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TalonRider

Book 2, Chapter 44

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TalonRider    1

If you've not read this chapter yet, STOP now.

I also found another reason why Renaud was reluctant in making his presence know after being awaken. After the way Jamie treated him at Rood, I'd shy away too. We know from before that Renaud left Eagles Rock, but stayed in the shadows keeping watch. He could have remember the events that took place and probably wanted to make sure things were okay.

Based on what we know, I would have to say that the Trio are no more, regardless if they survived or not. One of them is missing a leg.

And maybe it's just me, but the whole chapter seems to have a bit of a sad tone to it since it's the last chapter of this part. I'll stop here to give everyone else a chance to bring things up for discussion.

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TomasG    1

If you've not read this chapter yet, STOP now. I also found another reason why Renaud was reluctant in making his presence know after being awaken. After the way Jamie treated him at Rood, I'd shy away too. We know from before that Renaud left Eagles Rock, but stayed in the shadows keeping watch. He could have remember the events that took place and probably wanted to make sure things were okay. Based on what we know, I would have to say that the Trio are no more, regardless if they survived or not. One of them is missing a leg. And maybe it's just me, but the whole chapter seems to have a bit of a sad tone to it since it's the last chapter of this part. I'll stop here to give everyone else a chance to bring things up for discussion.

I'm inclined to think that Renaud did what he did because he saw Hippoleto when he was resurrected and he wanted to find out just what the situation was before revealing himself.

The thing about that leg. The dance slipper wasn't on the foot, just near it. We really don't know if the leg belonged to one of the trio and certainly don't have any idea, at this point, what happened to them. We can only speculate that the leg belonged to one of them and they are dead. Hopefully, that will be addressed in one of the interludes or in the next part of book 2, "The Circle Of Ondra"

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pietro    1

Well, I wouldn't write of the Trio just yet, but maybe they have gone. As I said before, there are a lot of Icarians seemingly unaccounted for.

Anyway, Ch.44. I was a little disappointed, especially with the blossoming of Jamie's full powers as a Wizard, if I was an editor I would be recommending a bit of re-writing for that bit. Indeed the whole Rood part seemed a little weak to me.

I particularly dislike sections of writing where a character is faced with imminent catastrophe, like 'there was a sudden CRACK as the roof support gave way' then follows ten paragraphs where the character relives his life, composes a last message for his loved ones, ponders on how fickle fate is, realises he is sitting on a spare support, doubts he can lift it on his own, then decides he's got to try, rips it from the floor and sets it in place under the roof in the nick of time, or all within a hundredth of a second. Sheeesh! I found this fault well represented in this chapter. Perhaps it won't seem as bad on a second reading.

There is much still not explained but perhaps some of that will come out in the interludes.

What of the Farzetti, what of their role in events and how did they get Jaimie's ring and other stuff, how did they preserve it? I thought Jamie had the ring with him when taken before the Emperor in the last chapter, perhaps there is a clue I have missed some where along the way.

What of Charles, where did his plots and schemes fit in with everything?

We can assume the Kalorian 'second empire' decided to reset the stasis chambers to 2000+ years, but why?

They wouldn't have reset the Argon ones so did the Empire return in 100 years, found they were cut off from their technology and regressed into barbarity?

How did Loran, Hippolito and other disloyal Icarians end up in Stasis?

How did Jamie 'lose' his Wizardly powers again, including his tattoo?

Well, we'll just have to hope the interludes cast some light on these things.

At least we now know what the big machine does and what Jamie did, reset it to make the Altinestran barrier, presumably to deprive the Empire of their technology if nothing else worked.

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TalonRider    1
Well, I wouldn't write of the Trio just yet, but maybe they have gone. As I said before, there are a lot of Icarians seemingly unaccounted for.

I admit, I could be wrong about them, but I'm basing my thoughts on what we were told. The Imperial troops had been given orders not to kill the Gahdar. Most likely, the Gahdar were in full battle dress and the Trio were not, they were still in costume from their performance earlier in the evening. Add into that, there was no mention of them being amongst everyone at Rood.

