Shattered Chains

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Shattered Chains
Shattered Chains.jpg
Publishing Information
Author(s) Clayton Emery
First printing January 27, 1995
ISBN-13 978-0061054198
Preceded By
Whispering Woods
Followed By
Final Sacrifice

Shattered Chains is the second novel in the Greensleeves cycle. It was published in March 1995, and was written by Clayton Emery. The story continues from Whispering Woods and continues in Final Sacrifice.

Blurb[edit | edit source]

To common folk like Gull and Greensleeves, wizards were a blight on the land. When Greensleeves discovered her own magical ability, she decided to use it to break the power of the other wizards.

Gull's army helped, but not much - and Gull wasn't much of a general. Their mana vault might have helped, but she hadn't learned how to control it. Then Rakel was sent to stop them and their 'mana vault' came alive.

Things couldn't get any worse.

Or so they thought until the wizards caught on to what Greensleeves was doing.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Some months after the events told in Whispering Woods, Gull and Greensleeves are at the head of a rag-tag army, barely surviving the few encounters with wizards they had. The bond between Gull and his lover Lily has weakened, because she is starting to question herself since becoming a wizard.

Meanwhile, Norreen from Arena, whose real name turns out to be Rakel, has settled down in the countryside with Garth and their little son, Hammen. However, in the years after the infamous Time of Troubles, Garth has been struck by wanderlust, and leaves his wife and his son alone for long stretches of time. It's during one of these that Rakel and Hammen are ambushed by Benalish heroes, who teleport the woman and her son to Benalia City. Here, Sabriam, the man who Rakel once refused to marry, has become the Speaker of the ruling Caste. He accuses her of high treason for deserting Benalia and, instead of having her killed, orders her to assassinate Gull and Greensleeves, whose army is dangerously near the borders of Benalia. As leverage against Rakel, Hammen is held hostage: with no other choice, Rakel is teleported to Greensleeves' camp, just as the desert wizard Karli is attacking it.

Gull and Greensleeves narrowly manage to keep Karli's troops at bay, while the desert wizard tries, unsuccessfully, to steal the Mana Vault found by Towser in the Whispering Woods. Rakel poses as a soldier summoned and abandoned by Karli. After getting to knowing Gull and Greensleeves better, she is surprised to see that the two don't want to conquer anything, but intend to rid the continent of evil wizards. The warrior woman quickly agrees to join their "crusade".

That night, Greensleeves is compelled by a strange voice to leave the camp and enter the woods, where she finds a cave. This is the home of Chaney, an old druid, who is willing to teach the unexperienced Greensleeves everything she knows about magic. When Gull and the others find out Greensleeves disappearance, they quickly follow her trail. Meanwhile, during her training, Greensleeves finds out that time in Chaney's house flows differently and what seems to be mere days, are indeed years. When Gull and the rest of the army finally find her, Greensleeves has grown up and become a much more skilled wizard.

While Rakel continues to drill the men and women of the army, transforming them in real soldiers, Greensleeves and Chaney discover that the Mana Vault is, in reality, the "Stone Brain", a living artifact, created by the Sages of Lat-Nam in hope to stop the Brothers' War. The brain has the power to stop wizards from using magic, but how this power can be activated is still unknown.

When Rakel sees that the deadline given to her by Sabriam has passed, she tries to commit suicide. She is saved in time by Gull, to whom Rakel reveals the truth of her mission. Gull and Greensleeves decide to help Rakel and save Hammen. Following Chaney's advice, the army enters the Badlands, where it is ambushed by the armored wizard who previously had attacked Towser's camp in the Whispering Woods. However, Rakel's training has paid off and the army not only wins the battle, but destroy the wizard's tower and capture the wizard himself, Haakon, the self-appointed King of the Badlands.

Thanks to an incident with a student of magic, it is revealed how the Stone Brain, which has taken the form of an helmet, works: once worn, thousand voices (the voices of the Sages of Lat-Nam) order the wizard to stop using magic, or face madness. Within the artifact are also hidden all the spells known by the Sages. A test is conducted on Haakon, and he becomes a sort of slave to Greensleeves, just like the creatures summoned by other wizards. Gull confronts Greensleeves about using the Stone Brain, but she is convinced this is the only way to stop the evil wizards.

That night, the camp is attacked by Benalish troops, who kidnap Rakel and teleport her once again to Benalia City. In the commotion, Haakon manages to free himself from the Stone Brain command just enough to summon some Phyrexian Gremlins, who snatch the artifact and return to their home plane. The only hope to save Rakel and recovering the Stone Brain is "shifting" to their location, which Chaney is too old to do. However, the druid believes Greensleeves and Lily are able to, if they can let go of their fears. In fact, Lily thinks she is a useless wizard, while Greensleeves is afraid that using too much mana may damage her brain, reverting her into a simpleton. To aid them, Chaney gives Lily a Dingus Egg to breach Benalia's ward and a Nova Pentacle to Greensleeves, to help her focusing her mana. Both are now able to succesfully teleport away.

Lily, Gull, and their friends Stiggur, Bardo and Ordando, find themselves in Benalia City, where they save Rakel from torture and recover Hammen, killing Sabriam in the process. Chased by Benalish guards, they find themselves outnumbered: Ordando and Bardo are killed in the fight and, when all seems lost, the remaining people are summoned away by Greensleeves who, after stumbling around planes, has found out where Phyrexia is. The group is instantly assaulted by demons, who kill the scout Channa. Greensleeves teleports herself to the Stone Brain and dons it: she can resist the voices, as they are similar to the effect of the Whispering Woods, and between them she finds the spells she needs to destroy the demons, save her dying friends and return home.

The group finds themselves back in the Whispering Woods, where Greensleeves conjurs the rest of the army. Days later, they find out that Dacian the Red, the wizard who once battled with Towser over White Ridge, is at the site of the crater where the Stone Brain had fallen from the sky. The army captures Dacian and puts the helmet on the wizard. Moments later, a furious Garth appears in front of the group, thinking they had been the kidnappers of his wife and son. After a brief squabble, Rakel calms him down. Garth promises to stop practicing magic in order to take care of his wife and son. The army grows with volunteers, while Gull and Lily rekindle their relation. Garth, Rakel and Hammen return home, while Chaney dies of old age, donating her lifeforce to Greensleeves.

Greensleeves resolves to let Dacian and Haakon go: having being touched by the Stone Brain, the wizards can be summoned by the druid to control if they are misbehaving. Unbeknownst to Greensleeves, those tagged by the brain can contact one another, so Dacian and Haakon form a truce and seek out Karli, in order to form an alliance and stop Gull and Greensleeves' crusade: the next wizard they want to add to their league is Towser himself.

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