Brotherhood of the Sword
Elements of the 100 Swords of Heathfield
Taken from Live Play
The Initiation of Brandon
Myles and Andrew had talked on the progress of Brandon who had been under Myles' training. A very apt student that possessed the qualities of one to test further. One to become so much more. This area was more Andrew's forte and so he waited in the Celtic Gardens for Brandon to meet him here. Mists rose in a light sheen of warmth as this area held such compared to the rest of the lands. It was connected to this mountain where the Crystal Cave was. A place he was going to bring Brandon so they had that kind of protection to draw them back in case of any emergency while on the various alternate planes.
Through these mists the form of a man emerged. At first, he too appeared to be as transparent as the misting clouds but as he approached the Prince of Heathfield, he was only a man. Both hands were tucked into his pant's pockets as he neared, but one soon pulled free in order to raise in a greeting to the prince. Andrew would recognize that Brandon hadn't walked the entire way. Myles had taught the wanderer well. "Evening, Andrew." Although Brandon didn't offer a bow or any show of royal acknowledgment, he did offer out that hand that waved to the other man. Brandon respected Andrew far more than words could express. But he respected him for what made the man not ... who the man was by birth.
Smile tilted as he watched. Ocean blue eyes that pierced beyond just the energies seen by the eyes alone. "Evening Brandon. Myles has spoken praise on you and the abilities you have demonstrated. I am honored for you to join me now in furthering this path you have chosen." He took a moment to drink in the sweetness of clean air. The air here also was like none other. Revitalizing to both mind and body. Stars shown against the veil of a darken sky and the promise of spring already implemented here. Flowers were starting to bloom. "It is a good night, one that holds that kind of power to it in being adventurous." A whole new adventure and such always was on the astral planes. The pierce of blue eyes came back upon Brandon. "Your pledge as a Druid is to uphold the balance when in use of her energies for all that is good. So all may prosper without falling into the darkness of despair. You serve these energies in use from the center source and thus serve those in need of these services. This is the oath you swear to?" With his affirmation Andrew would first set his hand to open the crystal cave, bringing him to that status.
The hand that been extended to Andrew now crossed to his chest and he squatted, passing the other over the mist moistened ground then standing, covered the other hand. "So long as I shall draw breath into my lungs, so long as life's blood flows through my veins, so long as my body houses my soul ... so shall I swear, Andrew. So shall I swear."
It was all he needed to hear as the few steps between them were taken. The hand upon his chest taken into a good grasp while Brandon stood. His other to fold over both. "Welcome to the brotherhood of Druids." By his tone, he could tell Andrew was pleased for few made it this far. He lifted his hand up so the palm was facing out as the mists rose up then back down. They were now standing on forest bed a mile or so up the side of the mountain just beyond the Celtic Gardens. Words came in an ancient tongue as he pressed his hand, palms touching, to Brandon's. Blue white light coursed a trail around the edges of their fingers before his lifted away leaving it to spread from Brandon's hand now marked to open the veil. The area wavered consisting of dense trees to the clarity of an open area and the cave's entrance beyond. "Now this is set to your hand to come. Only a few have this privilege. In time I will teach you of the powers this cave offers." Andrew was attired as usual while out guarding the lands, dark leather britches of a supple quality topped off in boots of the same. Bare chest with the wide gold bands etched in ancient runes encircling his biceps. Two symbolic braids that trailed down to his waste, far longer then tapered cut of his hair past his shoulders. He headed into the cave knowing Brandon would accompany him.
Brandon held his hand up before his face with a smile, fingers closing off the energy he had experienced through his flesh, his bones, and he captured that sensation in a fist. He strolled in behind Andrew, glancing around, taking it all in. He was well aware of the privilege granted him but, he also knew he had worked hard and long and, well, yes hard again! for this which was now granted to him. The cave, even at the opening, throbbed with a pulsebeat of its own. It seemed to transform to his rhythm, or Brandon's to the cave's, but either way, the beat of his heart blended with the vibration of his surroundings. "Hey, Andrew..." Though Brandon had learned well, was serious in his training, in all that he learned and now respected, he was still Brandon. "Have you ever just called out to hear the echo in here?" He turned around, walking backwards a moment, then once again his heel braced him as he faced forward.
