Be part of the world, but never in it.
Back before Arthur had fallen under Mordred’s sword, Glastonbury and its Abbey had been a place of beauty. Now it existed in a nether realm between Avalon and Camelot. Nothing with any kind of decency lived there. Nothing. It was hell and he’d rather have his nostrils slit than ever step foot in there again.
Now it existed in a shadowy realm where there was no color at all, only shades of dismal gray. Neither good, nor evil, Glastonbury was a neutral zone that existed between Avalon and Camelot. And it had been brought here by sheer accident. In the original plan, only Camelot and Avalon were supposed to have been taken behind the veil to conceal them away from the world of mankind in order to protect that world from the evil that had infected this one. But DamÃ© Fortune wasn’t always kind and Glastonbury, along with her prestigious abbey had been taken behind the veil, too.
Unaware of what was happening on that fateful night when Avalon and Camelot were concealed, numerous men and women had been caught in the middle of this battle and had been trapped here, out of time. In the human world, their families had assumed they’d run off or died. But in this world, they still lived through the centuries and remembered a time when they could leave Glastonbury or Camelot. They remembered a time when their world had been vast, when they could come and go as they pleased.
But that was lost to them.
Banned by accident from the realm of Avalon, their only choice now was to live in Glastonbury or to venture into the lands of Camelot which were fraught with evil beings who lived only to torture and kill those foolish enough to approach them.
For an obvious reason, the occupants of Glastonbury chose to stay in the limited neutral zone. Yet with every passing year, their neutrality dwindled and the inhabitants were beginning to look more and more like the twisted souls who called Camelot home. It was a shame really. At one time, they’d been mostly decent people. But then, in times of war, it was always the innocent who suffered most and in this war, they were the innocent bystanders who’d been caught between the two most powerful forces on earth.
If one stood in the northernmost tower of the Abbey or the Tor, they could glimpse the division of the lands. To the left was the curtain of light and color that delineated Avalon. To the right was the dark gray world that was Morgen’s Camelot.
It should be easy to cross the line of demarcation. But looks were definitely deceiving. To the soulless and damned beings who lived in Camelot, the light of Avalon was truly painful. It burned so much that only a small handful of them could bear it.
For those who lived in Avalon, the darkness was something to fear. It was said that any who dared to venture to it would be consumed by it. To live in darkness was to surrender all that was good inside you. The Dark was a vicious mistress who demanded the sacrifice of morals and decency.
And in the middle of those two lands was this one. Banished to eternal night, there was no color here, anymore than there was in Camelot. The sky fluctuated from black to a drab gray. Days blurred together as the townsfolk tried to find any solace from their fate that they could.
Innocence was the most precious and prized commodity in this hell realm. And it was one that never lasted for long before they converted the innocent.
Or killed them.
â€˜Tis said that when the great Penmerlin Aquila pulled Avalon and Camelot out of the human realm to protect the race of man from the fey queen’s army, part of Morgen’s court ran to the abbey, thinking they’d be safe from her powers. As they did so, it pulled the Merlin’s magick here and damned the unfortunate occupants to dwell in the shadows for all time.
â€œThe world behind the veil. It’s been decided that this is the way of it. There’s no better means to protect that which cannot fall into Morgen’s hands. It must be done. And when midnight strikes tonight, everyone is to be here in Avalon. I, and the merlins who remain, are going to raise a shield to limit the reach of Morgen and her people. Avalon and Camelot are going to be removed from the realm of man and will from this day forward be hidden behind a veil so that none of them will even know we exist. So long as a penmerlin reigns here at Avalon, the veil will remain intact and the world of man will be protected from Morgen and her army. We will hold the line here for eternity or until the day Morgen draws her last breath.â€
~from Sword of Darkness
The Shadowlands behind the Veil . . .