A Place Where There Is No Darkness, by Chris Hoekstra

Overview

A mysterious multi-talented stranger named Rickkter arrives at Metamor Keep and meets its many inhabitants.

Chapter 1

Link

Summary

Characters

Major characters:

  • Jon: A quartermaster of the Keep. Leader of the scouting party that discovers Rickkter.
  • Rickkter: A mysterious stranger who has been eluding the Keep scouts for a full week.
    • He is about 30 years old, dressed all in black, with long black hair and a trimmed beard. On his belt, he carries several knives and bolts for an expandable crossbow. On his chest, he carries poisoned throwing knives.
    • He single-handedly took out a Lutin encampment of fifty. He is able to detect every member of Jon's party and the mercenary with precision, despite lack of visual, audible, or olfactory cues.
    • He reveals himself to be a mercenary and bounty hunter who's spent the last 2 years searching for a cure for a fatal disease.

Supporting:

  • Brian Coe: The Keep Medic. He joins Jon on his patrol.
  • Wanderer: The Keep bard. He joins Jon on his patrol.
  • Bryan: A scout for the Keep. He joins Jon on his patrol.

Cameo:

  • Jack deMule: The master armourer, and an assistant to George. He informs Jon's party about the mysterious stranger, and assigns them to the last area he was seen.

Mentioned:

  • George: Patrol master for the Keep.
  • Nasoj: Enemy sorcerer from the Northern Lands.
  • Alain: A friend of Wanderer's, and a scout.
  • Raven: The Lightbringer who had confirmed that Rickkter is no supernatural being.
  • Magus: A sorcerer who knows the exact perimeter of the spells, just as Rickkter also knows.
  • Misha: One of the most talented sniffers, who Rickkter somehow eluded.
  • Jennifer: A scout with the power to sense danger, sometimes including numbers of enemies. Her abilities aren't as precise as Rickkter's.
  • Side Show Moe: A man who wishes to capture Keepers for his circus.

Points of interest

  • Teams 4, 6, and 11 are apparently very talented scout crews.

Chapter 2

Link

Characters

Major characters:

  • Rickkter

Supporting:

  • Jon: A quartermaster of the Keep.
  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist. She shares her lab with Rickkter.
  • Kwanzaa: A shrew who is talented with the saber. Her swordfighting is evenly matched against Rickkter's.
  • Duke Thomas: Ruler of Metamor Keep.
  • Bob / Posti: A stallion morph, the prime minister of Metamor Keep, and a powerful wizard in his own right.
  • Wessex: A child morph and one of the most powerful wizards.

Cameo:

  • Thalberg: The King's steward, who informs Duke Thomas about Rickkter.

Mentioned:

  • Brian Coe
  • Bryan
  • Wanderer
  • Jack deMule
  • Copernicus
  • Phil: The scoutmaster.
  • Jennifer
  • Alain Blackthorne: An example by Thalberg of the typical warrior-mage — talented in one half, mediocre in the other.
  • Magus: The most powerful wizard in the Keep. He is unable to attend the audience with Rickkter.
  • Michael: The second-newest member of the Keep, suggested to Rickkter as someone who can explain the Change to him.
  • Saroth: The resident weather wizard, and a dragon morph.
  • Cerulean: A dragon native to the Keep.
  • Oren: The newest member of the Keep, mentioned to be an odd case.
  • King Jarvis: A ruler of a kingdom that Rickkter visited. He sent his personal account of Rickkter to Duke Thomas, which informed his handling of Rickkter's case.

Chapter 3

Link

Characters

Major characters:

  • Rickkter
  • Jon
  • Misha

Supporting:

  • Fox Cutter
  • Christopher

Cameo:

  • Brennar: The baker's apprentice.
  • Brian Coe
  • Andre

Mentioned:

  • Vathek Ediranus
  • Kasinn
  • Dr Channing
  • Gregor
  • Wanderer
  • Magus
  • Pascal

Chapter 4

Link

Characters

Major characters:

  • Rickkter

Supporting:

  • Thomas
  • Wessex
  • Fox Cutter
  • Christopher
  • Scratch
  • Misha
  • Will
  • Copernicus
  • Dan
  • Andre
  • Kee
  • Charles Matthias

Cameo:

  • Brian
  • Pascal
  • Kayla
  • Caroline
  • Phil
  • Michael
  • Quiz
  • Bradfox

Mentioned:

  • Posti
  • Kwanzaa
  • Jon
  • Wanderer
  • Rickkter's red-haired companion
  • Donney

Chapter 5

Link

Characters

Major characters:

  • Rickkter
  • Pascal

Supporting:

  • Michael
  • Zhypar

Cameo:

  • Kee
  • Two female servers and male cook at the Deaf Mule
  • Gregor
  • Lindsey
  • Kimberly
  • Phil, Nahum, Tallis

