Who moves into a sequel?
In the pervious article we have disclosed the main aspects of the first book and now it's time to expand onto the sequel. The Golden Scallop had extricated itself from wars and other side-effects of the first book, at last, moving on to a true fantasy adventure, with our beloved characters.
This place was briefly mentioned in the First Light, as a nook where Crickens lived. Amber Heights is a home not only of them, but of many other creatures as: Trunkets, Hedgens, Cluxes, various gnomes and elves. The place is located at the side of the Torry Mountains, serrated by corn fields and mounted on the hill, where the actual maze forest begins to spread, expanding farther to the steppes of Shakalot.
Why Amber Heights considered to be a 'magical nook', if there are no known wizards living there? Because it has preserved numerous legends of the maze forest. The secret chest of Menator is hidden there and Krahter spiders guard it by day and night. Many other legends are still unraveled, nor reproofed, but daring explorers, who had ever entered the forest, were never coming back, leaving everyone in a blazing astonishment.
Crix, Binglow and Legen
This trio was briefly explained here and here. Therefore, we add nothing new, except that Binglow is absent in the Golden Scallop, and the story turns into a duo quest of Crix & Legen. We unfold more on these characters, because we haven't had much time to do that in the First Light. To our blues, they didn't turn into central figures at full capacity in the first installment, appearing only later in the development. Therefore, the sequel was set to be everything we have longed for - a true fantasy adventure.
Crix, Legen and Binglow are becoming the central figures, because of their memorable interaction and views of life. In the Golden Scallop, we discover the zealous drive of Legen, the ravings for gold and glory, wrong aspirations and sally manners of the youth. We return to the cold-spirited Crix, with his examinational approach and gentle philosophy of no confrontations. Sagacious, but not annoying in his commitments, Crix is striving to get rid of his uncle's complexes and become a fully fledged person. Binglow, who is referred here as rambunctious and stubborn boar.
All three are different and supplement each other in a cauldron chemistry. We see true friendship that is not perfect, but shaping. The lads provide non-violent solutions, in order to withstand the evil threats, endangering not only their lives, but, perhaps even the whole Globiuz.
The Hedgen sage. He is a typical dweller of the magical forest of Amber Heights. Hedgens are well covered in the Globiopedia as hedgehog sapiens, originating from the Frool Forest, away from fringes of the Torry. These creatures, with time, had developed into the species sapiens, reminding humanoids in full stance. Hedgens were good bard-tellers, apple harvesters and simply, mumbling creatures of close hedgehog groups, dwelling away from unwanted eyes and thriving towns. As Globiuz evolved, they were gradually getting out from dark-green pits of their forests on social surface. Gaining respect amongst other creatures, Hedgens became more confident, but still - most of them remained in close forestry groups, preserving their 'faith'.
Uncle Dirp was related to Crix only remotely, because Crix was by no means a Hedgen, and was only adopted by his uncle. Dirp kept him as his own son, with his Hedgen spouse Silva, taking care in any possible meaning.
Crix was always around the nooks of Amber Heights, surrounded with their drunk Trunket bards, storytellers, gossipers, flute players and sleepless nights. He never saw big cities, nor the kingdoms, and uncle Dirp was always agog to share his stories from the past with his nephew. Setting a tent in a small glen of the forest, kindling that mellow fire, that was luring the local forest gnomes, Trunkets and crows into the story-telling, like moths on light. The night was heavily mantling the company, permeating the crackling of the fire, heeding to the Hedgen's say.
The shah of Nabadeen
We don't know the name of this prominent figure, all we know - he's an opulent, power-hungry, collector of gems and relics. The shah was always surrounded by his viper advisers, ready to inject their venom of policy at any enemy they aimed at. The shah was compelling, but gullible at the same time. His advisers always took advantage over him, but there was a remuneration for his shortcomings - a roasted royal elk, with dry, ground bat wings in Ballard sauce, sprinkled with Emple garlic, served for his lunch. Go figure.
The castle of the shah alone, like any other giant palace of Azaz (e.g. Zot), was a subject of speculation for many treasure-hunting minds. Some gapers have gossiped, that he kept an underground library, a prison and a treasure room beneath his throne. The latter produced a lot of furor amongst the tattlers, barflies and spies around Globiuz, chattering about the golden dragon skin and the orb of the last sorcerer being hidden there. Many other unexplained peculiarities, such as: why some of his enemies (or those, who were just insolent to him) were disappearing in the royal palace, and why at nights, some drunk roamers, who were accidentally strayed from the market streets and went unnoticed by the guard, somehow, had heard cringing wailing at the walls of the palace? Such questions were prohibited to prattle about in the city of Nabadeen, not in the palace alone.
Speaking of vipers, this one deserves a cup of malice. Scrawny, rueful, scheming snake, hooked down at the throne of the shah, pretending to be his right-hand. This snake was capable of terrorizing his own city, in order of achieving whatever he wanted. Jaddar would never stop in his incinerating madness, drowning his friends in the flames of it. Greed served him as an oxygen to breathe, treachery - the blood pressure to exist.
He and his brother Raffaj (yes, Jaffar in reverse) were deeply rooted into the affairs of the shah. The Nabadeen castle was never the same, after they came to power. And it wasn't going to change, as long as the looming rumours of the Esper Entrance were coiling around the chambers of it. The black adder at the throne had started suspecting something. This time, two guys from Amber Heights - Crix and Legen, were standing in front of him with some plea.
