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  • #474
    EricEric
    Keymaster

      Aldous Mc Gaughran (nicknamed Ogrean by his employees), was taking deep puffs on his voluminous cigar.
      A bit podgy in his white tight suit, the face dripping in sweat, he was eying with barely dissimulated lust the young dancer on the scene of the saloon while sipping his cognac and playing poker with his oily fingers.

      The blond bewitching dancer was drawing attention from miles around, and was known by her stage name: Twilight. :yahoo_billy:
      She wasn’t really a blonde, but she had been convinced by her two brothers :yahoo_hiro: :yahoo_april: to use a wig not so much to make her more desirable as she was already, but more to be able to keep a certain amount of anonymity.
      Seeing Ogrean’s glances, she was more than glad to have listened to her brothers.

      :yahoo_flag: Ogrean was calling the shots here in that small town, and somehow it would be difficult to refuse anything he would ask… He was supervising, as far as she knew, many traffics. Officially, he was a cattle breeder, but there was obviously more.
      On his last business trip on the coast of British Honduras, officially for dealings of mahogany imports, he’d come back with a self-satisfied look that meant that he had got more than a pile of precious wood… :yahoo_skull:

      The saloon door opened in a creaking sound. A tall lean figure came barging in. :yahoo_star:
      Answering the barmaid’s question, he got himself a glass of the local alcohol. A bitter cactus beer that no one living here would have thought of ordering. Obviously a wandering stranger.
      His scrawny horse seemed to have run tiring long miles.

      #471
      EricEric
      Keymaster

        Oörlaith was picking star-thistles buds that were growing on the ruins in the Marshes. She had always felt attracted by the putrid Marshes, for many reasons.
        There was something in her own demeanour that made creatures and people comfortable around her, and she had always felt in herself that natural balancing and accepting qualities that makes a good Healer.
        But it was a complex matter, and her choices of explorations had always stirred much incomprehension in the various people she had met over her life. And she had met lots.

        Of course, the first ones where her own parents. They were opulent burgomasters of one of the major towns of Cromash Tur, and from the date of her birth, Oörlaith was destined to marry one of the Warlords of these regions. Something that was sound and portent of good fortune, as her parents kept saying. Warlords were always in need of fundings for their expeditions, and in exchange would be providing a modicum of security for the commerce and other activities. It was thus all good for everybody. Good exchange of practices.

        But very early in life she had known her path was not that one.
        Nothing as plain and simple… and boring! one must admit. Her parents would have not, though.

        As far as she remembered, she first had a living proof of her potentials when she healed a small bird back to life. A miracle, for the poor thing had been maimed by an rabid chipmog pillaging birds nests for eggs, and throwing the little hatched bird off the branches. Chipmogs were no more evil than the bird she knew that, and their show-offy nature was even a blessing in disguise, as she had been quickly alerted of the incident.
        She was four year-old.

        Only later did she became aware of how she could best learn to develop her magical potentials. Her parents wouldn’t have let her know about such things as how to become a Grand Sorceress, for they did not really know much about it, and also for it was considered unfitting to her rank. “Simpletons”, she couldn’t help but think.
        But the day she became aware of the legendary Island of Mörk, she instantly set her goal to be counted among the best of their Learned Ones, whatever the price for her.

        And notwithstanding her relatively young age, she got by her own to the Island, and was trained there too… But then again, it was not as easy, as she rebelled against some of the Laws of Magic passed down by the Teachers, Laws that were thick and dry as a century old grimorium full of abstruse formulæ.
        Hopefully, she ended up with misfits as much she was, her dear sisters Roselÿn and Malvina.

        When it was time for them to part on their own adventures, she again surprised many (but not her dear sisters) by stating that she would settle near the Marshes. The legends surrounding this place, as well as the huge potential for practicing healing in one of the most difficult environments were immense incentives for her.
        The Teachers had warned her of the immense energy that filtered in these lands, as it was a coordinate point where things had already gone awry in the past. She had almost laughed at them. Of course she was aware, that was all about that. Definitely not for the faint of hearts.

        Her companion Andarión, who was in his/her preferred shape a majestic water dragon, as wise as it was a crackpot at times, had been aware of her intentions as soon as they had first met. They had chosen each other quite purposefully, though she was not entirely aware of her role in these discoveries. But undoubtedly he was an asset.

        And as she was picking her mauve star-thistles, humming like a raving madwoman, her sharp eye was on the look for the legendary golden one which would mean the dawn of a new Era…

        #414
        EricEric
        Keymaster

          Mmmm, Captain,… isn’t that legend a bit long-winded? Tomkin had asked to Captain Bone.

          It had been six nights now that the Captain had told bits of that legend to Tomkin, and even if it was entertaining, Tomkin was more and more impatient to get back to meatier stuff, like galleons full of ancient magical treasures, corsairs from the Warring Kingdoms coasts, strange unknown races from far-off lands… that would be more mouth-watering than this endless legend…

          Captain Bone had laughed.

          — Aaaaah, Tomkin… of course you know I like to tell long stories, and make them longer each time I recall them, but you see, there is also a point in all of that adventure. Mævel’s story is also the story of all of us in a way. Of course, I could tell you how it ends, but in a way it never really ends. More important is for you to see it unfold and that you appreciate the unfolding. The ending is not important in a way. Each and every time this story is recalled, it is different, because it adapts to what is happening right now. Do you see?
          — So what is the point of telling me that story? It was supposed to tell me something about this strange knotted object, but I don’t see any link.
          — Ahahahaha, the point is precisely that Tomkin. I am telling you my story, but this object makes you hear your own story through my words.

          Now, Tomkin Sharple was squatting on the sand near the bonfire lit by Badul’s crew, and he was recalling the words from the Captain. At that time, when he didn’t know a thing about that strange magical object, he had not understood a thing of what the Captain had said.
          But now, it started to make sense, some sense at least. Each time the Captain had told him bits of the legend, Tomkin had been fidgeting the strange object, making the Captain smile. Perhaps the object’s magic was not only acting as a translation device…
          There was something more about it. He was no longer sure that the Captain’s story had been what he was recalling. Perhaps it was completely different, and he had translated it…
          Still, the object had apparently helped him understand what Badul and his men wanted, so it was translating truthfully. But what was a faithful translation?

