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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Eleven

~~~~~~~~~~

King Dijia quickly went to the Royal Balcony where Captain Pallamar was surveying the events unfolding on the castle grounds below.  Without averting his eyes from the clash taking place near the castle’s main gate, Captain Pallamar reviewed the situation saying, “It appears Nierron’s riders began fighting among themselves, resulting in many casualties.  Just as I arrived here on the balcony,  your knights seemed to have been freed from the common building where they’d been held prisoner.”

Sylth then joined them on the balcony and interjected, “My understanding is that it was the Myull who freed your knights to defend themselves, Your Highness.  The riders are no match for the King’s Guard, and this looks to be resolving itself even as we speak – your knights clearly have the upper hand.  The Myull don’t like to take direct action in the world of men outside Myullar Wood, but they are willing to work their enchantments for their own benefit.”

The King’s Guard vanquished Nierron’s riders in short order, and King Dijia approached the center railing of the Royal Balcony and began his address, “Knights of the King’s Guard and all citizens of the Kingdom of Pengarth, it is I, King Dijia, King of the Kingdom of Pengarth, who has returned and claimed the Throne of Pengarth to reestablish the rule of Truth, Justice, Light and Love for all!  Captain Pallamar has returned with me to command the King’s Guard again, and I declare that no darkness will cast its shadow over our kingdom again!”

There was a great cry of ‘Long Live King Dijia!’ from the knights on the castle grounds below, and then they returned to dealing with the riders they’d taken prisoner, locking them up in the common building.  King Dijia then turned to Captain Pallamar and directed him to regain complete control of Castle Penmaryll, and purge the Kingdom of Pengarth of all remaining mercenaries and riders.

Captain Pallamar then saluted and left to make his way down to the castle grounds to command the King’s Guard once again.  As King Dijia turned to leave the balcony, he saw that Jonathan and Sammy were standing there behind him and said, “We have completed our quest despite all odds, Jonathan, for we are back in Castle Penmaryll, and I have regained the Throne of Pengarth – but I know of one unresolved issue remaining my friend – returning you to your home in Hampton, Ohio.”

Pausing for a moment in thought King Dijia continued, “Leaving Myllanthar is no easy task, Jonathan, and I have no answers as to how to make it happen.  Until the day you find the path that leads you home, you are most welcome to remain here in Castle Penmaryll as my esteemed guest, and live here in the Royal Quarters.  We will soon gather together the best minds to study the ancient texts in the castle’s library, to see if there’s a clue from earlier ages that will solve this riddle and allow you and Sammy to return home…”

(End of Chapter Ten)

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Ten

~~~~~~~~~~

King Dijia turned to Chief Tylmar of the King’s Staff and asked him to approach the throne saying, “Chief Tylmar, I need you to tell us the state of Castle Penmaryll outside the Royal Quarters.  What is the situation that awaits us?”

Chief Tylmar approached the throne and said, “Your Royal Highness, we have been held hostage inside Castle Penmaryll by Nierron’s riders since King Tyijar’s assassination.  None of us have been injured, but a few of your knights were lost in the initial battle – and the rest are being held prisoner in the common building beside the stables.  There are perhaps fifty of the mercenaries remaining in the castle today, yet there is something happening between them lately that causes them to argue among themselves.  That’s all I know for certain within the grounds of the castle.”

“Have the marauders entered the castle proper, Chief Tylmar, or are they limited to the exterior walls, gates and grounds?” followed up King Dijia.

“We secured the doors to the castle building itself when the invasion first happened, King Dijia,” Chief Tylmar explained.  “Nierron’s riders were ill equipped to break through our defenses and gain access inside the castle to these rooms.  It was through surprise that they scaled the outer walls with ropes in the middle of the night when there was no known threat to the castle.  They managed to overcome the gate guards and lowered the drawbridge, allowing the others to then enter.”

Sylth then interjected, “I feel the Myull have been working quietly within the grounds of Castle Penmaryll, King Dijia.  They are sowing disagreement and confusion among the invaders, causing them to doubt everyone and everything.  I think this will provide us with an advantage over them once the time arrives.”

“Arrydor, what is the best approach for us to take against the riders,” asked King Dijia.  “Do we confront them directly, or is there another way to deal with them? Perhaps there is a way to convince them that their cause is lost…”

“King Dijia, the best approach to use is also the easiest – the Truth.  My recommendation is for you to proclaim your return to the Throne of Pengarth from the Royal Balcony, and show yourself as King.  Tell them there is no hope remaining in their cause, for they have lost support from King Tucar and the Kingdom of Nierron.  Tell them if they turn away from darkness and choose Light and Love, they can leave Castle Penmaryll immediately and the Kingdom of Pengarth without being pursued.”

