David Eddings Videos
Map of the World of the 7 gods
Tales of the World of the 7 gods
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6179 SC
TALES OF THE WORLD OF THE 7 GODS
A Lost Child on the Streets of Camaar
The thieves of Upper Gralt
Life in Upper Gralt
Stuck in Erat
The Bronze Falcon
Daughter of the Barrens
The Belzandramanian (Click Me)
THE STARSTONE SAGA
A proud son of Sendaria
Beliandra and the Sullen god Torak
Jacon Gathers Beliandra
Child of Mal Camat
On the Road to Mal Dariya
The Orb of Vanity
In Baron Belekith's Employ
Faith Hope and Charity
TALES OF THE WORLD OF THE 7 GODS
A Lost Child on the Streets of Camaar
Dulliam 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 now.’
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 after all.
* * *
‘So, lord Garion, as you can see Sendarian Justice has become ever more effective since my reforms.’
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 kingdom.’
‘Yet mercy must not be lacking.’
‘It 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.
‘Very well,’ responded Garion, eager to see Fulrach’s reforms at work firsthand.
* * *
Dulliam looked up at the impressive figure of the magistrate, awaiting his judgement.
‘Your 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.
‘Tell me, young Dulliam, where have you come from? They have been unable to locate your parent’s, apparently.’
Dulliam, 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.
The Thieves of Upper Gralt
Blindrak 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.
Fendak had 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?
Ringtack 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 – magic.
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 pies.
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 Gralt.
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.
Life in Upper Gralt
Fendak 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.
These days, instead, he delighted in his tasty pastries, as his substantial girth truly testified to. But Fendak didn’t care.
Upper 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.
One 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.’
‘Yes sir,’ interrupted Fendak. ‘Our family has run this bakery for well over 500 years. We are proud of our tradition.’
‘Then the food must be good,’ commented the hunchbacked Beldin. ‘I will take you at your word Belgarath. Anything will do.’
The 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.
Stuck in Erat
Jennavere 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 welfare.
And then one day something changed.
And 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.
As 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.
She continued 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 most?’
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.’
The wizard nodded knowingly. He understood human dilemma.
‘Very 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.’
He nodded, 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.
She became the toast of the town, and married her prince charming. And the life of the washer woman was forgotten forever.
Then, 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.
The Bronze Falcon
From the Life of Garion
(From the ‘Beloreon’ era - between the ‘Belgariad’ and the ‘Malloreon’)
Garion 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.
He petted 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.
As Overlord 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 magnificent.
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.
As 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.
Ce’Nedra was 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.
He looked 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.
Karnik 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.
Karnik's 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.
One 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.
'Father. One day, when I am working with you, will I be able to register with the guild? Perhaps they might accept me.'
'Only if you are married to another registered man,' replied Karnik. 'What, have you met someone in those outings you and your sister go to?'
Estla remained silent.
'You know, father, I have never minded this work. Since 12 when you brought me in, I have worked faithfully with you.'
'And 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.'
'Yes,' she replied. 'But, if I were to ever, you know, find someone. And was led elsewhere, you would cope wouldn't you?'
He 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.'
'Thank you father,' she said, and continued on with their hard work.
'Father. Do you ever wonder if King Belgarion will visit Darine? We have been promised a visit for many years now.'
'I am sure the king is busy enough,' responded Karnik. 'Don't go losing yourself in fantasies of royalty, daughter. Ours is a simple life.'
'Yes,' 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.'
'And mad god's called Torak ready to slay you at a moment's notice,' chided Karnik.
'Yes father,' she responded, and returned to her work.
After a while she began speaking again.
'Imagine being a wizard. Like Belgarath. With all that power, and all those spells. It would be amazing. Doing magic. Amazing.'
'And 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.'
'Yes father,' she replied sombrely.
After a while though, yet again.
'Imagine being the serpent Queen of Nyissa. Everyone would fear you and you could have all that power and fame.'
Karnik had had enough.
'Imagine beink Karnik fisherman of Darine. With the most airy fairy daughters in all the world, who can NEVER keep their minds on their job.'
Estla giggled. 'Sorry father. I'll get to work.'
But after a while.
But as soon as she spoke, her father bellowed 'ESSTTLAAA!'
Not a peep she made the rest of the morning, and looked softly at her father all the time because of it.
