of the World of the 7 gods
Thomas Andrew Daly
Lost Child on the Streets of Camaar
thieves of Upper Gralt
in Upper Gralt
of the Barrens
proud son of Sendaria
Lost Child on the Streets of Camaar
was 7. 7, alone, hungry and thirsty, living by the canals of
the city of Camaar in the Kingdom of Sendaria, coping as well as he
could. He was a bright young child, so his parent’s had told
him many times. They had died, recently, in the house fire
which had left him stranded. Nobody had been willing to take
him in, and he had no relatives, so he ended up down by the canals
near the wharves of the city, fishing with the rod he’d had to
steal, and getting by as best he could.
His best friend,
street rat, was 12 and had lived on the wharves as long as he could
remember. He had been looked after for a while in his younger
years by the old man Druknar, who had been a vagrant wandering around
through Sendaria most of his days. But Druknar had died and
since then street rat, who had no other name, had lived on the dirty
streets of Camaar.
And now they were forming a team –
a thieving team – and becoming quite adroit at their work.
‘Now, as soon as he goes to the back of the store,
sneak in and grab the money bag. He is working alone today, and
I am sure he won’t suspect anything. He always goes out for a
drink near the end of the day. I have watched him for weeks
Dulliam took in all these words of advice from
Street Rat and, watching the fishmonger, was ready for his latest act
of thievery. True to Street Rat’s words, the fishmonger soon
wandered out the back of his store, apparently to indulge in his
favourite beverage. Dulliam looked to the left and right and
quietly stole into the store and climbed over the counter. He
reached under the counter, pulled out the money bag, and peered
inside. Full of coins – they would be rich. He looked
out at Street Rat, raised the bag to show him, and Street Rat yelled
‘Now hurry, get out of there.’ Yet, as Dulliam began
climbing again over the counter, the strong hands of the fishmonger
grabbed him, called him a little larrikin, and took him to the back
room. ‘You will be in the gaol for a while, my young thief.
Whatever came into you to steal my money? Haven’t your
parent’s taught you anything?’ But Dulliam remained silent.
The fishmonger, not really wanting to report the lad, but not
knowing what else to do, collected his coat, and closed the store,
dragging the lad to the local magistrate’s office. He would
let the authorities deal with this little thief, it was their job
* * *
‘So, lord Garion, as you
can see Sendarian Justice has become ever more effective since my
Garion, looking through the report that King
Fulrach had given him to briefly examine, nodded slowly. ‘Yes,
I can see that Fulrach. Crime is down in many sectors. You
have done well, it seems.’
‘It is all about having a
strong hand of justice. It is what is required to run a
‘Yet mercy must not be lacking.’
is as you say,’ responded Fulrach. ‘Well, shall we visit
the magistrate then? Since we have come to Camaar we may as
well sit in on a judgement, and you can see for yourself how
effective Sendarian Justice has become.
responded Garion, eager to see Fulrach’s reforms at work
* * *
Dulliam looked up at the
impressive figure of the magistrate, awaiting his judgement.
crime is great, child. Yet you are still quite young. My
judgement is that you will spend the rest of your youth, until
adulthood, in the juvenile detention centre of Camaar. There
you will learn the right way.’ Dulliam just nodded, and as
the guard took him away he made no protest. At least he would
be fed and have a home.
In the gallery, looking on,
Garion motioned to Fulrach. ‘Can I speak with that lad? I
want to ask him some questions.’
‘As you wish,’
responded the King
Coming into a private chamber,
Dulliam was puzzled. The chamber was very expensive looking,
and he wondered why he should be brought to such a place. Suddenly
the door opened and an impressive looking man dressed in fine clothes
entered the room, coming to sit down next to him.
me, young Dulliam, where have you come from? They have been
unable to locate your parent’s, apparently.’
though, remained silent. He had not spoken yet of his parents,
and refused all questioning. Garion, sensing the child might be
an orphan, softened his voice. ‘Are your parent’s gone from
you? Gone to the grave? You can tell me Dulliam. I
am only here to help you.’
Dulliam, looking up at the kind
figure, finally nodded.
Garion looked at the child, a spirit
of pity and compassion suddenly coming over him, and just then he
knew exactly what request he wanted to make of Fulrach.
As the chariot sped along the Great Northern Road,
Dulliam looked out excitedly at the scenery. He was now off on
a new adventure, a new life, rescued by the man called Garion. He
did not know what the future held, or where he would be this time
next week, but it was better than living on the canals of Camaar, or
stuck in a juvenile detention centre. And looking up at the man
Garion seated next to him Dulliam sensed he had just begun a new
destiny, a new life, and things would never be quite the same again.
Thieves of Upper Gralt
and Justogo were incompetent thieves on a good day. They had
been the bane of the baron of Upper Gralt’s Marshall for many a
year, but today, so they told each other, the plot couldn’t fail.
They would steal pies – pies from Fendak the baker – and
feed themselves on them for a solid month.
gained a reputation as Upper Gralt’s finest baker, one in a long
family line of traditional bakers, and their store had been in
business for centuries. But when Fendak returned from a lunch
break just over the road at the local tavern to find that morning’s
assortment of pies no longer staying warm on top of the oven, he
suspected foul play. Who had stolen his pies?
the local Marshall had a number of likely suspects, and Blindrak and
Justogo’s names were mentioned amongst them, but proving the case
would be difficult.
It was then an old fellow, who had
visited Fendak from time to time, arrived on the scene, gravely
disappointed to not find any more pies for an afternoon snack. When
Fendak had declared the pies had been stolen, the old wizard Beldin,
beside himself with desire for yet another of those delicious
Graltian pies, tried his own trade to find the culprits –
He took out a wand, waved it at the top of the
oven and, the Marshall and the Baker following, they left the bakery
and trudged half way across town to a second rate doss house, were,
upon the marshal bursting through one of the room doors on the first
level, they found two sleeping thieves, and a cupboard full of
Well, Beldin was most pleased, was rewarded with a
number of the pies for his diligent service, and Blindrak and Justogo
found themselves, yet again, in the custody of the Marshall of Upper
Later on, reflecting on their briefly lived good
fortune, Justogo could only say to Blindrak, well at least we won’t
need to eat for a week or so, to which Blindrak glumly nodded, before
burping on the recently digested meal of chicken and vegetable pies.
in Upper Gralt
was a simple Sendarian. A life of remarkable normalcy, really,
apart from the grand day he, as a youth in his father’s service,
had been presented to King Fulrach who had been touring the kingdom.
But while the King had remarked that the pastries of the finest
baker of Upper Gralt were truly tasty, and had wondered who had made
such delicacies, he had not taken a great deal of interest when
Fendak himself was presented. But it had been a big deal for
Fendak, and he had informed all and sundry for many years since of
his marvellous meeting with the noble monarch.
days, instead, he delighted in his tasty pastries, as his substantial
girth truly testified to. But Fendak didn’t care.
Gralt was in the heart of Sendaria, not far from Erat. Not a
great deal happened in this village. But it didn’t need to as
far as Fendak was concerned. He liked the simple, basic life,
and the things of glory which the Overlord of the West, Lord
Belgarion, had pursued in his life – well such things were for
Pawns of Prophecy, not for the likes of simple old Fendak.
morning, rising early for the baking, an old man appeared at the
front of the store, eager to be let in. Fendak always took a
sale when he could, as his father had trained him for many long years
to make as much money as he could, so answered the request of the old
man for admittance into the store.
The old man inspected
the pastries, and suddenly another one appeared, seeming similar in
many ways, but a hunchback.
‘Well, Beldin. What
shall it be? This bakery has made fine food for centuries, a
well established family tradition I believe.’
interrupted Fendak. ‘Our family has run this bakery for well
over 500 years. We are proud of our tradition.’
the food must be good,’ commented the hunchbacked Beldin. ‘I
will take you at your word Belgarath. Anything will do.’
man, apparently named Belgarath, chose two pies, paid for them, and
the two of them, sitting out on the front of the store, consumed
their pies hastily.
Fendak, getting back to work,
thought on his life. It really was a simple life, really.
Feeding hungry old men. It would be something, though, if
some grand figure of the West, someone like old King Fulrach, came
and dined at his bakery some time. It would indeed be
something. But Upper Gralt was not exactly on the hit list for
the finery of the West after all, was it? No, of course not,
thought Fendak to himself, and got back to his work, the two men out
the front of the bakery finishing off their tasty pies.
was a regular type of young lady. Full of dreams about boys,
fantasies of being the bell of the Erat society scene, hopes of
marrying prince charming but, despite her best wishes, still stuck in
the most lowly of occupations as being a washer woman to bring home
finances for her often hungry family. She had 3 brothers, 3
sisters, an ancient and sick father who could no longer work, and a
mother who was always beside herself with her worries. It
seemed for young Jennavere that she was stuck – stuck here in Erat
in the nation of Sendaria – destined to live out her life as a
washer woman, loved by none, providing for her siblings
And then one day something changed.
old and ancient man, wrinkled beyond belief, showed up at the laundry
were she slaved away, muttering something about the frustrations of
being alive again. She asked him his name and wether he had
washing to do. He replied that he was the wizard Belsambar and,
yes, he did have some washing for her to take care of.
she sat there the old man began muttering on about his once past life
as a wizard of glory from the Vale of Aldur, and she just smiled at
his senility. A wizard indeed.
washing away, doing her work, when he said something she never
forgot. ‘And what do you want, dear Jennavere? Of all
the things you could wish in life, what do you wish for the
She looked at him, sighed, and responded. ‘Oh,
I don’t know. In the end I guess I am content with my lot in
life. Certainly, it’s not an easy life, but I know I am doing
the right thing sticking by my family and caring for my elderly
father. Really, I couldn’t wish for anything apart from his
good health and the family’s prosperity.’
nodded knowingly. He understood human dilemma.
well. I shall consult with Aldur, and you shall have your
wishes come true.’
She handed him his briefs and coat,
smiled. ‘Be sure to say hello from me.’
got to his feet, and meandered away.
‘What a strange old
man,’ she thought to herself.
The thing is, it didn’t
happen suddenly, but gradually over the next few months and year’s
things began to improve in the life of Jennavere. Against all
hope her father simply got better and went back to work at his old
firm. His mother’s attitude improved, and her two eldest
brothers found very good employment with a local merchant. And
all of a sudden they had good finances and were even considering
moving to a better part of town.
In fact, they did so,
and her dreams started coming true. She met prince charming at
an uptown boutique store, who invited her to the Earl of Erat’s
next ball. He gave her a lump sum for a pretty dress and her
mother fussed over her no end the night before the ball.
became the toast of the town, and married her prince charming. And
the life of the washer woman was forgotten forever.
later, an old man wandered into a familiar laundry, looked at a
desperate washerwoman, and said ‘Share me your woes, dear lady.’
And the rest, as they say, is history.
From the Life of Garion
‘Beloreon’ era - between the ‘Belgariad’ and the
surveyed the forest. He knew there were rabbits in large
quantity and, suddenly, spying one, he released his Falcon
‘Bronzeclaw’ and it flew swiftly, cornered the frightened
creature, and nabbed it, returning to Garion.
Bronzeclaw, making that familiar noise with his throat which seemed
to make the bird happy. He fed it some meat, small enough
chunks to pass the ring around its throat, and returned to his party.
He’d had enough hunting for the day.
of the West, slayer of Torak, Garion had a fearsome reputation
amongst the people of the Isle of the Winds. This week he was
inland, staying at a lodge of respectable elder of the land, enjoying
his Kingship. They had been out hunting for a while and
‘Durant’, the elder, had provided a Falcon for Garion, sharing
the noise which the Falcon responded to well. And he had taken
an instant liking to ‘Bronzeclaw’, for she was
These were quiet days, now, in the time of
the west. It seems as if a climax of millennia of expectations
had been reached, and now a quite aftermath followed. But,
still, there was something in Garion’s heart which told him his
adventures were not quite finished with yet. Not just yet.
they returned to the lodge he petted his bird. Hunting with a
bird was, of course, a traditional role of the King. And he
tried his best to live up to his Kingly expectations. The
people needed a King of the people, so his grandfather Belgarath
reminded him. Someone after their own heart. And Garion
tried his best to live up to his grandfather’s expectations, even
if at times he felt himself lacking.
always a handful, and had been ever more unfathomable of late,
moaning about this and that. But such were a woman’s ways,
and perhaps especially a Tolnedran woman’s.
at his falcon. Perhaps the Falcon had concerns, as all
creatures likely did. Worrying about its meals, its mates.
