Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Eleven

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Eleven

~~~~~~~~~~

The Light Bearers all turned their attention to the center table, where the Prism of Light was surrounded by ten exquisitely crafted Swords of Light shimmering and glistening with Light flowing along the surface of their blades, each a different length and style.  As their focus remained fixed on the swords, Myllanthal approached the table.

“We began with twelve Swords of Light, and Amroth took two for delivery to Dijia and Jonathan,” began Myllanthal.  “Of the ten remaining swords, one is to be symbolically kept here in Sylthar Wood for Amroth, who is in no need of a sword of his own as his talons are more than lethal in defeating darkness.  That leaves nine remaining swords for the nine remaining Light Bearers here at this council.  Sylth Llaylaan’s people crafted these beautiful swords here in Sylthar Wood for our purposes, so I will let him tell their story.”

Stepping away from his podium and approaching Myllanthal in the center area, Sylth began to address the Light Bearers, “Myllanthal told us of the need to direct Light in a way to vanquish darkness, and our people here in Sylthar Wood began the enchantment required to craft these swords immediately.  For a period of time, we abstained from using the prism’s power, in order to hold as much Light in reserve as possible.”

“At the same time, we created in our foundry the highest quality of molten metal ever blended by our people.  Into this mass we then added a measure of pure silver and gold to capture the power, energy and reflection of Light.”

“We then carried the prism to the foundry for the autumn equinox and correlating harvest moon occurring the same day.  We transferred the sun’s energy from the prism into the molten metal exactly at noon, and again with the full energy of the moon’s reflection at its highest arc in the same manner.  This energy remains within the metal for all time, causing the sheen and glimmer of Light to run along these blades like lightning at all times, day or night.”

“We then turned the molten metal with the Light embedded within it over to our best sword makers, adding enchantments of purity, truth and love to the materials with which they worked – crafting these exquisitely beautiful Swords of Light.  We knew you were called to this Council of Light, so we created one sword for each of you, thus the twelve.”

“Of the remaining metal, we had our artisans create these medallions for each of you as well,” explained Sylth as he motioned his hands to the medallions that now appeared by the hilts of the swords, arranged in a circle to point inwardly towards the Prism of Light.  “These silver medallions are reflections of the gold medallion Myllanthal carries on a chain around his neck – the circular image of a sun with an oak tree carved within it.”

“This is the symbol of the City of Talgarth in the Kingdom of Talgar.  Talgarth means Sparkling Jewel and Talgar means Light, so these medallions are the very image of the reflection of Light from the sun and moon.”

At this point Myllanthal continued, while Sylth returned to his podium, “These silver medallions will protect you as they hang around your necks, for the Light they hold within them will give you life as long as they are worn.  I will donate mine to remain in Sylthar Wood along with Amroth’s, for I have the original golden image of the City of Talgarth and have no need for a guarantee of longevity.”

“In like manner these Swords of Light will never be defeated in battle, and hold within them the power of Light like lightning, when striking against darkness.  Use them sparingly, for their unleashed power is not to be wielded without cause, and only in the manner of Light against darkness.”

“Each Sword of Light was crafted, sized, shaped and balanced for your use alone, to match the Light you hold within you.  This power can only be used by the Light Bearer wielding it, and these swords are of no use to the forces of darkness – for the swords must recognize the Light within you, and there is no Light within darkness.”

“I will call each of you in turn to present you with your medallions and Swords of Light in this order: King Errayllan, of the Kingdom of Errayllor; Rulyan, of the Land of Sojar; Juyall, of the Island of Ayall; Queen Allantyss, of the Kingdom of Ellberron; Siyth, of the Slejuv People; King Kulthar, of the Kingdom of Kardune; Pallamar, of the Kingdom of Pengarth; and Sylth Llaylaan of Sylthar Wood…”

One by one they came forward to be presented their medallions and Swords of Light on their knees, accompanied by the words, ‘This Sword of Light holds the power of purity, truth and love – use it wisely, and only when you must.’

Following the ceremony, Myllanthal closed the Council of Light with these words, “The Council of Light is now concluded, go forward in love to spread Light in the world, and chase darkness away.  You have your calling and your tasks – Godspeed brave hearts, till we meet again…”

(End of Chapter Six)

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Ten

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Ten

~~~~~~~~~~

“How is it, that we should use Light to vanquish darkness, without crossing over into shadow in the process,” asked Myllanthal.  “Yielding power always carries great risk, and so above all, one needs to retain the truth, mercy, tenderness, kind-hardheartedness and love of Light.  Otherwise, shadow will pull one directly into darkness, despite the intentions of doing good.  So how are we to proceed?  What is our tactic to be?”

