Vor-Anden is an ancient shrine located on the edge of the realm. It used to be a sacred place for the Blackblood people before the war against humans. It was forgotten and lost in history until Zed and Talon sought it out.
Rediscovering the Shrine
In The Only Way, Talon and Zed travel to Vor-Anden. Zed explains that Vor-Anden was built to honor the Seven Warriors of Old. If the legends are true, The Key should unlock what Talon and Zed came for - the power they need to save their people and the Queen, of course. Talon uses the necklace’s blue light to reveal markings on the floor leading to the wall. A beautiful chalk portrait is revealed from the light, and a constellation is among the sketches revealed. Zed explains that he is looking for Bellator, the greatest Blackblood warrior of all time. He was frozen in the stars so those would remember his strength. He is located North of the constellation. The Key fits into the cave walls and creates a tremor that unlocks a rising podium from the ground.
The podium is a circular shape with seven compartments around the circle. It used to hold seven Kinjes, however over time, the Warriors of Old came and took the Kinjes. Talon notices that one has a second hole, to which Zed digs his knife into it to find whatever managed to chew its way out. A small insect emerges with wings. Zed touches the insect and it flutters then glows purple, merging into his skin. It forms a ball and travels up to his temples. Later, Zed reveals that the insect held a kinj, one of seven, but he has no idea what it can do.
Talon's Search for Aster
In The Price of Immortality, Janzo discovers that an ancient relic speaking to the Dragman Luna has qualities that resemble those associated with the Gods. However, the relic doesn't hold the same hexagonal shape as the other artifacts he's encountered, leaving him and Wren puzzled over its use. When she holds the relic up in the light to examine it, she notices that certain stones are grouped together. They deduce that the stones represent the Gods and where their sarcophagus's were found. Janzo projects the stones onto a map of the realm, revealing where each Gods is kept. The God known as Aster is underneath the shrine of Vor-Anden. Talon and Zed remember the location from their trip to find the Golukinj. They note that all seven kinjes were once kept there. Talon decides to venture to Vor-Anden with the help of Luna to destroy Aster's body before he has the chance to awaken and reunite with his deadly companions.
In Guardian of the Asterkinj, Talon and Luna find Vor-Anden but can't locate Aster's sarcophagus. Talon asks Luna to use her Dragman abilities to find anything they can't see. Luna is quiet for a moment as she concentrates, then hears a faint whisper coming from the ground. She drops to her knees and pulls away piles of sand until she finds a mechanism on the floor, coupled with what appears to be a lock. The spirals on the device are engraved in Blackblood language. Talon reads the engraving aloud, "Here lies the one whose blood forged out souls and made us stronger. Sleep in peace, Great Father, for all eternity. Only if black blood adorns these words do we call upon your soul to rejoin this world." Luna thinks it means Talon must bleed on the words to activate the mechanisms.
Talon attempts this with a drop of her blood and the words glow blue. She slices her palm and presses it against the lock, triggering her blood to run through the slits in the floor and open a mechanism that shakes the cave. From the floor rises the body of Aster, not in a sarcophagus like his companions, but on a slab with a black veil covering his body. Luna identifies the crystal in Aster's hands as the source of the whispers. When Talon takes the crystal, she is given a vision of Aster telling her to wake him up.
After some debate, Talon and Luna decide to awaken Aster by reuniting him with his kinj. He breaks the crystal to release a portion of Janya's power to heal him, and rises from the table. Aster explains to the sword-drawn women that he isn't their enemy, and convinces them to lower their weapons. He explains that he shouldn't be awake and nor should his siblings. He came to Vor-Anden long ago to hide the kinjes, gazing back at the podium as he remembers placing them in the compartments. He guides Talon to a wall that illuminates in blue light, revealing hundreds of names carved into the wall. He asks if the last name, Talia, is hers, but it's not as Talia was Talon's grandmother. Aster explains that the Guardians of the Asterkinj were meant to protect it from falling into the wrong hands, and would carve their names onto the wall to mark their service. He agrees to help her defeat his siblings by eliminating them altogether, and the trio leave Vor-Anden.
Notes and Trivia
- Vor-Anden was a sanctuary for Kinjes, including the former housing of the Asterkinj.
- It is the only known Blackblood sanctuary that remains. However, it is in ruins from years of neglect.
- Zed retrieved the Golukinj from Vor-Anden. This kinj has the ability to manipulate the minds of living creatures.
- Vor-Anden is the burial location of Aster.