          Then, a flash came into Tomkin’s mind. The Captain had given the object to him. He’d said it was about connections. Being connected.
          Till then, Tomkin had been the only one to touch it. He had not even revealed the source of his gift to Badul.
          But in the Captain’s case, both of them had been touching it. In sharing that link, they had extended trust to each other, and somehow, they had been mirrors for each other. Perhaps that was what Captain Bone meant when he said that Tomkin was hearing his own story through the Captain’s words.

          Tomkin laid down on the warm sand, looking at the clear starry night.

          ***

          — The legend of Mævel — (Part VI)

          Inside the warm burrow, Mævel found a bed of dry leaves and tender moss. She could see some light from the moon, coming through holes in the ground, which were bringing in some fresh air too. Cuddling comfortably into the makeshift bed, she started to sleep peacefully, waiting for her friend the blue fox to come back.

          ***

          Half-asleep on the beach, Tomkin was wondering… What had happened the next morning… This was fuzzy in this memory, as if the events were moving and reorganising themselves. All that he remember was that Mævel had met the blue fox, but there were myriads of possible events, and all of them were possible, dancing now in front of him.
          He could chose any of them… But, would that make the story the same?
          Then he recalled that it was his own story… So why make it difficult then…

          The voice of Captain Bone was resounding in his ear “You find value in hardships, and value is important to you and our kind. In these lands full of magic, we could just do anything, but somehow you’ll find that rare are the people who constantly use magic. Because when magic is used to make things happen instantaneously, it shifts everything around it to accommodate the changes asked by the summoner of the magic. And it can be overwhelming when too big are the differences between the too states, as we are accustomed to live within a continuity. That’s why I tell you to enjoy the ride of that legend.
          Think of it… You could be Emperor of all Lands if you knew how to use magic for such a feat. But would you do that instantaneously? Slim chances. You wouldn’t know how to behave as an Emperor, and on top of that, you probably would find the new aspect of you who is an Emperor to be overwhelming to your present aspect of little Tomkin.”

          Okay, Tomkin said… No need to skip directly to the last part… she meets the blue fox in his den, and Mævel learns about the curse of the fox.

          ***

          — Oh, really? Mævel was saying
          — Yes, I was a bit of a fool… the blue fox was telling her. But, the silver lining is that there is a way to counteract the curse. But I will need your help again, if you want.
          — I want to help you.
          — Fine. You know about Shaint Lejüs Festival?
          — Mmm, yes, my parents told me about that. It’s the Day of the Forgotten, isn’t it?
          — and of the Accursed Ones.
          — Oh…
          — That special day of the year, the Gates of Lejüs’ Realm are opened and Forgotten and Accursed Ones are given a chance to be Remembered or Graced.
          — Every year? Why then aren’t all of them Remembered?
          — Mostly because the Living Ones dread this day. They are the only ones to be able to free the Demanders, and they quickly felt haunted by the Demanders. So they did rituals to keep the Demanders away from them, as certainly your human parents did.
          — Yes, I remember now…
          — There is another reason actually. Forgotten Ones can only be Remembered when they recover their true name, and only a strong bond like love or some potent magic can force it out of Lejüs’ graps.
          — And Accursed Ones?
          — For them to be Graced, they need to do one pure act of altruism.
          — A simple act?
          — Don’t be fooled, it’s not as simple as it seems. See, I tried to rescue a woman who was drowning herself into the river, but that hunter thought I was attacking her… The fact was that she was willing to be Forgotten, and that my act was not purely altruistic.
          — How so? You probably saved her life?
          — Yes, but that was not what she wanted, and when she cried that I let go of her, I only wanted her out of the waters, because of me…
          — I understand. And how can I help?
          — One altruistic act for me would be to help a Forgotten One to be Remembered. That’s what they ask for, but it’s difficult for them to get past the barriers of the Living Ones.
          Shaint Lejüs Festival is tomorrow…
          — Yes, have as much rest as you need, Mæ. We will see tomorrow what will occur…

          #410
          EricEric
          Keymaster

            On Mount Elok’ram, the old abbot Hrih Chokyam Lin’potshee was gardening.

            Despite his old age, and his being at the head of the Monastery, Hrih Chokyam was always doing his hour of gardening with great application and talent, as was asked to everyone, from the youngest to the oldest monks studying here.
            The Monastery was a place of healing and teaching, dedicated to Margilonia, the Elder Goddess thought to have created the Earths. As a matter of fact, gardening was the simplest —yet most effective— way to fully appreciate the grandness and the interconnectedness of the whole of creation.

            Hrih Chokyam remembered when he was a little child in the vast fertile plateaus in the Eastern part of Dam Adbor, bordering the high mountains. He had always loved the mountains, better than the plains, or the towns where the wars and plots were fomented endlessly. So he was wandering many times in the mountains, to collect herbs and also just for the fun and exhilaration of climbing higher and higher, and seeing the world as a small thing that could be placed into his hands.
            His parents had wanted him to become a farmer, but some wealthy neighbours had thought he was showing signs of being able to do much better, and even proposed to have him pursue a career in the administration of Dam Adbor’s capital.
            Young Hrih had considered the proposition for some time, and one day, went deep into the mountains to make his decision.
            There he’d got this powerful connection with an enveloping warm manifestation of Margilonia, who prompted him to go higher than anyone had ever been on the top of the mountains, were a natural point of great potential magical energy was. Here, she had conveyed to him, he would have a monastery built, a perfectly clear channel for this yet untaped magical energy.

            Ninety nine years ago that was.
            Hrih had been higher than any human had ever been, in the search of this point, knowing he would feel it resonate with him. The mountains, he had learned were not as empty as humans had thought, and there were many other kinds of sentient beings living here, far from the wars below.
            Interestingly, assisted by these magical sentient creatures and Margilonia’s energies, building the structure had been easy. He had never thought harnessing magic would be that easy, perhaps just because the traveling magicians coming at times in the village to do some healing or just funfair exhibitions were making that very difficult, and requiring lots of training.

            The truth was, magic was everywhere, only people had become blind to it, or just lazy to use it. But old Hrih, even if his eyes were not as sharp as they used to be, could see it clear as day. Magic was in everything. Especially in one’s own very existence.
            That was the first of the things people coming to learn in the monastery had to understand. Deceptively simple, yet the most difficult lesson for many of them. He had to admit, he had struggled quite a bit with it too, during the endless wandering into the vast mountains. But there had always been a root to eat, or some fresh mushrooms or eggs apparently left here just for him… He laughed now, thinking of it.

