Zarakharn I is the ruler of Khriza at the time of my first book. He is 187 years old. Dragons live to just under 200 years. So he's old. But he has a life crystal that makes it so he never ages, and can't be killed except by destroying said crystal, in which case he will die immediately. But the point is, his reign is far from at an end. Nat Arrissa is 100 years old. He's middle aged with one adult son who has two small children. His other two children are 32 and 20. Zarakharn became ruler at no older than sixty, assuming the throne from his father who had died. Angriad II died of natural causes. Nat's father saw his reign. The trouble is, I want Nat and his younger brother Ginzaekh (the protagonist's father) to be small children when Angriad is still reigning. This doesn't work if Nat is 100. So I'll have to stretch something. Where should I modify the characters' ages? Nat's children must be, respectively, younger than 32, 32, and just old enough to have two children. One is going to be an infant. if necessary I can drop one of them so Nat only has one grandchild. So Nat doesn't necessarily have to be 100, just old enough to have a child a few years older than 40. Zarakharn must be in his prime. That's the state his body is at the time of the creation of his life crystal, which is after his father's death, when the existence of magic was revealed to him. But he can't be too young, so he must be older than fifty. So an age range between 50 and 70ish. Angriad's age is flexible as long as he's old enough to die of natural causes by the time Zarakharn assumes the throne. When this is all worked out he'll have a definite age. So, what should I change to make this fit? If necessary, I can have Zarakharn reign for all of Nat's lifetime up to that point, but I'd prefer to have Angriad reign for some of it.
Well, it's hard to help you when we don't know how their biology and culture work, but it sounds like Zarak's age is the easiest to change. You didn't mention that he has to be 187, so if you just shave a few years off you can solve your problem. Assuming that they age as we do up until adulthood: If Zarak was 60 at the time he inherited the throne and he's 153 now, Nat would've been 7 years old at the time Zarak became king. If Zarak was 70 at the time he inherited the throne and he's 163 now, Nat would've been 7 years old at the time Zarak became king. If Nat's age isn't of huge importance you can also increase it by 10-20 years. That's the human equivalent of 5-10 years, assuming humans live to 100. There are many humans who are 50-60 and very healthy and strong, so why not dragons?
That seems good, although that would mean Ginzaekh the elder is an infant at the time, which I suppose I could work with. It would give an interesting parallel; Nat loses his mother when his brother is a baby, and Ginzaekh the younger loses his father when his brother is just a baby. So if we say that Angriad had Zarakharn at age 70, and he died around the age of 140... If I do increase Nat's age though, that would help too. So if we say he was 17 at the time, he's no longer a toddler and Ginzaekh the elder is no longer a baby. That would mean that by the time of my book he's 110 or so. But that would mean he had his third child at the human equivalent of his late forties... That's not creepy, is it? I chose the age of 100 for him so he'd have his youngest child in his 60s, the equivalent of human thirties, which didn't seem as creepy to me.
That's not creepy at all, especially since it's his third child. I know someone who was 50 (or was it 51?) before having his first child, and no one's mentioned it being odd or creepy. Especially for men, it's not all that strange to be having children when they're older. For women it's just a matter of biology; we generally can't have children that late in age. Don't forget that since you're shifting their ages away from what we the readers are used to (actual human years), no one's going to think it's odd unless one of your characters points it out.
And you know what, maybe having kids young is a good aspect to add to Khrizan culture. I bet I could tweak Zarakharn's age even further to keep Nat young enough to my liking. If Zarakharn is the same age as his father when Angriad died, which we've assumed to be 140 at the moment, that puts eighty years on the throne. Nat would be twenty by the time Zarakharn succeeds Angriad. I think I'll go with that. Thanks for helping me know which ages to tweak!
No problem! I always love a good fantasy that plays around with culture. Looking forward to reading it!