Perhaps they were its concerns. But, for Garion, he
wondered could the life of a Bronze Falcon truly be as complicated as
King of the West? He truly wondered that indeed.
was a citizen of Sendaria, living in the city of Darine on the gulf
of Cherek. He was a simple man, a fisherman. And he lived a simple
life and had simple ways. He worked in the afternoons bringing in the
fish from the gulf, because his permit only permitted him afternoon
fishing, not the morning allotment, which was reserved for those of
the Darine Fishing Guild, which he had been barred entrance to for
grave violations of procedures in younger years. As such, his harvest
was not always as good as those of the morning, but his family got by
none the less. Karnik had two daughters, strong daughters, who were
nearly ready to come out fishing with him, and a lame son, whose legs
didn't work properly. Dunkar was the pride of Karnik's life,
regardless, as the lad showed competency in scholarly pursuits, and
in the chair with wheels the engineering school of Darine had
provided for Dunkar, upon the lad's own design, he managed to get
around somwhat. He wanted to work on the Darine council, so he
maintained. Even a cripple can have a future, Karnik thought to
himself, if he didn't give up hope.
two daughters were Estla and Jandy. They were the pride of his life,
but his wife loved them with all her heart. His wife maintained the
family home, a pretty lady, with a good figure still, despite her
three children, and Karnik thanked the gods of the Alorns for
providing him with such a good wife.
morning, Karnik was scrubbing off barnacles from the bottom of his
fishing boat, which had been raised up on land, and his daughter
Estla was busy working with him.
One day, when I am working with you, will I be able to register with
the guild? Perhaps they might accept me.'
if you are married to another registered man,' replied Karnik. 'What,
have you met someone in those outings you and your sister go to?'
know, father, I have never minded this work. Since 12 when you
brought me in, I have worked faithfully with you.'
I have appreciated it,' he responded. 'Would be lost without you
both, especially as Dunkar can not involve himself, may the gods have
mercy on him.'
she replied. 'But, if I were to ever, you know, find someone. And was
led elsewhere, you would cope wouldn't you?'
looked at her, and softened. 'Sendaria is a busy nation, with lots of
growing enterprises. If you find a man with a prospering trade, you
have my blessing.'
you father,' she said, and continued on with their hard work.
Do you ever wonder if King Belgarion will visit Darine? We have been
promised a visit for many years now.'
am sure the king is busy enough,' responded Karnik. 'Don't go losing
yourself in fantasies of royalty, daughter. Ours is a simple life.'
she replied. 'But wouldn't it be wonderful. To live in Riva and dine
with Kings and Queens. All the world at your disposal, and everything
you could ever want.'
mad god's called Torak ready to slay you at a moment's notice,'
father,' she responded, and returned to her work.
a while she began speaking again.
being a wizard. Like Belgarath. With all that power, and all those
spells. It would be amazing. Doing magic. Amazing.'
you would live alone in an ivory tower in Algaria, and the birds
would be your only company,' responded Karnik. 'Now stop this
daydreaming, and get back to work.'
father,' she replied sombrely.
a while though, yet again.
being the serpent Queen of Nyissa. Everyone would fear you and you
could have all that power and fame.'
had had enough.
beink Karnik fisherman of Darine. With the most airy fairy daughters
in all the world, who can NEVER keep their minds on their job.'
giggled. 'Sorry father. I'll get to work.'
after a while.
as soon as she spoke, her father bellowed 'ESSTTLAAA!'
a peep she made the rest of the morning, and looked softly at her
father all the time because of it.
so life passed on in Darine, and none of the citizens of Sendaria
were wiser to the imaginations of Estla, daughter of Karnik. None at
of the Barrens
Sheldath lived in the Barrens in north-west Mallorea, away from
civilization, in desolate world of frugal living and isolationism.
But that is how her father liked it. He was in exile from Sendaria,
and had crossed the land bridge 20 years ago with his young family,
but gone north, and not south, and found a somewhat less barren part
of the barrens, with a small stream, and some wild goats. They had
gathered the goats, and had regular milk, and with the seed he had
brought, sowed potatoes and pumpkins and other vegetables, and, as
time passed, lived on goat's milk, cheese, meat and whatever
vegetables grew in their harsh climate. It was cold in winter, very
cold, but Zebna didn't mind. She was used to that now. There was not
a boy to marry in all the world, of course, and at 25 she was a young
maiden with no prospects. Bur father had promised, one day, one day
he would venture down south to Mallorea proper and find a husband for
his daughter, one who didn't mind the barrens, and the extremes of
made string from goats hide, and one of her jobs was to use that
string and sow goat's hides together to make clothing and bedding and
footwear. She was good at it after many years, and while, in many
ways she felt angry at her father, she kept that anger in check, and
prayed to Ul, which the family called their own god, and asked him to
forgive her for her abrupt attitude towards her dad. She was sure he
then, one day, they walked in. Two vagrant sort of looking fellas,
one younger, and one older, and they said they had come to judge
Zebna, for they were judges of Ul.
daughter is innocent. She has not known a man,' said Zebna's father.
old man looked at the man, and nodded. 'But it is her soul we want to
look at. Let her speak.'
was cautious. 'I. I am 25. I have not known a man. But I have not
known anything in this forsaken place we call home. I never have. I
am bitter. In my heart I am bitter at my parents, but I have finally
come to accept that this is life. That this is my lot in it all. And
that dad will find my husband from Mallorea, but even then, I will
never leave this place.'
old man looked at her, but it was the younger who spoke.
have spoken your heart. Are you angry at your father?'
can you forgive him?' asked the young man.
looked at her father and softened. 'I love my father. You must know
that. With all my heart. And while this life is too much, one might
think for any girl from Sendaria, I accept the fate the gods have
given us, and will endure it to the end.'
two doomsayers consulted.
are a worthy daughter of your father,' said the old man. 'He is
rightly proud of you, as I can tell he is.'
you,' said Zebna.
left then, and as the year passed, and her father returned from the
south with a competent man of working abilities, but a little thick,
she did not complain. He was attractive enough, and pledged his
as the years passed, and Zebna had her own family, she remembered her
judgement, and remembered that, in an impossible world of gods and
strange destinies, even Zebna Sheldath must walk the pathway given to
Proud Son of Sendaria
you, Jacon. What do you think of Sendaria’s role in the
Jacon was an intelligent young 18 year old
Sendarian, hailing from Erat, but now studying at Camaar.
think Sendaria has much to offer the world, Hemlyn. Our wines
are universally acknowledged as the best the west has to offer. We
have fruit and vegetables found nowhere else, and our bakers are
amongst the finest there is. But, I feel, our destiny is in
‘Palagon’. I feel if we promote our premiere sport to the
world, as we have been gradually doing, Sendarian fame will last
forever. Rumour has it that even King Garion in his youth at
Faldor’s farm played a variant of Palagon while it was in its
younger years of developments.’
‘I am not sure if
Palagon stretches back that many centuries, Jacon, but possibly.
Never the less, you have answered well.’
sat there in his university class, pleased at himself. He had
answered well, and thought he had made a positive
Later on, after class, he sat in the
library doing his studies and opposite him sat down a girl, about 19,
with a book on ancient legends. It had a picture of King Garion
in his prime on it, and Jacon was instantly interested.
are you looking up,’ he asked the girl.
‘Oh, nothing in
particular. Just taking a break from my regular studies.’
like the picture of King Garion on the cover.’
to it. Yes. Yes, it is a good one. But I am one of
those who wonder, you know, if he will ever return from the far
reaches of Zhadora.’
‘Eventually, I think,’ responded
Jacon. ‘But the west is prospering these days under the
Royal Family of Riva, and while the ancient patriarchs are gone
from us yet to return, we are sufficing. We are doing
‘Yes. Yes we are,’ she responded. My
name is Jantie. What is your name?’
really. That is my brother’s name as well.’
world,’ he responded.
They continued chatting about
this and that and Jacon found himself making a new friend. Always
a good thing, he thought to himself.
Outside the world
of Camaar and Sendaria continued on, as it had done so for many ages,
going through its life and progress in both cultural and
technological advances. It was a new world Sendaria was
embracing, a world of continuing advances in science, and great
advances in economics and industry. It was a brave new world in
many ways, and a world of great hope and opportunity for a proud
young Sendarian such as Jacon, son of Jaldo.
is it?' asked Jantie.
an ancient artefact,' said Jacon, about the orb which he was holding.
like the orb,' she said. 'King Belgarion's orb.'
not the same,' said Jacon. 'I was given it. By an old man. A man with
an ancient looking face in many ways, but he was only about 60. Said
his name was Beldin, and I had been entrusted to be the 'Gatherer'.'
don't know, Jantie. But he also said that this was one of 70 brothers
and sisters. That's what he called them. And that many were
supposedly good, and some evil, and some neither good nor bad. They
were special stones, so he said. And the future of the world is found
said Jandie. 'What are you going to do with it?'
don't know. But I will keep it. Beldin said he would return to visit
me again in a while, and would give me further information on what I
am supposed to do with this. It could be fantastic whatever it is.'
touched his shoulder. 'You don't think you could be getting into
something you can't get out of. Look at all the perils King Belgarion
went through. He had to fight wars and, after all was done, still
kill a god to find peace. With something like that in your life,
Jacon, you will never find any rest.'
how can we escape our destiny?' asked the youth.
don't know,' she repsonded.
do I,' he said fearfully.
looked at the orb all that week as he went about his last year's
studies at Camaar University. He anxiously waited for Beldin, who did
not yet show, and as he studied the orb, and grew familiar with it,
he felt this strange sense of comfort in its presence. Like,
somewhere inside his head, it was talking to him, making friends with
him, letting him know he was trusted and valued. But how could that
be? How could something as impossible as that ever really happen? He
studied the orb, and continued on his studies, and, as he finished
his year, and gained his degree, he made his farewells to Jantie, and
promised to visit her soon enough, as he made his way back to his
home of Erat.
the orb was always on his mind, and as he found suitable work in
Erat, his parents being rightly proud of him, he could sense, in his
heart, there was a destiny at work. Some strange new destiny, which
involved his own special orb, and a fight between the powers which be
which would shape Sendaria and the world for all time to come.
Thomas Andrew Daly
Eddings – The Master
from the sacred, holy and hidden text ‘The Heart of Creation’,
revealed to the High Priest of the Ulgos, from the face of Ul, after
the smiting of ‘Sardius’.
the beginning of things, Ul was alone. He existed in solitude,
in perfect peace, in harmony with himself. And then new life
and creation entered the heart and mind of Ul, and he foresaw what
Seven ‘Gods’ were to be the heart of Creation, yet rivalry and
war were inevitable….. A sacred stone divided them, and Ul split
the stone asunder for purposes he would not speak of. Yet, in
the fullness of time, such stones would see their destiny, and the
fate of life would be chosen one way or another. The Seven gods
were part of the making of many worlds, yet on one world they settled
their hearts, and it became the centre of their attention and the
heart of their desires.
strove with Aldur, yet ‘Yaska’ smote him in its judgement, as Ul
knew it would, for such had been his forethoughts. Yet
‘Sardius’ lusted after Torak’s purposes, and fell to earth in
Zamad to achieve his aims. For ‘Sardius’ had long striven
with ‘Yaska’, and in them the embodiment of goodness found home
in ‘Yaska’ and the embodiment of evil found home in ‘Sardius’.
And these were the two primal and opposing forces of the ‘One
Stone’. Yet they were not alone, for 70 divisions of the
stone had come forth, even if the power of the other 68 could not
rival the fame and grandeur of ‘Sardius’ and ‘Yaska’.
Yet these ‘Starstones’ as Ul had called them were to be
instrumental in the future and destiny of the world.
the defeat and smiting of ‘Sardius’ by ‘Yaska’, peace
prevailed at last. But in the nature of life conflict does not
simply cease, for life is a turmoil of emotion and vibrancy, and
destiny always answers in the most unexpected ways. And, soon,
Yaska shall be alive in flesh, as she has long desired, but ‘Sardius’
will be born anew, retreating to its prior host before the fateful
choice was made, and seeking her will, in time, to be born alive into
the future of the world. But such a reawakening is for a time
before the ‘One Stone’ was formed, there were two principles
established from which the ‘One Stone’ found its balance.
‘Light’ and ‘Dark’. Yet they were not a ‘Light’ and
‘Dark’ of moral nature, but ones of the natural order, preceding
such morals, by which life was undertaken. And the ‘Sunstone’
of light was chosen to guard a particular people, and the ‘Moonstone’
was chosen to guard yet others. And these greater and lesser
lights would serve man and be the way in which he would see and live
the Doomsayers would one day seek their destiny, coming from the
earlier worlds of Ul’s creation, and they would come to the world,
and seek its judgement after the fateful battle between Yaska and
Sardius had taken place. For they would judge the world for the
good and evil it had done.
the guardian of the Moonstone, ‘The Oracle of Justice’, could
speak in the worlds defense, yet he would only do so should ‘Sardius’
choice show signs of remorse. And, nay, only if Sardius prior
choice likewise soften in heart. And then, in such repentance
and sorrow, Sardius would be forgiven and reborn, and he would know
the heart of Yaska, and the world divided would be again as one.
if such came to pass, the guardian of the Sunstone would consent to
dwell with the children of men, for such would be the fate of the
‘Oracle of Love’.
then, in time, the destiny of the other 68 ‘Starstones’ would
manifest, throughout the ages of men, and chart their eternal destiny
in the plans of Ul, the one who is…
Brooded. Ul had chided him again and again, yet the god of
destruction paid no heed. He cared not. His slaying had
been the ultimate act of humiliation, unable to escape the prophecy
of destiny that Ul had been mastermind behind. And now he
brooded, caught up in a deathly afterlife, tormented by his father,
unable to see any of his brethren.
then, the gods took council, and forgave Torak, deeming he had
learned his lesson. But Ul knew more wisely.
in the abode of darkness, beyond all light, Torak looked at the
helpless figure, caught up in her wickedness. And an idea
permeated his mind, and idea of revenge, wrath and delusion.
