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The Wizen's Council

 

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The Wizen's Council

I stumbled up the stone steps as I ascended the giant tower. My arms were laden with parchment and ink bottles so I had to be careful to not drop any. I let out a grunt that I wasn’t too proud of as my shin cracked on the edge of a particularly sharp stone step.
Balancing on one leg I leaned back and stuck my injured shin out to inspect the damage. The front of my light grey robe was dampened. I couldn’t be sure if it was water from the stone or my own blood in the flickering light from the dimly burning torch on the wall. Myrddin had been true to his word and lit the way to the meeting. 
My name is Didicit. I write about magic. I love magic. I don’t have any inherent magic myself, despite what the timeless council seems to think. I’m just a historian; a mere scion, or human, whichever term you prefer.
I turned around and sat down, if I didn’t take a second to catch my breath I’d pass out before too long. I know I’m getting old, but this flight of stairs was ridiculous. I glanced up and saw a cobweb that I swore I had seen several times now, then finally it dawned on me. How slow had I become?
“Myrddin, you’ve made your point, and I’m not magical! Now let me out of here!” I cried. it echoed through the spiraling stone tower. As the echo died down the delightful and merry sound of a lute played brightly from the stairs behind me. I leaned forward  and slowly got to my feet. I didn’t want to fall back down and give Myrddin the opportunity to inflict even more of his mad will onto me. One of the greatest magicians alive, maybe even the greatest wizard of all time, found great joy in putting me in magical traps in an effort to prove to the others that I wasn’t in fact a mere scion. Well, at least he stopped when I realized what it was.
I turned, and the top of the stairs was no more than three feet from me. There was a heavy wooden door with a rusted iron knocker, and a dull iron set of bars through which to see. The door, luckily, was partially ajar. I turned from it and put my back into it as hard as I could. It slowly opened, and I staggered into the room. There was a tremendous round stone table. Already seated were the noaidi, a nortic couple who used their love for each other to heal others, Morgan le Fay, a kind and homely sorceress that Myrddin had brought along who had next to no magical ability, a man from somewhere in Africa that I didn’t know, and a woman with dark skin whose outfit I couldn't place.
The noaidi rose in unison and rushed to me, their thick furs flowing behind them as they approached. The female took the burden from my arms while the male knelt and sent a warm sensation up my leg. It felt incredible, the pain in my shin washed away, and before I knew it, the pair of them had encircled me with their arms. They sang out in a short chant and I was lost in the sensation of their healing magics. It felt like water washing over my body, then as it rinsed itself away I was left with a cool, dry sensation. No fatigue, no pain, almost as though the grains of time itself had been reversed. It was intoxicating. 
Then, for a few moments, the room around me seemed to vanish. It was me, in a swirl of the softest fabric I’d ever felt, with the noaidi circling around me. They danced a most beautiful dance, a dance that reminded me of the beautiful parts of autumn, a dance that was springtime and new life. Their bodies were nude, and while the dance was sexual it was also so much more! Calling it sexual felt like calling an orgasm a tingling sensation, or calling the brightness of the sun a candle. 
I spent many a later year trying to write poetry to encapsulate what I saw that day, but nothing came close to it. I would often wake from a most restful sleep to flashes of their blonde hair and blue eyes; memories of the soft fabric on my skin would revitalize me in ways I was never able to replicate. My later dealings with alchemy and indirect magic were at best a pale mockery of what they did. I fell in love with them. Both of them. I wanted them to take me on every adventure, I wanted them to love me as their lover, or as their child, whatever affection this god and goddess bestowed upon me I would take with glee.
At last, one of the swirling pieces of fabric fell from me, and I was back in the top of the tower and the noaidi were both clothed in front of me. Their beautiful blue eyes shone at me, and I realized it had been a vision of healing. This was something I didn’t know was possible. How would this fit into my magical theory? Would it fit in or would my entire set of theories be abolished and I would get to start from scratch. Excitement coursed through me, livening my body and mind alike.
“Thank you,” I said. “I can never repay you.”
