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That's not the Archer of Azzure!

The term "First invasion of Maris" has not been confirmed by official sources and is merely conjecture.

First invasion of Maris
Chronological information

Eruption of devil trees, bukshah's annual trip to Mountain Heart

Historical information

Start of winter




The town of Maris being plundered and looted
The capture and enslavement of the people of the Valley of Gold
New Keeper of the Crystal being Chosen
The Zebak being defeated and repelled at last


The Zebak

The Travellers and the Maris
The people of the Valley of Gold


Central Control

The new Keeper of the Crystal The leader of the Travellers
The dying Keeper of the Crystal (formerly)

First appearance

Rowan and the Travellers (mentioned)

Last appearance

Rowan of the Bukshah (mentioned)

The first invasion of Maris was the first attempt by the Zebak to invade and conquer the island of Maris and happened during one winter. They managed to ambush the people of the Valley of Gold and capture them, taking them prisoner and enslaving them in the Land of the Zebak.[1]



Many centuries ago, during one winter, the Travellers had camped on the coast near the city of Maris for the cold season, as always. The Keeper of the Crystal, the leader of the Maris, at that time was weakened and dying, a new Keeper had to be Chosen.[1]


The Zebak came in ships from across the sea, intending to invade and conquer the island of Maris with the first winds of winter brought them to the coast. The Travellers fought alongside the Maris people to defend their land, but the Zebak were many and the Maris were weak and divded, for their leader was dying. Urgent word was sent to the Valley of Gold. The Travellers' messengers reached the Valley and the people there received the call for the help. All of the Valley people set out for the coast with the messengers, leaving only Fliss of the Silks, Evan of the Bukshah and Bron. But on the journey the Valley people and the Traveller messengers were ambushed by the Zebak. The Travellers in Maris believed that their messengers had died of cold before reaching their goal, for the snow was early and plentiful that year. The Valley people and the Traveller messengers were captured and marched to the coast, loaded into ships and taken away into slavery across the sea. Meanwhile, unaware of their people's fate, Fliss, Evan and Bron went to the Valley of the Bukshah and begun to travel up the Mountain, guiding the bukshah on the animals' annual trip to Mountain Heart where they must feed on the fungus produced by the ice creepers living there. They reached the cave of Mountain Heart, but the sudden eruption of the devil trees caused the cliffs above the cave to fall and block the entrance, forcing the three friends to remain in there till they died.

The city of Maris quickly fell to the enemy, and the Maris people fleed into tunnels beneath the sea where their leader could still protect them. The Zebak tried to take the Travellers as slaves, but the tribe slipped out of their clutches and escaped, going into hiding in the north. No one saw what happened after that, for no Maris or Travellers were there to see it. However when the Travellers returned to Maris in spring, they found that many of the Zebak ships had already been sent home, loaded with looted Maris goods for the city was stripped bare. The Zebak who remained thought that the war had been won, however for the Travellers the struggle had only just begun. They sent fresh messengers to the Valley of Gold, and began to harry the enemy in any way they could: ambushes and raids, thefts of food and arms and disturbances night after night. Starved of food and sleep, menaced by an enemy they could not see, the Zebak were soon jumping at shadows. Then finally the old, weak Keeper of the Crystal died, and a new Keeper took his place, and the magic Crystal of Maris flamed anew. The Maris people came up from the tunnels, united and filled with new hope. By this time the Zebak were no match for them, and at last the enemy was defeated and driven away, back across the sea to their land.

But in the midst of the rejoicing, the new Traveller messengers returned from the centre of the island, and triumph turned to sorrow as they told what they had found. Above the Valley of Gold, the face of the Mountain had changed to a mass of rubble, as if two giants had battled there.[1][2] This caused the Travellers to make up the story of the Giants of Inspray.[2] The Valley had gone. In its place was the horror later named the Pit of Unrin — a shadowed mass of hideous trees that seemed to breathe evil. And the people of the Valley had vanished from the earth.[1]


The imprisoned people of the Valley of Gold who had been taken across the sea by the Zebak, was enslaved in a compound deep within the Zebak city. This compound grew to be like a normal village, although it was still a prison, and it was named Rin.[1]


Rowan of Rin[]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rodda, Emily. Rowan of the Bukshah. Scholastic Australia. 2003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rodda, Emily. Rowan and the Travellers. Scholastic Australia. 1994.