The Sword and The Stone
The Atlantia Series is historically based fantasy Series which connects to the Rosicrucian Series as a prequel. We meet all the characters in the Rosicrucian Series and what led to their promise.
It begins in the Seventh Age of Altantia when the Mountains of Lament begin to freeze again and the Sea of Glass grows a thick skin of ice.
This signifies to the Fraternity of Temple Guards yoked to the Oculus as Wachten or watchers, the return of the Brothers of the Shadows, the six kings of Taurania who were banished to hell for working with black magic in the fourth age.
In that fourth age a great fortification was built upon the shores of the Sea of Glass where the battle was fought and it was called Tente d’ agel, which some mistakenly called Tente de’ zazael or Castle of the Devil – but which really means the Castle of the angels.
This fortification sat on a promontory accessed by way of a chain bridge. Beneath it raged the Sea of Glass in which lived sea serpents and other monsters – those which had belonged to the Turanian Kings and which had fallen with the Godly Manu when he melted the ice sheets.
A cave beneath this promontory was the initiation chamber of the Akkadians. A boat would enter the cave at low tide and the Vik-ing had to remain six hours upon the boat without a light as the tide rose and the waters swelled and the creatures came. If he withstood the test he was a true Vik-Ing.
On this promontory there stood a tree the Akkadians called Yggdrasil, a Yew tree evergreen, the first tree that grew since the birth of the First Men, and while it was green, life and peace, love and labour filled the days of the Atlantean. Around this tree the Akkadians built a temple and the Sun tree itself formed a Caer or throne upon which sat the High Manu of the Sun Oracle – they called it Caer Sidi.
The night the Mongols made their rituals in Turania, the bones of the dead warriors of the fourth age washed up on the shores of the Sea of Glass and a tremor shook the Twin Horns of Satanas hurtling great stones over the cliffs on which the fortifications of Tint-angel were built and before dawn a great star with a double tail moved across the sky like a read slash that made the sky turn to blood.
The ice was coming that was what the Yoke Guards said, meaning a new war that could not be won since to win it was bring back the rains, and the floods.
Not long after that the Yew began to lose its leaves and all the Manus or leaders of Atlantia grew sickly. The Solar Manu moved to Aryania where it was left to the high Taliesen to gather a Gorsedd or council to discuss what manner of plans must be made to retrieve the Sword of Anwn lost in that sea during the last battle and which legends told was held in its icy waters by a nymph called Evienne. Only when the sword was united once more with the oculus, the Solar Stone, which had once sat in its pommel could the Great Manus leave for new lands with their followers.
But it was said that Evienne, the Goddess of Sun Wisdom sent to Earth to dwell in the womb of the Sea so as to guard the sword, awaited the one who belonged to it, and would not give up the sword except for the one blessed by Hu. Without him the Manus would perish and the evolution of the most advanced Hu-mans, the crown of all creation, would end. But how to find the soul of this Son of Hu, after thousands of years, that was the task, that was the labour.
In the meantime the whole of Atlantia was stirred by news of the march of the armies of the Brothers of the Shadows. The royal messengers went forth from Akkadia in every direction to assemble an army of princes to forestall the Shadow Kings. This should be a gathering of warriors, speaking different languages and wearing an assortment of accruement, a coloured throng! But the princes were by no means united. Inner conflicts which had began with the Fourth age and the Casting down of The Shadow Kings had grown a deep division among the four kings and they were not of the one heart regarding the old Gods of memory, worshipped by the Sons of God and the New Gods of reason, worshipped by the Sons of Man. In truth the Druida were foremost in battling against what they saw as the new heresy, which had sprung up, and they used the illness of the Manu to take power unto themselves.
To bring the princes together against a common foe was the hard task of the far seeing Themistos, son of Themis, King of Aryania, but unlike his father he was not a conqueror, he was a philosopher, so while the other princes would bring with them their far-seeing Druida and Bardda who had not given up memory and magic Themistos and his Bardda and Druida believed above all in Reswn, or Reason.
