They had flown through the night; no one knew how far they had come. The sound of the air rushing past their ears was maddening. They had all gotten incredibly cold and they were all looking forward to landing somewhere, making a fire and drinking some hot tea. They had travelled farther than Sarzon could believe. They were at the border of the Kingdom and the Free Lands. They were at least one thousand miles from the river Gihon, and were at least five-hundred miles from the nearest village. They were in a glen that was surrounded by hardwood forests and streams of flowing water.
Bartok thanked Elric and the Ziz as did they all, and when the birds had left, they made a permanent camp in the glen, and Sarzon, Lorelai, and Lazolon went around the camp and put enchantments in place to ward off evil, keep out dangerous beasts, and to prevent the Dark Mages or the Necromancer from using their fire as a portal into their camp. Something that Sarzon had learned from the books. He put a trapping spell around the fire, and outside of the enchantments for the camp, he had moved the earth back Magically, and placed the appropriate sigils in the ground and put the earth back.
He had placed traps that would trap a Chimera, Manticore, Troll, Ogre, Goblin, Dark Mage, or Necromancer all around their camp. He had prepared the camp as best as possible with the help of Lorelai and Lazolon, and protected themselves. The others were amazed by what they had accomplished, and then when he was finished, he took his staff, and stuck the end in the ground, and speaking in Enochian, he charged the sigils and traps, and enchantments placed around the camp, and for a few moments, the runes in the ground and around the camp glowed in silver light, and when he was sure they were fully charged, he removed the staff from the ground.
The others were expecting him to collapse from using that much magic, but Tandriel had shown him how not to do that to himself when he had spoken to him about the book. He had after all been the Nephilim who released Magic into the world, and he should know how to manipulate it. The strangest part was he had shown Sarzon how, and told him to teach the others. This would be his first opportunity to start teaching them, and the glen was the perfect place, he thought that Tandriel had something to do with arranging the ride. But that was his own thought which he didn’t share.
The others were apt pupils, and in the forest around them were Iron wood trees, he told all of them that this was a good place to find the necessary wood to make a staff similar to his so that they could learn to manipulate Magic, the way he was doing. He asked if they were willing to learn something new, and all of them, even Bartok answered aye. He had also done something no one else had done, he had figure out how the dwarves could manipulate magic as well. It wasn’t that they couldn’t, they were never taught how. When magic had changed them, they had been so frightened by it that they hid themselves, and one of the Nephilim feeling sorrow for them, gifted them with the knowledge of metal, mining, and crafting.
It had fell to Sarzon now to teach them to use the Magic they were filled with from being in the heart of the earth. They knew all about symbols and sigils, and how to place them into things they made for Magic Wielders, so they already understood Enochian. The rest would, he hoped, would be simple and easy.
He instructed them first to do as the others and make an Iron Wood staff. Which all of them did. They came back into camp with their new staffs, and then he told them that in this glen, was an abundant supply of the right kind of silver deep in the ground and it was highly imbued with Magic. They dwarves got excited, they were looking for something to dig with when Sarzon told them to relax, he would teach them to mine without tools if they would follow his instructions. They looked at him like he had lost his mind until he brought up a large chunk of silver and purified it in front of them in the air. Then he split it into three ingots and gave one to each group to inspect it for purity. The Dwarves were hooked.
He instructed them to make sure they smoothed the staffs until they were exactly the same size top to bottom. It took a bit; Iron Wood was the hardest wood known. Once they had all smoothed their staffs, even the dwarves, then he told each of them that the most important part of building their staff was the carving of their own personal sigil into the bottom. All of them had learned to make their own sigils long ago. Even the dwarves, and they did as he had instructed, he told them to make sure that they carved it, without using Magic. Some of them hadn’t carved with a blade in a long time, this was the longest part of the process he told them. They had to make sure the sigil was complete and correct. Some of them had to take and shave the end of the staff off and start over, but once they finished then he sat down and asked all of them to carefully listen to what he said, especially the dwarves.