It seemed dark from the outside. Foreboding. One step inside and eyes seemed to adjust even quicker than the usual light to darkness for the kind of light it was. Pure energy coursed in a pulse through the cave all its own. The first chamber was large with a small lake down further to one side. Light came from within those waters. The thick furs Andrew used as bedding laid upon the warmed stone floor up from where the lake started. Waters that were mostly calm shifted every so often as the surface shimmered, even the hues seem to change through the spectrum. "When I first came I did. Give it a try." He would find it was absorbed when inside the cave and made a part of the energies there. He headed for the lake to stand at its edge as a smile was hinted for Brandon's enthusiasm and wonder.
"Brandon!" He shouted out to the depths of room but his words didn't return, instead colors swirled and glowed, soaking up the energy of his call. "Whoah." Brows lifted in surprise and he was impressed, continuing over to stand by Andrew. "Could get to like that actually. Become a hermit, talk to myself constantly, watch the colors blend and mesh with my words." He didn't mean it, and his grin to Andrew told the truth of his words.
"Everything that is said in the world is captured in another that holds no time. Every deed that is done is left in impressions of colors in this timeless plane." Words that would become clearer when he brought Brandon there. First things were first. "This lake's waters come from the very center of the Earth where the pulse and energy is pure. They hold a healing quality to them that can be utilized in helping one heal themselves. We are guides for miracles happen within. Almost every answer needed is found within which is ironic for so many who seek them outside themselves." The water's surface stilled as he passed his hand in a horizontal sweep, palm down, to become crystal clear. The lake's basin was made of crystals hewed out by time. Brandon would be able to see where it darkened enough and the opening to a tunnel deep down could be made out. "A short distance to swim through there brings one to an isolated crystal chamber that has an opening in the cave's roof where the moon passes at certain times. Certain precise path will energize that room with the mixture of lunar and earth. Very powerful."
Awe would be putting it mildly. Listening to Andrew's words, soaking in the offered message, watching his every move and what transpired from it, Brandon was speechless. He just nodded. The best he could manage at that particular moment.
He turned back with that smile still tilted, the Druid Prince was a man too and not that much older than Brandon. Yet, in many ways he was as ancient as time itself. "You will get to see it in time at the right time of the lunar cycle. You will have your own room here." Indicating the far wall from them that opened up in to corridors and smaller cave type rooms off of it. He headed there where he indicated one that Myles used and ones used for any guests to make use of. White satin robes hung in one particular one and shelves upon shelves of all kinds of herbs and healing salves. A work table and the usual bed of furs if one stayed in the room. Another room held hundreds of books of the mystical arts and wisdom. So much Brandon would get to explore as Andrew was just showing him the tip of the ice berg. He came to stop by one two down from Myles' room. It held a work table, various tools, shelves to put jars on, a bed of furs, desk, chairs and a table.
Once Brandon took a look over his room, which wouldn't take long as he could explore later, Andrew led him back from the network of caves in unusual corridors to take him out by the lake area and down further to where the cave made a turn. The light from the crystal room would be seen once around, like one moving from what seemed total darkness in comparison into the brilliance of light. A rather unusual light for it wasn't blinding. The low thrum of natural energy that course through the Earth itself could be felt even before stepping within. All was pure crystal. There were four columns to the center in a circle and a natural star crystallized in the floor that had one that matched mirrored above in the roof. An altar set up at the furthest end of the circle. Along the upper wall, surrounding the room, hung what was left of the hundred swords of Heathfield. Another one had been taken down and set up on the altar, well tooled scabbard lying next to it. Off to a side was an alcove where the roof opened up to the sky. One the moon's path traveled by during the cycles. Sun during the day. The crystals within soaked up energy from both sources, earth's core and the universe beyond. A natural fountain formation trickled water down the rugged cut of crystal rock to a basin below. Andrew stepped in, leaving Brandon to follow. "If you wish to look around.. try pressing your hand to one of the pillars too." He would feel the energy even greater there yet not shock him.
Brandon had traveled thousands of miles, different countries, different landscapes. And yet, what was presented to him in this room alone had him turning in slow circles to take it all in. Each time Andrew spoke, he nodded. Any time areas of interest were pointed out, Brandon made sure to make the most of the experience. His hand passed over one of the pillars nearest him, soaking in the steady thrum of the universe. Thrilling and energizing. "And here I thought all the intrigue you managed was a show." Not really. His smile as he looked from the pillar he had been studying back to Andrew gave away the fact that Brandon was a jester. Myles had figured that out soon enough. Andrew probably already knew. Still, even with the excitement of this special experience, Brandon's easy nature prevailed. The respect he held for Andrew could not be hidden beneath his humor. But that didn't mean he wasn't going to zing a few the Prince's way.
