|The Obsidian Oracle|
|Binding||Mass Market Paperback|
|Preceded by||The Amber Enchantress|
|Followed by||The Cerulean Storm|
|“||The Severed Bonds of Friendship... The Dark Lens: An ancient oracle that can harvest the magic of the sun, hidden by the last dwarven knights for the sake of a new world. With it, Tithian of Tyr can evolve into a true sorcerer-king. Only Agis of Asticles, who covets the lens to destroy the Dragon, stands between Tithian and his desire. For either man to survive the quest, the hatred between them must be vanquished. If not, they will surely fall prey to the beast-headed giants who guard the Obsidian Oracle.||”|
Summary[edit | edit source]
Plot[edit | edit source]
In Kled, slavers attack the village and target Neeva's son Rkard. After they are defeated it is revealed that the Sorcerer with the raiders has a communication orb to Tithian. Contacting the King of Tyr, Neeva threatens to kill him.
In search of Tithian for Neeva, Agis traveled the roads from Tyr looking for the errant king, who fled before she arrived. In the middle of the road a giant named Fylo blocked Agis's path. He was paid by Tithian to stop Agis from following him to Balic. After showing Fylo some of his memories Agis convinces the giant to aid him in stopping Tithian.
In Balic, Tithian seeks and audience with Sorcerer-King Andropinis who is being. While Andropinis recieves gifts from the nobles Tithian asks for 2000 soldiers and ships to transport them. Andropinis reminds Tithian that five years ago Balic had to pay Tyr's levy, resulting in 2000 slaves being taken instead of 1000. The end result was that Balic could not build the great wall surrounding its fields and giant raiders attacked the fields starting the Peninsula Rampage. As proof the Dragon sent him Tithian extricates the severed heads of Sacha and Wyan from his bag. Andropinis believes in Tithian's claim, but presses to understand what Borys needs with Andropinis's fleet. Tithian reveals its so he can recover The Dark Lens. When Andropinis presses for the Lens's location Tithian denies stating that the Lens is protected by a curse. The Sorcerer-King nods at this knowning that every agent that they sent to find its location dies a painful death whenever they try to tell a Champion of Rajaat its location.
In Balic's harbor, Agis tries to hire a ship to follow Tithian and Balic's armada across the Sea of Silt. A Veiled Alliance sorcerer named Nymos is able to get Agis to Kester, Captain of the Shadow Viper.
On Tithian's ship it becomes apparent that the Beasthead Giants have mobilized and cut off his ships. The armada is destroyed by over a hundred of the giants. Fylo, following in the Silt, admits that he let the Beastheads know of Tithian's plan to take the fleet onto the Sea of Silt as part of Agis's plan to capture the king.
Agis manages to locate Tithian near death on an island. The king admits that he is looking for The Dark Lens, hoping that Agis will continue the quest with him. When Agis denies the request Tithian kills the Shadow Viper's psionic pilot, causing the ship to start to sink. They land on Mytilene where Nymos creates an illusion that the ship's masts are beasthead giants. Kester berates the sorcerer for his mistake as normal headed Giants arrive from the giant stronghold to do battle with the masts.
Captured by the giants, Agis and Tithian negotiate with their leader Sachem Mag'r to recover the Obsidian Oracle from the beastheads. The war between the two races revolves around the possession of the Obsidian Oracle. The tribes are supposed to give possession to the other, the Joorsh (Giants) claim that the Saram (Beastheads) are hording the Obsidian Oracle so that they can become smarter.
Mag'r allows Tithian, Agis, Nymos, and Kester to leave and open the gates of Castle Feral to aid in the Joorsh assault at dawn. While searching for a cave that would lead to the castle, the party encounters a bear. Unlike its Green Age predecessor, the bear is massive with a carapace and psionic powers. The bear kills Nymos and is killed by Agis. Fylo's voice comes from behind the bear corpse, revealing that he planned to convince the bear to give him its head so he could become a Beasthead Giant.
Using the bear corpse as a puppet Tithian, Agis, and Kester manage to hide inside it with Fylo leading them to Castle Feral. Fylo, by Tithian's comments, is unsure that the Saram are going to give him the bear's head instead thinking that they will just behead him. When it is revealed that the bear is a trick the rest of the Saram capture Fylo and the rest of the group. It is revealed that Saram and Joorsh tribes might have been founded by Sa'ram and Jo'orsh, the Dwarven Knights of Kemalok. Agis notes that the Pristine Tower did have the ability to transform people into new races.
