Handy guide on how to tell if you're living in a high fantasy novel

From The Toast:

  • The Elders would like a word with you.
  • The Ritual is about to begin.
  • Something that has not happened in a thousand years is happening.
  • You are going to the City. There is only one City. It is only said with a capital C. No one needs to bother saying the name of the City. It is the City.
  • Certain members of the Council are displeased with your family’s recent actions.
  • A bard is providing occasional comic relief; no one hired or invited him and his method of earning a living is unclear.
  • The High Priest is not to be trusted.
  • Someone is eating an apple mockingly.
  • There is one body of water. It is called the Sea. The Great Sea, if you are feeling fancy.
  • You live in a region with no major exports, no centralized government, no banking system, a mysteriously maintained network of roads, and little to no job training for anyone who is not a farmer.
  • You have red hair. You wear it in a braid. Your father was a simple man, and you don’t remember much about him – he died when you were so young – but you remember his strong hands, as he fished or carpentered or whatever it was that he used to do with them.
  • You’re going to have to hurry, or you’re going to miss the Fair – and you never miss the Fair.
  • There is trouble at the Citadel.
  • Your full name has at least one apostrophe in it.
  • It is the first page, and you are already late for something. Your mother affectionately chides you as you gulp down a few spoonfuls of porridge; she will be dead by page forty-two.
  • There are two religions in your entire universe. One is a thinly veiled version of Islam. It is only practiced by villains. The other is “being a Viking.” You are a Viking.
  • There are new ways in the land that threaten the Old Way. Your grandmother secretly practices the Old Way, as do all of the people of the hills.
  • The real trouble began the day you arrived at court. Every last nobleman hides a viper in his smile. How you long for the purity of life in your village, which is currently on fire or something.

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