And the Mad God Torak looked upon this figure and the name
‘Belzandramas’ entered his head. And then he chuckled with
a most evil chuckle, and a new prophecy began forming in the mind of
Ul, the eternal God.
* * * *
studied the Mrin Codex. Ce Nedra, in the background, was busily
at work, as had become her manner, preparing the nightly meal.
It was simple now, Belgarian thought to himself. Very simple.
Here he was, living on Faldor’s farm, away from the limelight of
Riva and Kingship, which had been turned over to Belgeran. For
he had, in a way, abdicated to choose the simple life. The life
he had been brought up with, when things were innocent and new.
When, perhaps, he had been a more naïve lad, unaware of prophecies
and orbs and Mad god’s called Torak.
had craved this for so long, living in Riva, with all his
responsibilities. And, while for so long it had seemed as if
the glory of Kingship would be a glory to last forever, something had
seemed lacking. And so, Ce Nedra in tow, he had returned to
Sendaria, purchased the land and farm, and reclaimed his lost youth.
And he had never, really, been happier.
fact, he was Garion again. He had made a decision, a simple
decision, that Garion was who he was, and that the power of Bel did
not need to claim his heart. Garion was his name, and that
looked over at the orb, sitting on the mantelpiece, glowing calmly
and happily. It was like that these days, radiating warmth and
friendliness. Teaching him, in his dreams and waking hour’s
simpler things of life. Simpler things which took over from the
grand epics of glory. And he was content in these simpler
things, happily residing with Ce Nedra, occasionally partaking of
visitors of his old friends.
Wolf came every now and again, and Aunt Polgara. They came,
chatting about this and that, often in heated disputation. But
that was the charming life he knew in those two and, seemingly,
things would never change.
left off his studies and walked to the window, looking out at the
farm. He remembered those days long ago, of bokking chickens
and mooing cows. And how simple and easy life had been under
Faldor’s guidance and Durnik’s steady walk. And thinking
how good those simpler things were, a knock came to the door, and
destiny intruded once more on the life of Garion, son of Geran.
the message from the deliverer, Garion re-entered the house, and sat
down to read it.
of life are never seen to eyes in shadowy realm,
this it seems I truly mean the dark is where I dwell.
life is forfeit, deathly foe, my vengeance will be sure,
death’s dark blade of purest might comes knocking on your door.’
excerpt from the ‘Chronicle of Torak’
that was all the message read.
was at the door, Garion?’
just a message Ce Nedra.’
don’t think so.’
looked at the message again and considered its origin. It was a
prank, surely. Surely a prank. He had never heard of the
Chronicle of Torak and believed it some fraud, the product of a
grudge from an old enemy of the king. Surely that was all it
was. But he would show it to Belgarath when he next visited and
ask his grandfathers opinion. He would not be too hasty to
throw out this message – life had taught him caution, and ignoring
threats was not always the best and wisest course of action.
put it away, in a drawer, and went off to dinner. But it was on
his mind all that night – most definitely on his mind.
* * * *
Unalive. Unbeing. Unknown. Undead. But now,
suddenly, aware. Aware of herself and a name – a name which,
somehow, was not quite what it had been, but was now something new.
Born again, as it where, from a spirit of unbeing to a spirit of
power, madness and wrath. Most definitely a spirit of wrath.
surveyed her surroundings. They looked familiar yet not.
A mountain, a large mountain, covered with grass and trees.
Yet, looking down to the base, ice everywhere. Nothing but ice
as far as she could see. And then, turning her head, she
surveyed the entire circumference of the mountain – a neverending
parade of ice, in all directions. She was stranded. Yet,
quickly, the instincts came to the fore. Finely tuned survival
instincts, from a spirit of life carefully guided to the fulfilment
of darkness, as she knew so truly. And then, a thought. A
boy. A Man. A King. Belgarion, yes, that was his
name. And another, a seeress. A seeress who had made a
dreadful choice and vanquished her as a result. And then,
peering into her own heart, she found the secret. The dreadful,
wicked secret, some being had placed there.
be so obvious’, it had said. ‘Don’t be so obvious.’
And then she delighted in the dark, amazing evil in her soul.
And vengeance seemed so pleasant. So deliciously pleasant.
* * * *
far you have fallen, Kheldar. How far you have fallen.’
call me that. It’s Silk, okay. Like the old days.’
nodded. ‘So, what’s next for the prince of thieves?
have business in Mallorea. Up north. There is a
merchantman who has an item, a particular item, which is of interest
Scroll. A scroll, just emerged. Beldin mentioned it.
Said it is a new one, but an old one. Gave me some confusing
explanation. Wants me to obtain it – said he’d make it
worth my while.’
to Mallorea it is. Oh, and can we avoid going through Thull
like the last time. I don’t want to run into Jandok.
His threats were not nice, Silk. Not nice.’
prettiness of Thullian maidens if often hard to resist, dear Barak,
especially for one as smooth as myself. And now that I am alone
again, well, she was willing and wanting and I could not say no.’
befits a prince of your kind,’ said Barak, a grin on his face.
across from the land bridge, up near the coast. A small
village, Lameth. This merchantmen trades in pearls and gold and
silver, but has interest in things religious and prophetical.
Apparently he acquired the scroll from a mad priest, dressed in brown
robes, muttering something about the end of the world. A
‘Doomsayer’ he called him.’
What is all that about?’
idea Barak,’ responded Silk. ‘But I surmise we will find
out soon enough.’
to Mallorea it is. Are you paying for the ale?’
gave him a look, was about to suggest something rather rude as to
Barak’s current lack of funds, but went and paid for the ale.
Exiting the inn from somewhere in southern Arendia they returned to
their horses, and got under way. Looking at the sun, which was
late in sky, Silk thought over his life. He was ageing, now.
Much older. But adventure was still in the heart of Kheldar and
he sensed with this scroll something new in the air. Something
that was fundamental to all Alorns and Angaraks as well.
Something quite fundamental.
* * * *
sat on the donkey as her father led it carefully through the dark,
enchanted forest. ‘I don’t think I have been to this part
of Karanda before. Are you sure this is the right place?’
keep asking, Pol. Have a little faith. Beldin insisted
that the monastery, as they call it, was around here somewhere.
Deep into the forest.’
I’ll trust you. I don’t like it, but for once old fool I
will give you a break.’
travelled on through the dark twilight. Somehow, despite it
being bright and sunny outside the forest, they seemed to have
entered a twilight realm. A realm beyond Mallorea, almost
otherlike. Yet, presumably, always having been there. He
remembered what Beldin said.
you cross beyond the edge of nothing, remember you will find darkness
there. A darkness which Torak himself feared. So beware.’
laughed to himself. High drama was not always the way of
Beldin, but something had happened to him just recently. An
encounter with Ul which had changed him. A dark, dramatic
encounter, in which the Father God had given him portents of
destruction to chill the bones.
they walked along, the leaves rustling in the wind, both of them
feeling as if dark eyes were watching them, eyes set on malevolence,
eyes foreboding trouble, eyes with no good will. But perhaps
they were just whispers of darkness, and perhaps that is all they
were. Belgarath was old, now, ancient in many ways. But
here, beyond the edge of nothing, he sensed something he had never
quite encountered. A spirit, an aura, which could perhaps be
only called evil. Or haunting at the very least.
thought back to younger years, years encountering dark wizards and
evil sorcerers. Years in which his knowledge, skill and talents
had been put to the test. Yet somehow, in this dark place, his
faith in his abilities had vanished, and it was with tender treading
of foot that this warrior wizard walked onwards, carefully guiding
the donkey, hoping not to disturb those dark whispers who wanted no
then, a clearing, and safety. For there, rising up in front of
them, apparently what could only be the monastery and a lake beside
it, with the most beautiful garden of trees.
the orb,’ said Polgara, as they came out of the dark into the
then, looks like the place,’ said Belgarath.’
would surmise as much myself, father.’
continued to walk on, coming to the monastery itself, with large
wooden doors. Belgarath looked around. ‘We knock I
would consider that a good idea,’ said Polgara sarcastically.
knocked and they waited. After 5 minutes of patience, no
response forthcoming, he knocked again, but still no answer.
Frustrated he came to sit down next to Polgara who had just returned
with 2 pieces of fruit from the garden, and handing one to her
father, began eating.
they are busy, or absent at the moment.’
we enter?’ inquired Polgara.
not sure. They might consider that rude. Karandan’s are
always difficult to understand.’
they are Karandan’s. We don’t know were these doomsayers
come from – they are so different, so other, to anything I have
come from Karadarak, and speak of ‘Auarii’,’ responded
Belgarath. I have conversed with one in some detail. This
is the next chosen ‘Realm’ as they call it to suffer the
are you speaking of old man?’
are now Karandan’s by choice, so they claim. But they are
other in origin. An origin not of our world. The place,
‘Karadarak’ is on another world, another planet, were a testing
took place. A testing in which the inhabitants came through on
their faith. They passed the testing and the ‘Doomsayers’
have now come here. For we are the next world on their agenda.’
have you not shared this with me before?’
time is right now, daughter. You did not need to know
looked at him, thought of arguing, but then thought better of it.
‘So, what was it that Beldin asked of Silk?’
is acquiring a scroll for us. Part of a new Chronicle. A
new Chronicle which is part of an ancient Chronicle. Something
beyond time and space.’
speak in riddles. Become clear to me father.’
speaks of words Ul shared with him, but will say nothing more than
that which I have said. Nothing much more, that is.’
looked at him, just shook her head, and took another bite of her
you are still young daughter. Not ready, I think, for such
things as I would speak of. For I fear your impetuosity in
confronting that which you are not ready for.’
am near as old as you, old man. Do not speak to me like a
came over, held her by the shoulders, and spoke softly. ‘But
you are my child, Polgara. You have always been as such, and I
love you dearly. And I would not lose you for your headstrong
attitudes. I would not lose you.’
softened, and looked at him. ‘Yes, I understand.’
sat there, after a while taking a drink from the well, and having a
look around. The building was quite large, like Belgarath’s
own tower, and similar in spirit in some ways. But after they
gently tried opening the front doors, which appeared to be the only
way in, and finding them locked, they were becoming quite
frustrated. And then Belgarath noticed a button of sorts, a
metallic button near the door. Coming over to it he pushed it,
and with some effort it went in and immediately a bell inside the
door began ringing.
should have known that,’ said Polgara.
we are just getting old,’ responded Belgarath.
a few moments they heard footfalls on the other side of the door, and
a window opened with a man looking at them. He gazed at them,
said nothing though, and then closed the window. Shortly though
the door opened and he came out to greet them, dressed in long brown
am Napier. Are you the wizard? Are you Beldin?’
responded Belgarath. ‘I am Belgarath, his associate.’
nodded. ‘Good, good. Then please come in. We
would have words with you, Belgarath. We would have words with
you.’ With those words said Napier turned and entered the
monastery, and Belgarath, giving Polgara a cautious look, followed
Polgara into the unknown.
* * * *
looked at the ship. ‘Are you sure it’s safe?’
might be old, but I am sure it will get us there. Don’t worry
Silk. Don’t worry.’
don’t worry.’ They boarded the ‘Old Warrior’, as the
ship was called, and Juntarr the captain gave them a nod, happy to
have paying customers. The ship set sail a few hours later, and
as they made their way towards Mallorea, the sea air in his lungs,
Silk considered the future. Dark times lay ahead, it seemed,
for the world. Dark times in which many would fear and worry.
Common souls, not given over to concerns of prophecies and mad gods.
Common souls, caught up in a frenzy of fear. This is what
Beldin spoke of, what the doomsayers spoke of. A time of
testing, a time of worry. As they sailed along, Barak handing
him a leg of chicken and a mug of apple cider, Silk gave quiet
thought to his own view on what Beldin had raised. Ul was
approaching a new time in the realm of the gods, and choices were
being made. Choices of life and death. There was a
place prepared for the Alorns and the Angaraks and the Malloreans.
And a place prepared for those of the other continents, Yulenthea and
Junissa. But a testing was to come – a testing from these
dread doomsayers. And to gain that place in the life hereafter,
only those whose faith was sure would see the testing through.