            Hrih’s life had been so fulfilling. He knew he was weak now, and would not see the springing season, and he was thinking he had to choose someone to take care of the monastery. Few people went to stay here, for as they had learned and applied what was to learn, their own passion was coming back to them, and they would not need to stay any longer.

            But a few days ago, a young one had come, announced to old Hrih by a singing rosy finch.
            As usual, all was provided when things were ready for it.
            Hrih had no doubt that the hesitant young man would be the next one to hold the title of Lin’potshee, or “Precious Elder”.

            #1846
            AvatarJib
            Participant

              The legend of The Weaving Princess

              Once upon a time, in the Warring Kingdom of Landgurdy, lived the Yellow Princess Atiara. She was living with her father, the Yellow King of Landgurdy in the Subtle Palace of Aram Ardun, the capital.

              The day of Her 20 th birthday was a very special day. As for any normal citizen of the Warring Kindgom, it was the day She fully became an adult. And furthermore, it was the day of Her wedding with the man to whom she was betrothed the day of her 12 th birthday, Prince Shomar At Gurna from the War Clan Gurna Drom.

              The Yellow King had organized a sumptuous banquet in the Palace, and although the people of Landgurdy was not invited in the Palace, many banquets had been set all around the country. Only the War Clanners of Landgurdy were to be admitted in Her presence in this most special day.

              At the very moment of the blessing by the Priest of Tatasi, the slaughter had already been perpetrated. The treacherous War Clanner Namad Gurdin had made an agreement with the Warring Kingdom of Cromash Tur. One of them had been replaced by the Assassin Varad Romash Karad Din, Master of this infamous Guild. Cromash Tur had sworn that very day would be the end of the Landgurdy. And it was. Many had tried to unfold the mystery of the sudden death of all the War Clanners and the Nobles present at that moment. The fact is that they were all found dead by the servants who were intrigued by the silence following the blessing… No wound, no trace of poison. The death of all these people remains a mystery.

              Though, two were missing. The Assassin, and the Yellow Princess.

              Cromash Tur’s army invaded the Landgurdy shortly after that… No resistance encountered, no more War Clanners to assure the safety of the land.

              Though Cromash Tur’s Warlord always denied having captured the Yellow Princess, she was supposed held captive in an unknown shadowy place of the Marshes of Doom.

              The Death Guards were keeping an eye on her, and every cloth, every dish, every book that was given to her was meticulously checked. Nothing was to bear the slightest trace of yellow. According to the legend, her family was famous with their use of this magic color, one of their most powerful talent was the control of the weather pattern, and the King of Cromash Tur feared strongly she would use her power to destroy his Kingdom if She could see a yellow dot.

              The Marshes of Doom were so grey and shadowy, she could never see any trace of yellow there.

              (to be continued)

              #388
              AvatarJib
              Participant

                — Peeeeerrrry! Peerrrry!

                Yann was recalling Quintin’s mother… she was calling the cat playing in the garden, obviously more fascinated with the mice he was chasing than with the non-living food Scooter had just put on his plate…

                Scooter… he smiled at the affectionnate nickname he had given her. She was always going somewhere, doing something, never staying calm and quiet.

                The phone rang…

                #385
                AvatarJib
                Participant

                  Yann was more quiet now… all these stuffs about his work was calming down and Quintin was coming soon living with him.
                  They were feeling something unfamiliar going on, but it wasn’t fully inserted yet in the physical.

                  Many things had changed.

                  Surfing on the internet, he saw a picture of a nine-tailed blue fox… he wondered what it was all about…

                  #374
                  TracyTracy
                  Participant

                    Tina was still living in the past. My golly, Tina, it’s 2033, not 2003!!! The times had shifted! Becky almost shouted.

                    #342
                    EricEric
                    Keymaster

                      Al was concerned about Tina. He wondered why at times it was like their moods were at the antipodes of each other. Like one was in summer when the other one was in winter. Of course, seasons had gone awfully awry in the past (well, in people’s perception at least), and cherry trees were at times blooming in the late autumn, so that was hardly a good metaphore. Enfin bref…
                      Sometimes he wished they could move to a part of the Earth were the differences were leveled or not so dramatic, but of course, that would be focusing unduly on what seems awry, and not appreciating the differences for what they brought in understanding for each other.

                      Like most people now, Tina and him were living in a free relationship, not bonded by written contracts, just by a mutual wish to be experiencing a common exploration. But lately, especially with the play writing, deep issues had surfaced between them, and he was no longer sure of what they were exploring, as it was like shifting sands. Of course, now, most people were shifted themselves, thanks to the new generations of children who were exceptionally gifted in accessing their own essence. But for them, in their mid-30s, there were still issues linked to their old patterns of thoughts, many deeply ingrained ways of thinking, coming from many generations before them.
                      That T.R.A.P. attraction thing was a good example of the differences. It was mostly an attraction park for his generation, not really for children, as they were greatly able of doing these kinds of inner-travels without the aid of technology —not that they didn’t enjoy it either.

                      Al was thinking of a gift for Tina. He wanted to show her that she had really transformed Jadra, or that they had come a long way since the wandering in the cave tunnels, or that everything started to make sense, even the invisible friend Blohmul…
                      Well, there were still mysteries around him, (not mysteries really, but things yet at the state of seeds, or potentials) but he was no longer a hair on the soup they cooked. He was the blue fox of Mævel, and more interestingly, that cursed god was the son of Mirÿnda, the Goddess of Mirth —but that, Tina had not realized yet…

                      Actually, now that he was looking at the entry, Al noticed that Jadra was last seen with Mirÿnda, and that struck him as something more than a coincidence…

                      #324
                      AvatarJib
                      Participant

                        Yann was wandering about in a pet shop, looking for nothing in particular.

                        Quintin had said something about inserting the shift now… well, that sucked… Yann was in a very bad mood, feeling like everyone was against him, nothing was going as he wanted to, and most of all he had lost inspiration. No desire to draw, or to write anything. His life was not fitting. Or so it seemed.

