Horror shrinks from beauty. Everything ends...and everything becomes something new in the end. Faith in this cycle is all we have.Raunip
The Great Conjunction is at hand in this dramatic second volume of Archaia and The Jim Henson Company's trilogy of prequel graphic novels that tell the origin of the Dark Crystal. Aughra, the beloved guardian of Thra, has gone into hiding, while her son, Raunip, leads a team of emissaries to the Crystal Castle. There they will bear witness as the visiting UrSkeks attempt to use the Conjunction to power their voyage home. But pain and mistrust fostered by the group leads to events that will corrupt the world to its very core and transform the Urskeks into two distinct races: the gentle urRu and the terrifying Skeksis. Brian Froud returns to oversee this crucial chapter that reveals the tragic events that caused the Bright Crystal to darken and shatter.
Chapter 1: The Way of ThingsEdit
As the suns rise anew, the storyteller states that while before they spoke of creation, they will now speak of destruction. They begin the tale by recalling that 990 trine after the arrival of the UrSkeks, Aughra disappeared into her observatory once again. The inhabitants of Thra speculate about the reason for this, but her constant guiding voice is no longer heard.
Chapter 2: The Reluctant Song-TellerEdit
Gyr returns from his voyages with no song to sing. He ceases to be a song-teller and goes to work loading and unloading the seafaring vessels and trading along the coast. He disengages from the outside world and is not present to witness te arrival of Raunip and Kel, the daughter of the great Gelfling clan mother Vedev the Elder.
Gyr is approached by another Gelfling, Thesa, informs him that Raunip and Kel have requested his presence. He goes to meet with them and they inform him that they need a song-teller to chronicle their upcoming journey. He recommends Tegra the Runaway, but they request that he come with them instead. He is honored, but informs them that he has given up song-telling since hearing the song of the UrSkek. The next morning, Raunip and Kel prepare to ride to the Castle of the Crystal to witness the next Great Conjunction. At Kel's request, Gyr agrees to accompany them to their next place of rest, despite never having ridden a Landstrider before.
Chapter 3: Among the Pod PeopleEdit
Raunip, Kel and Gyr arrive at the great Podling village of Noy, which sits at the foot of High Hill beneath Aughra's observatory. Raunip is greeted by Clan Mother Hakmeena, who allows Kel and Gyr to spend the night in the village while Raunip visits Aughra.
Ranuip enters the observatory and finds Aughra conversing with an UrSkek. Raunip demands to know why she allows the UrSkek to enter the observatory when she does not do the same for the creatures of Thra. The UrSkek leaves and Aughra chides Raunip for his rudeness. She tells him that she plans to help them return to their homeworld during the Great Conjunction. He asks her if it will work and she replies that she does not know, but has much to do and little time to do it in and urges him to leave her to her work.
The next morning, Kel teaches Gyr how to ride a Landstrider. Hakmeena introduces Raunip to her son Kotha and requests that he be allowed to accompany them to the Castle, to which Raunip agrees. Kel and Gyr dreamfast and learn of each other's past, but he breaks the connection when she asks him to remember the song of the UrSkek. He does not wish to expose her to its sadness, but agrees to travel to the Castle due to his belief in her.
Chapter 4: The Crystal PalaceEdit
Raunip, Kel, Gyr and Kotha reach the Castle and find a group of Gelfling who worship the UrSkeks camped outside it. The crowd are not pleased to see Raunip, whom they call a heretic, but an UrSkek intervenes and welcomes him and his party as invited guests.
The storyteller coughs and splutters as they sense they death approaching and state that they will miss Thra. They continue the story as the UrSkek leads Raunip's party into the Castle. The UrSkek explains that there are many Crystals throughout the uni-verse and all are connected to each other, and like the creatures of Thra the UrSkeks are also children of the Crystal.
The group are presented with a meal. At Raunip's urging, the UrSkeks inform the others that they were banished to Thra to cleanse themselves, as they were the only dissenting voices among their ancient culture. Raunip maintains his doubts as the UrSkeks invite them to make the Castle their home as they prepare for the Great Conjunction.
Gyr becomes fascinated by the Hall of Reflection, an ever-changing room that makes art of a person's perceptions. He is approached by an UrSkek, who upon learning that he knows an UrSkek song requests that he play it. Gyr plays the song after years of silence and exposes the darkness within the UrSkek's heart. The UrSkek is revealed to be the same one from which he heard the song and explains that it is a call to their kind which has gone unanswered for a thousand years, hence the simple notes have taken on a great weight. The UrSkek orders Gyr never to play the song again, as it is not fit for Gelfling ears. Raunip approaches them and concludes that Gyr's purpose there was to expose the darkness that he had always seen within the UrSkeks.