And this testing of faith, which Beldin spoke of, coming from the
eldest god, was to sort them out. To make men of them. To
bring forth a new world, unlike the old one, the one passing away,
the one to be gone forever. Silk trusted Ul, though he knew him
not, but the new world dawning. What that spoke of? Well,
time would tell.
sat down, drinking his mug of ale, smiling to himself. Life was
good again, now. He was old, but felt young. Felt young
in his spirit, alive to life. A quiet joy was in his heart, and
things were good again. The vigour of youth was still in his
bones, and Barak, as always, a brave companion through which he saw
the struggles of life. Yes life was good, but the testing was
at hand. And a quiet prayer to Ul was upon him later that night
as he prepared for the trials of the heart.
* * * *
found the cave after a week of eating berries and drinking snow.
It led for a lengthy mile, illuminated by glowing rock. In the
heart of the mountain she found the well. A pool, crystal
clear, with liquid bluey green in colour. It wasn’t water.
It wasn’t something she was at all familiar with. But it
seemed to be all that this mountain had to offer and so, not thinking
any thing could possibly go wrong, put her hand in the pool and
stirred the water, almost instinct-like. And then something
happened. Voices began speaking, quickly, many of them, mostly
female, but the occasional male. And then, suddenly, springing
up out of the pool little boxes of light, boxes in which faces were
seen. And then, after a while, these faces were the voices
speaking. They danced through the cave, some chasing each
other, some having fun and laughing, some buzzing around over
Belzandramas’ head. And then, seemingly satisfied, they came
and hovered over Belzandramas, and looked at her. A male
spoke. ‘Bellie, bellie, bellie. You do look pretty,
don’t you.’ Belzandramas remained silent. ‘Well, no
matter. No matter.’
female spoke. ‘So, what next Belzandramas? Do you
why?’ asked the male.
was about to answer, but softened, and sat on the floor to think
about that. After a few moments of contemplation she began to
sense something changing in her mind, something from a new choice she
had made. A wiser choice. ‘Power, then. Ruling
all, being goddess of glory?’
asked a female.
she thought on the answer, the most obvious one, but then considered
it would be mine to decide the fate of all who are. They could
be crushed by my merest whim.’
good,’ said a voice, and flew away to look over the cave.
that is what you want then?’ asked the woman again.
looked at her, softened again, and thought of something new.
what do you suggest I seek, spirits of wisdom?’
really is up to you. But some things are better than others.
Some things are wiser than others. Some things last longer than
others. And a matter of the heart always rules over a matter of
the head, dear Zandramas. Always.’
looked through cold eyes, but softened again. ‘My name is
Belzandramas. That is my new name. The old one is gone
now, gone forever.’
you see fit,’ said the woman. ‘As you see fit. Well,
we do have a task for you. Complete this task and you will gain
a reward. A reward we are sure you will enjoy.’
you wanted anyway. Torak needs a consort, and we have chosen
yourself. There is a destiny now, and 3 nations are part of
that destiny. Torak desires to rule each, but your task is
this. Betrothe him, wed him, marry him, and help him to
accomplish all he desires. Yet prevent him, if you can, from
his goals. Prevent him from ruling these 3 nations, and let not
your heart betray yourself, or be given away. For if you can
lead him down the destiny we have chosen, those 3 nations will belong
to you. But if you fail, and he gains one, you will not have
your reward. But there are certain terms. You must tell
him to conquer these nations, encourage him to rule, to raise up
Mallorea and conquer the west. To be king and god and ruler of
all. For war is in his heart, in his blood, and you must aid
him to conquer each Kingdom. But if he does, if you can not
through your charms and cunning ways prevent him from doing so, by
whatever means you so choose, then he will reign, and you shall not
have your reward. But if you succeed, if he fails, then the
reward will be great. Indeed eternal, Belzandramas.
then they all smiled at her, played around one last time, and
disappeared back into the pool. And Belzandramas knew then her
mission, and was away, headed out of the cave, headed for Mallorea,
and her meeting with destiny.
* * * *
sat in front of the fire. Ce Nedra was lying against him,
drifting off to sleep, seemingly not concerned about things.
And then he heard the crowd. Rising to his feet he went to the
window to see many people gathered outside, holding torches. He
went to the door, opened it, and a group of fifty or so local
villagers stood there, looking at him menacingly. And then a
figure dressed in brown robes came forth from them, looked at him and
yelled ‘Heretic. The wrath of Ul is on you. You are an
abomination in his eyes.’ And the villagers, all fearing the
man, just glared at Garion.
looked a little nervous, thought of fetching the orb, but told
himself to remain calm. Words of Belgarath echoed through his
pressure, stay calm. Think carefully.’ He surveyed the
man who continued to glare at him, dressed in the brown robes with a
rope around the waist. His head was shaved in a circular
fashion at the top, a deliberate bald spot, and he held a black,
leather-bound book. Garion spoke slowly ‘Friend. I am
no heretic, I assure you. I am King of the west, King
Belgarion. I simply dwell here now and my son rules in my stead
at Riva. What concerns you?’
man glared at him, turned to the crowd, and opened his book.
And then he began speaking. ‘Thus saith Ul, the god of
god’s. Beware the power of the king, for in his pride he
shall exalt his heart above menfolk, believing himself superior,
believing himself the one. He lives only to rule you, not to
care for you, not to heal you, not to bring you wealth or goodness.
He lives for himself and his own glory. So tear down these
pillars, and be as one. The word of Ul has spoken.’
crowd nodded. ‘Yes brother,’ one of the villagers spoke.
‘We believe that Ul has spoken, and we will follow Ul our God.’
we will,’ responded the crowd. The brother turned to Garion,
a mad look of zeal on his face, seemingly satisfied with the victory
of faith he had achieved. ‘You will come with us, now.
And we will take you to judgement. You will taste fear, oh
king. You will taste fear.’
looking at the villagers, knew they were serious. But he would
have faith. ‘Let me kiss my wife, and I will come.’
The brother nodded, and Garion hastened inside. He grabbed the
Mrin Codex, the orb, kissed Ce Nedra without waking her, and hastened
outside. They took him then, brought him to a cart and placed
him there, in chains, to lead him off. As they drove along
Garion stayed calm. They would see reason, he knew as much in
the end. The orb softly whispered as such to him. But for
now he was concerned. Something was wrong in Sendaria,
something was wrong. And he sensed, in the air, a new spirit
had come forth. A new spirit which might, just might, not be
for the good of everyone.
* * * *
was dead, gone. Gone to were he could not return. But
another child had been born, born not far from Faldor’s farm, to an
innocent Sendarian family, full of simple things and quiet joys.
She was Gemma, a pleasant girl, now 12, full of life and love,
friendly to all, with no enemies. And when she saw Garion being
led away, she followed at a distance, hopeful to try and free him
somehow, for she believed in her king, and new him to be a good man.
They were wrong, the villagers, and the ‘Brother’ should not be
listened to. There was something not right about him.
Something in his eyes, in his manner, in the way he spoke to people.
A sneering attitude. A pride which felt itself better than
others, as if he was the special chosen one of Ul, which so he
claimed. She didn’t believe him – she didn’t believe him
at all. And if she had not known that her King had slain Torak,
she would have believed the mad god risen from death.
she followed along, the villagers began singing and praising Ul, and
the brother seemed to grow in mad delight. Things were not
good, now. Darkness was here, and it was not going away.
But she had hope – she had hope. And with that hope she would
persevere until the truth came forth, and the darkness left, left her
land and left the west forever.
* * * *
then an hour of darkness befell the west, and the sun was dim for a
while, and people fell to fear, and the doomsayers spread even more
so, speaking of the final end of time, and the end of what was to be,
and the final day of judgement.
three provinces long had a custom of infighting. But, hey,
Yulenthean’s had never really given a damn about keeping peaceful
ways, stuck down on the southern part of the world, away from the
larger continents, in the cold extremes of the planet. Kmran,
which never ceased to claim the founding of ‘Yulen’, always
bragged of being the oldest of the three provinces, and suggested to
the other two, quite often, they should show them the respect they
deserved. Millennia of warfare, and occasional tribute, still
had not brought such respect, but nobody cared that much in the end
anyway. That was a Yulenthean spirit – not caring that much.
The southern province, ‘Shrar’, liked to think itself superior
due to its greater wealth. They had much gold and precious
gems, and felt itself the true province of desire. Yet Braed,
the eastern province, was the largest, and made its own boast based
usually on this and other such arguments. They fought, it was
Yulenthean civil war every century or so, but somehow, someway, in
Yulen peace treaties eventually came forth and disputes were
city of Yulen lay at the crossroads, as it were, of the three
provinces. Right in the heart of Yulenthea, on the coast of the
main inlet of the continent, the provincial borders went northwards
and eastwards, dividing the continent into three neat and even
chunks. Yulen, for most Yulentheans, was usually were the
action was, and home to over 20 million souls, divided evenly amongst
each province as the provincial borders ran through the heart of the
city. Right on the coast itself, right were the borders all
lined up, sat the Palace of Yulenthea, the place of the Yulenthean
Monarchy. As you may expect, it was a fractured monarchy much
of the time, an endless parade of royal houses all usurping one
another for a time period in traditional rules of combat and glory,
claiming the throne, and ruling their world. Many a house had
ruled more than once, some even three or four times. But that
was the game, as it was called. The game of rulership, the
monarchy of power, and no house really was given to quitting on that
current house of glory were the Dalkindo’s, a traditional Braedan
house. They had not ruled before, and had been in the seat of
power for quite some time now. In fact, four centuries, and
they still saw no sign of being taken. The current monarch,
Jezabel Dalkindo, spoke of a more sensible spirit having pervaded
Yulenthea, one of an apathy in which peace seemed suitable for a
time, for a while. And most Yulentheans did not object that
much, going about the regular humdrum of everyday life, pursuing
their own private agendas, goals and dreams of glory. But there
was one Yulenthean, one in particular, which had ambition.
Definite ambition. Jek Barder saw himself fit to be king of the
Yulentheans, and while he was gifted with intelligence and good
looks, his lack of fighting ability spoke of a dream of kingship
which, while hoped for dearly, remained just that – a dream.
You see, the challenge was about the only way, in the end, to take
the throne for any length of time. It was an unwritten custom,
or perhaps expectation, in Yulenthea, that to take the throne a duel
must ultimately take place. And Jek Barder could not fight.
But he was smart, cunning and wise, successful in business, and with
an aptitude to increase in knowledge. What he lacked in
physical prowess he made up for with his wit, and with that
particular wit he planned, every few weeks, about how he might just
achieve the glory he sought. It would happen one day, of that
he was certain. But for now, while he planned valiantly, it was
business as usual, and their were customers to see to.
bell rang and coming to the front of the shop, a figure stood before
him, dressed in long brown robes, a rope tied around his waist, and
his hair cut in a fashion which made a bald spot in the centre.
And he was carrying a black leather book.
said Jek. ‘Would you like some fish? We have a fine
have not come for fish, brother. Not to catch fish at all.
For I am a fisher of men, and he who is has called you into his
looked at the man, and laughed to himself. ‘Well, if you
don’t want any fish, how about an umbrella. We have a good
stock in, all the way from Junissa. Sturdy, reliable ones.
They work well.’
fear not the rain, brother. For the latter rain is a blessing
and it is now raining from heaven upon the kingdom of men. And
you are chosen from this latter rain, brother. You are chosen
looked at him, now a little curious. ‘And what is this glory
you speak of?’
crave the rulership of Yulenthea, do you not? He who is knows
all the desires of the heart.’
Jek took him a little more seriously. ‘I don’t know how you
knew that, but yes. Yes I crave the fair kingship. But
how can a man dressed as you are possibly offer me such a prize?’
who is can offer you such a prize, Mr Barder. He has never
nodded to himself. He was not a religious man, but knew of Ul.
Perhaps there would be something in this madman’s hazy eyes which
could grant him the glory he sought. Perhaps, for now he would
listen. Perhaps, for now, he would consider this most tempting
am listening. Speak on.’
I knew you would, child of he who is. As I knew you would.’
* * * *
is the charge?’ asked Garion, sitting in the local village hall,
the villagers all looking in intently, the chief of the village
looking reluctant about Garion being arrested, but fearing the man of
God more. The ‘Doomsayer’, as the villagers had called him,
responded. ‘Has not he who is granted you power, authority
considered the question and assented. ‘Yes, I guess he has.
What is your point?’
what has thou done with this esteemed position?’
for a time being. My son is now responsible in my stead.’
Doomsayer looked at the villagers. ‘You have heard his
confession.’ He turned back to look at Garion, his eyes
blazing furious flames. ‘You admit it then. You have
‘ruled’ he said, sneeringly.
what is your objection to that?’ asked Garion. Yet the
Doomsayer ignored him. He spoke again.
have you become wealthy? Wealthy beyond all mortal men?’
nodded. ‘Yes. Yes the kingship is the wealthiest in the
realm. The Arch Regent of Mallorea rivals me, but I am
wealthier it is said.’
another confession,’ said the Doomsayer. He is clearly
guilty. What more need be said.
of what?’ asked Garion, now confused. The villagers looked at
the Doomsayer, eager for him to speak. The Doomsayer glared at
Garion and, finally, opened his leather-bound book. ‘Thus
says the Gospel of the Lord Almighty. ‘Seek ye riches?