And 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 all.
Daughter of the Barrens
Zebna 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 life.
Zebna 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 did.
And 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.
'My daughter is innocent. She has not known a man,' said Zebna's father.
The old man looked at the man, and nodded. 'But it is her soul we want to look at. Let her speak.'
Zebna 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.'
The old man looked at her, but it was the younger who spoke.
'You have spoken your heart. Are you angry at your father?'
'But can you forgive him?' asked the young man.
Zebna 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.'
The two doomsayers consulted.
'You are a worthy daughter of your father,' said the old man. 'He is rightly proud of you, as I can tell he is.'
'Thank you,' said Zebna.
They 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 undying love.
And, 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 her.
THE STARSTONE SAGA
A Proud Son of Sendaria
‘And you, Jacon. What do you think of Sendaria’s role in the world?’
Jacon was an intelligent young 18 year old Sendarian, hailing from Erat, but now studying at Camaar.
‘I 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.’
Jacon sat there in his university class, pleased at himself. He had answered well, and thought he had made a positive contribution.
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.
‘What are you looking up,’ he asked the girl.
‘Oh, nothing in particular. Just taking a break from my regular studies.’
‘I like the picture of King Garion on the cover.’
She turned 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 well.’
‘Yes. Yes we are,’ she responded. My name is Jantie. What is your name?’
‘Oh, really. That is my brother’s name as well.’
‘Small 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.
'What is it?' asked Jantie.
'It's an ancient artefact,' said Jacon, about the orb which he was holding.
'It's like the orb,' she said. 'King Belgarion's orb.'
'It's 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'.'
'Gatherer? Of what?'
'I 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 in them.'
'Amazing,' said Jandie. 'What are you going to do with it?'
'I 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.'
Jantie 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.'
'But how can we escape our destiny?' asked the youth.
'I don't know,' she repsonded.
'Nor do I,' he said fearfully.
Jacon 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.
Yet 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.
Beliandra and the Sullen god Torak
'Our god, Torak,' said Polidan the lecturer of the University of Cthol Mishrak,'remains a solitary figure. He was forgive by Ul in time, and given new life, but he sits atop his tower in our city, staring out at the city one would presume, visited by Belzandramas and Cyradis the Seeress of Kell, and a few servants. He speaks little to our people, cursory words of vague encouragement. It is felt he is contemplating things. His fall and ultimate redemption. And that he is in a malaise, and not sure what to make of life, this child of the God Ul.'
'He is a god, but is he man also?' asked Beliandra.
'One might assume he has something of the passions of mortals,' replied Polidan to his favourite student in the class on Esoteric things of the Malloreons. 'We are all made in the image of the gods as human beings, but they are more than mortal. They are divine, with their own wisdoms and knowledge and understandings of the world.'
'He needs someone to love him,' aid Beliandra.
'An interesting though,' commented Polidan.
Later that week, Beliandra, in the endless night, stole up to the tower of Torak, and asked permission to visit the god. The guards looked her over, but she seemed innocent. Torak might favour the company. She was ushered up the stairwell, and brought into his presence. He was at rest, which he mostly was, but he raised himself and stared at this young and fair maiden.
'What do you wish, child? Some favour of your god?' asked Torak.
'I bought you this,' she said, and came forward and placed a necklace of beeds of gem hearts on his lap. 'It is merely tourmaline, but I have no great wealth.'
Torak took the necklace, and looked it over. 'I have wealth in abundance. But this is – touching. What is your name?'
'Beliandra. Child of Durnock and Andra,' replied Beliandra.
'Can you sing?' he asked her.
'Sing for me. But softly.'
And so Beliandra sang for Torak, in the endless night, softly, a song of loving and loss, deep as the ocean and as broad as the skies. When she was finished she remained silent.
'Visit me again,' said Torak, and laid back down on his bed.
She left, silently in the night, and would visit him again, perhaps to sing for him again, and uncover the mystery of the heart of the god of the Angaraks.
'It is for you,' said Torak. 'I fashioned it from a fallen star. One which fell north of the city. It is my – redemption. Aldurs patience I learned with this orb, and you are its protector, Beliandra. You will be gathered soon. It's newer prophecy. But the world is full of prophecies and destinies. You will make Cthol Mishrak proud of you when all is said and done.'
Beliandra was given the purple orb by Torak.
