Bliss and Chaos

Bliss and Chaos

A Chapter by Tanner Wright

Chapter 2 of Anglamor

Chapter 2

Mountains of deep blue silhouetted the horizon as the sun appeared behind them. A blanket of varying greens stretched as far as the eye could see as the forest closed in on the pair of travelers. The heavy clopping of the furry pony gave a steady rhythm to the walk, only broken by short waves of conversation. Slink’s feet were aching to the bone but he kept them moving at the same speed as the pony.

Sorrow was plaguing his mood, making him withdraw into his thoughts for console. ‘I should have told Kyrta. She may have been ignoring me but she was my only friend.’ Beph had insisted they leave immediately stating that it was his steed that needed rest, not himself.

‘I bet Harn is waking now to do his daily duties, he won't miss me. The Keep won't rise for a while longer, but hopefully he will think I'm in the forest already and won't go searching my bunk.’

The Hearty Gauntlet had had no room for Slink in the longhouse, so he had slept in a stall in the stables that he had made into a small room. In his seventeen years of living there, he had acquired rather little. The old woodsman had left some tools to him; an axe, a travel pack, a steel square and a bow with several arrows, but Slink didn't have much else.

In his spare time, the youth would create small figurines out of sticks in the likeness of various animals. They had littered the shelves around his cot, and that was where they were going to stay until Beph had said hopefully, “Some of those are pretty keen, you might be able to fetch a price for ‘em in Tark Town.” The three he took were his most prized statuettes: a bird in mid-flight, a wolf howling to the moon, and a man with a stick for a sword and bark for a shield.

The young man left with the elder and his heavily packed pony after grabbing his remaining flint chunks and his only spare set of clothes. The saddle packs of the sturdy steed left no room to ride as they were packed to the brim with unknown contents. Beph had dressed his pony, named Elua, with solitude, rejecting any offers for assistance.

Once he had finished, they had to steal past the stable boy, but the young ginger was a heavy sleeper so they found no trouble in leaving unnoticed. Both Slink and Beph had wanted no confrontation at the hurried departure, so with the moon to guide them, they had disappeared into the night down the path westward.

“What do you need in Tark Town?” Slink had asked early into the walk.
“I traded something very valuable to a man there and I presume to get it back.” Beph was not shy too open up to the youth, but his words only gave a portion of detail each time, as if he were purposely trying to elude certain facts or questions.

At the beginning of the march, the air was filled with conversation as Slink strived to learn more about the uniqueness of stone empowering. Beph had revealed a few major points. First, he had told Slink of how families and bloodlines correlate to stones. A common person may have only one stone that he or she can empower, but he or she may also have dozens. The most powerful houses usually arose from a family with either a greatly powerful disposition or a multitude of varying dispositions.

The next point he had broached upon was the actual accessing of a crystal or stone’s power. When creating a grid, no intent is needed to cause an effect, but with correct knowledge and concentration the effect can be directed. When it came to singular stones, Beph had told that one must know what powers the stone provides before attempting to empower it. So, finding a disposed stone alone is very difficult without a proper understanding of its abilities. The effects of a stone can change between bloodlines too, so narrowing down the total power of an individual is also very difficult.

The final point Beph had made very apparent was pertaining to the forestones. Every person has one stone that can be used more efficiently than the rest. If a power is known within a forestone, then it can be accessed. Only members of the purest bloodlines have coinciding forestones and yet there can still differences between siblings. When Slink had asked where the powers had originated, Beph revealed nothing but had said it was as ancient as man.

“When I struck the flint before, how come I could use its power without knowing it?” Slink had asked at one point, trying to catch a flaw in the elder’s teachings.

“Were you intennding to start a fire with it?” he had quipped, elongating the word ‘intending’. When Slink had approved, Beph had went on to say, “You know it creates sparks and that was what you wanted, so the stone acted on that ability through your unknowing willpower.”

When they had first departed, everywhere Slink looked would create the dull vibration from the tea; very faint but still present. Not a league down the path had they walked before the sensation dissipated completely. He had concluded that the traveler’s stones were the source, so he did not mention it. ‘What a strange feeling it is,’ Slink had thought to himself, ‘it is like I can feel the power within the stones.’