                        Looking closer to the bird cages, and the birds inside, he was amazed at their similarities and their differences. Their shapes and sizes, their colors was the obvious parts. Their shouting also, it was quite messy, and stridulent. But what he noticed most was their behavior, some were just living their own life, proud of themselves and quite fearful when Yann was getting closer to the cage, and others were just flocking together like they couldn’t live apart. Some were singing, some crying, some just quiet and moving nervously or randomly…

                        He went to the parrots room, it was written babies on the cages… they were like full sized parrots to him, very big birds!!! very colorful and impressive. But looking closer, they were not so healthy, their feathers were sort of dull, and even bad shaped and like the parrot had been attacked savagely :yahoo_thinking:. Not very impressive eventually.

                        A few days ago things had become quite erratic at his work… he had felt a strong desire to change, change everything. First he couldn’t understand that desire and he resisted strongly, but soon he created some uncomfortable manifestations. Breathing difficulties, headaches, itching, and even boredom. He just felt the desire to tell bugger off to everyone.

                        The birds were getting boring actually, he left the shop.

                        Walking in the street among the crowd was kinda soothing his uneasiness… though at times he was like feeling what they were strongly projecting. There was that Muslim woman with her chador, and as she went right past him he had that twinge of anger against her, coming from nowhere, and as soon as he noticed that, he just moved his attention to his energy and it was over, no more anger or polarization. Was it his own feelings or was it from that young woman?

                        Whatever, he just enter another shop, home shop, with little thingies and furniture… all these statues, the ones looking like 1920’s ladies were the most appealing… and there were these fairies also, wasn’t it Fiona who had told him about a dream where she was the fairy princess?
                        :yahoo_daydreaming:

                        :yahoo_alien:
                        Oh! that pic… the man had a blue skin… with dolphins on his face creating shadows… the pic was a blend of sort, very funny, and the man was cute :yahoo_whistling: as was the shop assistant…

                        Time to leave… he went off the shop and continued walking. Bright sun, fresh air, all was clearing. His mood also. He thought again about what he and Quintin had been planning. It seemed something crazy, but it also seemed related to what was happening in his life. Since Vienna, their relation had become closer and closer, and for the most part it was very endearing, very fun and also very intense. All these energies, all this creativity, it had to be part of a bigger picture.

                        :yahoo_oh_go_on:

                        Thinking about that, his friend Dory had told him about a bigger picture once, and he was teasing her about that… but now it was making sense. His abilities to remember his dreams had increased in a way, though most of the time he did not remember his dream in the morning. He’d noticed he could if he was just relaxing a bit and let his attention go back to that dream self of his… At times he had also some weird experiences about parallel realities and shift of perception, like the room is translucent and he can move through it in another dimension, very freaky that one :yahoo_not_listening:

                        #317
                        EricEric
                        Keymaster

                          Ibn al’ Gruk was weary.
                          That lone grake he had seen flying over the desert settlement this morning had baffled him.
                          Usually, such creatures where not migrating at this season, and this one was lone too, which was all the more baffling.

                          The old gripshawk had seen many things in his life, but this was surely a presage of importance. In the myths of his people, the big colourful birds were once thriving in the desert oasis, where they were thought to have appeared in the Old Times. But having been extensively hunted down as food for the gripshawk tribes, they had moved away, and the balance had been broken.
                          It had prompted lots of the tribes to move apart, in search of food and exchanges, and few of them were now still living in the deserts as they did in the old ways. Many of them, for many generations now, had been creating cities on the coast, and the most flourishing one was Chafik’ An, where a traveling portal had been erected by the humans from Lan’Ork to facilitate exchanges and trades.

                          All of that, despite his old age (that his long mop of white angora hair under his chin could account for), Ibn al’ Gruk had only heard all of this through the lineage of his ancestors, but he had seen some of the conflicts that had been created, and he understood that change again was in the air.

                          He felt like he could weave a new tale to entertain the settlement tonight, and perhaps give them inkling as to the new changes to come.
                          For he felt changes were coming, and that they had been in motion already.

                          ***

                          The night was clear, and lots of people had gathered around the big bonfire. They all loved these regular meetings where everyone would meet and share food, drinks and over all, gaiety.

                          He started to drum low deep sounds and cleared his throat.
                          A fit of cough got him by surprise, but it was just a hairball that he spat in the fire, which set ablaze immediately, providing some dramatic effect that hushed everyone down.

                          “In a mysterious land far far away,” started Ibn al’ Gruk, with a growling voice…

                          ***

                          Egypt, 2657 B.C.

                          Lekshen had dreamt of Set that night. The god had appeared to him in one of his familiar forms, that of a long snouted animal .
                          Lekhsen was wondering why the god had requested such a task for him to do, but he was certainly in the perfect position to accomplish such a task.
                          Like Set, Lekhsen came from Upper Egypt, the arid land, and he had managed to get a high-ranking responsibility in fertile Lower Egypt as a scribe thanks to the unification efforts of Pharaoh.

                          But Pharaoh’s daughter had just died… right after her 10 year old brother, and Pharaoh’s himself felt He would not live much longer.
                          Which would mean that the closest male in the family would be likely to get on the throne of Egypt. And that would be bad news for people like him, as the brothers and brothers-in-law of Pharaoh did not appreciate much His policy.

                          In the dream, the strange creature had asked him to hide something with the mummy of Pharaoh’s daughter. It had told him people would forget about how Set was fighting for Ra, the Sun, each night that the bark was traveling on the dangerous underworld waters. They would forget, and would demonise him and his people, and he, Lekhsen would have to write the story, and bury it with the Princess. His status would allow him to do it unscathed.

                          “Would people ever remember they once were One?” had asked Lekshen to the god.
                          “Only you can tell” had the creature answered.

                          #305
                          EricEric
                          Keymaster

                            Quintin couldn’t sleep.
                            Now he was thinking, he had delayed it for too long.
                            They all had been thinking of it, talking and glossing over it for so long. Some had dreamed of it, feared it, asked for it to bugger off. Lots of pains and struggles, but it had only been clever or not so clever ways to delay the unavoidable.

                            Now, he had an urge to insert it. How come he had not thought of it before. All he had to do was insert it in his reality.
                            Well, that would sure mean lots of changes, but after all, no pain no gain.
                            Or no abundance.

