Ravenloft, Book 05 : Tapestry of Dark Souls d’Elaine Bergstrom
Editions TSR (Ravenloft), 1993, 310 pages
Cinquième tome de la série « Ravenloft » écrit par Elaine Bergstrom et publié initialement en 1993.
Dans un vieux monastère perché sur une montagne en Markovia, un petit groupe de moines veille et contrôle une tapisserie ensorcelée. Elle est la création d’une magie très ancienne et possède le pouvoir d’envoûter les êtres maléfiques en exacerbant leurs penchants négatifs pour les capturer. Les entités ainsi emprisonnées dans le tissu augmentent son pouvoir. Les Gardiens connaissent la puissance de la tapisserie et doivent l’empêcher d’accomplir son méfait. Malheureusement, les moines sont de plus en plus vieux et moins nombreux et ils se retrouvent dans l’impossibilité de garder leurs emprises sur la tapisserie. Leur salut viendra-t-il d’un jeune bambin né dans le monastère et dont la mère, Leith, a disparue peu de temps après l’accouchement ? Selon les dires de celle-ci, Jonathan serait le fils d’un des êtres captifs dans la tapisserie. Mais, il pourrait aussi être celui qui libérera la tapisserie du contrôle des moines.
Un roman introductif au monde d’horreur-gothique. L’histoire est bâtie en trois sections, chacune étant dédiée à un des personnages principaux. La première partie est consacrée à la découverte du monde étrange de Markovia par Leith. La seconde est dédiée à son fils Jonathan, à sa vie au monastère mais aussi dans la ville de Tepest et à la découverte de ses pouvoirs. La troisième partie est dédiée au père de Jonathan. Cependant les coupures entre les sections sont trop drastiques, le lecteur a l’impression de carrément de changer d’histoire, surtout entre la première et la deuxième section. Le style de l’auteur est très inégal dans ce texte. Il passe d’hyper descriptif à certain moment à trop concis à d’autres, avec un rythme global très lent. Le point fort de l’auteur est sa façon de construire les personnages. Ils sont tous intéressants, crédibles et chacun a un rôle à jouer dans l’histoire. Ce qui est aussi intéressant c’est que le lecteur perçoit l’évolutions des personnages dû à l’envoûtement de la tapisserie tout au long du texte. Une lecture intéressante et divertissante avec un sujet original qui permet de découvrir l’univers des jeux de types « Donjons et Dragons ».
La note : 3,5 étoiles
Lecture terminée le 19 octobre 2018
La littérature dans ce roman:
- « The following tale is told on the oldest scroll preserved by the Order of the Guardians. Its edges are charred, though the tale itself is intact. » Page 1
- « He paused. I saw the anguish in his face, but I didn’t ask him to stop the tale. » Page 50
- « « There must be some way to destroy it, » I said.
« There is a prophecy written on one of our few remaining scrolls. One day love will corrupt the cloth. One day corruption from within will destroy it. We don’t understand the words, but they give us hope that the future may be less burdensome than the past. » Page 51
- « The main passage led to a long, stone-walled room, which smelled of musty paper and dried herbs. The space was filled with leather-bound books and stacks of scrolls. » Page 65
- « As we neared him, I saw that he was making notes in the margins of one of the books. » Page 65
- « Dirca left us, and I told him everything.
« Am I harming my child? » I asked when I had finished.
He paused long enough to open a book and read a few words. » Page 65
- « I asked, the, for some means to set down the story of Vhar and me and the cloth. On this scroll, I have written far more than that, but someday you, my son, must understand the reason for what I now do. » Page 86
- « Brother Dominic, head of the Order of the Guardians, sat at a table in the dining hall, his face buried in his open palms. Leith’s legacy to her son lay unrolled in front of him. » Page 88
- « Now, far too late to help her, the Guardians had found the scroll she had hidden in their library.
Now, they understood.
