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Saturday, November 3, 2012

An except from Lightning's Scion, an upcoming Arduin novel

The following is an except from the upcoming Arduin novel, where Tai Kyrie, the main character is speaking about the Citadel of Thunder that lies on the Misty Sea behind the Thousand Thunder Falls.


"They had rested the night or at least part of it. Tai Kyrie had used a portion of the night examining the area. He was well acquainted with the area, having spent almost a year's worth of time spread out over five years hanging out here. Once on his own and the others on behalf of the crown or college for one reason or another. Tai Kyrie had played a hand in sealing the citadel behind the falls the last time it had been closed. It had been a mammoth task and one that had tested his skills greatly. Finding the knot of power they had created from the ley lines and ways of power etched around the falls and into the citadel still intact had made him breath a sigh of relief.
It was always a risk to leave such an area untouched and unguarded, which is why the crown had sent them in the first place. Places of great power like this were lodestones for creatures and people hellbent on turning that energy to their own use, something history had demonstrated quite well. The citadel had come into being during the Nexus Wars as a location of guerrilla resistance against invaders. The area was naturally powerful, a convergence of ley lines that formed a node of great energy. It also had a very large indigenous population of grey goblins, who were rather less than keen on allowing people on their lands. Considering that they lived in harmony with air sharks and were thick with ancestral spirits that were very active due to the power node around the falls, they were very effective to fending off claimants to their land.
Keeping that in mind makes one wonder how the elves fighting against the invaders to their country managed to build the citadel in the first place. Not that it was truly a citadel – it was more a fortified portion of the tunnels behind the falls than anything else.
As a place to fight from and camp to train and live, it served well. Many invaders never realized its location and even those who did most often failed in trying to take it. It was hard to besiege due to its location and harder to do without involving the grey goblin populace and their legion of ghosts and airsharks. Not that it had not fallen. No, indeed, it had fallen from within and without several times during the thousands of years that spanned the Nexus Wars. In fact, for hundreds of years towards the end of the Nexus Wars, it had been a temple to Aaos instead of a military camp. This had been when its infamous pumps had been created: those marvels of magic and technology that moved water and energy, shoring up massive reservoirs of power that could be used. Used for rituals and spells, which the priests of Aaos did to great effect, summoning horrible beings of shadow and entropy. Only the greatest courage and sacrifice led to their fall and when the priesthood was exterminated the citadel was sealed off. It was called the first sealing and was but one of many to come.
Its power made it too attractive to ignore, a fact called to the attention of the new Arduin government that arose from the ashes of the old at the end of the Nexus Wars. It wasn't the only place of its nature, given the volatility of the land and what it had suffered. It just got attention more often due to its proximity to the Misty Sea, the crown road, and the cities. When Tai Kyrie had come to it to help form its latest seal, his was the twelfth time it had been locked away. The previous seals had either been broken or faded over time, allowing for intrusion and the eventual waking of the pumps. They were just too tempting not to use. Even the crown had thought so, posting a contingent of men, military and collegiate to investigate and use them. It was then that its corrupting influence was discovered and documented as well as it was known. Aaos, Vorcus before him, Shagrath and more had turned the power in the area and it could not be used without suffering corruption and taint that eventually led to madness and death. Everyone seemed to think they had a way to get around the corruption and each failed in turn, descending into madness and death. Usually not before becoming or releasing something dark and dangerous into the world.
The collegiate continent with the crown troops had documented it well, including their own mad descent. It had led to the edicts banning all traffic to or around the falls and the caves behind on pain of death. The edict had lasted for cycles though it had been tough to implement. The sealing previous to his had used a cornerstone of runes and faerie magic. It had proved quiet sturdy and in time the edicts had been lifted by the King Elric. It had finally been broken, as all things are in time. By the time Tai Kyrie had come, the crown had rousted out several nests of would-be conquers of the area. The grey goblins, abiding by the old agreements had come to assist. It had made for a tense arrangement when he had arrived. Things had thawed over time, as fighting against a common foe always did. Their common foe being the unchecked power of the area. The proposal of the latest seal had been to their advantage and the grey goblins had unconditionally supported it. The representative of the king had been unhappy, of course. He had not wanted to empower the grey goblins any more than they were. The proposal of the seal, however, was partially dependent on their ancestral spirits becoming a portion of the sealing process. They had agreed, since doing so made their grip on the area even stronger."

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