Pallamar then spoke up, “Our first intention must always be to act in love, mercy and truth, while holding the power of Light in reserve.  No matter the risk, we have to first announce our intentions and look for resolution without resorting to force, for there is also a component of conversion within Light.”

“When Light’s true power is held in reserve, the use of force is used only when absolutely necessary,” interjected King Errayllan, “and then it needs to be focused directly on the source of darkness, so as to spare those who are immersed within shadow, but not of their own accord.”

Queen Allantyss asked, “If we identify King Tucar, Vyanthal and King Cyulthar as the centers of evil, Myllanthal – then how are we to announce our intentions to them, in the spirit of Light’s truth, mercy and love?”

“I have your answer, Queen Allantyss,” responded Sylth, “I shall use the enchantments of Light to alter the nature of the heavens above them, and write a message across the sky instructing them to turn away from darkness, and choose Light.  If they refuse, they then refuse Light’s truth, mercy and love as well.  If that is their choice, then we are free to focus Light’s full force and power upon them, and them alone…”

“And if others intervene in the process, Sylth, what is our recourse?” asked Juyall.

“State that our quarrel is not with them, and direct them to step away, yet if they choose to employ darkness against us, our way is then clear – for they will have rejected mercy, and chosen force instead,” responded Myllanthal.  “This is out tactic going forward, to first employ Light’s truth, mercy and love, and if rejected, then it is they who have chosen to receive Light’s force, not ours.”

“I shall initiate the enchantment of writing in the sky immediately, Myllanthal, as it will give them time to consider their choices long before we arrive to deliver them,” said Sylth.  “Yet there is one matter left unresolved, for the Swords of Light around the Prism have yet to be explained…”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Nine

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Nine

~~~~~~~~~~

“I trust that your evening was as restful and refreshing as mine was, everyone – for Sylth Llaylaan never disappoints,” began Myllanthal.  “Let us begin today’s efforts so as to complete our Council of Light by day’s end, and thus begin the work that’s required of us.  What is your calling in vanquishing darkness, King Kulthar?”

Responding without hesitation, the king began, “My Light is called to serve three fronts, based on the geography of our kingdom.  The first, is to aid the Slejuv People in providing for Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy’s transition through the Tregarrons. The second, is to assist Pallamar in ensuring Dijia’s ascension to the throne of the Kingdom of Pengarth.  The third, is to assist Queen Allantyss, King Ellyular and the Kingdom of Ellberron in support of their efforts against the Kingdom of Dorrimar and possibly the Kingdom of Nierron as well.  That is our duty.”

It was Rulyan who spoke next saying, “As the Light Bearer for the People of Sojar, I am called to aid the Slejuv in ensuring safe passage for Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy through the Tregarron Mountains.  We are two peoples of a kindred spirit, and I know the territory well.  I shall accompany Siyth to his homeland at the conclusion of this council.”

“I would be proud to receive Ruylan’s offer, and together we can accomplish much in securing the way for the Light Bearers, Myllanthal,” interjected Siyth.  “There is much we can do to find the travelers, and shepherd them safely through the Tregarrons as their guides.”

“My path is clear, Myllanthal,” said Juyall.  “I shall accompany Pallamar through the Kingdom of Talgar to deal with Vyanthal.  As a team we are stronger than either of us could be as individuals, as the Light will show us the way.”

“It’s your turn, Sylth, what is your calling for the Light?” queried Myllanthal.  “You and I are the only ones remaining without a specific task to carry out.”

Sylth replied, “Rarely have our enchantments left the boundaries of Sylthar Wood, but there is great need in this hour.  I shall accompany King Errayllan and his knights to form a strategy against King Tucar and King Cyulthar in the west.  That leaves the eastern regions for you to aid Juyall and Pallamar if there is need, and to ensure Dijia’s success.”

“There may be further need for my talents once we’ve accomplished the task at hand, Myllanthal.  I think we understand what is required, and will at that point see if a solution is to be found.”

“Yes the need is clear, Sylth, and I believe we can find a way to accomplish that task as well,” agreed Myllanthal.  “As far as our division of labor, yes I shall take the eastern territories as my own concerns, but I will assist you in the west as needed.  Simply send word to me of your needs.”

Pausing and taking a moment to survey the council and each of the Light Bearers, Myllanthal then spoke with emphasis, “Our tasks have been assigned, but there is yet the issue of tactics to be addressed.  How is it that Light should be used to vanquish darkness?  That is the final task of this conference…”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Eight

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Eight

~~~~~~~~~~

“Very well stated, Sylth,” summarized Myllanthal.  “Yes, we’ve been together since the beginning, and I agree with your assessment that Light is the essential element of both life and existence.  Light is life itself, for without Light, there is no existence. Each particle of Light at the smallest level carries the original spark of creation within it, thus giving life to all things.  At the moment of creation, it was Light that ushered in the totality of existence, and everything within it.  Now the task at hand is to defeat this spreading darkness and preserve Myllanthar for all free peoples.”

