methos is merely the oldest Immortal to have survived into the late 20th century.


    Years ago on the original Highlander message board, I found an interesting post with notes from Magnus Magnusson’s book Scotland: The Story of a Nation regarding prehistoric Scotland that is of interest (and gives a plausible date of birth for Khordas and Nerissa):

    The first people in Scotland are dated at about 7000 BC as part of the Meolithic period. A dig on the island of Rum shows a campsite with traces of shelters, campfires, and broken hearthstones. These early people lived in tent-like shelters, used stone tools, and had moved north from what would now be England, where people had lived for about 4,000 years. They were primarily hunter-gatherers. In the warmer climates of the Middle East, men were already living in cities, and experimenting with textiles and metalworking. These early Mesolithic peoples were not settlers, but nomads likely following the seasons and the migrations of the animals. The island of Rum had good rock for stone tools, likely the reason such a large campsite was there. The first known permanent settlement in Scotland was about 3100-2600 BC at Skara Brae on the island of Orkney. This well-preserved site offers a dozen separate houses, associated structures, and passage-lanes. The houses were built from native flagstone. Nearby is one of the standing stone monuments. At the same time, there was a settlement on the Isle of Lewis (Calanais) near Loch Roag. The Fir Bhre’ige is the name given to the standing stones found there. The settlement there may have been a funerary one. Also at the same time, there was a burial mound built on Orkney known as Maes Howe, which is a miracle of early engineering. The tomb was first broken into during a Norse raid and invaders left early graffiti on the walls. About 2000 BC, the advent of the Bronze Age brought change to Scotland. Brochs (such as the described home of Khordas on Rannoch Moor) were built. They were conical double-walled structures in which livestock lived on the ground floor. Between the walls were stairs to upper galleries and small rooms. They had no windows.

    Due to the historical evidence, it is my belief that Khordas and Nerissa are nearly 4,000 years older than Methos—born approximately in 7000 BC. The novel doesn’t confirm that Khordas was alive as long as people had lived in Scotland, but it doesn’t deny the possibility either. Without further official confirmation from The Powers That Be, my educated guess is just as good as anyone’s.

    There were multiple pacing errors in the plot that made it rather difficult at times while attempting to deduce the novel’s daily events. Dialogue at certain places in the original text contradicts other events in the story, leading the reader to believe particular events happened on different days or events that were to occur the same day as another event. In other words, things just didn’t add up in some instances. However, staying as true to what I believe to be the author’s intended timeline as possible, I was able to reconcile all the discrepancies to allow the story to flow correctly save for the following two instances:

    1. Though oftentimes plot-driven, it was established in the Series that the time required for an Immortal to awaken from his/her First Death is less than a few hours—at the very most—but, due to the author’s mistakes, discovered while placing daily events into a structured timeline, the time for Gabriela to revive from her First Death stretches to more than 24 hours. This, unfortunately, must stand as to avoid a huge hole in the plot.

    2. Having Nerissa be the first female Immortal that Duncan has ever met contradicts the Legacy script in which it explicitly states during the 1635 flashback: “Rebecca older, composed, Amanda young and mischievous. Both in fighting garb and beautiful, they are the first female Immortals MacLeod has ever encountered. He lowers his sword in confusion.” Even without the script stating it, Duncan’s on-screen dialogue lends itself to the notion that Amanda and Rebecca are the first female Immortals he’s ever seen: “I beg your ladies pardon, but I thought…” To which Rebecca replies: “You thought right.” Just a moment later in the same scene, an incredulous Duncan says to the pair: “But you’re women! And you’re English!” Amanda then asks if he’s never been with a woman before and Duncan replies: “Not in battle.” However, in Henderson’s story, not only does Duncan meet a female Immortal a decade before the Series establishes he did, but he fights and kills her 3 years before he meets Rebecca and Amanda! Technically speaking, it is later revealed in Prophecy that the first female Immortal that Duncan actually ever met is Cassandra, in 1606, but since the teenaged Duncan didn’t know she was Immortal, or anything about Immortality at that point in his life, that fact can easily be explained away and doesn’t necessarily contradict the spirit of what was established in Legacy. I am not aware of exactly when Henderson wrote The Element of Fire (though it must have been after Finalé II aired (29 May 1995) to have included any of the episode's story elements in the novel), but it was not published until October 1995—well over a year after the final shooting script of Legacy was approved (15 February 1994) and the episode had aired (2 May 1994). It was originally stated that the Series could later on (and sometimes did) contradict the novels, but the novels, up to their publication dates, were not supposed to contradict what had been established in the Series; they were meant to only enhance and expand the mythos. If one tries to rectify this error by shifting the year of Duncan's battle with Nerissa so that it takes place after the flashback of Legacy, then it contradicts another aspect of the established canon which is the year that Duncan and Connor parted ways after Duncan's initial training with him was deemed to be complete. That event was revealed to have occurred in 1634. There is, seemingly, absolutely no way to reconcile these contradictions in the Timeline without damaging Henderson’s story a great deal.
    Last edited by AndySloane; 05-16-2017, 11:46 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by AndySloane View Post
    [*]Band of Brothers initially indicated that prior to Duncan confronting Grayson in February 1993 he had not faced such an ancient Immortal. However, when the Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM was released and assigned dates of birth for all the Immortals from the Series, Marcus Korolus, another Season One Immortal, is said to be older than Grayson by at least 70 years.
    Yeah, that's one thing that bothers me. "Band of Brothers" definitely represented Duncan's graduation into taking on the Immortal elite and should stand as-is.
    Highlander: Dark Places

    Comment


    • #3
      What follows is the timeline of the events of The Element of Fire (Prologue through Chapter Three; pp. 1-49):

      c. 7000 BC
      Khordas is born in prehistoric Scotland. Khordas, “The Salamander”, dies his First Death.

      NOTE: Khordas himself was, most likely, sacrificed by his people and, upon awakening from his First Death, became the god his people worshiped. Although common on the European mainland, salamanders are not a native species to either Great Britain or Ireland.

      c. 6925 BC
      Nerissa is born in prehistoric Scotland. She is albino.

      c. 6900 BC
      As he has done for three generations, Khordas, who still knows nothing of the Game, plays at being the god of fire and water for the inhabitants of the region. Khordas takes the offerings of his Children. Nerissa is given to Khordas as a sacrifice. She is the first Immortal that Khordas has ever encountered and he knows not the sensation he feels in her presence. Khordas drowns her in his pit of mud and remains below the mud with her all night.

