thread: 2012-06-26 : The Seclusium of Orphone

On 2012-06-27, Vincent wrote:

Here’s the opening of chapter 10 of the first Lyonesse book, Suldrun’s Garden:

DURING THE REIGNS OF OLAM I, Great King of the Elder Isles, and his immediate successors, the throne Evandig and the sacred stone table Cairbra an Meadhan occupied place in Haidion. Olam III, “the Vain,” moved throne and table to Avallon. This act and its consequences came about as an oblique result of discord among the arch-magicians of the land. At this time they numbered eight: Murgen, Sartzanek, Desmei, Myolander, Baibal-ides, Widdefut, Coddefut and Noumique. Murgen was reckoned first among his fellows, by no means to the satisfaction of all. Sartzanek in particular resented Murgen’s austere inflexibility, while Desmei deplored his strictures against meddling with affairs of the countryside, which was her sport.

Murgen made his residence at Swer Smod, a rambling stone manse in the northwest part of Lyonesse, where the Teach tac Teach sloped down into the Forest of Tantrevalles. He based his edict on the thesis that any assistance rendered to a favorite must sooner or later transgress upon the interests of other magicians.

Sartzanek, perhaps the most capricious and unpredictable of all the magicians, resided at Faroli, deep inside the forest, in the then Grand Duchy of Dahaut. He long had resented Murgen’s prohibitions, and contravened them as flagrantly as he dared.

Sartzanek occasionally conducted erotic experiments with the witch Desmei. Stung by the derision of Widdefut, Sartzanek retaliated with the Spell of Total Enlightenment, so that Widdefut suddenly knew everything which might be known: the history of each atom of the universe, the devolvements of eight kinds of time, the possible phases of each succeeding instant; all the flavors, sounds, sights, smells of the world, as well as percepts relative to nine other more unusual senses. Widdefut became palsied and paralyzed and could not so much as feed himself. He stood trembling in confusion until he dessicated to a wisp and blew away on the wind.

Coddefut made an indignant protest, exciting Sartzanek to such a rage that he put by all caution and destroyed Coddefut with a plague of maggots. Coddefut’s entire surface seethed under an inchthick layer of worms, to such effect that Coddefut lost control of his wisdom and tore himself to pieces.

The surviving magicians, with the exception of Desmei, invoked pressures which Sartzanek could not repugn. He was compressed into an iron post seven feet tall and four inches square, so that only upon careful scrutiny might his distorted features be noted. This post was similar to the post at Twitten’s Corner. The Sartzanek post was implanted at the very peak of Mount Agon. Whenever lightning struck down, Sartzanek’s etched features were said to twitch and quiver.

A certain Tamurello immediately took up residence in Sartzanek’s manse, Faroli, and all understood him to be Sartzanek’s alter ego, or scion: in certain respects an extension of Sartzanek himself.

Like Sartzanek, Tamurello was tall, heavy of physique, with black eyes, black curls, a full mouth, round chin, and a temperament which expressed itself in terms of vivid emotion.

The witch Desmei, who had performed erotic conjunctions with Sartzanek, now amused herself with King Olam III. She appeared to him as a female clothed with a soft pelt of black fur and an oddly beautiful cat-like mask. This creature knew a thousand lascivious tricks; King Olam, befuddled and foolish, succumbed to her will.

To spite Murgen, Desmei persuaded Olam to move his throne Evandig and the table Cairbra an Meadhan to Avallon.

The old tranquility was gone. The magicians were at odds, each suspicious of the other. Murgen, in cold disgust, isolated himself at Swer Smod.

See what I mean? I read that and I was like, wait, am I witnessing the conception of Ars Magica here?


This makes lpl go "Sold."

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This reminds JSS of Sepulchrave's Story Hour