The Summer Palace was a palace belonging to the SeaWings that was hidden on an island within the Bay of a Thousand Scales. The Palace was created by the animus magic of Albatross, and it was used by the SeaWings as an overwater sea palace for themselves and their visitors. The palace was so well hidden that it remained out of harm by enemy tribes for two thousand years until it was finally destroyed in the War of SandWing Succession by Burn's army. The Palace is, however, being rebuilt by Coral and other SeaWings under her ruling, and as of Darkness of Dragons, it is titled on the map of Pyrrhia as "Ruins of the Summer Palace."
- 1 Description
- 2 Notable Features
- 3 History
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
The entrance of the palace was located within an island shaped like a giant dragon skeleton with gaps and holes throughout the pale stone. The stone skeleton's nose pointed towards another island ringed with forbidding rocks and a high, sheer cliff face on all sides. The top was a rioting jungle, with thick green vines and leaves pressed so close together that there was no clear spot through. Between two spiraling rocks, sharp and evenly matched like dragon horns, there was an underwater entrance leading to a dark tunnel. It was covered by a curtain of long, sun-colored tendrils of kelp and contained at least ten small, above-ground caverns.
The tunnel led into an open lake and sea-green-tinted sunlight. The inside of the island was surrounded by towering cliffs on all sides, and the green canopy was located far above the lake, woven so thickly it looked like a jungle from above. Waterfalls cascaded down from several holes in the cliffs, bursting into spray as they hit the lake. Four pillars of blue-tinted white stone spiraled out of the water, winding towards one another until they formed a towering pavilion in the middle of the lake. The pavilion had twelve circular levels, each smaller than the one below. There were few walls, most of them very low, and the entire structure was latticed with curving spaces and holes and small wading pools. There were ledges within the cliffs, and the only sounds were the splashing of the waterfalls, the soft hush of dragons breathing, and the quiet lapping of waves on beaches around the lake. There were several cave openings and rocks that jutted out of the water. The largest waterfall was located nearly as high as the leaf canopy and divided around boulders. Up close, the leaf canopy contained small blue flowers.
The lake beach was composed of white pebbles and faced a tall cave opening lined with sand. The caves dotting the cliffs were used as guest rooms, and one, used by Blister, was lined with extra sand. Each level had a different purpose, such as dragonet school visits, celebration spectacles, Council meetings, and war planning. The lowest levels were clustered with several guards resting, eating, and playing games. They contained a table with a niche containing a pair of heavy silver keys.
In Darkstalker's era appeared to be spectacular, beautiful, and was shaped like a gigantic narwhal tusk. During its creation, Albatross allowed Fathom to design small corners of the palace as well as the blueprint of the SeaWing throne on the top level of the pavilion. It was built upon a large island rising from the ocean floor; all around the island, gray boulders and tall spires of rock jutted out of the water. A wavering forest of sticky, orange-yellow kelp guarded a dark underwater tunnel in the cliff, which lead to a wide-open lake that was located in the heart of the island, surrounded on all sides by craggy, soaring cliffs that formed a circle over the lake. The center of this lake was the birthplace of the Summer Palace; described as a vast, strange shape growing out of the water, it looked as if someone had taken four towering pillars of white stone and braided them together. Huge, flat bubbles of stone grew out of the pillars at regular intervals, and it slowly, constantly grew. It was an amorphous, misshapen blob, a strange growth within the interior of the beautiful island. The lakeshore was covered in pebbles, with greenery, shrubbery, and foliage growing around the top of the cavern, which would later become a full canopy that obscured the palace from view. The temperature inside the island was cool. It took nearly ten years to reach its final form.
The feasting hall is located two levels above the kitchens and contains a long, low oval table. Queen Coral's seat was higher than everyone else's, but Blister's, right beside her, was not much lower.