      Khordas slinks away with the offerings in the morning. When Khordas discovers that Nerissa’s Immortality has been awakened, she becomes Khordas’ Companion through the ages until all of their followers either die out or the culture changes to worship different gods.

      c. 6900 BC - 1625
      Through eventual contact with other Immortals over the millennia, Khordas learns of the Game and of the Quickening. However, being as ancient and as arrogant as he is, he refuses to believe in anything other than himself and his own existence, and, therefore, has no formal Teacher as do most Immortals.

      1592-1610
      As he grows, Duncan MacLeod hears the Legend of Connor MacLeod—a Highlander of his grandfather’s time that was killed in battle and miraculously revived. Thinking it to be an old wives’ tale (The Gathering), Duncan laughs yet also shudders at such talk, and he occasionally dreams of the elder Highlander.


      1610
      Connor MacLeod (92) is off Cape Horn, Chile and is picked up by the sailing vessel Jugleor. In exchange for passage back to Scotland, Captain Farrell allows Connor to take the place of one of the many sailors lost at sea. Firstmate Carmichael, a Scot himself, welcomes the chance to get to know Connor, but Connor stays mostly to himself.

      During a storm five weeks later, the captain is knocked overboard by a broken beam from the rigging. As Carmichael takes the wheel and tries to control the ship, Connor ties a rope around his waist and dives to the captain’s rescue, much to the amazement of the crew. Connor swims to the captain and signals to the men to pull them in. When it’s clear that the weight between the two of them is simply too great, Connor unlashes himself and reties the rope around the captain, who is then safely pulled aboard. Connor then disappears in the waves.

      The next day after the storm has passed, thinking Connor lost, the crew drops anchor and holds a memorial service for him. Once Carmichael finishes the eulogy, they commit Connor’s spare suit of clothes to the deep, only to have it thrown back over the side a few moments later. Connor himself, then climbs up the anchor chain and back aboard, which further astounds the already amazed crew. Connor’s feat puts him in great favor on the Jugleor, and Carmichael renews his attempts at getting to know him.

      c. 1624
      In the Scottish Highlands, Connor MacLeod (106) finds the remains of an old forge. He begins sleeping in the lean-to hut supported by the bricks of a kiln, the sole standing part of the ruin.


      1625
      Mid-January - Not long after encountering the strange Immortal hermit whose name he never learned (Archangel), Duncan MacLeod (32) finds himself choosing sides in a deadly dispute between clans in Glen Fruin. Following the bloody battle, Duncan awakens from death to the sensation of another Immortal (Endgame). Though he has experienced the feeling twice before (Homeland / Archangel), he still doesn't quite recognize the feeling for what it is, and he is fearful of the strangely-clad figure on the horizon who demands he get up from the ground. Grasping his claymore, Duncan turns towards the voice. Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod (107) introduces himself to his incredulous younger kinsman (Endgame). Connor tells Duncan of their Immortality and begins teaching him the Rules of the Game (The Gathering), embracing Duncan not only as a pupil, but as a brother (Endgame). Duncan sees that the mysterious hermit spoke the truth about Connor MacLeod but he ignores the rest of the old man’s prophecy (Archangel).

      NOTE: Season One’s The Gathering first reveals that Connor MacLeod was Duncan’s Teacher and, if there was any debate as to when they met, the year was later concretely established to be 1625 in Season Five’s Archangel. The Element of Fire, published between these episodes, has an 18-page section devoted to Duncan and Connor’s early days together in 1625. Despite opening Chapter One with a timestamp of “1625” (p. 6), and indicating that Duncan and Connor have only been training together for two weeks (p. 10), the author sets the 1625 events in mid-February, “several months” (p. 10) after Duncan had begun his training with Connor—which inadvertently means that Duncan and Connor would have had to have met in 1624. The novel has other similar pacing/timeline issues that will be discussed later. As previously stated, while the novel series was in production, there was a rule that their stories could be contradicted by the Series but not the other way around. Any good author would have done as much to remain faithful to what was established in the TV show anyway. Though highly doubtful, perhaps David Tynan went with the year 1625 as the year Duncan and Connor first met when writing Archangel because of the year first having been used in The Element of Fire. I cannot say for sure.

      Regardless, Endgame’s depiction of their first meeting contradicts both The Element of Fire and the Archangel script (and, by extension, the Watcher Chronicles CD-ROM). On p. 7, The Element of Fire explains that Connor found Duncan wedged between rocks on the shore, as if Duncan had been trying to drown himself. Alternately, the Watcher Chronicles expanded on the Archangel script, and revealed that on the third day of his journey to Inverness, Connor felt inexplicably drawn to Strathconon Forest and it was there that he first encountered Duncan as he staggered from the cave after having just experienced Timothy of Gilliam’s Quickening. Connor’s Watcher, Alistair MacDougal, when later Chronicling the event from Inverness, indicated that Connor had been having powerful dreams of late, and he speculates that they were the cause of Connor’s sudden change of course. Originally, Archangel was to be the finale for the Series, and the producers wanted to tie in Duncan’s first encounter with Connor MacLeod with the prophecy of Ahriman. Ultimately, though filmed, the scene in which Duncan comes out of the cave and sees Connor on horseback among the trees was not used and, despite Season Six not contradicting Tynan’s version of the way the MacLeods first meet and Donna Lettow’s continued usage of it in the Watcher Chronicles, Endgame’s version supersedes all the others.

      In order for the mythology to flow as seamlessly as possible, we must assume that upon their meeting at Glen Fruin, Connor and Duncan made their way back to Connor’s forge, as the events of The Element of Fire are considered to be canon in the Highlander chronology. Other than the year 1625, the flashback in Endgame was not given an “official” date as far as the day or month goes, but this is the best choice to keep it in line with the previously established backstories of Archangel and The Element of Fire.