'It has a nature. There is a virtue it represents. You will find its mystery in time.'
'Thank you Torak? But gathered by who?' replied Beliandra.
'The Prophecy of the 70 speaks of a gatherer. He or she will find you. There are powers to be established in this world. 70 cities which harbour the power of 70 orbs, and 70 presences in time. One of whom I know well now.'
'You speak in mysteries, my king,' she said.
'How could I do anything but,' replied the god.
When Beliandra got home she looked at the orb. It was purple with red veins running through it and it was – beautiful. Enchanting. She was quite taken with it. She hid it under her pillow and as the nights passed she looked at it and it soothed her heart. It had so much – peace. A peace unlike anything she had ever experienced, which calmed her down and brought quietness to her usual hurly burly mind full of its young passions. Torak had fashioned it. From a Starstone. He had told her it was a starstone, one of 70. Had he fashioned it for a purpose? A supposed prophecy? But how could she, gentle little Beliandra, a pawn of world affairs. How could she be a Pawn of Prophecy? She was a nobody. Inconsequential. But apparently, no. Torak had seen something in her, and presumed her a child of prophecy. And a gatherer would come. Would this gatherer gather others like her? In possession of their own little orbs? She was fascinated, and days at university passed in a blur, as she spent the endless nights of Cthol Mishrak studying her orb, and thinking over the destiny she apparently had before her. She thought of speaking to Polidan, and asking him about the newer prophecies. She felt there may be something in the library of the university she may find and study to enlighten her understanding. She may do that. Or dare return to Torak once more and seek his counsel. But for now she delighted in the orb, and its peace, and dreamed her dreams, a young heart in a world of daring new vision.
Jacon Gathers Beliandra
'In the Beginning, Ul fashioned the Word of Creation with his Will. The Word or Logos was the blueprint for how our world was made. It was the design for creatures and landscapes, and the raging ocean, and all the hidden things. It mapped out the intercourses of our travels and our ways of exchange. It did all these things. And the prophecy was given that the Word would be made Flesh and dwell among us,' said Jacon the Gatherer. 'For we would have the children of the 70 Starstones, who would engage in wars and rumours of wars before the coming of the Lord. Ul's own blessed child. The Word will Unite the Children of the Starstones, and there would be a competition amongst them all, that the Word would set them all. Show their talents and virtues and heart, and the champion at the end of days would be the one city were the Word would dwell and build the Everlasting Kingdom from.'
'I shall naturally be the chosen one, Jacon,' smiled Beliandra.
'But your chosen city?' queried Jacon.
'Queen of Torak in Cthol Mishrak,' she replied.
'Could it be anything else, I suppose. Well good luck with such an idea, for I prepare the way of the Lord by gathering an early discipleship of the 70. But the Logos will gather more besides, and will be greater still.'
Beliandra picked up another shell as they wandered down the beach, on the west coast of Mallorea, not far from Cthol Mishrak. She seemed to be quite choosy from Jacon's observations. When they returned to her abode, were her family were holidaying at year's end from a long year of labour, Beliandra took the shells and made holes in them, running string through. She presented Jacon with the necklace, and placed it around his neck.
'Very oceanic,' said Jacon.
'My skills,' replied Beliandra. 'I do them for everyone. Since a child I have made necklaces. It was even considered to be my profession in the end, but I got caught up with Loremastery.'
'A fine choice,' replied Jacon. 'The heart of our world are our Loremasters. The ancient storytellers who know the secrets of things.
'The heart of our world is peace,' said Beliandra. 'It is what we all need to end the tensions and frustrations. I shall be a child of peace. I already know this is my virtue and the virtue of my starstone.'
'Tranquility in the city of Endless Night. A truly mealancholy experience I would imagine,' replied Jacon.
'Long has it been so. Torak sits in his citadel, watching the city, slumbering. Watching over us, but keeping apart. Keeping his distance,' said Beliandra.
'The way of the gods,' said Jacon.
'So it would seem,' replied Beliandra.
'I have now gathered you,' said Jacon. 'And you will be studying and learning from here on and, in time, I will bring you to the gathering place, were all 70 will be present, and we will seek the coming of the Lord, the Logos of our world's creation.'
'So shall it be,' replied Beliandra.
'Amen,' finished Jacon.
