« Brilliant Shadows »
« The Time of Shadows falls over Arden like a cloak! »

Clyde Caldwell
Artist: Clyde Caldwell
Kuírbha, the ancient lightning god trys to curse the Glorious Woman who is promised to bring forth the Savior of Eishk.

On Noroàsabba 10, 27 AA, King Ilùviuks died, and the harsh Fire Era with him. However, on the following morning, the Time of Shadows began as if a juggernaut in the realm. It was unwelcome, and those of Arden feared it. It fell like a cloak on the land, and many rumors arose that it was the extinguished "fire cloak" of King Ilùviuks. A mysterious presence, so dark, took up residence upon Arden, a dark evil from Arden's past....

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The title of this novel is an oxymoron. The reason it is an oxymoron, is because of what happens during the glorious Age of Water! Darkness overshadows the long awaited time of Water. With King Ilùviuks gone, an ancient evil is awakened and Arden is re-visited by an evil force, a dreaded force so evil, and alive once before. Long ago, this evil force devoured time and tried stopping it with the downfall of King Exiv.

Long ago, a pact was made. The dreaded wolf, the Xandràxan would return to help Wuàde's Fire. With the Fire Era gone, the ancient evil has returned with the re-birth of the dark Xandràxan. Now, it appears that Kuírbha, the ancient adversary has restored life to the evil wolf. The last remnant known in Arden to the dark wolf's presence was within the Last Guardian, but it was destroyed in the year 12,996 BA.

"The seed of the Glorious Woman must not prevail. Within her womb is the water of life that satisfies the thirsty and powerless Elemental Points." This was an ancient portent amongst the Bibhon of Arden, the "night gods." This is made mention in the Book of the Morning, and it gives warning to the Bibhon to fear the shadows for the shadows would deceive them in turn.

The fulfilment of this portent came to being on Garroàsabba 21, 3 AA with the birth of Coànir the Elemental Wonder. The Glorious Woman is a reference to Elvíenya Kinkayle, Daulky's wife. And, all throughout the Chronicles of Tristan, there is warning to a "era of shadows." Both Itheùks and Daulky make mention of it, but this would be taken for granted in Brilliant Shadows, after everyone believes that the Era of the Concordant Summit is nigh. They were all wrong!

As The Chronicles of Tristan: Onward the Chronicle comes to an end, there is a clue to what happens next. The Fire Prince was subdued, but unbeknownst to the victors, the Fire Prince was visted by a strange creature and bitten. The Fire Prince becomes serioulsy ill and suffers the effects of a transformation, a transformation into the reborn creature, Xandràxan.

After restoring the town of Conería, and settling down peaceably in the Kingdom of Valkíerk, Coànir is warned about the evil presence, but he figures that people are only creating stories of the past. There no longer was a threat in Arden. The Fire Era was history! Coànir presumes that its all just legend and rumor to shake people up.

The Shadows that both Daulky and Itheùks warned about for so long, have finally come to pass with Mairha Kot. Fear falls upon the fallen elfin Kingdom of Cátern. Just because the fire of King Ilùviuks has been extinguished does not mean peace has come. "Yet there be shadows, let us not lose hope in the light." Coànir remembers those words spoken by his mother at one time and soon, a fright stirs within him. It's back! Coànir thought. Right on time! Lurking in the despair of Cátern is the creature Xandràxan, preying on the remaining souls who withstood the fire of King Ilùviuks. Striking with full force, the Xandráxan surfaces within the kingdom and fill the hearts of man with fear. Little does Coànir know, but the myth from the Book of the Morning actually is truth for him and his people. The evil wolf turns up and strikes...

Arden is put on full alert as time is being devoured once again by the evil wolf. So, Coànir quests to find a way to destroy the beast and its stranglehold on Arden for good.Can the wolf be stopped in time before plaguing elfin kind and mankind with despair and fear? Will the lost Kingdom of Cátern survive?

Herein, is that tale....

`Thírnae, go píornain mhan cGasandràcsaen - Cattain, na ber - uámaeradh uí-gmheòrch hoís go cátern da Nhoíg man. Hirlàu da cmae ber - líeradh shaòlha, í nlocoímhadh aàl mhairan cgí Hilùfa-Òucg berbhaògga. Òuigh, ní-Ruíf an acaen ber - còuadh í-narch Nhí-Ruíf an cattain go haphuán dtach. Aàl ber - còuadh cGasandràcsaen, go mhair - líamain. Sashae dhòurc, go cátern mhan, à gmeórchae òig! Í-aluín Ghoàg go nlocuímain Mhoírlogh muís àul. Moírachae ghoàg noíragg an fhorèchae - dta dhòurgain odair, go cátern mhan.`

"Pray ye, who fear the creature of time, for despair will fill those who remain of the departed. A mark of terror will rise from the grave and cast a shadow from the smothered cloak of his fire. The rumors of old, will not be rumors of times gone by. The rumors of old will be the predator, stalking his prey. Take heart, ye who are remaining, and don't despair. Even light must dispel the darkness! Let the light reflect off your pure hearts, you who are of the remaining!"

Excerpt from the Book of the Morning, warning those living in Cátern about the Wolf. Little was it known then, but the word Cátern stems from the word, "to remain."

Cáternain Cuòuae by Eric Chatham (copyrighted © 1997)

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Oakbrook 17-102
Eric R. Chatham
Webelf at Arden
Medina County, Ohio
Copyright © 2003