      Nevertheless, the attempt at a harmonious solution is still not without its problems, as Duncan is fully bearded when he meets Connor in the Endgame flashback. With my proposed sequence of events being only a couple of weeks, at the most, between Duncan’s encounter with Timothy of Gilliam and meeting Connor, realistically, there wouldn’t have been enough time for Duncan to grow a beard as full as depicted. Additionally, for certain, the February setting, which begins on p. 10, cannot simply be shifted to later in the year because that particular month is the crux of the novel's plot as revealed in Chapter Fourteen (p. 155). As with the eternal question of from whence do Immortals retrieve their swords when they are wearing outfits that obviously aren’t able to conceal such a weapon, suspension of disbelief is in order. There is, at least, perhaps, some small comfort in knowing that a modicum of weapons continuity exists between the flashbacks, as the basket-hilt claymore Duncan’s wields when he meets Connor remains his weapon of choice in The Element of Fire and in other flashbacks to Duncan’s early Immortal life.




      Mid-January - Connor takes Duncan back to the old forge in which he has been living. Along the way he tells him bits about his own Teacher, the Egyptian-cum-Spaniard Juan Ramirez. Duncan realizes that Ramirez was one of the truly old Immortals. Due to his obvious familiarity with the land, his brogue, and his harshness, Duncan fully accepts Connor as his kinsman and is glad that Connor seems to take a liking to him because otherwise, he knows that he would be alone in the world.

      NOTE: Interestingly, despite the obvious familiarity with several plot elements of the first Highlander film and Season One’s The Gathering and Family Tree, and how accurately he depicts Christopher Lambert’s portrayal of Connor MacLeod in his novel, Jason Henderson inexplicably indicates that, in 1625, Connor is “nearly a hundred years old” (p. 8) yet later says (p. 151) that “Duncan could remember the Elder Highlander when he hadn’t yet hit the century mark”. Unless he is actually talking about Duncan having not yet hit the century mark and not Connor at all in the latter reference, the author, seemingly, failed to remember in both instances that Connor, born in January 1518, is 107 in January 1625. Additionally, on p. 13, he erroneously states that, as of 1625, Duncan has not “been Immortal a full year yet” when, in actuality, having died his First Death in October 1622, Duncan has been Immortal for nearly 3 years by the time he and Connor begin their training together.


      Late January - Once back at the forge, Connor continues Duncan’s sword training. Over the course of the next two weeks, Duncan has recurring nightmares about his banishment that continually disturb Connor’s slumber.

      Early February - Finally, one night after awakening Connor with his dreams, Connor, for the first time, tells Duncan the circumstances of his own banishment nearly 90 years prior. As he listens to the tale, Duncan snacks on a piece of bread, to which Connor counsels him to chew his food with his mouth closed. Though he knows Duncan might not yet be ready to accept the notion, Connor reasons that the MacLeods were right in ousting them from the only place they knew as home so that they could each learn about their Immortality and the Game; explaining that Immortals learn the Game or they die. He warns Duncan that there are enemies about that, despite not being sought out, will eventually find him.

      Early-Mid February - After several weeks, Connor, having placed a large sum of money into several sailing ventures, takes Duncan to the port town of Aberdeen to check their progress and to withdraw a sum to keep them for awhile.

      NOTE: As originally written on p. 10, the novel says Duncan has been training with Connor for several months. However, in order for the story to blend with the other elements of the mythology during this timeframe, namely Archangel and Endgame, “several months” must actually be “several weeks.

      Thursday, 13 February - Aberdeen is quite an experience for Duncan: not only does he see the harbor for the first time, at the Quarry House tavern he meets his first female Immortal—Nerissa (8,550)*. As yet, since Immortals cannot father children, it hasn’t entered Duncan’s mind that female Immortals exist. Rather than accomplish the task of acquiring room and board for them both as Connor has instructed, Duncan spends the greater part of the afternoon in Nerissa’s company. Another Immortal, Khordas (8,625), is felt, but not seen. Connor finds his young student in the tavern and is not pleased that Duncan has not done as he asked. He warns Duncan of the ways in which all Immortals will seek to turn events to their own advantage.

      NOTE: See my previous post regarding Nerissa being the first female Immortal Duncan encounters contradicting what was previously established in the 1635 flashback of Legacy.

      Friday, 14 February - Valentine’s Day. Duncan and Connor rise before the cock crows to train. Connor reminds Duncan of what a great gift Immortality truly is. After attending mass, the MacLeods attend to one of the legendary feasts hosted by Connor's friend and former shipmate, Carmichael, where they drink and eat themselves into a stupor. Carmichael tells Duncan of Connor’s bravery onboard the Jugleor in 1610.

      Saturday, 15 February - Connor and Duncan meet Carmichael for lunch and spend the afternoon together before seeing him off at dusk on his voyage to England. When Carmichael’s ship suddenly explodes, killing all hands, Connor is bewildered. Nerissa arrives to pick up her as-yet-unseen companion, Khordas, who, in order to rob Carmichael of the money stowed onboard his ship, is responsible for the carnage. Connor challenges Khordas for killing his mortal friend but is shot and “killed” by Nerissa as they make their escape.

      1632
      January/February - Connor MacLeod (114) takes his younger kinsman, Duncan MacLeod (39), to the mountains to continue his training.


      Sunday, 15 February - Duncan finally bests Connor in battle atop Beinn Bahn. The nearby town of Applecross is decimated by Khordas. Connor and Duncan watch the fire from atop the mountain.

      Monday, 16 February - The MacLeods make their way to Applecross and survey the damage. They find the message Khordas left for them, and the search is on again. Duncan’s training is more or less complete but he stays on with Connor for the company.

      May - After unsuccessfully searching the coast, Connor and Duncan go inland and track Khordas (8,632) and Nerissa (8,532) to Rannoch Moor. At the heart of the bog, the Highlanders find Khordas’ abode and the inevitable battle against the ancient Immortals is joined. Ultimately, Duncan beheads Nerissa, but Khordas escapes once more, diving into a pit of mud and tunneling as far as he can while cradling Nerissa's lifeless body. Khordas is imprisoned in the hardened mud and the MacLeods decide not to dig him up and behead him. Duncan questions the Game and the existence of Immortals, but sadly, Connor cannot supply the answers Duncan seeks.



      To be continued...
      Last edited by AndySloane; 05-19-2017, 03:41 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Continuing the timeline of the events of The Element of Fire (Chapter Four; pp. 50-59 with additional information from Chapter Ten; pp. 117-120), leading up to the "Present Day" events of 1898:

        1707
        Lauren is born in Wales and is adopted by a family with three other daughters. Laurens siblings turn out thus: one is the wife of a cooper in Southampton, England and has three children; one is a court maid and is rumored to be a mistress of the Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland; one is the wife of a blacksmith and is known to be the mistress of the parish priest. Lauren, herself, goes on to become a highwaywoman in Scotland and is the feminine scourge of the land.

