A new character enters the stage in THE DROWNED THRONE and, boy, does he create waves!
… our characters are dumped in this cesspit …
(Blue spoke to many Valarians in the week following the drowning and destruction of Galilan, Valaris’ capital city. After, when she collated her notes, she realised she had spoken to Rayne’s sister)
Blue: Hello! Forgive the interruption, but I’m moving from plot to plot informing people where to find food and fresh water. Have you been told?
Rees: You’re welcome. Come closer. We’re aware of the relief centres, yes, but I overheard others asking … you’d have to keep moving and keep asking.
Blue: I’ll do so. ‘We’? You have others with you? Are you coping?
Rees: A friend and her husband stay with me … my m-mother didn’t … we found her in the cellar with … sorry.
Blue: I’m sorry, too. What’s your name?
Rees: Rees … yes, after the priest.
Blue: Ha! Who named you? I’m guessing your father.
Rees: Yes! And my brother Rayne still teases me about it!
Blue: Where is he? Will he be joining you? Um, do you know if he …?
Rees: Rayne was here earlier, thank God. He’s fine, doing his thing. What’s your name?
Blue: Blue … but don’t ask me why! I’m only glad it isn’t ‘Green’ or ‘Pink’!
Rees: I’ll bet! And do you have somewhere to stay in all this?
Blue: I do, thank you … it will get better, I hope you know that. Sooner than we can believe right now.
Rees: I hope so. Thanks. I suppose you must be on your way. Good to meet you, and good luck.
Blue: Luck to you also.
(After checking her notes, Blue found a parallel in her interviews in Galilan. The place she interviewed Rees after annihilation was also the place she spoke briefly with an older woman before the destruction of the city and after the soltakin commenced the campaign of terror. She swiftly deduced she had had words with Rees and Rayne’s mother and was thus one of the last to have seen her alive)
Blue: My lady, you should be indoors. It isn’t safe.
Rayne’s mother: Can’t call anywhere safe, my dear. Walls and closed doors will not stop those fiends.
Blue: Lady, is there someone with you? Your children?
Rayne’s mother: Essie from next door. We keep each other company through everything good and bad. My children have their own lives … my daughter gallivants in the country as if she’s a spoilt rich girl and my son flits everywhere trying to be Valaris’ saviour … forgive me, I find I’m disappointed that they saw fit to … to …
Blue: Abandon you?
Rayne’s mother: Forgive me, no. Rees is a good girl and will be here as soon as she can. And Rayne … well, Rayne is what he is, isn’t he? How dare I deny that? How dare I deny our people his abilities?
Blue: My lady, where is Rayne now?
(The woman unfortunately returned indoors then, perhaps realising she had revealed too much. Blue has not discovered her name, and there is no image on record of Rayne’s mother)
City of Eternity. City of the Abyss.
Ninety million years abandoned and yet Grinwallin waits as if it fell into disrepair a century ago. Here is a mystery!
Okay, so you’ve read Lore of Arcana (Arcana’s reading order here) and Lore of Reaume (Reaume’s reading order here) and you’ve taken a mighty breath (because, hell, after the mighty Dreamer Stones you definitely need to!) and now you’re ready for SANCTUM.
Let’s get into it then 🙂
His name is Elianas
Yes, indeed, this is the era of Elianas. You’ve seen the same visions Torrullin has throughout the series about the mysterious Elianas … and now you will find out who he is as we travel an actual Time realm to potentially ‘fix’ an ancient crime.
Main worlds visited in Nemesis: Valaris, Akhavar, Luvanor and Sanctuary
The Door to Truth
When prophets see an event and act upon it, it becomes a door covered by rock. When, ages later, mining uncovers it, everything is set to change. This is sacred space.
We move through the ‘verse here, from Valaris to Avaelyn, Luvanor to Sanctuary, and of course – Echolone.
A Sphere of Manipulation
Folk should stay dead! But this is the multiverse and realms are travelled, and thus an enemy believed dead arises anew, and he has a bone to pick with Torrullin and Elianas. Prepare for a mighty manipulation in an absolutely nowhere place. Hold your breath too, because something huge emerges and it paves the way for the final LORE book.
From everywhere to Nowhere, the action moves swiftly.
Time demands redress
The entire Lore series delves into Time, but a Timekeeper control the flows. The race for the master clock is on! For the sake of all, this Timekeeper simply must not find it first.
The dedication in this final volume is for the multiverse, because that is where you will find yourself 😉
The links for Nemesis, Echolone and Master Mechanism are in the sidebar.
“Beacon was settled around thirty-five thousand years ago. We were spacefarers already, thus the building of a new world presented little problem. If Beacon did not have the required material, we found it on a neighbour world. Fuel was soon an issue, but geologists and engineers swiftly discovered reserves in the sea. Of course, we knew what happened when one tampered with continental plates’ lubrication, so we were careful, and found other reserves on other worlds as soon as we were able to.
“Beacon’s exploitative nature began in the beginning. Clear oceans, wide rivers, flora and fauna, everything a new world had to offer, and now this. We spread out, settling all continents simultaneously – with travel and communication it made sense – and trade flourished. This region had something special, however, and it led to strife.”
He leaned forward.
“We came to grief over diamonds, when we should’ve learned our lesson on other worlds.” He leaned back again. “They were alluvial and the river nearby held those riches, enough for anyone to dip a pan into, but ownership of the water became a debated topic. The settlers on one side claimed it belonged to them, while those opposite claimed likewise. Villages up and down the river were of similar belief. A new world, and within a year we were at war. Other continents, towns and regions weighed in and took sides, and the war spread. On a particularly hellish day the river ran red, and it finally brought the settlers back to their senses.