Mentioned:

  • Deanna
  • Scratch
  • Jon
  • Kwanzaa
  • Misha
  • Andre
  • Brian
  • Devon
  • Tathom
  • Copernicus
  • Donny, Jake
  • Channing

Chapter 6

Link

Characters

Major characters:

  • Rickkter
  • Pascal
  • Charles Matthias

Supporting:

  • Misha
  • Raven

Cameo:

  • Brian Coe
  • Zhypar
  • Claudia
  • Copernicus
  • Michael

Mentioned:

  • Deanna
  • Scratch
  • Christopher
  • Phil
  • Rupert
  • Lorid

Rickkter's timeline

This is a list of events that Rickkter recounts from his personal life:

  • He was born in the eastern part of the continent. He moved and grew up in the southeastern portions.
  • Twenty-five years ago, something happened in the Valley of Shale that set off the rest of his life.
  • At 6 or 7 years old, he learned a little magic from his father. There is little else that he remembers about his mother or his father. His magical potential was realized around this time, and his sect sent him to live with the Ka'ri. He was trained under several people, including a weapons master named Kasim, and a shaman who taught him to cover his tracks.
  • 20 years ago, he came up with a set of 3 principles to life his life by.
  • 19 years ago, he began training under his Julan, his first master.
  • For the past 18 years, he has been concealing many weapons on his person at all times.
  • 16 years ago, his first master died and left him his katana. He has wielded it ever since.
  • 14 or 15 years ago, he met a man named Vathek Eridanus, wearing spiked armor and wielding a cleaver for a weapon. He terrified Rickkter; he was glad that Vathek was fighting on his side.
  • 13 years ago, he met a beautiful healer named Deanna.
  • 12 years ago, a werewolf suddenly attacked him. Rickkter survived thanks to his full plate mail and his battle skills, but the battle was intense, the second-greatest battle he ever fought. He slew the beast, made a dress out of its hide, and kept the wounds on his back as proof that werewolves did exist.
  • A little under 10 years ago, he was doing dangerous work, but made a terrible mistake. He lost twelve of his closest friends, including his love Deanna.
  • 2 years ago, he decided to retire from his job as a mercenary and bounty hunter. He moved east and became a protector mage for a small city. Soon afterwards, however, he was diagnosed with an illness and saved only by the medical texts from an ancient library. Ever since, he has been spending his time studying cures, medicines, and alchemy from old books.
  • Shortly after being diagnosed, he returned to the place of his birth.
  • 8 months ago, he heard about Metamor Keep in a pub in Irixx. This sparked his curiosity, and he began asking around about it.
  • Rickkter is currently about thirty years old.

Magic

"A Place Where There Is No Darkness" mentions certain terminology that is used to quantify and standardize certain aspects of magic.

In chapter 2, enchantments are mentioned as having a level, and can be cast at a percentage of their original power level. The power of a wizard can be given by specifying how many days they can hold a certain level spell.

In chapter 3, magical artifacts and devices, even from the distant past, are commonly built with up to six triggers of increasing magical demand, set to one of six built-in functions. The first two triggers do not require any magical ability, and often used on expander bows (such as those Jon uses in Artificer's Gambit). Runic items usually contain fifth and sixth triggers.

Also in chapter 3, Rickkter gives three styles of enscrollments: activated, continuous, and triggered. The difference between them is primarily how they regain energy, and how active they are. Activated enscrollments can be turned on and off at the user's will, typically low-power enchantments that can be recharged when not in use. Triggered enscrollments are activated only once, and must be recharged through some external means; teleportation spells are a typical example. Continuous enscrollments are always on, but they are rare due to requiring a constant flow of energy.

World

Locations

  • The Bandi Desert: A desert on the eastern side of the continent. It consists of dry canyons and mountains, and is populated with poisonous snakes, such as tree snakes, asps, cobras, and vipers.
  • Akkron: A city where Rickkter received his preliminary training in alchemy. It houses a renowned Great Library.
  • Irixx: A city where eight months ago, Rickkter saw an age regress, who brought the curse of Metamor to his awareness.
  • Canborough: A place where Rickkter received his coldest welcome, with three mages and a dragon.
  • Cayuga: A place that Rickkter visited. A priest there feasted on chilled monkey brains with him.
  • Elvquellin: One of the few places that holds Metamor Keep in high regard.
  • Rocklyn: A town where several years ago, Scratch and other members of the Thief's Guild witnessed Rickkter and his companion fight against the Switzers.
  • Gilchrist Cove: A city with beautiful hanging gardens.
  • Theadosia University: A university.
    • Jivan D'Antrez: A professor who works at Theodosia University. He believes the people of Metamor sacrifice babies to the dark gods and drink their blood.
  • New Cartage: A city.
    • Levi Meilleur: The best snooker player in New Cartage. Quiz has heard of him.
  • Elora: Something significant happened here in 702 CR. Rickkter was there.
  • Denang: A place where Rickkter fought in a battle.
  • Jordan: A place that was sacked. Rickkter was involved in it.
  • Valley of Shale: A place somewhere on the eastern side of the continent.
  • Memphis: A battle where Rickkter fought as a Shan'Agrek. Both Matthias and Rickkter lost friends there.

