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Night of the Eye is a fantasy novel by Mary Kirchoff. It is the first book in the Defenders of Magic trilogy.

The book follows the amateur wizard Guerrand DiThon as he escapes his noble family and becomes a red robed wizard apprentice. He is unwittingly pulled into a plot by a renegade wizard to open a gate to the Lost Citadel on the Night of the Eye.

Chronology & Geography

The story takes place a decade and a half before the War of the Lance. Justarius is not yet the master of the red robes. The emperor of Northern Ergoth at the time of the novel is Mercadior Redic V. The story begins in late spring or early summer and ends in the autumn of the same year. The year is not specified, but events in the story indicate 339 AC.

The action begins in the DiThon Fiefdom on the southern coast of Northern Ergoth, in the village of Thonvil, Castle DiThon, and nearby Stonecliff. The characters sail to the Tower of Wayreth and then to Palanthas. Later they return to Northern Ergoth.

Characters

Major Characters

  • Guerrand DiThon, Ergothain human, amateur wizard, half-brother of Lord Cormac DiThon, 19 years old
  • Cormac DiThon, Lord of the DiThon Fiefdom, 19 years older than Guerrand
  • Belize, older human from Palanthas, bald with a goatee, Master of the Red Robes
  • Zagarus, Guerrand's familiar, a proud, hooded, black-backed Ergothian sea gull, the largest, most strikingly beautiful and intelligent of all seabirds
  • Lyim Rhistadt, human amateur wizard, name pronounced with a hard 'sch' at the end, from Rowley in the Plains of Dust, vain and self-centered
  • Justarius, master mage, second of the Red Robes
  • Esme, Justarius’s senior apprentice, auburn hair, light skin, of noble birth, from Fangoth

Minor Characters

  • Malvia, a Thonvil woman accused of being a witch
  • Evard and Wint, Thonvil locals trying to stone a witch for sport
  • Rejik DiThon, deceased father of Cormac, Guerrand, Quinn, and Kirah
  • Rejik's first wife, unnamed, deceased, mother of Cormac
  • Zena, deceased, from a light skinned "newcomer" family to Ergoth, Rejik's second wife and father of Guerrand, Quinn, and Kirah
  • Anton Berwick, merchant, runs the largest shipping line in western Ansalon, has been buying Cormac's property as he sells it to cover debts
  • Ingrid Berwick, daughter of Anton, betrothed to Quinn
  • Quinn DiThon, Guerrand's one-year younger brother, a cavalier in training
  • Kirah DiThon, Guerrand’s 12-year-old sister, pale blond, looks exactly like her mother who died in childbirth
  • Rietta DiThon, Cormac's wife, daughter of Sir Cuisset Knight of the Rose, descendent of Vinas Solamnus
  • Honora DiThon, daughter of Cormac and Rietta
  • Old Wizler, doddering steward of DiThon castle for many decades
  • Juel, Pytr, Horat, servants in DiThon castle
  • Milford, one of Cormac's cavaliers, trainer of Quinn and Guerrand
  • Bram DiThon, son of Cormac and Rietta, take after Guerrand
  • Wilor and Marthe, Thonvil's old silversmith and his wife
  • Par-Salian, master of the white robes
  • Ladonna, master of the black robes
  • Nieulorr of Swansea Valley, elven white robe wizard, joined the order the same day as Lyim and Guerrand
  • Karst Karstior, white wizard, mentor of Nieulorr
  • Denbigh, Justarius’s owlbear house servant
  • Mitild and Harlin, the 20-foot tall, animate, rose marble statues that guard Justarius’s villa
  • Nahampkin, a villager in Thonvil
  • Rees and Dalric, some of Cormac's cavaliers
  • Sir Morris Whetfeld, Knight of the Rose, marries Ingrid after things fall through with the DiThons
  • Melar of Fangoth, Esme's father, a notorious wizard
  • Navi, an inn keeper’s daughter that Liam stays with for a few days

Plot Summary

Guerrand comes across two locals attempting to stone a witch. He knows that the woman is not a witch because he has been secretly practicing magic and knows what to look for. He uses his position as brother of the local lord to stop it and the crowd disperses. He uses magic to clean the woman and gives her some coins for food and shelter. Belize sees this and asks Guerrand if he has skill with magic. Guerrand storms off.

Cormac has been mismanaging the DiThon Fiefdom and selling off parcels to cover debts. He sold Stonecliff to the Anton Berwick. He has a plan to marry his younger brother Quinn to the Berwick daughter to get possession of the land back to the family. The marriage is planned for when Quinn returns from training and crusading as a knight in Solamnia.