Though many of their questions had been answered by the scroll of Leith’s tragic account, another, far more serious question had been raised. » Page 89
- « « Cast an aura around the child. Green, I think. When I pass my amulet through the aura, brighten it. That should be convincing enough. Afterward, we’ll send the child away. »
Leo nodded and pulled his spellbook from the library shelf. While Dominic sat, parrying that his decision had been the right one, Leo memorized the words and gestures of a simple spell.
At length Leo, closed the book, and the pair joined the other Guardians in the dining hall. » Page 91
- « Again in the library, Leo placed his hands over the final words of Leith’s account. He recited a simple incantation and Leith’s words blurred, lightened, and vanished. Taking a pen and imitating her painstaking script, he revised her legacy. Afterward, he read through the account, altering any references to Jonathan’s parentage to make him seem clearly Vhar’s son. The rest of the account remained as Leith had written it. He placed the scroll in a carved stone box in the library with the other histories of the tapestry, then locked the box with a complex spell he and Dominic alone could undo. None of the other Guardians could read, but surely others, thieves and necromancers, would find the histories a key to power. » Page 93
- « « What’s the use of learning this if I can’t use it? » Jon once complained.
« For protection. But if you display your power outside theses walls for any reason except to save your life, I’ll burn your spellbook. Do you understand? » » Page 119
- « If he assured his teacher of his sincere desire to obey, Leo would continue to allow him to copy the spells he had perfected into his own book. » Page 119
- « Jonathan had discovered a spell in one of Leo’s books that he thought would make his teacher obey him. He wished he had the courage to try it. » Page 138
- « Finally, on the night the wine was given its final staining and was placed in the aging kegs, Ivar asked the boy to join him in the cave beneath the inn. « And bring your spellbook, » he added.
Jonathan, nervously holding a book in both hands, followed the white-haired man down the winding stairs. » Page 155
- « A half-dozen candles lit the space, amd Jon set the book between them. Before Ivar opened it, he ran his fingers over the leather cover Jon had made for it, examined the braided binding. The boy had done much with his meagre supplies. He clearly loved his chosen craft.
The fist pages were filled with the intricate directions and incantations even the simplest spells required. Most dealt with fire, a fact that hardly surprised Ivar. « You have so few pages in your book, » Ivar commented. » Page 155
- « Your spellbook will be kept here or hidden in your room. You must show it to no one, give strangers no hint it exists. That’s the second part of our pact. » Page 156
- « Ivar smiled tightly and turned the book to face his pupil. « Now show me what you know. Take whatever time you need to prepare. »
Jonathan scanned his spellbook, then collected the materials he needed for casting. » Page 157
- « At last, exhausted by his display, he closed his book, dropped his hands to the table and stared at Ivar. » Page 157
- « Closing his book, he laid it beside Ivar’s thick tomes and scrolls, doused the fire in the hearth, and blew out the candles. » Page 160
- « You’ll begin down there, » he said, pointing down t the cavern. « Among my scrolls are two tied with black ribbons. Before you wander these hills alone, read them both. » Page 161
- « Jon usually laid a fire on the hearth for warmth, but the light came from cold, glowing balls that floated above his shoulders, illuminating the scrolls he read. » Page 180
- « One night, when Jonathan was placing his most recent reading back on the shelves, a shadow touched a scroll near the bottom of the pile. » Page 180
- « A scroll was hidden there. Jon had never read any of the scrolls Ivar forbade him to touch, but this wasn’t one of them. Perhaps Ivar hid this one before Jon came, then forgot about it. He pulled it out and noted that its edges were yellowed and brittle. He untied the twine and unrolled it. With the lights dancing above his shoulders, he began to read, struggling to comprehend the strange dialect, the faded, trembling scrawl of its creator. » Page 181
- « Nearly all our order’s scrolls were destroyed; the spell that contains the dark souls on the cloth is known through memory alone. » Page 184
