Monthly Archives: January 2014
After a voyage across the northern seas of Mareos, Mirrortac lands on a desolate and strange beach from where he is transported into another dimension through the work of an ominous mist. The name of this astral “world” is Hopocus, where deception is the norm. He first encounters the Enchanted Blue Forest — a fir forest at the edge of a coastline where trees are blue, casting orange shadows, and birds fly upside down. A misted landscape leads from this forest to Fog Peak and the Castle of Hopocus that is inhabited by a sorcerer and sorceress, and their many prisoners, among them a wizard and his assistant.
Lying between the castle and the depths of Raven’s Chasm is the Wood of Forgetfulness where the souls of the dead roam in their eternal circles, having lost their minds and any sense of direction. The wood’s other denizens — deva-hogs — are creatures to avoid. Mirrortac’s mission is to cross these woods to reach the Well of Lost Memories, but how can he succeed if soon after entering the woods, he loses all memory of his purpose? How can he survive being attacked by the deva-hogs? Or joining the souls of the dead in their march of despair?
The flaming fires of Vulcan’s Moat further prevents any escape to a higher astral plane where things are a lot better for souls and those still in body such as the erfin and his friends.
After a rather dramatic exit from Petrosium, Mirrortac finds himself on a boat (flut) on a vast ocean and in the company of a silent crew of sea-like people — one group belonging to a race of island dwelling people calling themselves the Meretees. The silent seafarers are a subgroup known at the Serenetees who communicate with gestures and mimicry. They explore the vast oceans from the equitorial realms to lands of ice. The islands of the Meretees are located north-east of Petrosium and enjoy balmy tropical conditions with plentiful fruits and fish in the surrounding waters. The main island of Plumer-Ra (God’s Land of the Sea) is blessed with the forest of the Divine Green and the long extinct crater of a volcano (Zu-laire). Coral reefs (rufs) surround the island group and a massive pyramid is built on the eastern side of Plumer-Ra.
Three further subgroups inhabit the island — the Children of the Divine Green, the Ra-Finelles and the Astellites. The Children of the Divine Green inhabit the forest from which they take their name. This colourful subgroup wear green robes with garlands and tresses of vines and flowers. They are quite similar to our own hippies of the 1960s, preferring to live a simple lifestyle, collecting the fruits of the forest, and clay, wood and wool. They have a close spiritual bond with the forest, to the extent that they are often seen singing and talking to the trees and animals, and adopting transcendental meditation practices. They are also peaceful people who abhor violent behaviour.
The Ra-finelles are a male priestly subgroup whose temple and home is the Pyramid of Ra-Los and its surrounds. The white-robed sect rarely venture far from the pyramid, which exhibits some strange characteristics such as a time anomaly and a link to the planet Nerthule and a mysterious race of space travellers who are given godly status.
Perhaps the most enigmatic and subtly disturbing subgroup are the Astellites (A-stell-ar-tees) who are entirely female and are nocturnal. They live inside the crater of Zu-laire, and spend the nights studying the cosmos, utilising smooth concave stone arenas that they manipulate to magnify the night sky, identifying planets and stars as they pass over the Pool Stone “screens”. They are the most sombre of all the subgroups, preferring their own company, and only entertaining visitors if there is some knowledge to gain or exchange.
Mirrortac’s stay on the island of Plumer-Ra begins pleasantly enough, although he finds their ways a little concerning at first. Developments during his stay eventually result in his hasty and unplanned departure, but you will need to read the book to ascertain just what happens.
Before Mirrortac and his friend Fillytac reach Petrosium, they must cross the desert Wastes of Nug, which comprise shifting sands and unrelenting heat and sand storms. There are few creatures that can survive in this harsh environment, but these include the six-legged Colglom. It has no tail but has an elongate head with three diamond-shaped eyes and thin ears protruding up from its head. The Colglom has the ability to generate a cooling effect in the heat of the desert, feeding on insects (Sooz) present in the sands. Men would regard Petrosium with greedy eyes as the sands of the desert give way to gemstones and aureum mountains near the ocean simply called The Wet. The Dome of Petros is an aureum monolith which is about 4000 erfin-lengths across. The nearby Dome of Shadow is smaller and composed of obsidian and black opal. The Spire of Wa-ku juts up like a finger, 3000 erfin-lengths in high and 1000 in width. This is the sacred home of the Petros who are the strange inhabitants of this place.
The Petros are not an attractive people. They exhibit two large blue eyes, a horn, and are about the size of an erfin with orange scaly skin with a single foot muscle which they use to pull themselves through their underground passages and the sand and gemstone ground outside. They are androgenous, mating by joining the flower-like protuberance on their navels to each other. Egg-like growths proceed from these navels and drop off to hatch a new Petros. Their horns exhibit the dangerous power of using sound frequencies to kill their prey, but the same horns can also create loving sound frequencies.
The main prey in Petrosium is the Bilk — a hairy beast with six legs and huge shovel-like tusks. It feeds on sooz and the Pok Pok that inhabit the sands of Petrosium. The Pok Pok is a furless creature with a long nose for digging and seeking out insects.
Stretching along the cliffs facing The Wet is the Plain of Many Spires. These are spires of stone shaped in the form of ancient trees. The Wet is the ocean or endless lake as Mirrortac describes it, which extends to the horizon, and acts as yet another transition zone to a group of islands further north.
Exiled in the Dome of Shadow are the misshapen, deformed and “inferior” Petros of the Shadow. And with them is the underworld monster known as Beeblezub. It has six heads, six horns and is decidedly nasty. It is the nemesis of Wa-ku who is the shining master of Petrosium, and who appears to them as a man with curling golden hair, blue eyes, and orange toned skin. He is essentially their god of the sun, and he summons them once a year to pass on his wisdom to them. He appears via a spectacular light show from the Deep of the Shining Wet, which is a deep pool under the Spire of Wa-ku which contains the likeness of Wa-ku at the bottom. Its eyes are emeralds, and the lips composed of rubies. When sunlight strikes the pool, it phosphoresces into the moving image of Wa-ku. Wa-ku instructs the Petros to talk incessantly, describing all they do and giving long introductions.
Stone crystal clusters throughout the network of underground passages form pools of fresh water when exposed to the exterior, and this drips down into pools where the Petros can drink.