Chapter 4: Of Blood and Gods
Shall my mind never sway from the path of light, for darkness takes all even sight. Shall my life always be lived by the truth of right, for evil takes all it might.
Before retiring to bed, i asked her what she meant when she said i was a descendant of the god. The story that followed shocked and astonished me, she started slow, steadily as she spoke it. And i listened with wide eyes trying to understand.
“Our origin is not a pleasant one, but it is a proud one. The gods of worlds have many names, but for the sake of this story we will use the ones I’m sure you are familiar with. The world you know, the world we refer to as nowhere is a place ruled by the Gods of” she paused in thought, “what do they call it there? Oh yes Olympus, Olympus too has many names but we’ll call it that for now. Earth, or Nowhere as we call it, is a thread woven into the fabric of existence just like everything else, long ago the gods took notice of the beings there, they would come to nowhere, falling in love with the souls within the realm. In return their blood mixed with that of humans and others, creating descendant such as us. Though at first our kind were thought to just be stronger, faster and smarter than our human brethren. Taking on those particular traits handed down to us by the god who’s blood we shared. Many generations passed as this went on, there were many of our kind but nobody knew who or which shared gods blood, though it could be presumed. Then one day, the first of the descendant to use sorcery appeared. A power that prior was only usable by gods and titans. This descendant was called Merlin, a name well known by stories throughout all realms.
Merlin was a friend of the high Elves, children of the Titan Gaea, the world tree. It was found one day, that he too could use sorcery just as the Elves and other children of the titans could. Merlin trained vigorously for years honing his abilities and became a great sorcerer, the first of his kind. Though many stories are told of Merlin, some true some only fairy tales this may be the greatest. Merlin began traveling the world, finding the descendants of gods and teaching them the ways of sorcery. Sorcery was what made gods stand apart from us, it’s what made them powerful. All sorcery manifests from something called merely the source, it is the light of all existence. And so the gods watched on, our kind soon became powerful, the gods took notice. Now another thing about gods is they never show themselves, their true power comes from the blind belief in them. If they show themselves to be true they become weaker, the more who stop believing in them, worshipping them and turn to truly knowing of their existence, the weaker they can become. They could potentially fall from immortality, from grace. This is the way of the source that feeds us all life, knowledge and power.
One day the god king, lets call him zeus showed himself to Merlin, he approached him in true form out of desperation. A form that would kill any human upon sight, this alone irked the King of Gods. He knew the power of gods blood flowed within Merlin, then Zeus spoke. “Child of the gods, hear me. You shall stop your travels and no longer teach your kind how to manipulate the source, the light of all things. If you do you will be sentenced to eternal damnation within the blackness of tartarus. A fate of which i cannot begin to describe its agonies” Zeus commanded, but Merlin kindly disagreed. Upon the disagreement Zeus attempted to strike him down with a burst of the heavenly bolt. But Merlin was prepared for this, he had heard the chatters echoing through the heavens of his deeds. Thus Merlin escaped successfully, it is believed Nike the goddess of speed, strength and victory had disagreed with Zeus, and thus made a deal with the sorcerer Merlin, sweeping him away before any harm could come to him. He then fell into hiding from the sight of the gods by his own means. It’s told that he may have even had help from the few gods who did not agree with Zeus. It was believed the sea god Poseidon and Artemis goddess of the hunt also opposed the God King, today the academies of our world still honor those three gods with sports dedicated to them. From then on the God King Decreed that no god shall mate with earthly creatures or children of titans, he decreed that titan themselves may no longer bare children. And then time passed, upon their own will the children of gods and titans grew stronger. The first academy was created, the academy of the high Elves called Silphwin. A place to teach all the path to the source. Of course after many years Zeus soon decreed this academy an abomination and ordered its destruction, a feat easier said than done. As the Titan mother knew this outcome would prevail, thus is why Silphwin was built within the life tree, the body of Gaea. The tree that’s canopy touched the sky and roots weaved through the entirety of the earth itself, it would be impossible to destroy the academy without first destroying the earth, which the gods themselves coveted so deeply, as the belief and worship in them that came from the earth, gave them power and immortality.