"Yes. Well.." A deep chuckle followed. "In the days to come you will discover, literally, a whole new world. Realms that overlay that is summed up as the astral planes. So many variables even I continue to learn but you will have a greater understanding, in steps, of true energy and the forces of life. How they all work together. All a part even if most is unseen and most prefer to stay blind because biological sight is limited." He made his way over to the altar as he took up the sword. It was lifted so the blue light streaks ran up the perfect blade. Piercing blue eyes followed the blade before dipping back over Brandon as he approached the center area inside the columns. "If you will stand upon the star. This is your first initiation for where we are going to go, you will need this particular sword."
Hello and ... hello! His gaze locked on the sword, mesmerized in a way by the play of light along the blade. Andrew's words filled his head, seemed to resonate within his mind, and he had to actually give himself a mental shake to switch from the hypnotic state back to the physical, finally able to move again to the very place indicated by the Prince of Heathfield. He drew in a deep breath, and then released the need for words of any kind. He just cocked a half-grin toward Andrew. Let the initiation ...begin.
Which it did... begin. Sword held in his right, Andrew took a hold of Brandon's right hand with his left to guide in a good grip around the hilt of the sword. Keeping his hands over his as on another level he set the energy of the sword to Brandon, and the energy blueprinted back to the sword. They were on that level a part of the other. "Know that this sword is made of alloys here and of other planes. Certain ones picked out by me. It can split through solid rock and not dull the blade. It is more geared for the astral planes and evil in particular wherever it roams and no matter what form. You will learn the song this sword will hold for you alone. How it will speak to you and warn. None other can pick it up or suffer burning of their hand or shock, so wear it always to avoid mishap. You can let another hold it by your permission. If dropped and a distance away, it will come to your hand if called. Know that only one thing can destroy this sword and that is if it is used for selfish or evil purposes. The blade will shatter and disintegrate. If you leave the lands for good.. the sword is still yours but those other properties are drawn back into the Master Sword, which holds power over all the swords. This puts you in service to the Crown of Heathfield and her sister castles." Releasing his hand leaving him his new sword as he stepped back. "The scabbard is yours also." Which he indicated the altar. "Do you have any questions?"
The Initiation of Noir
Andrew was on a mission as the golden haze shimmered to slide off well toned muscles exposed otherwise than the vest worn. Leather pants of the same moved in a supple flow while custom made boots, laced up to just below his knees, kept steps silent. Two thin braids trailed down to reach his waist while the rest of blond hair reached below his shoulders. The pierce of blue eyes cut through the night as easily as daylight while heading for Noir's cottage. This area was special, unlike any other except the Crystal Cave itself, it was actually an extension of it that anchored all into the physical reality and fed by those very waters that made up the lake within the cave. He carried something wrapped up in a blanket, tucked to slant up over a shoulder. Once within the area around the cottage he paused with a glance heavenwards then back down. He said not a word but Noir would feel the draw to someone outdoors.
Noir had been reading when she felt that draw. She looked up from the book and stood after marking the place. Since she was home, she was dressed more casually than usual. A poet style shirt of white cotton with ruffles was worn beneath an embroidered vest, leather pants that molded to curves and low boots. She didn't bother with a cloak while in the Garden. The energy that surrounded it was used to keep her warm. Her long hair was pulled back with a black string and as she stepped outside, the breeze played with loose strands. When she spotted Andrew, she smiled even as she bowed her head. It had been a while since she had seen the Druid Prince. "Good evening, my Lord Andrew. It's good to see you."
"It is good to see you Noir. Come join me under the moonlight as I have something for you that is past due." Indicating the spot in front of him as he let the blanket fall so that it laid there at his feet. "If you will kneel upon the blanket before me." To prompt her in case she hadn't figure it out while he drew the sword from the intricately tooled worked sheath. Long gleam danced blue-white of a higher power that was about to be set to life; life given by connecting it with her as an extension. He held it perpendicular to his body, the flat of the blade to rest over the palm of his upturned hand while the other held the hilt in wait.
