"The Blackwood Chamber is one of the oldest treasures of the palace. The oldest and most secret... A detailed history of Sanctaphrax is cut into its wooden walls in the form of carvings. And such carvings! Countless wooden pictures, set in a raised, patterned framework. Ornate, intricate, exquisitely detailed..."
Linius Pallitax, describing the Blackwood Chamber[2]

The Blackwood Chamber was a secret room in the Palace of Shadows. On its walls were carved the history of Sanctaphrax, up until the Great Purges. Each carving was surrounded by descriptions in the Ancient Tongue.


Before the Great Purges

The Blackwood Chamber was one of the very first rooms to be built in the palace. As important events occurred, they were added to the walls. Over the centuries, the carvers built up a detailed history of the city, until the Great Purges when they, being earth-scholars, were driven from Sanctaphrax by the sky-scholars. After the removal of the earth-scholars, the only individual who knew of the chamber's location was Tweezel, the Palace's curator.[2]

During Linius Pallitax's time as Most High Academe

Tweezel continued to keep the chamber a secret, even after Linius Pallitax moved into the palace. Only when Tweezel felt he could trust Linius enough did he tell him about the Blackwood Chamber. Linius quickly became fascinated by the chamber, spending much time in there, examining the carvings and translating the script around the depictions.[2]

It was through the chamber that he learnt of the Ancient Laboratory and the experiments that went on there during the time of the First Scholars. He studied the details and travelled to the laboratory himself, eventually replicating their experiment and creating a gloamglozer.

The chamber was destroyed by fire when the Palace of Shadows burnt down in 15 ᴇ.ʏ.


The Blackwood Chamber was one of the many secret rooms hidden within the Palace of Shadows. Its precise location was unknown.

It was a circular room, split into eight sections by columns. The doorway takes up one of the spaces, while the other seven were used for carving[3]. Every wall was covered in designs, with the exception of the seventh, whose bottom half is left blank, as the carvers were ousted from Sanctaphrax before they could complete it.[2]


The carvings told the complete history of Sanctaphrax in chronological order. The first event recorded was the securing of the Anchor Chain to the rock to prevent it from floating away. Other notable events included:

Creation of Life

This carving showed the creation of the blood-red glister in the Ancient Laboratory. It featured a First Scholar standing at the valve-platform in the centre of the laboratory, with a lightning-orb in front of him.

It was unique in the fact that it was the only panel to have been defaced. The details of the First Scholar's hands at the control levers[2], as well as much of the script explaining the event[4], had been hacked out, in an endeavour to ensure that nobody would ever replicate the experiments.

The remaining script explained that the scholar had managed to isolate a glister, and then channelled all the energy from a storm into it, bringing it to life, and creating the monstrous blood-red glister.[4]

Other Tales

Several other stories were told in the carvings, but it is unknown when they took place in relation to the other events.


  1. The Curse of the Gloamglozer, Chapter 23: The Curse of the Gloamglozer
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Curse of the Gloamglozer, Chapter 20: Linius's Story
  3. See this image
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Curse of the Gloamglozer, Chapter 21: The Creature

Places in the Palace of Shadows
East Turret
Quintinius Verginix's bed-chamber
Central TurretEast TurretHigh ParapetWest Turret
Sixth floor
Fourth floor
Third floor
Most High Academe's bed-chamber
Second floor
Gift ChamberKitchen galleryMusic chamberPortrait GalleryRobe-chamber
Ground floor
Caucus Ante-ChamberEntrance hallKitchen
Unknown locations
Birthing-chamberBlackwood ChamberMaris Pallitax's bed-chamber