Societies

  • The Ka'ri: A tribe that lived in the Bandi Desert, near the temple where Rickkter grew up. They are said to hate outsiders, and hang the skins of outsiders on poles around their territory as a warning. They have an alliance with Rickkter's people against certain people. Upon showing magical potential, Rickkter was sent to live with them to learn tracking and wilderness survival. Their shaman taught him magic to manipulate his scent and tracks. They remain one of the few desert tribes that hasn't fallen to the Toreador Empire.
  • Toreador Empire: An empire on the eastern edges of the continent. They view other tribes as lesser, and have started ethnic cleansing programs to destroy them.
  • The Tharan, Maldori: Two tribes that have already been wiped by the Toreador Empire.
  • The Peldath: Another tribe in the East. Their shamanistic practices are being threatened by the Toreador Empire.
    • Recently, the eastern kingdoms have had a severe drought that wiped out several major population centers.
  • Order of the Ebon Dragon: A secretive sect of mages. All novices gain a number of enchantments help their masters evaluate their training, one of them being a telepathy spell.
  • Napanee & Wijtgaart: Two countries known for their giant scarabs.
  • Tulon: A place where Jon identifies a tablet.
  • Mijae: a dynasty.
  • Malachitian: a civilization.
  • Switzers: The king's elite guard in the region of Rocklyn.
  • Kankoran: A rival sect to the Sondeckis. They are more nimble, and use their whole bodies to attack. The blue rank are required to throw at least two hundred punches a minute.
    • Shan'Agrek: A class among the Kankoran unconcerned with sects.
    • Battlelord: The only mage-warrior class amongst the Kankoran.
  • Sondeckis: Rivals to the Kankoran.
  • Wahnasa: a potent spice. Also called Devil's Horseradish.
  • Julan: The word for a Shan'Agrek's master.

Historical figures

  • Caledonian: a language.
  • Aramic: A language from the East. Many alchemical books are written in it.
  • Krovikan: An ancient language, written in pictographs in columns. It was the original language of the Mysteriis Metaphysical.
  • Remeris: A writer who translated the Mysteriis Metaphysical from Krovikan into Aramic.
  • Caiphul: A historical figure mentioned in the Tamar Manuscripts. His sapphire seal is a ward against all kinds of enchantments.

Books

  • Fuclelli: a well-known poet.
  • The Tamar Manuscripts: An incredibly rare and powerful book of magic, containing some of the most powerful enchantments ever created. It supposedly only exists in fragments and excerpts from other books; Rickkter had only seen 50 pages in total, only 20 of which were intact and legible. Rickkter finds a complete copy in Jon's collection.
  • Several books that Rickkter requests from Fox Cutter:
    • The Eye In the Triangle: A book not in the Keep library. The backdraft counter described within was originally from the Tamar Manuscripts. Rickkter owns a copy, found in the basement of a university.
    • Des Magi Arcanum Scriptorus: A book that Rickkter owns. Written by Giovanni Kevar Jesarlak.
    • The Winstone Shards: One of the restricted books in the Keep library requiring Magus's approval. Written by Searsight. An anti-magic aura enchantment described within was originally from the Tamar Manuscripts. Rickkter owns an original copy by Searsight himself.
    • The Daemonolatreia: One of the restricted books in the Keep library requiring Magus's approval. Written by Hilderbrandtova.
    • Liber Haphelum, written by Sertak de Mederios.
    • The Book of Enoch: An incredibly rare text, devoted to psychological spells and psionics. Fox Cutter has never heard of it.
    • Chemicus Alminus, written by Wayne Bacon.
    • Magnorum Chemistrum, written by Marum Tavarax.
    • Fulcanelli: Master Alchemist
    • The Book of Dzyan: A book not in the Keep library.
    • The Suielman Legacy, written by W. Frazer.
    • The Mysteries of the Monolith: One of the restricted books in the Keep library requiring Magus's approval. Written by Geoffrey Muskovak. An artifact transmutation spell described within was originally from the Tamar Manuscripts.
    • Mysteriis Metaphysical: One of the restricted books in the Keep library requiring Magus's approval. Written by Cornelius Agrippa. Rickkter owns a copy of a first edition, painstakingly copied with his own hand.
    • The seven scrolls of Haphelum: A collection of spells, at least one of which Rickkter has copied to his own personal spellbook.
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