In the meantime fear drove many to leave for unnamed lands to the East, to the west and south.
Since the first three floods Akkadia and Aryania and other lands had bore the brunt of incursions made by the unruly Mongolians who, in their crude ships attacked the coastlines of other islands to take with them what they desired. Some islands began to pay tribute to Taur, the king of the Mongolians, who sought young maids to use as sex slaves. He was called Taur after the monster of Minos, who lived in the cave of the Tlavalitans and was said to be half man-half bull. He it was who joined forces with the Brothers of the Shadows and their King.
Aye, war was coming, a war of freedom against subjugation, of human dignity against brute force and a lust for domination, of reason against memory, of white magic against black.
On that rare clear night when the star fell from the sky - a star with two horns whose path cut through the tail of the sign of the Great Scorpion, causing the sky to bleed in a play of light and dark, raider Mongols went to the boy’s village to take him away from his old life and all he knew and might have known. But had they not seen the same star as an omen to cast off their ships and to find their way to the shores of that small village on the edges of the Island of Aryania, that boy would never have been found and perhaps the world might be different now.
The boy was from the lineage of Fire Fashioners who the Rmoahls called Gofand and if he was not in his bed with his siblings as the star fell, it was because he was making his way to his father’s forge.
His true name was Mab Tân or Son of Fire (Brother Marty in Fifth Gospel) but his earthly name was Martan and like all his line he knew the secret of the seven metals or rather the three plus one, plus three, which they called the Golden Triangle. Even so he was yet fifteen winters old, and he had to undergo many fire tests before he could be called a Blacksmith. This did not prevent him from dreaming of fire and steel and the anvil in his warm bed. It did not prevent him from waking in that early hour with a desire to go to the forge to do something he had not done before.
The forge was a squat mud hut built by the able hands of his father, whom they called Iron Bender, dead now three days past. The forge had lain quiet and still since that great man’s soul had left his body on a burning boat for his place among the summer stars and now the only sign of life was a wisp of smoke from a hole in the low roof. It was a sign that the fire Martan had kindled and built up the night before still smouldered. It brought a smile to his face to see it.
As he walked from the house set among misty shores of the Sea of Stones, and a moment before he entered the hut Martan looked up. What made him do it is a mystery, for he rarely did so since the mists were ever present and nothing through them could be seen and yet this night it was not so. This night the sky was clear, so clear it caused him to gasp for the grandness and depth of it and that is when he saw the star, and he too thought it an omen - that his father blessed his desire to take up the work on the great sword he had not finished before his death. So when Martan entered the forge, a temple whose altar was a great ironstone fashioned by the gods themselves upon the Black Mountains of the North. This ironstone was well oiled and dented from magicking life into dead things, and as he saw it, his heart was clear like that sky above and his mind as wide as the Stone Sea was deep.
At the threshold he took a bucket of soil he had collected yesterday from his father’s grave and made the sign of the Tau to call the spirits of earth, water, fire and air to him.
The firepot was still warm and it needed only a nudge to bring the kindling to life. This caused fear in others but it always thrilled him – visible fire – the breath of the Old Gods! For the art of fire and transformation belonged to the veiled Vulcan Oracles of Life and Death, and were only bestowed upon Blacksmiths who had undergone great tests.
He was not a Blacksmith and if the Kingsguard were to discover him working the bellows and singing a song to praise the air nymphs of the Old Gods, he would be taken to the Druida and thrown into the King’s Hold to be judged by the Twelve. But he decided not to think of it as he fed the fire nymphs with coke, building them up, coaxing them to grow until they devoured their fuel and the charcoal waste lay thick and hot. He did not think of anything but the sword.
He found the blade his father had not yet finished wrapped in animal skin.
His father had taken two days to straighten and harden the steel and to forge strength in the spine so as to create its double edged symmetry. The Aryani said a sword was like a thought piercing the mind, it always had two sides and these sides had to be harmonised by the one holding it.