“Myllanthal,” interjected Rulyan.  “The prophecy from the First Age describes you as the ‘Author, Designer, Creator and Guarantor’ of Light.  You said it yourself at the start of the council.  Can you not therefore, stem the tide of darkness and rebuke it yourself?  Is it not possible to illuminate all of Myllanthar, and leave no place for darkness to dwell?  Why is it that we Light Bearers are the answer to this overpowering darkness, Myllanthal?  Is there something we don’t yet know?”

Myllanthal was lost in thought as he smiled a knowing smile, not unlike when Jonathan first asked the name of his horse.  “Could I not simply chase the darkness away – is this your question, Rulyan?”

“Yes, Myllanthal…”

“For the answer you need to know the essence of design, specifically, the design of creation.  For while I had the power to first create Myllanthar out of Light, I am not able to control Myllanthar as well.  You see, the act of creation brings something into being, while the environment of life and existence must play out on their own accord. There is no rescuing creation once it’s been created, for once the wheels of time are set in motion, everything must seek its own outcome.

That’s not to say I’m without power, for I retain a great power for using Light within Myllanthar for all that is good – which is how each of you have come into the Light. However, as part of creation it is up to you, not me, to determine the final outcome. These decisions and the actions to follow are yours alone to make, and carry out.  I am simply a guide to help you choose the way.”

King Errayllan then spoke, “If it is to be our task to defeat darkness, how is it we are to begin, Myllanthal?  We now understand the nature of Light, but what course do we take, and how are we to vanquish darkness?”

“The gears are already in motion, King Errayllan, for Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy have begun the quest to claim the throne of Pengarth, under the watchful eyes of King Amroth from the skies above,” stated Myllanthal.  “That was the beginning.  This Council of Light must now decide which additional measures to take, based on the properties of Light as we discussed them, and how best to apply them.”

Pallamar said, “I must be the one to protect the quest, Myllanthal, and ensure Dijia becomes the rightful King of Pengarth!  It is my duty to the memory of King Tyijar, to watch over and ensure the success of Dijia’s quest.  This is my calling, to use Light to protect our rightful and future king!  There can be no other will for the Light I now carry…”

“Yes, I agree, Pallamar,” responded Myllanthal.  “The task of protecting Dijia is yours, but it will take you in a circuitous route – through the Kingdom of Talgar and Vyanthal – for there is no safety for Dijia without your making it so…”

“And what of King Tucar of the Kingdom of Nierron?  Is he not part of this axis of evil? How can Dijia’s safety be ensured without removing the threat of his shadow?” asked King Errayllan.

“You are indeed right, King Errayllan, for King Tucar is the root of all darkness in Myllanthar.  It is your task, as the neighboring Kingdom of Errayllor to the north, to counter his darkness with your Light.  This will help ensure safe passage for Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy as well.”

“That leaves the Kingdom of Ellberron to deal with the darkness that is King Cyulthar of the Kingdom of Dorrimar, Myllanthal,” interjected Queen Allantyss.  “I take that upon our kingdom to accomplish, for it is our duty.”

“Very well, Queen Allantyss, King Culthar’s the focus of your Light,” continued Myllanthal.  “That leaves Rulyan, Juyall, Siyth, King Kulthar, Sylth and myself remaining without specific tasks.  We will address these, along with the techniques and tactics of our approach, when we continue in the morning.  Until then, Sylth has provided for your nourishment and rest.”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Seven

