In the Blink of an Eye

While doing an interview for Retro Gamer Issue 148, I was looking at some of the original hand written pages that Mike had written for The Eye of the Moon. The idea was to give the magazine an image of his writing to put in the article. What I actually found was a piece that hadn’t been typed up. I had mistakingly thought that the text had been included in the documents I already had. I’m not 100% sure where this piece goes before the other two, it feels like it might be the first piece, but the fact that it wasn’t typed up suggests to me that either a) Mike had disregarded it – ( I doubt that ), b) he wrote it after the other two.

The images of this text did appear in the Retro Gamer Article, however, they are too small to read, so I include the images here, the text, and I have updated the Eye of the Moon document to include it.

In the Blink of an Eye In the Blink of an Eye

In the Blink of an Eye

“How many Mantas?”

“At least 100 riders Domse, and they have spare horses too. They’ll catch us sometime tomorrow for sure.”

Domyinykas sighed and turned to gaze at the distant mountains rising from a blue haze. How would they ever reach them now?

“It’s that stone Domse?” said Mantas quietly.

“The Eye of the Moon? Yes, I fear it is. We’ve been hunted from the forests of Qadim Haraj to where we stand now by different bands of warriors every step of the way. It’s as though it calls them, it beckons them to us.”

“Domse, we can’t take a hundred of them. Can we not just cast the thing away here and now?”

Domse turned back to his friend and gazed into his eyes. Even Mantas was afraid now. It was desperate.

“No we can’t. That would be the ruin of all things. We must take it to the roof of the world, we must! Do you think that they will ride in tonight?”

“No my Lord, the footing is too harsh. They only ride by day and their horses are swift, as though they ride the wind.”

“The get some rest Mantas, and the others. I’ll stand guard tonight. I need to think.

It was early to stop, dusk was only beginning, but Domse wanted everyone fresh as could be tomorrow. Another mile tonight wouldn’t make the difference, the riders of Varangor would still catch them tomorrow regardless.”

As the other boys, weary from the long days of chase, lay down to sleep, Domse gazed at the casket which sat on a rock close to him. He wondered at what power lay within that could draw death and danger down upon them from so far away.

For a few moments, Domse eyes closed and he seemed to drift asleep. The dusk thickened around him and he thought he heard music playing far away. He opened his eyes. There was a shimmer around the casket and it seemed to dose now that the faint music was coming from inside the small wooden box.

It was a light and happy melody that swayed and danced and twisted and gently grew louder. Domse was filled now with curiosity. There was a strange air of peacefulness enfolding their small encampment. His comrades slept with smiles on their faces, the campfire blazed merrily, the dusk was full of stillness and soft with the lingering warmth of the day.

Slowly Domse reached forward and opened the box. Inside the Eye of the Moon was glaring and shimmering as though it was dancing through a bright rainbow. The brought the stone closer and peered into its crystalline depths. The feeling of warmth and homeliness filled him.

The shimmering rainbow colours faded and we replaced by a scene, another encampment but far larger than his own, bustling with men, brightly lit tents, cooking fires, lanterns and in the foreground a man. The man turned to face Domse with a look of surprise.

“By all the gods!” The man exclaimed, “who are you boy?”

The VOICE was commanding but not harsh. Domse was as surprised as the man, but nevertheless, he answered as best he could.

“I am Dominykas, Prince of Coromand. I journey with my comrades to Valahar, seeking the roof of the world.”

The man smiled.

“Well if the roof of the world is anywhere, it surely lies within Valahar. But Valahar is very far from Coromand.”

“That’s true enough sir, we have been travelling for nearly three years now.”

“Then you are close to Valahar?”

“We believe so, yes, but we are being hunted.”

“By who?”

“Riders of the Varangor this time, but they are not the first to try and catch us.

“The Varangor! They’re a long way from home! Forgive me for asking young prince, but what have you done to stir up such a hue and cry?”

Now Dominykas needed to fake nothing.

“I truly don’t know. We harmed no one save in our own defence, we have stolen nothing, we have passed as quietly as we could. And sir, now you must forgive me, but who are you?”

“I am Morkin, Prince of Midnight. We also travel to Valahar, seeking a treasure that is rightfully my fathers. Some fate rides upon it my boy.”

“Some fate perhaps, but not as grave as the fate that rest on our quest.”

“Which is?”

