A Place Where There Is No Darkness, by Chris Hoekstra

Story name: A Place Where There Is No Darkness
Author: Chris Hoekstra
Publication date: January 20, 1999 (on TSA-List)

Date: Early to mid-June, 706 CR (14 days)
Location: Metamor Valley, Metamor Keep (the storerooms, Pascal's lab, the Deaf Mule, the gardens, the Keep walls)


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


Chapter 1

An unknown person has been skirting the borders of Metamor Keep for weeks, eluding every nearby patrol thus far, even taking out an entire camp of fifty Lutins. Jon, Brian Coe, Wanderer, and Bryan are given an assignment to patrol an area recently covered by this figure, as he is expected to be out of the area.

To their surprise, they find him calmly eating lunch in a clearing, seemingly oblivious to them. Their attempt to ambush him fails when he points his bow at Jon and names every one of the others' locations, prompting them to emerge and answer his questions. He introduces himself as Rickkter, mercenary and bounty hunter and surprises the others when he takes an arrow and puts down a mercenary who had been spying on them unseen and downwind. After releasing the mercenary, he explains that he wants to enter Metamor Keep, to search for a cure for his incurable disease.

Chapter 2

After returning from their patrol, Jon leaves Rickkter with Pascal so that he can concoct an elixir to stave off his illness. Pascal is perplexed and unnerved by the many spells he knows, particularly the telepathy spell he uses on her to identify one of her bottles. He explains to her the wide variety of magic he has learned. After he finishes his elixir, he asks her if she would like to have dinner with him; she decides to think about it.

Duke Thomas learns about Rickkter from Thalberg's report, and decides to hold a formal meeting with him. Rickkter then wanders the Keep and sees a swordfighter named Kwanzaa. He challenges her to a duel, where they fight to a draw. They share stories and a drink at the Deaf Mule, where they meet Jon, who has come on the Duke's orders to summon him for a meeting in the throne room.

Rickkter first stops at his new room to unload his inventory, astounding Jon and Kwanzaa with the many weapons he carries. With Jon by his side, Rickkter asks the Duke for an indefinite stay, explaining his desire to aid the Keep, his valuable services to the Duke, and his desperation for a cure. The Duke does not take kindly to his arrogance, and denies his request. Rickkter threatens to work for Nasoj otherwise, and Thomas orders him detained. Rickkter uses his martial arts to steal a sword from a guard, but with everyone pointing a weapon at him, Rickkter quickly decides against it, and apologizes for his actions. Thomas reconsiders, and grants him two days at the Keep under watch to search for a cure.

After Jon and Rickkter leave, his mages demand an explanation, and Thomas explains he had heard from King Jarvis about Rickkter, with several explanations to his demeanor. He intends to follow Jarvis's advice and not let him leave, lest he actually follow up on his threat and join Nasoj. If he is not satisfied with Rickkter's behavior, he will order him executed.

Chapter 3

Jon shows Rickkter the storerooms, and the two locked rooms where he keeps his artifacts. Rickkter demonstrates his lock-picking abilities on the less cluttered door, and they search through the rooms. Rickkter tries on some bracers, and they suddenly expand to cover his arm with plates and spikes. Rickkter immediately asks to buy them, finally offering to translate some of Jon's books in exchange.

As he inspects his new bracers, Rickkter asks about Jon's amulet, and Jon takes him to the hallway to demonstrate his transformation. They head further down to a storeroom filled with books, where Rickkter excitedly finds a complete copy of the Tamar Manuscripts. The book is sealed with an ancient magical lock; Rickkter suggests they visit the workshops, and he stops briefly at the bakery for a bagel.

At the workshops, Rickkter introduces himself to Misha, who immediately recognizes Rickkter as the man his patrols have been chasing. Rickkter allows Jon to leave him with Misha while he works on the lock, and he warms up to Misha after they share stories about their adventures. After several fruitless minutes, Rickkter finally takes his knife and slashes through the magical bindings, destroying the lock and the bindings. He takes the book and heads to the library to compare the Manuscripts with other books he knows.

The books that Rickkter needs most are among the most restricted books in the Keep, and Fox Cutter refuses to let him examine them. Rickkter heads back to his room to fetch his own copies, with Misha trailing behind him. Jon enters the library and joins Fox and Chris's discussion of Rickkter. Rickkter returns, waving his books at them, and seats himself at a table to study. Chris is astonished by the amount of knowledge he carries, and Rickkter is impressed by his handmade monocle spell.

