The Glimnodd Cycle

On the world of Glimnodd, magic winds blow over the sea, changing the water to ice and the ice to water. Human and non-human species love and hate, quest and battle, and practice arcane arts of magic.

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The first volume of The Glimnodd Cycle, Cloak of the Two Winds, is available now in print and e-book on Amazon.

The second volume, A Mirror Against All Mishap, is scheduled for 2017.

A map of Glimnodd is available here.

On the History of Glimnodd

This excerpt from Cloak of the Two Winds tells of Glimnodd’s history.

“We’ve been thinking of what you told us about the magic of Larthang,” Glyssa said. “We would like to hear more.”

“Indeed? What would you like to know?”

“The Tathians say that the witchery of Larthang is the oldest and strongest in the world,” Eben said. “How did they come to possess such wisdom?”

“That is a vast question,” Kizier replied. “To answer it thoroughly one would need to recount almost the whole history of Glimnodd.”

“You may do so,” Glyssa answered. “We will listen.”

The windbringer shook a little, as though with laughter. “I will give you a shortened version then.”

Lonn moved closer to better hear the windbringer’s words. He put an arm over Glyssa’s shoulder, and the three Iruks huddled close together.

Kizier recounted how the first deepshapers were witches of Larthang, who developed their arts more than seven thousand years ago, at a time when humans were the only sentient species in the world. By their witchery, he said, they made Larthang the greatest of nations, and lorded it over all of the world for centuries.

But these ancient ones were careless, ignorant of the effects their powers could have. Eventually, the world began to show strain from their immense meddling in the Deepmind. The weather grew colder. Snowstorms blew for months on end. New islands reared up while others vanished forever into the sea. It was even recorded that one of Glimnodd’s moons flew off into the void, leaving only the two now known.

And nonhuman sentient species began to appear. Among these were the torms, winged people spawned by birds; the myro, sprite-like beings born of dolphins; and the bostulls, known to humans as windbringers. All of these sentient races had some ability to penetrate the Deepmind, but none that could match human deepshapers. That was until another kind of creature appeared in the sea—the serds, a kind of intelligent fish. These were few in number but great in their mental powers, and they lived for many times a human lifespan. The serds used deepshaping to make themselves able to breathe the air, then came out of the sea and enslaved the human world. They reigned over Glimnodd for many centuries, a time that came to be called the Age of the World’s Madness. During that age, humans and other races were subject to the serds’ cruelties and abominations.

But finally the reckless deepshaping of the serds brought about their downfall. The scales of the Deepmind tipped back, and a new race of humans came into being. These also were people of Larthang, but their powers in the Deepmind were greater than those of their ancestors, whom the serds had defeated, and far greater than the suppressed powers of their immediate forbears, whom the serds had kept as servants and pets. Led by the Witch King Tuan Tuo, this new generation rebelled against the serds, slaying many and driving the rest back into the sea. A few serds, descendants of those survivors, are thought to dwell still at the dark bottoms of the ocean.

“The Dynasty of Tuan Tuo reigns still in Larthang,” Kizier explained. “One hundred and fifty-three Tuans have held an unbroken line of succession for more than 29 centuries. Over all those generations, the arts of the Deepmind have been studied and refined by countless practitioners. But the greatest of these was unquestionably Eglemarde, the Archimage under the Fifteenth Tuan.”

“The Weaver of the Winds,” Glyssa said. “We have heard her name. Some Tathians worship her as a goddess.”

“Indeed, and with fair reason,” Kizier said. “For it was Eglemarde who recognized that the centuries of disruption, and the reign of the serds, had been brought about by too much witchery. She perceived that more cataclysms would inevitably come, unless some balance could be achieved. So, by a monumental feat of magic called the First Great Ensorcellment, Eglemarde bent the course of the Ogo. From that time onward, excessive shaping forces have spilled out of the Deepmind and into the sea. Thus the surface of the seas came to glow night and day with witchlight.

“But this design alone proved insufficient, for the Deepmind was still reacting to the enormous stresses caused by the serds. So Eglemarde wove a Second Great Ensorcellment. She altered the workings of air and sea so that, at the times of greatest stress—which tend to correspond with times of changing weather—the magic winds would blow over the sea, venting the excess forces by changing the water to ice or the ice to water. The Two Winds she called Icemaker and Thawbringer, though they are now known as Glazer and Aubergale to the folk of Tath.”

“It is over two thousand years since the Two Winds first blew on the sea,” Eben said. “This we were told by a wandering scholar in Fleevanport.”

“Two thousand, one hundred and twelve years,” Kizier replied. “Thus it is recorded in Minhang the Beautiful, the Larthangan capital from whence the great design was cast.”

(c) 2016 Jack Massa, All Rights Reserved.