Colours of White
Manual of the Guild at Fairhaven - Preface
The angels of darkness made the Roof of the World their home, and after deceiving the followers of light who had eagerly welcomed them, they wielded the ancient and dreadful weapons of Heaven and vanquished those who rejoiced in the light.
In those first dark years, there were none at first among the dark ones who could descend to the lower lands and bear the heat, and the lords of mankind, their true daughters, and their consorts rejoiced that this was so.
For the angels of temptation bore blades that slashed through armor and loosed arrowheads that treated iron bucklers as if they were rotten wood, and they raised a mighty stronghold called Westwind, anchored on Tower Black, that rivaled Freyja in power. And the followers of light, who had ages earlier forsaken the powers of the heavens, relinquished the barren heights to the dark angels and their evil powers.
The dark angels were women who made a mockery out of hearth and home, who reviled men and laughed as they destroyed all the armies of the Westhorns sent against them, as they forced the great lords to heap dust and ashes upon their own heads and to bend their knees and pay tribute, and to stand helplessly as their daughters were tempted from their hearths and consorts.
Yet an even more deadly evil was to flow from the Roof of the World, and none knew it, from the mighty Nylan, smith of the angels, he who builded the Tower Black, he who forged the blades of night and the arrows of the storms…
The Chaos Balance - page:11
Disdaining the Angel Ryba, the smith Nylan, knowing the fate of the once-mighty hunter Gerlich, made his way from Westwind, with all the stealth and craft that befitted the one who had re-created the fires of Heaven and the rains of death.
The soul-singer Ayrlyn accompanied him, and a child, and far more harm than mighty Ryba did these three portend for all of Candar, and all lands, even unto the ends of the world…
The Angel and Marshal of Westwind was sore vexed, and sent she her guards after the three, but, against the dark arts of the smith and the singer, they could not prevail, and in time the three came to the ancient and powerful land of Lornth.
The people of Lornth closed their shutters as the angels passed, and feared as the dark shadows crossed their doors.
The leader of the council of Lornth was a woman, and guileless, and, beguiled by Nylan and the sweet songs of the dark singer and the seeming innocence of the child, she offered them respite, and opened her land unto these dark ones, despite the counsel of those who cautioned against what would come from the angels.
And there, for time, abided the mighty smith and the singer of dark songs, and the child.
The Chaos Balance - page:142
In the mighty city of Cyad dwelt the mages of the white rainbow, whose ships fuelled on fire and spanned the seas, whose white marble palaces glittered in the sun of contentment, and who pursued the knowledge of the distant stars.
Horseless wagons, harnessing the power of chaos to the will of man and mage, traversed the polished stone roadways smoother than glass. Those great firewagons sped more swiftly than the wind, bringing crops and goods and wealth to all of Cyador.
All were content in the order kept by the white mages, and seldom were necessary the shimmering shields and burnished blades of the mighty Mirror Lancers, for there was peace.
In those days had Cyador allowed Lornth privileges in the Grass Hills, among them the privilege to remove metals from the earth. Seeing this privilege, the smith Nylan, in his guile, asked of the regents of Lornth why they existed upon the suffrage of Cyad, when for generations they had slaved and the mages of Cyad had done nothing with the bright copper buried in the Grass Hills.
Those of Lornth pondered his words long into the deeps of the night and recalled that the Grass Hills were yet those of the Lord of Cyad.
As they pondered, then sang Ayrlyn the soul-singer of that darkness of despair that would follow when Cyad asked back what was its due, and when Lornth could no longer mine the bright copper of the Grass Hills.
What can be done, asked the leader of the Lornians, for she was a woman and trusting. How shall we hold to the delvings of our fathers and forefathers that have sustained us through the years?
In response to such questions, the dark angel Nylan offered a great wizardry against which the might of Cyador and her mages would not prevail, and, persuaded by the wily Nylan, the council of Lornth said, it shall be so, and they turned their eyes from the evil that Nylan proposed.
The Chaos Balance - page:198,199
…and when the White Lancers of Cyad had come at last to the copper mines of the north, those of Lornth threw down their picks and shovel and their blades, and fled into the Grass Hills, for they well knew that the copper mines were not theirs, and they were sore afraid of the righteous wrath of the Lord of Cyador.
The White Lancers rebuilt and refurbished the mines, and brought order and discipline back into the Hills of Grass, nor did they afflict the peoples nor their hamlets.