By nightfall, Rickkter is still studying, and gets up for a bathroom break. Searching for the key to unlock the library doors, he stumbles on the feral Fox Cutter sleeping underneath the tables, who shifts back to unlock the door.

The next morning, Rickkter settles down with Misha and Andre for breakfast, and the two begin an impromptu competition on who has eaten the most disgusting food. Andre leaves partly through, and finally Misha concedes to Rickkter's meal of monkey brains. As Misha leaves, Rickkter asks to join him for a drink later.

Chapter 4

Brian Coe delivers his report of Rickkter to the Duke, sharing all the evidence that points to his severe illness, and the limitations of his abilities. The Duke dismisses Brian and summons Rickkter. Rickkter acts differently towards the Duke, having failed to find a cure and now beginning to trust the Duke. The Duke grants him a further stay, either until he finds a cure, or until the curse takes him.

Rickkter returns to the library to study, and Wessex catches sight of him. On hearing what his reading material is, Wessex vows to keep an eye on him. Chris finds him on Friday, who has been running off of Pascal's nocturnality potions since Monday, and tells him to get some rest. Rickkter passes out outside the library, and Chris and Fox decide to carry him up to Chris's quarters for rest.

When Rickkter wakes up, he sets off to visit Pascal's lab for another dose. He bumps into Kayla, a skunk morph who works in intelligence. At the lab, Scratch sees him and realizes he saw the man fighting in a bar in Rocklyn.

Rickkter heads to the Deaf Mule, where Misha, Caroline, and Will are drinking. He sees a pool table, and challenges Will to a few games. Will resigns after losing two, and Misha takes his place, winning one and losing three. Finally Copernicus steps in, beating Rickkter at every single game, until Rickkter switches to an all-or-nothing game of snooker. Three people bet on Rickkter winning: Phil, Quiz, and Michael. Rickkter wins his game and thanks the people who bet on him, promising to give Michael some lessons later.

The next day, Saturday, Dan is inspecting the gardens. Rickkter is sitting on a bench, making some sketches. Rickkter is unsettled by Dan's appearance; after a short talk, Dan asks if Rickkter really tried to kill the Duke, which offends Rickkter. Rickkter offers him a sketch as an act of apology, and explains that he is tired of rumors and distrust about him. After Dan tries to justifies their behavior, Rickkter leaves in a bad mood.

Rickkter distracts himself by joining Andre on his inspections along the wall. Andre answers his questions about becoming an animal, and slowly gets an idea of Rickkter's character. They are briefly stopped by a soldier named Bradfox who calls Rickkter a psycho.

Trying to navigate the Keep, Rickkter runs into Kee, who recognizes him as a native from the Eastern Kingdoms. Kee excitedly asks for news of the East, until he leaves for his duties. Rickkter next runs into Charles, who asks him for directions, and shakes his hand. Upon contact, each immediately recognizes the other as a rival clan member, and they begin a duel to the death, with Rickkter drawing a Sondecki fighting staff. While Charles's Sondecki training gives him powerful punches, Rickkter's Kankoran training gives him faster reflexes. Finally, Charles uses Rickkter's energy against him, flinging him into a stairwell. Phil arrives before he can continue, and he immediately laments how close he came to killing.

Chapter 5

It is Saturday evening; Rickkter has been here for six days. Instead of following the Sondecki, Rickkter waits with Kee for Pascal, who has accepted his invitation for dinner. They go to the Deaf Mule, where Rickkter demands that the hottest spice they have for his meal. Rickkter expresses admiration for Pascal, as he sees her as the most complex and intellectual person in all the Keep. The two discuss many topics, such as what Rickkter hopes to transform into, what philosophies they live by, and how he hopes to be remembered when he dies. They talk and drink long into the night.

In the morning, Rickkter asks Gregor the baker for some coffee for his hangover. He returns to the Mule to find Michael and Lindsey. Lindsey shakes hands with Rickkter, turning it into a contest over the strongest grip, until Rickkter swiftly pinches his nerve.

