I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons (give or take a few exceptions).
Here is the next part.
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:
You might want to read part 19 or the start of this may not make much sense…
Mage Caraffi leaned towards Lara, his green eyes flashing in that peculiar way she found so unnerving.
“Well Lara, the gemstones sometimes tell us very little at all. A lot depends on the potential strength of the subject. Someone with very little magical ability will have virtually no response at all from the stones, they will just be pretty jewels. They do not really have any magic of their own, just reflect and focus the magic of the person who holds them. They reflect the natural power within the Mage. I am very impressed that you have had such a strong reaction, both physically and emotionally from these stones. You must have a great deal of latent power indeed. As I have explained before, Magic is energy, the energy that dwells all around us and also comes from within us. It can be tapped from a multitude of different sources. A Mage can tap that energy and use it to bring about changes that manifest in the real world, changes to the very pattern of life. This magical energy is not just a raw force, however, it is made up of four primary elements. Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Now each change to the pattern requires a different blend of these elements to form the right magical energy to bring about the desired change. If the balance is wrong, the result will be wrong as well. Do you understand what I am saying?”
The Mage looked at Lara who judging by the confused expression on her face was having difficulty with something. Of course, it could be indigestion, thought Caraffi.
“Augustus, I think I understand what you are saying but I am puzzled. You said there were four elements but I thought there was five. Isn’t there a fifth one that sort of binds them all together?”
Augustus Caraffi was amazed and dumbfounded, not an easy thing to do to someone who can wield magic and certainly not one as experienced as Caraffi.
“Who told you about that Lara? About a Fifth element?” He asked, in a gentle but probing way, although his voice was calm, it held a tone that suggested this was important and not the time to lie.
“No-one told me. I was just listening to you talking about Magic and it sort of came into my head that there were five elements. Am I wrong?”
“No Lara you are indeed quite right. The fifth element is Spirit and as you quite rightly said it connects all the other elements together. Each of those gemstones I gave you are in-tune to a different element. The Garnet is attuned to the element of fire. You had a very strong response from this gem and that indicates you have your greatest potential in Fire. This element is important in certain areas. Battle-mages are usually strong in this element as it is an important part of destructive magic. The Grey gemstone, which is called Smoky Quartz, reflects the element of Air. Air Magic is useful in weather manipulation and Mages that are particularly strong in this element can develop a talent for flying, which is a rare talent indeed. The Amethyst is connected to the element of water, the key element for healers and restoration magic. The Diamond is the only gem that can be focused to reflect the element of Spirit and is a rare jewel indeed. This element is key for talents in mind magic, which includes telepathy, manipulation and divination. From what you told me, it seems that this is not your strongest area. Lastly, the Emerald reflects Earth. Earth magic is used for nature empathy, as used by the creatures known as Elves who live to the far south and east in the great forests. Earth magic is also used for enchantments as used by the creatures we call Dwarves who dwell in the caverns beneath the surface, particularly in the mountains known as the Great Dividing Range.”
Lara interrupted “I have seen an Elf once, when I was very young. My father received a visit from the representative of the Elvenkin. He was very tall and thin and seemed impossibly pale. Even though I must have only been five or six years old, I remember him clearly because I had never seen anyone like him. I thought he was human at first, then I saw his silver hair and long pointed ears. I was shocked to see such a creature at court. I was hiding behind my father and the Elf leaned over me and smiled. His teeth were pointed like fangs. He spoke to me in a musical language that I couldn’t understand, but he seemed friendly. I’m not at all surprised that he had Magic.”
“All Elves posses some magical ability but it varies like it does in Humans. He sounds like he was one of the Woodland Elves, they have Silver hair. It is the Golden Elves that have the most magic. They are quite exceptional creatures, but they are not at all friendly. They are rather aloof and rude. They look down on Humans and have very little to do with them.”
“You also mentioned Dwarves. I thought they were only silly tales told to make children behave. ‘Don’t misbehave of the Dwarves will come and take you away’ that’s what we were told as Children.”
The Mage was smiling at Lara in an amused way. “Dwarves do exist but I have never known them to be interested in kidnapping children. I used to see them now and again when I lived in the District of Toric, high up in the mountains to the east of Argor. Sightings were rare, even in that desolate spot. They don’t like humans that much and they despise Elves even more though I am not sure why.”
A thought occurred to Lara, “I Presume you have used the gemstones Augustus, Where do your talents lie?”
“I have used them, but it is the greatest insult to ask a Mage where his talents lie. It is a very personal question. As I have explained, Mages are creatures of secrecy and mystery. To get them to reveal their secrets is to own a part of them. A Mage will only surrender that information when it is necessary and not before.”
A stony silence descended on the room. Caraffi waved his hands in the air and the chess pieces rearranged themselves on the board. Lara felt the energy around her like a divine wind.
“Shall we have a rematch?” Augustus said.
End of Part Twenty.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/July/2018