The wily Nylan, like the mountain cat who cannot face the the well-prepared hunter in the light of day, advised the guileless council of Lornth behind heavy doors, saying, If the Cyadorans cannot eat and they cannot sleep, they will not hold to the mines that your fathers and forefathers have worked. And they will depart.
The delvers and diggers of Cyad laboured long and with great effort to bring forth the copper from the mines, trusting in the honour of the Lornians and in the forces of the most honourable White Lancers.
For in that time, none believed that even the wily Nylan would stoop to slaughtering innocent horses, nor to murdering hapless wagoners, nor to raising fireballs in the night and dropping them upon lancer and digger alike while they slept. All this did Nylan, and more, terrible and dishonourable deeds better lost in tumult of time. Yet remember we must, for this is how the dark angels came to power in Candar…
The Chaos Balance - page:307,308
…and when mighty Cyad asked that her lands might remain hers, that her gifts to Lornth be remembered in honour and peace, Nylan spoke quietly, saying that the legions of Cyad would rain destruction upon Lornth, and that the white legions must needs be repulsed.
Will you have Cyad take all that for which you and your fathers and forefathers have worked and earned, asked the dark Nylan. And all of Lornth said that Cyad must be destroyed. From the shimmering cities of order and their peoples to the polished stone roadways smoother than glass and the great firewagons that sped upon them more swiftly that the wind, Cyad should be no more.
None would stand and state that Cyad had been kind and just, and that her peoples lived in justice and peace. For such truth was struck down by the dark mage Nylan with his black hammer, and also by the dark Ayrlyn and her lute so that none would know the grace of Cyad.
The Mirror Lancers burnished their shields and lifted their lances, and the sound of the hoofs of their steeds echoed through rocks and stones of all Candar. The white mages, powerful in the paths of peace and wary of war, girded their robes and invoked the hopes of peace…but all were doomed.
For Nylan, the dark angel, again lifted his hands, and he unbound the Accursed Forest of Naclos, and the forest rewarded him, and rendered back unto him the fires of Heaven and the rains of death. And Nylan laughed and cast those fires and rain across the west of Candar. And Ayrlyn sang songs that wrenched soul from soul and heart from body.
The Mirror Lancers found their light lances turned upon them, and the very earth rose and smote them, and the righteousness of the white mages was for naught as their glasses exploded before them, and death rained upon all the armsmen of Cyad, until none stood.
The very ground heaved, and belched, and swallowed the great cities of Cyad and Fyrad, and the winds flattened distant Summerdock so that no stone remained upon another.
The Grass Hills were seared into the Stone Hills, so dry that nothing lives there to this day. And Lornth rejoiced…until its time had come…
The few white mages who remained, they slipped away to the east, far across the Westhorns, and even beyond the Easthorns, fearing that the west of Candar was no place for the goodness of white.
Indeed, they were sore justified in their fears, for the demon women of Tower Black, the heart of the evil kingdom of Westwind, grasped the Westhorns, as a constricting snake seizes its prey. Their metalled roads pinioned the very peaks, and all trade bowed to their black blades.
The dark forests of Naclos swelled back over their former domain, those lands that the ancient white mages had freed, and the forest once again swallowed the lands in darkness. Therein dwelt the evil druid Nylan and the songmage Ayrlyn, and their offspring made Naclos their own, and the shadow of their powers shaded all of Candar from the Westhorns to the Great Western Ocean.
…and in the fullness of time came the white mages to Fairhaven, to begin again the struggle to reclaim all of Candar from the grip of darkness…
The Chaos Balance - page:441,442
The White Order - chapter:IX
Unto the generations stood the black tower on the heights of the Westhorns, and from it issued forth the demon warriors and their blades, controlling trade and using the very blood of those who displeased them to create the mortar that bound their stone roads.
Nor did they suffer any grown man to survive upon their heights, discarding him like an empty husk of maize once they had wrested his seed from him…
For all this wickedness, Westwind survived and prospered, until the day when the Guild at Fairhaven sent a hero to Westwind, a stranger who beguiled the Marshall of the heights with song. Yet once she had borne son and daughter, the Marshall laughed and sent away that hero. In her evilness, she had her guards slay him in the depths of the Westhorns.
That son, who was called Creslin, grew strong, and cunning as his mother the Marshall, and before he was grown to the age of death or exile, he sneaked away from the heights, taking the talismans of darkness that had held the forces of white and right at bay for long generations.
