The Hidden City by David Eddings

The Hidden City by David Eddings

The Tamuli book 3


The Pandion Knight Sparhawk had bested the massed forces of the God

Cyrgon upon the field of battle. But victory turned to ashes when the

foul God’s minions kidnapped Sparhawk’s wife, the beautiful Queen

Ehlana. Sparhawk must surrender Bhelliom, the awesome jewel of

power–or Ehlana would die.

But Cyrgon’s lackeys had misjudged their foe. Sparhawk fought on, and

none of his companions flinched from the awesome struggle, though each

must vanquish forces of evil from Tamuli’s dark past, and from fetid

places beyond human ken.

Still, the full magnitude of their peril was yet to be

revealed…Cyrgon had dared the unthinkable: He had called forth

Klael, Bhelliom’s opposite, to rend the very world asunder. Thus, as

it had ever been decreed, would Bhelliom and Klael contend for the

fate of this world–even as the man Sparhawk must finally face the God

Cyrgon, in mortal combat and alone…


This was not Going to go well, he concluded wryly, crumpling

up and discarding yet another sheet of notes. Word of his subject

had been broadcast across the campus, and academics from as

far away as Applied Mathematics and Contemporary Alchemy

packed the hall, their eyes bright with anticipation. The entire

faculty of the Contemporary History Department filled the front

rows, their black academic robes making them look like a flock

of crows. Contemporary History was here in force to ensure all

the fireworks anyone could hope for.

Itagne idly considered a feigned collapse. How in the name

of God – any God – was he going to get through the next hour

without making a total ass of himself? He had all the facts, of

course, but what rational man would believe the facts? A straight-

forward account of what had really happened during the recent

turmoil would sound like the ravings of a lunatic. If he stuck to

straight truth, the hacks from Contemporary History would not

have to say a word. He could destroy his own reputation with

no help from them at all.

Itagne took one more brief glance at his carefully prepared

notes. Then he folded them and thrust them back into

the voluminous sleeve of his academic robe. What was going to

happen here tonight would more closely resemble a tavern brawl

than reasoned discourse. Contemporary History had obviously

showed up to shout him down. Itagne squared his shoulders.

Well, if they wanted a fight, he’d give them one.

A breeze had come up. The curtains at the tall windows

rustled and billowed, and the golden tongues of Flame flickering

in the oil lamps wavered and danced. It was a beautiful spring

evening – everywhere but here inside this auditorium.

There was a polite spattering of applause, and old professor

Gintana, flustered and confused by this acknowledgement of

his existence, bowed awkwardly, clutched his notes in both

hands, and tottered back to his seat. Then the Dean of the College

of Political Science rose to announce the evening’s main

event. ‘Colleagues,’ he began, ‘before Professor Itagne favors us

with his remarks, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce

some visitors of note. I’m sure you will all join with me in

welcoming Patriarch Emban, First Secretary of the Church of

Chyrellos, Sir Bevier, the Cyrinic Knight from Arcium and Sir

Ulath of the Genidian Order located in Thalesia.’

There was more polite applause as Itagne hurried across the

platform to greet his Elene friends. ‘Thank God you’re here,’ he

said fervently. ‘The whole Contemporary History Department’s

turned out – except for the few who are probably outside boiling

the tar and bringing up bags of feathers.’

‘You didn’t think your brother was going to hang You out to

dry, did you, Itagne?’ Emban smiled. ‘He thought you might

get lonesome here, so he sent us to keep you company.’

Itagne felt better as he returned to his seat. If nothing else,

Bevier and Ulath could head off any physical attacks.

‘And now, colleagues and distinguished guests,’ the Dean

continued, ‘Professor Itagne of the Foreign Affairs Department

will respond to a recent paper published by the Department of

Contemporary History under the title, “The Cyrga Affair: An

Examination of the Recent Crisis”. Professor Itagne.’

Itagne rose, strode purposefully to the lectern and assumed

his most offensively civilized expression. ‘Dean Aldus, distinguished

colleagues, faculty wives, honored guests -‘ He

paused. ‘Did I leave anybody out?’

