Updated: May 27, 2022
To truly understand where HEIRS OF ISILDUR: The Perilous Prospects BOOK ONE begins, you’ll need to know a small fraction of what came before it (which is included as the foreword in the book). For those of you that want to dig really DEEP into the lore of the story, we've got you covered.
NOTE: This article contains extensive spoilers for The Crossroads Conundrum story arc (but is not a replacement for it).
Nestled within the valley between two grand mountain ranges, sits a puritanical village, known by the name of Shadow's Haven. An untrained eye would see a community in full order. There are a dwindling few, however, that know of dark secrets in the town's history that their regimented lifestyle conceals.
Many decades ago a group of scientists, inventors, dreamers, and schemers came together to explore the known world's outer reaches. They secretly operated under the name The Guild of the Golden Gear and created machines designed with the intent of opening up pathways to connect the past, the future, and the present. They wanted to see if life existed on other planets, to see if they could unlock a multiverse, or even expand our own consciousness.
Although their motives were initially to carefully explore the boundaries of science and knowledge, their lack of success caused their efforts to become more desperate and reckless. They could open windows to other existential planes, but were unable to interact with the grand visions on the other side. What did come through the portals (that they knew of) were small mystical artifacts. They in turn used those parts to enhance the machines in their subsequent attempts, hoping to finally break through and access 'the other side'.
This process made many of the guild members go mad. Little did they realize this was for good reason: with every attempt to open the portals, a darkened energy was also released that not only corrupted them, but the nearby village of Shadow's Haven as well. Havoc, turmoil, and unspeakable acts reigned in the village.
The Havenites were enraged when it became clear that the chaos in Shadow’s Haven was a consequence of the unapologetic actions of the Laboratorians (their slang name for the secretive 'Guild of the Golden Gear'). They felt they were meddling with forces they did not understand (and they were correct in their assumptions). The Havenites loved their village, and were not going to sit idly by as anyone caused it harm. They were going to put a stop to it, by any means necessary.
Overcome with fury, and fueled by that darkened shroud of mystical energy, the Havenites stormed the estate's borders. Their confrontation erupted in cataclysmic proportions, leaving every resident of the estate massacred.
After ‘cleansing’ their village of the threat, the shroud of darkness also dissipated, like a fog burning away with the rising sun. The Havenites' minds also cleared, crystalizing to them the gravity of the atrocities they‘d committed. They wanted to protect the sanctity of their village, but they had no intention of taking events to the calamitous levels that transpired.
They worked furiously to cover their tracks, removing all traces of the hideous events
that transpired upon Shadow’s Haven’s farthest hill. History was methodically erased, altered, and exaggerated. The further the events on that fateful day moved into history, the farther the perpetrators and town influencers could distort what really happened. Once enough time had passed, they even went so far as to create a holiday celebration, the FESTIVAL OF AMONESTA, that lauded and reenacted these so-called events that tradition and lore now claim happened millennia ago. The Guild of the Golden Gear were now presented as supernatural demonic invaders, and the townspeople that committed the atrocities had been transformed into heroic defenders. The fable claimed that those courageous villagers were victorious, wiping the invaders from the map.
As wild and grandiose as the tale behind the festival was, the modern Havenites had no reason to question the validity of Amonesta's lore. Most were not alive when the Great Laboratorian Massacre took place, and if they were (and weren't involved) their eyes were shielded by the perpetrators. Why would they question a tradition that claimed their forefathers valiantly fought off a demonic invasion, preserving the sanctity of Shadow's Haven?
Generations passed, and elders passed on. Soon all that was left was fable, a rigid town custom designed to ward off any future evil encroaching their borders, and an empty, abandoned estate... An estate that was one day sold to a curious man, whose identity was shrouded in mystery... just as he intended. You see, when the Great Laboratorian Massacre took place, the Havenites slaughtered all the members of the Guild of the Golden Gear... or so they thought.
A small handful had escaped through a series of hidden tunnels and catacombs, down to their underground laboratory and out a secret exit door. They locked away and buried the laboratory, entombing the vestiges of the Guild of the Golden Gear. They left with only the clothes their backs, and a small pouch full of the mystical artifacts.
One of those that escaped was a young teen named Hemlock - Philip Arthur Hemlock. He would grow up on the outskirts of town, vowing to never set foot back on the grounds that claimed the lives of those he held dear. He watched over the years as the village grew in its own peculiar way. He tried to move on with his life, intent on distancing himself from the painful events on that day and the work of the Guild... but he could never forget.