In time, he came to Fairhaven, pretending to be but a poor soldier, but the brethren were not deceived, and they discovered his deception and captured him and bound him to be a stoneworker on the great highway, far from Fairhaven.
The powers of darkness, in their sinuous way, corrupted a young women and a white mage from the far west, deceiving her into thinking that she was but escaping from the captivity of darkness, and enticed this mage Megaera into freeing the black demon that Creslin had become…
The White Order - chapter:XVI
Under the spells and songs of Creslin, who descended from the black Nylan and the dark songmage Ayrlyn, Megaera persuaded her cousin, the Duke of Montgren, to give both herself and Creslin refuge, for the white brethren had pursued the two and sought to bind them before they brought yet more darkness unto all of Candar.
In his weakness the duke brought his cousin and her dark liege Creslin under his protection, and Creslin used the refuge at Vergren to build his powers, until darkness infested every stone of that ancient keep, until the very sun was kept at bay.
In the depths of that keep, Creslin took Megaera for consort, and bound her to him with the dark tie that meant, should he die, so, too, would she. Such blasphemy of light and goodness was too great even for the duke, and he fell into a stupor.
Fearing that, without the duke's protection, the keep would be opened to the forces of light, Creslin and Megaera fled over the northern hills.
As he knew what the evil pair might bring upon Candar, the Viscount of Certis sent forth a host, but Creslin seized the winds of the north and pummeled that force with spears of ice and hammers of frost, and he slew from the depths of a magic fog the fair young wizard that advised the lancers of Certis, and only a handful of those lancers ever returned to Jellico.
When Creslin and Megaera reached the port of Tryhavven, there they seized a ship of the duke's, binding the crew with darkness and forcing them to carry the two dark mages across the gulf to the desert isle of Recluce…
The White Order - chapter:XXIII
…and when they had come to the desert isle that was Recluce, Creslin the black slew all those of the duke's garrison as who would not swear unyielding loyalty to him, and the remainder he bound with the chains of dark order.
Once this evil deed was accomplished, more of the dark mages appeared, as if from the shadows, and stood behind Creslin, and gloom darkened the very sun.
A handful of stalwart blades, seeing the powers of Creslin and the darkness that cloaked him and the faceless dark mages, swore such a powerful oath, yet resolved to stand firm against the evil, seeking a means by which they could return Recluce to the white fold, and peace and prosperity.
Megaera the wily, putting on perfumes and essences, enchanted them, and then, once under her spell, when they revealed their stalwart nature and fidelity to the Duke of Montgren and to the White Way of Truth, she laughed.
She turned her powers upon them and burned them, saying to all that such stalwarts had attempted to force themselves upon her, and that she had but defended her virtue.
Creslin and the dark mages declared that it was so, and so it was recorded, save in the true records of the Guild…
The White Order - chapter:XXXV
The isle of Recluce was hotter than the Sand Hills raised by the treachery of Nylan, and drier as well, and not even the sorceries of the dark mages nor the fires of Megaera could bring forth water from the dry earth and barren rock.
Children shriveled and died; despite even the spells laid by Creslin upon his followers, more and more voices were raised in anguish and in pain, asking why Creslin had brought them to such a desolate place.
He answered them not, but withdrew into himself, then sent forth ships to plunder the seas. Yet the plunder would not buy water, nor food enough…
Why should all the gentle rain fall upon Candar and upon the lands of our enemies, and those who have sworn to destroy us? asked Creslin of Megaera Why should we not turn the great winds so that the rains return to Recluce as they once must have fallen?
Even the faceless black mages shivered as they heard Creslin's words whisper across the barren rocks and bleached sands.
Yet none would raise his voice when Creslin and Megaera set forth to raise the water and the skies and fought the winds of Heaven, nor was a word spoken when fires blazed out of the sky and floods of water cascaded across Recluce.
The fires burned across dry Montgren and the crops of Certis. Even the hardy oilseeds withered and died, and the forests of Sligo blazed through the long summer.
The floods subsided, and the rains fell upon Recluce, and Creslin and Megaera rejoiced, never looking into a glass or caring about the destruction which they had wrought upon Candar…
The White Order - chapter:LVI
The struggle between the white and the black, between the way of rightness and the powers of darkness, will continue so long as the world endures, for even as the Guild has banished one twisted vine of darkness, yet another springs from the wickedness of the world.