There was a titter of nervous laughter. Tension was high in

the hall. ‘i’m particularly pleased to see so many of our colleagues

from Contemporary History here with us this evening,’

Itagne continued, throwing the first punch.

‘Since we’re going To be discussing

something near and dear to their hearts, it’s much better

that they’re present to hear what I say with their own ears rather

than being forced to rely on garbled second-hand accounts.’ He

smiled benignly down at the scowling hacks in the front row.

‘Can you hear me, gentlemen?’ he asked. ‘Am I going too fast

for any of you?’

‘This is outrageous!’ a portly, sweating professor protested


‘it’s going to get worse, Quinsal,’ Itagne told him. ‘if the truth

bothers you, you’d better leave now.’ He looked out over the

assemblage. ‘it’s been said that the quest for truth is the noblest

occupation of man, but there be dragons lurking in the dark

forests of ignorance. And the names of these dragons are

“incompetence” and “Political Bias” and “Deliberate Distortion”

and “Sheer, Wrongheaded Stupidity”. Our gallant friends here

in Contemporary History bravely sallied forth to do battle with

these dragons in their recently published “Cyrga Affair”. It is

with the deepest regret that I must inform you that the dragons


There was more laughter, and dark scowls from the front row.

‘it’s never’ been any secret at this institution that the Contemporary

History Department is a political entity rather than an

academic one,’ Itagne continued. ‘it has been sponsored from

its very inception by the Prime Minister, and its only reasons

for existence have been to gloss over his blunders and to conceal

as best they might his absolute incompetence. To be sure, Prime

Minister Subat and his accomplice, Interior Minister Kolata, have

never been interested in the truth, but please, gentlemen, this is

a university. Shouldn’t we at least pretend to be telling the truth?’

‘Rubbish!’ a burly academic in the front row bellowed.

‘Yes,’ Itagne replied, holding up a yellow-bound copy of ‘The

Cyrga Affair’, ‘I noticed that myself. But if you knew it was

rubbish, Professor Pessalt, why did you publish it?’

The laughter in the hall was even louder this time, and it

drowned out Pessalt’s spluttered attempt to answer.

‘Let us push on with this great work that we are in,’ Itagne

suggested. ‘We all know Pondia Subat for the scheming incompetent

he really is, but the only thing that most baffles me about

your “Cyrga Affair” is its consistent attempt to elevate the Styric

renegade Zalasta to near sainthood. How in the name of God

could anyone – even someone as severely limited as the Prime

Minister – revere this scoundrel?’

‘How dare you speak so of the greatest man of this century?’

one of the hacks screamed at him.

‘if Zalasta’s the best this century can manage, colleague, I

think we’re in deep trouble. But we digress. The crisis which

Contemporary History chooses to call “The Cyrga Affair” has

been brewing for several years.’

‘Yes,’ someone shouted with heavy sarcasm, ‘we noticed that!’

‘i’m so happy for you,’ Itagne murmured, drawing another

loud laugh from the audience. ‘To whom did our idiot Prime

Minister turn for aid? To Zalasta, of course. And what was

Zalasta’s answer to the crisis? He urged us to send for the

Pandion Knight, Prince Sparhawk of Elenia. Why would the

name of an Elene nobleman leap to Zalasta’s lips in answer to

the question – almost before it was asked – particularly in view

of the sorry record of the Elenes in their relations with the Styrics?

To be sure, Prince Sparhawk’s exploits are legendary, but

what was it about the man that made Zalasta pine so for his

company? And why was it that Zalasta neglected to tell us that

Sparhawk is Anakha, the instrument of the Bhelliom? Did the

fact somehow slip his mind? Did he think that the spirit which

creates whole universes was somehow irrelevant? I find no mention

at all about Bhelliom in this recently published heap of

bird-droppings. Did you omit the most momentous event of the

past eon deliberately? Were you so caught up in trying to give

your adored Pondia Subat credit for policy decisions he had no

part in that you decided not to mention Bhelliom at all?’

‘Balderdash!’ a deep voice roared.

‘i’m pleased to meet you, Professor Balderdash. My name’s

Itagne. It was good of you to introduce yourself. Thanks awfully,

old boy.’

The laughter was tumultuous this time.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112

Categories: Eddings, David