Child of Mal Camat
'I am deaf, dumb and blind,' said Asgard.
'False humility, I protest,' replied Asgard's sister Jenna.
'It is the nature of Torak to have a sense of humour on piety,' replied Asgard. 'As a lesser god, a true child of Torak, I have my own realm of the divine which serves me. I am the father of gods in truth.'
'Your fantasy epic of 17 volumes is impressive,' replied Jenna. 'And your world of Valhalla is wonderfully imaginative. But live in the real world Asgard. Your sales are low in the marketplace, and the readers who have read it have come and gone. Travel up to Mal Evir or Mal Ctho if you want further sales.'
'Bah. Humbug,' replied Asgard. 'I was in Mal Evir last Autumn. I found a rock, and I have been carving it into an orb. It seemed powerful. I think it may even be a fallen star.'
'Dream on,' replied Jenna. 'You are not a god, but a second rate Loremaster, with stories which have found their audience, and who barely register anymore for a new volume, so trite in your storytelling have you become.'
'Nay, it is true,' replied Asgard. 'It is in my room at home. It still needs further polishing. But sense something in it. Something – funny. It makes me laugh. When I hold it I find dumb humour arising in me. And funny things. Odd things about the simple things in life, and how they are really quite funny when you really think about it. How we take so seriously the stupidest and silliest of things.'
'Great imagination,' replied his sister. 'Must be the subject of your next volume. Pretending to be Aldur or Torak himself.'
'Tis true,' retorted Asgard.
'Maybe,' said his sister, softening. 'To prove it you would show it, but I won't ask that of you. Tis your concern if its a real object.'
'Maybe I would show it,' said Asgard. 'It likes to laugh at the things I tell it about people.'
'Really,' said his sister more honestly.
'Why does it laugh?' asked a voice behind them in the library.
Asgard turned. A man with a beard, and a young lady beside him, stood there.
'It laughs because – well – I don't know,' replied Asgard. 'It just does.'
'There are 70 Starstones of Prophecy. The 70 Starstones are
'Ooh,' said Jenna. 'You have found an elderly Loremaster who believes you. You paid him to say this right?'
'Nay, he did not child,' said the man. 'I am Jacon. The gatherer. This is Beliandra. She has a Starstone with her.'
Beliandra showed her stone. 'It is peace,' she said.
'I sense that,' said Jenna.
'I would see your stone,' said Jacon to Asgard.
'I'll show it then,' replied Asgard. 'What do you gather, Loremaster?'
'I gather you, child of Mal Camat,' replied Jacon.
Asgard looked at his sister Jenna who shrugged. This was an unexpected end to the day's activities.
On the Road to Mal Dariya
'Tis the Starstone of Destiny,' said Jacon.
Beliandra looked at it. 'It's brilliant,' she said. 'Deep blue veins, and colour in the centre. A myriad.'
'It weaves all the Starstones together. I've found some of its purpose in leading me on through the prophecies. Destiny guides my to find each of the chosen ones. It pulls me and guides me and shows me the way.'
Beliandra brought out her starstone. She gave it to Jacon.
'My Starstone senses it,' said Jacon. 'Finds it peaceful.'
'My starstone thinks your two are a joke,' said Asgard, as they continued strolling down the road. 'Mediocre virtues. Good for a laugh or two, but nothing more than that. Barely even the lighter side of life.'
'Nay, your starstone is the starstone of pride, methinks,' replied Beliandra.
'Funny. No, it's just a sense of humour,' said Asgard.
'Well, there it is,' said Jacon, pointing ahead.
'Mal Dariya,' said Asgard. 'I've been a few times. Dariya's grand city.'
'I barely leave Cthol Mishrak,' said Beliandra. 'I haven't been to Mal Dariya before.'
'There are jokes about Mal Dariya in Mal Camat,' said Asgard. 'We call them the southern fish. Our fish – good and proper. They make solid and reliable fishcakes. Mal Dariyan fish, which we get from visiting fishermen – all smelly and fowl. No good for fishcakes. Good in soup, as they have that extra zing to them, but no good in fish cakes.'
'You eat a lot of fish cakes then do you?' asked Beliandra.
'Major delicacy of Mal Camat cuisine. Fish Cakes and potatoes and leeks. What we live on. The less fortunates.'
'Well you must eat a lot of them then,' teased Beliandra.