                            ABUNDANCE abun·dance [ ə-ˈbən-dəns ] “The ability to do what you need to do, when you need to do it”

                            That’s how Pasha, a Russian friend of Dory had defined abundance — speaking of Dory, now Quintin was seeing how she was ahead of the herd, and a bit of a coal (slow) mine canary too. Quintin would have changed all the world’s dictionaries to have that new definition everywhere. What a task…

                            Actually, that’s it! Quintin had feared the implications, as lots of people did.
                            It would mean everything would be allowed. Everything would be true, even the most blatant contradictions would be harmoniously living side by side. Struggle would be needless, and all that would be needed to do would be to stop paddling upstream.
                            What a mess it could be for salmons and control freaks as himself.

                            Perhaps worse, it would change everything, even “past” events where everything would also be allowed, now.
                            In-of-body travels (rather than the too classical “out-of-body”), meeting other selves appearing out of nowhere, talking with dead people, or sugarplum fairies, traveling instantaneously to meet Tchaikovsky and have him change his dying swan for a stuffed talking Mother Goose, flying, shape-shifting, manifesting objects out of thin air, the possibilities would be extraordinary… All in that physical reality where everyone was struggling to prove none of this was possible.
                            But if everything would be allowed, then be it! And he would go and live in 23, Dragon Alley, Phœnix Ville, Sunnyvalley with Yann (and the others of course, if they wanted to) and do whatever they wanted to do.

                            OK. That’s a deal then. Release the camouflages, open the watergates and leave the damn dams to beavers and loosers.

                            Let’s insert the Shift, now.

                            And let the fun continue, and worry wither away.

                            ***

                            Well, and what’s that Shift all about?

                            Quintin’s friends Michaela and Elias had said about it :

                            “You are also bored in the experiences that you have created to this point. You have experienced. You have created in the manner that you have designed previously. Now you choose to be creating in an expanded experience, allowing more of your awareness, more of an opening to consciousness, more of your own creativity and your own abilities, and you are discovering that your abilities are within physical focus limitless. You have merely limited yourselves as an element of your beliefs, but as you are also moving into acceptance of your beliefs, you are widening your awareness and you are allowing yourselves to view how many more abilities you hold and how very creative you are, and not creating your limitations with such severity. Those elements in your reality that have been thought to be impossible are not impossible!” 1

                            EricEric
                            Keymaster

                            This is a thread for referencing terms, creatures and other funny words that may be useful to find easily…
                            Don’t hesitate to post your suggestions below, that I will integrate later.

                            Races

                            • Dragons
                            • Gripshawks [ ˈgrip-ˌshȯk ]: feline-like race.
                            • Humans
                            • Uglings

                            Creatures

                            • capricorn [ ˈka-pri-ˌkȯrn ]: goat-like fish-tailed aquatic creature
                            • fincheon [ ˈfin-chən ]: grey ugly birds, with the particularity of being extremely discreet (almost invisible) with a great sense of orientation, and loyalty to their owner. They are mostly used as message deliverers
                            • glukenitch [ ˈglu̇-ˌken-nitch ] (Gripshawk dialect: [ ˈglu̇k-ˌnitch ]) : Slimy wet creatures fearing light, sharing one mind, found in Malvina’s cave. Useful recyclers of garbage, their droppings emit a glowing bluish halo, until they dry up completely and coalesce into a glassy substance.
                            • golfindel [ ˈgōl-ˌfin-dəl ] : golden coloured cetacean, found in Golfindely.
                            • grake [ ˈgrāk ]: big birds of Golfindely, with colours like mandarin ducks and shaped as geese.
                            • indogo [ ˈin-dō-ˌgō ]: blue type of flamingo living in the Eastern Lagunas of Lan’ork.
                            • langoat [ ˈlan-ˌgōt ]: daft three-eyed goat-like creature living in the Dragon Head Peninsula, the wool of which has many magical uses (enchanted cloaks, tapestries etc.). Their milk is known to have remarkable healing powers too.
                            • marmoth [ ˈmär-məth ]: big toothed hibernating woolliphants
                            • saurhse [ ˈsȯr-əs ] : bidepal saurian used as a mount in Asgurdy.
                            • schpurniatz [ ˈshpər-ˌniats ] : bat-like creatures, found in dark caves.
                            • sparfly [ ˈspär-ˌflī ] : birds usually seen in couples, loving to nest in silgreen trees, and their songs is one of the Treasure of the Worlds.
                            • weaszchilla [ ˈwēz-ˌchi-lə ]: little mouse-like ferret

                            Magical Artefacts

                            • buntifluën [ ˈbənti-ˌflün ] (or [ ˈbau̇nti-ˌflün ]): A magical artefact having in most of its variations the form of a knot-like object, which allows the wearer or bearer to communicate directly with the energy of sentient beings.
                            • glubolín [ ˈglü-bȯ-ˌlin ]: A device made from unhatched dragon eggs of the same brood, that allows people to communicate through it.
                            • sabulmantium [ ˈsā-bəl-ˌman(t)-shəm ] (or [ ˈsā-bu̇l-ˌman(t)-shəm ]): A device made from rare unhatched dragon egg with crystalline transparent shells, which is filled with sands. May be used as a divination device or as a compass, in any case as an intent focusing device.

                            Plants

                            • buckberry [ ˈbək-ˌbe-rē ]: fruit of wild buckberries shrubs, in the form of big electric blue-vermilion reddish berries, known to have thwarted all attempts to be grown in gardens.
                            • grogonut [ ˈgrō-ˌgə-nət ] tree: a tree indigenous of the warm coasts of Golfindely, known to provide grogonuts, which have a wide range of uses (food, drinks, cups etc.) depending on the maturation level of the nut.
                            • silgreen [ ˈsil-ˈgrēn ] tree: a big decorative shrub, blooming sparkling flowers of emerald and silver once every moon. Leafs can have medicinal use too.

                            More here later…

                            #280
                            EricEric
                            Keymaster

                              When Rudy the myna had come back crashing on the boat, it all became suddenly a huge uncontrollable chaos.
                              The hovering menacing clouds that were looming in front of them were coming closer at a dreadful speed, and even more concerning were the rocks that were appearing everywhere now, that they had more and more trouble to avoid in betwixt the turmoils and eddies.

                              So they had finally come to the Great Rift, Bådul was thinking. The back of the legendary water dragon that noone was known to have crossed.

