|“||Shed no blood. Break no bone. Stop no heart.||”|
—Humbuggle, rules of the curse
Stormguard Castle is a large castle that predates Wyrmroost. It is inhabited by some of the Fair Folk, and is the most protected location at the sanctuary. During the curse, only Fair Folk, mortals, and magical creatures with a human form could enter, all other beings getting hurled back with a sizzling flash.
The castle is enormous with walls of gray stone topped with battlements stretching from one rounded tower to another. Beyond the outer wall, a mounting series of towers, balconies, terraces, walkways, chimneys, and rooftops piles in an artful jumble up to the highest pinnacles. Magical light globes provide luminance.
A wooden drawbridge connects to the building over the murky water of the moat, where a raised portcullis grants access. Once stepping on the drawbridge, all sounds originating from outside Stormguard Castle, cease. On a wall just beyond the portcullis is 'Conquer or Withdraw' written, and as one leaves the drawbridge and steps into the tunnel through the gate, the splash of a gong reverberates from deep within the castle.
At the far side of the tunnel through the wall, a wide courtyard dominated by a large fountain in the center awaits. Water gush from seven spouts to tumble from one level to another before reaching the large basin at the bottom. During the contest, life-sized human statues, each composed of silver or gold, stood around the courtyard seemingly at random, most positioned as if running. When the curse was broken, these statues turned into real people again as they had been transformed into metal previously, serving one of the three brothers, Lockland, Tregain, or Heath.
Large words emblazoned on the floor at the far end of the tunnel read 'Shed no blood. Break no bone. Stop no heart.', which is the castle rules. Entering through a door from the sidewalk, walking down a hall, up some stairs, and down another hall will lead to Tregain's former room, where two tall silver doors are placed. Several silver blocks among the stones composing the walls of the hallway existed during the curse, though they were reverted after the contest was won. Globes of light brighten the hallways as much as they illuminated the castle exterior. The posh room Tregain once lived in had all its furniture made out of polished silver, with many of the floor tiles and blocks in the wall were silver as well. A secret passage in the hallway can be reached by sliding a panel aside. The dark way continues forward, then down a ladder, around a couple of corners, and through a cramped little tunnel that leads out into a bedroom.
A heavy door bound in iron leads down to a small room with another door, this one made entirely out of iron. Beyond that, gloomy lighting lights up even more stairs, with the glowing globes becoming less bright and less frequent. When the stairs end, a hall with rows of cell doors appear, each with a peephole. After the hall turns, it forks, both passages looking similar - gloomy stone hallways lined with cell doors. Veering right and moving down the hallway, a big iron door awaits at the end of the hall. Behind the door, a large room with a tall Quiet Box comes into view. Up at the hallway leading down to the dungeon, beyond yet another door, a covered walkway connecting two towers is situated, quite high above the ground. Stepping onto the railing of the walkway and swinging onto the ceramic roof tiles, one can find a tapestry.
Curse of Stormguard Castle
During the contest of Stormguard Castle, if the three coins are tossed into the large fountain, the liquid of the fountain grows dark and still. The floor of the basin begins to recede, sinking deeper and deeper, leaving behind one step at a time until a helix of stairs descends into darkness with water flowing down as Humbuggle reads out his poem:
|“|| To tread where mystic waters roll |
You must be one who paid the toll
Reclaim the token you have tossed
Or lose all hope to pay the cost
Then in the end if you reflect
The rod you surely shall detect
With pow'r to banish friend or foe
To realms above or depths below
—Humbuggle, second phase of the contest
One day, the castle went silent overnight. Under the curse, it was only accessible during the festival nights.
The curse was broken by Kendra, Seth, Obregon, Celebrant, and Tregain, but the prize, the Wizenstone, turned both Obregon and Tregain into ash. Kendra then used the Banishment Rod to send the Wizenstone away.
- Wrath of the Dragon King (Dragonwatch #2)