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Seven

~~~~~~~~~~

“There is a fifth component of Light, that of a shared and universal nature, for Light is by definition to be spread and not shuttered,” responded King Kulthar.  “As a campfire is a beacon to fellow travelers on the darkest of desert nights, so is Light a welcoming sight to others – providing warmth, kindness and relief from darkness – especially to those who have lost their way.  Never underestimate the warmth and welcoming nature of Light.”

Myllanthal spoke up saying, “So far we have identified Light as power, truth, mercy, love, sacrifice, bonding, tenderness, conversion, and now welcoming warmth, kindness and relief.  What do you say, Juyall?”

Juyall was lost in thought for a moment, as if taking it all in and trying to make some semblance of connection between all the various components that had been mentioned.  Finally, after a long pause she said, “Yes, Light is all of these different components, but there is another property of Light above all others, for Light is life!”

“There is no life in darkness – no life without love, warmth, kindness, relief, conversion, tenderness, bonding, sacrifice, mercy, truth and power.  If there is, I for one want no part of it.  I live because of Light, and die without it…”

“There is yet another opinion that we seek, Sylth Llaylaan.  What do you say?” asked Myllanthal.

Sylth spread his arms as if trying to gather the Light Bearers together and said, “Light is indeed all these things, and especially life itself as Juyall so aptly pointed out. From my experience, Light is energy and existence.  For energy and existence define the two natures of life.”

“Energy is the spark that defines life itself, and existence is the medium within which life takes place – without energy and existence, there is no life – and Light transcends them both by making them physically possible.”

“Life is the living cycle of an organism, be it a tree or a man – a specific duration marked by a beginning, a starting point, or a birth – along with a specific conclusion, ending, or death.  The enchantments we create in Sylthar Wood are simply a conversion of particles using light.  We take particles not needed for other things at the time, say of air, soil or leaves, and convert them through Light into something else in the moment.”

“Nothing is created in the process, in that the particles all existed before, but it is the nature and energy of Light that allows them to become something else.  The first creation process was through Light ushering in the state of existence, and within it, every particle that exists to this very day.  After the original moment of creation, nothing has been or can be added or removed from the balance of existence, simply altered from one state to another.”

“This cycle of life takes place within the greater expanse of existence, like a concert given on a stage.  Existence is the stage upon which life performs.  Many don’t understand the nature of existence, and think of it in a negative way, as of someone simply existing and taking up space, instead of actually being productive.  This is a shallow perspective.”

“Those of us who were present in Myllanthar at the beginning of time – as we both were, Myllanthal – understand what existence really means.  For nothing exists in this world that was not present at the beginning of time.  The very particles of our beings, and of all things, exist eternally from the beginning to the end of time.”

“Our particles only transcend states from one time and age to another – simply existing in another shape or form, as in a tree after it dies.  The tree simply returns to the soil from which it came, and its particles convert through Light from tree to soil.”

“You, Myllanthal, as the Author of Light, know better that I, that without Light there is no existence – no time, no life, no essence, and no being.  For Light is the essential ingredient and spark of creation, and contained within every particle.  Light is the spark and energy of life itself, for without Light there is nothing, only an emptiness and a void.”

“Light is the essential element upon which everything, and every particle exists.  It is this power of Light at the smallest level and nature of particles, that breathes life into everything – for without Light, there is nothing…”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Six

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Six

~~~~~~~~~~

Birdsong awakened each of the participants at the first hints of dawn, and one by one they emerged from their exotic tea huts into the meadow as so many butterflies emerging from their cocoons.  Sylth Llaylaan had been right, their every need had been taken care of – from the most comfortable cloud that served as the bed they slept on, to the rain shower, and the lovely breakfast tray that appeared with the most pleasing arrangement of refreshments.

In the center of the meadow in the early pre-dawn light, there appeared nine individual podiums arrayed in a circle facing each other around a center table of light. The Prism of Light was centered on the inner table, along with the remaining ten gleaming silver swords arrayed as if the spokes of a wheel around it.  Each podium appeared to be constructed of a living vine, entwining itself to create its artistic design through the interweaving of branches and lush green leaves, while supporting a small platform on which sat a crystal goblet of spring water.

As the Light Bearers gathered nearby, Myllanthal instructed them, “There is one podium for each of us: King Errayllan, of the Kingdom of Errayllor; Rulyan, of the Land of Sojar; Juyall, of the Island of Ayall; Queen Allantyss, of the Kingdom of Ellberron; Siyth, of the Slejuv People; King Kulthar, of the Kingdom of Kardune, Pallamar, of the Kingdom of Pengarth, Sylth Llaylaan of Sylthar Wood, and lastly, one for myself. Take your positions and we will begin the debate.”

Once they were all standing at their respective podiums Myllanthal continued, “We are here at the Council of Light to address two questions: ‘How is it, that we are to use Light in the world to vanquish darkness, without tainting our Light in the process with a shadow of darkness?’ and, ‘Once we have an agreed tactic of using the Light we hold within us, how are we to put this tactic into action?’  I shall begin the debate with an analogy.”

