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Mirrortac’s “worlds” — 7: Skye

One of the places in my second book Three Stones of Destiny

One of the places in my second book Three Stones of Destiny

Skye is a construct of an alien who has assumed the throne of a god to the Roznoghs. He has used elaborate magic to create a landscape designed to thwart any attempts to enter and reach the crystal palace that he has built for himself. Firstly, before anyone can even enter Skye, they must know the ancient incantation required to open the stone gateway leading from the forest on its edge. Once that is achieved, the interlopers must climb up many steps and onto the plain of Skye where time has being slowed down to such an extent that the sun appears to stay rigid in the sky for what would normally be many days. A pathway leads through an orchard of fruit trees that seem to go on forever, and if followed, will exhaust the traveler without them getting any nearer their destination. The Pathway Forever is more than exhausting, but literally maddening. The traveler will begin to hear a piercing screech that deafens and debilitates. If the traveler deciphers the riddle of escaping the Pathway Forever, they enter what appears to be a lush and inviting landscape of lush grasslands with shrubs and streams running through it. The Fields of Skye may seem pleasant at first, but the traveler soon finds he is under attack by swarms of insects — flying and crawling — that will injure and kill if some escape is not found.

If somehow any traveler has managed to survive all these onslaughts and illusions, they will find that the landscape again changes as they detect pungent smells and a searing, burning plain that is impossible to cross on foot. Within the plain is a huge boulder upon which stands the castle of Wergaen which protects the first Stone of Destiny, Oashu. The only way across the plain is to be swallowed up by a huge creature called the Tordwin. This spiny animal has many tiny feet designed to withstand the immense heat of the plain, and will transport a traveler inside its stomach before spewing it out again at Wergaen. A stone stairway leads up the side of the boulder to the castle above where its three towers rise up, and two green flags stand limp atop the central tower.  A portcullis guards the way into the castle where ghostly beings called web wraiths haunt the stairways.

On the other end of the plain is a mesa supporting the crystal palace where Yidu consults the master Werdstone. Tall bird-like beings, Sacred Chuffs, are at Yidu’s service, standing resolute among the rows of pillars leading up to the throne and the pedestal where the master Werdstone sits. Yidu can use the stone to tune into the smaller ‘chip’ of Werdstone that the daughter of the Werd carries with her.  He can also travel to each of the other two  Stones of Destiny on the planets of Thenigmas and Nerthule, as the links serve as portals across the immense distances of space. And finally, he can use the Werdstone as a communication device with his kin.


The Faugs guardians — teaser, The Three Stones of Destiny


Gibbon (Photo credit: Cloudtail)

Soon they could hear the grunting tongue of faugs as the winged gibbon-faced beings glided from branch to branch and finally down to the ground near them. Despite Mirrortac’s reassurance, the roznoghs all regarded the faugs with anxious eyes. Fervik timidly poked his head out from between Mirrortac and Evarngar. There were six of the tall beings now facing them, their bead-like eyes subjecting the party to equal scrutiny while their green mouldy fur stunk like the greevuns of Yidrogh. Two of the faugs were carrying loaded bows with full quivers strapped to their backs. Their faces were grim and alert for any trouble.

One of the faugs stepped forward and grunted something towards the party of roznoghs. Mirrortac nodded, understanding the faug tongue, though taking a little extra time to decipher the older dialect. The faug repeated himself. ‘I say to you again, what be your place here at the borders of Skye?’

‘I shall be the only one to understand your tongue, faug-one,’ Mirrortac explained. ‘We come from the waste lands of Yidrogh at the bidding of the Sky master, Yidu, god to these people, the roznoghs. We shall be entering Skye.’

The faugs all looked suddenly alarmed and the one who was addressing them said, ‘You must reconsider! It be great silliness to enter into the weirdness of Skye. Turn your feet now before you be lost in foreverness!’

Mirrortac felt the press of roznogh minds querying him. ‘They do nought wish us to go into Skye. They be afraid for us,’ he translated before speaking again to the faugs. ‘We come at an invitation of the great Yidu. He will clear a path for us as this journey be of greatest import. We can nought be distracted in our path.’

The faug’s urgency was not appeased. ‘This Yidu invites only fools. He will play his game with you then destroy you, or worse, leave you to search in vain for him for the rest of time.’

Mirrortac was displeased at this news but had fully expected that his path would be thwarted. But there was no other option.

‘What you tell me may be truth but the task I am to do can nought be abandoned. There be e’en greater powers at my aid that shall see the completing of this task.’

Mirrortac prepared to move away but the armed faugs lifted their bows and pointed the weapons at the party with menace. The faug leader said, ‘We can nought allow you entry to Skye. If you do not turn back, the first arrow shall be your death, blue-fur.’

The hyfnuks tensed up and snarled back at the faugs. They had no concept of the archers’ weapons but interpreted the menacing body language as a threat to their lives. Evarngar immediately stepped in front of Ameece to shield her while Fervik stood quivering in fear behind them. To their astonishment, Mirrortac threw his head back and laughed loudly at the faugs. ‘Hah! If you knew of this erfin standing before you, you would nought be foolish. Do you believe these archers can stop Mirrortac! I have battled monster and demon many times your size and number. We shall nought be stopped!’

The faug leader flinched but remained resolute. ‘You speak impossible things blue-fur. It be nought my wish to kill you but it be far the better for you and your friends to die here then step foot into the madness of Skye.’ Then he pleaded again, ‘I beg of you to forget this foolishness and return to your Yidrogh. Even such bravery as yours will yield in Skye.’

Mirrortac dismissed the plea while the hyfnuks and elders watched on in tense silence, helpless to know the meanings of the words passing between the erfin and the faug.

‘You may see it as your duty to prevent our entry to Skye, but I warn you nought to try stopping us, as you shall regret the day you spurned the mighty Mirrortac!’

The erfin commanded his party to follow but the faugs immediately lifted their weapons to shoot. Mirrortac swung around and glared wildly at them. He lifted his hand towards them and shouted in the ancient maja tongue. ‘Manarg hib rushimba!’ Their arrows burst into spontaneous flame and melted in their hands, forcing them to abandon their weapons. The faugs were all terrified and fled. Their leader cursed the erfin over his shoulder as he negotiated a nearby tree. ‘We will let Yidu have his way with you and your pack of demons, cursed-one. Go to your madness with our curses behind you!’

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