This is a short chapter - but - as in all the others - I had fun with it. The Poisoned Forest got its name from the "lizard persona" of our boy Nibel. As he is relegated to crawl around and guard his treasure, he breathes a poisonous breath that contaminates the surrounding forest. The lizard idea was sort of distilled from the concept (going back to ancient mythology) of what happens when greed takes over our lives. So, that is where "Orbenos" - now called the Shadowling - first arrives in the World of the Humans. He is weak and very much lost and without the Cloak of Pure Intended Thought he will die. He arrives next to the ancient tree, Drasil.
Now, I had originally been reluctant to divulge who the Shadowling really represents but have decided to tell you!!!! For those following the blog - and by the way, thanks again for the interest - and / or those who have read the book - this may or may not be of interest to you. But, I spent a great deal of time with this interesting character. Later on in the book, the Shadowling understands who he represents and what lies ahead of him. At this stage of things, even the Shadowling himself does not understand what he is suppose to do in Medelia and the role he will play.
So, here it is - the Shadowling represents "struggle." Now, this is about as basic to our lives and the lives of every living entity on earth as air and water are to our existence. After the "betrayal" (the Fall of Man) the Shadowling is told he must return to the World of the Humans to try and make amends for his actions. He, of course, is too lost and weak to understand this at first but after he acquires the Cloak from Charlie he slowly figures it out.
Struggle!!!! What does one say about this. Countless stories, books, poems, etc. have been written about it. Struggle, of course, is no stranger to us all. The world is going through yet another horrific round of struggle right now. In the Chronicles then, the journey of the mythological hero, struggle must be front and center. Without a discussion of, or the portrayal of struggle, I dare say there would be a story at all.
At the end of the chapter, the Shadowling has a dream. He dreams of the lizard persona of Nibel. Remember now, Nibel is an alchemist from the World of the Dwarfs. He really is just interested in experimenting with things. He carries his experiments to the extreme and thus crosses many lines of acceptability. He is interested in the Shadowling because he wants the Laws and he wants the merely to experiment with and will do just about anything to get his hands on them.
The paragraph I have chosen is the second one in the chapter. It describes his arrival.
"It was there in the Poisoned Forest east of the Lowland mountains and west of Fendom that the Shadowling made his arrival in Medelia. He had been one of the young creators of the World of the Humans. Like the other six, he had once been filled with promise and brilliance. Wearing the cloak, his intentions helped to form the entire world, including the crown jewel of them all, the beings of higher reason. The ninth world, Medelia, was to be the greatest achievement of all time. Yet, in the half light of the early spring morning, his time in the Heart of Heavens was over. In the cold dampness of the Poisoned Forest, sitting beside the ancient tree, Drasil, the Shadowling drew his first breath."
"Huh," he gasped.