“As with the remaining ten silver swords of Light arrayed before us, Light is a symbol of truth used to protect the kind hearted and to illuminate darkness.  In this case, one of the swords is symbolically designated for King Amroth of the Rhayander, yet it will forever remain in Sylthar Wood as he has no need for it.  His eight talons are like so many individual swords.  However, Light has infinite power as in a lightning bolt from the sky, begging the question: ‘Does the wielding of Light against darkness, have a point where the use of its power crosses a line into shadow?  If so, how is it possible to use Light against darkness without succumbing to and crossing that line…'”

“As Light is the purity of truth, one cannot wield Light’s power outside the realm of truth, even if it means we are destined to be martyred for the Light,” spoke Siyth. “For there is nothing in darkness, nor in our lives, worthy of the power of Light as a force against darkness – no matter the cause.  Light used for its power alone ceases to be Light, as it then becomes a shadow of its own destruction.”

King Errayllan then interjected, “Are we then to believe we are defenseless against darkness – naked to the aggression used against us and our people?  Free peoples are innocent of anything warranting attack by darkness – what then is to be our council?  Do not resist the force used against you, and willingly be enslaved or die?  If that be our course of action, there is no hope for Myllanthar, as it’s destined to be plunged into darkness.  If that is the final outcome, it is better for us all to sail over the seas beyond the horizon looking for a new land to settle.  I for one, will never run from darkness, or allow my people to suffer its harm.”

“Perhaps you’re both correct,” replied Pallamar, “Siyth of the Slejuv People who kindly assisted me in my journey here, and King Errayllan, of the proud horsemen of the Plains of Errayllor.  For there may be two separate components of Light – truth as power, and truth as mercy.  For their is no shadow in Light when used against pure evil, and the true power of Light’s truth is revealed in its mercy when used to protect the inocent.  I say there is a time to use Light’s power, and a time to use Light’s mercy, and they can be used at the same time to turn back darkness from the land.”

“There is also a third component of Light,” began Queen Allantyss.  “Light is indeed power, and truth, but there is also the component of love.  For it is Light’s love that allows one to sacrifice himself for another.  It is Light’s love that binds us together in truth.  It is Light’s love that causes us to use its power only as a last resort, and only against pure evil.  It is Light’s love that creates in us a tender heart for others.”

Rulyan then offered, “Light’s strongest entity is not power though, it is truth.  For truth speaks to the shadows, illuminating them as sunlight filters through a forest.  In this manner the shadows are exposed to the truth, converting them from darkness to Light.  Only the cold heart of pure evil can resist the illumination of truth, for the bonds between shadows crumble when exposed to the Light of truth.  If we are to use Light’s power, it should only be wielded against the darkest heart of evil, and the remaining shadows will respond to Light’s tender mercy and love.  For the indiscriminate use of Light’s power against even the lightest of shadows, crosses the line between Light and darkness.  It is at that point when Light takes on a shadow to itself, for it then empties itself of mercy and love…”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Five

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Five

~~~~~~~~~~

At the conclusion of the council’s first day, the Light Bearers all stood up and looked to Sylth Llaylaan for the guidance Myllanthal spoke of.  In the blink of an eye, the council setting disappeared behind them, returning to a simple meadow of wildflowers.

While motioning them to walk towards him, there appeared behind Sylth Llaylaan in that moment a great, festive table decorated for a sumptuous occasion – as if a veil had suddenly been lifted.  Bowing politely to his guests in a gesture of formality and respect, he motioned them forward to take their appointed seats at the banquet table.

The fanciful table was set with the most exquisite dinnerware, and each of their names was illustrated in a golden ink floating mid-air above the place settings.  Grand chandeliers of cut crystal, silver and gold hung directly from small, white puffy clouds over the length of the table.  Songbirds provided music for the feast, while entertaining their guests as they fluttered back and forth placing fresh sprigs of wildflowers, ferns, acorns and pine cones from the meadow and Wood among the table décor of baskets of fruit, nuts, and fountains of sparkling spring water.

As the Light Bearers took their seats, their names floating above the plates morphed into so many fireflies, illuminating their names in light.  Then the fireflies all dispersed into the meadow, to entertain their guests with flights of fancy.  Once Myllanthal and the Light Bearers were seated at the banquet table, Sylth stood and raised a crystal goblet of sparkling water in toast to his guests, who rose directly to receive his words as he began,

~~~

A Toast to the Light

~~~

“Grand is the day of the festival,

Sweet are the sparkles and gleams,

Pure are the hearts of the innocents,

For Love is the fragrance of dreams…

