Many readers have asked me what Daybreak was about during volume one. The question to this is actually twofold. Contrary to what some might think, I did not set out to write Daybreak as some long story. I wrote the first four chapters because it was an amusing idea that popped up into my head. However when I shared it with a few friends, they enjoyed it so much that it encouraged me to keep going. Daybreak's long-term storyboarding and setting design didn't really materialize until after chapter five. It was then when I chose the name "Daybreak on Hyperion" and renamed the setting name.
The continents in this fantasy world are all named after titans of Greek mythology because Daybreak is a "what if" scenario. In the Greek Titanomachy (aka "Battle of the Gods"), the Olympian Gods defeated the Titans and established their hegemony over the universe. Unfortunately most Olympian Gods are also terrible, terrible people -- lustful, envious, greedy, and bent on hording power to themselves. The Titan Prometheus, despite siding with the Olympians during the Titanomachy, eventually betrayed Zeus and stole fire for the benefit of mankind. The concept of Daybreak therefore revolves around: what if the dragonlords (modeled after the best of the Titans) won the war against the demons (Olympians) and gave humanity the power of gods: magic itself? How would that affect the geopolitical, sociological, cultural, and technological growth of Earth as we know it?
Daybreak is one such projected possibility.
As imaginary as it is, several tons of research went into the writing of Daybreak. From worldbuilding based on existing cultures and key historical events which were altered, to how tradition and psychology shaped our perception of everything from gender roles to social classes. My longest supporter on this project is a close friend and student of educational psychology who just received her Ph.D.; we've had many a long conversations about why our society is the way it is or how Kaede should react to certain things. So yes -- the genderbender aspect of Daybreak is taken very seriously, even if I love joking about it~
(For those of you who don't believe that turning into a girl should change one's personality and orientation, I welcome you to the neuroscience of gender biology on emotional and cognitive functions.)
To the best of my memories, I have yet to invent a single new term for the entire Hyperion setting. Every single term here can be traced back to a language term on Earth. For example, Weichsel is the German name for the Vistula River -- one of the origin points of Prussia; since Prussia was actually a Germanized part of Poland brought by the Teutonic/Baltic Crusade, there are a lot of Polish elements to the country (i.e. its cavalry emphasis is a tribute to the legacy of Polish Hussars, famous surnames of Polish noble houses are used, and Weichsel's cultural history is a nod to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's ethic diversity). Rhin-Lotharingie is French for the Rhine River and the Lotharingia region, which formed the centerpiece of Charlemagne's Frankish "Holy Roman Empire" (despite being neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire). Et cetera...
The story of Daybreak is littered with historical references, some highlighted but others not so much. Many readers have greatly enjoyed these and requested a list, so by demand, I have provided a list for volume two below. This list will be gradually completed as I finish writing volume two.
One last note. While volume two enters the realm of operational, tactical warfare, it is actually much heavier on combat than I anticipated and not reflective of how I the planned story as a whole. The greater emphasis on war took its toll on the slice-of-life scenes necessary for character and relationship development. For instance, as many have pointed out -- the genderbender aspect isn't as detailed as it could be (although this is also partially due to Kaede's personality).
Originally, I had wanted to go straight into the next arc after finishing volume one, except I realized that (1) the characters don't have enough experience/rank and (2) the story isn't set up for it yet. The death of Pascal's father set off a rapid chain of events which needed addressing anyway, so I went with it and took ''Winter Typhoon'' as an opportunity to... uh, grind for EXP and prestige ^^
Anyhow, here's the reference and terms list. If anything is not included here, feel welcome to bring it up and I'll see about adding it:
Pascal Kay Lennart von Moltewitz: 'Lennart', albeit a very common name, refers to Swedish Marshal Lennart Torstensson, who caught the King's eyes the same way Pascal did: by passing battlefield orders 'wrongly'. Moltewitz refers to Moltke the Elder, father of wargaming and modern military command through a General Staff, as well as the Battle of Mollwitz, to which Frederick the Great quoted "Mollwitz is my school" for "the Prussian army always attacks".