Thus this started the war of all worlds, of all bloodlines and all creatures within. A war that only ended just over 2,000 years ago. Many Gods, Titans, Humans and Descendants of all alike perished within the war. No side truly won, but eventually our kind found a way out. One great sorcerer, the rider of the white horned steed paved our way. Of the fabric weaving all worlds as one, he found a way of removing just one thread, the horn upon his steeds head was the needle which separated this thread from the rest, and thus us from the reach of the gods. And so we made a decree, that the fingers and eyes of gods could not enter here, only upon invite may they step foot within That place is the place you now are. This is Orean our home safe from the tyranny and power of the immortals, of our creators.” Emilys voice sounded heavenly as she told the story, i looked upon her with wide smoldering eyes. I could hardly believe what i was hearing, i was a product of this, a product of gods and man, another city girl with some serious baggage though it did seem. But one thing sat on my mind “Will i be able to go home?” i asked, Emily dropped her head, then began to speak again. “When i found you the sky was cracked open with extreme prejudice, i’m not sure why. But your existence caused anger in the heaven, in Zeus. Obviously i wouldn’t hold it against my sister to have something to do with this, wild that one was though i loved her. But it was important to get you out of there as fast as i could, i’m afraid you can’t go back until we know for sure, deliberation should be almost over. You’re safe here though, the gods cannot play their games in this place.” she said with sadness. I nodded, understanding. “But what do you mean by deliberation?” I asked feeling confused, a half hearted smile broke across Emilys face, “no major decisions of the worlds the gods reign over can be made until deliberation is over, deliberation lasts at least a full 24 hours. So that the gods of night and day may all gaze upon the problem at hand” she answered ominously, a very subtle chill traveled down my spine.
Eventually i headed off to my bedroom. I should have felt uncomfortable being in such a strange place, i did feel slightly trapped but then again i wasn’t really. I spent the time laying there thinking about my mother, imagining all the things her and I would have done together. Then thinking about the gods, how the sky angered only moments after my charm burst beneath the water, i guess i had noticed but now i was sure i had something to do with it, this felt strange. What would my fate have been if left to the hands of the gods, if Emily hadn’t found me? I woke up the next morning to the smell of bacon and tea, as it crept joyfully into my room. I opened my eyes to the soft waterfall of morning light through the blinds above my bed. It shone elegantly onto a dream catcher dangling above. As I stood up and began to walk I heard Emily say “Good morning, Ellie!” from the kitchen, I sprung out of my new bedroom and headed out into the kitchen, Emily had a full breakfast set out like a buffet ready to eat, scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and my favorite, banana nut muffins. I had devoured all my food rather quickly, now I had a stomachache, Emily had made me an herbal tea and before long though my stomach had felt fine.
“What now?” I asked after I’d eaten, Aunt Emily briefly dodged my question with a smile, then walked into the other room still in my view. “Well” she said, digging up a large book under a random pile of odd things that sat within one of her many cabinets, “the first thing you’re going to do, is make yourself a proper wand. As all sorcerer should!” She paused, “then you’ll be off to where most people who don’t known anything about anything go… The academy, You’re about 18 years behind you know!” she added. “Academy?” I asked with indifference, “You don’t mean school do you? I’m too old for school!” I added. Having done my time in that terrible place, I’d never go back.
“Yes, school i suppose! Though here we call in academy! School is such an uninteresting word” she said sharply, giving me a look that alone could kill. “Academy here isn’t like what you’re used to. In truth it is the whole reason this place exists, the whole reason for the gods war. They didn’t want our kind to have knowledge, so its a pretty important part of life here. But there won’t be any silly grading systems and archaic teaching methods. Here academy is a place of collective learning, from child age, well into your senior years. Any and all may come anytime to learn, practice or teach sorcery of all kinds, this is the way of things here.” She said loudly, I contemplated for a moment “sorcery…” I asked, “of all kinds?” I paused.
“Yes” she said, there are many kinds of different sorceries and abilities, each sorcerer usually has their own unique tie to something even. Your mother for example drew her magic from the forest, others the ocean and so on. It can be extremely dangerous, or even deadly to you and those around you if you don’t know what you’re doing. Which we learned last night didn’t we?” She said, then pausing “that’s exactly why you’re going to there to learn. I took the liberty of enrolling you in our local Academy, headed by none other than the academies greatest overseer of all time, and old friend of mine Sorceress Selene Seraf” she replied.