        NOTE: In the original text (p. 117), the author erred by saying that one of Lauren’s sisters is rumored to be a mistress to the King [of Great Britain and Ireland]. However, there really was no King of Great Britain and Ireland at this time. And, it is the monarch of Great Britain and Ireland to which he is referring—whether intentionally or not—because Wales had officially become a part of the Kingdom of England due to the Laws in Wales Acts of 1535 and 1542, and, by 1 May 1707, Anne was the Queen of Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) and Ireland, having ascended to the throne upon the deaths of her elder sister, Mary II (1694), and brother-in-law/cousin, William III (1702). Anne, the final monarch of the House of Stuart, married Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland (1653-1708) in July 1683. Though Prince George's title was "His Royal Highness", he was not the King/ruler of the region.

        1737
        Sunday, 6 October - A group of angry Scottish villagers catches up to Lauren (30) and runs her through with a sword and shoots her seven times. She is buried in a shallow grave where she falls.

        Monday, 7 October - Lauren awakens from her First Death, astonished to be alive, and kills an approaching gentleman that offers her assistance. She steals his purse and his horse and rides away in panic towards Rannoch Moor.

        Tuesday-Thursday, 8-10 October - Lauren rides southward towards Loch Rannoch, as if being drawn by some mysterious force. After riding her horse to death, she wanders around in the swamps.

        Friday, 11 October - Lauren comes upon a mound of earth where the presence she feels is strongest. She begins digging.

        Mid-October - After days of digging, Lauren finds Khordas, buried for over a century, still clinging to the lifeless body of Nerissa. Khordas (8,737), the Salamander, is free once more. He takes Lauren as his new Companion.

        NOTE: It is interesting that Lauren sensed Khordas buried in the earth when Duncan and Connor could not in 1632 (to say nothing of her being drawn from elsewhere in Scotland to the exact spot where he was buried).

        c. 1829
        Amber Lynn is born in England. She goes on to become a midwife and an herbalist.

        1853
        October - Amber Lynn (24) dies her First Death when she is drowned for being a witch. She outwits and escapes two [unidentified] Immortals that come after her head

        December - Having recently made his way back to England from Madrid, Spain*, Duncan MacLeod (260) finds Amber Lynn and becomes her Teacher.

        NOTE: After Duncan learns of the death of his beloved Theresa del Gloria (Duende).

        December - Duncan makes his second trip to America aboard Connor MacLeod’s (335) ship, the gunrunner HMS Rosemary, accompanied by his new pupil, Amber Lynn. Duncan ultimately decides that for the sake of her training—and because Amber is so beautiful—Amanda, who is rumored to be in America, may be better suited at teaching her.

        1854
        March - Three months into the voyage, Connor’s (336) ship, Rosemary, arrives in Canton Harbor (Guangzhou), China to pick up a load of guns and explosives.

        March - Khordas (8,854), with his new Companion, Lauren (147), returns and attacks Connor’s ship during a storm. Lauren puts an end to Amber’s brief taste of Immortality. Khordas harnesses the power of the storm and the Quickening with a lightning rod, and uses it to destroy the ship. Connor and Duncan (261) are separated, and Duncan makes his way across the Pacific Ocean and to America alone.

        1870
        Gabriela Maria Cuadra de Savedra is born in Argentina. She is adopted by Pablo Savedra, the captain of Andrew, a ship in the Royal Battalion Cruise Line.

        NOTE: On p. 108, Gabriela is said to be 27 in the author’s intended setting of January 1897. This places her date of birth in 1870. Regardless of having to move the beginning of the story to January 1898, as previously explained, Gabriela could still have been 27 if her birthday was after February 1870.

        1897
        January - Making their way to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Khordas (8,897) and Lauren (190) begin living in a lighthouse; Lauren above on a cliff, and Khordas below in a cave. Khordas robs and destroys seven ships in the area before lying low. The destruction is recorded in the Nantucket Anchor newspaper.

        NOTE: There are five lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard: Cape Poge, East Chop, Edgartown, Gay Head, and West Chop. The author doesn’t indicate which one is Lauren’s lighthouse, although Gay Head might be the best location since it sits atop an enormous cliff extending out over the southwest point of Martha’s Vineyard.

        Duncan MacLeod (304) arrives in Nantucket from Boston* and buys a slightly rundown two-story, 20-room boardinghouse on 22 Roderick Lane. He and the resident manager, the widowed Mrs. Brandeis, fix up the 10 downstairs bedrooms to be rented out. MacLeod lives upstairs but the other nine rooms remain unused. It takes nearly a month to get Duncan's room livable.

        NOTE: After Duncan's romance with songstress Lydia Landes and his encounter with Axel Whittaker and Sharon Collins (Rite of Passage).

        French poet and playwright Edmond Rostand publishes Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand’s fame peaks due to this play.

        November - In a plot to relieve him of his riches, Lauren marries Nantucket banker George Drake. She and Khordas bide their time until the right moment.




        To be continued...
        Last edited by AndySloane; 05-19-2017, 03:43 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Its not great literature, but I love this story. I only wish Jason had been allowed to give Connor a fight and had him defeat Lauren, for the sake of having him do something. But the juxtaposition between the MacLeods, the further development of Duncan and the detail in Khordas is pretty fascinating. I love this little book.

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          • #6
            The following begins my breakdown of the timeline of the "Present Day" events of The Element of Fire (Chapters Five through Eight, with additional information from Chapter Nine; pp. 60-113), which transpire in January and February 1898:

            1898
            Mid-to-late January - Connor MacLeod (380), presently a gunrunner under the alias of “Captain David Carruthers”, puts his whaling ship, Dido, into port in London. While there, he picks up a copy of the new French play Cyrano de Bergerac, but doesn’t get a chance to read it for several weeks due to inclement weather. All the rage in Paris, Connor has recently taken up the habit of cigarette smoking. Rather than heading due east from the English Channel, Connor, in an attempt to avoid the Preventives, orders his ship north to the choppy waters south of Iceland before heading southeast. Navigating the storms does not prove easy. Neither does outrunning the Preventives, and Connor’s ship is boarded twice within a month. Connor, however, is able to legitimize their ventures somewhat by landing a couple of whales along the way.