Turning to Captain Pallamar King Dijia directed, “Prepare the Royal Balcony for my address, Capt Pallamar, for we shall do our best to avoid unnecessary bloodshed in retaking Castle Penmaryll.  To the rest, ensure the security of the Royal Quarters is maintained, and I will make my way to the balcony.”

As the others went to check the security of the entrances into the Royal Quarters, Captain Pallamar went to open the doors to the Royal Balcony off the Throne Room. As King Dijia picked up his Scepter and cleared his mind in preparation for the address he would give, Sammy began barking and ran towards the balcony – for the sounds of conflict were heard outside from the castle grounds below…”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Nine

~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan had been entranced by the Throne and Ancestral Sword of Pengarth, the pomp and circumstance of the hastily arranged and impromptu coronation ceremony, and the joy and happiness he felt for his friend Dijia at being crowned King of Pengarth.  Yet, when Jonathan’s own name was mentioned and he was asked to approach King Dijia and the Throne of Pengarth, he was as surprised as anyone! Sammy was eager to check out the events taking place in front of them, and Jonathan followed Sammy the short distance to the bottom of the steps leading up to the platform.

Dijia looked at the gathered audience before him and paused for a moment before saying, “Jonathan and I have traveled together for many days and across many miles, defying the odds that we would ever see this day.  Jonathan’s friendship and bravery along the way have been instrumental in my being here today, as he saved my life prior to crossing the Tregarron Mountains – and without his help along the way, I would have never made it on my own.”

Dijia continued, “Others, as well, have helped ensure my safe return to you, but there is unfinished business we must now take care of prior to taking back Castle Penmaryll and the Kingdom of Pengarth from the marauders.  Young Jonathan is a Knight of Pengarth by my own hand, that took place in a mountain cave near Gladwr – but his ceremony hasn’t been made official – so it’s my aim to officially declare Jonathan’s Knighthood before you now.”

Captain Pallamar brought King Dijia the Ancestral Sword of Pengarth, and after the formality of bowing and exchanging the long sword between them, Dijia turned to address Jonathan with the words, “Jonathan, of Hampton, Ohio, please kneel on the top step.” Once Jonathan had done as asked and Sammy relaxed leisurely beside him, Dijia continued, “I will now officially complete your Knighthood with the words spoken at the beginning of our quest, Jonathan.”

Raising the Ancestral Sword straight in the air, King Dijia then touched Jonathan’s shoulders three times while saying, “I, King Dijia, of the Kingdom of Pengarth, do hereby and forthwith proclaim to all present today, that Jonathan of Hampton is bound by duty and honor to uphold and protect his King above all else – to include his own life – and to protect and defend the Kingdom of Pengarth from attack and dishonor.  This is your creed, Sir Jonathan of Hampton, Knight of Pengarth – rise now and go forth with the courage of all who have gone before you as Knights of Pengarth!”