Nay, I tell you, seek poverty. For the rich are beset with
pride and seek to dominate and manipulate others with the power they
achieve, to destroy livelihoods and make their fellow man, likewise
made in the image of Ul, their slaves and servants eternal.
Riches are for fools, dear disciples. Heed my words and take
note.’ The man closed the book, looked at Garion, again with
a sneer, and looked at the villagers. ‘The lord has spoken,
let his name be praised.’ And all the villagers yelled
‘Praise the Lord.’ Garion looked worried. An angry
mob was always difficult to calm down. He would have to speak
with wisdom. He looked at the Mrin Codex but, just then, a
little voice in his heart said ‘Let your own words suffice.’
And so he spoke truly.
was prophecy which chose me for kingship. I was a simple lad,
living at Faldor’s farm, not dreaming of such things. But
such things chose me, as perhaps they have done for others in other
times and other places. Could I truly refuse such a calling?
For this Gospel of the Lord you speak of I have not heard of. I
know of Ul and the other gods, but not this gospel, so feel perplexed
in being judged by its words. I have never sought ill will
towards another man, never sought to prevent his desires of wealth or
his own dominion. I have never sought to manipulate or abuse my
responsibilities. I deny such a charge, and while we may differ
over the need for Kingship and authority, I understand your
perspective and see your point. But I do not hold my self
guilty of wrongdoing, and my conscience thusly bears witness.’
The Doomsayer glared at him for a moment, glaring madly, and looked
at the crowd who had softened, and were looking at him. And
then he came forward, held out his hand to Garion, who reluctantly
shook it. And then he spoke in a new voice, a different voice,
a calmer, more sedate, more humane voice. ‘Well spoken King
of the West. It would seem they have chosen wisely to have your
gracious decency rule for them. You are a good King, and the
Lord Almighty is pleased with you. Your testing has come, and
you have spoken words of honesty and truth. Go in the name of
the Lord, and may he bless you with life everlasting.’ Garion
looked at the ‘Doomsayer’, not really sure what to say, but
stepped down from his seat, watched as the villagers gradually
dispersed, and slowly, carefully, made his way out of the hall.
The chief of the village came up to him, shook his hand, and
apologized for the difficulties. And then he encouraged Garion
to return to Riva saying the Lord’s will was for the King to
return, now, for difficult times lay ahead. So the Doomsayer
claimed. And, thus, Garion returned home to Ce Nedra, who was
still asleep, placed the Orb back on the mantelpiece, and once again
considered just what was going on in the world.
* * * *
ship landed at Lameth late on a sunny afternoon, and Silk and Barak
exited, thanked the captain and the crew, and made their way to a
local inn. ‘So where is this place?’ asked Barak.
the northern edge of the village. The merchantman’s name is
Davros. We shouldn’t have too much trouble tracking him
down. The villagers are bound to know where he is.’
hope so,’ responded Barak. They came to the inn ‘The Golden
Eagle’ and booked a room for the night. Drinking ale and
eating supper they noticed the eyes of the inn upon them, and hushed
and whispered voices exclaiming they were strangers and something
about the Doomsayer needing to see them to judge them.
are they whispering about,’ asked Barak.
new cult. The Doomsayers. It looks as if they have
reached Lameth. We will have to have our wits about us.’
They continued to drink their ale and eat their supper when the
innkeeper came over to speak with them.
we don’t want any trouble here, so when the father gets here, go
along quietly, okay. It will just be trouble otherwise.’
father?’ asked Silk.
Doomsayer. Dressed in brown robes with a black book. You
will know him when he arrives. Just go quietly – don’t mess
with him. You will see. You will trust in the Lord then.
You will trust in the Lord.’
innkeeper left and Barak whispered to Silk, ‘Trust in the Lord,
hey. Do they speak of Ul.’
am not completely sure, Barak my friend. But we will find out
soon enough.’ They finished off their meal, thanked the
innkeeper and retired to their room. The coals in the fireplace
were still burning, so Silk added a log, washed with the basin, and
took to his bed.
were sleeping soundly, and the night was passing by, when they were
suddenly roused by a racket. Silk rose and Barak got up in his
bed, yawning, and asked ‘By Belar’s beard, what is all this
went to the window and saw outside burning torches. Suddenly a
man dressed in long brown robes appeared, looked up to them with a
gleeful look, and entered the inn. Silk turned to Barak –
‘The Doomsayer is here. We had best get dressed.’
Barak reluctantly agreed, and they started dressing.
they were just pulling on their boots there was a knock at the door
and the innkeeper spoke up. ‘Guests, there is someone here to
see you. I am afraid you must come out, or there will be
will be with you in just a second,’ responded Silk. He looked
at Barak, nervously, but ready. Whatever was to come now, he
would speak truthfully. Beldin had given him a hint at what was
coming, so it was time. Time to face down his demon’s and
speak true words. Prince Kheldar may have been a thief and a
rogue, but he had a good heart, and surely that was what mattered the
most in the end. Surely that was what mattered most.
exited the room and came down to the heart of the inn. The
Doomsayer was there, surrounded by a dozen villagers, and he glared
at Silk and Barak. He spoke – ‘Barak, son of Cherek, you
have justified this Prince Kheldar in your heart as worthy of your
friendship and companionship.’ Barak looked at the Doomsayer
stunned, not really knowing how he knew who he was, and amazed
because of it. The Doomsayer continued. ‘And thus,
Barak son of Cherek, because you have justified this rogue, we will
judge you upon his judgement. If we deem him innocent, we will
deem you likewise as such. But if he is guilty, you will suffer
his fate.’ Barak nodded. He understood such judgement.
Doomsayer turned to Kheldar, glaring at him wildly. ‘We will
hold the judgement here – there is no need to go elsewhere.
You may sit,’ said the Doomsayer, and Silk sat down calmly.
Barak stood back and watched his own judgement as well.’ The
Doomsayer stalked around the room, looking mighty and powerful in his
robes, holding his book of judgement with pride, ready to accuse Silk
for all his lifes wrongdoings.
You are a Prince of Drasnia,’ are you not?’
that is true,’ responded Silk.
you forsake your divine responsibilities and run off on foolish
is not how I see it.’
yelled the Doomsayer, a mad look in his eyes. ‘I did not say
you could speak.’ He continued to stalk the room and
have been known to be prince of thieves. To deny others their
hard earned rewards of work and glory in their wealth. Do you
deny this charge?’
hung his head, shamefully. ‘No. No, I don’t deny
that. I have had a lifetime of roguish ways, I admit that.’
Doomsayer nodded. ‘So it would seem, Kheldar. So it
would seem.’ And then he opened up his book and read. ‘Thus
says the Gospel of the Lord. My disciples, do not run with men
of wickedness, who steal other’s belongings, and glory in their
prowess of such an art. For they deny the work of those who
pursued their rewards with an honest heart. Such men are
wicked, do not consort with them.’ Thus says the Gospel of
the Lord,’ and the Doomsayer closed the book. He looked
around, again with a wild glare in his eyes, and gazed at the
villagers. ‘He is guilty – who would disagree?’ And
all the villagers assented as one.
felt downtrodden. It was as if a lifetime of his roguish ways
had finally caught up with him and now judgement had come. He
was guilty and could give no defense. The Doomsayer glared at
him, his eyes wildly alive. ‘Do you not have anything to say
in your defense, Prince Kheldar, Prince of Thieves.’
looked up, and spoke all that he really could say.
true, Doomsayer. I am a rogue. I am not proud of that,
and have beforetimes regretted my ways. But it almost seems as
if it is a life I had no choice in living. As if it was a
destiny inescapable and the thrill of the adventure was a drug I
simply could not avoid. I will say this, though. I have
only robbed the rich, and never left a poor man hungry. I have
not really been a violent man, and have had adventures which have
changed this world for the better. I believe I have a good
heart, despite my many flaws, and more than that, well I can not
say. It is just the way I am, I guess. Just the way I
am.’ The Doomsayer looked at him sternly, and then spoke in a
strict voice, but a voice which hinted at a previously unknown sense
of compassion. ‘And that is your defence, child of he who
is? Those are your own words?’
the Doomsayer softened. ‘Then you have judged yourself,
Prince Kheldar. And before these villagers as witness I declare
that the Lord Almighty favours you and will give you a blessing.
For you have, in truth, not been a burden to others and have given
joy and friendship to those who, at times, have needed it the most.
Go in peace Kheldar. The Lord’s blessing be upon you.’
Silk, uneasily, rose from his chair and looked at Barak. The
Doomsayer spoke with the innkeeper and giving Silk one last look left
the inn. The judgement had come and Silk knew, in his heart,
just what that judgement had been.
* * * *
Doomsayers are necessary to every planet, Belgarath. Throughout
all the worlds of life we bring the testing to each world, to each
realm the judgements of he who is. For the eternal Gospel of
the Lord Almighty is to be preached unto all worlds until the very
end of time. It is our task, our sacred task, and each and
every one of us has been chosen specially to bring the good news to
all the children of men.’
this Lord you speak of? He is Ul, so you claim?’
has many names, and Ul is just one of them. He is the force of
life, the superior God, the universal spirit. And we serve him
faithfully in the duties he has called us to.’
nodded. Beldin had voiced similar words. ‘So the
testing has come to our world then. The testing of faith, as
you call it.’
than faith, Belgarath. More than simple faith. It is the
testing of the very soul, and the future of your world is at stake.
For should you ultimately fail the final testing the result would be
very dire – very dire indeed.’
stroked his long beard, contemplating those words. Polgara
exactly are we to prepare for this testing? And what exactly
will the final testing be.’
we will not speak of daughter of Belgarath. For should you know
of your destiny you would undoubtedly seek to change the will of the
Almighty. And that we will not allow. What we will say is
this, prepare your heart, prepare your soul. Seek within those
things you know you should be about and seek them with all your
heart. For the testing will come, perhaps, when you want it
least of all. So watch your heart and be ready, child of
Belgarath. Be ready. Now, your time here is finished.
The scroll your compatriot seeks will begin the quest outlined for
you. If you fail this quest, then the testing may well be too
much for your very soul. So be diligent and faithful, for the
reward is great. And now we are finished. The brother
will show you out.’ The chief father finished off speaking,
left the room, and shortly the brother who had let them in came into
the room and they followed him back to the entrance.
outside Polgara looked at Belgarath. ‘Not quite what you
am not sure. They did not offer too much more than what we had
known. But it seems a quest awaits us and, perhaps, the final
quest of Belgarath. For I am feeling my age, daughter.
Suddenly I am feeling my age.’
have aeons left, father. Fret not,’ she said, comforting him.
I fear not. I fear that the time of Belgarath the sorcerer is
approaching and something else awaits. I don’t know why I
feel this, but I just do.’
whatever will be will be.’
is as you say.’
returned to their donkey and as Belgarath led his daughter back
through the forest he thought on the words of the father and of the
final testing. It would be the culmination to his life, this
much he knew, but whatever would be would be. Whatever would be
* * * *
looked in through the window. There he was, her king, and he
was safe again. She had prayed to Ul that he would watch over her
lord and protect him from the darkness to come, and it seemed he had
done so. This pleased her and just then, noticing the glowing
orb on the mantelpiece, seemingly glowing, somehow she knew, because
of her presence, she felt a sudden burning in her chest. And
suddenly she came alive and started glowing, burning white golden
light, a light of pure energy and love, radiating the purest warmth,
almost as if of a very god of glory.
had quickly come outside and looked at the angelic being hovering
before his eyes. Not knowing what else to do he kneeled down
and payed homage, speaking. ‘Mighty angel. I am your
servant. Speak your will.’
Gemma could say, despite so much now in her mind, so much new
knowledge, knowledge she had suddenly acquired, as if she had been
prepared since birth to receive such knowledge, was ‘I am just
Gemma.’ But then another voice spoke within her, a new voice
which had found, finally, its chosen vessel, and found its new
eternal chosen home.
know who I am, Garion. For I have been with you for so very
long now. You are a chosen child of mine, and my spirit will be
with you always.’ And then the being who was Gemma started to
glow a little less and hovered back down to earth, returning to a
semblance of her previous form. Garion looked at her,
perplexed, and as she came to herself, queried. ‘Gemma.
Who, who are you?’ But then he suddenly knew, suddenly knew
exactly who she was. And, racing inside, he looked at the
mantelpiece. It was gone, of course. Gone, in one way,
never to return. But returning outside, looking at the new and
living Orb before him, Garion placed his arm around his ‘Glorious
Lady’ and brought her inside.
took her to a private room, gave her bread and wine, and waited on
her. She puzzled about all the fuss, but Garion knew, somehow
instinctively, what the fashioning and purpose of Aldur, all those
long years ago, had been about. And the ‘Glorious Lady’
whom he knew he would serve forever had come to be. When she
begged him finally to let her rest, he retired, and not waking Ce
Nedra, laid down on his bed. A chosen vessel had been found,
and an ancient plan of the God Aldur had come to pass. And
Garion found peace in his heart, and rested, in a way, from a
struggle which had been part of his entire life.
the ultimate choice of life by the Seeress of Kell, gradual reforms
began happening through the continent of Mallorea.
