(Out for the weekend without a laptop, but I’ll try to respond to comments through my traitorous phone.)
Island of Pallice, Garden of Uli, Helgard, Aintaranurh, and Binhadar Falls. Five corrupted temples have been challenged and defeated over the course of Legends of Windemere. Not without a lot of loss and suffering. Trust me, it isn’t a spoiler that we got this far because at least one champion had to reach The Spirit Well unless the whole thing was that the Baron wins. At least it won’t happen this early on since I still have three books to go after this.
It’s strange being at this stage of the series even though I’ve run it through my head for over a decade. This ends the long path of temples and challenges the gods set up to do two things. One is that they are the power centers of the Baron’s curse, which is why they were targeted for corruption. The other is that they are designed to push the champions to new levels of power and awaken whatever abilities are within them. After that . . . well, things do go off the rails at the end of this one, but that’s the fun here. Three more books to go after The Spirit Well, which covers some interesting ground. That’s for another time that we’ll call 2017.
I’m sitting here wishing I could tell people about this temple and the story that revolves around it. Without going into details, this is the one that no champion has ever officially visited. Even Binhadar Falls was found by one or two groups in the past with lethal results. The Spirit Well is a total mystery to everyone . . . sort of. I will say that Dariana went there once on her own, but wiped the memory. She’s following her own breadcrumbs that have been hidden for centuries. One can only wonder what other mysteries about her past will be unearthed during this. I’ll touch on Dariana in a week or two because her existence is a spoiler that I want to share after this book comes out.
So, where did the Spirit Well come from? This and Binhadar Falls were the two that never got mentioned or planned in the game. The previous four were either challenged or, in the case of Aintaranurh, mentioned before the final session. I remember there being a mark on a game map that involved a jungle, which is where Binhadar Falls came from. The Spirit Well was simply me looking at what I already did. Underground had been touched on, but not like this. I wanted a sense of abandonment and claustrophobia in this temple because it’s the final challenge. How do you push a character like Dariana, who is immortal and psychic, to her limits? You bury her alive and surround her with the dead that might not be happy to be there. Everything rolled into life after that including pieces of her past.
Really hoping the last stage of temples and the first part of the ‘end’ is a hit. How do other authors deal with hitting a point in a book or series when they can see the grand finale in reach?