Kaede Nika Suvorsky: I needed two unisex names ^^'. It also reflects on her parents' laziness in naming him/her lol, just pick out one baby name for both genders! Suvorsky however is based on a quote from Stalin: "I have no Suvorov, but Rokossovsky is my Bagration". Alexander Suvorov is known as the 'undefeated general of Russia' for his service under Catherine the Great. Konstantin Rokossovsky is the WW2 Marshal who pulled off Operation Bagration which destroyed the strongest formation of the German Wehrmacht: Army Group Center.
Sylviane Etiennette de Gaetane: I chosen her name for various etymology reasons, which are best not disclosed (yet!).
Emperor Geoffroi of Rhin-Lotharingie: named after Geoffroi de Charny, renowned throughout Europe during his lifetime as "the true and perfect knight". He died defending the Oriflamme banner at the Battle of Poitiers.
Armiger: I wanted to use an alternative word for 'Knight'. Armiger means "arms-bearer" -- one who attends to a knight -- but at the same time entitled to their own Coat-of-Arms. Essentially a lesser knight in service of a greater lord.
Black Eagles/Black Dragon: refers to the Prussian crest - a Black Eagle.
von Falkenhausen (including Cecylia and Wiktor): named after WW2 General Alexander von Falkenhausen and his Bavarian officer lineage. Without his efforts in modernizing the Chinese military and planning the war against Japan, the KMT army would have suffered far worse. His bonds to China were so strong that the Nazis had to force him to return by threatening his family. He was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp for conspiring in the July 20th Assassination against Hitler, survived, then briefly jailed by the allies for crimes he tried to prevent.
von Manteuffel (including Ariadne and Neithard): named after the von Manteuffels of Prussia, including Stateman Otto Theodor von Manteuffel, Field Marshal Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, and General Hasso von Manteuffel. The name 'Manteuffel' literally means 'man-devil'. General von Manteuffel's Duchy Polarstern, meaning 'Polar Star' in German, hints at how important his family was to Weichsel's history.
Pandemonium Doctrine: a derivative of 'Soviet Deep Battle' doctrine melded with old light cavalry tactics established since the Mongol Empire (even before; but the mongols made it famous). The main difference between it and most other forms of western military tactics is that it seeks to paralyze foes on a strategic level rather than relying on battlefield destruction of enemy forces.
'Whereas some states possess an army, the Prussian army possess a state.' - Voltaire: French enlightenment thinker famous for his advocacy for freedom of religion and his sardonic attacks toward Abrahamic religions (Christianity/Islam/Judaism) for intolerance. He is also well known for his turbulent friendship with Frederick the Great of Prussia.
Trinitian Church: an almost-exact duplicate of the pre-reformation Catholic Church. Named after the Holy Trinity of Christianity.
Phoenix Hauteclaire: meaning "high and neat"; named after the sword of Oliver the Paladin, Roland's best friend and advisor.
Combat Box: tactical formation used by WW2 strategic bombers. It specializes in its ability to provide mutually-supporting, interlocking defensive fire.
Grand Republic of Samara: based on the Merchant Republic of Novgorod merged with the Tengrism of Turkic/Mongolian cultures. Although Shamanistic, Tengrism imported many aspects of Buddhism, which is normal for Asiatic religions. The word 'Samara' is both a Russian city/region/Volga river bend and a pun on 'Samsara' -- the cycle of reincarnation in Buddhism. It is worth noting that Tengri does not believe in "one true religion", as humanity has not reached sufficient enlightenment to know what is 'truth'. Like Buddhism, Tengrism does not care what religion a man worships, only whether he is virtuous or not.
Indentured Servitude: was very common before the Renaissance. Usually used either to pay for something one couldn't afford (i.e. trip to the new world) or as a form of criminal punishment. However, indentures were supposed to have a finite term, which makes Marina's case closer to regular slavery.
'In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; (in peace, good will)': by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Anyone who believe the statements against him to be unfair can read about the three million Indians his policies killed, or his stance on using military means to stop British decolonization. Had someone in Axis Germany did what he did, they'd been charged with crimes against humanity. But hey, victor's justice.
