Wednesday evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 20.

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:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

You might want to read part 19 or the start of this may not make much sense…

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/sunday-reading-my-fantasy-story-part-19/

Part Twenty

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?”

Continue reading Wednesday evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 20.

Sunday reading – My Fantasy Story, part 19.

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. Except last Sundays was posted on Monday and Wednesday’s was posted on Friday morning… .

Now I am back to my usual Schedule.
Here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Nineteen

Lara hadn’t realised how, without thinking, she must have been making Bethra feel. She had taken so much of her life for granted. She had been pampered and spoilt. Loved by her Father and respected by people without having earned it, just because she was the Governor’s daughter. Only now she was beginning to realise how lucky she’d been. She thought of how much harder Bethra’s life had been and she felt guilt deep within her, possibly for the first time in her sheltered and self-contained little life. She was beginning to see the wider world and it was opening her mind and her emotions to new sensations. 

As Lara walked down those narrow wooden stairs she could hear the noises coming from the common room below. The laughter, singing and general sound of people trying to forget they had troubles drifted to her ears. When she entered, the smell of pipe-smoke assaulted her nostrils and made her eyes sting. She could see David sitting at a table in the corner talking to one of the Merchants. It was the grim one, who always wore grey. The man was smiling as he spoke to David, something she had never seen on his face before, but when he saw her standing in the doorway his smile disappeared to be replaced by his more usual scowl. Was it her imagination or was there a touch of fear in his face? Was she not have supposed to have seen them together? Lara decided she would pretend she didn’t see them and instead walked straight through the room and through the door to the reading room beyond. The reading room was used as the towns library and was filled from floor to ceiling with books on the shelves that lined the walls. The smell of old leather and paper combined to form a much more pleasant perfume than had been present in the common room. Although quite a nice room, it wasn’t as grand as the great library in Argor, which was now the greatest depositories of knowledge in the country. The Library in the Rosana Palace in the Capital used to be the biggest, but it was burned to the ground in the revolution. So many Libraries had been burned, almost as if it was the books who were the enemy. Luckily his father had restored order in Argor quickly and preserved the library there.

At first she thought she had the room to herself, but then she saw Mage Caraffi in the corner gazing at a chessboard. Lara sat down opposite him and they began a game. She loved playing chess. It was something that her Father had taught her and when he wasn’t too busy, they would enjoy a game. She was quite good at it. In just six moved each, she had managed to put Caraffi’s king in check. With his king threatened, Caraffi brought in his Queen to take one of her pieces but had left it vulnerable. With a whoop of triumph Lara took his queen with her Knight. Calmly, the mage moved in his bishop which had been at the back of the line, captured her Knight and left her King in Checkmate. The game was over. Lara was furious with herself. She had been winning but had neglected to pay attention to his bishop.

“Remember Lara, not all your enemies are obvious. Sometimes they can be hidden.”

Lara changed the subject quickly, the Mage made her nervous when he spoke in that mysterious way and his eyes glowed green from the light of a nearby lamp.

“Augustus? Tell me a little about yourself. I know you Mages are secretive and mysterious but surely you know me well enough by not to tell me something of your past?”

“I was born a long time ago and a long way from here. I am a lot older than I look. I know I look to you about thirty-five, but I am many years older than that.”

Actually Lara had thought he was over forty but decided to only think it and not say it and hope he couldn’t read her mind like old Angstrom. 

The Mage continued “This is something you should be aware of Lara. Mages do not age as normal human beings do. We age much slower and live a lot longer. Although it hasn’t been measured exactly, the life expectancy of a Mage can depend on how powerful they are, what type of Mage they, how often they use their magic and even on whereabouts they live. A rough average life expectancy is around One hundred and forty years old. Generally, High-Mages live longer than Mages because they are usually more powerful, which is why they achieved higher rank in the first place. Although rank is not just awarded for pure power but hopefully for intelligence and wisdom also. Mages, of course, are just as susceptible to diseases and plagues as anyone else. A sword or an arrow is just as dangerous to us too. Oh, and by the way, you remember those testing jewels I gave you? How have you been getting on with them?”