King Dijia raised the Ancestral Sword into the air once more, before turning to hand it back in a horizontal position to Captain Pallamar in another series of bows. Turning to face Sir Jonathan again, Dijia proclaimed, “You are now known to all as Sir Jonathan, and my first command is to everyone in this room to prepare to liberate Castle Penmaryll from the mercenaries!  I ask the King’s Staff to return to their duties here in the Royal Quarters, and I call Captain Pallamar, Arrydor, Sylth, Siyall, Siyth, Juyall, Rulyan, and Sir Jonathan to gather before the Throne of Pengarth to prepare plans for winning back the Kingdom of Pengarth – there is no time to lose!”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Eight

~~~~~~~~~~

Captain Pallamar ushered everyone downstairs into the Throne Room, and took a moment to arrange everything for Dijia’s Coronation to take place.  Dijia was positioned in front of the three steps leading up to the platform on which sat the Throne of Pengarth, while Tylmar was placed left and Arrydor positioned to the right on the platform.  The rest of the King’s Staff, along with Jonathan and Sammy on the floor beside him, were seated in the rows of chairs making up the audience in front of the elevated throne.

Siyall, Sith, Sylth, Juyall and Rulyan were placed as guards at the doors entering into the Throne Room, to prevent anyone from entering during the ceremony.  Once everyone was in place, Captain Pallamar stood at the top of the steps and began Dijia’s Coronation with the words, “I, Captain Pallamar, Captain of the King’s Guard for many faithful and dedicated years, and loyal subject of King Tyijar – who mourns the loss of our beloved Majesty, assassinated by the forces of darkness in the prime of his rule – do hereby and forthwith on behalf of King Tyijar’s memory and the laws of the Kingdom of Pengarth, begin the Coronation of Dijia as the only lawful ruler and heir to the Throne of Pengarth.”

Pausing to glance towards Tylmar, Chief of the King’s Staff, Captain Pallamar returned his attention to the audience and continued, “I now ask Tylmar to bring forward the Ancestral Sword of Pengarth.”

Tylmar carried the gleaming long sword forward, and ceremoniously bowed and handed the sword with both hands in a horizontal position to Captain Pallamar, who bowed prior to receiving it.  After bowing in reply, Tylmar turned and returned to his position.  Captain Pallamar then turned to glance at Arrydor saying, “The only one worthy of conducting this Coronation in the absence of King Tyijar, is the one known as Myllanthal, Illandor, Arrydor, and Gramps – Caretaker of Life, Of the Wind, Warrior King, and beloved friend.  I call him forward to receive the Ancestral Sword of Pengarth to conduct this ceremony.”

Arrydor came forward in a similar process of bows and a two-handed exchange of the Ancestral Sword, before Captain Pallamar stepped aside and took his position to the right of the throne.  Arrydor then faced young Dijia while holding the sword horizontally before him saying, “To the assembled hearts and friends of the Kingdom of Pengarth, it is my esteemed honor in the memory of King Tyijar, to conduct the Coronation of his son and heir to the Throne of Pengarth and the Kingdom of Pengarth – Dijia.”

“I now ask Dijia to stand before the Throne of Pengarth and repeat after me the Royal Code of Governance of the Kingdom of Pengarth: I, Dijia, do hereby swear my allegiance to the Rule of Law – in Truth and Justice, in Mercy and Forgiveness, and in Light and Love – as long as I shall live.”

Dijia repeated the code as Arrydor recited it to him, and then Arrydor said, “Kneel on the top step before me and bow your head, Dijia.”  As Dijia did as instructed, Arrydor raised the long sword straight in the air before his face saying, “I, Myllanthal, Illandor, Arrydor and Gramps, hereby bestow upon you the Title of King of the Kingdom of Pengarth, by the power of the Ancestral Sword of Pengarth, and the authority I hold in Myllanthar as the Caretaker of Life.”

Arrydor then placed the flat surface of the long sword on Dijia’s shoulders three times, before raising it again and returning it to the horizontal position.  Turning to Captain Pallamar, he gave him the sword and received the Crown of Pengarth from Tylmar directly afterwards saying, “Rise and be crowned, King Dijia, and take your rightful seat on the Throne of Pengarth!”

Dijia received the Crown of Pengarth atop his head, and stood before the throne facing the assembled audience of his Coronation, before taking his seat on the Throne of Pengarth and addressing the gathering, “It is with great loss and humility that I ascend the Throne of Pengarth in the absence of my beloved father, King Tyijar, and it is in his memory that I serve you all as the King of Pengarth.  There is great urgency for us to expel the mercenaries from the grounds of Castle Penmaryll, the Kingdom of Pengarth and all of Myllanthar – but first there is unfinished business for me to conduct.  I call forward Jonathan and Sammy, to stand before the steps of the Throne of Pengarth…”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Seven

~~~~~~~~~~

Captain Pallamar knew Penmaryll Castle like the back of his hand, having served King Tyijar as the Captain of the King’s Guard for as long as most anyone could remember.  He led the company up the winding stone staircase to the top of the tower, without pausing at any intermediate levels, knowing exactly what needed to be done.

The company entered cautiously into the topmost level of the King’s Residence, and just as he thought – it was deserted.  There was a turret above the top floor of the tower, and Captain Pallamar went at once to the turret’s walkway, and peered down cautiously through an opening of the stone battlement from the castle’s highest vantage point.  He surveyed Castle Penmaryll’s many wings, fortifications, walls and grounds, and observed that the main gate was only lightly manned by a few of Nierron’s distinctive riders in their characteristic cloaked and hooded green garb.

Returning to the others, Captain Pallamar addressed the group saying, “I believe the castle to be only lightly guarded from the inside, while others no doubt guard the approach along the road from the west.  Come with me, Arrydor, as the King’s Staff know and regard you as a friend of King Tyijar, loyal to the Kingdom of Pengarth from your many visits to Penmaryll.  We need to quietly round up as many of the staff as possible without the notice of those holding the castle, and return with them here at once.  I will explain everything when we return.”

