Dramatis Loci

Contributed by Jack Peredur

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In order of appearance; complete for all seventeen Books in Ravenwood: A Seeker’s Memoir.

On Earth
People in Columbia, SC
“Witchy” Worlds
Night's Labyrinth
Marsan’s World
Midrealm Locales
Others

On Earth:

Calhoun, SC: a small college town in upstate South Carolina, on the shore of Lake Robinson about 15 miles south of Arborville. Home to Calhoun University.

The Quarry: south of Calhoun Campus, surrounded by University-owned forest. A granite quarry worked until the 1850s or so, then abandoned perhaps because the pit became partly flooded.

The Garret: an apartment behind Thorson’s Hardware in Calhoun, SC, comprising the second floor of a house owned by Will Thorson and located at 613 Corvin Street in Calhoun, South Carolina. Initially a gutted wreck; now fixed up, through a lot of work by Jack and others, and home to Jack, Norma, Alaine and Carl.

Russell University: located in Columbia, SC. Calhoun’s arch-rival, both in athletics and in competition for State funding.

Morgan’s Cliff: home to a mountain witches’ coven in the 1840s. Jack, Norma and Suzanne may all have had former lives there. Shown on more modern maps as “Brushy Knob.” Now located within the bounds of Great Smokies National Park. Holds a stone Circle plus another stone nearby which once supported the “May Tree,” the flying rowan of Alison’s dream.

Ravenwood: an old house, “a shining example of Jigsaw Gothic from the 1890s,” located at 140 Dahlquist Circle in Columbia.  Gutted by fire in the Ravenwood Disaster.

The Crypt: the basement suite of Ravenwood Apartments, unfortunately destroyed in the Ravenwood disaster.  It was leased by Jake (“Magus”) Madden who lived there with Tina Moore and sublet to Frank Warner and Belinda Carswell. The main corridor was an art gallery of his paintings and Tina’s ceramics. Also held…

The Kiva: an octagonal basement room at the bottom of one of Ravenwood’s towers. Set up as a ritual room, with a flagstoned floor and a substantial wooden altar.

“Yuggoth” (not the real one): another basement room at the back of the Crypt, floored with dense red clay into which a pit had been dug: planned to hold a small swimming pool and a combined sauna and sweat lodge, though these were still incomplete at the time of the Disaster.

“Mountain near Durango”: a locale on waking-world Earth, “full of old silver mines” Belinda visited and visualized as a starting place for her solo shamanic journeys.

Arborville General Hospital: where Jack is treated after his lab accident. The burn ward is on the sixth floor. Suzanne’s Great-Aunt Clarisse was treated on the seventh floor.

Arborville Technical College: located about twelve miles north of Arborville.

On Thale:

Thale itself: a colony world of the Yhtill. Brought in from a more distant, colder orbit using Ba’alar’s technology, set circling in a retrograde orbit outside those of Aldones’ own three major moons, and cloaked with Mist to mimic Uoht’s denser atmosphere. Home to Ba’alar, Astura and the surviving Yhtill after Uoht’s destruction in the Sundering War.

The Yellow Corridor: an Otherworld locale accessible through shared hypnosis. Includes the Tower Room, a door leading out to the Gold Mist, and the Corridor proper with a seemingly limitless array of doors openable to various destinations.  Door numbers run sequentially outward from the Tower Room, odd numbers to the right and even to the left. Doors used during the period covered by the Memoir, and their destinations, are:

Door Zero: directly opposite the Tower room and larger than the rest. Leads to a tunnel with stairs to an ocean beach under twin suns. Closed off with a steel door at bottom since a shogg-ama was seen there.

Door One: the Magic Theater, now smashed. The doorway is blocked by fallen rubble.

Door Two: a closet.

Door Three: the Honeymoon Suite created by Carl and Alaine after their wedding.

Door Four: a copy of Great-Aunt Clarisse’s house in Arborville, now partly faded.

Door Five: a copy of the Scarlet Players’ storeroom at Rutgers’ Busch Campus.

Door Six: a copy of the Holy of Holies, Doctor Knight’s laboratory at Calhoun University; accidentally created by a misfiring spell.

Door Seven: opened by Chuck from the far side, with the King’s help. Leads directly to the throne room.

