Page 253. " “Lampedusa,” she said. "

Lampedusa is an island in the Mediterranean, part of the Province of Agrigento, in the region of Sicily, Italy.  Tunisia is its closest neighbour.  The population of approximately 6,000 subsists on fishing, tourism and agriculture. Historically, Lampedusa was a landing place and a maritime base for the ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs.  In 1860 the island became part of the new Kingdom of Italy.  During World War II the island was captured by British forces shortly before the Allied invasion of Sicily. 


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Page 266. " like an ambigous trope of hopefulness, the luna moth took wing "

Luna Moth
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLuna Moth - Credit: Sandilya Theuerkauf
The luna moth is a lime green moth with a wingspan of up to 11.5 cm, making it one of the largest moths in North America. Adult moths emerge from their cocoons in the morning. Their wings are very small when they first emerge and they must enlarge them by pumping bodily fluids through them. During this time, their wings are soft, and they must climb somewhere safe to wait for their wings to harden before they can fly away. Adult luna moths live for only a week, and are thus rarely seen, despite being fairly common.

Page 272. " You now possess all the mystic power of ancient Cimmeria "

Conan the Barbarian
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumConan the Barbarian - Credit: Jeremy Haun
A tribe called the Cimmerians lived on the northern Black Sea coast (modern Ukraine) in the eighth and seventh centuries BC.  They were nomads, and are assumed to have been related to either Iranian or Thracian speaking groups.  Some modern authors assert that the Cimmerians included mercenaries. 

A "mythical" people also named Cimmerians are described in Homer’s Odyssey, living beyond the Oceanus in a land of fog and darkness, at the edge of the world and the entrance of Hades.

Cimmeria is a fictional land of barbarians, and the homeland of Conan the Barbarian in the works of Robert E Howard.  The Cimmerians are descendants of colonists from Atlantis.  Cimmeria is described as a harsh landscape with rugged mountains, dark shadowy forests and gloomy skies.  Howard refers to the Cimmerian people's hardiness, military prowess and strength.