Martan knew this mystery was inherent in all arts, the great law of three – the triad of the bards, the trinity of the Druida, the thoughts feelings and desires of the people.
He sighted down the bevels. His father’s work was fine, he saw no warp or screw. He wiped the blade clean and polished its surface smooth with one of those soft stones found in the sea and then he polished it until it gleamed. It was ready now for tempering.
He lay the sword down in the ash and watched the fire magic it to life, to pulse it to the edges where it gleamed white hot. He turned the sword over, to heat it evenly and when his knowing told him it must be removed from the fire he did this with tongs and plunged it into that bucket of earth - Air, Fire, Earth. He called on the Duergarthe or the earth nymphs who guarded the earthly minerals and the transformation of metals to bless this, the first quench.
The tang of steel and earth and leather and animals grew loud in his head, then, like a symphony, and he remembered the Lore of his forefathers which was told to every Fire Son as soon as he was able to understand words. His father, brown from birth dark of hair and amply built with strong neck and arms had stood by his forge and said the words to him.
‘Cain was born of Eve’s union with the six Eloah of the Sun. Cain was a Sun being. Abel was born of Eve’s union with Adam the son of the seventh Eloah of the Moon, and so Abel was a Moon being.
Cain was the lineage of the Blacksmiths, those who worked with water, earth and air, and used their own thoughts. Abel’s lineage, was that of the priests, men who remembered and prayed for what the God’s gave them. Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted by the Moon Eloah and out of anger Cain had killed his Brother Abel. When the Moon Eloah asked him where his brother was, Cain had answered, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
These words had been both the motto and the bane of all of his race until the Aryani rose to power and, prizing thinking above memory, and intelligence above prayer, had given his race a new status – Fire Sons.
‘But the Sons of God are forbidden from uniting with the Daughters of the Fire Sons, do you understand?’ his father had told him.
‘Because, terrible monsters would come into being, great Giants and misshapen creatures.’
Martan had not known what this meant. He knew only that fire created the blade of Anwn, and the God of the Blacksmiths was chained to an anvil and had his liver gnawed each day by a hawk for bringing fire to the Earth. His oracle was found in those deep clefts in Akkadia that went to the fiery centre of the Earth. There one could still meet the first Blacksmith, Tubal, it was said, who took the bones of the earth (said to be the very bones of the mother Goddess Eriu) and transformed them through the application of fire to fashion instruments of war and of song, particularly those which sighed when the wind moved over the land and which the barddas called a Crowth.
Thinking these things Martan built up the bed of coals, layed the ashes on top and went to his sword - too hot yet - and set about preparing his second quench. A bucket of spring water. He spat in it, a said a spell calling on the spirit of his forefather Tubal Cain, that the blade would endure and he was taking the bucket to the fire when he heard a voice and spilt half of it on the floor.
‘That’s Father’s blade!’
The voice was small. He turned. His younger brother, Chulain stood on the threshold of the forge with his feet unshod, his eyes heavy lidded, and a face wearing the dewy dusk of sleep. Martan tried not to sound vexed but vexed he was.
‘Why are you not sleeping with the old gods?’
‘I heard wolves Marty.'
‘I did not hear them. Go back to bed!’
‘No Marty!’ said the boy stubbornly. ‘I stay with you, I’m scared!’
Martan sighed for he loved his brother and taking off
his meagre coat placed it on the small shoulders and took Chulain to a spot where the boy could sit and watch. ‘Don’t be a goose...there’s nothing to be afraid of. Now sit, and be silent,’ he warned, ‘I’m making a blade.’
‘Are you the Abba of the clan now, Marty?’ said Chulain and it took him by surprise. There was Chulain barely eight, his two sisters Eldengar and Hrowith, both of marrying age, and his mother Gwyngild. Yes...he supposed that he was now the head of the family but he dared not say it, nor even think it, for it caused a feeling of shame to move through him like a brand. Who did he think he was to finish his father’s blade? Eventually he said, ‘If you are not quiet the nymphs will be angered and you will spoil the quench.’
