Friday, 16 November 2007

Literary Section II

Gothic Fantasy: The Memoirs of Prometheus
Act I: The Name of the Game
Part II: The World of Wyrd

Read Part I first! Right under the Dumbledore story.
Part III.
Part IV.
Part V.
Part VI.

At first, I was puzzled; I knew what “Magus” meant: it was derived from the Greek “Magos”, which means “Miracle” and by association, “Magus” is equivalent to “Miracle-Worker” and “Thaumaturgist”…or “Wizard”. Then, my first thought was that this peculiar man, whoever he was, must be a total nutjob. Well, it is hard to believe someone who tells you you’re a mini-Gandalf, especially when he is wearing ordinary doctor’s apparel. It seems he was aware of my thoughts (literally or judging by my expression – I never really found out) and he smiled condescendingly.

“You are skeptical; that is good in this world – to a degree; means you don’t have your head constantly in the clouds – but you must also be open to the wildly improbable, for it is the foundation of your very existence – and ours. Why are you unharmed? How did you even survive the disaster? The casual observer would say it was impossible – and he would be wrong, for it was merely improbable, highly, if you like but still, merely improbable. Therein lies your power, within the realm of improbability anchored to the core of your being; your soul, if you like. She should be stirring soon enough and with her, your grasp on our world.”

I suddenly raised my hand to stop the torrent of his words and shook my head as if my ears were full of water.

“Whoa! Wait, stop. What are you talking about? What improbability, what… Who’s ‘she?’”

I was confused beyond words: those surreal people – the people I came to hold so dear in my now dead heart – were talking of Magic, probabilities, a soul who was female and was inside me and would grant me power and… then I heard it for the first time: the gentle and powerful stretching of large wings, coming from somewhere deep inside me. It was not as if I would burst open, in true lovecraftian fashion, but as if I somehow grew in size while losing mass, something projecting out of me, becoming me, kissing my eyes open.

“Hello my young cub…” she purred, like a great cat. No, “cat” is probably not right. More like an ancient, female, feline megatherion, who had devoured the most sensuous woman on Earth and now used her voice. Even in my degraded state, I still remember the moment clearly – yes, memory has been my greatest blessing… and curse – as if it were yesterday: I felt perfectly, wonderfully helpless, indeed just like a cub in his lioness mother’s jaws, or a man surrendering unconditionally to an incredible woman. I was rigid – in every sense.

“Who… who are you?” I realized I wasn’t speaking but it seemed our inner voice carried over, because Cynthia and the almost-stranger were looking at me – us? – intently.

“No need to fear me my young one, indeed no need to even bask in my presence, however I enjoy it. I am your Truth. Good men and women, even evil ones, will label me Alma Magica, the “Miracle Soul”, the “Soul of Magic”, a Daemon akin to that of Socrates. Heed their words for they hold truth but I am your Truth. Yours and yours alone, I am what completes you, as you are what makes me.”

“What are you called?” for, if anything I had read while seeking the wondrous in a world of bleakness, stood true, you never asked one’s Name. It was tantamount to insulting them and if anything, this creature commanded an instinctive respect. She laughed, booming, deep, satisfied and amused.

“Good call, for one thinking with his brain. Touch me with your heart and know me, for there is nothing of me that does not belong to you, until death do us part. I am Klymene, the Black Sphinx and I am yours.” And the words seemed to flow naturally, secreted away since forever, in some unknown recess of my self.

“I am Prometheus, the Rememberer and I am yours.” Like a wedding of body and spirit, we were joined, Magus and Sphinx, the whole greater than the sum of its parts. I regained conscious control of my body and looked at Cynthia and the old man. They had bowed slightly and the old man was looking at me with silvery eyes, a satisfied smile on his face.

“I bid you and the Lady Klymene welcome to the World of Wyrd, Magus Prometheus” and he spoke in a language I did not recognize, yet mysteriously understood. My instinctive response stuck halfway from my brain to my mouth.

“He is Rama the Gentle and there is much that is unknown and unknowable about him, save his kindness and wisdom. None but he and you may understand this conversation, for he and I know each other of old.”

“I extend my gratitude to you Master Rama and put myself in your care, to be taught the ways of our world.” At that, he raised an amused eyebrow. He extended his hand and I took it and he clasped my shoulder with his other one.

“There is much potential in you my young friend, much more than meets any eye, human or otherwise and I vow to try and teach you how to bring it forth. Above and beyond any and all lessons, always remember: you are your choices and only as strong as your heart of hearts.” I started to ask but he raised a wide hand and stopped me. ”What meaning these words hold, is for you and you alone, to discover, as well as keep. Come now, there is much to be done and your family awaits.”