Door Eight: a “fake Yuggoth” Sue and Mel created for Cissy’s Second Degree Test.

Door Nine: failed Museum try; instead it replaces thammas as-shawaina, gateway to Ulphorach’s domain in the Deathlands.

Door Ten: Jack’s shortcut to the Carcosa catacombs.

Door Eleven: Successful second try for the Silent Museum.

Door Twelve: an observation gallery overlooking “fake Yuggoth.”

Door Thirteen: the Vespa recharging stable.

Door Fourteen: attempted conjuration of OPHIEL.

Door 114: proposed site for conjuration of ARATRON; never used.

Door 1728: the “antipode,” highest numbered and furthest from the Tower Room. Ruined and sealed in attempted conjuration of ARATRON.

The Gold Mist: a dense breathable gas charged with a form of mind-responsive energy not known on Earth. It fills a hollow among mountains and ruins under crowding stars and Aldones, a nearby Jupiter-like planet. Partly bounded by a vast megalithic wall. Contains Suzanne’s stone circle, Norma’s sulfur spring, a lake, and potential gateways to other worlds. Seems to be the Lake of Hali described by Lovecraft, Chambers and other Mythos writers.

Hali: a lake of permanent fog, described by Robert Chambers and others. Its “fog” seems identical with the Gold Mist.

Carcosa (Caer Ceusa; formerly, and now again, Cnoc Calcanna): a ruined city on Hali’s shore. Made up of towers each with an open central shaft, all connected by underground passages. Most passages are lined with sealed copper tomb doors forming a vast catacomb. At center and backed by cliffs is the King’s Tower, now a ruin, containing the King’s Door and behind it the passage down to Demhe. The corridors are patrolled by Naggles; see “Whole Species.”

Mel’s Valley: created on Thale beneath the Mist. A copy of parts of Morgan’s Cliff (“Brushy Knob” on modern maps) including a stream valley with cabin, waterfalls and a garden, and the ledge and ceremonial area atop the cliff. Surrounded by forest which Mel also created.

Demhe: a “lake” described by Robert Chambers as the counterpart to Hali. Partly or wholly held in a cavern beneath Carcosa’s mountain, it is the source of the Mist generated when the Darkened Star, a crystal artifact of the King, is lowered into a pool of water beneath. The Mist is then vented through passages leading to Hali and Carcosa.

The Cleft: an angled plane within Carcosa’s mountain, cut somehow by the Gatepost which was one of Thale’s world-moving “engines” before the Sundering War. Runs from beneath the King’s throne room to a tunnel near Demhe’s Door. Normally closed, but during Syzygy the Gatepost at its center forces it open wide enough to permit Yhtill (or human) passage.

The “dark and twisting hole”: Demhe’s original entrance, a long-disused passage leading up through Carcosa’s mountain to emerge above the sea on the steep, rough rear slope. Sealed by the King when the Cleft was made. Re-opened by Ulphorach.

“Witchy” Worlds:

The Elemental Realms: reachable in many ways, including through the Gold Mist, when their Guardians are invoked. “Earth” is a dark starlit desert surrounded by mountains, “Water” a moonlit sea, “Fire” a volcanic fissure holding a river of lava, and “Air” an abyss of clouds. Each holds a Gate which must be passed, literally or symbolically, for entry to the Second Degree in Alaine’s tradition. Visions of “Air” and “Fire” by early Christian mystics may have helped birth the modern conceptions of Heaven and Hell respectively.

The Land of Youth: a place where souls of those deceased who have lived by the Law of Love can rest, heal, and possibly spend time with loved ones there before moving on to new lives. Analogous to the Christian Heaven, though a soul’s stay there is not eternal. Specific domain of the Goddess. Even the light shining out from it has unearthly beauty, seeming at the same time golden yellow and emerald green.

The Borderland: an abyss like a deep stony valley, icy cold and lit only by far reflections from the Land of Youth. Souls of those who have died sin-laden must wander there until their evil is expunged through suffering. Analogous to the Christian Purgatory. Specific domain of the Horned God, Guardian of the Gate of Spirit, who judges when each soul is ready to leave it and pass on to the Land of Youth.

Dogsmouth Pass: Mel’s name for the steep passage up from the Borderland to the Realm of Earth.