The most important thing that they must do, was to make sure that as they carved the rest of the runes into the staff, and before they placed the silver caps on the staff, was that they needed to speak, and pray in Enochian, it would ensure that no Darkness could enter into the staff. They needed it to be purified in Enochian, and the symbols of protection that must be carved into the staff he displayed in the air. He made sure that each of them without Magic, carved the symbols.
These are the symbols he had them carve
אֵל גִּבִּןך יהןה
These symbols he told them would protect them from any and all attacks, and that when they finished their staffs would work exactly as his new one did.
Then he told them that he would teach each of them to raise the silver they needed not only to make the caps, but also to guild their staffs with. The Dwarves weren’t missing a single word or instruction. He had all of them stand and outstretch their hands, palms down, and then he spoke the words in Enochian to raise the silver. They repeated the words, and to all’s surprise, even the Dwarves were able to raise the silver without a problem.
Once everyone had the right amount of silver raised, he then instructed them on how to purify the silver. Which they all did. He told them to separate the purified silver into three pieces and then they would do the next step. They were able to do it, and then the Dwarves started to understand why they could manipulate Magic now, when they never could before, they knew everything they needed to know, they just hadn’t understood how to do it.
The Hammer got excited and said I can do this and started to jump ahead when Sarzon stopped him. He said that there would be time later to work on his own and practice. But right now, all of the Dwarves should think of themselves as Apprentices, and once they finished this battle, and completed the training, all of them would be offered the opportunity to be tested in the trials and the Well of Souls. They were stunned. No Dwarf in their history had ever been a Wizard or Sorcerer, and now they would have a chance to join them. That settled all of the dwarves down and made them focus on the task at hand.
He had them first form and place the end caps on both ends. Then he had them set their staffs down and bring up a large piece of pure, clear, crystal. This was crucial it had to be the right size and would need to be shaped with Magic, no tool could touch it, Magic only. They all found deep in the earth the crystal they needed and it had to be flawless and without color.
They got their crystals and then came the hard part. Manipulating the crystal only using Magic as a means of shaping the stone. Once they had finished transforming the crystal, he had them mount it in the silver on the top of the staff, then each of them needed to encase it in silver but not cover it, they needed as much of the surface of the crystal to show. Once they had the crystals mounted, then they were to take the last ingot of silver and gild the staff and connect the top and bottom and completely cover the staff.
That was the hardest on the Dwarves, they would have hammered the silver into a fine sheet, then folded it around the staff, and would have worked to combine the top and bottom. This was the work they did, and using Magic to do it was hardest for them. They were able to finish it, and then he told them to put the same symbols around the caps top and bottom and then vertically in seven equal lines top to bottom. Once they had finished the staffs, it was late in the night. He told them all to go to sleep. They would complete it in the morning when they were fresh. Everyone grumbled a little, they wanted to see their new staffs completed, but chose to go to sleep anyway.
When they woke the next day, all of them felt refreshed, and felt better than they had in years. They didn’t know it but part of the enchantments he had placed in the ground of the whole glen and in the forest for a mile in every direction, was to restore their strength, their magic, and to heal their bodies.
They ate, and he told them the hardest part was still to come, and was why he had told them to go to sleep. Today, they were going to place the final markers on the staffs and would then set the staff in the ground, and it would draw Magic into itself, and they would see their new staffs as they should be. They followed his every direction, and once they were finished, he sent them out into the glen and told them to plant the staff in the ground and that they weren’t to release the staff for any reason, or it wouldn’t be filled, and most important of all, however much Magic they allowed the staff to absorb, would be all the Magic it could ever absorb. So he instructed them to hold onto the staff until it stopped glowing.
They all went out to the edge of the glen, and when they were all the set, everyone was the exact same distance from each other, he told them to take their staffs in both hands, raise it above their heads, and plant it in the ground in one smooth even stroke. He told them to get set and to raise their staffs, which they did, and then he said, “Now, plant your staff!!”. They did and the whole valley began to glow with the power flowing into their staffs. He continued to encourage them not to let go, hold the staff until the glow subsided. They all were hanging on, and the power that was coursing through the ground and into the staffs was immense. When it finally subsided, they had been standing there for twelve hours, everyone had held on until the end. This would be the only time that there would be this many Wizards and Sorcerers charging a staff at the same time. At least here in the Free Lands.