As Captain Pallamar and Arrydor went in search of the King’s Staff, the rest of them marveled at how easily they had slipped inside the castle without notice.  This was Dijia’s home and he took no time in preparing the company to defend the residence in case of attack. Gathering the group together he explained,  “There are five levels of the Royal Residence in this tower, including the rooms adjacent on each of the castle’s floors, and we must be ready to defend them in case of discovery by Nierron’s riders.  The lowest level of the residence is the Receiving Room and Banquet Hall, reserved for ceremonial purpose and for welcoming visiting dignitaries.  The second level holds the Throne Room where all Royal Audiences and Decrees take place.  The third level is the Private Dining Room for the Royal Family, and the upper two levels contain the Family Quarters, with this being the King’s Quarters here on the 5th and highest level of the tower.”

Dijia continued, “There are tower doors at each of the five levels that can be secured from the inside, and we must all go to these doors at once and block them with the heavy cross timbers positioned on the wall beside them to prevent entry.  One of us will stand guard at each level to listen for Captain Pallamar and Arrydor’s return, but open the door for no others – even if they seem familiar in name or word – for we can trust no one at the moment without proof.  Ruylan and Juyall, take the lowest level, Siyall the second, Siyth the third, Sylth the fourth and Jonathan and I will secure this fifth level.  Hurry now, there’s no time to lose!”

It wasn’t long before Rulyan, Captain Pallamar and Arrydor returned to the upper levels with twelve members of the King’s Staff, who all immediately gasped at seeing Dijia – having been told by the riders that he had died in the same ‘accident’ that had taken King Tyijar’s life.  Of course, they couldn’t and wouldn’t believe it without proof, but there had been no word of Dijia’s escape or survival to reassure them.

“We’ve been told you died in an accident, Dijia,” exclaimed Tylmar, Chief of the King’s Staff.  “We prayed it wasn’t true, but we had no confirmation of your life or death to know the truth, and here we see that you indeed live!  Long may you live – and return the Kingdom of Pengarth to its former glory!”

“I thank you for your loyalty, Chief Tylmar, and it is with a joyful heart that I return to you today!” replied Dijia.  “We have much work to do until the Kingdom of Pengarth is returned its glory again, but with good fortune we will and return this kingdom to honor through Light and Love!”