Noir's smile faded but it was still there, sparkling in her eyes. She watched the fall of the blanket and looked up at him, then stepped forward. The sword caught her eye as she lowered into a kneel, causing her breath to catch in her throat. Eyes shifted in color as they lifted to Andrew, a look of wonder on her face. She remembered Myles' words and the smile was hinted at with just a curl at the corners of her mouth.
He shifted the sword out to touch the flat tip to her left shoulder. "Few receive this sword of the Hundred Swords of Heathfield. An alloy that is a combination of those here and those not of here, forged in the fires of these lands and each empowered by the master sword, by me, until fitted to the life force of those chosen. Noir Morgane of the Water Element, I commit you into my service which is in the service of those of these lands and sister lands by your acceptance. The sword will then be set to your hand and your hand only. It cannot be taken by another unless you allow it. The blade can cut through stone without dulling, it cannot be destroyed by normal means. The only way it will shatter is if the bearer tries to use it for selfish purposes or that of malicious, evil, intentions. Only then it will become as brittle as dried clay." Otherwise it was invincible. "This sword is most suited for the astral, ethereal planes of which you will be schooled by me or by one chosen that knows the ways there." Lifting to sword up and over her head to touch upon her right shoulder. "Do you, accept all that this sword entails?"
Her eyes remained on Andrew's face while he spoke, the words making an impression not only on her mind, but her heart. This was an honor beyond any she had ever imagine. Her voice rang clear and true as she answered. "Yes, I accept all gladly."
Drawing the sword parallel to his body with the point facing heavenwards. "Please rise so that I may set it to your hand. Know that each Sword is different with an energy all its own but the core always remaining with the Master Sword. If you leave these lands and service, the power drains out leaving it as any well made sword and nothing more. You will find the powers it has to be individual to your hand as each is individual." He waited for her to rise as he placed the hilt in her hands and covered them both over with his as he stepped around behind her to accomplish the connection encompassing the sword and her within his aura while being outside the Crystal Cave. He waited for her to be ready.
Noir pushed to her feet, fingers curling around the hilt of the sword. She took a deep breath, readying herself for what was to come.
His essence surrounded like a comforter on a cold winter's night. Tranquility in a deeper peace set by the universe's song. A song that came in colors that leaped along the outline of his hands and fingers and danced along the blade until all turned to a blue-white then pure white. She could feel the vibration with the blueprint of her life force added to that of the sword. "This sword belongs to you and you to the sword. It will come when you call, it will be the light to fill the darkness in the void." With the last of his words all light swallowed back down along the sword to the hilt as his hands left hers then stepping back around to face her. "You shall practice this sword with only those that have the same. They are not to be used in regular practice with others for the unfair advantage and possible harm. The Kings, Karl and Peter, their men .. the kings men, Draven, Maurice, Joseph, Aaric, Brandon, are some of the others that possess one." For her information.
Noir's breath was caught in her throat as she felt that peace and saw the colors. They reflected in her eyes as the danced along the blade. It wasn't until the light faded that she dared let out a soft breath. Her heart felt as if all that light had entered it, and reached through her entire body. As he stepped around, Noir's eyes lifted to Andrew again and she nodded once, slowly. "I will serve well and completely. This I swear." There was no turning back now, and no thought of doing so. This was where she belonged.
The pierce of blue eyes met and held hers as if there too a bond was made strong than any binding the Earth knew. Her thoughts there in her eyes. "You are a part of the Earth, Sky and Fire, that which makes up the four forces as I am your core." This binding them as three of the five, two still to be found. "There is much to learn ahead of you beyond that of the sword you practice each day with. You seek knowledge of a higher kind and you shall be granted this thirst. Until then, take time to learn your sword and it of you. A name will be shared between you for you to know it by. I will be in touch. Soon." A minute bow of his head before he turned to move back off into the night, leaving the blanket and sheath with her. The darkness was not what really engulfed him as the air became distorted and he melted into the star filled night.
Through this entire time, Noir had not felt the bite of the cold and as Andrew left her, that remained the same. She watched as he disappeared, the music of the universe still filling her. Part of the four with the Prince as their core. The sword would speak to her in its own time. Fingers stroked lightly over the blade before the sheath was picked up and the sword slid into it. It would hang always at her side in place of the other. The blanket was lifted as well and slung over her shoulder. With a glance heavenward, she grinned and headed back into the cottage. The blanket was placed in front of the hearth and she lowered to her knees onto it. The sword was placed across her knees. It would be late when she finally settled into sleep, but now, she wanted to think on all that had been said.