Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Audience Chamber Of Castle Afon

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 17 September 2016:

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).

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