Captain Pallamar then interjected saying, “We must all descend to the Throne Room immediately, for we have Dijia’s Coronation to conduct, for which we will all serve as witnesses.  Time is of the essence, for before we drive out the invaders from Castle Penmaryll and from all of Pengarth – we must return Dijia to the throne, and serve him as our King in this great endeavor!”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Six

~~~~~~~~~~

It was Miylla who stood next to speak saying, “You will leave at dawn to enter Castle Penmaryll, so I suggest you all get a good night’s sleep and be ready to leave early tomorrow morning.  I’ll ensure everyone is awakened in time and will serve breakfast at the appointed hour – so rest well my friends, for the day is apt to have surprises of its own in store for you.  I will not be accompanying you into the castle tomorrow, for there is much work for me to do at the moment in spirit, so I wish you all good fortune in the morning.  Good night, everyone…”

With that she disappeared, as did the waitstaff that had been serving them – and as soon as they got up from the banquet table it, too, disappeared!  The fire in the fire pit also extinguished itself.  Everyone realized it was now time to turn in for the night, and they all retired into the tents provided for them.  Jonathan called to Sammy who returned to him without his new-found friend, and everyone settled in for the night.

Jonathan thought about how abrupt the evening had ended, and realized there was more to this sense of urgency than simply getting to sleep for tomorrow’s entry into the castle.  It was almost as if preparations were underway even now behind the scenes, as the Myull began weaving an enchantment over the castle to prepare it for tomorrow’s events.  His thoughts quickly turned to Hampton and his home on the Spencer Family Farm, as he drifted off into a deep sleep.

In the morning it was birdsong that woke the company long before dawn.  Jonathan had dreamed of mists swirling through the night, and of faces going in and out of focus.  It wan’t a restful sleep, despite having slept deeply.  He shook off the images of his dreams and got ready for breakfast.

A new banquet table was set with breakfast, and the waitstaff was attentive to their every need.  If someone inquired as to a favorite breakfast item of theirs, it appeared in an instant, and was served to them on a silver tray.  Jonathan thought it would be very easy to get used to living like this!  Yet, the events of this enchanted Wood seemed to be overly theatrical to him, and he wondered why such enchantments and magical happenings were important for the group to experience.

It then occurred to him that these enchantments were a way of bolstering their courage for the day ahead, for if these fanciful events were possible in the Wood, the Myull were capable of much greater enchantments to ensure their safety and success in the castle.  Of course, Jonathan couldn’t be sure he was right, but even thinking of the magical protections that would cover them in their endeavor gave him the encouragement he hadn’t had the night before.

After breakfast they all set out towards the north along the Enchanted Way. Jonathan took a look behind him as they set out on the trail, and watched as the entire camp vanished before his eyes.  No matter how good the food was, thought Jonathan, he couldn’t get used to the fact of everything appearing and disappearing around him at will.  It was all rather unsettling to him, no matter how fun initially, and he held the hope that these same enchantments would protect them while entering the castle.

It led him to think about what might happen to someone who was not supposed to be in Myullar Wood – or those who had taken over the castle and what might happen to them – if the Myull decided to act.  He shook his head and tried not to imagine the outcome, only then to have the spirits of his dreams reappear again in his thoughts. It was then that he realized the Myull’s enchantments may be a way to help Sammy and himself return home to Ohio – and in that moment, Jonathan smiled broadly as he took note of the idea for pursuing later!

After a couple of hours they found themselves alongside the River Myuthall in The King’s Preserve, and left the path to walk a short distance and climb down an embankment.  There beside the river, hidden under roots of a massive tree, was the narrow entrance into a cave.  It was Arrydor who then gathered the company together and said, “This is the entrance into a deep cave in which the tunnel begins at the far end, leading to the southeast tower of Castle Penmaryll.  We will all travel through the tunnel, and at the end under the foundation of the tower is a staircase of timber leading up to a trap door of the lowest level.”

Continuing he said, “Captain Pallamar will lead the way into the tower, as he is the most familiar, having organized its construction.  Rulyan will protect the rear of the company during our approach, securing Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy in case there is any trouble entering the tower.  I will follow Captain Pallamar, while Juyall, Siyall, Siyth and Sylth will follow in turn behind me.  We have no idea of what awaits us in the tower, so proceed with alertness and caution.  May Light and Love guide our steps and our hearts.”

The company then went into the cave, and entered the dark tunnel constructed of heavy, stone blocks, while using the Talspar stones to light their way.  Jonathan held his Talspin pendant in his hand to add additional light as they traveled along the tunnel.  He noticed a small opening like a crawl space, joining the tunnel at about waist high above the tunnel’s floor, without giving it much notice.  It looked to be an air shaft bringing in fresh air thought Jonathan, as the group passed by on the way to Castle Penmaryll’s southeast tower.

Presently, they reached the end of the tunnel in a small, stone room underneath the foundation of the southeast tower.  Captain Pallamar immediately went up the ladder made of stout timbers, to push open the heavy wooden door in the oak subfloor of the tower’s lowest level.  Seeing that the way was clear of any defenders, he beckoned the others to follow quickly.

The room was filled with stacks of dried, cut blocks of peat awaiting burning in the castle’s fireplaces this coming winter, with little else of interest in the room.  There was an open doorway in the stone wall of the tower, and within it, a narrow winding staircase of stone steps leading up to the higher levels of the tower.  Captain Pallamar led the company quietly up the staircase, winding their way silently up the tower one after the other, not knowing what was awaiting them…”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Five

~~~~~~~~~~

Gramps stood up as Sylth took his seat, and then addressed the group saying, “I was fortunate enough to have come across Sammy, as well as young Dijia and Jonathan before Nierron’s riders could capture them or worse.  Within this context, there are a number to stories to tell as true and endearing as life itself.  First there is Sammy, loyal to his master Jonathan to a fault, able to transcend two worlds at will.  Defying all natural protocols that indicate it isn’t possible, he is the only being known to have crossed the Boundary of Separation three times, also known as Seerlyth Cullyan or the Veil of Separation.”

Continuing on Gramps elaborated, “For it is in Sammy’s ability to traverse Seerlyth Cullyan seemingly at will, that inspires the hope that young Jonathan may one day be able to return to his home on the Spencer Family Farm in Hampton, Ohio.  They say a dog is a boy’s best friend, but in this case Sammy is young Jonathan’s best hope as well.”

“On the other hand,” continued Gramps. “There is a bond of friendship between Jonathan and Dijia, that transcends cultures and worlds – for their backgrounds are world’s apart – yet their friendship is deeper than most have ever known.”