What of Charles, where did his plots and schemes fit in with everything?

Perhaps we'll learn more about this in Part 4 when we get back to the confrontation between Jamie and Charles.

How did Jamie 'lose' his Wizardly powers again, including his tattoo?

Let's not forget about the 'bug' that Charles had put into the data stream for Jamie. It's possible purpose was to block the virus' to level the playing field between Jamie and Loran. How different would the story be if Jamie had full use of his abilities in the 'present' storyline?

I don't think we will get all the answers we want to our questions.

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TomasG    1

After my usual second reading, I must say that I have to agree with pietro. I too was somewhat disappointed with this chapter.

If chapter titles were being used I'd have to name this chapter "Jamie's Pity Party". Awww poor me, it's all my fault.

The events at Rood seemed to be excessively drawn out. Nic, the rest of the Gahdar and the captive Kalorians could have all been slaughtered by the time Jamie finished singing with the unicorn and came into his full powers. I mean, after all his mate was in danger. I would have thought that his full powers would have manifested themselves almost instantly and he would have reacted in that same instant to protect Nic.

About the energy dome. I don't recall reading in any chapter that the dome covered all of Altinestra, it was implied but never really confirmed that it did. It did say in one of the previous chapters and in this chapter that the dome covered Taldor Valoren.

From this chapter:

Once the communicator was activated it would power up the generator, but instead of creating a barrier of energy over the tenth hill as planned, the energy it generated would be redirected to satellites in geosynchronous orbit over Taldor Valoren, protecting it beneath an inpeneratable dome of energy, thus blocking both the human and Kalorian viruses that would ravage the planet.

I don't recall which of the previous chapters that it was mentioned, but I do recall that it said that it reached down to the tops of the mountains surrounding Taldor Valoren. I think that it is possible that the mountains themselves provided an impenetrable barrier and the only way through them was through Taldor Valoren.

Is it possible that the plague went to Argon with the humans and none survived? Of course, the Kalorians could have sabotaged the stasis units on Argon to fail.

Remember, the Trio were dressed in battle dress also. Not the same as the Gahdar, but as Imperial troops for the performance of the Redak. That may have saved them.

So many unanswered questions in the past timeline. Too many to list. Hopefully, at least some of them will be answered in the Interludes.

Sorry, but I didn't feel the story was advanced to any great degree by this chapter. I guess I expected more.

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pietro    1

About the energy dome. I don't recall reading in any chapter that the dome covered all of Altinestra, it was implied but never really confirmed that it did. It did say in one of the previous chapters and in this chapter that the dome covered Taldor Valoren.

Certainly we were told that in the Icarian present the barrier, which we are admittedly assuming is the same impenetrable dome generated by the big machine, surrounded the whole of Altinestra, which comprises all the southern half of the continent below the central mountainous spine wherein lies Taldor Valen. Remember, the barrier can be seen from the high passes on a clear day and we were informed the barrier could not be breached even by sea, cutting off the entire southern part of the continent and Kuronos, the City of Light. Also note the entirety of Altinestra was obliterated from the pre-fall map table where Jamie and the others brokered their present day alliance.

The questions this raises are: if Jamie redirected the barrier to encapsulate Taldor Valen then who switched it off at some future date while Jamie was in stasis and redirected it to cover Altinestra? We know that must have happened because Jamie must have been inside the Altinestran area when the barrier was triggered to cover Taldor Valen, we know that at some point the barrier must have been dropped again because people were able to travel into and out of Taldor Valen but the barrier around Altinestra was permanent.

I suppose there are possibilities that Jamie did it all remotely while in stasis, but that seems a little far fetched.