The boy’s eyes grew round and horrified. ‘Where are they?’
‘Can’t you see them?’ said Martan, jesting.
‘Yes...but I try not to look Marty as the Druida tells us.’
Martan nodded, yes the Druida of the Aryani encouraged the forgetting of the Old Gods and the Far-Seeing of the primitives, for they prized the new Gods and the New-seeing, the kind that saw inside the heart, something they called Reswn...above all else. What was this reason compared to memory? It was like Fire is to Ice. He turned then, and set about laying the sword on the coals again to watch the metal turn. The colour was even and rising. Martan was pleased. He pulled the blade out and quenched it in the bucket. There was an explosive hiss. He said a second spell calling upon the great Earth Mother Ceresdwen.
‘How many times must you pray Martan?’
‘Because a man is composed of seven parts: fire, air, water, earth, vapour, blossom and the wind of purposes. And like steel, a man must be purified in the forge seven times for he lives seven lives in seven ages, in seven rounds. And also, by the time seven prayers are said the quench is done.’
‘Aren’t we told to forget our lives?
‘Not we blacksmiths.’
‘Why do you spit?’ Chulain asked.
‘Because the Blade of Anwn upon whose principles all blades are made, was quenched in spit and then in the blood of a dragon. I shall quench this, our father’s last blade in the blood of a man.’
‘But you’re not a man...are you a dragon then?’
Martan turns now with a frown. ‘Only if you talk too much, will I be a dragon!’
His brother’s eyes grew rounded for a second time and Martan returned to the blade hoping his ritual was not completely spoilt.
He removed the sword from the second quench and looked at it carefully. It gleamed. He could see the frozen waves of metal which his father had folded and beaten with his hammer over and over. This blade will be true Father. He thought, feeling a swelling of pride. But first...the last and final quench. His father must have been waiting for such a dawn as this. The mist was dense and the air sweet. The perfect time for a crowning of the great work. The sword must be laid in the dew before the sun orb rises invisibly through the mist and on the morning of the clear sky and the falling star it would be exceptional, it would ring the blessing of the seven gods with one face. Then it must finally be awakened by his blood for then it would ever be his sword.
He pumped the fire until it glowed again and laid the blade in the glowing coals.
‘How many Caers are there Marty?’ asked his brother from his sitting position behind him.
‘Seven thrones and seven Oracles,’ said he, using the bellows to bring up the heat.
‘Tell me their names.’
Martan wiped his brow for the heat and straightened his back, thinking. ‘Caer Vediwyd, Caer Rigor, Caer Golur, Caer Vnadwy, Caer Ochren and Caer Wydr and Caer Sidi.’
‘And they are seven islands?’
‘Yes, since the first Age of Ice, but some are not good to live on,’ he said, turning the blade over in the coals.
‘Which is the noblest?’
‘Caer Sidi. Where lives the Sun Oracle in Akkadia, the land of the Vik-ings.’
‘And what are the gods?’
‘They are the seven Eloah of the planets, whose seven faces are reflected in the seven races of Alantia, and are but seven sides of the one God who stands behind them, Hu.’
‘Who is he?’
‘The Sun Spirit, the brother of the God who commands Prometius, the God of all Blacksmiths.’
The blade was near ready. As he took it out he said a spell that light and darkness be woven into it, for only such a blade was balanced by the one holding it.
‘And who are the Turanian Kings?’
He did not turn then, but said, ‘Hush! We dare not speak their name Chulain, or make their sign! Besides can’t you see I’m busy?’ but as he said this he felt a prickling of his skin entire, as if it were contracting from something fetid and poisonous.
It was not a wolf or an animal which had caused it.
Before he could turn he heard a gasp and he knew.