“Then there is the responsibility Dijia holds to his father’s memory and to the Kingdom of Pengarth, to succeed his father as king and uphold the traditions of light, love, justice, fairness, mercy, hope and opportunity for all people, as championed by his father before him,” said Gramps.  “That is our endeavor as well, to be Light and Love to the world, while seeking the opportunity to return Dijia to the throne.  We shall next hear from Siyall, Siyth and Rulyan, who have been instrumental in Dijia and Jonathan’s return to us.”

The three stood and approached the end of the banquet table to address the company, and Siyall began by saying, “Ours has been a small part in this great endeavor, one of escorting Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy through the Tregarron Mountains to this point where we meet today.  I was the only non-Light Bearer of our group, but it is also my desire to ensure the victory of Light and Love over darkness, and to return Dijia to his right and proper place as King of the Kingdom of Pengarth.”

Siyall then turned to Siyth who said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege to participate in this quest, and one we will not soon forget, for it is the pinnacle of our lives to date.  Rulyan and I left the Council of Light knowing that we must ensure Dijia and Jonathan’s safety through my homeland, the Land of the Slejuv, and it was the opportunity of a lifetime for all of us.”

He then turned to Rulyan who began with a quick look towards Dijia and Jonathan before saying, “Ours was a challenging adventure beneath the Tregarrons and while floating the underground river into the Kingdom of Pengarth.  My position was usually that of rear guard to ensure our group’s safe arrival, and it is my highest honor to say to this company gathered today, that we succeeded in this task which brought us here with you.  I will never forget this quest, yet our duty is not over – for we have to complete what we’ve started, all the way to Dijia’s Coronation.”

It was now time for Dijia and Jonathan to say a word, and while Jonathan was distracted looking across the Wood at Sammy and his friend romping through the trees, it was Dijia that began, “It is all I can do to thank you, my friends, for ensuring my safety and returning me to my beloved Kingdom of Pengarth – within a short distance of Castle Penmaryll, our family’s ancestral home.  I can never repay the debt I own you all, nor that of those who have helped us during our quest, yet it is my aim to do so to the very best of my ability.  I especially thank my dear friend Jonathan for all the days we ventured together in the wild, not knowing if we would ever see this day – thank you so much, Jonathan for your support and friendship!”

Jonathan was embarrassed by all the fuss and the speeches, yet he clearly understood the meaning of this moment to everyone gathered before him.  Finally, after pausing for a moment to smile as the two dogs ran a circle around the banquet table, he said, “It was a normal day like any other on my family’s farm when Sammy and I set off in search of adventure, and adventure we found here in Myllanthar!  I owe everything to Gramps who first saved me, and to Dijia for enduring my company during this journey we’ve traveled together – as well as to all of you for all you’ve done for both of us.  But more than anything, I owe a debt of gratitude to my beloved Sammy, who has always been there for me, ever since ol’ Trooper couldn’t go on adventures with me anymore – and I hope Sammy will one day show me the way home to Hampton, Ohio, where I’m sure my parents are worried about my being gone for such a long time.  Thank you all so much, and I’ll never forget your hospitality and friendship extended to me here in your beautiful world of Myllanthar!”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

Sylth Llaylaan stood to address the gathered company once more, looking at the players before him and thinking of those who had shared the Council of Light earlier with him at Sylthar Wood.  After a short pause he began by saying, “Let me first begin with unfinished business from the Council of Light, for I have two silver medallions from the council that belong to Dijia and Jonathan as Light Bearers, and it would be my honor to present them to you both at this time – please come forward.”

Dijia and Jonathan then walked up and stood beside Sylth, as he turned and hung the silver medallions around their necks saying, “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.  The image 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, made from the same metallic Light of our Light Swords. They will protect you against darkness in your time of need, so wear them proudly as a reflection of the Light and Love you hold within you.”

After shaking hands and thanking Sylth, Jonathan and Dijia returned to their seats at the banquet table as Sylth continued, “My task following the Council of Light, was to assist King Errayllan, of the Kingdom of Errayllor, and his knights to form a strategy against King Tucar, of the Kingdom of Nierron, and King Cyulthar, of the Kingdom of Dorrimar.  As it turned out, we were aided by King Kulthar of the Kingdom of Kardune, as well as Queen Allantyss and King Ellyular of the Kingdom of Ellberron in this great endeavor.”