Rickkter coughs and begins teaching Michael some pool. Michael asks about how he killed so many Lutins, and Rickkter explains his tactics and methodology: that he plays to win, even if it isn't fair. He then asks about Michael's story. Upon hearing about barely surviving his first encounter with Lutins, Rickkter tells him he was most likely intended to die to protect the more experienced soldiers, to his shock. Kimberly briefly appears to ask if they've seen Charles; Rickkter is unaware of who he is. Rickkter asks Michael what it is like to have a family, and they talk about the shared experience of losing all their loved ones.

Later that evening, Zhypar Habakkuk challenges anyone at the bar for a fight, and Rickkter volunteers, despite Michael's misgivings. Zhypar favors strong strikes while Rickkter attempts fast jabs and dodges. It takes a while, but Rickkter finally knocks him to the ground. Rickkter coughs up blood and passes out; the physical exertion is too much for his ill body.

Chapter 6

Outside of Rickkter's hospital room, Coe gives the prognosis to Pascal; only the elixir can help him now, and unfortunately no one knows how to replicate it. Pascal sits by Rickkter's side. He wearily notes that the change has started on his arms, but he doesn't believe it will be fast enough to save him. Although she begs him not to giveup so easily, he insists on telling her his life story.

After he has finished, the nurse Claudia suggests to Pascal that Raven could heal him with the help of the Lightbringer gods. However, when Raven approaches, Rickkter dangerously tells her to leave, and Raven runs away in fear.

Over the next couple of days, Pascal has been trying to read through the medical texts for a solution. She notices Matthias leaving Rickkter's room as she enters. Rickkter is unconscious, but the change has progressed further. Zhypar sits by her side, still bearing the marks of his injuries.

Six days after falling unconscious, Rickkter wakes up with Pascal at his side. He is relieved to learn that he is turning into a raccoon morph. He asks to fetch him some reading material. Soon after, Misha stops by to find him weeping over an open page; the cure he needed was only a half-hour further in the book from where he'd stopped.

The next day, Pascal finds Rickkter checking himself in the mirror. He is disappointed that he lost the scars on his back. He tests his spells again, including the telepathy spell on Pascal. She asks him if he knows why Matthias was looking on him while he was conscious; with Rickkter still unfamiliar with the name, Pascal describes him.

At the Writer's Guild, Rickkter confronts Matthias, demanding to know why he is still alive. Matthias is not interested in answering, as he is curious how he joined the Shan'Agrek. Rickkter agrees to tell him a bit about why he joined, in exchange for why he was left alive. Matthias explains that neither killing him nor revealing him would achieve anything, and he knows the same is true for Rickkter. They agree to a truce, so long as neither interferes with the other. Before Rickkter leaves, Matthias asks about the Sondeshike; Rickkter tells him that he has hidden it someplace where Matthias will never find it.

Rickkter returns to the Deaf Mule for a game of pool and a drink with Copernicus and Michael.


Major characters:

  • Rickkter: A mercenary, bounty hunter, and mage who has traveled the world for knowledge and adventure and a cure for his fatal disease.
    • He is about 30 years old, dressed all in black leather. On his belt, he carries several knives and bolts for an expandable crossbow. On his chest, he carries poisoned throwing knives. In his initial human appearance, he has long black hair and a trimmed beard, and several scars on his back from a werewolf and burn marks on his arm from a powerful fireball that overcame his shield.
    • Rickkter's katana is two hundred years old, given to him by his Julan. A dragon is carved into the blade.
    • He wears an inch-and-a-half amulet around his neck, a black ember-like material encasing a small ruby. It contains a signature spell, drawing upon divine energy, which will dissipate upon his death.
    • 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 has several magic spells active on him: accelerated healing; truesight, the ability to see primal energy flows in the world; mindsending, the ability to speak in another's mind; telepathy, a Southlands spell which lets other people share his vision, and him to see their thoughts, allowing him to understand things he otherwise cannot; and cloaking spells to mask his scene. After the curse takes him, the accelerated healing fuses with his curse, which takes away his scars.
    • He received his mage training from various places: a year and a half in Akkron, three years from the Ebon Dragon, and several years of training as a young boy among the Ka'Ri.
    • He was taught lock-picking from a thief who was raiding his residence at a library.
    • Over the years, he has studied many current and ancient languages, for the purpose of reading ancient texts.
    • He worked for three months as Levi Meilleur's bodyguard, who taught him to play snooker.
    • He is a self-taught artist, useful for copying diagrams and real life scenes in high detail.
  • Jon: A quartermaster of the Keep and an amateur artifacer. He leads the scouting party that discovers Rickkter, and is later tasked with accompanying Rickkter. He shares his collection of artifacts with Rickkter, and gains Rickkter's translation services in exchange for a priceless book.
  • Misha: One of the most Keep's most talented scouts, who Rickkter somehow eluded, and an amateur tinkerer. He finally meets Rickkter at his workshop, where he takes over forJon. He and Rickkter bond over their similar adventures and hardships they've gone through; by the end, he becomes a good friend.
  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist. She shares her lab with Rickkter, and accepts his offer to have dinner with her. They share a common love of knowledge and candid speech. By the end, she becomes Rickkter's closest friend and confidant.