I think I have detected the error in ch.44 regarding Jamie and his translation into full wizard just in time to save Nic and the Gahdar. I think somewhere before the unicorn asks Jamie to sing with him there should be a line to the effect, "... come Timeturner, join with me out of time ...." or similar. If Jamie has effectively 'stepped out of time' while he transforms everything becomes reasonable, certainly that scenario is possible and plausible from what we know of his abilities. I suspect this was the intention but it got missed or edited out by accident. Certainly to me the chapter does have that woolly, slightly disconnected feel to it that shows up when a writer is rushed, distracted or, God forbid, suffering writer's block. I still think it needs reworking even if that was put right, not to say that my opinion is of any value, of course. I am not the author of what has on the whole been a magnificent work of fantasy.

As to my earlier gripe about why Jamie lost his Wizard powers and tattoo, we know the Unicorn was initially stripping Jamie of his powers after he murdered the Emperor, but stopped and reversed the process while Nic was in danger, I suppose it is just about acceptable the stripping process restarted after he went into stasis, not very happy with that though.

Edited by pietro

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TalonRider    1
Once the communicator was activated it would power up the generator, but instead of creating a barrier of energy over the tenth hill as planned, the energy it generated would be redirected to satellites in geosynchronous orbit over Taldor Valoren, protecting it beneath an inpeneratable dome of energy, thus blocking both the human and Kalorian viruses that would ravage the planet.

I don't recall which of the previous chapters that it was mentioned, but I do recall that it said that it reached down to the tops of the mountains surrounding Taldor Valoren. I think that it is possible that the mountains themselves provided an impenetrable barrier and the only way through them was through Taldor Valoren.

Is it possible that the plague went to Argon with the humans and none survived? Of course, the Kalorians could have sabotaged the stasis units on Argon to fail.

It's possible that after the first one-hundred years was over and the barrier dropped from Taldor Valoran that it shifted to cover another area. That is providing the satellites were still operational. Jamie could have programed it to cover another area.

Remember, the barrier can be seen from the high passes on a clear day and we were informed the barrier could not be breached even by sea, cutting off the entire southern part of the continent and Kuronos, the City of Light.

Actually, it wasn't the barrier that could be seen from the mountains, it was the Tower of Agramon that could be seen in the distance. It was the barrier that prevented anyone from getting to it.

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TalonRider    1
I think I have detected the error in ch.44 regarding Jamie and his translation into full wizard just in time to save Nic and the Gahdar. I think somewhere before the unicorn asks Jamie to sing with him there should be a line to the effect, "... come Timeturner, join with me out of time ...." or similar. If Jamie has effectively 'stepped out of time' while he transforms everything becomes reasonable, certainly that scenario is possible and plausible from what we know of his abilities. I suspect this was the intention but it got missed or edited out by accident.

To write out something that takes place in the mind, would take longer than actually seeing it ones mind. I myself have had to stop and think about something that I'm writing as my mind goes faster than my hands. Equate it to the internet if you will. You type in a url, or click a link, and in less than a second, you're there.

And lets not forget the tattoo didn't fully manifest itself until Jamie finished his puberty cycle. He also didn't really find out too much of the essences right a way. We also don't know if for sure how soon the wizard will reach his full potential. It has been said before, some of the charms could take years before the wizard could use them. It's also been said back in Book 1, that Jamie is not bound by the same rules as Loran. He's had to learn about them on his own, while Loran had Lon Nol to teach him.

I'm thinking the Unicorn shut Jamie down after he physically killed the Emperor to keep him from 'exploding', we all know how hot tempered Jamie is. Once things changed, the Unicorn switched things and started guiding Jamie

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TomasG    1

Considering the role that the Unicorn played in this chapter, could it be that in the current timeline, now that Jamie has absorbed the Unicorn Orb, it will act in the same way and negate the Owl and in the Circle of Ondra against Loran reactivate all of the viruses, that I believe were deactivated by the worm that Charles planted in the data stream, and bring Jamie to full power. We know that Jamie doesn't need the Orbs as does Loran. Maybe the events at Rood with the Unicorn were *meant* to focus on the abilities of the Unicorn and not so much on Jamie gaining his full powers.

