I did not create a map for this land but you can imagine a landscape similar to our Tundra, covered in snow for most of the year, and dotted with bogs. It is a twilight land that is plunged into darkness during its winter season or Season of the White Veil as the inhabitants, the Roznoghs, call it. They live in caverns under the snow referred to as holloks, and are divided into clans according to their location. The icy stream called the Bringer of Viyu (numbness) winds its way through the landscape. The roznoghs are distant ancestors of the erfins. Their food comprises mostly hyfnu weed from the bogs (Greevuns) and meat from the small furry Nimply-wiks, and the large carnivore, the Wooil, which has four eyes, huge shoulders and powerful front feet, sloping down to smaller hindquarters. The Wooil can tear a roznogh to pieces, but its meat is valued, and also its fine fur hide. The roznogh worship the Skymaster Yidu, who is a big part of the story in the second book Three Stones of Destiny. It is here that Mirrortac encounters the Werdstone — a much revered stone — and gets himself into a whole heap of trouble.
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!’
Mirrortac then experienced memories of three lives as females, each taking them further back into the ancestry of erfins. Strife was ever-present between the clans as they vied against one another, ruled then by powerful maja-taks who reigned through the use of strong spells. The lands were themselves rent with unrest and upheaval; mountains of fire brought terror and the Monsters-of-the-Deep-Earth rampaged and devastated the world. Finally, the moment of confirmation came as Mirrortac looked through the eyes of his second life as an Uzdree maja-tak whose name was Harka. The uzdree had settled in well wooded lands south of Yidrogh where the Great Numbness had divided the world. Harka experimented with new spells as did other maja-taks of the clan-race and there was competition between them. The rivalry, friendly at first, grew more intense as the maja-taks sought more freedom to exercise their newfound spells. The clan elders objected to the use of the new spells and arguments were heated. In a daring show of defiance, the maja-taks overthrew the clan elders and sent them and the clan-master into exile. Arguments broke out between the maja-taks on who should be leader and the Uzdree were split, forming the Urdin and the Madree. Relations between the two clan-races became frayed as the power game continued. The Madree finally gained control and formed into a powerful ruling clan-race which still ruled in Mirrortac’s third life as a female Madree called Loreel.