When the ancient white mages had imprisoned the dark forests of Naclos and created the great and peaceful land of Cyador, they believed that they had banished darkness forever, but the demon powers reached and drew mighty champions from far beyond the world, and the blackmage Nylan sundered the prison created by the righteousness of Cyador and freed the dark forest.
When Westwind sundered the lands of the west, the white mages of long ago rebuilt the lands of the east into a bastion of light and prosperity, and founded the city of light itself, a beacon unto all the world that light, like the sun from which it comes, always conquers the darkness.
Then, after years of struggle, the white brethren of the Guild at last overthrew the tyranny of Westwind. Yet before the last stone had fallen, before the last female demon had fallen on those defiled heights, the black wizard Creslin created another haven for darkness upon the barren isle of Recluce.
In the fullness of time, when Recluce is sundered and split in twain, then, too, will yet another black fortress arise, for never can darkness be overcome, but only conquered and held at bay so long as the right-thinking continue their efforts…
Yet, we should not consider such efforts as futile, for with each effort, the powers of light have increased and grown more able to provide peace, prosperity, and the providence of life to those who follow the path of light
The White Order - chapter:LXXV
When the winds warmed and the rains and snow fell less heavily upon the Westhorns, fewer needed the protection of Westwind, and the summer heat prostrated those of the chill heights, and their crops and their flocks.
Lacking the dark talismans of order borne of to Recluce by Creslin, the Marshal of Westwind attempted to persuade the folk of Saronnyn and Southwind to stand behind her and to offer more coins to her.
As they feared the double-edged twin blades of the Westwind guards, those of the lands beyond the Westhorns pledged their allegiance yet again to the Marshal.
Yet even as they pledged, they gathered together in the darkness they had brought to the once fair-lands of the west, and they plotted as how they would bring down the Marshal and split the plunder laid up over the generations upon the Roof of the World.
For honour had they none, even after all the years that Westwind had protected their dishonour from the efforts of the Guild to redress the ancient wrongs.
Following their custom of dishonour, they invited the Marshal to Southwind, where she might receive gold and tribute and grain. The Marshal traveled from her black tower to the great banquet, and flower petals rained upon her, and then arrows from behind the screens of flowers.
The Marshal had not been without forethought, and had left upon the Roof of the World her daughter the Marshalle and the mighty arms master of the guard. And the Marshalle gathered together all the guards of Westwind and vowed that those responsible for the devastation would pay.
As the Marshalle prepared her retribution, there came a traveling minstrel to Westwind, a minstrel known of old as of trust and worth—save the minstrel, for all that his face was of old and his voice as well, was not as he had been, but enslaved to the tyrant of Saronnyn.
As he sang, the minstrel lit a candle, a marvelous candle wrought as a model of Westwind——and then the candle exploded with the ancient fires of the West, and claimed the Marshalle and the arms master, and the senior guards of Westwind.
Yet this treachery did not repay the tyrant, for the remaining guards, they packed the treasures of Westwind, and they took their blades and cut a trail of blood to the sea.
There they seized a ship and forced it to Recluce, where they laid all the coins of centuries at the feet of Creslin and swore their blades to his service…
The White Order - chapter:XCIII
…In time, as the winds shifted, and as the rains fell less upon Candar, and the fair grasslands of Kryphos turned into high desert, and as the Stone Hill came to resemble the furnaces wherein metal is forged, others in the rest of the world came also to understand the dangers posed by the Black Isle.
Even the Emperor of far Hamor dispatched his fleets unto the Gulf of Candar, seeking the talismans of dark order borne by Creslin the Black so that they might be destroyed, lest the world suffer once more the same cataclysms as befell ancient Cyador.
Though warned by those of the Guild of the great storms raised by the evil Creslin, the Emperor of Hamor thought that he alone would seize the talismans of order and thus raise Hamor to become first among all lands.
In his greed and arrogance, the emperor sent more than a score of vessels, all filled with armsmen and weapons of every type and size, and those ships sailed into the port known as Land's End and attacked the small keep therein, for Creslin was seeking the high and great winds far away.
Yet, even in Creslin's absence,Megaera the black-hearted raised mighty fires and turned many of the emperor's ships into funeral pyres for sailors and armsmen alike.
Creslin returned, with both his killing blade and the great winds, and all but a single ship perished, and all but a score of all those thousands of men who had sought the talismans of order perished as well.