- « The account ended as abruptly as it had begun. Jonathan sat and stared at the writing. He recalled Maeve’s mention of the tapestry and knew he had discovered the secret the order guarded. « Thank you, » he whispered to the shadow that had guided him to the scroll. As he returned the scroll to the ledge on which it had been hidden, his attention was drawn to the crevice beyond its resting place. » Page 184
- « With precise care, he copied in a second spellbook every incantation he had learned. He had many he had ignored because they couldn’t be worked in the close confines of Ivar’s chamber, and he was forbidden to cast them outside. » Page 185
- « As he recited the poetry aloud, he heard the whisper once again. » Page 186
- « In the past, he had been allowed to read the scrolls kept in the polished chest of drawers that covered one wall. He would find no secrets there, he knew. » Page 192
- « Inside were scrolls written in Leo and Ivar’s familiar hands. He ignored those, seeking one whose parchment seemed newer, whose small script was unfamiliar. » Page 192
- « By the time Jon finished his mother’s account, his hands were clenched int fists, white knuckles showing the emotion the rest of him hid. He rolled the scroll, tied it and returned it to its box. » Pages 192 et 193
- « He waited with one of the common scrolls unrolled on the table before him until the Guardians began their chant. » Page 193
- « I’m the pale man that destroyed the Guardians’ shrine, » he added; the boy had already told him of the scroll he had read. » Page 210 et 211
- « More words, a slight shake of Morgoth’s head, and the smoke gradually assumed the shape of a closed book. Its gold cover was decorated with intricate, overlapping circles and runes. As Jon intently listened to the words of the spell, je saw the pattern grow more ornate with each moment. Finally, his father lowered the sphere to his chest and whispered a final word. The sphere vanished and the book opened to a central page.
Morgoth read the words aloud, the same word he had used to conjure the book. » Pages 212 et 213
- « He walked to Jon and laid the heavy tome in his hands.
« Look at it, Morgoth said.
Jon did. The pages contained small, precise hand=writing. Fire spells. Freezing spells. Spells t summon monsters, to make creatures do the caster’s bidding. « The first spell you will learn will be one to improve your concentrations, » Morgoth said. » Page 213
- « Ivar’s scrolls and spellbooks are in a cavern joined to ours. » Page 214
- « He thought of the words that Leith had written, the uneven scrawl of her hand.
Her account had made it seem certain that he was Vhar’s child, conceived well before her night of terror in the shrine. Now hi knew that wasn’t true, that je was Morgoth’s child. Would his mother have taken so much time to put down her story only to lie to him an the end? He knew she wouldn’t. Someone had changed her word, magically erased and reformed them in his mother’s hand. » Page 214 et 215
- « Leo went into the library and discovered the unsealed box containing Leith’s legacy to her son. Though it was difficult to be certain, he believed that the seal had been broken for some time.
« You should’ve shown him his mother’s scroll years ago, » Mattas said. » Page 237
- « Ivar opened his spellbook and refreshed his memory of a spell any apprentice could cast. » Page 247
- « In the morning, so early that even Dirca wasn’t at her place in the kitchen, Ivar packed his books into a vloth bag, took his staff form the cavern, and began the walk to the fortress. » Page 247
- « He watched his father open his gold-covered spellbook, noting with pride the ones Jonathan had already mastered.» Page 253
- « Jonathan knew his shift in allegiance endangered them all, but Sondra most of all. He entered Linde through his cave and hid in Ivar’s cavern until the inn was quiet. He collected the spellbooks, and a bit fo money. » Page 262
- « « I take back the power I have given you, Morgoth’s voice whispered. The bundle of spellbooks was ripped from Hon’s belt and disappeared into the flowing fog. » Page 264
- « As down broke, he returned to Ivar’s cavern. He took his teacher’s remaining spellbooks from their hiding places and carried them back to the milky cavern. There, with Sondra sleeping nearby, he began to read.
Hours passed as he memorized spells for his final battle. Je thought often of the prophecy mentioned in his mother’s legacy – One day love will corrupt the cloth. One day corruption from within will destroy it. » Page 289
- « He closed the book and waited anxiously for Morgoth to come to him. » Page 289
- « Morgoth held his spellbook in one hand. » Page 289
- « He laid his spellbook in front of Jon and opened it. « Read this, the go to the fortress, » he said and left Jon string numbly at the page. » Page 291