Dab Tíknéfíg (Moldése for The Castle) is the headquarters of The Cult of the Lord in the Clarkwoods Literary Universe.
Feared by Kíndallans on Gadalla and throughout the Kíndallan diaspora, this fortified manor house was the ancestral seat of the Sétahnoos Clan. But after the founding of The Cult of the Lord within these walls, the striking silhouette of this five-towered fortress became a symbol of terror throughout the cosmos.
The castle sits astride a small island in the middle of The River of Fools (Dab La dal Dobí) and is reached by a stone bridge which spans the rough waters. The front entrance is flanked by two narrow towers which are joined together by an imposing gatehouse, and the cavernous open maw of this structure reminds onlookers of a hungry mouth.
The building stretches out in equal measure from either side of its awe-inspiring threshold, each side of the façade ending in a watchtower just slightly shorter than the height of the two towers which flank the gatehouse.
From above, the overall shape of the building becomes apparent: it is an equilateral triangle. And at the point of the triangle farthest from the stone bridge is the most formidable tower yet, one which rises higher than the rest—the inside of which is rumored to contain the private rooms of the lord of the manor.
This tower is positioned in such a way that, when viewed from the front, the two gatehouse towers and the one rear tower seem to resemble the three tines of a pitchfork. And it was crude drawings of this silhouette by still-frightened Kíndallans in the days after The Calamity —together with rumors about what went on inside the castle—which contributed Earthling legends about devils and demons.
For a hundred generations, the noble house of Sétahnoos protected the lands along Dab La dal Dobí and the peoples who called those lands home. But in the aftermath of the Fourth Revolution and its violent replacement of the monarchy with a constitutional republic called the High Command, disgruntled Kíndallans of all social classes began gathering at Dab Tíknéfíg to voice their concerns.
A charismatic scion of Sétahnoos called Loosofer began calling for a Fifth Revolution, preaching a literal interpretation of “The Water What Became Man” and calling for the establishment of a theocracy. And though they never gathered the numbers to overpower the High Command’s army on the field of battle, Loosofer’s new organization (The Cult of the Lord) did assemble the forces they needed to begin carrying out a ruthless campaign of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.
And it was one of the Cult’s earliest attacks which cemented the castle’s status as a building to be forever feared.
Weeks before the Cult’s catastrophic attack on the Elven Warring Wall, a spy from Kíndallan High Command reported that an alarming number of kíndopp ceremonies were taking place in the castle’s courtyard—and that the parents of these kíndalla to be were leaving their birthing molds (doppfígí) behind. Counting the abandoned doppfígí one evening before abandoning their post to report back to High Command, the spy noted 555 molds.
Figuring that the 555 children would simply be used as the next generation of indoctrinated Cult soldiers, High Command began planning for what they would do in five months time (when the children would “hatch” from their molds). Little did they know that Loosofer had far more horrifying plans in store.
Using some kind of magic or technology still secret only to him, Loosofer harnessed the life-force of those 555 unborn souls to rip a city-sized hole in the wall the elves had erected to protect the sacred River Without End. And it wasn’t long before word spread of the evil that had been done in Dab Tíknéfíg, and its status as the most evil building in existence was cemented for good and all.
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Yeah, I can see why it would be feared. Particularly because of the history at the end.
E. Christopher Clark
The image of that event has been kicking around my head for like 20 years, but this is the first time I wrote it down. Good to get it out of my head, but sad that I did that to my universe/characters.