                              But Bådul knew better.
                              He howled orders to get everybody ready at their posts, and felt reassured when he saw that Austor was maneuvering with dexterity and confidence through the rift.
                              He ignored the crazy laugh of Razkÿ, the madman who was now shouting with a manic laughter “We all gonna diiie! AHAHAHAH! DIE! DIE!” Then winking at Bådul and laughing again.

                              :fleuron: :fleuron:

                              A few months earlier, Northern Åsgurdy

                              A huge cloaked figure was riding in the middle of the deserts. The saurhse, a bit small for its rider, was getting tired, but the man wanted to move before the night came. Åsgurdy had a climate which made travels uneasy on land, and only on these bipedal saurians they named saurhses, could Åsgurdians easily travel on the burning hot sands by day. Then, they could gain the high plateaus of rock and ice, where the temperature was kept cold by the high chilly winds. But at night, the deserts would be chilly too, and the cold-blooded creature he was mounting would require a shelter.

                              He knew that such a shelter wouldn’t be far away now.
                              That region was mostly uncharted as it was fairly remote from all known cities, but that strange man he had met had said he was a traveler who knew were he could find something priceless.
                              At that time, Badul had felt he had nothing to lose, and said to himself “when in doubt, go for the experience”.
                              He had felt he could trust that man known to him only by a strange name, something like Gheorg.
                              There had been nothing boastful about him, and he had been kind to him. He had been the only person in the World he had known to have given him back his dignity as a human being, and even more, to have given him a reason to live.
                              He owed him a lot, and perhaps even more as he was now drawing closer to the cave… that same cave which was a mere cross on the torn map he had been drawing hastily before vanishing almost preternaturally, living him a bit of money and that map…

                              ~~~

                              Roselÿn had felt the urge to move somewhere else. This land didn’t resonate with her energy, and that of Rëgkvist, and of the few eggs the dragon had managed to lay, none had actually been able to hatch.
                              It had affected her so much that she had even retreated from her sisters’ usual talks through the glubolíns.
                              She needed to move on.

                              ~~~

                              When he entered the cave, Badul was disappointed. He could feel there had been someone living here quite recently, but it was like the cave was now abandoned. He hoped he could have found more answers, but now it was again like burning sand slipping through his fingers.

                              In a fit of rage, he took a boulder as big as him and threw it across the cave with a roar.
                              Something was brought down by his huge force further down into the cave and he heard it quite distinctly.

                              He tied up the saurhse at the entrance of the cave, and entered it with determination, ducking through the tunnel too narrow for his big baby-faced frame. Then he found something glowing. At first, he thought it was some gold, but what kind of fool had been living here before and had been in such a haste to move as to forget gold?

                              It was not gold. It was something like a broken shell. The broken bits were like a jigsaw puzzle and he wished he could make it one, as he was attracted by the strange radiance of the thing.

                              :fleuron: :fleuron:

                              Austor did not believe his eyes…
                              They had crossed the Rift, all three of the ships.
                              And it was nothing like the dark void they had nearly expected behind.

                              It was an open sea, glistening in the sun, and all hope had come back through them all.

                              #245
                              TracyTracy
                              Participant

                                Captain Bone was packing his trunk. The boat was leaving at noon from the quayside of the fishing village, and the captain was nearly ready to say goodbye to the Sharples family. He’s been happy staying with the Sharples and their unruly brood, but he was a man of the sea, and the salty breezes and rollings waves and promise of new adventures was beckoning.

                                The sea mist rolled over the cluster of cottages as it often did in the early mornings, mingling with the aroma of coffee and freshly toasted crumpets. Captain Bone remembered other morning mists from other shores, warm ones laced with cinnamon and cloves, and chilly ones pungent with fishy smells and squalking gulls…… bright sunny mornings with long golden shadows and the endless half light of arctic northern ones.

                                The captain closed his trunk without checking to see if he’d remembered everything. Whatever he needed on his journey, he knew he would find. Whatever he left behind, he knew the Sharples would keep safe until his return.

                                ***

                                Manolo the vet helped the captain onto the boat.

                                ¡Hasta la vista, hombre! ¡Buen viaje! Long Tom Bone winked and smiled. As soon as he’d set foot on the boat, he sighed a huge sigh of relief, and all the aches and worries of living on dry land drifted away.

                                The Sharples family passed the tissues round. It was going to seem strange for awhile without the captain.

                                #224
                                EricEric
                                Keymaster

                                  Grandad! Grandad!, called India Louise to Lord Wrick, running in the old manor, her footstep making creaking and loud noises down the windy staircase.

                                  Hilarion Wrick was seated in his favourite armchair, dozing after the hefty meal prepared by Nanny Gibbon, the cat Manfred on his lap.

                                  Raising an eyelid, his cheerful wrinkled face smiled at the little girl.

                                  — And how can I be of assistance, dear little one?

                                  — Grandad, this book is full of wonders, but at times it’s like some characters have their own life, and I don’t always understand what they do… In fact, she added thoughtfully, I don’t understand them most of the time…
                                  — Hahaha, laughed the old Lord, but they have certainly their own lives, as they are living in your imagination. What can I explain to you?
                                  — Well, let me think.

                                  India Louise took a moment, and asked again

                                  — For instance, this woman who just run in the cave, she seems to meet many people here, but I am confused. Is she dreaming, or are they real?
                                  — Well, as a matter of fact, let me express to you that they are all real, even if you think that she dreams them. However, I am understanding of what you are saying, and I shall acknowledge your perspicacity. These characters are not all from the same areas of consciousness.

                                  Here, we will explain for the reader that these books were not unknown to Lord Wrick who had spent lots of time during his youth playing with them. How they were lost and found again is the subject of another story, and we will not divert the reader’s patient attention for much longer on this issue.

                                  — Areas of consciousness?

                                  — Yes, you see, let me explain. That individual that you call Dory, she is in a physical world. But she is aware, to an extent, of other realities that overlap her own reality. Just as her story overlaps your own reality my dear one.

                                  — And Illi? Who is she?
                                  — This one is also Dory, but another personality of her, in another time. She has just passed away, quite recently. She is beginning to slowly become aware of that, and she connects with other of her personalities, and at times blends with them, like the other Illi, the cat-like creature, who is still in the physical reality of Malvina’s world.
                                  — Mmmm, this is quite intricate…
                                  — Hahahaha, yes, it seems so, but it will not be so puzzling when you don’t try to attach your current limited perception to this story. This story is you my dear. You are the story.
                                  — Well, and Sanso, and Georges then, are they dead or what? How come Dory can see them?
                                  — These ones are special, they have mastered the crossing of the Worlds, and can move through them. They move differently though. Sanso comes from a lineage of an ancient tribe of Zion, and had learn from them how to activate some portals, but only through the physical world of Dory, in their own time. He is not yet aware that he can also move through time as well, or even through other Worlds —worlds that he has no conception of yet.