“It is not to be repaid, we are not like the rest,” the woman said.
“It is our charge to displace the balance between good and evil by spreading as much good as we can,” the man said.
“He doesn’t need your healing!” barked Myrddin. “He’s got you all fooled! I’m telling you this man is as magical as any of us! If he’s a scion I’ll live in the woods for a century!”
“He may or may not be a scion,” Morgan said with a smile. “He still is entitled to healing and rejuvenation if the noaidi so kindly offer it.”
“Regardless of whether or not he is what he claims or what Myrddin claims,” the man from Africa said, “The Timeless Council has been kept waiting for your game Myrddin.”
Myrddin chuckled and said “It’s the small things in life that make it worth living. Alright, let’s start then. Who wants to go first?”
“Perhaps I could begin the meeting?” came a voice from the shadows. It was language, but behind every syllable was an infusion of power that made me want to hide my face and tremble. I didn’t though. I just looked to the corner of the room and pretended my heart haden’t skipped a beat. 
Even Myrddin flinched and looked into the shadows. As he did his pupils shone brilliantly, shining bright light into the corner of the room. “Who are you?” he spoke. His words were like thunder, loud and booming.
The light showed nothing, no one was there. At first. Then, as though he was there the whole time, a man stood, leaning casually against the brick. He was thin and wore trousers fit for a peasant and a worn linen shirt. He had a pair of boots that were more worn than the shirt, holes on the side exposing his foot slightly.
“I am a simple servant who comes to request the aid of this council of wizards,” the man said. The power in his voice still held me in place, but Myrddin spoke again.
“It’s you!” Myrddin spat. He radiated with power that washed the influence of the strange visitor’s power from me. “The Courtier! You’re the one who was behind the cracking of the seals to the Blood God’s prison!”
“Ah, that. That wasn’t what you thought it was,” the man said. The power in his voice seemed to have left altogether.
“You attempted to release your master, if we hadn’t been there he would have been!”
“Again, that isn’t what you seem to think. Now, I’m here asking for your aid, we need to break his seals completely…”
Myrddin’s lute became a sword in a flash of light and the vibrancy of his power magnified. The other magic wielders present followed Myrddin’s lead and their power shone around them, all aimed at The Courtier. Some seemed to be lightning, others pitch waves of black, Morgan le Fay seemed to be the dimmest in the room and she held a ball of fire in each hand. Myrddin though, he seemed like the sun, ready to send its heat in a wave of power at The Courtier. I felt like a minnow caught in a raging rapid amidst these gods. I was looking at the wrath of the divine.
“Are we so primitive that we cannot discuss? Must this resort to violence?” The Courtier pleaded.
I could hear him pleading, and I believed he didn’t want violence. I could see him, no aura of power, nothing. He was outmatched and he knew it. They all knew it, yet none relented.
“Put up your guard and prepare for battle,” Myrddin growled, his voice still echoing as thunder through the small torchlit room.
“Please?” The Courtier begged. “All I’m asking is for you to hear my words!”
“Bewitched words!” spat Myrddin. “I know how you ensnare minds!” He brandished his sword high above his head, and lightning, literal deafening lightning cracked into the room through a window and struck his blade. I closed my eyes and turned my head, shielding my ears as I fell. I was caught on a cushion of healing magic created by the noaidi, who again livened my body and mind, enabling me to watch what happened next.
Myrddin slashed his sword through the air and shot the lightning at The Courtier. The lightning seemed to grow in heat and vibrancy and it cracked out towards the outmatched Courtier. Then, it all stopped.
The Courtier stood, his head hanging. The lightning was gone. “Fools, all of you,” he breathed. The aura’s of the wizards around him wicked out, Myrddin’s going last. “If you tempt me, then you tempt death itself.” I’m not proud of it, but I shuttered at this. But what’s more, is the magicians around me all seemed to shutter too.
“What magic is this?” Myrddin said. The tremble in his voice made me feel faint. I’d seen this man fight dragons, fight all manner of demons, slay werewolves, restore life to those on the brink of death, and I’d never seen him afraid. I’d never seen him unsure. Seeing him like this terrified me more than anything. Until The Courtier finally showed his aura.
