The Holden Stone

Reflections of a Fantasy Writer

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Home Library of Sorenzia HISTORICAL ARCHIVES Edeveil, Land of the dolmen

The Lake of the Édéveil: Dolmanham (as remembered by Fawn, daughter of the High Otarin)

Lake 1

Originally all five sects of dolmen – the Otarin water dreamers, the Ishtarin wood growers, the Fenarin fire dancers, the Evarin wind spinners, and the Petrarin stone workers – lived in their separate realms. After men came to our world and overtook the great Durin river valley, the dolmen all retreated into the Lake of the Édéveil, the ancient realm of the High Otarin. The Otarin queen generally keeps weak-minded mankind away from our shores by sending out the suggestion into the minds of all who come near the Lake to see it differently. From the Belven Woods on the west and the eastern shore, the Lake appears covered in mist; from the Point above the Falls to the north and from the peaks of the Ashe to the south, it seems no more than a wide clear expanse of a large blue mountain lake.  From no vista outside the Lake are the myriad of islands seen.  Any human not known to be a friend of the dolmen who attempts to enter or cross the Lake will instantly believe he is drowning and will die.  He will also vanish from the sight of any of his companions on the shore.

Most of the islands are overcrowded now with dolmen, each island shaped by the sect of its inhabitants: stone cities on one island, forests on another, farms, vineyards, a microcosm of the dolman world cramped into too small a space.

The king of the Ishtarin has two islands.  The larger of his islands is the wooded homeland of most of the Ishtarin clan.  The Ishtarnik’s ancient country villa is at its northern tip beyond his grove of Pommentin trees. The Pommentin trees are the only known grove of trees like them. They are taller than most other apple trees and have a more siver bark. It is said that a Pommentin tree will take root only when a new birth occurs in the Ishtarnik’s family and that no one may touch a Pommentin tree and live without the permission of its kindred soulmaster. My brother and I have had personal experience to believe this is so.

The Ishtarnik’s other island, much smaller and closest of all to the Belven woods (the Ishtarnik’s ancient realm), is the only island not joined to any other island by a bridge. This small unnamed island is part of the Ishtarnik’s inheritance when he becomes king of the Ishtarin. Only he goes to it, and only there on it can he escape the touch of the Otarin queen’s presence in the back of his–and of all dolmen’s–minds.

On the largest island in the center of the Lake, the queen of the High Otarin sits on an amethyst throne backed by a waterfall–a miniature reflection of the sparkling Édéveil Falls (fountainhead of the Lake) that it faces.

The southernmost island in the Lake is the starkest. A barren plateau guarded at each of its four sides by a tall stone sentinel. At its center are four huge stone statues with legends that they once spoke to both dolmen and shaman lords of men and gave them the Legend of the End. The statues are believed to be machines.   Such machines, like other statues and stone-eyed faces around the world, were built by men when they first came to Colonium and were at peace with the dolmen. The queen of the High Otarin can use the eyes of the statues to look through the eyes of other statues elsewhere to see what men are plotting now. And it is said there is a chamber behind the four stone statues that at one time could transport a dolman to another statue elsewhere.

 

Holden Havens and Caves (as remembered by Fawn, daughter of the High Otarin)

An ancient race of people indigenous to this world, or, at least, it is believed that the Holden were here before the dolmen came. The Holden live singly or in pairs in the mountains of the world. Secretive, wielding their power to shape the stones, and the crystalline caverns beneath the bowels of the mountains, and the tiny holden caves inside a geode, the Holden are rarely seen even by dolmen. The Holden’s strong haunting music puts most people to sleep.

And in the Black Hills far in the northeastern reaches of Norgondy "live" Zo and his "people" as well as the last of the garugs, large flying lion birds with forked poisonous tails. The Black Hills encircle a beautiful valley, it is said, but no pass has ever been found through those sharp obsidian cliffs. As daughter to the High Otarin it will be my duty to find my way through those hills to meet with Zo before I can become queen.

Falls of the Edeveil as seen from the Lake