When they were done, they all wearily walked back to their encampment and all of them drank at least one cup of Ambrosia, some of them drank two. Then they fell asleep and when they woke it was fully dark, and they were surprised when they found out how long they had slept, it was evening of the next day. They couldn’t believe that they had slept for twenty-eight hours straight. They all found a place and relieved themselves, then they ate a hearty meal and had Ambrosia with it before they were ready to continue.
He told them that they would now all be able to not only use Magic but would no longer deplete themselves doing it. Bartok immediately looked up, he had learned for his onetime apprentice the secrets he had never deciphered from the book. He truly had become not one of the most powerful, but the most powerful Wizard and Sorcerer in the North.
He had them rise and prepare, they were about to see how the new staffs worked. The had them pair off, then he had them throw a bolt of lightning at each other from the staff. It was a storm for a while, they were doing Magic that would normally drain them of all energy and leave them passed out. They had been flashing lightning bolts for an hour when he stopped them and said “Now, on to other things.” He had all of them while holding the staff in one hand, use Magic and place their sigil in the ground, they did, and it was glowing slightly, then he told them to stand in the center of their sigil, and plant the staff. When they did, the ground in the glen began to glow and all of the enchantments and traps he had laid were clearly visible, they had never seen this kind of power before.
The Dwarves were so amazed at what they could now do, they wanted to head for Green Haven and share the new abilities and knowledge, but Sarzon stopped them, he told them that they must first learn more Magic for themselves and be ready to take the trials before returning to Benelvin and Green Haven. They still had a war to fight, and they were sorely needed here for now.
They grumbled but when they realized what he was saying, they all settled in to learn and to prepare. He told them he would give them a crash course, and it would be easier for them and not take long, because they could already read, write, and speak Enochian. He instructed everyone to understand that the Enochian they used and spoke could only be used for good, but the Fallen spoke a twisted, perverted version of Enochian and was why they had so much trouble overcoming them in the past. They didn’t have enough Magic to subvert the perverted Enochian and overtake it. But they did now. Once they had built the new staffs, and infused them with the correct Enochian by putting their sigils into the staff, and it had to be made from Iron Wood, and formed the crystal with Magic and lastly carved the staff with the correct symbols, the words for “The Almighty God HWHY, his name, Yahweh or Jehovah, then the Magic that Tandriel had released originally, would fill their staff and them and give them the power they needed to vanquish the Dark Mages and the Black Necromancer, Morcandon. They were all stunned.
Bartok asked how he figured all this out, he had the book for almost seven hundred years, and had never discovered the secret? He told him that it was Tandriel who gave him the clue to figure it out. It was all he would say at the moment, what they didn’t know was on the staff that had belonged to his father, and had been passed down for generations was the staff that belonged to Enoch himself, and was given to his son before God Translated him, and took him to heaven.
He had studied that staff for a long time, and once he had passed through the Well of Souls, upon their return to the Fortress, he had spent a time each night studying the staff, and figured out the secret in the staff. It was not made of Gopher Wood as his father had claimed, it was made from Iron Wood and had been stained to look like gopher wood. He had studied its construction, noted the socket in the top that held nothing, and in the bottom of the staff, under the cap was his household sigil, the same sigil that he had placed on his staff.
He had found the words on the staff where the names of the descendants of Seth were placed, and on the bottom of the staff itself, it had no caps on the bottom, or sigil, it just had his name, and the top had a socket but it didn’t seem to be a setting for a crystal, but rather for something else, he wasn’t sure what, and the only way to figure that out would be to go back and try and trace the steps of his ancestors from Enoch forward and hope he found something. What he had, he felt, was more important, and the Staff of Enoch he intended to place in a special vault that only his descendants would be able to open. This was his staff, his connection to the source of power that he needed.