'Funny,' said Asgard. 'Sure you got the right stone?'
'Quiet you two,' said Asgard. He took to the side of the road and the Loremaster sat down, cross-legged. He closed his eyes, and started humming softly.
'What's he doing?' asked Beliandra.
'Praying to Ul. Or the god of the Sendarians. Forget which one that is.'
'I'm not praying. Well, maybe sort of,' said Jacon, eyes still closed. 'The humming gets me in the state of mind.' He pulled out his orb, and opened his eyes, and looked into it. He had a vision then. In the town square. A young maiden who had bought a rock from a Jeweller, who had found it in the wilderness. She had taken it home with her, and was caught up with its beauty. She had decided to return it to the jeweller to make it into an orb. Her name was Bessy. And the vision passed.
'We'll find Bessy in Mal Dariya,' said Jacon. 'She's a young seamstress in her parents employ, and she visits jewellers regularly. She is quite beautiful, and very secure in her own heart.'
'She is the next to be gathered?' asked Beliandra.
'She is,' said Jacon. He stood, and looked ahead at the city. 'We will find an inn, and stay the night, and search for Bessy the following day.'
'Then on we go with destiny,' smarted Asgard.
'Indeed,' finished Jacon the Loremaster.
The Orb of Vanity
'Wearing the Orb of Vanity around your neck as a Pendant really sums you up Bessy Warsmith,' said Asgard.
'How long is this darn road,' replied Bessy. 'And I'm not vain. The orb is.'
'It chose you as suitable,' replied Jacon. 'You have the nature and talent to be sensitive enough to it.'
'Miss Vanity,' said Jacon. 'The orb is as proud as you, in your fine seamstress dresses and skirts.'
'Not made for trooping around Mallorea on shanksies pony I can tell you,' replied Bessy. 'Where are we going, Jacon?'
'I...don't know,' said Jacon. 'The destiny seems to be making up its mind as to what's next.'
'Destiny has choices? Not exactly a blueprint,' replied Bessy.
'Life has choices, and so does destiny,' replied Jacon. 'All will be fulfilled, but there are ways it will come into being depending on how life likes it to go at the time. It's not a written word which is followed precisely. It's a plan of things, and it works it out as it goes along.'
'I see,' said Bessy. 'I suppose,' she replied.
'It's a deep rose,' said Beliandra. 'And it gets deeper towards the centre. Your starstone.'
'How could it be anything else,' replied Bessy.
'We travel to Mal Rakuth,' said Jacon suddenly. 'The gentleman there is in his prime, and strong with the axe in his woodchopping. He's a labourer in the city, were he delivers wood to homes, but goes back to the country at weeks end. He is Karatin. And he found a rock near his abode in the country. He has fashioned an orb out of it from instinct, to pride himself that he matches Torak, but this is mostly in jest. He is married, and has a young boy as his son. We will find him in Mal Rakuth, but will likely travel with him to his country home. He is strong, and kind enough, but a bit of a lad. And he likes to drink. I see this all in the visions. We will be on the road a number of days, so be careful with your rations till we find a foodstore. From Mal Voran to Mal Rakuth it is a long journey, and it can be perilous at times, though less difficult as we are not that far from Mal Zeth, and soldiers will ride the ride often, watching the way.'
'How much of Mallorea will we see, Jacon?' asked Beliandra.
'I can not say with certainty. But I have long assumed about half of the Starstones will be in Mallorea and half in the West. And even Yulenthea may have a few.'
'30 or so, then,' sighed Beliandra. 'We will have tired and sore feet before our journeys are done I fear.'
'And those journeys are but the beginning of things. When Logos arrives, and the Chosen are gathered, there will be many journeys and much travelling till the chosen city triumphs.'
'Shall be me,' said Bessy. 'I am the loveliest of all.'
'Definitely vain,' said Asgard.
'Agreed,' finished Beliandra.
'Children. Let us be on with our journey,' scolded Jacon, and as they travelled on Bessy sighed at the fast approaching rain clouds and wondered, since leaving the security of Mal Dariya, just what she was getting into with this Loremaster Jacon who called himself the gatherer, and his friendly, but slightly odd, acquaintances.
'You know, Jacon. How you told us that the Orb of Belgarion is now a lady,' said Bessy.
