The Dark Crystal

The Story of the Dark Crystal

The Journey of Jen

Jen was brought up with riddles and enchantments, music and dreams, covered with the protection of spirals of power so that he might be fit to restore the Shard. And when the Great Conjunction last drew near, urSu the Master, who had waited till then, allowed himself to die. He knew that this would also be the death of skekSo the Emperor, that the Skeksis must then fall into utter division. And never was the instability of NINE more clearly shown, for with skekSo dead, the rivalries concealed for fear of his power broke out at once. SkekUng the Garthim-Master and skekSil the Chamberlain fell into open quarrel; skekSil lost the struggle, fled from the castle, and turned his mind to the last betrayal.

While the Skeksis fought, the urRu chanted and prayed. I heard the death chant for urSu; in its echoes I first saw Jen. He had been shown the crystal Shard in dreams and told to find me, Aughra, on my mountain. The urRu in their wisdom told him no more but sent him on his Quest; I in my foolishness thought it folly. But when he saw the shards I guarded, he sounded music on his flute. Then the true Shard shone with light, the false shards could be told apart. I rejoiced in my withered heart, for I saw that the Crystal could again be healed, the World restored.

And I rejoiced in my heart even when I saw the Garthim come that day, and I new the Skeksis were hunting Jen; I rejoiced even when they brought ruin to the Observatory, when they carried me prisoner to the castle. Even when the Skeksis took my other eye - bitter indeed the end of friendship - I rejoiced, for I had seen Jen escape from the Garthim with the true Shard, I saw him flee to the swamp below my mountain, I foresaw the Healing.

If I had studied the stars more I could perhaps have also have foreseen his travels: his meeting with Kira in the swamp, his welcome by the Pod People, the Garthim raid, Jen and Kira's flight together, their finding the Wall of Destiny. I could have foreseen the Landstriders that carried them both with the Shard to the castle, and their entry into the labyrinth beneath the castle through the Teeth of Skreesh. But who does not know of their journey? If I had studied the Skeksis more, perhaps I could have foretold that skekSil the Chamberlain, outcast from the castle, would find them both and seek revenge; I could perhaps now tell whether he sought to restore his fallen state among the Skeksis by betraying the Gelfling to them, or to destroy the Skeksis and the Dark Crystal together. Who does not know of his infamy? Who now can look into his twisted heart?

And if the Skeksis had felt less fear then their Crystal Bats told them of the surviving Gelfling, would they not have seen the urRu moving in procession toward the castle? When Jen struggled in the labyrinth, when skekTek the Scientist found his last elixir in the Lake of Fire, when the Great Conjunction approached, the minds of the Skeksis were forever in turmoil, their eyes always turned in the wrong direction. And when Jen brought the Shard to its rightful place in the Crystal Chamber, when Kira gave herself to the Skeksis' swords to win Jen's freedom, the hearts of the Skeksis were filled with terror. In vain then were the strength of skekUng the Garthim-Master, the wealth of skekShod the Treasurer, the cunning of skekSil the Chamberlain, the swift lies of skekZok the Ritual-Master. As Kira lay felled beneath the swords of the Skeksis, as the Three Suns came to conjunction in glory, as the urRu marched into the castle, JEN HEALED THE CRYSTAL.

Text from:
Brian Froud, The World of the Dark Crystal [ISBN: 1 86205 624 2]
Henson Organization Publishing / Harry N. Abrams, New York 2003
Originally published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1982
The urRu march toward the Castle of the Crystal ... to their destiny
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