Shatha's Maze was an array of defensive wards protecting the entry to the harbor of Thalassina. It was built about 600 years before current events, during the reign of Dread Empress Maleficent II, by the then active Warlock, from whom it recieved its name, and since then it had failed only twice – both times due to treachery. During the Tenth Crusade it was modified by Wekesa, Masego and Tikoloshe to better withstand an invading fleet from Ashur, and was eventually destroyed, together with the fleet and the city, when Wekesa requested a boon from the Gods Below.
Description[edit | edit source]
A fundamental rule of magic is that wards do not work over water. Therefore, in order to ward the bay leading to Thalassina, Warlock Shatha had been forced to cheat. Instead of a single ward covering the bay, he raised over three hundred small, self-contained wards, each extending only over their own coral tower. Since the wards could not affect the water-filled spaces inbetween, they were instead set up to affect those who saw them. The effects were many and varied: some affected the senses to trick the watcher into choosing the wrong path, others simply made them mad or uncontrollably furious, and yet others triggered physical effects like fire or lightning. In order to allow trade, the Maze was normally not active. In times of war, it was activated by a series of rituals performed in two bunkers dug beneath either coast. The High Lords of Thalassina kept a dedicated force of mages on stand-by, ready to start the process at a moment's notice.