“I forgot all about them. I still have them but while we held in Savarias I hid them away in case they were recognised for being ‘Mage tools’. Then I packed them in my saddlebags and I haven’t used them since. I remember they made me feel very strange. Each one made me feel slightly differently, it’s hard to explain exactly how. When I closed my eyes and grabbed them at random I found that for some reason I had chosen some jewels more often than others. Some of them practically leapt into my hand. Eventually I could even tell which jewel I had grabbed before I looked at it, based on how easy it had come and how it made me feel. I picked up the Garnet most often, about twenty times out of forty. It always made me feel invigorated and full of energy, like liquid fire flowed in my veins. The smoky grey gem I picked up about ten times. It made me feel quite calm but also exhilarated at the same time, like I was soaring high above over mountains and forests. I could almost feel the wind rushing past me. The Amethyst made me feel quiet and calm like I was floating along a calm river with gentle currents caressing me softly. The Diamond had the strangest effect on me of all. It made me imagine that I had a third eye, in the middle of my forehead. The eye was like a telescope so that when I opened it I could see for miles off into the distance. How odd is that? I didn’t pick the emerald up at all. I felt a pull towards the garnet and to a lesser extent the smoky grey gem and the Amethyst, but I felt repelled by the emerald. When I made myself touch it, it felt uncomfortable, like it wanted to jump away. When I had it in my hand I had a dizzy feeling like I was falling from a great height into a pit with no bottom. The sensation always made me feel queasy, but that may have been the motion of the coach. Tell Me Augustus, what does it all mean? What are those gemstones supposed to teach me?”

End of Part Nineteen. 

To be continued……

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 22/July/2018

 

 

My Fantasy Story – Part 18, Sorry it’s Late

I have been posting instalments of the Fantasy story I wrote about 17 years ago every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. Except last Sundays was posted on Monday and this is now Wednesday’s instalment. I apologise for the delay.

Well better late than never, here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Eighteen

In the sheltered little Savarian town of Hardensford, Lara and her group were encamped. The weather had turned foul. Strong winds and torrential rain had made travelling impossible. The town was situated on the main highway from the City of Savarias, now a day’s ride to the South and the District of Albana still at least a day’s ride North. The highway had once been paved with slabs of stone but had been damaged in the Civil war as part of the Red Army’s strategy of preventing the Imperial troops from being able to move quickly. The fact that the road had not yet been rebuilt demonstrated how important the District of Savarias was to the new regime. The torrential rain had turned the road into a number of stone islands between patches of mud. For two days the wind had howled, the rain had fallen and the lightning had stuck. The towns weathermen predicted that it would last for another five days. The weathermen, with their collection of sayings and superstitions were about as reliable as a cockerel in the hen-coop, but it looked like this time they were right. The town of Hardensford had become their prison. It seemed like it would have been a pleasant town in kinder weather. It had developed as the meeting place of the farms in the area to gather and sell their wares and also it was a stopping point for merchants travelling between the City of Savarias and the more lucrative markets to the North. It was also one of the places you could usually cross the River Arden, when the ford wasn’t completely flooded as was currently the case. They were trapped in Hardensford until either the river levels fell enough to use the ford or the roads dried up enough to travel upriver to the village of Coltswood, about five miles away, which had a ferry. 

Continue reading My Fantasy Story – Part 18, Sorry it’s Late

My Fantasy Story – Part 17 – The Memory of a Mother.

Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I didn’t post my Sunday afternoon/evening’s scheduled instalment of my Fantasy story…..

Well better late than never, here is the next part.

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Seventeen – The Memory of a Mother

The council, or great assembly, turned to the more mundane matters of the day-to-day running of the Red Magehood’s enormous Empire and the people under their protection. Meanwhile, a speeded courier arrived at the southern gate. Night had fallen and so the great gates to the City of Solarys had been closed and locked. The courier handed a golden disc to the Gatekeeper who examined it closely. The keeper then commanded the gates be opened and the courier rode on through the deserted streets of Solarys, the Citadel of the Sun. The courier headed northwards towards the Fortress of the Red Magehood on the great fire mountain that overlooked the city. Most of the city was built on the flat plateau lavas that had once poured from the volcano long before the area became inhabited. The Fire Mountain itself had been dormant for over a thousand years, but it remained an important feature in the life of its citizens providing hot water springs and creating an inexhaustible energy supply for the city. The courier arrived at the gates of the fortress and flashed his gold disc once more. Within moments he was ushered into the great chamber. He had orders that this letter could only be surrendered into the hands of either Sorceress Magda Rubicunda or those of the High Sorcerer himself. It was a message of the greatest importance.

Continue reading My Fantasy Story – Part 17 – The Memory of a Mother.

Wednesday evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 16

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago.

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Sixteen

A High-Mage stood up from one of the side benches and indicated he wished to speak. 

The High Sorcerer gestured to him giving him permission to address the gathering. 

“My Name is High-Mage Deverazza and I am the representative for the land of Torza in the far north-west. Many of us from the far off reaches of the Empire are not aware of what this War in the Land of Re’aldorin was all about and why they no longer have a High-Mage representative on this assembly.”