Fundamentally, the major shift was in a new direction of rulership.
The old empire was to be replaced by a new Arch-Regency, one of
lesser power, as it was deemed that too much power led to too much
corruption, and such had been a lesson the Malloreans had gradually,
through so much strife, come to learn. The Seeress of Kell, her
job presumably finished, had disappeared from contact with
civilization, a worry to some, but to most life simply went on.
new Arch-Regent was a descendant of ‘Zakath, a former Emporer of
Mallorea, but one of far more hospitable disposition. His
family, while ancient worshippers of Torak, were now progressive in
their thinking, with ideas of a new world, a new Mallorea, and
presumably a new destiny for the Mallorean people. Arch-Regent
‘Zakandra was a mellow man in many ways, given over to travel
throughout Mallorea to ensure he was seen doing his job and, in his
intention, winning the hearts of the people. He sensed
revolution in many ways as an undercurrent throughout Mallorea, as if
the people desired a change, but were perhaps unwilling to go all the
way to enforce such a change. And, as such, ‘Zakandra felt he
was living on borrowed time in a way, King over a people who perhaps
didn’t even respect him.
had met the King of the West, Lord Garion, once. He had
intended his visit to the lands of the Angaraks to be mostly about
diplomacy, but upon hearing the news that the Arch Regent was to
cross the ocean of the east, and tread on land not distant from
Aloria, Garion forwarded a request for a meeting, and two nations sat
down, once sworn enemies, now finding peace in a new world, and a
world which had a new word of power running through it - ‘The
Economy’. Trade – trade throughout Mallorea, the realm of
the Angaraks, Alorns and other kingdoms of the West, was essential to
a healthy and functioning society, so ‘Zakandra spoke in his wisdom
with Garion. And while Garion thought marvellous the stuff of
such conversation, he sensed in a way that his own son, in this new
world emerging, might be the better choice to handle such
responsibilities. And so, imposing Geran on the throne of Riva
at the Isle of the Winds, Garion returned to Faldor’s farm, to live
a life of simplicity, leaving such things as the ‘Economy’ in the
hands of those better able to manage such responsibilities.
‘Zakandra, hearing from his various advisors the ways of the west,
Geran, a younger man, nearer his own age, seemed a better choice to
have dealings with. In fact, could they forge an alliance and
form treaties of trade and peace, well, the future looked good for
everyone. And a burgeoning economy would see the blessing of
all the children of men. The furthest thing from his mind was
war – a great and grand war with the west – but there were
stirrings from these doomsayers, voices which spoke of an epic final
conflict, the last of an old age, an old era, before the birthing of
the new world. A time in which a woman was to go into the
travail of birth to bring forth the desired child of her hopes and
dreams. So ‘Zakandra, hoping against hope that such madness
would not come to be, inevitably began plans for preparing his troops
throughout Mallorea and carefully, so as not to be too obvious,
enlarging his forces. They would not lose again, that much he
was sure of. And even if the Mad God himself came back from
death ‘Zakandra would have his new world and, most of all, his
* * * *
was a man on a mission – a mission in service of a Mad God who he
believed, through the power of sacrifice available to himself, he
could literally raise from the clutches of death itself. And
so, the new High Priest of the western Grolims, in a new temple on
the shores of the ocean in south-east Cthol Murgos, counted off one
of an endless number of sacrificial virgins they had sacrificed to
their beloved deity. They had scoured Cthol Murgos for virgins,
and even taken a fair number from Thull and Nadrak, much to various
protestations. But Rtachek was a man of great influence, if not
direct power, and reviving the Mad God Torak was deemed in the best
interests of the Angaraks.
Rtachek was not alone in his sacrificial libations. For the
pouring of virginal blood had been going on in the citadel of Night,
Cthol Mishrak, by Brazadar, younger brother of the dead Zedar, Grolim
priest of much power and influence in Mallorea. And while they
were aware of the constant sacrifices of the western Grolims, they
paid them no heed, determined to show they were the true servants of
Torak, and that a worthy enmity should exist towards the western
Grolims, ones which Malloreans had long disdained.
it seemed, the answer to their sacrificial madness did come one day,
or night as it were, for in the twilight of the west, the moon did
glow dark red, and the sign of a snake covered the moon in black and
scarlet, a sign to many that Torak had been reborn. It lasted 3
hours, and afterwards many swore truly to no avail to the unbelievers
that they had witnessed such a sign. Naturally, it seemed, the
doomsayers took this as one of the portents they had spoken of, and a
new wave of zeal for the doomsayer cult and its teachings emerged,
more passionate then ever.
then, the darkness of blackness emerged in the citadel of the night
and Torak, awaking from the hell of his ordeal, came alive in a high
tower of the citadel, Brazadar instantly notified at the God’s
presence. And, with Torak reborn, war was coming. War
with the west and the destruction of the Mad God’s most hated
enemy, the western King Garion.
* * * *
carefully made his way down the spiral steps, downwards, into the
hell of earth below him, treading a million steps it seemed, one
endless parade, until finally, almost not believing he had reached
the bottom, but the light from the torch telling him such was true,
came to the thick wooden door. Beyond lay his God, Torak, in
slumber. He could not, it seemed, yet bear the light of life,
the light of the sun, nor the dread heat of the day, for in his
slumber he had grown accustomed to the cold of nothingness, and the
heat of life was foreign to him. And so he come to this
deserted place, far beneath the citadel, were he rested and were
Brazadar brought him occasional food and news of the affairs of men.
knocked, carefully, fearing the rebuke of his lord lest he be too
noisy. Torak could kill on whim, yet, in a strange way, the mad
Grolim priest only revered him more because of it. After a
moment a voice from within said ‘Enter’, and Brazadar placed the
torch near the doorway, fearing to take it inside with him, and
opened the door coming into his master.
the door quickly, fool,’ yelled Torak. ‘The light is too
Brazadar closed the door and waited. After a while the very dim
light from the torch streaming through the cracks of the door gave
just enough light for him to see his master, laid out on a long bed,
the scarring of his face as painful looking as it had always looked.
news?’ queried Torak.
came forward, kneeled and payed homage to his lord, and presented him
with a scroll. Torak took it, and unrolled it. Seemingly,
despite the darkness, he had no trouble reading it. When he had
finished he threw the scroll on the floor and Brazadar retrieved it.
Eventually, summoning the courage, Brazadar spoke.
am afraid ‘Zakandra is an unbeliever, master. He denies the
proof we have sent him of your new life and claims none shall take
the throne of Mallorea from him.’
remained silent, perhaps considering those words, yet who could
really tell the thoughts of a God.
is no matter,’ Torak finally replied. ‘He shall learn his
place in the fullness of time. Now tell me, has the woman come
yet? Has Belzandramas finally appeared? For my plans rest
upon this child.’
yet my master. But as soon as we have word you will know within
Brazadar stood there, anxiously waiting upon his master, a dripping
sound of cold water echoed throughout the caverns. They were in
the underheart of Cthol Mishrak, the waters of earth dripping through
the stone ceilings, betraying their location. It was dark, cold
and away from all life but, it was here, in the utter dark, were
Brazadar felt the most alive. Serving his dark lord, serving
his dark agendas.
Torak spoke. ‘I will know as soon as the woman is sighted.
You will ensure this. Now go, leave me. I will eat in
three days. Bother me not till that time.’
nodded, took the scroll, and left, quickly closing the door behind
he trudged the million steps upwards he thought on the woman
Belzandramas and his master’s desires to have her found.
Whatever role she was to take in the plan’s of her masters, it was
imperative that she be found as soon as possible. For the glory
Brazadar sought was in his master’s power to give, and thus his
master’s needs came before all else. All for the glory of the
mad God Torak.
* * * *
Nedra, all things considered for a Tolnedran queen who had become
queen of the west took her husband’s constant labelling of a young
lady, barely a teen, if that, ‘His Glorious Lady’ quite well.
Tolnedra had long thought of itself as something of a cultured and
refined society, and while marrying the Rivan King was certainly a
marriage of honour, a lady of the Tolnedran court was not quite used
to being treated in second place. But, if one thing that a life
being lived with Garion, with acquaintances such as Silk and Barak
and Belgarath had taught Ce Nedra, it was that humility was a much
needed and desired virtue in a life which was often, fraught with
prophecies and God’s and the like, a life of very hard testing.
But she loved Garion and would allow him this grace of calling
another maiden his ‘Glorious Lady’.
a lengthy explanation that, in some strange way, Gemma, as she was
known by her personal name, was the new living embodiment of the Orb,
Ce Nedra, although having her doubts, inquired into the most obvious
of questions. Who were the child’s parents? Garion,
seeming to have neglected this careful, yet fundamental point, wished
to avoid the issue, but upon Ce Nedra’s insisting and Gemma’s own
desire to return home, they recruited one of the worker’s on the
farm to drive them the few leagues to a nearby farm which Gemma
claimed she was from.
parent’s, Ilk and Jandy were overwhelmed at a visit from the King
and, while Garion tried to be subtle in his new desires to have a
close proximation to their daughter, Ce Nedra was more forthcoming.
child has merged with the Orb, Ilk. She is special, now.
She appears to be chosen of Aldur himself. I am afraid she is
now important, and Garion is calling her is ‘Glorious Lady.’
I know you will be missing a child, but if it is possible can she
remain with us for the time being. It is an important issue,
and we wish to travel to the Vale of Aldur for the matter to be
picked up the conversation, having been kneeling before Gemma,
practically involved in worship. ‘Yes, Yes Sir Ilk. We
will need to travel to the Vale and bring your daughter. This
needs to be discussed, and we must see Aldur himself.’
looked at Ilk, who looked at her with a tear in his eye. ‘We
will miss her. Be sure you keep her safe. But we trust
you, Lord Garion.’ Garion nodded and signalled for the driver
to give Ilk a bag of gold he had promised him. ‘This is for
your troubles. We can not say how long we will be away, but it
may be some time. But we will return her. She is in good
hands. You need not fear.’
took the bag of gold, peered inside, and weighed it. He seemed
pleased for the gold, but also had a look of concern for his
miss you Gem,’ said Jandy. Instantly Gemma came forward,
hugged her parent’s, and spoke up.
have changed, mother, father. There is something different in
me now. Some new presence. And it is as Garion and Ce
Nedra say. I must go find this Aldur. For the name means
something to me now. There is a connection. A connection
I can not really speak of, but so personal. So intimate.’
is in good hands,’ said Garion, as they made their farewells.
the cart drove off, Gemma turned and waved farewell to her parent’s.
It was a new world she was heading for, and a new destiny. She
wondered in her heart if she would ever see her parent’s again.
So much had happened in the world recently, so much turmoil.
But family could never be forgotten, no matter what destiny had to
say on the issue. She smiled, waved one last wave, and turned
to look at Garion. He lovingly placed his arm around her, again
called her ‘his Glorious Lady’, and started humming a tune.
A tune, at once new to her, but at once familiar as well. As if
she had known it for a long, long time.
* * * *
knew not the three nations which the spirits had spoken of, and had
left hastily. But finding herself, having crossed the ice
northwards, in land she felt sure was on the southern Antarctic
continental region of Yulenthea, Belzandramas instantly reached a
conclusion. Surely the three nations were ‘Shrar’, ‘Kmran’
and ‘Braed’, the long warring three provinces of Yulenthea.
Surely these were such three nations as the spirits spoke of.
She had not often visited Yulenthea, nor Junissa. This was for
various reasons, but of course the cold weather was chief amongst
them. The solid ice just to the south of these continents which
marked the southern pole was extremely cold, and no life could live
there. It was surprising, considering that, that brave souls
had once decided to make Yulenthea and Junissa there homes, but
indeed they had. Near the northern pole was the continent of
‘Ardannya’, smaller still than either ‘Yulenthea’ or
‘Junissa’, a place she had also visited infrequently. And,
of course, the continent of ‘Zhadora’ in between the West and
Mallorea beyond the Great Western Sea on the other side of the
world. There were other islands scattered around the world, of
course, but no other continents.
was likely to be brought to life somewere in Mallorea, likely in
Cthol Mishrak she guessed. So if she were to prove successful
in her ambitions she would need to begin here, in Yulenthea, before
times. She would need, to begin her agenda, gain power and
influence, and see to it that these nations never surrender to the
power of Torak. Certainly, it would be challenging and
difficult. They were minor powers in comparison to the might of
Mallorea. But her glory beckoned, and with a will which could
make the impossible possible Belzandramas was determined to prevent
the one she would marry from ruling these lands. By her power
she would corrupt him, turn him to their conquest, yet betray him
without his knowledge. For such had been the task set her, and
such would be the reality.
in that cold and dark heart of Belzandramas, a little fire had been
lit and, while she was bent on her mission, that little voice spoke
soft words to her, encouraging her towards the day in which a choice
would be made. A fateful choice, one made for her previously,
but one which would inevitably come down to Belzandramas herself.