'There is a person being born in each Orb,' said Jacon in reply. 'But the heart of that identity is formed slowly and carefully.'
'No it ain't,' said Asgard. 'She's just gone and darn brought her vain Miss Rose to life already.'
'What!' exclaimed Jacon in utter shock.
'We were down by the river and I was looking at the orb and declared it the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Then it glowed incredibly brightly, and exploded into wonder. And Mis Rose was there before me, naked. I gave her one of my dresses to wear.'
'Forgive her master Jacon,' said Miss Rose, suddenly presenting herself.
'My lady,' said Jacon. 'So soon.'
'I was – overcome by Bessy's blessing. I just could not wait to embrace her.'
'She's the most beautiful lady in creation. Miss Rose,' said Bessy.
Jacon took off his backpack, and got out his money sack. He went through it. 'I have money well enough to feed us all. All is well planned in advance. But I counted for about 70ish souls by days end. If this happens again, I might need a tad extra. I'm afraid we will need to take a little time extra in Mal Rakuth and, if you will Miss Rose, could you be guardian of the second money sack I will purchase. Our fellowship will grow from time to time, and while it is by foot we must travel, we will need extra money, and maybe a few extra things.' He looked at Bessy. 'Especially if things like this happen again.'
'Forgive me master Jacon,' said Bessy.
'Oh, you've done nothing wrong Bessy. It was just – unexpected. That's all.'
They camped by the river that night, and Jacon sat around the fire with Asgard, the ladies in their own camp now, just aways a bit. 'Karatin, I sense, can fight with his axe. You are young, but danger will likely cross our path soon enough. We've had a number of encounters so far on our journey, and we've had the luck of the gods with us. But I would have you trained in Mal Rakuth. A swordsman I think.'
'As you wish,' replied Asgard. 'I have a bit of pluck about me. What's life without a bit of adventure, huh?'
'I guess so,' replied Jacon. 'You take watch till midnight. Wake me, and I will watch over the camp then.'
'Sleep well, Master Jacon,' said Asgard.
Jacon turned in, and Asgard looked at the fire. Here he was, in a quest of his own, like legendary Belgarion and his party. And, presumably, he would meet the King of the West at some point in this journey. It was his orb, after all, which began this whole thing. He paid attention to the women, and settled down in front of the fire, keeping his eye on the passing moon till he felt midnight was near enough at hand.
In Baron Belekith's Employ
'We seek employ in Baron Belekith's service for a period of one month, as Loremasters, Jewellers and Seamstress. My young lad here would also seek training in combat with the Baron's guards, for which we will sacrifice half our month's salary,' said Jacon to the elderly woman.
'I see,' said the woman. She looked the party over. 'I suppose we could make use of you for a short period. The Baron has many ladies in waiting and enjoys gifting them on occasion. If the work is quality we will grant you an extra payment. Is the lad, though, from these parts?'
'I hail from Mal Camat,' said Asgard.
'I see,' said the woman. 'That is beyond Mal Rakuth's jurisdiction, but the Baron knows the nearby cities somewhat, and could contract you to the Baron of Mal Camat. We could grant you your full salary if you agree to the terms.'
'No, he is spoken for for some considerable time, I am afraid,' replied Jacon. 'The half salary will suffice.'
'Very well,' said the woman. 'Jack. Take these people to the servants quarters, and find them rooms. Have them report tomorrow morning to the Baron, and he will assign to them the tasks he wishes from them.'
'Yes Mrs Hilda,' said the youth. 'Follow me if you will.' Jack led them from the inner courtyard of the Baron of Mal Rakuth's Castle, inside, downwards, till they were shown to two rooms, one for the women and, on the other side of the corridor, the men's room. 'I'll come to you when dinner is ready,' said Jack. 'Dress in plain clothing for dinner. Keep your best for the Baron.'
'Thank you,' said Jacon. 'Here, come all of you into our room firstly. I would have words.'
They were greeted with a room with 4 beds, some shelves, and a large chamber port. Basic decoration, and burning candles on the walls. A table with chairs was also present, and each took a seat.
'We have a month's service,' said Jacon. 'So I want designs of your city, and the best you can conceive. I will have tales ready to tell, as will Asgard, and he will be trained by the guards present here. In this time we will fine Karatin and, upon completion of our service, persuade Karatin to show us his Starstone and join our quest.'
