Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Six, Part Two
“Each of you was summoned by the light you carry within you to this sacred place my people call Sylthar Wood. We are the Sylth, a people from the dawn of time, granted this land at the forming of Myllanthar. No one has ever entered our Wood without permission and lived to tell their tale, for this place is forbidden to all outsiders, save those invited here by our people.
It is a privilege for you to be here, for this one exception of allowing you to enter our Wood has never before been granted to anyone not originally present when the Wood was first formed. We planted, nourished and nurtured our Wood since the beginning of the ages, and it reflects the people living within it. These trees are our home – a sanctuary of enchantment set apart for us alone. It is a gift of the highest order that you have been allowed to be within our Wood, and remain here as our invited guests at our pleasure.
I am Sylth Llaylaan. The Sylth are a people of equals, and have no need for leaders among us. The title Sylth means Friend, and each of us has Sylth as the beginning of our names. I have been asked to host this Council of Light as a fellow Light Bearer, yet it is not my council to preside over, but only to see that your needs are provided for – and that our Wood remains pure and undefiled.
All here, but one, are Light Bearers, and the one without light was not invited to attend this council, yet only by a special reprieve and stay of punishment granted by the very Guarantor of Light, is he granted a seat at the table. His reason and purpose for attending will be explained in due time. There is a greater calling here for each us to seize at this council, and Sylthar Wood is the only safe place for these discussions to be held, as nothing outside may listen, enter or leave.
There are many things in this Land of Myllanthar with eyes and ears that carry darkness and deviousness within them, yet you alone are the Light Bearers, chosen for the qualities and character you hold that allows the light to live within you. For you, as I, are Vessels of Light – and the saviors of Myllanthar – this dear land that we love.”
The eight travelers who journeyed independently of each other to reach Sylthar Wood sat mesmerized at the large, circular table made of light, floating in air like glass, completely open to the middle in which Sylth Llaylaan stood and addressed the gathering. Within the middle area, there was a smaller, circular table also of light, about twice the width of a man is tall, around which Sylth Llaylaan walked and addressed the gathering directly.
On this center table was a large prism, glowing with such illumination and brilliance that the entire Wood was lit as if from the sun, yet it was now evening. The prism differed from sunlight, as it was possible to look directly at it without shielding one’s eyes. The council was being conducted within a large circular opening in the Wood like a meadow, and above them a full moon and countless stars filled the night sky.
Yet in the Wood, during what should have been evening was now daylight as Sylth Llaylaan opened the council. While this setting and gathering of Light Bearers appeared isolated within this open meadow under the stars, a feeling of enchantment filled the air with an atmosphere of something wondrous taking place.
Around the center table and prism of light were arrayed twelve exquisitely crafted silver swords of various styles and sizes lying flat like the spokes of a wheel, with their tips each pointing inwardly towards the prism. The silver finish of each sword reflected a light, not so much from the prism, full moon or the stars above, but from within their blades – a magical sheen that shimmered along the length of each blade – giving them the illusion of being alive.
“As our guests, your very lives depend on abiding by our rules while in our Wood, touching or doing nothing unnecessarily unless for a reason required of your being here. Any exception to our decrees will come at a costly price – your lives. You must not leave the group or the area provided for you, nor eat or drink of anything that has not been presented to you for your refreshment. You each have separate quarters provided for you during your stay, and the things within your quarters are provided for your use and pleasure only – I caution you that nothing within our Wood may be taken when you leave,” continued Sylth Llaylaan.
“You may not tell anyone following the closing of this council what you’ve heard or observed during your stay – or that you even attended – at great penalty to yourselves no matter where you are in Myllanthar. You are not to speak of this Council of Light to anyone or anything, or even verbalize that such a council was held – this gathering is for you alone. Lest you think we are isolated and unobserved here in this place, I offer you a glimpse of what it is you cannot see,” said Sylth Llaylaan while lifting his arms at the end of his sentence in a dramatic and sweeping outstretched motion like a conductor.
At the lifting of Sylth Llaylaan’s hands, there appeared around them at the edge of the clearing, countless numbers of Sylth looking inwardly towards the council – each one a translucent and semi-transparent spirit, as was he – an essence derived from a silvery bluish light. The seated guests looked anxiously around them in a feeling of distress on the verge of panic, at the multitude of figures looking towards them, and as Sylth Llaylaan slowly lowered his arms to his side they vanished.
“Centered in the inner table is the Prism of Light, from which we derive our energy and enchantment. You must not enter within this table you’re seated at, for you may not approach the prism. Our prism holds sunlight, moonlight and starlight within it, and must not be touched by mortal hands at the penalty of destruction of both body and soul. The purpose of these twelve swords will be explained to you in detail later, but suffice for now, they were created by our people and forged with the prism’s light within them – to be presented to each of you at the conclusion of this council.
For now, it is enough to say that my opening of this Council of Light is finished, and as your host I am unavailable to answer your questions and concerns, only to ensure your lives during your attendance. My specific role here is now completed, and as a fellow Light Bearer, I will take my seat at the table with you, and then the official proceedings of light shall begin…”