Passing through the familiar forest Slink had scoured for years, the pair had travelled all night to where the forest was thick around them, almost obscuring the sun’s warm rays. They were headed down a small hill, which revealed the mountain scene before them, when Slink broke the silence, “How far is it to Tark Town?” he asked, hiding the pain in each step.

“The quickest we should arrive is in three days, though on horseback it can be done in one,” he answered peering over Elua’s head. “We can stop at the base of the hill, no one should have followed us this far,” he concluded as he gestured to where the path leveled in front of them.

“How long have you been wandering?” Slink continued, trying to avoid the mental exhaustion of the stone conversation until he rested.

“Wandering implies I have no aim,” he began with a correcting tone, “I search for rare stones and other objects of uniquity, directed mostly by myths, legends or secretly acquired tips.”

“What held you in Darshin so long?” Slink remembered the elder speaking of the stronghold and pressed at that.

“Oh, I had heard rumors of a vaste vein of titchanite, or blue steel, in the abandoned mineshafts there, but I found no signs of it.” Beph had stated the metal in the same fashion one would iron, but Slink was aware of how rare and expensive it was.

“Have you ever seen a blue steel blade?” asked the youth with wonder.

“Many!” he said with a chuckle, “Better yet, I’ve seen the Blue Knight himself!”

Slink dropped his jaw, the whole kingdom knew of this famed champion. “Was he fully suited in blue steel? With a four foot greatsword to pair it?”

Beph tilted his head back in a laugh, “That’s what all the stories say, right? Haha, well, it is sort of that way.” He had an amused gleam in his strangely colored eyes, “His greatsword is a very old titchanite blade, being made over five hundred years ago by most recollections. His suit is not blue steel though, merely lined at the seams for strength, save for his helm. That is solid titchanite and is as old if not older than the blade.”

“Where on earth did you see him?” exclaimed Slink. The famed knight was said to be the greatest warrior in all of Anglamor, so the youth jumped at any chance to hear more tales. He had pretended to be the hero many a time whilst alone in the woods, using his axe or a branch to slay imaginary foes left and right, leaving chopped logs and ravaged brambles in his wake.
“I just so happened to be in Karshin during the Lightning Sword trials a decade or so back,” Beph started as he gazed down the path in recollection. “The matches were free to observe, so I scoped out any new potential the ferocious fighting group was acquiring. Many men had defeated their own friends and brothers to receive the honor of joining the ranks and on the final day of the trials, the blue knight presented the finalists with a ‘lightning sword’ to signify their completion.” Beph did not take his eyes off the trail ahead of them.

“I was told once that an assassination attempt was made at one of these trials for the knight’s life by a finalist. They fought for a good grip before the Blue Knight prevailed and proclaimed a new finalist.” That story was one of Slink’s favorites, having heard it from many different tongues, and he wanted to know if the presumably knowledgeable man had anything to say about it, “Were you there?!”

Beph did not change his gate or move his head in answer so the pony’s trot became the presiding sound for a minute. “No, not at that trial,” he started suddenly with a solemn look in his eyes as the morning light shown into his oddly colored irises. “Though I wish to this day I had been.” Again, he paused, but as Slink was opening his mouth to inquire, the old man finished, smiling faintly at the youth, “Would have been a damn good sight to see.”

Slink nodded but the sadness on the traveler’s face made him resort to silence as they finished their descent. Beph directed them into a wall of tightly packed birch trees, but maneuvered them through to a small opening big enough for the three of them. The day was warm enough to not have need of a fire, so Beph unpacked Elua, gave her grains and plopped down on his bedroll. Slink followed his lead, removing his travel pack and axe from his shoulder before resting his feet.

“Here, try this,” Beph said as he tossed a lumpy object to the youth. It was a loaf of bread, but rather stiff and littered with red and blue dots.

“What is it?” asked Slink as he whiffed the strange loaf, it smelt sweet like spring berries.

“Rokan root bread, great for your muscles.” Slink removed the bread from his face and gave the elder a heavy scowl, “Haha! I’m just giving you a hard one kid! It’s baked with nuts and berries before hardened for travel.” Slink was not amused as the elder chuckled at him, “you should have seen your face. You acted like a dog that was given a wooden bone.”

“Laugh it up,” Slink began with red cheeks, “but if you want me to trust you, then you can’t not tell me what I’m eating or drinking.” The stubbornness in his voice was clear.