“Very well” The High sorcerer pointed at Sorceror Kaprical “Please enlighten our members of the event that took place two decades ago in the Land of Re’aldorin, but For goodness sake, Keep it brief!”

“Yes High Sorcerer. The Land of Re’aldorin was itself once an empire ruled by the Emperor Cadrusill. He ruled in name only because his ancestor, Emperor Aldorian the first wanted to unite all the individual kingdoms between the two rivers or Galveria and Armeria under his control and enlisted the Red Magehood to help him. At the time when the problem started the man in charge of running Re’aldorin was the High-Mage Beckerman. He was a fighter-Mage rather than the usual Diplomat. This was because Re’aldorin had been experiencing a few minor uprisings, nothing major but it was felt that a stronger, heavier hand was required. Beckerman’s heavy-handed methods and his failure to introduce much-needed social reforms turned the minor uprisings into a full rebellion that ultimately lead to the downfall and death of the ruling dynasty and much of the upper aristocracy. The old powers, including the Red Magehood, was overthrown and a new military regime took over, known as the Red Army. They now regard Mages as highly dangerous and in most of that land Magic is Illegal. The loss of that land, on the Southern boundary of our territory was devastating. Going back to the prophecy that I mentioned earlier. We know that a great Catastrophe will soon be upon us and resulting from this the Purple Magehood and the other Dark Orders will flourish. This catastrophic event is likely to be linked to the prophecy. This coming of a new powerful Mage. For this reason we sent out envoys to all corners of the world to try to trace this gifted Child of Prophecy. The new mage must either be held captive and controlled or guided so that they become a weapon that we can use in our favour, or else exterminated for the good of the Red Magehood.”

Tiberius Dinantius, The High sorcerer rolled his eyes in dramatic fashion and spoke.

“You have a remarkable ability for explaining in painful detail. Now do you have anything new to report on this issue?”

Carnelius Kaprical looked embarrassed. “Well, no, not as such.”

Suddenly the Sorceress Magda Rubicunda, the head of the Foreign and diplomatic service stood up. Her aura seemed to dominate the room. She was a large and imposing woman.

“Actually I have High Sorcerer.” After receiving a nod from the man in the Dragon Throne, she continued. “One of my most faithful envoys has sent me a report that he has encountered a young recruit with the most tremendous potential.”

She was interrupted by another Man in Sorcerer’s robes. Rhodan Cardax was in charge of the Mage Army. His deep and sinister voice struck fear into the hearts of his enemies and had a reputation to match. 

“Which of your envoys reported this information Magda? We, in this assembly, have a right to know.”

“It was High-Mage Gregory Angstrom, from Argor, in the land of Re’aldorin, if you must know Rhodan. Although you never provide me with the names of your trusted agents.”

“Ah, Angstrom, yes, I remember him. Wasn’t he on the ruling council of Re’aldorin when the uprising we were just talking about occurred?” Rhodan’s tone insinuated what he thought of information from that source.

Magda Rubicunda responded undaunted “Yes Rhodan, Angstrom was on the ruling council, but he was under High-Mage Beckerman who wasn’t under my jurisdiction, being a Battle-Mage, he was under yours wasn’t he? It was Angstrom’s reports at that time which kept us fully informed and his actions and efforts that kept the war from spilling out into the neighbouring countries. The fact that we still have even a slight presence in that land is more of less entirely due to Angstrom. He is now head of the Mage College in Argor, the only one left in Re’aldorin. He has reported that one of the apprentices, a boy named David, had abundant potential although as yet his talent remains latent. Angstrom has arranged that a constant watch be kept on him.”

The High Sorcerer leaned forward in his throne, his eyes suddenly like augurs.

“His name is David? Is that all you can tell me? Do you know when he was born, his surname, or where his talents lie?”

“According to Angstrom, he has no surname, he was the illegitimate son of a kitchen servant. He was roughly born at the same time as the new star so he may well be this child of prophecy. As his magic ability hasn’t manifested itself it is impossible to say where his talents will lie, but as I say, the sheer potential of his powers is immense.”

Magda Rubicunda sat back down in her chair with a queenly air. 

“Thank you Magda, that sounds very promising. Please provide Sorcerer Kaprical with as much information as possible so he can draw up an astral chart for the boy, we will keep an eye on him too.”

Then Rhodan Cardax stood once more to address the assembly.

“I too have some relevant information, Great One. Far to the East of our dominion, in the independent city-state of Cartherys, there is a young soldier, a Battle-Mage who is also roughly the same age as the prophecy and has shown great potential in his training. He has risen remarkably quickly through the ranks. His superiors report that they expect him to reach the rank of Field Marshall one day. His talents for destructive magic are quite brilliant, apparently.”