Night’s Labyrinth and Beyond:

Grand Central Station (“Night’s Labyrinth”): a nexus of shamanic Tunnels, “like a whole world turned inside-out.” Tunnel openings cover its surfaces, each presumably leading to a different world. Seems to be identical with MALKUTH (or some aspect of it) in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.

Lynx’s world: one of those reachable through Grand Central. A dim, starlit forest inhabited by Lynx (see “Supernatural Beings”).

Eagle’s world: another one reachable by shamans through Grand Central. A cold, windy place of cliffs “going up and up forever, and down and down” interrupted by narrow, snow-covered ledges. Home to Eagle (see “Supernatural Beings”).

The asteroid swarm: “A place that might have been a world, once. Nothing there now but a thick swarm of asteroids circling a giant red sun. No life, of course.” Useful for target practice.

The ghost ship: a derelict starship floating in space far from any sun. Miles across, “big disks and globes and cylinders joined by a maze of plumbing” with no clear overall plan, as if repeatedly added to during flight. Now holds no trace of life, even bones, save for one sinister small carving. May have been attacked and emptied by lloigor (see “Supernatural Beings”).

Ainnir’on (“Rhiannon’s world”): a Celtic paradise, the domain of Rhiannon (see “Supernatural Beings”). A world of soft light and vivid color beneath a sky filled with rainbows. Colonized by refugees from Earth during the Sundering War (~15,000 BC?), who now live there with the Bright Folk and other beings remembered on Earth only in mythology. Within it lies…

Caer Uasal (the Noble City; the City of Splendors; also, through mishearing, “Caer Wassail” and “Caer-Ousel”): Rhiannon’s home and the site of Her guesting hall. A levitating, rotating city whose buildings each seem to be cut from a single piece of a different precious or semiprecious stone. Hosts permanent (and presumably undying) guests, including some from Britain soon after the discovery of the New World.

Marsan’s World:

“Cracked and burning”: a world Norma saw briefly during the power storm on Morgan’s Cliff and more fully, along with Jack, after their Greater Sacrament in the Crypt. Lit by vast fires and floored with mustard-yellow desert broken by deep fissures. Its sky appears to be a huge vault of stone. Seems not merely dead but actively hostile to life; in Norma’s words “it wanted to swat us like flies!” The Thirteen were later thrown into it by the Lurker at the climax of the fight in the Abyss, and an experiment by Hadrian Marsan using the fragments of Alaine’s shattered ruby unleashed a “creation storm” rendering it habitable. Belinda then dubbed it “Marsan’s World,” and the name stuck.

The Sanctuary: a Rosicrucian vault, Magus’ “rainbow closet” from Ravenwood grown large: seven-sided with a chapel dedicated to each of the Planetary Spirits (see “Supernatural Beings”) behind an arch at each side and a smaller door leading outside. Magus, Tina, Belinda, Frank, Alaine, Carl and Norma found themselves in it after the creation storm, along with Vera’s coffin.

World’s Center (later, “World-Cen”): Alaine’s garden expanded city-huge after the creation storm, walled, with four arched gates at the compass points, and containing the Sanctuary surrounded by a larger dome, a “spiderweb” of circular and radial avenues, and a western plaza with pools of water fed by hot and cold springs.

The Bitter Sea: a western ocean, salty and acrid, in which Jack once helped save Tamir from drowning.

Lakeside: a town of houses on platforms built out over the Warm Sea. Founded by Nick and Dawn, who woke alone nearby after the creation storm.

Grayharbor: a town at the mouth of the big northern river. The Seawatch Tower rises from a hill nearby.

Fern Hall: a house, and later a town, founded by Norma and others upstream on the northern river.

Franklin: a town among the northern mountains, founded by Frank, Belinda and Hadrian and facetiously named for Frank himself.

Eraborg: a mining town plagued by night gaunts.

Midrealm Locales:

Midrealm itself: a fantasy world created by R. J. Tallwin; setting for The Baggitt: A Burglar’s Adventure and the Midrealm Trilogy comprising The Quest for the Crown, The Crown and the City, and The Shadows of Ashdark supplemented by The Midrealm Gloss. Like all such worlds, frequent and repeated reader visits have granted it some level of independent reality.

Whitecrag: a Midrealm location where Eldwynn was held suspended in time, awaiting (Midrealm) Aglorand’s kiss to awaken her.