~~~

Gold is the color of happiness,

For friendship sparkles like wine,

We rejoice in the essence of our fellowship,

As laughter flows on into time…

~~~

Light returns soon to the world,

Where love will resume its place,

To health and wellbeing I toast you,

And to all the good blessings of grace…

~~~

May your journeys all be in sunshine,

As you venture forth from this Wood,

For the hour is now close upon you,

To usher in an age of brother and sisterhood…

~~~

To Dijia, Jonathan and to Sammy,

May your paths always be lit with Light,

And may the Light you carry within you,

Turn back the darkness and night…

~~~

For Myllanthar shall be renewed,

To the glory of a shining day,

Illuminated in peace, love and glad tidings,

To the cheers of, ‘Hip, Hip, Hooray!’

~~~

But time is now of the essence,

For darkness flows across the land,

Let your hearts not wither or falter,

Nor your will be cowered by man…

~~~

For we seek no glory for ourselves,

Only to release this spell that is darkness,

For we set forth to journey together,

Our Light to vanquish the heartless…

~~~

We pray for the strength to go forward,

To challenge darkness with Light,

For this is the quest set before us,

One of justice, truth and for right…

~~~

Truth will be our witness,

For Light will show us the way,

As we chase away the darkness,

To bring forth a glorious day…

~~~

Following the clinking of glasses and replies of “Cheers!” and, “Here, Here!” – Juyall stood and said, “As the youngest here among us, I offer this for us all:

~~~

An Ode to Youth

~~~

‘Tis youth,

That has the most to lose,

And then again to gain,

We’ve lived the least,

And our future hangs,

In the balance,

On angel wings…

~~~

Godspeed,

To the brave,

And noble hearts,

Gathered round,

This very table,

Shine your Light into darkness,

For you alone are able…

~~~

There’s cause,

And time enough,

My friends,

For where,

There’s Light,

There endures our hope,

In turning back the night…