As one of only four that survived the massacre, he witnessed the other three grow old and eventually pass away, including his beloved wife, Camilla. Hemlock realized he was the last remaining individual with any ties to the true history of the estate, and more importantly the Guild of the Golden Gear. He could not allow its secrets to die with him, so he sought out a potential successor to their long since forgotten endeavors. He found just that man: Professor Mykal Isildur.
So just who is Professor Mykal Isildur? He's the artisan and curator at the Father Time Emporium, a watch and clock repair shop
deep in the heart of Shadow’s Haven. Not only is he a respected fixture in the village,
he was recently awarded their highest honor, being recognized as their Citizen of the Year.
If anyone embodies exactly what Shadow's Haven is, it's the Professor. Committed to his craft. Making sure time works 'exactly as it should'. Never wavering from his path. He's also well known for his confidence, bravado, and ability to fix anything and make it better than new. Most importantly for the hooded 'Hemlock', Mykal was someone that would never be suspected of any meddling with that which should not be disturbed. Hemlock constructed an elaborate and contrived plan to align Mykal with the long since abandoned estate... and it worked with precision. He couldn't blatantly point out the location of the buried laboratory, but he could discreetly nudge him in the right direction. Before he knew it, the Professor was now residing in his greatest reclamation project ever - The Estate on Shadow's Haven's farthest hill.
Soon thereafter, Mykal did exactly as Hemlock hoped: he discovered the hidden underground laboratory that had been lost to time and decay. What wasn’t anticipated was Mykal being far more skilled and creative than any of Hemlock's forefather, able to produce results greater than the guild could’ve ever imagined.
The Guild was able to produce windows to other worlds, but they were unable to access anything on the other side. Mykal produced doorways that others could step through! Was his craftsmanship and creativity the sole reason for this? Or was it the parts he utilized from that peculiar little pouch that a satisfied customer at his shoppe gifted to him?
Mykal had no intention of disturbing the timeline. He was simply driven and compelled to see if he could make the machines in the abandoned laboratory function. When SHIVER was pulled through the first portal, however, everything changed.
He praised Mykal for saving his life, and encouraged him to continue his exploration and experimentation. Mykal knew that any further activity might jeopardize the timeline he worked so hard to perfect, but Shiver was able to pinpoint the one area that tormented and resonated with the 'Timekeeper': he wanted a greater purpose than just 'making sure time worked exactly as it should'. The draw of potentially helping others in peril was enough for Mykal to continue his clandestine activities.
Three more individuals were brought through the portals: MURK, REMNANT, and
KING LOVELORN. Each was from a unique time and place, and seemingly had nothing in common. There was one thread, however, that united them: they were all at the most alone and despondent moments of their lives before a mysterious portal opened in their presence, calling out to them to step through.
Unbeknownst to Mykal, something ELSE emerged from those portals - a darkened, corrupting energy. It was the same force that caused all the problems for the historic guild, and Shadow's Haven, all those years ago. The village was once again corrupted, and some townspeople even manifested the supernatural.
After a solitary road trip on behalf of his newly formed group, Mykal happened upon and befriended one such individual, whom he called SYNDROME. She was a forlorn soul that exhibited Telekinetic abilities... abilities that did not exist until the first portal opened just days before.
Even with years of planning, events moved much faster than Hemlock expected. He'd never told Mykal about the lab, the portals, the Guild of the Golden Gear, the distorted history... any of it. He thought he would have time to slowly sprinkle breadcrumbs in Mykal's path, so he could figure things out on his own.
Unfortunately for all involved, that wasn't the case. By the time he was able to expose Mykal to the full truth of what brought him to the estate on Shadow's Haven's farthest hill, events had already been set in motion that neither Mykal or Hemlock would be able to fully control. Others were corrupted by the tantalizing power brought forth by the portals, even one in Mykal's inner circle. Events spiraled out of control, and the best laid plans that they both had were unraveling in dramatic ways. This is where we'll leave you for now. We hope you enjoyed this historical view of
HEIRS OF ISILDUR and THE CROSSROADS CONUNDRUM lore. This leads perfectly into both NIGHTMARE SCENARIO and THE PERILOUS PROSPECTS. We hope you enjoy what's to come.
To read more about these titles go here: THE CROSSROADS CONUNDRUM NIGHTMARE SCENARIO THE PERILOUS PROSPECTS To order copies of any of these titles, VISIT OUR STORE HERE. Lastly, there is METAL MUSIC associated with HEIRS OF ISILDUR, that you can purchase at our store above (On CD or collectible COLORED VINYL) or you can go HERE to listen.
(Art in the above post is taken in excerpt from all HEIRS stories, and contains panels from Peter Smith, Alessandro Ventura, Javi Laparra, JC Fabul, Blake Wilkie, and Fachrul Riva'i)
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