            NOTE: As stated above, for the events of The Element of Fire to be more realistic, the year of the story must be moved from the author’s intended setting of 1897 to the following year. As there is still a gap in both Duncan’s and Connor’s Chronicles at this time, there is nothing irreconcilable in doing this.

            Tuesday, 25 January - Duncan MacLeod (305) boards the Royal Battalion Cruise Liner Andrew, traveling down the Eastern Coast of the United States to the Florida Keys and back again to Nantucket, MA. Over the course of the week-long cruise he falls in love with Gabriela Savedra (27), daughter of Pablo Savedra, the ship’s captain.

            NOTE: The Royal Battalion Cruise Line is a fictitious cruise line.

            Monday, 31 January - As the Andrew nears Nantucket Sound and is due to anchor in Buzzards Bay the following morning, Duncan explains to Gabriela that he has a boardinghouse in Nantucket that he wants her to visit. Having now set his sights on the riches he knows to be aboard the Andrew, Khordas (8,897) arrives as its passengers are heading off to dinner, and sets charges to either side of the ship. Duncan senses an Immortal and feigns a sudden bout of seasickness, ushering Gabriela on to dinner without him. As Khordas’ bombs begin to explode and the passengers instead focus on reaching the lifeboats, Duncan searches for the nearby Immortal. He finds Gabriela’s father and asks to be taken to the ship’s safe room. He is too late, however, as Khordas has already emptied the safe of its contents and soon succeeds in killing the captain with one of his incendiary devices. Unable to save the captain, and knocked into the engine room below by the blast, Duncan comes face-to-face with Khordas who simply taunts Duncan and escapes in his rowboat. As the ship blows apart, Duncan dives into the Atlantic and swims to the lifeboats to find Gabriela.

            Khordas, meanwhile, flees to rendezvous with Lauren (190) at 8 PM. Lauren has grown extremely tired of the charade she has been playing for the past few months and yearns for her lover’s touch. When he finally arrives as scheduled, together they kill her wealthy mortal husband George, fake her death, and incinerate the Drake estate. As the house burns, they make love in the adjacent pool house before taking their booty back to the cave beneath the lighthouse. Having seen MacLeod again for the first time since 1854, Khordas vows to kill him for taking Nerissa—his first and one true Companion—away from him.

            A woman's remains, identified as Lauren Drake’s, are recovered from the rubble of the Drake household later that night but the authorities do not realize it is actually the body of a prostitute Lauren lured to the Drake house earlier in the day and subsequently marred her face and hands. Meanwhile, Duncan and Gabriela check into a hotel to avoid the media and gawkers. Duncan does his best to console Gabriela throughout the night and tries to explain how her father died, but she shushes him and insists on being allowed to rest.

            NOTE: Though no exact dates are assigned for the opening chapters of the 1898 portion of the novel, they can be deduced if one pays close attention to the story’s events. Chapter 5 (pp. 61 and 71) reveals that this section of the novel begins in January. Chapter 6 details Lauren and Khordas’ destruction of the Drake estate the same evening, and Chapter 7 (p. 93) reveals it is now February.

            Tuesday, 1 February - Gabriela decides to take Duncan up on his offer and agrees to stay at his boardinghouse so, in the morning, while Gabriela returns to her father’s house on Martha’s Vineyard to gather some things, Duncan pays a visit to the archives of the Nantucket Anchor newspaper to research a possible pattern fitting Khordas’ modus operandi. He discovers a likely series of ships lost at sea the previous year. Duncan’s live-in manager, Mrs. Brandeis, isn’t happy that Duncan didn’t notify her that Gabriela would be moving in and is aghast at the amount of luggage she has brought with her. Gabriela, undeterred, makes plans to clean up her filthy and unused second-floor room.

            Looking for more information concerning Khordas’ whereabouts and recent activities, MacLeod and Gabriela go for a walk in the shipyards in the afternoon. Upon a visit to the Tariff House to see Gabriela’s Quaker friend, Barney Hale, Duncan feels another presence. Outside, Duncan and Gabriela both recognize Lauren from a distance: MacLeod knows her to be Khordas’ Companion, and Gabriela knows her as fellow socialite Lauren Drake. Gabriela then realizes something is amiss because the morning newspapers have reported her dead. Lauren slips into the Tariff House after MacLeod and Gabriela leave. Gabriela is no fool; her father has been murdered and she now demands to know how Duncan escaped death himself and how he is connected to Khordas and Lauren. Duncan is hesitant to supply the answers, but tells her the truth of his Immortality.

            Khordas later joins Lauren atop the cliff in the lighthouse and she tells him that she may have been recognized by the woman accompanying MacLeod.

            That evening at 9:30 PM, Duncan pays Barney a visit alone, and “persuades” the Quaker to tell him Khordas’ next target, the Crescent Line passenger ship Gratiano, which is to arrive in nine days.

            NOTE: The author’s pacing of events from 1-10 February, as told in Chapters 8 through 10, is not consistent and is also unrealistic when one looks at the logistics involved in the story as a whole. Henderson stated twice in Chapter 5 that the 19th century portion of his book started out in late January. One reference to January in comparison to the remainder of the story might be indicative of a typographical error but likely not two. As such, the original text’s indication that the Gratiano is scheduled to arrive in 3 days must be changed to 9 days to not only be accurate, but for other events to be plausible. This fact is only apparent upon close examination of the novel’s overall intent. A lot happens between 1 February and 10 February, and it is imperative these dates be correctly established for the story to be more realistic.

            One must keep in mind that Duncan and Connor initially believe that Khordas’ grand scheme will culminate on Valentine’s Day (14 February), and Chapter 14 (p. 155) reveals that they’ve come to this revelation two days prior to the impending attack (12 February). Though they later learn in Chapter 16 (p. 183) that Khordas will, in truth, attack on 15 February—so as to coincide with Nerissa’s birthday—one may work backwards from 12 February to determine that Khordas gains control of the Gratiano on the evening of 10 February, when the ship was only about 30 miles (p. 162) from pulling into port.