"Holy Father with us!": based on Gott mit uns! a German war cry originally introduced by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. It grew to become the unifying cry of the Germanies, representing their shared ethnicity and protestant faith.
Hyperborean: Greek for 'mythical' people from "beyond the North Wind". Since the dragonlords had a somewhat Greek inspired basis, I saw no problems porting this for use by the Nordic-inspired Northmen.
Greater Jarldom of Skagen: based on Nordic Denmark/Norway/Iceland and the somewhat Uralic Finland. Unlike the vikings, Skagen actually banded together into a Noble Confederacy to stop warring among themselves in order to successful resist the Trinitian push, much like the Baltic factions did against the Teutonic Knights. The 'Stormlord' they pray to is inspired by the Nordic God Thor and the Romuva (Baltic Pagan) God Perkunas.
Ski Infantry: perfected by the Finns, and before that used by Russians/Novgorodians back to the Middle Ages. It offered infantry with speed and maneuverability comparable to light cavalry, despite drawbacks like poor footing. Skis are usually taken off before engaging, but not always. Some of you might find this ridiculous, but no, totally real.
Schiltrom: tight defensive formation which forms concentric rings of spears/pikes, all pointed outwards. A Schiltrom excels against cavalry attacks, is impossible to flank, but vulnerable to missile fire.
Swordstaff: yes this is a real weapon, traditionally employed by the Swedes. It's made by sticking a sword on a pole for the advantages of both, hence 'swordstaff'.
Hans Ostergalen: named after General Hans Oster and Cardinal/Saint Clemens von Galen. Oster is the leader of the 1938 Oster Conspiracy and one of the founders of the German Resistance during WW2. Galen led the Catholic resistance against Nazi prosecution.
Erwin von Hammerstein: named after General Kurt Gebhard von Hammerstein-Equord, Commander-in-Chief of the Reichswehr 1930-1934. He tried to stop Hitler's coming to power and failed numerous times to lure the dictator in for assassination. He died of cancer during the war and his family was sent to concentration camps for their participation in the German Resistance (thankfully, they survived).
'Ghost Division': 7th Panzer Division of the German Wehrmacht, which earned its fame under the command of Erwin Rommel. Rommel was also among the last of his kind, a general as chivalrous as he was brilliant, who not only ignored maniacal orders but even buried his fallen foes with honors. He was forced to commit suicide after partaking in the July 20th plot.
Nordkapp: literally 'North Cape', which on Earth can be found in upper Norway.
Housecarls: household servants/troops of Nordic and Anglo-Saxon cultures, with a reputation for holding firm shield-wall lines as long as their lord led them. Their most famous participation is during the Battle of Hastings, where despite the death of their King and the English rout, King Harold's Housecarls gathered around his body and fought to the death.
Rimefire Siphoneers: based on Byzantium Siphonatores and their Greek Fire siphons. Nobody ever figured out how to replicate Greek Fire due to the careful compartmentalization of its production/distribution -- in case you ever wondered why Weichsel isn't using it also.
Repeating Arbalest: an arbalest (steel crossbow) with Chinese repeating crossbow mechanism. Pulling a lever that heavy will require serious muscle training.
Zweihander: Germanic two-handed sword. Developed to hack through whatever it encountered, be it a spear/pike wall or a horse.
Meteor Hammer: ancient Chinese weapon consisting of one or two mace heads at the end(s) of a long chain. One of the most adaptive weapons and is very difficult to block, but also extremely hard to learn.
Parzifal Sigismund von Seydlitz der Chevallerie: named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, one of Prussia's greatest cavalry generals, who turned several would-be-defeats in the Seven Years War into victories through initiative and aggression. In story, this would refer more to Parzifal's father's heroic reputation than the healer himself.
Ania the Matryoshka Cat: named after the Russian matryoshka dolls.
Knights Templar: its real-life equivalent was established during the Crusades and rose to become an international paramilitary force not answerable to any local government. This made them a 'state within a state', with a powerful standing army that could roam across borders at will and financial backing on par with large nations. The French King Philip IV eventually destroyed them over monetary reasons...