“You WILL tell me what I’m eating or drinking,” Beph corrected, using a finger to note the error. “And of course, I tell you no lies. It is bread with red and blue berries and a couple tree nuts,” he finished as he tore off a chunk from his own loaf and chewed it vigorously.

Slink reluctantly bit the hard loaf only to find it was a lot more spongy on the inside and was as sweet as it smelled. He relayed his approval and the three of them ate in silence. When they had finished, Slink decided to ask a few questions before he tried to rest, though he doubted his mind would let him, “What properties does green Calcite have again?”

Beph cocked his head but replied, “There can be a multitude, but the most common property to empower is an energy beacon.” He stopped at that but never changed his head’s position as he queerly stared at the youth.

“Can you describe what you mean by beacon?” Slink furthered, interested why Beph gave his such looks.

“Surely,” he said and cleared his throat before speaking at a rapid rate. “Green Calcite, along with stones of a similar sedimentation, will vibrate at a frequency from within its core that perceivably creates the sensation of the energy. The static flow of natural energies on our world can then coincide with energy waves in the Astral Realm to create a field of energy from an imperceivable source. This source then sends vibrational keys to the wielder by redirecting the energy of the Calcite toward another stone of power. In some cases, an incredible individual can intercept trace energy signals from other objects that contain a natural flow of energy, but only if that is the item they are seeking to obtain.” He paused as Slink sat dumbfounded. The man had spoken so fast that the youth missed every other word and comprehended even less.

Slower, he continued, “Green Calcite is a perfect learning stone, for one of its properties is the increase in divine flow, making the student aware of what those energies feel like.” He relaxed his head from its odd position and sat back into his bedding.

“Do you think i could practice?” Slink began as the old man peered at him. “You let me grasp it before I knew my gift, what’s different now?”

“A lot is different,” Beph replied as he scowled at the youth, “have you heard nothing? You have intent! That alone changes everything. I cannot say that it would be promising for you to try this early.”

“But you’ve given me all this information and expect me to sleep on it?” The elder’s garnet eyes eased slightly as Slink continued, “I want to get a little sense out of all you’ve explained.”

His companion gave a discouraging shrug as he agreed but added, “I cannot let you use the Calcite alone, your body is not used to accessing those energies.” He got up and strode to where his saddle packs lay. “I’m going to give you a quartz crystal for stability.” He picked out the green rock and a relatively large crystal before saying, “Now which is your dominant arm?”

“Dominant arm?” Slink asked, baffled.

“Aye, the arm you use most often, say to swing your axe or throw something,” Beph replied as he sat cross-legged in front of Slink. “The dominant arm is the sending arm and the secondary arm is the receiving.”

It only took a moment for the youth to reply, “My right arm is dominant, so which stone do I hold to… send the energy?”

“First, sit upright like this. It aligns your back, good. Now, take the quartz in your receiving hand and cover it as best as you can.” When he took the crystal, he attempted to feel the power residing within but found the symmetrical stone to be cold and lifeless. He gripped it until only the ends could be seen around the edges of his hand.

“Now, when I give you the Calcite, think about the natural flow of everything,” he began, speaking in a hypnotic tone. “Like the way the mountain rains flow into creeks to form great rivers that cut to the sea. Think of the sensation it gave you last night and focus on feeling that again. Without the Rokan root, the divine flow is invisible without manipulation. Become the stone, imagine every edge and crack, and become as simple yet as complex as the stone. Your intent is to feel the divine energy that is hidden from this world. The next step would be to stabilize the flow, but I need you to feel the raw static energy first.” He gave the youth a questionable tilt of his head, “Can you do that for me?”

“I believe so,” Slink said, the doubt was present in his voice.

“You cannot guess the intent or the effect will fault. You need to be sure,” he was stern in both tone and expression. “Close your eyes and focus. When you think you are ready, open your hand.”

Slink nodded and closed his eyes. He wasn’t sure how to clear his mind of random thoughts but he did his best to focus on the energy of the stone.

Eventually, after he had imagined the natural life cycles of wildlife in the forest, he was able to recreate the image of the green rock he had once held. The memory of the sensation being his forethought as he pictured the Calcite. A moment later, he opened his hand palm up.

The cool rough stone suddenly weighed his arm slightly but gave no vibrations to the youth. He became dismayed and his concentration broke, leaving a vast number of thoughts and questions circling his mind.