            It would appear that Henderson originally intended for the Gratiano to arrive in Nantucket on 4 February or 5 February because, in Chapter 13 (p. 151), he indicates that the Drake estate explosion was about a week prior to 12 February. However, instead, Henderson lays out a rather confusing date sequence as if he didn’t pay attention to what he was writing when he indicated the story opens in January: In Chapter 8 (p. 102), while being tortured by Duncan, Barney tells him that the Gratiano is scheduled to arrive in 3 days. Duncan’s second visit to Barney is the same evening as his first visit, which was revealed by Chapter 7 to be on 1 February. Therefore, Gratiano arriving in 3 days places the ship’s arrival on 4 February. However, later in Chapter 8 (p. 107), during what would sequentially be the next day’s events (2 February), the ship is said to be “due in tomorrow night”, which would place the ship’s arrival on 3 February. Correctly identifying that it is actually 9 days instead of 3 is best for overall feasibility, especially in light of pinpointing the time it will take Connor to receive and respond to Duncan’s message, as explained below, and makes the Drake estate explosion actually closer to 2 weeks prior to Duncan and Connor’s conversation on 12 February.


            Wednesday, 2 February - Gratiano is scheduled to arrive in 8 days. Duncan stays up all night and acquires the blueprints for the Gratiano. As soon as the local Western Union office opens, Duncan inquires about sending a warning message to the ship. The clerk tells him that there’s not enough reason to send a message since the ship will be docking soon enough. Telegraphing the ship turns out not to be an option either as the technology just isn’t quite there yet. Instead, Duncan sends Connor a telegraph via the Royal Preventive Service in London in hopes that Connor will receive it in time to be of assistance.

            Next, Duncan sets about purchasing a yacht, the Spanish Lady. After testing her engines, Duncan returns to his boardinghouse around noon to find that Gabriela has totally transformed her room into a place of beauty and tranquility with an attractive sea motif. Duncan shows her the plans of the Gratiano and indicates his intention of stopping Khordas once and for all. Gabriela tells him that it is all difficult to grasp but that she doesn’t want to try to understand the ramifications of Duncan’s Immortality on her life for the time being and, to his great surprise, begins taking off his clothes and they make love for the first time.

            The Royal Preventive Service receives Duncan’s tersely-worded telegram and dispatches Captain Jacob Devereaux to deliver it to its intended recipient “Capt. David Carruthers”.

            NOTE: Western Union was founded in 1851.

            Though important, the date the Gratiano is supposed to have arrived in port is secondary to the logistics involved in Duncan summoning Connor to Nantucket from somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean not too far south of Iceland via a telegram initially sent to London and for Connor to have had time enough to receive said message from a courier and make the transatlantic crossing to the United States. The one plays into the other, however, as the more time allowed for this, the better since we’re considering a late 19th century transatlantic voyage in a whaling ship equipped with steam engines—especially when this is all supposed to have taken place in a 10-day span between 2 February and 12 February! Due to the technology of the day, it is not totally out of the realm of possibility that such a feat be accomplished since the transatlantic telegraph cable, completed in August 1858 but perfected by July 1866, made communication between Europe and America possible within minutes. Steamships in service during the 1890s could make the voyage in roughly 5-1/2 days, give or take a few hours, as evidenced by their being awarded the Blue Riband. In fact, the RMS Lucania won the Blue Riband in October 1894 for a westward crossing time of 5 days, 7 hours, 23 minutes. The fastest ever westbound transatlantic crossing (Cornwall, UK to New York) was later completed in July 1952 by the SS United States in 3 days, 12 hours, 12 minutes. Depending on the Dido’s location in the Atlantic, I’d say that it’s not an impossible feat for Connor to have arrived in less than 10 days as the story dictates that he must, but it is pushing it since he makes the more difficult westward voyage against the Gulf Stream in the aforementioned modified sailing vessel. As a whaler instead of the average steamship of the day, the Dido’s smaller size must have made it a fast ship indeed, and Connor had to have spared not a moment to have pulled it off. But what else is Highlander if not a kind of magic?


            Friday, 4 February - Gratiano is scheduled to arrive in 6 days. Finally receiving some good weather for a change since leaving the coast of Iceland, Connor is relaxing in his quarters attempting to read Cyrano de Bergerac for the first time since picking it up in London. Just as he is getting drowsy, his first mate, Rooke, alerts him to the presence of a Preventive ship off their starboard (right) side. As they prepare to be boarded for the third time in two months, the crew is nervous. Connor, however, believes that, should it come to it, his scheme of hiding their contraband under the whale meat in their hold will be successful. As fortune has it, this particular boarding party’s lead agent is on Connor’s payroll. The agents from the Preventive ship Gregorian find no evidence of illegal merchandise belowdecks in their first hold, and Capt. Devereaux orders them back to their ship without checking the second, much to the relief of Connor and his crew. After all have gone, he and “Capt. Curruthers” have a smoke and exchange a few words. Devereaux tells him that he had to find him in order to deliver a message. He gives him a small tin that Connor nonchalantly puts in his pocket. Connor then pays Devereaux his usual fee and the captain returns to his ship. Once alone, Connor reads Duncan’s strange telegram by lamplight: HARD NEWS ON NANTUCKET. TOO MANY SALAMANDERS. Knowing that time is of the essence, he immediately turns the Dido towards Nantucket. Unbeknownst to Connor, Devereaux also makes his way to the US, but, instead, to the naval station at Newport, RI.

            NOTE: The date here is an estimate. Since Connor is somewhere at sea, there is no way to know for sure what day he would have received the message. However, Duncan’s message would have been received in London the same day it was sent, and Devereaux knew approximately where to find the Dido since he was being paid by Connor to turn a blind eye to his gunrunning. I’ve given Connor almost 8 days to make the transatlantic voyage—nearly 3 days longer than the average steamship was known to make the trip in that era—and I think that due to the Dido being just a steam engine-powered whaler, he’d need every bit of that time to arrive in the amount of time allotted.



            To be continued...
            Last edited by AndySloane; 07-08-2017, 02:36 AM.

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            • #7
              The following concludes my breakdown of the timeline of the "Present Day" events of The Element of Fire (Chapters Nine through the Epilogue; pp. 113-212), which transpire in February 1898:

              Thursday, 10 February - Gratiano is scheduled to arrive. Khordas, under the guise of US Navy officer Commander James Brimstone, boards the Gratiano at 3 PM. He and the ship’s captain, Bertrand Lewis, head to the captain’s quarters to speak in private. With the captain thoroughly distracted, Lauren comes aboard 20 minutes later, disguises herself as one of the passengers, and puts the hypnotic Root of Faith into the water tanks in all the ship’s kitchens. She has a nagging feeling that she is doing something wrong, but after partaking of the Root, she returns to the mission at hand. Khordas warns the captain about the mad pirate named Duncan MacLeod who has been terrorizing the waters of New England of late, and persuades the captain to apprehend him should he try to come aboard.