                                  Georges is more consummate in that art. Their meeting is not coincidental. You will see that.

                                  — Thank you Grandad, it’s becoming a bit less confusing.
                                  — Just flow with the story my little one, don’t hold on too much, or you will find it too difficult, and you will stop to find fun in it.

                                  #206
                                  EricEric
                                  Keymaster

                                    India Louise had been switching her own book with Cuthbert’s that night. And as she was exploring some of the stories told in his, he was having a peek into hers.

                                    Very quickly, he became aware of a whole new continent, in that World, across the Middle Seas. In that continent far North of the one where Malvina’s was living, lived some intrepid people. They were strong with big voices, and a bit quarrelsome too. Their ways had forgotten lots about Magix and they placed most of the value into tangible items.

                                    The next page, a man was sailing across the Middle Seas with a handful of trusted men. He was a captain pirate, named Båd Al’Guz, which meant, Båd son of Guz. His crew referred to him as Bådul.

                                    Cuthbert was intrigued by this man, and had begun to discuss with him mentally, asking who he was, who were his people. The same as Cuthbert had been very innocently doing with gentle Malvina.

                                    But Bådul was tricky, and after a bit of a surprise, very soon discovered that the little boy could be a very interesting informant, though an unusual one.

                                    And in fact, his information was much more interesting than that which the shamans of King Wulfrick babbled in the most inspired manner.

                                    Till now, from the mouths of the buck-pelts clothed shamans had only came stupid gibberish that the King and his court gobbled endlessly. Something about “YaWn”, as they said: You animate Worlds neatly .

                                    How stupid was that? Their only answers were useless to him, they were only telling him that he activated and animated the Worlds neatly, and that, in short, nothing was fixed and he could do anything.

                                    Well, with that boy, that was different. He was talking about a cave with gilded dragon eggs, and THAT was of a great value to Bådul.

                                    But of course, he would not frighten the young boy and pretended that his intentions were that of an explorer, trying to discover new shores and new continents, so as to become closer to understand from where he came, and hopefully make people aware of their closeness to each others.

                                    He was such an eloquent actor that he almost shed a tear saying that sentence.

                                    As a matter of fact, for as long as he remembered, he had been wandering in many situations, and lots of them had not been very pleasant. Born from uncaring parents, as lots, if not all, of his people were, working as a janitor in a sordid tavern, then as a warden (if not executioner when requested) in an even more sordid jail… Were the Gods to be blamed for that? Well, according to the shamans, he was the only one to be blamed, because he did not accept his responsibility as a weaver of Worlds.

                                    Idiots.

                                    At least, he had found his passion. He love sailing, and taking riches for his pleasure. Whatever then, he would take his share, and not care about what was next.

                                    At least, if he could coax the boy into revealing more about that cave.

                                    #187
                                    TracyTracy
                                    Participant

                                      Sanso was very hungry. He’d been living on the fungus that grew inside the dampest parts of the cave, but the recent stretches of tunnel had been much drier, sandy even. He hadn’t found a cave entrance for days and longed to step out of the cave into air and sunlight and green things, and find something fresh and juicy to eat.

                                      Beginning to feel quite despondent, and with the hunger and thirst making his body ache terribly, he sat down, crumpled into a heap on the sandy floor. He lay back, stretching out flat and slept for what seemed like days.

                                      He woke up mumbling the name Eggleton, which reminded him of a dish he’d encountered at one of the cave entrance worlds. He’d wandered into a beautiful strange green and rainy land, and followed the delicious aroma of something that seemed so delightfully familiar, that he couldn’t quite place, something that reminded him of mornings. Coffee! He remembered now. The smell of coffee had led him to a door with big brass numbers on it: 57. He opened the door and peered round it, wondering if he’d be welcome. It had seemed as though nobody was there, but a table was laid for one, with scrambled eggs on toast (freshly cooked as if whoever had prepared it had known eggsactly when he would arrive) and a steaming pot of black coffee.

                                      Sanso stretched and realized his many aches and pains had been eased by the sleep on the soft sand on the cave floor, and the dry atmosphere, and slowly opened his eyes. Lying flat on his back, he was looking directly up at the tunnel ceiling. There was a door in the ceiling, strangely parrallel to the floor, an odd position for a door, he thought. His heart lurched and his stomach growled again with hunger as he noticed the large brass numbers on the door: 57.

                                      #186
                                      FloveFlove
                                      Participant

                                        Arona eventually woke from her sleep, still tangled in the images from her dreams. Unable to remember these images she was left feeling as though she were adrift in a boat on the ocean, not caring where the wind and waves may take her.

                                        She had no feeling that morning. It was as though a door had closed in her mind, shutting out the part that could feel. She did not know, nor care, whether she was shutting out joy or sorrow, only that some part of her wanted to be alone.

                                        She remembered the words of the older woman who had sat with her and soothed her to sleep. Or was she already asleep? Was the woman a dream?

                                        Use your magic, she had said.

                                        When she was young, in the Village, magic had come easily to Arona. When did it end?. She screwed up her eyes trying to concentrate. It hadn’t ended all at once. Did it start to end with the cloak her parents had given her?

                                        Arona shook her head briskly and thoughts, like leaves in the wind, lifted and fell back to earth again in new formations.

                                        :fleuron: :fleuron: :fleuron:

                                        The candle still burned brightly and her attention was drawn to the heavy wooden door, knowing she could not put it off any longer. In her bag of treasures was a key. It had been given to her at the beginning of her 21 st year, as was custom in the Village. It was no surprise to her that it fitted the lock perfectly.

                                        Thank you for having me room, she said as she left.

                                        No, thank YOU, replied the sleepy glukenitch.

                                        :fleuron: :fleuron: :fleuron:

                                        The door led directly into another space, larger, brighter. She could sense someone there, but not in solid form. It was a beautiful woman who Arona felt an immediate affinity with, and then a strange sadness came unbidden.

