The Curse of the Orthana by Nick Tamboia

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The following evening, Jadis used her dark magic to call Narovis up from the Underworld. This she did not in her fortress, but on an island some distance away.

Jadis chose this location, not so much because of the area, as it was to keep this demon from the Underworld from learning too much about her. She trusted no one, especially a demon she might eventually have to fight for power with over ruling Narnia. The last thing she wanted was for a potential enemy to have information on her fortress, learning its strengths and weaknesses.

This area she chose to call Narovis up from the Underworld, was known as the Hollow of the Broken Hand. It sat on a muddy island at the center of a shallow, murky lake. The island itself was not large, oval in shape, and surrounded by blooming black lotus flowers that floated on the stagnate surface of the water in a thick mats, giving off an odor that was both sweetly pungent and intoxicating. It was said that many Narnians who has stumbled into this area and breathed too long the narcotic effects of the Black Lotus flowers, fell under a spell where they forgot who and what they were, and lingered in the area. Some said that the old willows that lined the shore of the lake eventually caught those who had fallen under the spell of the flowers and ate them. Others said that they eventually stumbled into the lake and drown. Still others said that huge spiders, which served Jadis would catch those who had been entranced and bring them before Jadis, where she used her dark magic on them to turn them into horrors and other creatures to serve her.

At the middle of this small island was a long hill shaped like a crescent moon, at the center of which was Hollow of the Broken Hand, so named because it actually looked like a stone carving of a giant hand reaching up from beneath the ground, one with fingers that ended in long pointed claws. Well, all but the thumb and pinky fingers which were broken in half, giving it the name the Broken Hand. At the center of this, at what would be the palm of the hand was an oval shaped disk of stone with symbols and writing in a language unknown in Narnia, carved around its outer edges.

I can only assume that this was Jadis’s original language which had been spoken in the world of Charn before she had destroyed it.

If you’re expecting me to give you details on Jadis performing an elaborate ceremony when she called Narovis up from the Underworld, I am sorry to disappoint you.

From what the owl spy reported to us, which is why I know all this and can tell you about it, Jaids simply prepared the area around the disk, by walking around the outer edge of it, barefoot, whispering to herself. After that she began to set out several lit torches around the outer edge of the stone disk, although her efforts in the beginning were hampered by the appearance of a very large, annoying raven, which swooped around her, making a laughing sound as if mocking what she was doing. Several times this large black feathered bird landed on one of the fingers of the stone hand, and shouted strange words in some language unknown in Narnia, at Jadis.

“Pythonissam!” The raven shouted at her in its shrill voice as it flew around her she tried to set the touches out. “Bruja! Stultus mulier!”

Jadis swatted it at with her staff and wand, several times but the bird was always faster than she was, and darted off into the night before she landed a blow, only to return moments later and continued to mock her.

The last time she swung her wand at the bird as it rested on the broken thumb of the hand, mocking her, she almost hit it. Just before the tip of her wand would have struck the raven’s feathered side, turning it to stone, it leaped up into the air with blinding speed. “Puta! Vete al demonio!” The raven then called down to her as it flew off into the night.

It is unclear of Jadis understood any of what the huge bird had said as she stood there looking off into the dark woods where it had flown. When it appeared as if the raven was gone for good she went back to placing the touches out, creating a ring of light around the outer edge of the disk.

She next set out four wooden rods on the inside of the ring of touches, setting them out at the four major compass points. Each of these wooden rods was tipped with a stone similar to the one in the end of her wand, only much smaller.

That done, Jadis then simply sat down at the top of the circle, just beneath the huge arched middle finger of the giant hand, her legs crossed in front of her, wand in her lap, and appeared to go into a tranche. She sat like that for a very long time, eyes half closed, mouth slightly ajar, staring off into space.

Obviously whatever other magic the witch was using to summon the Shadow Lord from the Underworld was magic she was using from within her, taking place within her mind and in some other way those observing could not see nor understand.

Just when it appeared as if nothing was happening, and those who might have been observing were growing distracted, there came a loud whomping sound from the center of the disk. The type of noise a large flame will make when suddenly exploding to life in a fire pit. Only it was not flame that appeared in the center of the disk before Jadis, but a huge swirling cloud of ink black smoke. Just as it appeared, there had been a sudden rush of air that was far colder than any winter wind that had ever blown in any world. So cold in fact, that the ground around the disk and nearby trees instantly frosted over from the chill of it.