The single ship that remained Creslin rebuilt and refitted, as the beginning to the Black fleets…
Colors of Chaos - page:10,11
The dark ships fitted by Creslin began to ply the Gulf of Candar, seizing all that they could and repaying none, yet all of the plunder laid upon the stone piers of Land's End was not enough to feed and clothe and shelter all those who flocked to the once-deserted isle.
The former dark guards of Westwind craved iron for their blades and blood to be shed upon those blades, and the wretched refuse from Renklaar and far Swartheld and Brysta and even those from Valmurl demanded that the black mages feed and clothe them as befitted the wealthy.
To draw yet more coins from storm-battered and valiant Candar, Creslin sought greater enchantments and turned foul juice into green brandy that so bewitched the mind of all that betook of it that they would pay any number of coins to achieve yet another taste.
With those coins and those minted from the jewelry taken from the captives, Creslin sent forth his vessels once more and had them pay whatever the grain factors of the ports of Candar asked, save that those who refused to trade found their warehouses torched by mysterious fires and flames that appeared from nowhere.
Yet even those coins were not enough, and the black-hearted Megaera mixed both the White and Black and swirled the oceans and had them cast forth all the coins and metals and previous goods that had sunk with the Hamorian fleet …disregarding the lost souls that wailed with the use of each silver, each copper…
Colors of Chaos - page:68
…Some time passed, while Candar burned under the unrelenting sun and cloudless skies, and while the great rains harnessed by Creslin slowly transformed the desert lands of Recluce into a green that the isle had never known.
Even the banner of Recluce adopted by the Blacks was of darkness, that of a black blade and a black rose, crossed, as were the hearts and minds of Creslin and Megaera.
For, despite all the rain, all the coins and ships that plyed the Eastern Ocean to gather goods under the banner of Recluce, the isle was blighted, and its people hungered.
Once again, the Black leader of Recluce struck, a dark hammer of storms and ships that flowed through the Great North Bay under a fog that turned the day to night; and while the people of Lydiar struggled in darkness, Creslin called down storms.
Mighty storms they were, so massive that they shivered the very stones of the Easthorns and created swamps and bogs west of Lydiar where none had been before, so powerful that their lightning shivered the keep of Lydiar into pieces of gravel.
The destruction rained upon Lydiar, and while it fell across every part of the city Creslin and his forces seized every ship and cargo in the port, and all the gold in the city, and all the food in the granaries, and all the dries fruits and meats in the warehouses.
Laughing, the Black sorcerer returned to Recluce, where he and the evil Megaera rejoiced in their plunder and divided it among all, save for the ships, which he armed and armoured with the protections of order and sent out to demand tribute to Recluce from all upon the seas of the world…
Colors of Chaos - page:120,121
With ships from Recluce in every ocean and every gulf, each accompanied by a Black weather mage, the lands of Candar and their traders had no choices but to agree to trading with the Black Isle on terms most favourable to Creslin.
First to accede were the western lands, those where the Legend of the dark angels was held in higher regard; from Rulyarth the Tyrant of Saronnyn sent a half-score of ships, laden with all manner of goods, and these the Tyrant bestowed upon Megaera as a consort gift, and prevailed with those gifts that Recluce grant more favour unto Saronnyn.
From Southwind also came tribute, and copper, and scented oils like those that graced the consorts of the Emperor of Hamor, and hardy steeds bred in the pitiless sun of the Stone Hills.
Even the silver-haired druids of Naclos, they sent silksheen and the dark lorken wood prized by the Black crafters, prized though it could not be used by those of the way of prosperity and light, and the precious stones found nowhere but in the hidden depths of the Accursed Forest.
So began the alliance of the dark isle with the lands beyond the Westhorns, for even unto this day those whom the Black Isle has exiled in disfavour are not sent beyond the Westhorns, but unto those lands in less favour of the Blacks who fear to reject them lest the mages of Recluce turn the very seas and skies once more against Candar.
Over the generations has Recluce sent it questors and pilgrims to Candar, and some, even most, have found Candar pleasant and peaceful and to their liking, and they have remained and adopted the path to light and prosperity.
Thus, those who leave Recluce prove by their value to Candar how admirable qualities are disparaged by the Black Isle and how little those who follow the twisted path of the dark order know of light and the true guide to understanding the world, and even what lies beyond our heavens…
Colors of Chaos - page:168,169