~~~

Hope endures,

Where hearts are brave,

When love is strong,

All stand as one,

For we hold within us from afar,

The very Light,

Of Stars”

~~~

Another round of touching glasses and enthusiastic replies followed Juyall’s toast, and then the group sat down to enjoy the most wonderful banquet of their lives – where food appeared in endless courses, and goblets never ran dry.  Daylight faded from the Wood under the illumination of countless stars and candles filling the chandeliers, while fireflies and lightening bugs entertained them with their dances, and birdsong filled the air with their sweet calls.

Once the banquet was concluded, the guests all got up from the table only to see it vanish, just as the council setting had done earlier, now finding themselves alone as a group within the meadow.  Sylth Llaylaan then slowly lifted his hands, and as he did there appeared small glowing lanterns as if made of silk paper scattered throughout the meadow.  Motioning his hands ever higher like a conductor seeking a crescendo, each lantern grew taller into what appeared to be exotic little tea huts, like ornate tents – one for each of them.

“These dwellings are yours for the evening,” said Sylth Llaylaan to the group, “One for each of you.  All that you require is contained within them, but do not leave your quarters before the morning birdsong awakens you.  You must not walk alone in this meadow at night, for the ways of our Wood are not meant for your eyes…”

With that warning, each said good night to the others and retired to a silk paper hut until morning.

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Four

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

Addressing the council once again, Myllanthal continued, “There are three Light Bearers not present with us at the council today, for their duties require them to undertake a perilous journey through distant lands at this very moment in time.  Much of what we hope to discuss and accomplish at this Council of Light, is meant to support and facilitate a successful outcome for them – and for all of Myllanthar.

These Light Bearers are: Dijia, son of the assassinated King Tyijar of the Kingdom of Pengarth, and now the true king seeking his throne; Amroth, King of the great eagles of the Rhayander, and Guardians of Glandwr; and Jonathan Alexander Spencer, of the Spencer Family Farm in Hampton, Ohio – an esteemed guest of Myllanthar, along with his dog Sammy.”

At the sound of Dijia’s name, Pallamar rose abruptly from his seat and pleaded to Myllanthal, “Say it’s true, Arrydor – that Dijia lives!  Our kingdom has waited endlessly for news that this is true!  Tell me more of his journey that I may go immediately and guard his path with my life!”

“Yes, Dijia lives, Pallamar.  You have been invited to this council and received the light for such an hour, for your time will arrive, but it is not yet come,” replied Myllanthal.  “As you know, I have made many visits to the City of Penmarth in the past for private discussions with King Tyijar, of which you’ve been privy.  It is our highest calling now to ensure that Dijia is returned to the throne of the Kingdom of Pengarth, and recognized as the king he is, and is destined to become.”

Turning to direct his words to the wider council, Myllanthal continued, “Amroth watches over Dijia and Jonathan’s quest from the skies above, as the Light Bearers travel at great peril to themselves in an attempt to return to the City of Penmarth in the Kingdom of Pengarth.  Their great task is to evade capture by the riders of Nierron who now track them – the very ones responsible for assassinating King Tyijar at the direction of King Tucar.

For King Tucar of Nierron, King Cyulthar of the Kingdom of Dorrimar, and Vyanthal of the Kingdom of Talgar, are in league together seeking to gain control of Pengarth for their own devices.  Their aim is to control Myllanthar from the southwest to the northeast, from the western Sea of Cultharr to the eastern Sea of Tollvar – only the Slejuv People will then stand in their way in the very heart of the Tregarron Mountains.”

At the mention of his people, Siyth immediately rose to address Myllanthal saying, “The Slejuv will not allow the union of this deception to involve their beloved Tregarrons, their land since the recording of history.  We will stand fast and defend our peaks and valleys to the very end, and ensure the Kingdom of Pengarth does not fall!”

“Even now, Siyth – Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy are approaching your realm among the Tregarron’s high peaks to seek the aid of your people.  I have given your people word of their pending arrival, and the Slejuv are awaiting them to provide their assistance.”

A much relieved Siyth took his seat again, as Myllanthal turned to the center table and the Prism of Light.  There he picked up the two smallest swords from the table, glistening with a silver sheen that danced and flickered along their blades, and blessed them with the words, “Forlaayn Gylluth Silvath” meaning, “Light Their Path.”  Holding the swords apart above his head in outstretched arms, clasping both at the base of their blades with hilts pointing to the stars, Myllanthal let out a loud cry, “It is time, Amroth!  Kieerich ackik kikich!”

In that moment, Amroth, the king of the great golden eagles swooped down from the heavens, with outstretched talons under a fifteen foot wingspan to grasp the two swords by their hilts in mid-flight.  As the Light Bearers cringed low in complete surprise at the sight of this great eagle suddenly descending upon the council from nowhere with a loud screech “Kiiychh Kyii” in reply to Myllanthal, Amroth was gone in a moment – lifted by his magnificent wings back into the night sky, while clasping the two silver swords below him.

“Amroth will deliver these swords to our friends and fellow Light Bearers to light their path through the darkness,” said Myllanthal gazing up at the star filled heavens.

Returning his attention to the council, Myllanthal continued on as if nothing had happened, “It is the task of this Council of Light to find a way to turn back darkness with Light to preserve Myllanthar from corruption, ruin and a spreading darkness.  We will debate the Nature of Light, Light verses darkness, and seek to understand the strengths and limitations of each.  Our aim is to find a way to overcome darkness with Light – while preserving the purity of Light, without tainting it in the process with even a shadow of darkness.  For how does one do battle with darkness, without taking on the shadow of darkness to himself…”

Myllanthal continued, “It is presently the Year 4190 in the Fourth Age, known as Vyanthall, the Age of Conflict that began in Year 4153.  It was foretold in the First Age of Promise, from the beginning of time to the Year 3287, that this time would come, when Light would do battle with darkness to save Myllanthar and all people of good will. Pulthar Bokkan ended the Age of Promise at the Time of Separation, ushering Myllanthar into Ryanthall, the Age of Knowledge, beginning in the Year 3288 through the Year 4152 – a time of peace, stability, prosperity and good cheer in Myllanthar.

It was Vyanthal’s gaining control of the realm of Talgar through deception, lies and broken promises in 4153 that ushered in this current Age of Conflict.  It was shortly afterwards that King Tucar seized control of Nierron through similar lies and deceptions following the death of King Turrimar of the Kingdom of Kierron, now renamed Nierron by Tucar.  This darkness has been brewing out of eyesight to most for the past 37 years, yet it has now spilled over into all Myllanthar, and threatens to choke the very life out of our land.

The requirement for debate is now upon us, for there is no time to spare in seeking answers to these questions: ‘How is it, that we are to use Light in the world to vanquish darkness?’ and, ‘Once we have an agreed tactic of using the Light we hold within us, how are we to put this tactic into action?’  For the future of Myllanthar and all free peoples depends on the answers to these questions – and on you, as Light Bearers – for without answers, the Light we carry remains unfocused, diffused, and without purpose.

Ponder these questions until morning when the council resumes and the debate begins.  Sylth Llaylaan has provided you with comfortable quarters to stay in, and will now lead you to where you can rest and receive nourishment.  Be able to answer these questions in the light of morning, for the very future of all we know and love depends on the answers – and on you…”

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Three

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Six, Part Three