He had instructed all of them in the ways of tapping into the Magic they would need for this fight. He trained the Dwarves with help from Bartok, Lorelai, Lazolon, and the other Wizards. What would have taken years of training for a beginner, the Dwarves had learned in a month, they were ready for the battle now, they had drilled and drilled, used unexpected attacks, made each other better Wizards, and now they were going to drop the enchantments, and go looking for the Dark Mages and Morcandon the Black Necromancer. During the month of training Sarzon had talked with Bartok and told him it wasn’t him that failed with Morcandon, it was Morcandon who had failed him, he tried to take the easy way, which was the lure of the Darkness, they would tempt you with all you desired, but the true Wizard knew that anything worth having, would always require work.
They were ready, and Sarzon dropped all the enchantments at one time, the traps, the sigils, all of the other things that he, Lorelai, and Lazolon had placed in the ground they left in place, they would still need a place of refuge during the battle, and this would be where they came. He told all of them with their new staffs, transporting themselves with the aid of Magic would no longer drain them, they could as easily as the Dark Mages and Morcandon, but he warned them to remember, not to directly engage the Dark Mages unless they were unable to overcome them with their enchanted weapons.
They prepared to leave the glen, and he told them to find a reference point to remember that wouldn’t change with time. If they tried to transport to anything that involved times passing they would become lost, and wouldn’t materialize. That scared all of them into being extra cautious. He instructed them to look at the glen, at the west end, was an outcropping of rock that would take centuries to change. They focused on the rock, and firmly placed in their minds. Then he materialized by magic, where they would go, they all brought the image up above their hand, and spoke the words to go. Everything shimmered for an instant, and they were all there. He did a head count to make sure everyone made it. Then he told everyone to bring the image of the outcropping up the same way, and once they had, they spoke the words to go, and they were right back where they had been ten minutes earlier, and they noticed that the sun had moved, they had successfully learned the last lesson.
At that point he asked Bartok to come forward and take command, he was their leader, and he knew where they needed to go. He brought up the image, near Gihon, out towards the western sea. He gave them the landmark, and then gave them the command to go.
They all went, and when they materialized they were near enough to the sea to smell the salt in the air, and hear the gulls on the beach, and the wind in their faces was refreshing, everyone had made it, and all of them were safe. It was the first time in the history of Magic, that the Wizards and Sorcerers of Light had the ability to move through space without killing themselves or draining their Magic so far that they were useless for weeks. They all had their staffs, they had all their gear with them, and they weren’t affected by the shifts, they hadn’t felt even the slightest drain. They were prepared for battle, and they were at full strength.
Once they made camp, and set up the enchantments and protections, without placing sigils in the ground, only traps, and a trap and protection under the fire, they were prepared for the night. Sarzon told them that the trap under the fire, wasn’t the usual trap, he didn’t want any of the Dark Magic to be held in the land, it was a holding trap, and would keep the Dark Mages suspended above the fire and allow them to use Magic to destroy them. He warned them about doing it if the Dark Mage wasn’t in a trap. They weren’t trying to win a Wizards Duel, they were to destroy as many of the Dark Mages, and evil creatures that came up from the south, the only one who would enter into a Wizards duel would be Bartok, and he was only interested in Morcandon the Black. The rest, they were to use enchanted weapons as much as possible, and only use Magic as a last resort.
They were ready, they had prepared, and they were baiting a trap for the forces of Darkness. It was the beginning of the battle to end Morcandon. He knew that the battle against the Fallen would continue for ages. This was against Morcandon, and all of the evil he had brought into the north. They had done all they could to prepare, now they just needed to wait. It didn’t take long, shortly after full dark had fallen, the fire flared up, and the trap sprung and the two Dark Mages were trapped, they destroyed them with a concentrated blast from their staffs, as Sarzon had taught them to, and the fire returned to normal. They had just taken the first step towards becoming a threat to Morcandon. He hadn’t known that they could wield this kind of power.
After that it was hit and run fighting for a couple of days, and then they were faced with an overwhelming horde of the vilest creatures they had ever seen. They had run ins in the past with Trolls, Ogres, Goblins, Manticores, and Chimera, but these were completely different, these were creatures that they had never imagined could even exist. They had brought the demon horde across the river. They were battling hellhounds, black dogs, Minotaur’s, Sphynx’s, Dark Mages, Djinn, Harpy’s, and more creatures than they had names for. Then out of the sky, dropped more Griffins, Ziz, and Roc’s than any of them had ever seen, and there were all kinds of help for them in the battle. It was the longest battle that they had been in. the Wizards and Sorcerers were busy fighting the Dark Mages, while the rest of the creatures that had come to aid them tore into the demon horde.