Taking a moment to let the group grasp the strategy he was describing, Sylth paused for a moment before saying, “Our first approach was to move south from the great Plains of Errayllor into the Kingdom of Nierron, against King Tucar’s riders, west of the Wastelands of Fell Ignar, also known as Kreigareth.  Our push south was led by King Errayllan with his mounted knights, and myself on Majeka, loaned to me by Myllanthal.  We were two hundred of the king’s best knights on horseback facing off against a thousand or more of Tucar’s mercenaries on two opposing ridges.”

Sylth then described the setting as it unfolded, “We sent a formal Delegation of Light to King Tucar’s encampment demanding that they surrender, and their response was to say that Errayllor’s knights would die before the sun set that day.  Once our delegation returned with this reply, King Errayllor and I charged forward on horseback with our Swords of Light leading the king’s knights down into the valley between ridges.  It was in this moment that a series of great lightning bolts stuck along the full length of the opposing ridges, wiping out Tucar’s entire forces in an instant.”

“Knowing it was by the power and grace of Light alone that our knights all survived the conflict,” said Sylth with reverence, “Our knights then continued on towards King Tucar’s stronghold of Castle Kuarryn, and villagers everywhere followed behind us hailing their liberation from the cruel hands of Nierron’s riders.  We were unopposed traveling across the countryside as we approached Castle Kuarryn, and the villagers lay siege around it with the arms they had taken up on their own.  We called for Tucar’s surrender, but his reply was a barrage of arrows from Castle Kuarryn without effect.”

Sylth painted a picture of what happened next saying, “King Errayllor himself then rode up to the gates of Castle Kuarryn, and announced that King Tucar’s fielded army had perished in a barrage of lightning from the sky – and if they chose Light over darkness – every man, woman and child would be given mercy and amnesty.  It wasn’t long before the gates of Castle Kuarryn were opened from inside and Tucar’s forces left without arms to accept the amnesty offered to them.  Reports are that King Tucar fled into the Boundary Mountains of Nefyanll and is holding up at a distant outpost in the Forlorn Crescent Mountain Range, where the Rhayander hold constant vigil from the air in search for him.”

Turning towards Arrydor briefly to ensure he would describe the next portion of the conflict correctly, Sylth said, “At the same time, Arrydor, King Kulthar, Queen Allantyss and King Ellyular arranged for an armada of every ship available to sail from the City of Kardune to the City of Dahyll, taking the harbor and capital of the Kingdom of Dorrimar by complete surprise at dawn with overwhelming force without any defense offered against them.  King Cyulthar immediately surrendered, knowing he didn’t have the will to fight on, and is now a prisoner in Kardune awaiting trial for his many crimes in league with King Tucar and Vyanthal.”

Sylth concluded his discussion with the remark, “So the external support to the marauders holding Castle Penmaryll has been stripped away for all intents and purposes from the Kingdoms of Nierron, Talgar and Dorrimar.  Those within the walls could still be a formidable force, for we do not know their total numbers, and the fact remains that they hold the upper hand as they are in possession of the castle itself.  That is the current state of affairs as we know it to be at the moment, yet we still have Dijia, Jonathan, Siyall, Siyth and Rulyan to hear from next…”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Three

~~~~~~~~~~

Arrydor looked at the present company seated around the banquet table, a group upon which the future of Light, Love and the Land of Myllanthar depended on in this critical hour.  What was to be decided here by this small group, would have to succeed, as failure was not an outcome they were willing to accept – least of all, the one who brought Light into the world in the first place.

Myllanthal considered his earlier decision at the beginning of the First Age, to create this Land of Myllanthar and leave it in the hands of those he created.  Some would call it a dilemma, a paradox – to either create and direct the outcome, or to create and stand back, and watch it unfold on its own through the eyes of Love.  The only caveat he introduced was that he was willing to take on the mantel of the physical world himself, and walk among them.  In doing so, he could participate through Love in the unfolding, but not be able to direct its outcome.

Of course, he was free to leave his creation any time he wanted to, now or in the future, yet he always chose Love as the only option to which he could remain true. This meant staying the course and Loving all that he created, despite the fact it was clearly unfolding on its own in directions he hadn’t foreseen.  There was no turning back the clock at this critical hour, as his decision to Love meant that he gave up control of the outcome – yet Love itself was inherently stronger than darkness – even if it appeared to be the weaker of the two when matched directly one beside the other.

While darkness held an initial strength and force that Love couldn’t match, the power of Love was one of the endurance of time, not one of brute strength.  For time is the great equalizer in life, one of multiplying a certain capability many times over. For what Love lacks in strength alone, is multiplied time and again, over time, and thus vastly superior to the initial brute power of darkness.

Looking across the table at Jonathan, it was Gramps who then spoke again to the group, “We are entrusted at this Council of Myullar Wood, to care for things great and small, for while the future of Myllanthar hangs in the balance of this clash between darkness and Light, there are young hearts who require our utmost care and attention as well.  It does us no service to win the greater outcome, while losing the hearts that mean everything to us following a bittersweet victory.  There can be no rejoicing if we lose even the smallest soul that remains precious to us all.”

Continuing further Gramps explained, “So in our future calculations, we must craft a strategy that allows Light to overcome darkness, while restoring all hearts in Love that are willing to expel darkness from within them.  It is Love that we seek victory for, not for ourselves – and it is Light upon which Love rides.  So let us in using Light to overcome this spreading darkness, choose to use it in a way that then allows Love to fill the void that darkness leaves behind in retreat.  Only in this way, will we have achieved the victory for Light and Love, and give darkness no toehold or hope of return.”

Turning to Sylth Llaylaan, Gramps said, “I now ask you to update the company on our latest endeavor, Sylth, for you were the architect of the outcome…”

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

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

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

Chapter Ten, Part Two