Guerrand returns to the castle and is hassled by Kirah, then hassled by Honora. He gets to Cormac's study and finds Cormac is kicking Belize out. Guerrand sneaks past to his room and takes a nap. Cormac finds him and hassles him for not finishing his training and becoming a cavalier yet. Guerrand says he doesn't want to. Cormac says he'll never send Guerrand to Gwynned to study magic. Quinn's entourage arrives and announces that Quinn is dead, killed by bandits on his way home.

Guerrand stays with Quinn for three days until his funeral. Kirah goes missing. Cormac talks to Anton Berwick but cannot work out a new deal over Stonecliff. Rietta convinces Cormac to have Guerrand take Quinn's place in marriage to the Berwicks. Kirah has been hiding in the crawlspace, listening to Cormac's meetings. She races to warn Guerrand, hoping that he will run away with her to Gwynned and a new life. Guards arrive and take Guerrand to see Cormac. Cormac orders him to marry Ingrid.

After stewing for a few days, he is sent by Rietta to pick up a wedding present from the local silversmith. While there, Belize arrives and tries to persuade Guerrand to leave for the Tower of Wayreth immediately. Belize gives him a shard of a magic mirror to use for scrying and suggests he use it to find Quinn's killers. Sometime later he gears up to hunt them down. Kirah jumps on his horse as he makes them all invisible and Guerrand lets her come along. They ride to Stonecliff and Kirah reveals Cormac's plan to tear down the two marble plinths and put up a fortress to tax traffic on the river (mostly Berwick ships). They sneak invisibly and search the bandit's packs, finding Quinn's medallion. They drop it and Kirah visible trying to grab it. A bandit grabs her and Guerrand knocks him out the casts sleep on everyone. They tie up the bandits and take them back to Castle DiThon.

The cavaliers are impressed and say Guerrand earned knighthood. Cormac is embarrassed that someone else found the bandits. Cormac and Guerrand argue and Guerrand storms out. Bram congratulates him Guerrand tells him to stay a good person. Zagarus gives Guerrand a hard time for not taking him on the adventure and then accidentally sticks his beak into the magic mirror, then explores the inside of it. They agree to leave for Wayreth. Guerrand leaves a letter for Kirah and goes to the port of Lusid. He joins a ship as a laborer to pay his way and sails to Alsip, then walks into Wayreth forest.

It takes roughly a fortnight to sail to Alsip. After wandering the forest of Wayreth for a few days, a unicorn directs him to the Tower. In the waiting room he meets Lyim. He goes before the Council of Three; Par-Salian, Ladonna, and Justarius filling in for the master of the red robes. They are surprised that he is self-taught. Guerrand swears himself to the Red Robes after they explain the situation to him. Justarius takes Guerrand on as an apprentice. Belize comes in late, revealing that he is the Master of the Red Robes. At Par-Salian's suggestion, he decides to take Lyim as an apprentice after 20 years without one.

Belize goes back to his Palanthus villa, furious about the situation. He reviews his tome about the Lost Citadel and his plan to enter it from Stonehill on the Night of the Eye. He fumes over failing to stop Stonecliff from going back under Cormac's control. After some brainstorming, he divines Guerrand's location (he still has the mirror fragment) and Belize summons an invisible stalker to bring the fragment back to him.

After watching an anonymous burial of a wizard that failed the Test, Guerrand and Lyim leave for Alsip to catch a boat to Palanthus. Lyim impressively sings "The Bird Song of Wayreth Forest" by Quivalen Sath. Lyim casts haste on them without warning so they can run faster. Guerrand is upset with the side effects. They pass through the villages of Windkeep and Pensdale on the way. A farmer gives them a ride in his potato wagon to Alsip. At Alsip the get work on a Berwick ship named Ingrid. The captain hates magic so they claim they are of the religious order of Gilean. Guerrand remembers to release Zagarus from the mirror. They stay at the Laughing Lynx Inn and then sail for Palanthus.

After 19 days of sailing, they are attacked by pirates in the Bay of Branchalla. Lyim uses a web spell to defeat the pirates. The ungrateful captain leaves them on the shore immediately without food or water. It's a two day walk to Palanthus. Lyim claims he learned magic by reading all 23 of Belize's books, making up a story that he bribed an elf to get access to them (earlier he said he has never met an elf before going to the Tower). Lyim finds out Guerrand is a noble and angrily storms off. The invisible stalker finds Guerrand's pack. Guerrand attacks it with a flaming log from the fire, then casts mirror image and magic missile. Lyim returns and summons a rat swarm which takes the stalker down.

They make it to Palanthus and Esme meets them at the gate. She gives a tour of the city and a history lesson on magic and the Tower of Palanthus. She tells them they have to find their master's homes on their own. Lyim touches Esme and is shocked by her protective armband. Guerrand deciphers the clue that tells where Justarius’s villa is: "at morning's midlife, mark the hour; the eye is the sun, the keyhole the tower."