“Will i learn how to fly? Like on a broom or something.” I asked, My aunt burst out laughing. “Fly on a broom?” she asked with laughter, catching her breath. “Sounds extremely painful for the bun region, don’t ya think! I wonder how that strange idea got started” she added momentarily deep in thought, she then snickered. “I wonder? Oh but yes you’ll learn how to fly, we fly upon “floats”, anything made from the wood of floating oak, and not brooms silly! Can you imagine?” She said playfully. Emily explained that a floating oak was a powerful tree, a large floating tree who’s roots tethered it to the ground like ropes. If severed the tree would float away until it died. The wood of this tree would fly, but only if a sorcerer or sorceress willed their energy into it. “By the gods, you could build a boat out of it if you wanted, Citrine has a few, ” she added.
I then remembered i learned the night before that Citrine was the city we had lived in, it was just on the other side of the small forest my aunts house had been located in. My aunt made a large gesture reaching her hands into the air and clapping twice. Now come over here, we’ve got to figure out what your particular affinity is. Though I’m sure you’ll pull your magic from the forest, just like your mother, I can just tell by those green eyes of yours. Plus as most girls have their mothers affinities passed down to them. Just as most boys have their affinities passed down from their father. But to be sure we must do a test.” She said, “What kind of test?” I asked, “A test for your elemental affinity of course,” she replied, “well obviously, I meant how do we do it?” I asked, “ah now you’re asking the right questions hun,” she responded. Emily explained that over the years, the children of the children of gods mixed bloodlines. But as time passed depending on many things, the traits of one god or goddess would dominate over the rest that.
She then reached into her pocket, pulling out multiple stones of every different color. “We will take each of these stones and place them in your hand one by one, I’m sure we won’t have to do them all.” She paused, “the one that glows will show us what your affinity is drawn to. Though you can do sorcery of all kinds your most powerful will stem from this, so hold out your hands hun, one above the other palms facing each other,” she added. Emily then sifted through the stones in her hand “ok we’ll start with water, just to show you how it works. We’ll see if the blood of the sea god dominates within you” She said, taking the blue stone from the pile she held, placing it in my hand. “Hmm, no glow, do you feel anything?” she asked, “no not at all” I answered.
Emily then put the stone back and pulled a white stone, “white, representing the God King himself” she said with a smile, setting the stone in my hand. There was no glow, so once again she removed it and picked up another stone, this stone was pink, “the goddess of lust” she said in a spooky tone “i’m certain my niece wouldn’t have an affinity for lust, you don’t seem like that kind of girl to me” she added, i wondered if she meant i didn’t seem pretty. Then she placed it in my hand. Once again the stone didn’t glow, she picked it up, putting it back with the others and pulled the purple one, “The god of wine and feast. Are you a party animal Ellie?” she asked, i nodded to say no. Then she placed the stone in my hand, but again no glow.
“And let us not waste our time any longer,” she sang, as she pulled the green stone from the bunch placing it within my hand. Immediately it began to glow a bright green, seeming as if energy passed from one of my palms to the other, and lit the stone up. “As I thought, the energy of the great forest runs through your veins just like your mother. This is unique, though you’re sure to have the blood of gods within you as we do. Your power stems from Gaea, the titan of earth, the one we are all children off also” She said proudly, “what about you, what is your affinity?” I asked, she paused for a moment. “Well oddly I acquired my fathers abilities and connection to water.” She said with a smile, pausing again to think, “your mother and I had so much fun as children because of this, we drove our parents crazy. You see Lena having her sorcery flow from the strength of the forest, could grow and strengthen with the use of my sorcery originating from the ocean. Though hers used along with mine would weaken the ability of mine, my abilities watered hers so to say.” she added.
I soon learned that certain styles of sorcery had strengths and weaknesses against other styles of sorcery, sort of how certain astrology signs clashed or meshed better with others. This enticed me, as I felt proud and excited to pull my energy from the woods, i did love the woods, or whatever you call central park. “So why does it matter what my affinity is though anyway?” I asked, Emily glanced at me happy to answer all my burning questions, “well because we’re off to find you a wand hun, and if your affinity was for the ocean say, we’d be off to the sentinel sea to make you a wand of coral, shell or pearl. But say you pulled your energy from death or necromancy. Then we’d be off to get you a wand of corpse bone!” She answered ominously.
Emily then pulled out the stick i’d seen her holding a few times before, she handed it to me. I now knew this was her wand. And it wasn’t a stick at all. It was a beautiful piece of coral, the handle made of a long thin shell, which shone in a running pearlescent color. I ran my fingers up and down it a few times as I studied it, then handed it back. “Wow! Thats so pretty” i said, she smiled. “But no worries, now get ready we’re off to Ashwind forest, to find you the perfect piece of wood to craft your wand from” she said, gesturing for me to go get dressed.