              Once dinner begins at 7 PM, Lauren instructs the sailors—now completely under the drug’s influence—to begin creating mud.

              At 9 PM, Duncan, in his yacht, spots the Gratiano 30 miles off Nantucket. He is surprised to hear the odd beat of drums vibrating through the air as he approaches. Upon approach, the sailors throw him a ladder and, once aboard, Duncan realizes they are all under Khordas’ spell. He turns upon hearing Khordas’ voice but, after issuing his challenge, he is knocked unconscious by a blow from the hilt of Lauren’s rapier. He is locked away in a holding cell while Khordas and Lauren prepare the ceremony for Khordas’ worship.

              NOTE: As a consequence of pinpointing when the Gratiano was supposed to have pulled into port and estimating when Connor, realistically, could have arrived in Nantucket to assist Duncan, there is an 8-day break in the action of the novel—a span that Jason Henderson likely did not intend to be so great. However, as Duncan had no prior knowledge that Khordas had taken over the Gratiano, he really could do nothing but wait for the Gratiano to arrive as scheduled.

              Friday, 11 February - At midnight, Lauren strolls through the ballroom to check the crew’s progress. Satisfied, she begins the worship ceremony. Duncan awakens, unguarded, in the brig a short time later and is surprised to find that Khordas has left him his katana. He did, however, relieve Duncan of his hairpin, and Duncan is forced to use the lockpick kit sewn into the leather of his right boot. As Duncan quietly thanks Amanda for teaching him a thing or two about escapes over the past couple centuries, he picks the lock to his cell and ventures towards the heart of the constant chanting echoing throughout the ship.

              Khordas, meanwhile, rises from his cauldron of mud and his “Children” begin their offering. Lauren selects a child, Genevieve Devon, from among the worshipers to be “resurrected” in the vat of mud, and gives her to Khordas. Khordas begins to lower her into the cauldron with him—fully knowing that she isn’t Immortal—just as Duncan barges into the room. To Duncan's amazement, the ship’s ballroom has been transformed into a cave with glittering mud completely covering the walls and floor. Lauren intervenes at the last moment, saying Genevieve is an unfit sacrifice. Khordas is extremely angry that Lauren’s faith has faltered and commands his Children to stop the intruder. The frightened girl runs away as Duncan fights his way free to confront Khordas, who claims the ballroom to now be Holy Ground. Duncan decides against fighting, scoops up Genevieve, and escapes with her on his yacht to get her immediate medical attention at the hospital for her burns. Khordas scolds Lauren for her loss of faith and, after she renews her faith with the Root, sends her to see Barney the Quaker, to punish him for informing MacLeod of their whereabouts. After Lauren leaves, Khordas closes his worship ceremony by sacrificing a woman and a child.

              Later, at the Tariff House, Lauren pins Barney to his desk with daggers through his hands and sets the building aflame with the lantern, trapping him inside.

              Duncan calls Gabriela at 5 AM from the hospital and she meets him at the ferry an hour later. Together they ride back in a surrey cab with Genevieve to the boardinghouse to recuperate.

              NOTE: Since Barney does not live at the Tariff House, it seems that he was working well after midnight for some reason. He is said to be “counting out” (p. 135) when Lauren arrives at the Tariff House a few hours after Duncan escapes the Gratiano with Genevieve. Counting out is what one usually does with money when preparing to leave a place of business after business hours. In Chapter 8, Barney was also just about to count out and head home to bed when Duncan paid him a visit at 9:30 PM (p. 98), so this would appear to be the approximate time of night Barney might do such daily routine actions as closing the Tariff House. However, this section of Chapter 11 seems to be just one more pacing issue that the author never considered that he was creating while writing the story. Since Barney is counting out, it would appear that the author intended it to be the end of a normal workday for him and not the middle of the night. Being that Chapter 10 states that it is midnight when Lauren checks the progress of the Gratiano crew transforming the ballroom into a place of worship for Khordas (p. 123)—setting the stage for the subsequent events of Chapters 10 and 11—this dictates that it is several hours after midnight and is actually closer to morning when Lauren arrives at the Tariff House to kill him. Remember, Lauren would have to travel back to Nantucket from 30 nautical miles out and she didn't have the luxury of a yacht like Duncan's. Barney would, in reality, likely not be closing the Tariff house, but coming to work to open it for the day. But then that raises the question of why Barney would be preparing to open the Tariff house so long before sunrise.

              Saturday, 12 February - In the middle of the night Khordas comes and sets Duncan's boardinghouse on fire while his men kidnap Gabriela and Genevieve and take them back to the Gratiano. Duncan is killed and left to burn in the fire.

              Connor's ship arrives in Nantucket and he makes his way to Duncan's boardinghouse. He finds Duncan's body among the wreckage and rescues him by whisking him away to the Dido in a sack.

              After Duncan recovers, Connor chastises him for stubbornly continuing to use his real name throughout the centuries instead of blending in with his surroundings. Together at the Ratter pub, they deduce Khordas’ plan to attack the Bay with two Navy battleships on Valentine’s Day. Connor’s men agree to help out any way they can to stop Khordas.

              Khordas, meanwhile, chooses Gabriela as his new Companion due to Lauren’s failing loyalty, and Gabriela experiences her First Death at Khordas’ hands.

              Sunday, 13 February - Jacob Devereaux's British Preventive Service ship arrives at Naval Station Newport and Devereaux interviews a British prisoner in the brig named Crabbe who has been picked up by the Navy for gunrunning only the day before. Devereaux learns that Crabbe sold big guns to Captain Curruthers and Devereaux knows it can't be a coincidence that the Dido has recently been seen in Massachusetts.

              NOTE: It is interesting that Henderson indicates that Devereaux takes a bribe from Connor and willingly looks the other way by not thoroughly checking Connor's ship at one point in the story, but now, suddenly, Devereaux is interested in doing his job and stopping Connor from smuggling guns.

              Connor and Duncan’s attempt to warn the twin battleships Troilus and Cressida fails, as Devereaux and the British Preventive Service are waiting for the Dido in Buzzards Bay. Connor’s ship easily outruns the Preventive ship, and he and Duncan lie in wait in Nantucket for Khordas to make his move.

