In the Near World, a palace in ruins stood at that hilltop. But in the Between, Goldstone Wood extended over all save the very crest of the hill. Here too there were ruins, not of a palace but of a once-tall tower of black stone.
A doorway remained standing. All around it was forest and the rubble of old stone. But through that doorway was . . . darkness.
"It's been many centuries since I saw Carrun Corgar," said the king with a smile. "What a rundown little hap it is. Nothing like in my day!" (Moonblood, p. 154)
Whatever Carrun Corgar once was to King Vahe, it now marks a gateway to the Realm of Death for him. Passing through a crumbling doorway, Vahe leads his queen into a barren landscape and on to the Village of Dragons where the fire-bound children of the Dragon sleep . . .
We only have a few more glimpses of Carrun Corgar through the course of this novel. Much later on, Sir Oeric, who has lost Lionheart somewhere in the Wood Between and is frantically searching for him, finds his way leading up Goldstone Hill. There, while looking through Oeric's eyes, we learn a little more of the history of the ruined tower.
The once high tower had been built in the early days of Vahe's power, and therefore it had been strong, solid, not spun from enchantments. By building, Vahe had grafted this whole part of the Wood onto Arpiar, making it a part of his demesne. Then he had linked Arpiar to that small portion of the Near World, an invisible parasite clutching that hill. (Moonblood, p. 292)
If Vahe built the tower there, you can bet he used it for nefarious purposes! What those purposes were, we can only guess. Oeric, while looking at it, has memories of captivity . . . both his own and others'. Perhaps it was once a prison, standing in the Between.
And perhaps Vahe was not the only prison-keeper.
Oeric remembers, while among the ruins, climbing to the rooftop. In his memory he pushes open a door and . . .
On hesitant feet he stepped out onto the parapet from which one could gaze into the Near World or the Far without crossing into either.
The night was cold. He remembered that. Cold and moonless. No light illuminated that dark place save that which shone from Life-in-Death's white eyes.
He saw her again, standing before his beloved, who was crumpled at her feet. His memory self cried out, and Life-in-Death turned to him and laughed.
"You are no better than your brother. Goblin. Outcast. You are Vahe." (Moonblood, p. 293)
But whatever the secrets of Carrun Corgar may be, they shall have to exist in nothing more than hint and rumor for the time being. But one day, I hope, I may reveal more . . .
In the meanwhile, what did you think of this strange tower which means so much to the two goblin brothers? Did you have any thoughts or ideas about it while reading Moonblood?
I felt sorry for Oeric when he remembered the tower and the memory came back.
Isn't his beloved Beana? :)
It sounds quite strange and mystical. I wondered at your inspiration for the ruin. Made me shudder to read about it.
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