The assembly began discussing all the potential candidates for this Child of Prophecy. All information was to be given to Sorcerer Kaprical who would create his special kinds of astral charts. 

After this the great assembly of the Red Magehood turned its attention to more mundane matters of wealth and taxes. 

************************************************************************************

End of Part Sixteen.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 11/July/2018

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/abundant/comment-page-1/#comment-735

 

Sunday Evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 15

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago.

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

In the Citadel of the Sun, a thousand miles to the North of Argor, a ceremony was taking place. This was the city from which the Red Magehood commanded its vast empire. This city was the very nerve centre of the Red Magehood’s power. The Empire of the Red Magehood covered nearly a third of the whole world, from the Ice-Tundra wastes in the North to the Great Dividing Mountain range in the south. From the Emerald Ocean in the west to the empty swamps and forests in the east.

In the Citadel, every full moon, the ritual of protection had to be recast. It was a ceremony that had taken place for as long as anyone could remember and for as far back as the records in the archives went. The ceremony was always conducted by the High Sorcerer of the Red Magehood himself. The Citizens of the city gathered around the temple of fire to gaze on the power of their leader.

Continue reading Sunday Evening reading – My Fantasy Story Part 15

My Fantasy Story Part 14

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago.

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

 

Lara, Bethra, David and Augustus rode their horses hard until they had cleared the hill and could look back on the grim walls of the city of Savarias, where briefly they had been kept as guests. Really they had been prisoners, if well treated ones.

Lara couldn’t help feeling a trifle smug. She had managed to fool Colonel Merka and got rid of that terrible coach too. Travelling on horseback was so much easier on her stomach than the coach and horses had been. Lara glanced back and saw Augustus on his brown horse staring at her.

The events of yesterday had started her thinking. When it had looked like she was going to be separated from him, Mage Caraffi had looked profoundly upset, quiet nervous, in fact. When she appeared to agree to send him away he had erupted into protest and had looked totally devastated and had only recovered when she had told him of her plan, when he realised she was going to keep him with her.

Continue reading My Fantasy Story Part 14

More Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 13

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago. 

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂 

If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

 

The following day they put Lara’s plan into practice. Piotr was dressed up in Mage Caraffi’s robes and Augustus was put in Piotr Drake’s clothes. They each fitted each others clothes remarkably well.

“How fortuitous, it’s serendipity” Said Bethra, who loved using words that she thought people didn’t know the meaning of. She loved trying to appear smart and clever.

Continue reading More Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 13

More Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 12

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago. 

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂 
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Twelve

Augustus Caraffi slept badly. He could feel that events were speeding to some kind of climax. He could sense it in every fibre of his being. What concerned him was that he couldn’t tell if this climax was going to be a blessing or a catastrophe. He suspected that an unseen hand was at work trying to force events. That Wizard they had encountered, whom was he serving? Who was he trying to kill? The old Wizard being on the road at the right moment to catch them was no coincidence. Not many Wizards had the knowledge or skill to cast a death spell. He had spent some years extensively studying the practices of Wizards and Witches but even knowing their ways, he could not see how they figured into the equation.

On top of this worry he had received some troubling news from Argor. The Notorious Purple Mages had come to Argor posing as some kind of Embassy.

Continue reading More Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 12

Some Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 11

This is the next instalment of the fantasy story I wrote many years ago. 

I still haven’t got a title for it, so if you can think of a good one, let me know in the comments. 🙂 
If you would like to read it from the start, this is the first part:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/a-fantasy-tale-part-one/

Part Eleven

Lara, Bethra, Augustus, David and Piotr Drake were all standing in an austere antechamber, somewhere within the imposing military keep of Savarias. The plain grey Limestone walls and stone floors added to the feeling of stark grimness. The only decoration was a large tapestry that covered one wall and depicted a gruesome battle scene. Roughly dressed foot soldiers with red capes stormed the mounted cavalry of the old Imperial forces. A man wearing the robes of a Red High Mage was depicted being impaled on a pike. The scene was propaganda to show the victory of the Red People’s Army over the old Imperial Regime that had been allied with the Red Magehood. The events it depicted occurred over twenty years ago in the great rebellion. The tapestry did nothing to lighten the atmosphere of the room. There were no windows to let in light, the only light came from a lit torch that sputtered in a wall mounted sconce. 

Lara turned to Augustus Caraffi “Augustus, what is the law in Savarias regarding Mages?”

“As far as I was aware the law stated that a Mage could pass through Savarias but the practice of magic is strictly forbidden.”

Continue reading Some Afternoon Reading for You – My Fantasy Story Part 11