Agis and Tithian try to negotiate with Bawan Nal, the leader of the Saram. Tithian finds out that Borys lied to him, and that The Dark Lens cannot turn him into a Sorcerer-King. Fylo, Tithian, Agis, and Kester are thrown into the Crystal Pit, the place where the Beasthead Giants discard their "disfigured" kin called Castoffs. Beset by the ghosts of Saram Castoffs all of them near death except Agis who is now pure of heart and immune to the attacks. Agis helps the Castoff spirits escape and is able to get Tithian and Kester out of the pit. He goes back to help Fylo.
Tithian betrays the group by killing Kester and using her body to plug the breach leading out of the Crystal Pit. Sacha and Wyan convince Tithian that while Borys cannot use the Dark Lens to turn him into a Sorcerer King, Rajaat can. At the place where the Saram keep the Obsidian Oracle Tithian kills the guard and convinces the Banshees of Sa'ram and Jo'orsh that King Rkard has been reincarnated as Neeva's son and that the pair should go to assist him. The dwarves know that the Dark Lens can be used to release Rajaat, hence why they broke their focus to kill Borys. Tithian states that if they wish to stop Borys from dying and causing Rajaat to be release they should kill Rkard to stop him.
Having extracted himself and Fylo from the Crystal Pit, Agis assists both the Saram and Joorsh tribes in attacking each other. Mag'r and Nal do battle with each other ending with Mag'r killing the Saram. Agis flees realizing the Mag'r knows he helped Nal.
While moving the artifact, Tithian activates the Dark Lens's power causing himself to temporarily transform from the neck down into a Mul. In trying to get the Dark Lens into his Bag of Holding he is pulled in as well. Inside the bag, the spirits of those he had killed visit him from The Gray. He easily dispatches most of them except for his brother and King Kalak. The former Sorcerer-King of Tyr reveals he visited Tithian to say how he respected his ability as a killer when he killed his brother.
Agis finds Wyan and Sacha near where Tithian grabbed the Dark Lens. Only finding the King's bag he checks to see if the Dark Lens is there, but is unable to recover it. He convinces Mag'r to save Fylo from the Crystal Pit. When Agis gets close to the magical seal of the pit it glows, recognizing that the Dark Lens is in the bag. Once Mag'r saves Fylo, Agis seals the pit.
Sacha is sent into the bag and tells Tithian of Agis's possession of the bag. And that the only way out is if someone retrieves you.
Wyan attacks Agis to try and stop him from taking Tithian to Tyr. During the fighting he bites down on Fylo. Wyan reveals that he has become impenetrable to psionic attacks because he completed his life's dream of killing every pixie. During a lull in battle Wyan secretly communicates with Tithian who tells him to let Agis find the Shadow Viper. Wyan surrenders under pretense to get off the island before the giants kill them all. Kylo dies helping the Shadow Viper try to escape.
Agis finds the crew of the Shadow Viper reading the ship. Since he is the only Psionicist he is the only one who can pilot, but as a novice he will not last long enough to get to land. Knowing that Tithian can pilot the ship he allows him to leave the bag only for Tithian to turn into a wyvern and fly away while the Joorsh attacked the Shadow Viper. In a mindscape battle Tithian's wyvern pierced Agis's Griffin killing Agis. Taking Agis's signet ring Tithian sends Wyan to tell Rikus and Sadira to tell them that Agis wants to meet them at the village of samara.
Back in Tyr, Neeva finds that Rkard was visited by Jo'orsh and Sa'ram telling him that he will kill the Dragon. He is gifted the Belt of Rank and the crown of Kemalok.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Heroes[edit | edit source]
Agis of Asticles
Fylo (Killed) - Male Giant halfbreed of Joorsh and Saram. Considered ugly by his own people.
Nymos (Killed) - Male Jozhal Preserver
Rkard - Five year old Mul Sun Priest, son of Neeva and Caelum.
Kester (Killed) - Female Tarek, Captain of the Shadow Viper silt ship.
Jo'orsh - Dwarven Knight of Kemalok, progenitor of the first giants.
Sa'ram - Dwarven Knight of Kemalok, progenitor of the first beasthead giants.
Villains[edit | edit source]
Sachem Mag'r - Leader of the Joorsh, normal Giants.
Bawan Nal (Killed) - Leader of the Saram, Beasthead Giants. His head is that of an Owl.
Locations[edit | edit source]
- The White Palace
- Sea of Silt
- Mytilene - Giant Stronghold
- Isle of Lybdos - Beasthead Giant Stronghold
- Castle Feral
- The Crystal Pit