* * * *
know you must feel like the ultimate hypocrite, silk, but it can’t
be helped. The merchantman is unlikely to simply hand over the
had been conversing with Barak over the ethics of theft, and had been
questioning wether, since his encounter with the Doomsayer, he should
really resort to theft. ‘Perhaps a price can be reached,’
concluded Kheldar. ‘It is the most preferable option for me
drained his ale, swore softly to himself, and nodded. It would
be for the best. Judgement had come, and his own words had
spoken against him. Time to change the ways of a prince of
Drasnia, it seemed.
came to the merchantman’s abode and, simply, knocked on the front
door. Shortly a servant answered, inquired as to their business, and
stating it, ushered them inside. ‘You are not the first to
seek the scroll,’ said the servant. ‘We have had numerous
inquiries. My master is awake, now, in the library. Just
in here.’ He led them into a large room, full of bookcases
and many splendid items on display, the walls littered with elaborate
artworks of all cultures Silk knew of. The servant made for a
long chair by a fireplace which was turned from them, and spoke to a
man hidden from them. Soon the man stood, a balding man, and
came to introduce himself. ‘I am Draznak. You come to
see the scroll, I take it?’
purchase it, master Draznak, if such a thing is possible.’
considered that. ‘Nay. I think not. The scroll is
to valuable to me now. But, if you are willing, we can
negotiate on the price for a copy of the scroll.’
grinned to himself. The merchantman was not stupid. He
suddenly knew what all the seekers of the scroll would have come to –
a merchantman who knew its value, and would sell copies for the right
we will pay for a copy.’
come, let us do business,’ said Draznak, indicating the table near
the fireplace with luxurious wooden chairs.
much later, a copy of the scroll in his knapsack, which was empty a
fair portion of gold, Silk was encouraged. It may have cost him
money, but somehow he felt better for simply doing the right thing.
Perhaps it was a turn in the life of Prince Kheldar, a turn which had
long been put of, but coming, finally, at the right time.
to the inn they were up late that night, studying the scroll, and in
the morning, once again boarding the ‘Old Warrior’, heading for
home and the Vale of Aldur, Silk knew a war was coming. The war
which the ‘Doomsayer’s’ also apparently spoke of was coming to
the world, along with the final judgement. And the ‘Chronicle
of Torak’, should its prophecies come to pass, spoke doom for the
world. Unless the west, with Garion championing them, could
somehow prevent the perhaps inevitable, they would fail the ultimate
testing. They were portents of destruction, and while Silk had
passed his own little test of judgement, and felt the better man
because of it, he feared for his world, and the darkness which
approached. But it was always darkest before the dawn he
reminded himself. And the new world dawning, well, hopefully
that would put to rest all the fears of the past. And a new
life could begin again for all, the wrath of a mad god called Torak
finally and utterly having been laid to rest.
* * * *
across the sea of the east, headed for Rak Goska in north-eastern
Cthol Murgos, Belgarath had been silent for days. Polgara,
noting this, had at first tried to persuade him to speak and resume
their life long banter, but Belgarath, while occasionally encouraged,
usually remained silent. Something weighed heavily on his mind.
were heading home, now. Bound for Algaria and the Vale of
Aldur. Hopefully Silk would be waiting for them upon their
return, having acquired a copy of the scroll they sought. And
then they would need to seek out Garion to speak with him. For
the west would need prepare again, and its chief most guardian had a
destiny awaiting him, a prophecy they had not known of to fulfil, and
a dark road before them.
on a stool on the starboard side of the rig, Polgara considered her
father who was standing, looking out at the ocean, seemingly weighing
up his life circumstances. This quiet, this silence, was not
like Belgarath. He was a boisterous and happy old man, still
full of frivolity, still known to chase the maidens and acquire
wealth by sometimes dubious means. But that was part of his
charm, part of what made Belgarath Belgarath. But lately he had
withdrawn from this behavior. In fact, since leaving the
monastery he had totally withdrawn into himself, keeping away from
his daughter, as if mulling over the long life he had lived, and
reflecting over the many choices he had made. She feared for
him, as for herself in some ways. This ‘Judgement’ which
the father had spoken of was to come to all the children of the west
it seemed, as if it was some way inescapable. And perhaps this
was what weighed heavily on the heart of her father. All his
lifes choices. All his mistakes. All his wrongdoings.
Perhaps they had finally caught up on the heart of Mr Wolf and, right
now, perhaps his heart was going through a phase. A phase of
regret, which a Gorim priest of Ul might call a phase of repentance
in their language.
she feared that he may be taking such repentance too seriously.
He could not help who he was. It was how the gods had made
him. He was Belgarath, sorcerer and rogue, and she loved him
dearly because of it. For him to be anything less than he was, well
it would not be the same Belgarath. That was what she could
honestly say, it would not be the same old man of charm she had come
to know and love.
looked at him, looked at his wrinkled brow, and out of the course of
normality for her, prayed a silent prayer to Ul, the Father of the
God’s, that Belgarath would make the right choices in front of him,
and that the judgement would find him standing strong and proud.
turned her thoughts to other matters. Durnik awaited her at
him, back in the vale. He had asked many times to accompany
them, yet Belgarath had insisted he remain in the Vale to be a
friendly face for Kheldar should he return before the two of them.
Durnik had reluctantly agreed, but Polgara missed her husband.
He was becoming stronger in the ways of magic now, having learned
much over the past number of years since that fateful choice of the
seeress had been made. And while he was by no means a
masterclass magician, he would prove a handful for any soul risking
taking him on in a dark alley. She missed him and suddenly
yearned to be with him, to feel the touch of the soul which had
longingly looked at her at Faldor’s farm but been too shy, perhaps,
to have ever made his feelings known. But that was Durnik.
A gentle and kind soul, full of good things, and good words. And
in her heart she knew she could have married none other.
gathered her cloak to her as the wind blew drops of ocean-water into
her face. The spray was salty and crisp, and the sea air
brought a liveliness to the soul. If this was the place her
grandfather was to find repentance, in the hustle and bustle of
nature at its fiercest, then perhaps that was a good thing. For
it would be a repentance of the soul not soon forgotten, one as
fierce and powerful as the fury of the sea of the east.
along the Great North Road into the mountains, having just left the
town of Muros behind them, Garion reflected on his travels through
this part of the world. Sendaria, in so many ways, was his true
home, the home of his youth and upbringing. Naturally it was
expected the Overlord of the West be a responsible and forthright
descendant of Riva-Iron-Grip, ruling from the Isle of the Winds, and
showing himself a proper and noble monarch. Especially amongst
Tolnedran upper society there was a seeming expectation that Garion
carry himself with an air of dignity that a King warranted.
Suffice to say, the very fact he was married to a Tolnedran Queen,
assumed in the mind of Garion that such expectations were not just
for Garion himself and the dignity of the Kingship, but the respect
towards Ce Nedra, the Queen Tolnedra adored. But while he was
King over Aloria, King of the West, Sendaria was a separate Kingdom
under Kalrach, child of the deceased Fulrach, and he a guest here in
a sense, but feeling as if it was in many ways his true home, the
home of his upbringing and, perhaps, fondest memories.
day since returning to Sendaria, living at Faldor’s farm, going
through the same way of life Faldor himself had run the farm with,
taking crops to market, although he had plenty of wealth and needed
not to, yet doing that and the myriad of other things associated with
the farming life, Garion had returned to his youth and felt, now,
like he had been living a life he perhaps, had fate not interfered,
he would have lived all along. He was a simple man in his
heart, a farmer, with a beautiful wife. It was just that
destiny had demanded more of him, and Kingship had almost been thrust
upon him at a young age, slaying a God and becoming Overlord of a
you did not always choose the destiny life made for you, seemingly at
the hands of the God’s, and while Garion was enjoying his time at
Faldor’s farm, he could not deny the way destiny had chosen and
moulded him and made him the man he was today.
thought on his friend, Errand, now gone from them. He was
believed dead, but nobody knew for sure. His disappearance had
been mysterious, and while he was presumed burned in the blazing fire
which apparently claimed his final moments, they never found a body,
and some thought he himself had perhaps arranged his own
disappearance. Whatever the case may be, Errand was a child,
like Garion in some ways, who’d had a life of adventure thrust upon
him. The lad had reflected to Garion, upon coming to live in
the Cottage in the Vale of Aldur, that he felt like he had gained a
‘Family’ with Polgara, Durnik and Old Wolf. Certainly, they
were Garion’s own family, his own flesh and blood two of them, but
he felt for Errand who had never known who his own parent’s were,
abandoned in a foreign city, the tool and victim of the machinations
of the sorcerer Zedar. But destiny had likewise chosen Errand
for greater things and, wherever his soul may be, Garion wished well
course, Errand was a child of innocence, touching the orb. And
while he missed him, saddened by his death, new life had perhaps been
chosen instead. Perhaps a different choice in the wisdom of the
god’s had bypassed Errand and settled on the girl Gemma instead.
Indeed, his Glorious Lady, the living embodiment of the Orb, was
someone, Garion knew in his heart, who represented all the purity and
best of ideals which Aldur spoke of, and in the shaping of the Orb he
knew now that the Orb had long sought out one in which it could share
its heart, its identity. They had been guardians of the Orb –
Garion knew that now. Riva-Iron-Grip, and his descendants, down
to his father, and to himself, had been champions, protecting the
Orb. But they were only to protect it until the day of its
choosing. Until a day in which a chosen vessel would become one
with the Orb, and the Orb become that which it, in its heart, it had
long yearned to be.
looked at his hand. It was funny. The mark which the Orb
had made from youth had now, finally, faded away. As if no
longer needed. For it was not an object of stone anymore, no
longer a pearl of beauty, but in his Glorious Lady to which the Orb
found new form. And Garion knew, in his heart he knew, that he
would protect this lady at all costs, nay even with his very life if
such a thing were demanded of him.
are you thinking of?’ queried Ce Nedra, who seemingly had just
you’re awake. Is Gemma?’
Nedra looked at the figure sleeping beside her, gave her a gentle
nudge, but soft snoring continued.
don’t wake her. Let her get her sleep. It must be a
momentous thing which has happened to the child, and it will take
some getting used to for her.’
chatted for a while, and soon Gemma, who must have heard them
talking, came to life and raised herself from the back of the cart,
yawned and scratched scuff from her eyes, and looked at the two of
them. She looked around, wide-eyed at being so far from home,
and spoke up. ‘Where are we, Lord Garion?’
are on the Great Northern Road, my lady. Headed for Algaria and
down to the Vale of Aldur.’ She nodded, taking that
information in soberly.
you have anything to eat? And can we stop? I need to, you
know.’ She looked at Ce Nedra who instantly understood the
girl’s need for a private place, and asked Garion to stop the cart.
looks like a good spot. And there is a brook just yonder,’
said Garion. ‘We will have breakfast here and then get under
way in an hour or so. A good time to stretch the legs.’
disappeared behind some bushes to take care of her business, and
Garion started to get a fire going, using the Will and the Word to
start the fire with the sticks he had gathered. Ce Nedra began
frying the bacon and eggs she had taken from the stores they had
brought along with them for the trip, and when Gemma returned she
looked hungrily at the mornings fare. ‘Mmm. I love
bacon,’ she said. ‘Please make it extra crispy.’
you wish,’ responded Ce Nedra.
eating Garion allowed Gemma to explore a little and, as she wondered
from this tree to that tree, her delicate feet easily finding footing
in unfamiliar territory, a gift of her adventurous youth, Garion
looked on at the child with an affection that was starting to grow,
almost like the affection he had for his own beloved Geran.
think fondly of her, don’t you?’ said Ce Nedra, almost gazing
into Garion’s own thoughts.
came to his wife, put his arm around her, and kissed her on the
cheek. ‘She is special to me, Ce Nedra. I feel…. I
feel as if there is suddenly a connection, an important and vital
connection, between the two of us. Errand and I shared a bond,
almost, because of the Orb. But this is so much deeper.
She IS the orb, now. And she is someone I am sworn to defend
with my life if necessary. I don’t really know why I am
saying that, so suddenly, but it is just what I must say. It is
the sense of honour within me towards young Gemma. She is a
special child, Ce Nedra. And somehow, in these dark days of
judgement ahead of us, her innocence just might be the saving grace
which redeems us all.’
Nedra nodded, gazing at young Gemma as she danced around the
clearing, sipping from the brook, and looking like any adventurous
can only pray, Garion, that she suffer not half the things both of us
have been through. Whatever life throws at us I can only hope
nodded. He too wished for good days upon this bright and
cheerful young lady.
got to again after a while and, as they continued along the road,
drawing nearer and nearer to Algaria, Garion thought on the days
ahead. The Chronicle of Torak was on his mind, as was the
Doomsayer Cult. Things were afoot in the West and, seemingly,
all over the world. He would speak with Belgarath as soon as
possible, and while he hoped to find him at the Vale of Aldur,
alongside his Aunt Polgara and Durnik, he would wait for them there
if they were elsewhere, for he needed words with his grandfather.