  • Andre: A wolverine morph, captain of the Guard, and a close friend of Misha's. Rickkter accompanies him during one of his surprise inspections.
  • Brian Coe: The Keep Medic. He joins Jon on his patrol.
  • Bryan: A scout for the Keep. He joins Jon on his patrol.
  • Charles Matthias: A Headmaster of the Writer's Guild, and a former Sondeckis. He recognizes Rickkter as a Kankoran on touch, and nearly kills him in battle before he is interrupted. They meet again at the end, mutually agreeing not to reveal or take action against the other.
  • Christopher: A tutor of the Keep who hangs around the Keep library. He impresses Rickkter with a spell of his own devising on his monocle. He takes Rickkter to his apartment after he collapses from exhaustion while studying.
  • Copernicus: Famous for his tours of Metamor Keep and for being undefeated at pool. After beating Rickkter at several games of pool, Rickkter finally switches to snooker, and beats him at a game.
  • Dan D'Alimonte: A quartermaster and groundskeeper of Metamor Keep.
  • Duke Thomas: Ruler of Metamor Keep.
  • Fox Cutter: Librarian of Metamor Keep. He is unnerved by Rickkter's collection of rare and restricted books
  • Kee: A Keep messenger who emigrated from the Eastern Kingdoms. He is delighted to learn that Rickkter speaks his native language.
  • Kwanzaa: A shrew who is talented with the saber. Her swordfighting is evenly matched against Rickkter's.
  • Michael: The second-newest member of the Keep, suggested to Rickkter as someone who can explain the Change to him. He is shocked when Rickkter tells him that the caravan that brought him Metamor Keep likely intended him to die to protect the experienced guards.
  • Posti: A stallion morph, the prime minister of Metamor Keep, and a powerful wizard in his own right.
  • Raven: The Lightbringer who confirms early on that Rickkter is no supernatural being. In Part 6, she realizes that the Lothanasi gods will not treat someone like Rickkter.
  • Scratch: A reformed member of the Thief's Guild, and Pascal's boyfriend. He recognizes Rickkter from an incident at Rocklyn, where the king's guard assaulted him.
  • Wanderer: The Keep bard, a wolf morph. He joins Jon on his patrol.
  • Wessex: A child morph and one of the most powerful wizards at the Keep. He is with Duke Thomas during Rickkter's audience instead of Magus. He is among those who don't trust Rickkter.
  • Zhypar Habbakuk: A writer, fighter, and kangaroo morph. He challenges Rickkter to a boxing match, and is defeated by Rickkter's faster punches.


  • Bradfox: An androgynous gender morph. Sie was on a patrol that Rickkter evaded, and sie verbally rebukes Rickkter until Andre reproaches hir.
  • Brennar: The baker's apprentice, who tends the shop while Gregor is out.
  • Caroline Hardy: An otter morph, a talented archer and scout, and Misha's girlfriend.
  • Claudia: A skilled nurse who meets Pascal, and suggests that Raven intervene on Rickkter's behalf.
  • Gregor: A baker and capybara morph. He meets Rickkter briefly, giving him some coffee for a hangover.
  • 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.
  • Kayla: A skunk morph who works in Intelligence. Rickkter bumps into her while she is carrying field reports to storage. She is uninterested in Rickkter's attempts to help.
  • Kimberly: Matthias's beloved. She briefly appears at the Deaf Mule asking for Matthias.
  • Lindsey: A burly lumberjack. Rickkter manages to beat him at an arm-wrestling contest by poking a nerve.
  • Nahum: A fox morph and friend of Zhypar's. His arm is still stinging since the last time they fought.
  • Phil: A spymaster, Writer's Guild headmaster, and rabbit morph. He is one of the few to bet on Rickkter during the pool match.
  • Quiz: A snake woman and a messenger for the Keep. She has been waiting to see someone beat Copernicus for years.
  • Tallis: A friend of Zhypar's.
  • Thalberg: The King's steward, who informs Duke Thomas about Rickkter.
  • Will Hardy: Caroline's father. A decent pool player, he ends up losing twenty bronze to Rickkter at pool.