“We take a jewel to the roof of the world, to cast it there into a bottomless chasm and rid the world of its evil forever. So the prophet commanded and so shall it be!”

“What jewel is this Dominykas?”

“Men call it the Eye of the Moon. Don’t ask me why, I haven’t a clue.
Morkin laughed softly.

“No wonder you were being hunted young prince. The dark forces of the world have been seeking this stone for many a long year and now it has revealed itself again. You are at the eye of a storm I fear Dominykas.

“That’s the truth for sure Morkin. We have a hundred or more riders hunting us, and we are five.”

“Five hardened warriors?

“Not really, although we have done our fair share of killing the last few weeks. We are just boys Morkin. I am sixteen and the others are the same, give or take a month or two.”

Morkin turned, perhaps to hide his reaction. When he turned back though, he was smiling. “Courage lad! That was my age when I set out the destroy the Ice Crown”, he said with a smile.

“The Ice Crown! Exclaimed Dominykas. You destroyed the Ice Crown?You loosened the grip of the long winter on the world?”

“I played my part. It was for others though to defeat the armies of Doomdark,” said Morkin.

The Marches of Valahar

The Lords of Midnight
by Mike Singleton

Book IV:
The Eye of the Moon

Comrades of the Prince:
The Marches of Valahar

Time itself was sleeping. There was utter stillness even in the air. The drops of rain hanging from the leaves gleamed but did not sparkle for not even the light trembled. The silence was so deep it made him feel deaf but when he breathed out it seemed like a roar. The storm had passed.

Dominykas turned his eyes to the horizon. Over the forest, misted by distance, the far peaks of Valahar floated in a milky blue haze, sharp white shards cutting at the sky. Then the light subtly changed and one of them, the tallest, suddenly suncaught, began to glow at the very tip, brighter and brighter until it glowed with golden fire.

The Wilderhorn, he thought, it must be. That’s where I must go, to the roof of the world, to the gate of the heavens. The boy couldn’t imagine the road that led there. It was impossible. How could he ever reach it? For a moment, black despair rose, seeping into him, but then he wrenched away from it. I’m not a boy any more. I can do it if I must and I must, so I will! He gazed at the mountain with its golden crown of fire.

It was simple after all. Bright as a beacon, there was the torch that would light his path. However long and twisted the journey, a peak that soared so high would be with him like the sun or the moon, sometimes hidden, sometimes in darkness, but always reappearing as he turned a corner and found the open sky again or as the world turned and darkness fled.

His heart filled with joy. Nearly forty moons had passed since they left Coromand and now their journey’s end was at last in sight, blazing with fire. Smiling, he turned to his friends. He flung his arm out to point wildly at the mountains.

‘There! The roof of the world! The gate of the heavens! The Horns of Valahar! Look! The Wilderhorn!’ he shouted and the fire that touched the far off crest blazed within him. His young comrades looked. They gawped. They gasped. They looked at one another. One by one they grinned. Then at last they cheered.

Think about the future…

icon_512x512I finally submitted the OSX version of The Lords of Midnight to Apple last night, it’s been a long time coming, a lot longer than I expected. I didn’t start it as early as I expected due to supporting the mobile version until March. Some of it has been because of technical issues, I struggled to get the code, more accurately the resolution code, to work satisfactory. Another part was being burnt out. I hadn’t realised how much getting the Mobile version out, took out of me. I found myself not really interested in developing the desktop version, so I found myself bitting at it and not staying focused. In fact a lot of the code ended up being developed on a Saturday morning while my daughter was diving, like I am now. I have a an hour and a half to kill while she dives, you can only give your full attention for so long, and that was always a good excuse to have my laptop with my and work on LoM.

All being well with the Apple submission process, the game will be available in the Mac App Store for the Summer Solstice. The Windows version needs a little more testing and I need to find a home for it to be distributed. If that all doesn’t happen during the next week in order to hit the same release date, I suspect it will be the week after.I now find myself thinking about the next steps. Jure has already started work on, if not almost finished, the artwork for Doomdark’s Revenge, so there is nothing to hold me back there. I suspect that the actual next steps will be a new build of the mobile version of LoM to include the scaling map, the keyboard controls ( for bluetooth keyboards ), and a few bug fixes that were dealt with during the desktop development. The desktop code is just a different branch of the mobile version, so I just need to roll everything up. Being truthful, I also need to put an advert in the mobile version for the desktop version, it would be nice to pickup at least another 6k unit sales.
Continue reading