In the new pathways of destiny before them, and in someway a new
challenge which Garion felt he would be facing, it would be his
grandfather’s ancient wisdom which Garion felt he would need to
rely upon, perhaps at the most difficult and challenging of times.
along Garion looked up at the vast mountains of Eastern Sendaria
which ran northwards up to the Gulf of Cherek and southwards down
through Ulgoland, Tolnedra and into the heart of Cthol Murgos.
Much of the Kingdoms of the West and the Angaraks was mountain land,
perhaps habitable by only brave souls and daring mountain goats.
Most of the western Kingdoms of Sendaria, Arendia and Tolnedra had
ample grasslands, as did Algaria and Drasnia, these being the common
farming lands were the majority of the people of the west lived out
their simple lives. In many ways it had been a simple life
which had gone on, unchanged, for 7,000 years, amidst the wars of
god’s and men. Even in the climax of such struggles simple
things remained: cows were milked, eggs were gathered and sheep were
shorn. Yes, the simple life pervaded the heart of Garion’s
world, and it was such a life he had been drawn back to in Sendaria,
living out his memories of youth. But now destiny intervened
once more, and a new fate awaited him.
they would be nearing Algaria. There were a number of less used
roads travelling down the edge of Algaria, alongside Ulgoland, and
while he had felt of visiting the Stronghold briefly, he really
wanted to return home. They would make for the Cottage, home,
and once settled he would look for Beldin and Belgarath. And of
course, if he was available, Aldur himself.
then, right at that moment in time, caught up in the beginnings of
another, perhaps lengthy, quest of epic proportions, Garion was
suddenly happy. Suddenly, as if he was in control of his life
and control of the situation, this time heading out to meet destiny
head first, Garion was suddenly quite happy with all the things which
had ever happened to him in life. He started whistling a tune,
a new tune he had whistled for the first time just recently, when he
had encountered Gemma. And whistling it softly to himself he
noticed Gemma staring at him, and then, slowly, joining him.
Almost like she had known the tune herself, almost as if it had long
been a part of her ways of life. It was an ancient tune,
unbeknownst to Garion, and a certain God had whistled it himself,
living in the Vale, expecting and hoping one day for his grand work
of the orb to find the fulfilment it desired.
he whistled, Gemma joining him, birds overhead began flocking around
them, some landing on the cart, seemingly not afraid, and happily
chirping away while Garion whistled. Ce Nedra gazed at them,
alarmed that they could be so unafraid, totally unlike such
creatures. But the more Garion whistled the more the birds
chirped and it was truly a sight to behold, a humble cart carrying
precious cargo, making its way along the Great Northern Road, headed
for Algaria, with a whistling King and a merry chirping
accompaniment. Truly, it was a sight not to be soon forgotten.
* * * *
had heard. Of course he had heard. He was not stupid, and
saw to it that he was well informed, that his eyes were everywhere,
acquiring all the knowledge his Lord Torak could possibly desire.
But, no. Torak had rejected him. Had rejected the glory
of the new temple ‘Cthol Torak’, built on the south eastern coast
of Cthol Murgos, dedicated to the glory of the God of the Angaraks.
Yes, the Mad God had rejected him and his countless sacrifices,
spurned the adoration the Murgos had devoted to him and chosen,
instead, the Mallorean Grolims and the Citadel of Night – Cthol
Mishrak. And, suddenly, in a moment of madness, standing atop
the sacrificial altar over the ocean, were the fresh blood of virgins
still dripped downwards, into the place of their resting, Rtachek
understood his destiny. It was alive in his mind, the sudden
and most dreadful choice, the sudden and most dreadful work.
He, Rtachek, would be God. He, Rtachek, would be the new God of
the Angaraks. And he knew, in the fowl power of spirit, wrested
from the life force of innocent virgins, just how he would achieve
such glories. The sacrifices would, now, continue.
Inevitably so. But it would be Rtachek himself who would now
receive the power. And all would bow to him. And all
would fear him. And all would call him a God. And that is
what Rtachek would be – a God – the God of the Angaraks.
* * * *
looked up at the god. There was something about him, something
instantly connecting to the very centre of her being, and she knew
immediately she had found a home, perhaps an eternal home, were she
would never be forsaken or alone ever again.
me tell you of Errand,’ said Aldur, and she sat down on his lap,
listening to the god’s tale.
in the other room, looking on at the two of them, Garion smiled to
himself. He could not really say for sure wether Aldur had
known about his lady’s coming or not, but he seemed to have been
ready for them as soon as they reached the bottom of his tower in the
Vale. But that was like Aldur, like he who was of the 7 gods.
took a seat next to Beldin, the old hunchbacked wizard, who was
steadily working his way through a bottle of Aldur’s finest ale.
‘It is not every day he shares his own supply with us wizards,’
Beldin had commented, and was enjoying his drink greatly.
Garion smiled at that comment, remembering some of his own earlier
years amazements at the wonders Aldur performed for him.
Nedra was by a window of the tower, looking outwards, softer in a way
since reaching the Vale. It was like that, the Vale of Aldur,
in the heart of Algaria and the West. It was a spiritual
recluse from the hustle and bustle of every day life, away from it
all, a true sanctuary in many ways. Garion had once commented
to her that not everyone could come and visit this sacred place, not
at whim anyway. There seemed to be protective spells or charms
which warded off unwelcome visitors. It was mainly a home for
Aldur himself and his chosen wizards. It was, though, very rare
that a new wizard came along. And while Garion had been called
Belgarion for a while, and possessed the power of the Will and the
Word, he had gone away from magic in some ways, back to the older
ways of his youth, and his original name. It was not that he
was against using magic but, perhaps, more in the mould of some
Durnik’s attitudes, who still often preferred doing things the old
ways, with his hands. Some people really didn’t change, and
Durnik was one of them.
himself was at the Cottage presently, waiting on the return of
Polgara and Belgarath, and the thief Silk who was expected with an
important document. He kept himself busy most days, doing some
farming and preparing of various foods which he and Polgara relied
upon for sustenance. And he had slowly been learning more and
more in the ways of wizardry. Recently, so he had shared with
Garion upon their return to the Vale, one of the twins, ‘Beltira’,
had called him Beldurnik without apparently thinking any better.
Durnik had queried the name, but all Beltira would say was ‘Silly
me.’ But Garion guessed to himself that such a title was
appropriate in many ways. The old smith was a wizard now, and
that was the usual prefix given to those who possessed the gift.
turned to Garion and again spoke on the subject which was currently
the flavour of the day – the Doomsayers. ‘Ul is a
mysterious god, Garion. Those at Prolgu don’t always readily
divulge their knowledge and secrets of the father of the god’s, and
Aldur doesn’t give us too many clues either. But he says of
Ul from time to time that the Father of the God’s has powers and
ways beyond their knowledge, as if he is aware of things and places
and powers we have only heard mention of in legend. Stories of
other worlds, supposedly places were these Doomsayers have themselves
Aldur has told you that specifically. That the Doomsayers come
from other worlds?’
mentioned it once. Wouldn’t divulge anything more than that,
but says they have been around for many ages.’
these other worlds – did they likewise suffer the judgement of the
we will learn of from Belgarath when he returns. And he should
be back in the next few weeks, by my reckoning of his travelling
old hunchback took another swig of the ale, and stroked his beard.
He looked at Garion, his brow wrinkled at what he wanted to speak of.
judgement you say the Doomsayer placed upon you. This they
intend for all, do they? To suffer the judgement of their
assume as such, Beldin. If it is the will of Ul then, perhaps,
we are all meant to suffer the testing. Fear not, Beldin, for
you have lived a good life.’
the old wizard seemed to have a look of fear in his eyes, as if the
coming judgement would find his soul perhaps lacking, as if he was
not worthy of the life he enjoyed in the Vale of Aldur.
am an old wizard now, Garion. I have lived many a life of the
average citizen, and in that time I have done many questionable
things. Many things I truly regret.’
we have all done, old friend. Which we have all done.’
Nedra spoke up. ‘Beldin, you should not fear. Whatever
the purpose of these doomsayers, I don’t think they intend evil
will upon people. They are probably, from what I have gathered,
simply showing people for what they are. Showing people’s
true selves. And we love you Beldin, dearly. Aldur chose
wisely letting you live in the Vale.’
old man took another swig of Ale, nodded, somewhat consoled at Ce
Nedra’s words, but still the wrinkled brow remained.
looked at Beldin and could well understand the fears and reservations
of one who had lived so long as Beldin had lived. In fact, he
did not know the exact age of the ancient wizard, but could imagine
that, like his grandfather Belgarath, he had done deeds over the many
years of his life that he now regretted.
the other room Aldur had been telling stories to Gemma about his
beloved Errand, and Gemma had been staring, wide eyed, up at her new
master and friend. Aldur had told him of Errand’s first visit
to the Vale and the story of him and the sled. And he had
spoken of a choice Errand had made, to stay true to the sled’s
journey, despite the crash he knew would come. And then he had
asked Gemma if she would make the same choice, and Gemma had said she
would like to think herself that brave, but admitted she would have
jumped out of the sled for safety’s sake. And then Aldur had
scruffed her head and smiled at the child’s wisdom.
spoke again. ‘There is something I fear happening, Garion.
And I fear it has already begun, from what you say of the zeal these
Doomsayers are gaining. I fear this spirit, this spirit of
judgement, as if it will say things and make demands on all of us,
demands differing to the way of life we have enjoyed for so long.’
nodded. He too sensed something in the air with the coming of
the Doomsayers. As if a change was coming on their world, and
an older age and way of life was leaving them forever.
the future holds, Beldin, I believe it will end up for the good of us
all. When Cyradis made her fateful choice that day, our destiny
had been chosen for us. And perhaps this judgement which has
come upon us is a result of that fateful choice, leading all of us to
a new dawn, a new day in our world, in which the darkness will be
vanquished. And I fear, because of that choice of life, we must
make amends for our past choices of darkness. And this may well
be what the Doomsayers represent.’
nodded. That much did in fact make sense to him.
remained there at Aldur’s tower well into the afternoon, enjoying
time with the Lord of the Vale. And Gemma seemed to be changing
as a person from the brief time Garion had gotten to know her.
A new confidence was suddenly upon her, having met Aldur, and a
strength, a strength in his lady he felt even beyond his own powers
in many ways.
* * * *
the heart of the citadel of Cthol Torak, Rtachek dreamed. A
figure approached him in his dream and said to him, ‘The power to
thwart Torak himself is in your grasp. For if you seek dominion
over the Angaraks, you will need to defy this fallen god. And
the power of darkness will serve you and do all your bidding, giving
you the strength and might you will need to conquer all and do all
your will. Yet, I say as an afterthought, there is a price to
pay. But you will gladly pay this price, will you not, Oh Lord
of the Angaraks?’ And Rtachek, in his dream self, assented
that he would indeed pay that price.
* * * *
having acquired a stallion from a small village without purchase,
taking it in the dead of night, looked upon the city of Yulen as she
approached it from the south. It was indeed a remarkable sight,
and she knew it home to over 20 million souls, stretching for leagues
from the coastline inland, the heart of the continent of Yulenthea.
She knew something of the game of power of the Yulentheans, the games
of the court and the monarchies which had ruled her. And to
such a game, with a wisely chosen vessel as her servant, she could
achieve the glories she sought for herself.
knew what she needed – a figure, probably a male, with ambition.
Someone who was willing to serve for the glory she would promise
him. And, in a way, she sensed that a power had already chosen
this vessel for her. As if the spirits which had spoken to her
in the Cave had already known of this person, and had prepared the
way for her. And that had made her silently question their
power and wether she herself was just another pawn of prophecy in the
hands of those powers which ruled all. Yet, that mattered not
in the end. She was certain enough that the victory and power
she sought would be of her own making, and if those powers which be
wanted to assist her in any way, then she would simply allow them.
It just made it easier for her own goals.
she kicked the stallion onwards, approaching the city, she thought
again on those powers. To have the glory she desired, that was
offered to her, would mean that she would one day be pulling the
strings of fate and destiny that now manipulated her. And if
she were to be the one doing that, well, what fates would
Belzandramas choose for the souls which entrusted themselves to her?
What strange destiny would she map out for her chosen few? For
the choice of darkness had been taken from her, and Cyradis had given
into the light. But now Belzandramas, reborn, was a child of
prophecy with no role. And if she could not live in the power
of darkness, in the glory she had once delighted in, what other
possible future could await her? Whatever possible choice could
there really be? Riding on towards the city she felt, in her
inmost being, she would find that answer in the goodness of time.
And, perhaps, not a choice she would once have made. Perhaps,
in no way, such a choice at all.