Langomar: a magically guarded forest in Midrealm. Notable among the trees are jamani, a fruit tree which grows nowhere else, and tall langalorn with its radial crowns of branches. Home of the woodnymphs and woodfauns.

Willowrill: the heart of Langomar; home of Lauriávë Greenleaf and Old Tim Billiken.

Marshydell: home to the wizard Rosgodar and his magic frogs.

The Undercliff: a city of caves and tunnels, now in ruins and inhabited by the monsters called Baelgars. “Drums of Doom” are a danger signal. Once held a bridge called the Darkspan, later broken by Rosgodar.

Valleydeep, the Canton, Galindor, Iselheim, the Crystal Mountains, Thrandikar: other Midrealm places not otherwise described.

Others:

Nagglefang’s World: accessible through the Magic Theater. Eternally dark, very hot, abominably stenchful, with rubbery ground covered in slime. Home to monsters. Once had, and may still have somewhere, human-like inhabitants too. Jack, Nick and Norma went there to rescue Dawn. Appears to be Lovecraft’s “Yuggoth.”

The Gray Land: a world of dead forests, ruins, dry dust and drifting fog “gray as corroded lead,” where souls of the dead or dying may become trapped as Clarisse’s was. Accessible in dreams or through the Window in the Magic Theater. Its chief peculiarity is its dull gray light which reveals no colors, although light sources brought into it, such as flashlights, still do. Nothing there seems alive, and most remnants are rotten. Human passage through it leaves no traces, footprints quickly vanishing. The touch of its dust numbs the skin.

The Silent Museum (“The Hall of Treasures Waiting”): a nexus of worlds, reached through gates taking the form of huge three-piece arches of silver-gray stone. In other worlds these stand singly, but on the Museum side form a ring many miles across, like Stonehenge but vastly larger. It is lit by pillars of multicolored fire. On its floor, set in curving rows, are countless pedestals each holding some object protected by a dome of invisible force. These appear to be the goals of quests, each waiting for the right hero to come and retrieve it. Melusine was such a goal for Jack, but awakened before he reached her. The Shadowcinct, in turn, was Mel’s own goal. Others appear later in the Memoir.

The Greenworld (Domuaine): a “temple world” created by Gods for Their own invocation and worship of HAGITH, one of the Seven. Its sky is emerald green, dotted with small glowing pink clouds. It contains an altar of smooth cool stone, also green, on which Jack remembers himself lying for partial restoration after the battle in Night’s Labyrinth.

Uoht: A lost planet; the original home of the Yhtill. Its atmosphere was dense enough for flight and clouded enough to require echolocation while doing so. Ba’alar and Astura led a group of Yhtill to establish a colony on Thale, steering it into orbit around Aldones and cloaking it in Mist to permit flight there too. Uoht was perhaps the first whole world destroyed in the Sundering War, its name thus becoming “the very synonym for horror.”

Yaddith: Another lost planet; home to the Nug-Soth until it was overrun by b’holai and had to be abandoned.

Vabrah (the Wrongstar): a white dwarf star (“cinder star”) which passed close by the Solar System near the end of the Sundering War. For that reason Earth and the other Solar planets were chosen as prisons for many of those defeated, while Vabrah itself was deliberately seeded with iron thus becoming a “jammer” for all subtle energies.  As it now recedes in space, age by age that jamming becomes less effective.

K’hubuld’jah: a lost planet of a close, hot sun. Home to the K’hubuldor, a silicon-based sentient species, before it was smashed in the Sundering War.

Yurighai: another planet destroyed, like Yaddith, by b’holai. Its zukkha-mogh lies in the Silent Museum, dead but still retaining some of its old glamour of maddening fear.

Y’golg’ho: yet another planet impacted by the War. We know nothing of it except that it was the departure point for the Hope of Y’golg’ho, the “ghost” starship later found adrift and emptied of life beyond a gate in the Labyrinth.

Last updated: 1/23/2023

Jack Peredur

Jack Peredur

Merry meet! I’m Jack Peredur, author of Ravenwood: A Seeker’s Memoir. You’ve probably read my bio on the main Associates’ page, so I won’t say more here. If you want to know, read the books or ask me in the Forum. Got lots of random knowledge to share!