We don't know why Charles planted that worm and what it was supposed to do when Jamie came out of stasis. The only thing I can think of is to deactivate the viruses. Why? Only Charles knows for sure at this time. Perhaps Charles has a great deal of knowledge about the viruses and how they work and as you pointed out that it would likely take years for the wizard to fully use the powers granted by the viruses, if ever. Perhaps he was aware that the viruses would continue to mesh and evolve even while Jamie was in stasis and to come out of stasis with the full power of the wizard would be dangerous for Jamie especially with Cold Sleep Memory Lost Syndrome a high probability. With little or no memory of the past and all that power it could very well have proven to be be catastrophic.

All of the above is purely conjecture and specualtion on my part. Take it as you will :)

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TalonRider    1
CHARM – Pain

Along with the vast powers invested upon the Wizard of Icaria there also comes a great and serious responsibility for him to use those powers wisely. It is for this reason that the Charm of Pain was created. The wizard's powers are so vast and all- encompassing that it is possible for a wizard to inflict great, pain and suffering upon those he chooses to punish or harm. It is also quite easy for a wizard to quickly kill large numbers of people. Because of this, for every life the wizard takes, the Charm of Pain comes into play. Because of the seriousness of taking the life of another, when the actions of a wizard cause death, he himself undergoes pain: physical, mental, and emotional. This pain is searing and deep and acts as a check against the wizard using his power to kill or harm another person capriciously.

This is what we know about the charm. This would seem to indicate that if and when a wizard uses his powers to harm or kill someone, he will suffer.

In this case, Jamie physically took a life, so should the Unicorn react to it? Apparently it does but in a different way. Let's also not forget that the bond between Jamie and Nic played a part in what happened.

So when it comes to the fight between Loran and Jamie, Jamie is going to have a difficult time of it based on what we know about the charm. So I'm thinking when it comes to the physical aspect of doing harm, the Unicorn may react differently.

If you noticed also, the Unicorn seemed to have caused certain other essences to work together.

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pietro    1
CHARM – Pain

Along with the vast powers invested upon the Wizard of Icaria there also comes a great and serious responsibility for him to use those powers wisely. It is for this reason that the Charm of Pain was created. The wizard's powers are so vast and all- encompassing that it is possible for a wizard to inflict great, pain and suffering upon those he chooses to punish or harm. It is also quite easy for a wizard to quickly kill large numbers of people. Because of this, for every life the wizard takes, the Charm of Pain comes into play. Because of the seriousness of taking the life of another, when the actions of a wizard cause death, he himself undergoes pain: physical, mental, and emotional. This pain is searing and deep and acts as a check against the wizard using his power to kill or harm another person capriciously.

This is what we know about the charm. This would seem to indicate that if and when a wizard uses his powers to harm or kill someone, he will suffer.

In this case, Jamie physically took a life, so should the Unicorn react to it? Apparently it does but in a different way. Let's also not forget that the bond between Jamie and Nic played a part in what happened.

So when it comes to the fight between Loran and Jamie, Jamie is going to have a difficult time of it based on what we know about the charm. So I'm thinking when it comes to the physical aspect of doing harm, the Unicorn may react differently.

If you noticed also, the Unicorn seemed to have caused certain other essences to work together.

Hhhmmm, just read it again, still have problems accepting the action/reaction timings re Jamie and the battle.

Also the Unicorn bit is still very confusing. It would appear that the Unicorn's response to Jamie's killing of Enrick was to deprive him of his powers. Then, when Nic was in danger, it apparently reversed itself, removing the inhibitory toxins it had been producing to block his powers and generating a new toxin that greatly increased his powers and allowed Jamie to mature into a full Wizard in a single big bang event.

OK, maybe a bit contrived but we can live with that. However since Jamie has no powers post stasis we have to assume that the Unicorn reversed again and blocked him again, although that isn't said. It could have been Charles' worm I suppose but that should have been ..... ah, who knows?

