Taurilléa is the world in which Shadowless is set and is as diverse and mysterious as its inhabitants. Composed of five continents the book follows the fates of several characters from the most northerly continent, Norlandía, a land better known as the Northern Realms.
Norlandía’s climate varies widely from the frozen tundra of Frigöris to the searing deserts of Narquiss and contains vast forests and jungles, savannahs and swamps, marshes and mountains.
The Unlucky Thirteen
The Northern Realms
A Murder of Crows…
The door to the monastery library creaked open and the faint smell of beeswax polish wafted gently in the air. Santhom sat reading at a desk by the window, the stained glass causing the pages to illuminate in yellows and reds.
The clicking of heels broke the silence and Santhom glanced up from the book to see Pandimonia sashay across the room.
‘It is time,’ Pandimonia stated.
‘Not until I have finished this book.’
‘We have to leave, now.’
‘I am not going anywhere until I have read this book,’ Santhom snarled. ‘Who knows, it may save my life one day.’
Pandimonia sighed and pulled up a chair, the scraping sound of wood on stone echoing through the library.
‘Fine, what is it that you are reading?’
‘It is part of Amrodan’s tome. He documented everything he ever learned about the gods within these pages.’
‘What did he find out about them?’ Pandimonia enquired.
‘The gods can come and go to our world but it costs them strength to do so,’ Santhom began. ‘When they do appear they can assume any form they wish; a man, a beast, even as a glittering shower of gold.’
‘They can do that?’ Pandimonia asked.
Santhom sat back in her chair and looked out the window, her eyes glazing over.
‘Yes,’ she said, her mind seemingly elsewhere. ‘Before my mother was attacked by Rindorex records tell that a murder of crows circled the royal palace for days on end, never leaving no matter how many attempts were made to frighten them off. It was him, Rindorex, waiting for the moment my mother showed herself before striking.’
‘I do not understand,’ Pandimonia replied. ‘When Rindorex attacked Telimar and I he was the size of a townhouse and clad in armour.’
Santhom snapped from her lethargy and then began flipping through the pages of the book. When she found the correct page she turned the book around, for Pandimonia to see, and then pointed at a paragraph.
‘Amrodan has written it here,’ Santhom stated, before explaining. ‘If a god comes to our world of his own free will then he can choose any form he wishes. But, if he is summoned here, in any way, then he must assume his true form – that of a large armoured titan.’
Pandimonia nodded, slowly, as though she now understood.
‘That is why summoning them and fighting them in their true form is so important, otherwise they could transform into a flock of birds and fly off,’ Santhom said.
‘What else does Amrodan say about the gods?’ Pandimonia asked.
Santhom turned the book back towards her and began leafing through the pages once more.
‘He has written that the gods rape mortal women to satisfy their lust and to increase their power,’ Santhom stated.
‘How does raping women increase their power?’ Pandimonia asked.
‘By copulating with mortal women they are investing some of their power, hoping to slay the offspring and gain back more power than they spent,’ Santhom said.
Pandimonia pursed her lips and frowned.
‘Our kind get stronger as we get older,’ Santhom confirmed.
‘There is more meat on a bull than on a calf,’ Pandimonia muttered. ‘We may as well be cattle to them.’
‘What they did not anticipate is that when they kill us the power gets split between the god and all the remaining siblings, equally.’
‘And we get whatever power the slain sibling had,’ Pandimonia pointed out.
‘Are you sure?’ Santhom asked.
‘How else do you explain your ability to breath underwater?’