“They began to talk again, and it was decided a bridge of stone would be built across the river, one that would stand the test of time, and upon this bridge would be a diamond house. All stones would be brought there, sorted and valued, and every prospector allocated hereditary land as payment. The diamonds were for trade with other worlds and goods would be equally shared between regions. The diamonds therefore belonged to all and the water was for crops and drink, not for pollution with human lives.
“There were problems, such as who would run the facility, and the design of the bridge almost sparked another war, but it was built. It virtually crippled us, for manpower was taken from other survival pursuits, and folk concentrated more on finding the stones to claim land for perpetuity than on growing food and building homes. An economic disaster, a political lesson. All said and done, it worked – for five years.”
Weth paused and then laughed. “The diamonds dried up.” He cleared his throat and went on. “The building on the bridge was demolished and the materials used for other purposes. Some wanted to dismantle the bridge itself, but that was stupidity. A bridge, after all, is a safe way across a river. The Bridge of Foolish Dreams – idiots. That is the known tale, on record in the economic section of any library. Its erection gets brief mention in the history books.”
“There is another tale,” Elianas murmured.
“The reason for the Brothers of the Bridge.” Weth pointed a finger at Torrullin. “You seek the past of others, those less connected to the Valleur. I’m sorry to disappoint you, for that is a Valleur bridge.”
Of course it was. Torrullin sighed. “How?”
Weth smiled, looking from one to the other, and then he was markedly intent.
“I told you the design nearly sparked another war, and it was so. We had drawings of beam bridges, truss, cantilever, even suspension, and all were lovely. Most were impractical and meant too much resource. The beam bridge was sound, but how long would it last? The river could flood and did. A two hundred foot span is not that great, so why suspend and cantilever? The practical solution was an arch bridge with foundations of rock and stone; done properly, no flood would damage it, and it could also be raised above potential flood level. Thus it was decided.
“Quarrying for suitable rock commenced, pink stone the choice. Then we ran into a snare. Spacefarers had no idea how to tool rock into precise shape. We were not yet at the point of concrete and steel. Much stone was destroyed in attempting to learn ancient lessons fast, and the project almost came to a halt. Folk began looking at discarded designs again. Then two strangers came – stone masons.
“They apparently heard of our dilemma and decided to offer their services. They were feted and feasted, believe me, such was the relief, but nobody thought to ask exactly where they came from or why a pilot and a team of engineers would bother to relate the tale of a simple bridge abroad. They tooled, instructed, laboured and created, and finally the bridge was finished and it was lovely. The two stayed on to affect repairs should it be necessary and later were asked to maintain the bridge.”
Torrullin leaned forward. “This part of the tale should be transparent also.”
Weth leaned closer. “One would think so. Beacon forgot their contribution.”
Elianas said, “They were made to forget.”
Weth smiled. “Yes.”
Torrullin pinched the bridge of his nose. “They stayed to protect the bridge and their descendants became the Brothers, right down to you.”
Weth leaned back. “I am part Valleur, yes.”
And that explained that.
Beacon was ordered, clean, and populous. It was a giant city world or a world city, depending on your view. Platforms, highways and bridges laced the oceans. Every few blocks a public area was given over to grass and trees, meticulously cared for, a concrete jungle’s redeeming feature, and likewise space was allocated on the oceans, the breathing room like dark swimming pools. Beacon was regimented, formal and strictly governed, and births were by dispensation of the state. The planet had the largest law-enforcement agency in the universe and the most expert and specialised waste-disposal systems.
Millennia back Beacon laid claim to a sister world in its solar system, a world that became a hungry nation’s breadbasket. Known as Beacon Farm, it was sparsely populated, as available land was relinquished to farming. Farmers rotated through the system and permitted no casual emigration from Beacon to Farm. Still, produce from Farm was insufficient and imports were of paramount importance.
It seemed to work; Beacon was a clean, well-governed world with no poor and hungry. But there was a dark side.
Manufacturing was done under license on other, less congested worlds, with no qualms about pollutants and no compassion for those exploited. Beacon’s powerful business cartels strip-mined, denuded forests, and quarried with no thought for the future. They paid high prices, yes, but left nothing but sterility and poverty behind, and moved on to the next proposition. Beacon was hated by other worlds.
Spacefaring for eons, they were also arrogant and superior. What was once regarded as a survival necessity, those pathfinders to other worlds, transformed into greedy business practice. The might of the cartels respected only two other human worlds; Valaris, for limiting Beacon to normal, healthy trade, and Xen III, for denying them access to long dormant minerals and ores after the domes were brought down.
Despite the alien aspect of billions of closely packed buildings, some towering fearsomely into the sky, Beacon was still beautiful. It was not the grey, sooty, dirty and polluted horror one would expect from a crowded city, but colourful, lyrical in cleanliness, and the crowds were ordered, polite, if distant and distrustful of strangers.
Transport over greater distances was via air-shuttle, while a network of sky-trains serviced shorter hops. Goods great and small were ferried along subterraneous routes. Beacon worked for Beaconites, a gigantic metropolis once foreseen by antiquated science fiction writers.
Naturally there was internal dissent, for without it a world was stagnant, declining by degrees often so infinitesimal that the crunch came when it was already too late to alter the momentum.
Dissenters kept a government alert, and free thought was the backbone of a healthy civilisation.
Arcana, Reaume and Sanctum have their own Facebook Pages as well, and each features photo albums to showcase the worlds, concepts and people of this multiverse.
Galilan, for example, is the capital city of Valaris, and much happens there. It’s an old city, with high gates and park benches. From the mansions of the wealthy to the destitution of the poor, Galilan is a city of secrets, beauty and class distinction.
Below is a small section of the images showcasing Galilan: