An Imperial Daughter’s Woe – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 15

An Imperial Daughter’s Woe – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 15

It’s been absolutely delightful opening my writer’s notebook this year to share the developmental details of Eternity’s Empire. In case you missed it, I talked about Ganga over here, Amaterasu over here, Thora here and, finally Aphrodite here. So what’s left?

Aeternitas of course! And I’m excited to finally talk about her because she’s probably the most interesting of the bunch. (Not just because she’s the leader!)

You may not be Familiar with the Goddess Aeternitas

I’ve taken a bit of flack from readers in the past over choosing a bunch of real-world goddesses to protect a character I made up. And I can see why people would think that. Aeternitas doesn’t seem to draw from historical mythologies. But that’s because I dug deep for this one.

To the ancient Romans, Aeternitas was the personification of eternity. (Hence the name: Eternity’s Empire.) It was quite common for ancient cultures to personify abstract concepts as deities in this way. One need only look at Wikipedia’s list of Greek primordial deities to find more than a dozen.

As far as deities go, not much is known about Aeternitas. She appears to have been a virtue heavily associated with an imperial cult and was often depicted on coins minted between the first and third centuries. The emperor Vespasian depicted her holding a head in each hand – one to represent Sol and one to represent Luna, probably as a symbol of world dominion. Tamer depictions include a cornucopia and a scepter. Later coins also featured depictions of a phoenix, the symbol of cyclical time.

So you can see I had a lot of room to work with this character however I pleased.

Aeternitas and Eternity became Central Concepts for the Story

The truth is, I can’t remember anymore which I named first; Aeternitas or the series. But the two names are heavily related. I do know that I stumbled upon Aeternitas while researching another deity: Aion.

Aion was the Greek god associated with time and eternity. Later, he would come to be identified with Cronus or Saturnus, which caused him to be confused with Chronos (who is also associated with time). It is believed he represented unlimited time and rose from the primordial chaos to generate Heaven and Earth. He is often depicted as a young man surrounded by a circle that represents either the zodiac or cyclical time, which may have been a precursor to the infinity symbol.

In Rome, Aion became the guarantor of the emperors, representing the perpetuity of their rule. This is why his female counterpart, Aeternitas, was so often depicted on coins – much the way Liberty or Justice often find their way onto US coins today.

The key to both these deities lies in their malleability. They are fluid concepts which represent various ideas about time, divinity and how it affects leadership. Exactly the concepts I hoped to play with when I sat down to write Eternity’s Empire.

Making Aeternitas My Own

It was easy enough to swap Aion’s gender – he represents a fluid concept anyway. And since little is known about either of these deities, I had plenty of room to do what I wanted. I started with the embodiment of their core concept. If eternity was a person, what would they be like? Cold, perhaps. And distant. If you live forever, what does the current moment matter? You would think an eternal being, plugged into the energy and flow of the universe would have little time or patience for its day to day passage.

And thus Empress Aion was born. Though she doesn’t appear on camera very often, she actually forms the core of the setting. Everything spirals outward from her. The story’s main character is her daughter, after all, and Aeternitas is the center of her guardian’s focus. But beyond that, the empire Aion built forms the framework into which the rest of the story fits. She is the binding and unifying factor of all the other mythologies I chose to weave into the story. Potentially, any mythology can fit into that framework. Theoretically, every mythology sits within it. Even alien mythologies unknown to us on Earth.

But I didn’t want the main character of my story to be cold and lifeless. Who could identify with that? Especially since my biggest inspiration for Aeternitas came from Sailor Moon. If there is a character with a bigger heart than her, I’m unaware of them. So I used these two concepts to temper each other. What might an eternal being act like when they’re younger, still learning about the universe they were born into, still connected with all of its aspects and beauties?

Thus Aeternitas is curious, dedicated, loyal and, above all, friendly.

Crafting Aeternitas’s Human Form

As with all the other goddesses, I chose Aeternitas’s human name based on its meaning. Erica means eternal ruler. Though for her last name, I simply picked from a list of popular surnames. I wanted it to seem somewhat generic compared to her grand and sweeping secret life.

Erica was probably my favorite of all the human characters to write. She’s everything I’m not; sassy, fearless and unrepentant. If there’s trouble, she’ll be in the thick of it. If there’s authority, she will mock it. Even if she makes a mistake, she won’t back down. Once she makes up her mind to accomplish something, she keeps marching forward, no matter the obstacles or consequences in her path. She bears little resemblance to the mundane version of her inspiration, but I wanted her to have need of guardians.

Erica grew up in Seattle. My original notes indicated that her parents were divorced, but I ended up going a different route. Instead of having her parents at odds with each other, passing her back and forth to try to win her affection, I set Erica at odds against her parents. This setting features lots of healthy and loving relationships between parents and children, so I wanted to offer a small contrast to that. Sometimes even the most fearless rebels among us have darkness hidden somewhere in their closet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the origins of Aeternitas and I hope you’ll check out her story (which includes the introduction of her siblings) – An Imperial Daughter’s Woe; available now!

Buy your copy or Read it FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Aeternitas promised to protect Earth and its queen from the looming threat of imperial war.

But with her magical focus broken, and access to her fancy technology cut off, her chances of fulfilling that promise dwindle rapidly. Her only remaining hope is to contact her mother, the enigmatic Empress Aion, and she can only do that by borrowing the Earth queen’s power.

Luck, it seems, is not on her side. Even if she can contact her mother and set things right, one insurmountable obstacle still lies in Aeternitas’s path: her terrible sister Ananke.

Aeternitas’s guardians have already proven that Ananke has been interfering with their duties, possibly for years. But what lengths will the jealous imperial princess go to in order to get her way? Aeternitas better think of a way to outsmart her, because if Ananke reaches Earth, Aeternitas will be doomed to break her oath.

You can catch up on the Eternity’s Empire series here!

4 Replies to “An Imperial Daughter’s Woe – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 15”

  1. Thanks for sharing the details on how you developed the characters in your story. I love the idea of combining Roman goddesses with fictional characters you created. I say it’s fiction at its finest!

    1. Thank you :D It’s so fun to talk about the creation process. We put all this effort into research, I figured I may as well share some of it!

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