It surprised Bartok that Morcandon wasn’t here, and then he knew what Morcandon was planning, he had wanted to take out all of his allies and fellows of Magic, and make him pay for all the times he had hurt him in the past. That made Bartok realize just how badly they needed to win this battle, and he commanded the Wizards to unleash their Magic and to not hold back. It was like an explosion had rocked the plateau. The combined force of the released magic, wiped out all the demon horde and Dark Mages at once. When the smoke cleared, they were standing there fully powered with Magic, and their enemies were scattered. This was a decisive victory, they had bested the demon horde, and now he told them to use Magic, purify the ground, and then they were all to return to the glen.
Once they were done while it was still daylight, they returned to the glen, and did a headcount. No one had been injured today, and all had returned from the battle field. They would need to lay up for a few days before leaving again. He wanted to give Morcandon the impression that the Magical blast had depleted their strength, and they were somewhere recovering.
Sarzon put the enchantments back in place, and they all got some rest. They weren’t drained of Magic, they were physically tired, and in much need of food and rest, and some restorative Ambrosia. It was Sarzon who told them to wait here, and he, Lorelai, and Lazolon departed, and were gone only a few minutes, when they returned, they had brought several casks of wine, stout, and mead, several wheels of cheese, and flatbread. They had a feast. Bartok knew he had gone to the Fortress, and wanted to know if there were any signs of the Dark Mages or Morcandon, he told him no, and that all the guards were in place. He had made doubly sure before they left.
The feast went well into the night, and he told all of them it was perfectly acceptable if they all got politely drunk. He had placed an enchantment on the drink so that the casks never ran dry. Bartok raised an eyebrow, but Sarzon pretended not to notice. They all had their evening meal, with plenty of drink, and when they were done, they all slept on the ground around a fire that was comforting and peaceful. The next morning, they all had headaches and the casks now held water, something Sarzon had done before he went to sleep. He refilled the empty casks with water, he didn’t want anyone getting up and drinking again, they would need clear heads, sharp swords, and their staffs at the ready. They were going back into battle, and they would need the rest. He told them they had two days.
The Dwarves went hunting, and brought back four boars, which the cooked on a spit over the fire. They had also brought in a couple of stags and some of the large horned sheep the area was famous for. They had enough food for all of them, and while the meat was cooking, the elves had brought in potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, and onions from the field and they had roasted vegetables as well. All was a celebratory feast to enjoy. Only Ambrosia to drink though, the dwarves were disappointed, they were hoping for more stout. The men were fine, their group was evenly divided between men and women, and the same went for the elves. The Dwarves hadn’t brought women with them, they never did, their women stayed behind to tend to their homes and take care of business. It was a good way to live.
Once they had brought all of the people together to enjoy the sumptuous feast, Sarzon rose and with a strong, loud voice, he told them that they had only won a battle, the war was far from over, and that they needed to be ready for the battle that would ensue. They were going to be splitting the group up the next day, there were one hundred of them here, and they were going to set a trap for Morcandon. Bartok and ten of the others would stay here, some from each group. The rest were going in three different directions with a leader for each, he wanted an even number from each race in each group, whatever was left at the end, would stay with Bartok and help defend the camp and would also be bait for the trap.
They were murmuring among themselves, when Bartok stood and told them that they couldn’t all go from place to place as a group of one-hundred or more, they needed to make several places and be anywhere they could to keep back the forces, what they faced two days earlier was just a taste of what waited on the other side. If Morcandon his forces would come into the north and all would be lost, it wasn’t going to be easy to defeat him, but until they did, they were going to have to work in three groups unless more help came from Benelvin, but they couldn’t manipulate Magic to the degree that this group could. Also if they were heavy into battle, and needed aid, any group who wasn’t, could aid them in the battle. That seemed to calm their fears. They got some rest that night and prepared for the next day.