“Steady on, lad,” came the hypnotic voice, “focus on your intent and the rest will follow suit.” Slink grunted in reply and relaxed as best he could whilst sitting upright. The youth began moving the rock around in his palm, feeling every surface as he tried to focus on it. “Good, become the simplicity and complexity of the stone.”

Slink dove deep into his mind, pulling every ounce of mental willpower to create the effect. The two stones were beginning to warm within his grip and his left hand was getting a little sweaty. So, he relaxed his grip on the crystal and stretched his fingers out with it still in his palm. He closed his fingers back around the quartz and felt a sudden rush.

The crystal was humming, like the undergrowl of a shepherd, before a strange sense rushed up his arm from it. The feeling then went back down his right arm to the Calcite which began vibrating like the night before. A sense washed over him of complete bliss and the sounds of Beph’s voice were washed out by a beautiful hum that surrounded him. He was instantly in love with the feeling, like a warm embrace from a long lost friend.

Then a shock that tingled his nerves shot down his spine and into his legs until it left out his toes. The feeling was frightening and suddenly a high-pitched whine began to grow in his temples. His fingers went numb and he felt his muscles suddenly lose strength. The humming was now fully replaced by the whining and the bliss changed to strong sensations fear, hate and chaos.

A whisper came to him, creeping through his thoughts, softly chanting ‘Let go’. It repeated the notion twice more before Slink realized he could faintly hear Beph’s voice calling to him, “Let go!” He dropped the two stones and all sensations vanished without a trace.

“I told you the results were not promising, but you insisted,” he was saying as Slink opened his eyes. “Was that what you were expecting?” Beph asked with a slightly worried face.

“I could, could…” the youth began as he tried to find the words.

“You could feel the raw energy of the world,” Beph finished for him, “a power greater than anything known. What was it like? Describe it for me.” He was sounding a little excited so Slink relayed all the feelings he had perceived, omitting no details.

When he had finished, Beph gave him a sincere smile and said, “Those are forms of divine energy. The blissful energy has to have the chaotic energy to balance the flow. All energies have a counter energy, so that no power has a greater pull on the divine flow. Tomorrow, we will go again.”

“Tomorrow?!” Slink exclaimed, ‘I’m not sure I can do that again this soon.’

“Well of course!” he answered happily. “The only way to control it is to practice, and since you’ve completed the first step so quickly, we must continue to tune your gift.”

“But.. but I feel tired now,” the youth stated as his eyelids grew heavy, “Why is that?”

“We have been walking all night, the rest is much needed,” replied Beph as he returned the stones to the saddle packs and laid on his bedroll.

He was beginning to close his eyes when Slink asked, “One more thing. What did the quartz do during that time? Could i be disposed to them as well?”

Beph raised an eyelid at him and replied, “Quartz has no disposition. The crystals are a source of divine energy and can be used by anyone.”

“So, what does it do?” Slink asked again.

The elder did not seem annoyed by this.
“It becomes the source of power that the divine flow takes when empowering stones. Without it, you could have drained the life right out of you,” Beph said but he did not relax, as if he were anticipating more from the youth.

“Is that why i feel so tired? My energy was drained?” Slink asked, growing hesitant toward his newly found gift.

“Aye lad,” Beph said immediately, closing his eyes once again, “you will feel fatigued but with more practice comes more power. Soon, that ritual will be as exhausting as lifting your arm.

“So the Quartz was drained instead of me, does it have unlimited energy?” Slink continued, but Beph ignored the question. “Sorry, you’re right, time for rest.” He laid back onto his bedding and gazed up at the blue sky above him. 'I'm becoming a wizard!' was the forethought in his mind as he slipped into slumber.

© 2018 Tanner Wright

Author's Note

Tanner Wright
Please, be honest with the reviews. How well did I do at back-describing their departure? Was the story believable? Did it flow from the first chapter? I wrote this before I got feedback on my first chapter so only a few details were changed.

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Added on February 8, 2018
Last Updated on February 8, 2018
Tags: Fantasy


Tanner Wright
Tanner Wright

Writing has always been on the back-burner for me, but I want that to change. When people asked me what I wanted to be as a child, I never thought of writing as a viable answer. The story I have withi.. more..