But if his neuroreceptors were again being blocked then they must still have been blocked post stasis, otherwise the original viruses he carried would have re-activated his powers. But if that was the case then absorbing the orbs he did shouldn't have worked either, they are the same viruses, unless the original viruses had somehow been removed. Maybe it was Charles' worm after all.

Ah well, how will things pan out? Well, at the moment this whole area of powers and orbs is just too confused and seemingly contradictory to work out, at least for me. :rolleyes:

I also found the Renaud sequence a little mystifying. Jamie's suddenly taking against him seemed a little strange, although possibly justified by his general funk.

Well still a lot of questions to answer, questions that I would have thought should have been answered within this book, not carried on to the next, but that's only my opinion :)

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TalonRider    1

At this point, we can only assume what the worm that Charles had planted does. I'm thinking the worm is blocking what Jamie already has to try and create a level playing field between Loran and Jamie.

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pietro    1

As I said, it is just too confused at this point; worm, shwerm, who knows?

However there is another thought that just came to me. I said before there were a lot of loose ends that really should have been tied up in this book and not carried over into the next. Well, I was probably wrong. Jamie transferred his and Nic's memories to Charlie for safe keeping at the end of Ch.40 which means the present day Jamie probably still does not have clear memories of what is portrayed in the last four chapters. On this basis and being very pedantic 'cause it is in my nature to be so (in case no one noticed) the last four chapters really should have been in the next book.

I suppose retrieving his other memories might have triggered a total recall but I wouldn't have thought so given what we know of cold sleep syndrome. If that is the case there will be the potential for considerable confusion over what is actually what in the next book, which might of course be Jamie.wri's intention. We know Jamie did remember some of what happened in this time, even before he regained his memories from Charlie, 'though not exactly how much or how true those memories were.

Think back to when David and Miro were brought out of stasis and David said more or less that all he remembered was Nic's ugly face when he sealed them in the stasis unit. We now know that was a false memory, as were many of the things all the gang 'remembered' on their journey. This particular red herring was very good and very misleading about what actually happened. What does this bode for events in the next book?

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TalonRider    1
I suppose retrieving his other memories might have triggered a total recall but I wouldn't have thought so given what we know of cold sleep syndrome. If that is the case there will be the potential for considerable confusion over what is actually what in the next book, which might of course be Jamie.wri's intention. We know Jamie did remember some of what happened in this time, even before he regained his memories from Charlie, 'though not exactly how much or how true those memories were.

The memories that Jamie recovered from Charlie will only be those memories that Charlie copied just before going into stasis. Any memories after that are just as vulnerable as the original memories at being forgotten. Jamie even set things up to help him remember some thing important, and that almost failed. The bracelet that Damian recovered at Castle Rood was one clue. Charlie trying to contact Jamie on his own was another.

Think back to when David and Miro were brought out of stasis and David said more or less that all he remembered was Nic's ugly face when he sealed them in the stasis unit. We now know that was a false memory, as were many of the things all the gang 'remembered' on their journey. This particular red herring was very good and very misleading about what actually happened. What does this bode for events in the next book?

This story has been a work in progress since 2004 and has evolved since. Things happen and get missed. Those of us who have read this story from the beginning are going to notice something that doesn't quite fit. When Jamie is ready to release it to us, the updated Book 1, will help clear up some issues.

Part 4 of this book, when we get to it after the next Interlude will be dealing with the fight with Loran. From there we'll be moving on to the next book as we still have Hippolito and Abbott Gude to deal with and the future of the Icarians.

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pietro    1
Think back to when David and Miro were brought out of stasis and David said more or less that all he remembered was Nic's ugly face when he sealed them in the stasis unit. We now know that was a false memory, as were many of the things all the gang 'remembered' on their journey. This particular red herring was very good and very misleading about what actually happened. What does this bode for events in the next book?

