Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Audience Chamber Of Castle Afon

Centuries apart, both David Falkayn and Max Abrams stand in the audience chamber of Castle Afon in Ardaig on Merseia. Falkayn is Nicholas van Rijn's protege and Abrams is Dominic Flandry's mentor.

Falkayn sees:

a high, gaunt, echoing chamber of unhuman proportions;
woven tapestries on stone walls;
windows arched at top and bottom;
battle banners hanging from rafters;
a hearth with a fire big enough to roast an elephant;
armored, demon-masked troopers lining the hall, bearing curved swords, barbed pikes and guns;
the Hand of the Vach Dathyr in orange robes and horned miter.

Abrams sees:

long, flagged floor;
high walls;
narrow windows arched at top and bottom;
sawtoothed vaulting;
proportions wrong by Terran criteria but not here;
demonic mask helmets on suits of armor;
faded tapestries;
rustling battle banners;
unhuman symbology;
a dragon carved in black wood;
the black-robed Hand of the Vach Ynvory lifting a spear and crashing it down in salute.

Some of us might remember James Blish's Jack Loftus in the audience room of the Hegemon of Malis (here).

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And an appropriate contrast to the audience hall of Castle Afon would be if we had seen one of the Terran Emperors receiving similar visitors in the throne room of his palace in Archopolis. Alas, we never see anything like that.

I remember as well how Abrams noticed how "shaken" Brechdan Ironrede was--because his scheme for destroying the Empire was suddenly at risk of failing. Tuff beans, Hand!