Council meetings were held on a level halfway up the structure in the center of the lake. Twelve dragon-sized pools were arranged in a circle with small channels running from one to the next, criscrossing the center. Glittering emeralds the size of fish eggs, embedded in the stone, spelled out words by each pool, including DRAGON HEALTH, AQUACULTURE, WAR, HUNTING, MAGIC & PUBLISHING, COMMUNICATION, TREASURY, DEFENSE, and SECRETS & SPIES. The largest pool is labeled QUEEN, and a pool entitled DRAGONET CARE is located two pools away. The wet stone is chilly.
Queen Coral's chambers
Queen Coral's chambers were located in a vast underwater cave below one of the waterfalls, lined with waving tendrils of forest green and brilliant golden anemones. Stone carvings of dolphins danced around the entrance, and the walls were studded with emeralds and pearls. The beds were soft expanses of bubbly seaweed, and the sound of the waterfall splashing overhead can be heard. Where the waterfall met the lake, just behind the cascade and right outside the cave entrance, there was a small pocket of air.
Four levels from the top, the library level was a pavilion with low walls and several shapes like large cauldrons, filled with neatly rolled scrolls, molded into the stone. Black and blue webbed talonprints trailed all along the floor, and a raised podium stood at one end, with space for an audience of thirty dragons in front. The other end of this level held a long gray stone table with a scroll spread out onto it, held down at either end by small seahorses: heavy, intricately detailed, carved from dark wood, and containing dragonlike expressions on their tiny faces. The top corner of the table contained a small pool of black ink. There is also a curved white boulder that can be used as a chair.
The visiting level was located on the top pavilion and was composed of polished ridges in the blue-white stone. The level was large, with a spiraling starburst of webbed talon-print shapes carved into the floor and filled with glittering water, lined all along the bottom with tiny pearls.
The kitchen level was described to sound like the clatters of pots.
The armory level was located high within the pavilion. It was shaped like a bowl, with low walls and a slight slope down to the center. Weapons were lined along one side, including twisting horn spears, battle armor of chain link or scales, gleaming metal claws, and metal breastplates.
Electric eel prison
The prison cave was high up on the cliff wall, not far from the canopy, overlooking the pavilion below. It glowed with a strange blue light, and crackling sounds could be heard from inside. The hard stone floor was damp and the light was dim, and a path wound into a huge cavern. The cages had no bars or doors; instead, a channel of water as wide as two dragons encircled each prisoner, trapping them on islands of stone that varied in size. Water poured from grooves in the ceiling down to the channels, creating cascading walls along all of the islands. The water and moats all glowed the same bright blue and gave off the same fizzing, crackling sound, and the pathway wound around and between the islands like a long bridge. The ceiling was covered in glowworms, casting the prison in an eerie light, and iridescent purple jellyfish added to the dim lighting. The freezing water was controlled by a chain hanging along the wall; when pulled, the mechanisms within the stone clanked and groaned, opening a small doorway in the underwater wall of the moat and releasing electric eels into the water.
The Dragonet Prophecy
The Summer Palace was first introduced in The Lost Heir when the dragonets of destiny were escorted there by Shark and his guards. It was destroyed at the end of the novel by Burn's forces, forcing the SeaWings to evacuate to the Deep Palace.
The Jade Mountain Prophecy
In her letter to Turtle seen in the epilogue, Coral mentions that a new palace is being built and will not be hidden from the world like the Summer Palace.
The Summer Palace was built with the magic of Albatross and Fathom. The amount of magic Albatross used to create the palace proved too much and he went insane, thus causing the Royal SeaWing Massacre.
After the SeaWing massacre, Pearl decided to use the palace because nobody would ever want to go back to the Island Palace after the traumatizing incident. The SeaWings fixed some parts of the palace, then settled in. The Summer Palace was used for the next two thousand years. The palace was decided to be kept hidden from other tribes, with a few exceptions like using it to house allies in wars.
- The location of the ruins were not plotted until the publication of Moon Rising with a new map and guide by Starflight.
- The canopy hiding the island was Prince Fathom's idea.
Present: Abalone • Flounder • Herring • Kelp • Lagoon • Nautilus • Pearl • Piranha • Riptide • Snail • Snapper • Squid • Tempest • Tortoise • Urchin • Webs • Whirlpool