'Naturally he will,' said Miss Rose. 'It is destiny after all.'
'Inevitably he will,' said Jacon. 'But the why and the wherefore I do not yet know. So keep your wits about you for this time of service, and we will gain a sum to help us on our journeys ahead. I am proud of you all. You have joined an old fool, but with the evidence of the Starstones, the quest indeed becomes apparent.'
'Indeed it does,' said Beliandra.
'You are a true Loremaster,' said Asgard.
'Now to your room, my ladies. And we will meet in the morning and get on with our service.'
And so the ladies retired, and Jacon sat with Asgard, playing cards a while, before dinner was called on them, and they met many of the other servants, acquainting themselves with some of the comings and goings of Castle Mal Rakuth.
Faith Hope and Charity
'I don't know what it is doing,' said Jacon.
'Yet you insist we all had to accompany you to this damn pit,' said Asgard. 'I was enjoying my training with the guards. Been learning a thing or two.' Asgard looked down into the large sink hole which had formed north of the city Mal Rakuth. Baron Belekith had given Jacon and his followers the task of examining the newly formed pit and unearthing its mystery. Appropriate work for a loremaster, the baron had said.
Jacon took out a scroll from his satchel, sat down cross legged on the ground, and started reading. The assembled Starstone followers chatted lightly, and looked at Jacon. After a while he turned to them. 'Beliandra. Torak spoke to you of new prophecy in the world. What did he tell you of?'
'Not much. That Ul was at work again, and new things would be happening. Unexpected things.'
Jacon nodded. 'I see,' he said. He looked at this scroll again, and read a passage out loud. 'In the latter times, Faith, Hope and Charity shall emerge, three true daughters of Ul, to guide the new world dawning.' He went silent, and looked at the pit. Suddenly there was rumbling, and the earth started shaking. The pit started growing a bit.
'Back!' yelled Asgard. They retreated, but the pit grew further still. Suddenly it started growing at an increased velocty.
'To the horses,' yelled Asgard. 'We retreat.'
The Starstone heroes galloped southwards. They rode for an hour and neared the city, struggling on. The rumbling was getting enormous but as they entered the city, it calmed down. They dismounted, and they turned and looked northwards. The pit was now enormous, but had pushed everything outwards, marring the countryside with enormous cracks. And then the rumbling began anew. Emerging from the pit came rock, large constructs of rock. It took hours, but a huge rocky mountain range formed before their eyes, the eyes of citizens of Mal Rakuth transfixed on the sight. And the it stopped.
'What next?' posited Jacon, as twilight descended.
As if in answer to his words, music suddenly came from heaven, and bright lights appeared. Descending from heaven, in a triangle formulation, came 3 enormous figures. And they were female. They descended down, landed in three different places of the huge new crag, and the music died down, and all that then could be heard was the rustling and howling of the wind.
'Well that doesn't happen every day,' said Asgard.
Jacon looked on. A new thing indeed.
She shimmered green. She was now the size of a normal human, but she shimmered and glowed green. She was in the marketplace of Mal Rakuth, looking over the produce, and smiling at everyone. All were in awe of this majestic being, not knowing what to make of her. The baron was present, with his men.
'Jacon. Ask her who she is,' commanded Baron Belekit.
Jacon went forward, the lady stared at him.
'Who art thou, my lady?' he inquired.
'Faith,' she replied, with steady words. 'I am goddess. New daughter of Ul. I have 2 sisters. Hope and Charity. Our home is the crag. The sister to Ulgoland. We are sisters to the gods. One day more will come still. But this is now our eternal home.' She looked at him. 'You are Jacon. The Starstone gatherer. Logos will enjoy meeting you. He has lots of plans for the Starstone Holders. And other plans aside. His spirit is young, like we were once, but he will manifest soon enough. He is a child of Ul, and he will bring new things to the world. Building on its firm foundations.'
'I see,' said Jacon. He returned to the Baron and shared what Faith had said to him.
'I see,' said the Baron. He stared at the goddess. 'Tell her we will assign followers to her for her to choose from. We know how to handle the gods.'
And so the goddess faith advented in Mallorea, and the Starstone holders had much news to talk over in their nightly gathering in the meal hall. But soon enough, despite divine intervention, their quest would continue, and Karatin would at last be sought out. Wherever the now may find him.