As I’d gotten ready aunt Emily told me that Ashwind was an ancient growth forest, “the oldest of growth” as she put it. And within this dense large forest was a plethora of the most ancient and mystical of all trees. One of which she said would call to me to take its branch, and with that branch I would then come home and make my own wand, as this was tradition among sorcerers fortifying the bond between a sorcerer and their powers. Apparently one couldn’t even be in academy without a proper wand, and it had to be created by the sorcerer’s own hand. Though our kind didn’t need a wand to use the source, it helped focus the energy. Kind of how a bullet moving at the same speed as basketball does more damage, merely because the energy is focused.
As I walked off to get dressed Emily told me to put something warm on, so I did and met her back in the parlor. We walked outside on to the porch, it still lay covered in dazzling hanging vines, upon its normal swing was Wis, my aunt Emily’s pigeon that i learned was her familiar. Familiars were worldly creatures bound to the soul of a sorcerer or sorceress from birth. My Aunts was this funny little pigeon, though oddly Wis had deep blue eyes, very unusual for a pigeon, I’d thought. Familiars were our link to the spirit realm, something very important to have a link with I’m told. On the wall next to the front door sat 2 very ornately carved staffs, they were inches thick and as tall as me I might add. My aunt grabbed one that seemed older and worn, then handed me another that seemed brand new, mine looked smooth and shiny, carved with fine vines and filigree wrapping around its entirety, a nice smooth flat spot towards the middle, this part was wider that the rest. “I had the yard pixies make this last night to look just like the one your mother loved.” Emily said, “what is it?” I asked, “oh my, im so sorry. This is your float! You’re going to use it to fly!” Emily answered.
“Follow my lead!” Aunt Emily said, when quickly and without warning my aunt sat upon it then flew upwards, hanging both her legs off to the left side. “Just like that” She said, then continued “This is what we’ll fly on. Now come on!” she said with excitement, as she hovered above. I awkwardly tried to sit on it like a witch riding a broom but nothing happened, and my aunt stared at me oddly “what am I supposed to do?” I asked, she was laughing now. “Well first off you don’t want to sit on it like that or you’ll start to chaff,” she said with a chuckle, then continuing “You’ll want to just relax yourself and sit back on it with your legs to one side, and you’ll take off.”
Feeling slightly nervous, I did what she said with innate trust, I held the staff, or float in my right hand, mimicking her. I then let go to sit on it with my legs dangling to the left, just as she did, then as I expected to lift upward. To my surprise I tumbled, butt first onto the ground. I looked up at Emily confused, “Ohhh, sorry hun, I forgot the last part… Try it again and this time as you let go think…” she paused for a moment “I wanna go UP!” she sang, I collected myself and brushed myself off. “Thanks for the info… not” I yelled, giving her a displeased glance. “Once your in the air, when you want to go somewhere, or turn or spin or dive! Just think of it and your float will move to your will!” She said. A subtle scowl fell over my face, and i raised my eyebrow to her.
So I stood up then I repeated what I did prior. This time as I let go of the float with my right hand, as my aunt told me to do, I thought about how i wanted to go “up”, and with pure excitement lighting up my face I went up! My legs were now dangling in the air beneath me. I was ecstatic and mesmerized by this. I’d felt like a child might, who’d been pulling up to Disney land for the first time. Flying like this may have been every persons dream, as it felt every bit as astonishing as your imagination could allow. This had been my first experience with sorcery ever, at least that i’d done on purpose. The smile on my Aunt Emily’s face as she looked back on me nearly matched mine. “See this part is easy hun! Now it’ll take you in any direction you want to go.” I followed behind swiftly, flying seemed pretty effortless, wherever I thought I needed to go, or whatever swerve or twist I felt I needed to make just happened, as intuitively as riding a bike, but without the scrapes and bruises that came with learning, though i guess if i fell for some reason, i’d just be dead. I hadn’t felt unstable either, the float seemed glued to me like a magnet. Even if I had flipped right over it felt as if my so called float would stay with me supporting me.
Of everything I’d ever done or seen, among standing below or atop towering skyscrapers that seemed to touch the heavens. And walking among the millions of New Yorkers during rush hour, I knew this had been by far the greatest moment I had ever experienced. As the air passed gently across my face and I looked down upon the treetops I felt content with how my old life had been abruptly torn away from me. I was happy, and i felt oddly more whole.