Thus did I cross the Threshold into the World of Wyrd. It is by no means easy to describe what this actually means or entails: the easiest explanation is that you realize man is the dominant species only by convention and retains that place due to historic events and circumstances completely unknown to him. I know that “The Truth Is Out There” got coined for that – for the most part – silly TV series but it’s true: the common person does not even suspect that there is a whole other community, indeed a whole other world of races found mostly in fiction and fairy tales (and even more usually, nightmares), living and dying just beyond the edge of his perception. A more complicated – and difficult to put into words – view, is that by crossing the Threshold, whether simply a human believer or otherwise, one gains a near-supernatural awareness of the strangeness of the Wyrd people, as opposed to unremarkable humans. However, this description is inadequate and only part of my fruitless effort to remember how it was when Klymene was still with me or indeed, when I simply lived and dreamed and hoped. What is definitely true, is that when you see us for what we are, not only do we see you, as always but an unwritten law states that we may freely interact with you – and that is especially true for the sort of dark creature I have become. Our kind, bereft of the warmth of life, is better equipped for and more prone to breaking the Law of Tales. In any event, the World of Wyrd is much like the everyday world, existing right beside it, only much more affected by all things supernatural and emotional, as well as colored by them. A favorite playground may be a small Fae Court and an abandoned building may be a pocket Nightmare Realm and anything else you can think of.

But I digress. That is how I met my Master in the mystic arts, known as Rama the Gentle. He, along with two other Wyrd, the Artificer-Magus Ozymandias Clendathum and the mysterious Bowen Dragonfriend, was the leader of a Society – or perhaps Order is more appropriate, though it did not follow such a structure – that was comprised of many Wyrd, a surprising majority not Magi and many Fae namely among them. It seems that the High Council – also known as the Well of Wyrd, after the well guarded by Mimir and whose waters supposedly gave Odin ultimate knowledge – had a very healthy respect of the Dragons of Kildare (as the Order was called) and let the three gentlemen act with much free leave. Though the World of Wyrd does not have global politics per se, except within each race – with a few notable exceptions – the Well is sort of the Wyrd UN, convening rarely and enforcing its rare decisions with absolute authority – and power. The Well has 8 Seats and each race is represented by its chosen Mimir (a term of honor, relating to the same myth). To give an example of the Mimirs’ power, the Vampire Seat was once filled by none other than Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, Count Dracula himself.

After the initial shock of my true nature, I welcomed it as the realization of my dreams and stories. Cynthia of course, was Fae, a Panther Fauve, offshoot of the shapechanging Pwca family. She admitted to having been ordered to keep an eye on me, because my "eccentricity" made me a perfect candidate to be Wyrd or a human ally, at the very least. She thanked me for "providing her with the necessary essence" for as long as we had known each other, though I never quite understood what she meant by that and Rama’s explanation of the "mechanics of Dreamsence" did not exactly enlighten me. She also admitted to "finding me interesting", but that was as far as she was willing to take it. To say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement (so young, so clean of blood), but my understanding of this Fae (if that can ever be said) made me capable of accepting it.

Life went on... I was allowed to graduate high school, while simultaneously studying the Hermetic Principles of Magic. My first assigned mentor, before I studied under Rama, was a British Dragon (meaning, member of the Order, not an actual Dragon) by the name of Annie Kensington. She was calm, methodical and tolerant most of the time, but memory of her punishments is one of the few things that make me smile even now. Thinking back, I learned my Magia (method of harnessing reality itself to perform what is commonly referred to as Magic, a.k.a. “spellcasting” but that is so cartoonish) exclusively from Annie, while Master Rama somehow, guided me into unlocking capabilities and producing effects on a whole different level, beyond the actual formulas. I am not even sure he was a Magus and those hints I have of something far above and beyond, I will keep to myself, in case this journal ever falls into the wrong hands.

On the pretext of attending an Irish College for Physics and Mechanical Engineering, it was arranged that I went to live with the rest of the Dragons of Kildare, at their concealed Sanctum Sanctorum and home, in the southwestern island (more of a titanic rock sticking out of the Irish Sea actually) of Skellig Michael (it’s not as if someone simply learning of the location can actually do much about it). There, I spent some of the happiest years of my mortal (Magus) life. I met many kinds of people, of many different races, both human and Wyrd and made some good friends. Describing them and my years there, as well as the missions we went on at the behest of the Masters, will make me deviate from the purpose of this manuscript. Only the last mission I went on matters now: the one that put me on this dark, lonely road…

[To be continued…]


Not making any sense?

Go to Part I. Right under the Dumbledore story.

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