New World/Frontier: Norse colonization of the Americas began as early as the 10th Century, mostly to acquire furs and lumber. It's uncertain why their settlements were mostly short-term instead of permanent, or the world would be very different as we know it.
Kingdom of Västergötland: Sweden is a bit obvious; Västergötland is a real Swedish province. Note that Västergötland means West Gothland -- homeland of the Gothic people. Except in story, it's located on the eastern side of Fimbulmark Isle. This has implications which I may get to explore later... who knows.
Massive Strike Doctrine: based on the Naval Aviation doctrine of the Imperial Japanese Navy Mobile Strike Force ('Kidou Butai'), which emphasized mobile, concentrated, long-range attack power capable of crippling enemy forces without the need for a decisive surface battle. As noted, it was created by Isoroku Yamamoto.
Aqua Fortis "Strong Water": Nitric Acid (HNO3)
Aqua Regis "Royal Water": 3:1 mixture of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) and Nitric Acid (HNO3)
Battle of Midway: where the Japanese lost four Fleet Carriers due to operational intelligence failure, tactical scouting failure, and the defensive combat air patrol being caught out of position.
Prussic Acid: Hydrogen-Cyanide (HCN).
Flares in Red, Blue, Yellow, Black: Colors of the naval Z-flag, which was raised before the decisive Battle of Tsushima by Admiral Heihachirou. It was used in the same way by Admiral Yamamoto prior to the Attack of Pearl Harbor.
Skywhale/Air Group Polarlys: Danish for 'Polar Lights', or the Aurora Borealis.
Skywhale/Air Group Lyngbakr and Hafgufa: Icelandic for 'Heather Back' and 'Sea Steam', two legendary sea monsters of the Greenland Sea.
Skywhale/Air Group Livjatan: Danish for "Leviathan", considered either one of the Princes of Hell or the Gatekeeper of Hell.
Noblesse Oblige: Concept of French origin that those born into nobility are obligated to take greater social responsibilities, particularly in leadership.
Lindsay de Martel: named after Guillaume de Martel, the flagbearer of the Oriflamme at the disastrous French defeat at Agincourt.
Highland Guard: based on the Garde Écossaise (Scots Guard), personal bodyguards of the French Monarchy.
"The Guard dies! It does not surrender!...": the famous response by Napoleon's Imperial Guard General Pierre Cambronne (disputed) when requested to surrender after the Battle of Waterloo.
Phoenix Joyeuse: meaning 'joyous'; named after Charlemagne's personal sword.
'It is better to be on hand with ten men than absent with ten thousand.': quote by Tamerlane, or Timer the Lame, founder of the Timurid Dynasty who attempted to restore the Mongol Empire.
'Hugging the enemy': tactic coined by General Chuikov during the Battle of Stalingrad. By reducing the distance between Russian and German positions to a 10-20 meters, he made it impossible for German air superiority to bomb the Russian lines without friendly fire.
Armored Wedge: based on the Panzerkeil formation, a variant of the Flying Wedge formation dating back to ancient times and used by migratory birds even before then. It specializes on offensive power and the capacity to break through heavy defenses.
Great Marianas Turkey Shoot: Battle of the Philippine Sea, where the IJN disproportionately lost over 600 aircraft due to inferior equipment, training, and underestimating American air defenses.
"I have fought a hundred battles for Weichsel, and not once, not once! Have I fought against our fatherland!": based on the French Napoleonic Marshal Ney's final words as he faced the firing squad for treason.
Realpolitik: coined by Ludwig von Rochau in 1853, it is politics and diplomacy driven not by ideological factors like morals or ethics, but solely by national power, practical interests, and material considerations. In other words, the belief of 'just' and 'right' when it comes to politics is mere propaganda for the less educated. But unlike political realism, realpolitik is not just a concept but also a prescriptive set of guidelines for policy. The most famous advocate of realpolitik is Otto von Bismarck, the Prussia Chancellor who would use it to unite the Germanies.