~~~~~~~~~~

As Sylth Llaylaan stood to address the company, Jonathan asked, “One question, Miylla, is it okay for Sammy to run off the leash here in the Wood?  He’s a curious pup, but means no harm to the plants here.”

Miylla simply smiled as she shared a knowing look towards Gramps about the innocence of children and replied, “Why of course, Jonathan, Sammy is free to run anywhere he pleases.  In fact, let me give him a companion to play with during his time here in our Wood.”  She napped her fingers and another dog of similar build and stature immediately appeared beside her, and as soon as Jonathan removed Sammy’s leash both dogs ran off exploring the Wood.  “Don’t worry, Jonathan, Sammy can’t get lost here in Myullar Wood as we know where everything is in our realm, for nothing escapes our attention.”

Miylla then deferred to Sylth who began to address the group saying, “Thank you, Miylla, and now for a quick history lesson.  As you well know, I am Sylth Llaylaan of Sylthar Wood, and our two peoples of Sylthar Wood and Myullar Wood, share the same roots back into the First Age.  In the beginning of that time, Myllanthal known also as the Caretaker of Life, formed us from the dust of the stars.  Thus, we were given our powers of enchantment, as we are beings made of Light.  He then divided us into two separate peoples, and formed the trees of life that populate our Woods today – giving them an eternal nature to grow without dying, so long as the Light remains.”

“It is this spreading darkness today that threatens the very essence of our livelihood, and requires us to act outside our borders within the greater Land of Myllanthar,” continued Sylth.  “Recently, we hosted the Council of Light within Sylthar Wood, and I would say this gathering of ours here today is the Council of Myullar Wood.”

He paused for a moment to turn his attention briefly to those who were also in attendance at the Council of Light before saying, “I shall now turn our attention to Captain Pallamar, Captain of the King’s Guard of the Kingdom of Pengarth, and Juyall of the Island of Ayall, to update you on their recent news.  They have completed a most fortunate journey since leaving the Council of Light, and what they have to say should be of interest to us all.”

Capt Pallamar and Juyall then both stood up and moved to the end of the banquet table to address the group.  Captain Pallamar began by saying, “After leaving the Council of Light in Sylthar Wood, Juyall and I traveled together through the Land of Sojar, and across the Talgar Range to the Inland Sea of Talgar and the Forbidden City of Talgarth.  It was there that we were able to start an insurrection within the ranks of Vyanthal’s mercenaries, which quickly spread to the key cities of Khyll and Rhyll.”

Juyall then picked up the narrative saying, “Captain Pallamar and myself were discovered in the Forbidden City and forced to do battle against darkness with the Swords of Light given to us at the Council of Light.  Once the power of Light was demonstrated as clearly superior to all the arms of darkness, Vyanthal’s mercenaries pledged their allegiance to the Light, and to the purity and love it represents.  We were then able to leave the insurrection in their hands, and continue our way across the Tregarrons to meet up with Sylth and Arrydor here in Myullar Wood.  I doubt that Vyanthal’s mercenaries that are holding Castle Penmaryll will stand and fight once they hear of the news back in Talgar.”

Arrydor then stood and said, “It is an encouragement indeed that Vyanthal is busy defending his personal darkness from the Light of his own mercenaries while we are here in Penmarth – yet it isn’t our only positive update…”