These birds were covered well in the first book and are in the Globiopedia from day one. Iwis are the species sapiens of the north, reminiscent of vertebrate birds and humanoids. They stand on hind claws, where their frontal limbs are formed as feathered arms. Iwis are the progenitor of Kiwis, who, unlike their ancestors, came in full height, with less feathers and human-type arms with fingers. Iwis were the first bird-like creature sapiens on Globiuz, alas, were already dying out species. Compared to their progeny, they had smaller skulls, broader forehead and bowed spine. For them, crafting anything for survival was becoming harder with an advent of the advancing tools, but their successors had managed it better.
Iwis were dwindling away, not only by lack of adaptation or corporeal limits, but by their wrong decisions to leave Colbroom and settle in the southern parts of Norwin; including their disastrous settlement in the Droop Forest, where we have met our friends at the Round Village. All was leading to an impasse of their future, but Globiuz never relied on miracles and paved its way with the evolution of the wittiest ones.
The flying goat-monkeys. These catacomb protectors are the horned apes of the jungles. Zazools didn't have wings, but their white, long fur, flapping in the air, while they were swinging on lianas, produced effects of Icarus. From beneath, it all looked like they were flying. These wild apes were mostly hiding on tree crowns, throwing anything at intruders, sometimes even going in full combat, in order to protect their unacclaimed kingdoms. Little horns on their foreheads served a demonic decoration, rather an actual weapon. When seeing such a creature at night, it was bringing a horrifying effect on any warrior. A pale, horned, furry apparition of a scolding ape, with a long stick in its hands - was something to remember, before passing out completely.
These folks are known as the shamans of the forests. Living in ostracism, they have enshrouded themselves in billows of legends and hearsay. Some tavern drunkards were negatively shaking their hands off, when hearing about the voodoo dancers; Trunkets were spitting down ale in disgust, muttering in cold about the 'cannibals', who ate humans; the bards of the forests were singing about dark and evil soul-bringers in feathers, dancing in cemeteries, in order to bring the corpses of evil back to life. They never had a good reputation, some people even challenged the question of them being humans at all.
These hard-shelled, humped creatures dwell at the shores of the Grand Ocean. You could find them anywhere near seas and rivers, and rarely at the caverns. Caymans are the species sapiens and live mostly in seclusion, due to their abnormal sizes and dramatic apparition. Caymans are omnivorous, but stand to themselves, like forgotten dreamers, roaming beneath stars, to meet their end at last. These coarse, at first look, creatures are the shining projectors of mildness and benevolence. One of those goners, who had somehow gotten the enlightenment, but never had a chance to radiate it. Caymans would share their last scavenged fish with a dog, even if that would mean staying hungry over night.
Nobody ever tried to decipher them. Perhaps, it wasn't even needed for the bustling and developing Globiuz. But sometimes, the creepers of the caves and tropical hideouts, were picking out through the bushels of their lairs, noticing, how a strange Cayman was laying down pebbles at the shore, as if it was trying to construct something.
These avid, cunning, virulent, backstabbing acrobat ninjas are of the Shroom family. Numabots were developed from wild mushrooms, growing up somewhere in the cursed woods. These poisonous humanoids are shorty, just like Lilliputs, but far more dangerous. They were known for abducting royal family members, gaining the treasures of unreachable paths, hopping on moving carts and stealing maps, poisoning the unwanted ones and disguising themselves into animals and even plants.
In aversion, Numabots were incorporating any sabotage into life - because the rest of the world for them was an enemy. They have reached the mastery level of their craft, in order to prove the rest of the Globiuz, that they weren't just shorty freaks with mushroom heads. Speaking of their peculiar heads, they wore mushroom-like hats, hiding many weapons inside, in orderly manner, changing their guise when needed.
Humanoid-weasels of the northern taverns. These species sapiens are cunning tipsters and bartenders. Lanky and tall - they played their best stand at bar counters. Humourous and blunt, they never knew which corner to approach first, because most of the time, sailors and guests were at the centre of their counter, trifling and jeering with them. Scowling their sharp, thin teeth in contortions of laughter, drooling down the deck in lout and holding down for their stomach - Neegles served their best of entertainment. They haven't developed much of their own craft or heredity, but were good companions, adapting to any environment. A Neegle could serve a good toastmaster at Satan's ball, if needed.
There are colour-coded gnomes in the Globiuz glossary: green, blue, brown and white. These specifics mostly relate to the geographical and environmental characteristics of their habitat, that had formed certain types of them. Forest gnomes, mountain gnomes, snow gnomes, underground gnomes, etc. The Blue Gnomes, as the colour suggests, are the ice gnomes, or the north gnomes. They mostly dwell in Safir, Colbroom, Perenial, etc. There may be other regions, where Blue Gnomes were spotted as minorities, because they didn't have a strict, biological dependency on a certain type of location.
Blue Gnomes are the social groups that lived together and remained over centuries as docile species. They are briefly explained as hard-working gold-diggers and ice-builders. Establishing their towns and even cities in the north, they excavated and traded with other races, just like any ordinary dwellers of Globiuz.
The Genol Mountains
The giant mountains of the northern Safir. If someone have had luck to pass through some of its rocky mazes, then there would have been even bigger chances for them to get killed by Ballards, Saars, Arrions, Krahters and who knows by whom else, before reaching out at any point of the freezing cliffs. If that wasn't enough - the Genol Mountains were the coldest spot (with Colbroom and Perenial in mind) on Globiuz. The chains, that the legends told, have sheltered hiding dragons and other outcasts of extraordinary. The Genol was a synonym of 'stay away' and many Blue Gnomes of the adjacent villages adhered to that definition. Except for some of those boisterous, self-proclaimed expediters, who dared to challenge their lives in the labyrinths of snow.