The Tower Of The Dark Queen

Above The Ruins Of Ossierel




'Aye,' interrupted a loud and angry voice, 'but what the council woman does not explain is an even more profound and terrible mystery.' Alan spun round to find the dwarf mage standing close by, his feet splayed wide as if to buttress his anger, and an indignant rage contorting his face. 'Ossierel,' he countered, 'stands on the great island of the same name in the legendary Vale of Tazan. On that island long ago, in the time of the Dark Queen, Nantosueta, warring armies facing the same enemy as we do today called for assistance from all of the warrior people of Monisle. Thus twice have the armies of this continent fought the forces of darkness there.' 

  Milish stood erect in silence, staring into the distance, as if reluctant to expand on such matters. 

'Aye,' Qwenqwo continued, 'and it is also rumoured, though the council woman would no more inform you of this, that the Shee were a different race in those times: women such as any others, who knew men. But they allied themselves with the Dark Queen and it was she who changed them.' 

Milish snorted. 'Now you speak nonsense, though I well understand the grief that prompts you to do so.'

The dwarf-mage shook his head and a terrible sadness transfixed his features. The council woman's comment had silenced him entirely.

But Alan wasn't satisfied. He turned to Qwenqwo, his curiosity piqued. 'Who was this queen you mentioned - Nantosueta?'

Qwenqwo blinked for several moments and swallowed, as if struggling even to speak beyond some inner grief. 'Some call her the girl-queen. For a girl she was, of no more than fifteen years during that ancient and disastrous war. Rumour has it that she aligned herself with a force of darkness that still reigns over her haunted valley. Indeed it is Nantosueta who, from her more ancient rath above the island fortress, still casts her dark shadow over the valley through which we must pass.'