There was an explosion of power sending us all against the walls of the room, pinning us in the torrent. I couldn’t see The Courtier through his power anymore, I could just see the blinding source of power in the general shape of the man that had stood there before. Wings of light and a crown of power adorned him, was he God? Was this humbly dressed being my divine creator? I prayed. I prayed to God.
“Please my God, have mercy on me, your weak and unworthy servant Didicit,” No one could hear me over the torrent of The Courtiers power, but no sooner had I spoken those words I was released from the magic that bound me. No, this wasn’t magic. This had to be divinity! In a moment all magic fled from this being, and he heard my prayer.
“I’m not God almighty, I’ve ever even met the being,” I heard The Courtier say. “I have a task for you though, take this.”
I felt something pierce my mind, it was knowledge and truth. I was overwhelmed by the vision and fell to my knees. I also became intensely aware of the others in the room. They couldn’t see or hear any of this.
“Why not just give them the knowledge as well?” I asked The Courtier.
“Only into an open mind can I delve,” he responded. “That’s why they can’t know. I will release the Blood God. I need help to do it. Do you understand?”
I nodded. I had to help him release the Blood God. It was the only true path.
“You can see now, your eyes have been opened, welcome to the cause. Now, you must return to your place,” he said to me. I nodded, and the torrent of magic pinned me against the wall once more.
I heard his voice again, it was terrible and loud, not just to my ears as Myrddin’s voice had been, but to my very soul. “You have failed to see the need to release the Blood God!” he bellowed. “Now, I will open one of your eyes to the truth! Morgan le Fay!” I looked over at her, and she shot forward in the air, stiff as a board.
Light from The Courtier concentrated on her chest, making her entire body shine with such a vibrancy! Then she fell to the floor, collapsing in a heap. The room dimmed and The Courtier was gone.
Myrddin shot forward, his aura of power returning again to him. He blasted flames from his sword where The Courtier had stood which melted a hole in the stone to the outside of the tower.
He wrapped his arms around Morgan le Fay and held her close to his chest. Her eyes widened and she began to shake. She looked horrified at Myrddin’s chest and began to claw at it. The noaidi were at her sides almost immediately, and she fell into a deep slumber.
“What happened to her?” Myrddin snapped at them.
“I don’t know,” the female said. “She's stronger…”
“We have to unite,” I said. “We have to stand united. These meetings aren’t enough. He’s too powerful! We have to stand together!” I rummaged through my papers once, didn’t find what I was looking for, then checked again but a little slower. “Here! This is a history of our ancestors and the first war with the Blood God. They were called stewards and scions. The stewards were here to defend against the Blood God. We can retake that mantle.”
“We don’t seem to have a choice,” the African said. “I couldn’t use my magic at all.”
“A leader needs to be elected from amongst us,” I pushed. “Who?”
“We haven’t even decided we are doing this,” Myrddin said.
“I nominate Myrddin,” the male noaidi said.
“I second,” the African said.
“Third,” said the woman I was entirely unfamiliar with.
“Motion passed by rule of the council,” the female noaidi said.
“The easterners aren’t here,” Myrddin said. “They won’t like this.”
I read from the parchment, “The chief among them was called The Wizen, and with his council the stewards and wizen operated as an aggregation of creation and protection.”
“I’m The Wizen am I?” Myddin said. “Together we will stop The Courtier. We will build and develop our people to keep the Blood God in chains forever!”
“This is the crest of the Stewards,” I said. I held the parchment up and showed the room. It was a starry night, with several brighter stars gathered around one particularly bright star. “The brightest star is The Wizen. The other large stars are the stewards, and the smallest stars are the scions.”
“On this day,” Myrddin cried. “I declare this no longer the Timeless Council, but the Wizen’s Council!”
They all nodded and immediately began planning.
I sat down, so far everything was going to plan. The Stewards Guild had been reborn, I would help form it, and in time, they would be instrumental in the release of the Blood God. A simple scion like me, would change the fate of everything.