Multiple Word Prompts:
I was always on the lookout for arcane wisdom or ancient magical knowledge and I had heard about an old book, the Grimoire of a wise old man that he had kept hidden from the world.
Septimus Arcanas was the name taken by the most powerful magician of the early twentieth century. He had died an extremely wealthy man. He had purchased a castle in the highlands of Scotland near the town of Drumnadrochit, overlooking Loch Ness. He was an unusually eccentric old man and used to love swimming in Loch Ness, which he did every evening regardless of the weather. His body was never found and so it was presumed he had drowned. No body ever washed ashore. Some said he was eaten by the Loch Ness Monster. No one will ever know.
At last, I have obtained the ownership of the castle, although it has taken all of the money I could raise from calling in debts, to incurring several of my own in order to procure it but procure it, I have.
A very strange place it is too. Before He died, the Old Wizard had gone to great expense to restore the castle to something like it would have been in the Middle Ages. Bright Tapestries adorns the walls in some rooms and Oak panels in others. In every room there is a fireplace but a central heating system had been installed. It was still not a very comfortable experience but the view over the beautiful Loch was worth it. The place was full of secret passageways hidden behind bookcases and oak panels. Even the main fireplace in the great hall opened when a carved Lion on the mantelpiece was pushed. I navigated my way around the Castle looking for the ancient tome. It took me months before I found what I was looking for. The old man had hidden his secret study well. I would never have found it except that the moon that night had been so bright and it shone through the window of the master bedroom, so sleek and silvery and reflected from the mirror on to the wall opposite and lit up a word carved lightly in the stone. It was only visible because the light had caught it just right, and in the mirror, I could read it perfectly. “Push Here” it said. I walked over to the words and pressed the stone. The headboard of the bed fell forwards and hidden behind it was an opening into the wall cavity and some narrow stone steps climbing up into the ceiling.
With great exhilaration I lit the bedside candle and climbed these narrow steps. It was a very tight fit; the steps were barely wider than my shoulders. Then I pushed open a small door and entered the chamber hidden in the roof. The first thing that hit me was a foul stench. I lifted up my candle and saw a rotting corpse dressed in decayed robes of red and gold satin. It seemed the Old Magician hadn’t drowned after all but had died in his secret chamber so that no one had found his body.
I rushed over to the tiny window and pulled back the black cloth that covered it, letting in some moonlight. I opened the window to let in the cold night air. Anything to clear that disgusting stench of decay. It was getting hard to breathe. Then, there by the corpses hand I saw what I was looking for. The Leather bound ancient grimoire. The Secret arcane knowledge of the last great Wizard. It seemed to glow with a Mystical light of its own. I grabbed the book and descended the steps back down to the fresher air below.
I could barely contain myself as I sat on the bed and opened the old book, the spine seemed to creak like that of an old corpse. It sent a shiver through my body.
The hand writing was the beautiful cursive script of an educated hand from a bygone age. I read the words and was dumbstruck.
“Behold, these are the last words of wisdom of Septimus Arcanas.
Temper your greed for gold, for the true wealth of life lies not in monetary gain but in the pursuit of knowledge, happiness and love. Only these abstract things can provide solid and lasting riches.
You seek the magic powers to bring about your deepest desires and you have found them here. First you must dream, for only dreamers know what they truly desire. Then state clearly what you want so the whole world knows.
The final step is clear, gain knowledge, experience and confidence so that you believe yourself capable of acquiring what you seek. Only then will you gain what you truly desire.
If you seek further evidence of this fact, ponder this. You desired to acquire my grimoire above all things and through your own knowledge, experience and determination, it now lies in your hands.”
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/June/2016