  • Alain Blackthorne: A friend of Wanderer's, and a scout. Thalberg uses him as an example of the typical warrior-mage — talented in one half, mediocre in the other.
  • Cerulean: A dragon native to the Keep.
  • Deanna: Rickkter's lover. She died 10 years ago; Rickkter has never found someone he loved more.
  • Devon: The Court Jester.
  • Donny: Bartender of the Deaf Mule.
  • Donny and Jake: Michael's older brothers, now dead from the plague.
  • Dr Channing: A Headmaster for the Writer's Guild. He is known for hoarding artifacts without studying them.
  • George: Patrol master for the Keep.
  • 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.
  • Jennifer: A scout with the power to sense danger, sometimes including numbers of enemies. Her abilities aren't as precise as Rickkter's.
  • Altera Loriod: A lord who tried to blackmail Matthias recently.
  • Magus: The most powerful wizard in the Keep. He knows the exact perimeter of the curses of Metamor, but is unable to attend the audience with Rickkter.
  • Nasoj: Enemy sorcerer from the Northern Lands.
  • Oren: The newest member of the Keep, mentioned to be an odd case.
  • Rupert: Phil's bodyguard, a gorilla morph.
  • Saroth: The resident weather wizard, and a dragon morph.
  • Side Show Moe: A man who wishes to capture Keepers for his circus.
  • Smithson: Not mentioned by name, but referred to by Rickkter as a translator around the Keep who was "scatterbrained as all hell".
  • Tathom: Known mainly as "The Chief", he's been getting Lindsey to learn how to do paperwork.

Rickkter's timeline

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

  • About thirty years ago, 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.


"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.

Ricktter also mentions signature spells, commonly cast on artifacts. These are spells that are powered by the subject's life force, often by sealing a clasp so that the artifact bonds with the subject.

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 Info


  • 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.
  • The Battle of Denang, the sacking of Jordan: Two events that Rickkter was involved with.
  • 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.


Current in the East

  • 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.
  • Aramic: A language from the East. Many alchemical books are written in it.

Current in the South

  • 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.
    • Julan: The word for a Shan'Agrek's master.
    • Battlelord: The only mage-warrior class amongst the Kankoran.
    • Mindbender: One of the most dangerous mages a person could face. Rickkter's best friend is one; he knows he could never defeat him, nor can anyone else in the Keep.
  • Sondeckis: Rivals to the Kankoran.

Current, unknown

  • Tulon: A place where Jon identifies a tablet.
  • Switzers: The king's elite guard in the region of Rocklyn.
  • Wahnasa: a potent spice. Also called Devil's Horseradish. Available at Metamor Keep, but typically reserved for sauces in banquets.


  • Mijae: a dynasty.
  • Malachitian: a civilization.
  • Caledonian: a language.
  • Krovikan: An ancient language, written in pictographs in columns. It was the original language of the Mysteriis Metaphysical.

Historical figures

  • Caiphul: A historical figure mentioned in the Tamar Manuscripts. His sapphire seal is a ward against all kinds of enchantments.
  • 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.
      • Possibly related are the seven scrolls of Haphelum, a collection of spells. Rickkter has copied at least one of these spells to his own personal spellbook.
    • 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 in Krovikan. Translated into Aramic by Remeris. Rickkter owns a copy of Agrippa's first edition, painstakingly copied with his own hand.

Points of Interest

  • Teams 4, 6, and 11 are apparently very talented scout crews.
  • The elixir Rickkter drinks can restore his normal physical ability for a few hours, but it is growing weaker; once it could have restored him for days.
  • Rickkter had a red-haired companion in Rocklyn.
  • Rickkter expresses a desire to examine everything in the Keep's storerooms — some of which haven't been opened since the Keep was inhabited.
  • Rickkter pays Jon eighty-five Garretts in addition to a year of translation services.
  • The storeroom in question hasn't been opened for a few hundred years, by Rickkter's estimate.
  • Deranged Kitsune made a determined effort for Rickkter to meet every character active in MK.
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