                                        Why sad?

                                        I have no clue answered Arona briskly, quickly shutting the door back on these pesky emotions.

                                        You always know, just feel it

                                        So Arona closed her eyes tightly and allowed herself to feel the answer.

                                        Because you know who you are, and it made me realise I have no idea who I am.

                                        Mmmmmmm, said the woman, maybe you would care to look at my new paintings. Actually they are some of yours.

                                        Intrigued, Arona felt this would be a suitable distraction and she looked with much interest.

                                        The first painting was of a child, in a beautiful meadow of flowers. The child appeared to be completely absorbed, concentrating on a small blue butterfly which had lighted on her finger.
                                        The picture itself moved and changed shape as though it were a portal to another living, breathing world. In the corner of the picture were some other children who seemed to be playing happily together.

                                        Arona, who had felt immediately connected with the young child frowned.

                                        Doesn’t the little girl feel left out?

                                        Go in, said the woman, Go inside the picture and feel the answer.

                                        Oh, and you might want to leave your cloak behind.

                                        So Arona did, and she became the child, but also stayed herself, observing the scene. She felt the child’s happy fascination in her connection with the butterfly. Not just the butterfly. She could feel her connected with the earth, and the gentle breezes and the beautiful flowers … The child was deeply contented, absorbed in the moment, moving happily with the flow of her interest.
                                        I remember feeling like that, thought Arona, before the magic went.
                                        She gently drew the child’s attention to the other children and felt the flow of energy between them. The child was so sure of who she was and where she wanted to be, and Arona could feel the loving acceptance of her playmates.
                                        As the child’s attention went to the others, one of the children looked up and came running over. They sat together and laughed at some funny rabbits which had appeared in the meadow.

                                        :fleuron: :fleuron: :fleuron:

                                        Arona returned to the cave.

                                        You look troubled

                                        Well, Arona felt a little perplexed. It’s all very well playing with butterflies and rabbits in a meadow, but it is not terribly practical.

                                        On the contrary, perhaps it is very practical. Would you like to see another of your paintings?

                                        Suspended gracefully between two posts was a beautiful, glistening spider web. Little drops of rain hung like jewels on a chain. An enormous spider waited patiently in the shadows. As Arona watched a small insect happened at that moment to be caught, and the spider began to creep along the delicate lines.

                                        Arona shuddered a little. I might not jump into that one .

                                        The woman laughed, Use your magic Arona. Weave your magic web and let it all come to you.

                                        Oh you are the second person to tell me to use my magic. An old lady came to me in my dreams, I think.

                                        Well I gave her the same advice, years ago.

                                        More damn riddles, Arona thought to herself, and the woman laughed.

                                        One final painting of yours I would like to show you. It is beautiful is it not?

                                        Arona stared mesmerised for a moment, and then leapt right in.

                                        She sat among an audience, captivated by the dancers on the stage ahead. Beautiful music played and it reminded Arona of the music she had heard earlier. The dancers leapt and twirled and Arona was enraptured.

                                        Dance Arona, she heard the woman’s voice

                                        I can’t dance like that, I’m not good enough.

                                        It doesn’t matter

                                        And Arona could not hold back any longer and entered the body of one of the dancers. She did not know the dance so she made up her own steps, and strangely this seemed to fit perfectly with the other dancers.

                                        :fleuron: :fleuron: :fleuron:

                                        Back in the cave the woman seemed to be listening to something Arona did not think she could hear.

                                        Things are shifting she said

                                        Oh lordy, are they said Arona, What should I do now?

                                        Feel the answer

                                        Arona felt. I am very hungry, eggceptionally so.

                                        #184
                                        EricEric
                                        Keymaster

                                          The transmugrification was about to start.

                                          Inspired by the improvised tune of Malvina, Leörmn had felt new arrangements coming for the cave.

                                          He had been checking out every living being in the cave, and wanted to make things less complicated for them, without startling them too much. For creatures, that was easy, he could communicate well with them, and they knew the changes would be temporary.

                                          But for humans, let alone gripshawks, that was more difficult as they could play deaf as pleased them.

                                          Hopefully, the gripshawk was in good hands outside the cave, and that was probably better for her, as she would probably have hurt herself more than was necessary in not listening to the exhortations to stay calm.

                                          As for the young adventuress, she was sleeping joyfully, and the little glukenitch that Leörmn had left to her side to keep watch and warn him in case she would be too distressed was silently watching over her.

                                          Írtak was aware that the process was about to begin, as he had been trained by Malvina to listen to the flimsiest changes in the cave, and how his body was responding to these subtle modifications. This one would probably become of great dragon rider, but for now he was young and needed to hone his abilities. His father had been renouncing of telling him what was best and most reasonable for him to do, and allowed him to spend much time in the cave. He was not really interested by these magical things, but he knew they were important for his son, and was encouraging, in his own manner.

                                          As for Malvina, she was unaffected in a way, because she was part of Leörmn as much as he was a part of her, and it was like they were moving hand in hand. These hiding and seeking the eggs were like a playful game between them, because their interests were different, but all in all, they were one, and trusted each other completely.

                                          The more troublesome was perhaps Sanso, the wanderer. This one seemed trapped in between Worlds. The caves at times also acted as portals between Worlds, and this one had been unknowingly crossing the Worlds, as the delimitations between imagination and reality were only in words, and did not really exist. Leörmn was hoping he would not appear in the midst of the ruckus.

                                          So, on one of the wooden decks near the apartments of Malvina, he sat, overlooking the glowing eggs, and bathing into the music.

                                          Closing his eyes, he felt every part of the cave as if it were an extension of his own body, which was in fact much bigger than this current appearance, so big in fact that it was the World itself. And every creature breathing in it was a very cherished part of his body, and he slowly breathed in and out.

                                          He envisioned a great light pouring from the volcanic insides of the cavern, which inundated the cave in a misty warmth. It was a loving light that neither glukenitches nor schpurniatz feared. And the sinuous insides of the caves expanded and straightened in huge corridors, and doors disappeared, and gorgeous paintings from the mind and craft of Malvina decorated the walls in rich colours.

                                          And near the platform, inside the hall, a huge table sprung from the floor, for the banquet that was to come.

                                          And a new egg was laid somewhere in the cave, glowing of an emerald tint.

                                          This “one” was a bit different though…

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