Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Seer In The Tower

By Matt Murdoc

The Seer in the tower sat quietly, writing in his volgen with one eye on the liquid surface of his silver divination dish. The Altar was set to the ancient measure - no better standard could be achieved.
His name was Ramthar. He was an adept, a sage - and yet - he was a broken man.
Now, as he sat peering through his scrying glass, the ethers swarmed and danced through the gulf of his perception. Once again though - nothing. Only frustration and failure.
There were so many things that he had yet to do, alas - so little time.
His familiar, a small Nenderling Pig by the name of Grenchen, sat content next to the burning grate of the stone fireplace - gnawing on a sweet turnip.
The Seer was desperate for a sign. The spirits around him were tied to the past, no spark of of a new form had manifested in these three long nights  - and tomorrow the cold bloody moon would close the astral door for another long, bitter cycle.

To the left hand of the Seer, on the altar before him, sat a pewter goblet containing his last remaining draft of the elixir, which could either save or damn his task.
Three, maybe four precious gulps - that was all.
The Crone had forsaken him once again. A year had passed with no word from her.
He had owed her a life debt for these fifty long years. A debt born of deception and wickedness.
She would provide the ether - but only on the condition that he would scry the depths of the phantom void for her.
He did not know back then, when he first fell doomed into her spell, that the elixir of sight would only be his by way of the witch. She would never give up that method, never would he learn the esoteric knowledge of the crucible and cauldron.
If only he could know the secret of brewing the elixir - if only. So subtle a method - he was sure of that, but so precise an incantation was required that even the master Apothecary had failed to mimic the brew.
He so craved that secret, and dreamed to be the master of his own sorcery - then he could be free of the old hag forever. He could pass through the vail of the ether and become of himself anew.

Her name was Setestia. She had come to him all those long, cold years ago as a maid, a ruse of course, a hoodwinking visage, conjured by the foul crone to ensnare the young scholar within a cage of mystical imprisonment - to forever doom him to be incomplete and subservient to her every whim.
He would never see the fruits of his own labors, he would never feel the warmth of his own accomplishments, nor the sanctity of acceptance from any other soul.
Forever a slave - alone - and never to be absolved of this burden of darkness.

Beyond the silver forest, across the lake of tears, a winding path so rarely tread, lead to the Iron hill. A place of fear. A place protected by ancient and powerful dark spirits.
There, in a grey cottage carved from bones, the witch, Setestia, sat at her spinning wheel.
Down and up, slow but sure the dips and rises of her rhythmic foot counted the pace of the spell. The old enchanted spinning wheel, so gross and distorted from the years of it’s poisonous bidding  - did the rest.
She sang her durge of incantation, alone and shrouded in her purple shawl of omens - invisible to the world of men, chanting her song of sorcery - her prayer of deception.

“Come to me, mine darling ones, my dearest puppets, my precious sons.
Come thee here, your flesh and bones, your all, your soul, now mine alone.
Come now naked, be stripped of hope, your mind and body, come to mine home.
Be thee mine, in dream and kind, in flesh and spirit, ye are - now mine!”

She stirred her copper chalice with a burned Owl bone, three times to the left for the ages of womanhood - Maid, Mother and Crone.
Then, she spat into the infernal mixture before stirring the potion once more. Again three times, this time to the right, for the ages of the man enslaved - Squire, Father and Hermit.
Finally, she added a drop of water from the pool of Goetia - the mirror pond of the underworld, and she stirred then again, this time three times up and down in the form of a cross. “Three, - times three, - times three - Mine gods below me - So mote it be!”

As she sealed her spell, far away in the prison tower, the Seer fell, bent doubled on the ground, his silver dish filled with honey and water fell clattering to the ground and the scrying glass fell backwards upon the altar, fading into darkness as the portal of vision closed upon the Seer once again.
Grenchen jumped in shock and spat the turnip from her mouth as her master fell powerless and mewing to the hard stone floor beneath the altar. The small Pig pounced forward and ran to her dear Master's side.
“Master! My poor Master! Be strong and stay ye here by my side! I beg thee to stay in charge of thine heart! Do not leave! Do not fade! I beg thee Master! Please remain!”
“I remain my love.” Said Ramthar as he writhed weakly upon the floor in the scattered altar dressings.
“But now the ethers have gone once more - the witch contains us here forsaken again. The bloody moon has risen. Now we must rest again. I must think. Go now Grenchen - fetch the pot and bread. - We must eat and gain strength  - before the new sun rises.”

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