This story has been a work in progress since 2004 and has evolved since. Things happen and get missed. Those of us who have read this story from the beginning are going to notice something that doesn't quite fit. When Jamie is ready to release it to us, the updated Book 1, will help clear up some issues.

Part 4 of this book, when we get to it after the next Interlude will be dealing with the fight with Loran. From there we'll be moving on to the next book as we still have Hippolito and Abbott Gude to deal with and the future of the Icarians.

Well even if David's false memory was a mistake in the writing it does 'add' to the story in my opinion.

So we are about half way through are we? Kewl as they say.

Like everyone else here I am eager to see the revised Book 1, let's hope we see it soon, preferably this year.

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TomasG    1

I don't think that we'll get to the fight with Loran in The Circle Of Ondra until late in part four. Jamie still has Charles' fate to deal with (remember the 44 chapter cliffy :) ), then the battle in Fire Block Canyon. Also there is the battle at the pass w/Brotus and the Iron Regiment to contend with. After which is the task of getting everyone to The Circle Of Ondra. Then we can have the fight between Jamie and Loran and the outcome of that.

And all the while keeping some small tab on the activity of Gude and Hippoleto, although I doubt that they will be fully dealt with until Book Three along with whatever role that Charlie and Giovanni are destined to play.

Many things to be deal with in Part Four.

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TalonRider    1

I'd have to agree with your assessment on the timeline. We do have the confrontation with Charles to deal with, then it's back to the Ardentin Forest to pick up the Kosh and head to Fire Block Canyon to join up with Nic and everyone there.

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pietro    1

I'd have to agree with your assessment on the timeline. We do have the confrontation with Charles to deal with, then it's back to the Ardentin Forest to pick up the Kosh and head to Fire Block Canyon to join up with Nic and everyone there.

Now, now, For an editor/beta reader you seem to be slipping. I distinctly recall the tribes in the Ardentin are the VOSH. Besides, Jamie's weapon is the staff. :P

While TomasG's timeline is the most logical history has told us Jamie.wri might mix things with even more complexity, after all the confrontation with Hippolito is entirely up to him and while blessed with astronomical levels of arrogance, cunning and spite he is not one to wait on opportunities, he works to create them. His arrogance and cunning together with always being protected by Loka's influence and power have convinced him he is brilliant tactician and strategist while we know that for an Icarian he is pretty thick. That doesn't mean he is stupid, but it does mean he could easily do stupid things, unpredictably.

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TalonRider    1

You're right, I meant the Voshcanon (Vosh). Kosh was the name of one of the characters from Babylon 5.

We may even see a little more of Miro and the Gahdar's leading the Throne's into the trap, but most likely that will be in an interlude.

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TomasG    1

My biggest hope in regards to The Scrolls is that Jamie will be able to return to his usual posting schedule. Also, It seems like we have lost some of the people that used to post questions and comments making for lively discussions on each of the chapters and the overall story.

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pietro    1

My biggest hope in regards to The Scrolls is that Jamie will be able to return to his usual posting schedule. Also, It seems like we have lost some of the people that used to post questions and comments making for lively discussions on each of the chapters and the overall story.

Quite so.

The academic year in the UK has ended for most colleges and unis around the end of May, the new year will typically start around the end of September. I don't know where Jamie.wri is based, I seem to recall Europe. There things vary country to country but nearly all of them will have ended by now so, unless he has an alternate job or teaches summer school his time should be a little freer. Generally there shouldn't be any exam periods, unless they allow resits, until next summer.

Of course, he might go back-packing in the Amazon or something :lol: we don't know. Still fingers crossed and hope for the best.

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TalonRider    1

Jamie continues to write. Unfortunately, life tends to get in the way and it doesn't always affect the author, it can affect the authors team as well. A few months ago, the editor had computer problems which didn't take as long to take care of as originally thought.

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TalonRider    1

Jamie lives and teaches in Belgium. Plans are in the works for our third get together when he comes back to the States to teach a class.

