The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.
– the traditional opening line of the Ven Heroic Cycle,
an opera linked to Gilead’s golden age under the high kingship of
Arthur Eld, King of All-World, guardian of the Dark Tower
The following text was unearthed at the King dig site, linking the ven culture to the Dark Tower epic cycle:
Ven is an ancient word meaning fire-handler and person. Perhaps in the old days the ven were the sorcerer-kings’ servants, the ones who held their torches and lanterns so they could study their foul and arcane arts, calling forth monsters from out of the thinny and beyond the prim. I wouldn’t set my watch and warrant on that. Today ven is the old-fashioned word for gunslinger.
The ven made their houses based on the guardians of the beam: the Bear, the Elk, the Falcon, the Fox, the Serpent, and the Wolf. They represent the attributes that make for a gunslinger, someone who can help us all survive Shanri. We need their steel, their ability to deal out death in order to preserve life because make no mistake, Shanri wants us dead. Some say the Sorcerer-Kings left their mark on the land and so it hates us. Others will whisper, if you get them good and drunk, during a trusted palaver, that the Sorcerer-Kings brought us from somewhere else, someplace down the beams and this land wants to expel us.
But we aren’t set to leave anytime soon. We have our parties in the Riddle Houses, watch/compose/sing our opera and even though it is illegal, we ply our sorceries, yes we do. Mayhaps we are just roont children, playing in our parents’ clothes while they have left us home alone. But if they do come back, the Sorcerer Kings, I mean, if they do return, I somehow do not believe that we will cry pardon and fall back into holding fire for our former masters. We’ve learned too much from the beams’ virtues and have not forgotten the face of our fathers.