~~~~~~~~~~

There was a deep stillness and uneasy tension building around the council following Sylth Llaylaan’s welcome and introduction.  The Light Bearers anxiously awaited someone or something to continue, and in the pause that ensued, there was a growing uncertainty filling those around the table about what enchantment or illusion might follow.  After a few minutes of silence, a grayish-green cloaked figure, almost invisible to the eye, emerged at the edge of the Wood facing the meadow and the gathered council.

The figure’s face was shrouded in the shadow of the cloak’s hood, standing silently there among the trees.  Pausing as if in deep thought and leaning up against his tall, wooden walking staff as if pondering the next move to make, the tension among the Light Bearers turned to curiosity.  Each one wondered what to make of this veiled person emerging from the Wood, and searched their memories for a match, that might indicate who this person was.

Presently, the figure reached up and unfastened the cloak from his neck, carefully pulling back the hood that had obscured his face, and fixed his eyes across the meadow towards the gathered Light Bearers.  It was the face of an old man with short white hair, and a closely-cropped gray and white speckled beard, yet nothing about his actions revealed anything frail about him.  His movements showed a determination of one who does exactly as intended, marked by a steadfast and unhurried purpose.

After a moment, he deliberately untied the woven rope around his waist and let the ends fall to his side, before grasping the edges of the full-length cloak to remove it from around his shoulders.  As if one body, the council audibly gasped at the sight of such dazzling brilliance as was the robe now revealed.  The old man’s robe looked like it, too, was made of a form of spun light, woven into the very threads of the garment, creating an illumination that had earlier been concealed by the outer cloak.

The stranger turned to hang his cloak upon a tree branch at the edge of the Wood, and with each movement his garments shimmered like a rainbow’s light, multicolored hues that seemed to glisten and glide over the ripples of the fabric.  As with the prism, the light wasn’t blinding to the eyes, but shone with an intensity that was soft on the eyes despite its brilliance.  Yet, the old man was too far off to be recognized by the gathered Light Bearers who sat transfixed by the brilliance of his garments.

While approaching the council and entering within the outer table of light, some of the participants began to see a glimmer of recognition – for they had never seen the old man as he was now.  Taking his time and carefully sizing up each of the Light Bearers seated at the table in turn, his eyes pierced and read them with an intensity and deep familiarity – yet soothing them at the same with their humility and kindness.  Once he finished his observations, he leaned up against his staff once more, and in a manner underscored by a profound truth and loving reverence, began to speak,

“I am Myllanthal, known as the Caretaker of Life by the very land itself; Illandor, called Of the Wind by many; Arrydor, Warrior King by those who recall the glory and King of the Kingdom of Talgar; and Gramps by one who is not here among us.  I am he, the one the legends have foretold at the beginning of the first age:

The one who gathers Light – he who is the Author, Designer, Creator and Guarantor

of Light – would call together all who carried Light within them,

to shine their Light together into a growing darkness to cast it away…”

I have called each of you to this Council of Light – Sylth Llaylaan, of Sylthar Wood and the host of this council; King Errayllan, of the Kingdom of Errayllor; Rulyan, of the Land of Sojar; Juyall, of the Island of Ayall; Queen Allantyss, of the Kingdom of Ellberron; Siyth, of the Slejuv People; King Kulthar, of the Kingdom of Kardune – through the light you carry within you.  For it is I, who created the very light you hold inside, and now bring to this council.

To the one without light – Pallamar, Captain of the Kingdom of Pengarth – I have heard your heart and your cries to give aid to the People of Pengarth.  It is I that called you here, to now give you the light you seek.

Walking outside the circular table of light, he approached Pallamar who, after standing, graciously bowed and knelt before Myllanthal.  Placing his hands upon Pallamar’s head, Myllanthal then said, “May this gift of light illuminate the lives and hearts of your people.”  And with that he motioned for Pallamar to rise, and then returned to the inside of the table.  Pallamar, visibly moved and shaken, took his seat at the table again.

Addressing the council as before he said, “I, Myllanthal, Illandor, Arrydor, Gramps – the very Author, Designer, Creator and Guarantor of Light from the dawn of time, who formed this land of my own hands – has called you to this Council of Light to save Myllanthar from darkness…

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Six, Part Two

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…”