              Monday, 14 February - Gabriela revives in a cauldron of mud and realizes that she, too, is Immortal.

              Duncan and Connor wait all day for Khordas to take action, and just before midnight they realize that they were wrong—Nerissa’s birthday was 15 February—not on Valentine’s Day after all. Khordas releases sulfur into the atmosphere at Buzzards Bay and several fireboats filled with explosives, manned by his own Children—and Lauren—head towards the docks.

              NOTE: It shouldn’t have taken so long for Gabriela to revive after her First Death, but, as we’ve been shown on numerous occasions throughout the Series, Immortals’ resurrections are plot-driven—i.e. they take as much or as little time as required for requisite story elements to be conveyed.

              Tuesday, 15 February - Duncan stops a fireboat from destroying the docks while Connor keeps the crowd from lighting the fireworks display.

              Lauren, in the meantime, has broken Khordas’ hold over her and attempts to overthrow him. However, Khordas succeeds in launching a missile at Lauren’s boat, igniting the sulfur in the air and triggering the start of his master plan.

              A fireboat causes the Troilus to sink. The Cressida, however, is better prepared and douses its fireboat.

              Amidst the flames on Khordas’ ship, Gabriela, too, breaks Khordas’ spell and signals to the Dido.

              Duncan and Connor make their way toward the Gratiano and, as Connor aids Gabriela in rescuing the passengers, Duncan goes after Khordas. In the boiler room, Khordas taunts Duncan before tossing an incendiary device into the engine and climbing into the escape shaft. As the ship begins to explode, the two Immortals clamber up the shaft, and finally, out into the night sky. Khordas boards his lifeboat and sets out. Duncan cuts a cable loose and swings onto the deck of the boat. Momentarily blinding Khordas with incendiary liquid, Duncan manages to rid Khordas of his rapier and behead him.

              Though Khordas’ madness is finally over, Duncan and Connor realize that Lauren is still out there somewhere.

              Gabriela leaves Genevieve at the hospital for better care. Later, at the Ratter, Connor and Duncan explain to Gabriela the nature of being Immortal. Then, after they see Connor and the Dido off, Gabriela goes to redecorate her late father’s house, leaving Duncan alone on the docks to contemplate the unchanging elements of wind, water, and fire.

              NOTE: The 1997 Highlander calendar indicates Khordas’ death to be on 15 February 1897, but the 18-month 1998/1999 calendar incorrectly lists Khordas’ date of death as 13 February. Since we know that Khordas was killed on 15 February, whoever wrote this calendar entry, apparently, either didn’t read the novel too closely or they didn’t simply copy the date from the previous year’s calendar.

              As previously explained above, due to the appearance of Cyrano de Bergerac in the story, I stand by the notion that the story should take place in 1898 and not 1897.

              It is left to wonder how long Duncan and Gabriela stay together and if he was ultimately responsible for her training. Having already acknowledged that one tended to take it too easy on an attractive student (p. 53), it is unlikely that MacLeod taught her much more than the rudiments of swordplay. More than likely, Duncan did meet up with Amanda—who is already supposedly in America (p. 53)—to allow her to take over Gabriela’s serious training, much like he does in 1994 with Michelle Webster (Rite of Passage). Gabriela did not seem to be one that was looking for anything permanent with MacLeod to begin with, and likewise, MacLeod doesn’t seem to make it a habit of committing himself to one woman for too long, Immortal or otherwise, for another 40 years, when he meets Linda Plager (Studies in Light). Also to consider is that MacLeod soon relocates to New York City, where he is shown to be in Revenge of the Sword.

              The fictional ships Troilus and Cressida are described on p. 171 as having low-slung decks and looking more like monitors than seagoing ships. Historically, they would have been among the first battleships of the US Navy. The real USS Troilus (AKA-46), an attack cargo ship, was not built or commissioned until 1945 and was only in service until the following year. There has never been a Cressida in the USN. The USS Texas, commissioned on 15 August 1895, was a second-class pre-dreadnought battleship and was America’s first battleship. Built from steel, and protected by hardened steel armor, pre-dreadnought battleships carried a main battery of very heavy guns in barbettes supported by one or more secondary batteries of lighter weapons. They were powered by coal-fueled triple-expansion steam engines. Indiana-class battleships were the first battleships built by the USN. Originally specifically designed for coastal defense, only 3 were constructed: Indiana (BB 1) (commissioned 20 November 1895), Massachusetts (BB 2) (commissioned 10 June 1896), and Oregon (BB 3) (commissioned 16 July 1896). The USS Iowa (BB 4), America’s first seagoing battleship, was commissioned 16 June 1897. Moving the novel’s story to 1898 also allows more time for the USN to have better established its still small fleet of battleships and for the fictional Troilus and Cressida to blend in with this burgeoning new type of warship.



              Last edited by AndySloane; 05-27-2017, 12:14 PM.

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              • #8
                I've quite missed this. Looking forward to more of this, Andy!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aleander View Post
                  I've quite missed this. Looking forward to more of this, Andy!
                  Thanks, Aleander! Glad you enjoyed my writeup!

                  I haven't done an analysis of every novel's events like this but I have done one for White Silence (your favorite!), The Path, Scimitar, Scotland the Brave, and Shadow of Obsession.

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                  • #10
                    Wow...just...wow. This whole entire thread has blown my mind, and I'm officially "stealing" (with full credit given to Andy!) his dating-adjustments for my own personal home-use Highlander timeline/continuity document. Simply amazing stuff.
                    Last edited by Leto II; 06-27-2017, 07:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Andy is awesome.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leto II View Post
                        Wow...just...wow. This whole entire thread has blown my mind, and I'm officially "stealing" (with full credit given to Andy!) his dating-adjustments for my own personal home-use Highlander timeline/continuity document. Simply amazing stuff.
                        Thank you, sir, for the high praise. I appreciate you giving me credit. I always try to be as thorough as I can be in my analyses of this subject matter, and I'm very detail oriented anyway (as if you couldn't already tell).

                        So, shall I move on to the next novel?

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                        • #13
                          I enjohyed EoF, but still something about it unsettled me. I was just weird. I felt like perhaps that immortal was so old, perhaps the very 1st one, that was why he was not familiar with the game or any other rule.

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