You can laugh if you want, but while I'm waiting another author to send a story back to me so that I can convert it to PDF format so that I can read it on my nook, I've been reading Book 2 again.

Maybe a reason people were a bit disappointed is this chapter is that it was lacking a lot of action. During most of Part 3, everything has been moving along quickly. to get us to an end point and it's time to slow things down a bit. Yes Jamie is down, he's exhausted, he's disappointed that he didn't save more Kalorians. Then there was the Emperor and his plans for Jamie to deal with. Jamie was in shock. With his reaction to Renaud at Rood, I think he felt betrayed and I think he was about to give up all hope of succeeding.

Iron is coming.

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TomasG    1

Jamie lives and teaches in Belgium. Plans are in the works for our third get together when he comes back to the States to teach a class.You can laugh if you want, but while I'm waiting another author to send a story back to me so that I can convert it to PDF format so that I can read it on my nook, I've been reading Book 2 again.Maybe a reason people were a bit disappointed is this chapter is that it was lacking a lot of action. During most of Part 3, everything has been moving along quickly. to get us to an end point and it's time to slow things down a bit. Yes Jamie is down, he's exhausted, he's disappointed that he didn't save more Kalorians. Then there was the Emperor and his plans for Jamie to deal with. Jamie was in shock. With his reaction to Renaud at Rood, I think he felt betrayed and I think he was about to give up all hope of succeeding.Iron is coming.

That's great that you and Jamie will have another get together. Just too bad that he will have to deal with our TSA thugs and perverts.

I have read both books 1 & 2 innumerable times. Sometimes I'll start at the beginning and other times I just start reading in the middle. Or a thought will occur and I'll start reading in the chapter where I think the event that I'm having the thoughts about happened. Then I usually just continue reading.

It's easy to understand our little wizard being despondent about what he perceives as his failures, but I'm sure he'll spring back.

It will be interesting to see what nuggets the Interludes reveal. Then on to book 3 and the Circle OF Ondra.

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TalonRider    1

This chapter has also given us an answer to a something that was not questioned. Back in Book 1, chapter 13. This is the chapter that takes Nic, Jamie, Charles, Luc, Cody, and Damian to Castle Rood.

“Well, you know how we came out of the forest onto this plain and assumed that it’s a large and open expanse of flat land?”

“Yes,” Nic answered.

“Well, it’s not. It’s true that it is an open area, and it’s really big, but it’s still surrounded by forest. Think of it as a huge open clearing in the forest. It goes on for miles, but from what I can see, it’s completely surrounded by forest. As we continue on our journey, eventually we’re going to have to return to the forest. Actually, the ruins border one edge of the forest where this open space ends. And there’s something else even stranger – the open fields seem to converge into a point at the site of the castle.”

“How so?” Charles asked.

“It’s hard to describe without seeing it for yourself, but from the air you would instantly understand what I’m talking about. I’ll try to explain: imagine that you are looking at a triangle shaped like a pyramid with its base flat on the ground and one of it’s points at the top. The castle is at the top – the peak of the triangle. The plain then flows from it almost like a river, widening and growing on either side until there are miles separating the two points at the base. Does that make sense?”

“I think so,” Charles replied.

“It almost seems like it was made that way on purpose. But as I said, it’s perfectly clear from the air. Since the castle sits in the point, the forest is quite close to it.”

Book 2, Chapter 44 tells us how and when it was formed.

Once they were out of the arena the sight that greeted them shocked them into silence. Although it was night, the sky was aglow from hundreds of fires that could be seen in the distance, near the ends of a great swath of flattened and burned landscape. Close by, many of the buildings and structures around the red castle that had stood in the direct path of the energy Jamie had generated were either missing or destroyed.

“It looks as if it started there,” Julius glanced back into the arena, "and then flowed out in one direction, like a fan."

“Or the wake of a boat,” Jannus suggested to his primi.

“A wake that started with him,” Miro grinned, pointing at Jamie. "I think I'll always try to be on his side."

I guess you can now say that we now know this area was man made.

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