Guerrand studies with Justarius for months into the summer. He struggles over the "tile exercise" counting and visualizing the colored tiles on a pattern in one room of Justarius’s villa. The exercise has been handed down from master to apprentice form many generations of wizards. He remains friends with Lyiam but gets angry when Esme goes out with him for an evening. Guerrand studies for more months into the autumn. He is starting to think Cormac or Berwick is trying to harm him, seeing a pattern between pirates, the invisible stalker, and being attacked at the market.

Zagarus asks him to go to the Festival of Knights. He refuses but Justarius says everyone is required to go. They watch the Knight's Jest where audience members can joust while riding austritches. When they are about to leave, the barker tries to get Belize to mount an austritch. Lyim offers to joust on his behalf and challenges Guerrand. Guerrand decides to try since Esme is there. Lyim makes it personal, then Esme gives Guerrand her scarf and a kiss for good luck. Someone enchants Lyim to try to kill Guerrand but Guerrand wins the joust after Lyim's rampage.

Justarius is very concerned and discusses who could have cast the spell with Guerrand. They use a crystal ball to check on Thonvil since Cormac and Berwick are possible suspects. They watch Cormac gloat over seizing Stonecliff after Berwick married his daughter to a Knight of Solamnia. Cormac's cavaliers are unhappy about it and warn him that the Berwicks may attack his castle. They view Anton Berwick how is already planning the attack on the castle. They watch Kirah staring into the distance. Guerrand wants to leave to help but Justarius tells him that will end his apprenticeship. Guerrand goes to the waterfront to think and Lyim finds him. The see the advertisements for mercenary work attacking Thonvil. Lyim offers to go on Guerrand's behalf and they come up with a plan.

Three weeks later Lyim meets with Kirah at her secret cove and explains the situation. She sneaks him into the castle. Ingrid's new husband, Sir Morris Whetfeld, leads 100 mercenaries from Hillfort to Castle DiThon. The chamberlain, Old Wizler, plays dumb, won't open the gate, and goes to get Rietta. Lyiam comes out on the parapet and asks to talk to Berwick. He brings Ingrid forward and demands they leave. Ingrid recites one of their private poems to verify her identity. Lyim agrees to give up Stonehill and the knight leaves. Lyim had frozen Rietta, disguised Kirah as Ingrid, and read the knights mind to get the poem.

Guerrand decides to search Esme's room and is immediately caught in a trap she set up. Guerrand explains that someone is trying to kill him. They decide to search Belize's villa since he and Lyim are out of town. They fall down a chute into the basement and Esme breaks her leg. Guerrand finds the lab and the full-length mirror that is shard came from. He finds the dissection room and accidentally opens a cage full of horrid mutated monsters. The monsters start destroying the lab. Guerrand, Esme, and Zagarus hide in the large mirror. They figure out that the mirror world they are in connects to any mirror, so they jump back out in Justarius’s villa.

Justarius interrogates Guerrand while Denbigh tends to Esme's leg. Guerrand tells everything and shows him the mirror shard. Justarius recognizes the creatures as the result of bad gating and teleportation tests. He tells them that he must turn them in for violating their oath to the red robes but will also turn in Belize for crimes against magic. He leaves for Wayreth and tells them not to leave. Esme asks Guerrand to get her more medicine and while he is gone, she uses his mirror to go back to Belize's villa to collect evidence. When she doesn't come back, Guerrand goes after her through the mirror. At Belize's lab, fireballs have destroyed almost everything. The last living monster indicates that Belize took Esme to Stonecliff. Belize has Esme upstairs, asks her a few questions, brags about his plan, breaks her arm band, and then turns her into a statuette.

Guerrand travels through the mirror to Kirah's room. He apologizes and asks her help getting a horse to go to Stonecliff. Belize captures him when he arrives and confesses that he had Quinn killed and has been trying to kill Guerrand. Zagarus swoops in to steal the Esme statuette. Lyim had been dallying at an inn and happens by. He overhears enough to decide to help Guerrand and casts blindness on Belize. Belize dispels all magic in the area, ending the blindness and turning Esme back to normal. He grabs Lyim with telekinesis and begins opening the gate. Guerrand summons a wall of fog to block the moons. Belize threatens to throw Lyim into the unfinished gate. Guerrand disperses the fog and Belize sticks Lyim's arm into the gate anyway, turning it into a snake.

The three moons align. The gate opens and Belize enters. Guerrand understands the markings on the plinths and crafts a spell on the fly to disrupt the gate. Belize is briefly trapped and then falls out, mutated like his experimental subjects. The plinths crack and collapse. Justarius arrives to take Belize to the tribunal. He says this demonstrates that Guerrand and Esme have completed their apprenticeship. Lyim asks for help fixing his snake arm. Justarius says he will try, then teleports away with Lyiam, Belize, and Belize's equipment.

Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari discuss the situation in the Lost Citadel. They decide to demand that the mortals build some kind of bastion to prevent something like this from happening again.

Importance to Dragonlance

The novel explains the history of the Lost Citadel. It begins the story about the guardians of the Lost Citadel. It tells the story of how Justarius became the head of the Red Robes. It shows some of the culture of Northern Ergoth and Palanthus.

Trivia

  • The people of Northern Ergoth have dark skin. Light skinned people in the region are considered "newcomers" even if they have been in the region for generations. There are no prohibitions based on skin color. Social class is based on noble lineage alone, including foreign noble lineages.
  • Guerrand, Quinn, and Kirah have a dark skinned father and light skinned mother. Kirah looks very much like her mother, but the brothers resemble both parents. Cormac is dark skinned like his parents and is married to a light skinned Solamnic woman.
  • Castle DiThon is a four story keep. Just inside the main gate of Castle DiThon is a temple to Habbakuk.
  • Thonvil is filled with wattle-and-daub houses. Most have gardens and fences for personal livestock.
  • Stonecliff is a cliff overlooking the river from Huldre Bay to the city of Hillfort. It is west of Thonvil, across the moors. It has two ancient marble plinths, 20 foot tall, and carved with faces and symbols. The river is not named in this story, but is called Durris in the following novel.
  • The song "The bird song of Wayreth Forest" by Quivalen Sath appears on pg. 116 in the first edition.
  • The Spellbook of Harz-Takta the Senseless was written a thousand years before the events of the novel. Harz-Takta was a black robe wizard considered too nefarious to stay in the black robes. The spellbook reviews the known history of the Lost Citadel. It speculates that there are a dozen magical sites across Krynn that can be used for interdimensional travel. The book contains an unconventional spell that can be used on the Night of the Eye at one of those gates (a different one each time) which will open a portal to the Lost Citadel. The book ends with Harz-Takta's notes before attempting the spell. The spellbook was recovered from Itzan Klertal by Belize who summoned a demon to fetch it.
  • The magic mirror given to Guerrand by Belize was a fragment of a mirror crafted by Belize based on his research into the Spellbook of Harz-Takta.
  • While researching the Spellbook of Harz-Takta, Belize secured a copy of Fistandantilus's book on interdimensional portals Observations on the Structure of Reality.
  • Belize wrote 23 volumes on magic during his career. He claimed that this compensated for him not taking on apprentices.
  • Esme wears a silver arm band shaped like a snake. Anyone who touches her while she wears it is shocked and knocked backward. Justarius gave it to her and insists she wear it outside of his home.
  • Justarius’s home is called Villa Rosad. It was owned by his master Merick and Justarius inherited it from him upon his death. It's a large rectangular building with a peristyle in the center. The front is guarded by a pair of 20 foot, animate, rose marble statues. The house is at the top of a hill and a narrow, mountainous path connects it to the southwest gate of the "new city" region of Palanthus.
  • Austritches are huge flightless birds from plains like those of southern Kharolis and are used as pack animals.
  • The highlight of the Festival of Knights in Palanthus is the Knight's Jest, a competition where audience members can joust with brooms on austritches. It's considered one of the few places where the public can make fun of knights without the Knights of Solamnia putting a stop to it.
  • Justarius keeps a crystal ball in a secret chamber. He acquired it in trade from a nymph who he met shortly after his apprenticeship ended.
  • Belize's home is called Villa Nova.
  • Dorcesters is a two-room inn on the road between Thonvil and Hillfort, not too far from Stonecliff.
  • Guerrand casts a sleep spell with dust as a material component.
  • The verbal component of Guerrand's magic missile is "Sula Vigis Dolibix."
  • Guerrand casts a spell to elongate his arm. The verbal component is "Voligar Et."
  • Belize casts a spell to turn a person into a small statuette. The verbal component is "Ligir."
  • Lyim casts blindness with the verbal component "Boli Sular."
  • Belize casts telekinesis with the verbal component "Digas ne Vimi."
  • Guerrand casts wall of fog with the verbal component "Estivas Nom."

Kender Tales

  • Many maps show the location of Stonecliff with with the name "The Monolith" or the image of an arch. This tale describes them as two stone pillars covered in ancient runes.
  • Many maps show a reasonable distance from Thonvil to Castle DiThon, but this story says they are very close to each other.
  • Many maps show "The Monolith" and Hillfort to be east of Thonvil, but this story says they are west of Thonvil "across the moors".
  • The War of the Lance sourcebook claims that the events in the novel end in 323 AC. Most sources agree on the year 339 AC, when Justarius became the Master of the Red Robes.
  • Belize says that the Night of the Eye occurs every five years. Other sources give different periods of time between the celestial alignment.

Covers

Release details

Also Known As

  • La Nuit des Trois Lunes (French)
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