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Last Build Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 13:05:31 GMT


New online translations of Hanns Heinz Ewers

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 13:05:31 GMT

Hi everyone,
I haven't been on in a while but I have been busy! I'm currently working on Alraune chapter eleven. Trying to translate an entire novel is a lot of work and very slow going! I'm still hoping to have the entire book done by Christmas so John Smith of Sidereal press can publish it this spring.

Those wanting a sneak peak at it or wishing more Hanns Heinz Ewers material like poems, essays, fables and photos can check out my scibd site:

Quite a bit of stuff there!


Merry Christmas!

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:10:44 GMT

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Most of my time is spent on my other pages at Anarchist World. I am going to try making this my personal, personal page where my kids can leave messages for me once in awhile and I can check back on them as well.

For those interested visit Anarchist World for new translations from German author Hanns Heinz Ewers.

The Spider

The Crucified Minstral

The Graph

The Lost Monkey

How Eleven Chinese Devoured Their Bride

The Eleven Thousand Virgins and The Four Holy Three Kings

My Burial


My Mother the Witch

Edgar Allan Poe

Intoxication and Art

In addition there will be:

the first three chapters of Alraune

The first two chapters of Vampire

The first two chapters of Fundvogel

Most of these are already done. I need to complete The Spider, The Graph and Intoxication and Art. I’ve started The Spider already. I have completed the first three chapters of Alraune and have nearly completed the second chapter of Fundvogel. I’ve just started the second chapter of Vampire and have a ways to go with it.

You can check them out on my web page and read some of them ahead of time if you want. The link is: 

There are four blogs you can check out as well:





Hanns Heinz Ewers







A New Look

Wed, 26 Sep 2007 01:55:38 GMT

By going with the condensed version I'm able to add a few new topics. This should make the site even more interesting than it was before! I'm still moving this weekend and will be off line for a few days. I'm hoping this new material will give everyone something to check out while I am getting my new home squared away.

bright blessings

Welcome to the Condensed Version of Anarchist World Live!

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 22:15:59 GMT

Welcome to the Anarchist World Dynamic RSS page!  It is still in development so continue to look for changes as things get squared away. This is the first sample Dynamic RSS page and I will be adding some color and special effects as I get the time.You will notice differences between this page and the old blog site. For one thing this page only shows excerpts from most of the subjects while the blog shows the entire post. One difference is that this page will update entirely by itself while I need to manually update the blog. After my move I will no longer be updating the blog site. My internet connection will be limited.Another difference is the left and right sidebars on this  page. I've added a few things to make the page more complete. Hopefully I will make better use of the sidebars later. Right now I'm just seeing how they work. I'm also reclaiming some old blogs and finding new places for them. This module is controlled by an old livejournal blog that I am not using anymore.By condensing the material people will be forced to use the blogs to read the material they are interested in. This will propel the blog stats higher and help search engine results for the blogs. If they can find the blogs they can find this site through the links at the bottom of the blogs. OAK:Magister Templi shows how modern science and chaos theory are compatable with advanced metaphysical concepts. This is the OAK 1st Degree study material. Science is not in conflict with paranormal and supernatural activitities.This book is available as a quality paperback for $16.60 or an email download for $6.25! Modern Survivalism gives the basics for modern survivalism and self empowerment techniques.This is the OAK 2nd Degree study material and the ultimate self-help book. Empower yourself today!This book is available as a quality paperback for $16.60 or an email download for $6.25!  Anarchist World places the ancient knowledge of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons into modern context. Universal truths can be restated many ways but remain valid. This is the OAK 3rd Degree study material and is under development. Magick,Mystery and Madness is my own personal book of shadows. This includes material too personal or sacred to share with the general public. If you are interested in magick and energy work this is the place! Available to OAK membership only. OAK Inner Circle is a closed forum for the OAK membership to get together and discuss more personal and private matters. If you are interested getting to know other people or asking me questions this is the place! Available to OAK membership only.[...]

Welcome to the Condensed Version of Anarchist World

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 02:42:58 GMT

Welcome to the Anarchist World Dynamic RSS page!  It is still in development so continue to look for changes as things get squared away. This is the first sample Dynamic RSS page and I will be adding some color and special effects as I get the time.You will notice differences between this page and the old blog site. For one thing this page only shows excerpts from most of the subjects while the blog shows the entire post. One difference is that this page will update entirely by itself while I need to manually update the blog. After my move I will no longer be updating the blog site. My internet connection will be limited.Another difference is the left and right sidebars on this  page. I've added a few things to make the page more complete. Hopefully I will make better use of the sidebars later. Right now I'm just seeing how they work. I'm also reclaiming some old blogs and finding new places for them. This module is controlled by an old livejournal blog that I am not using anymore.By condensing the material people will be forced to use the blogs to read the material they are interested in. This will propel the blog stats higher and help search engine results for the blogs. If they can find the blogs they can find this site through the links at the bottom of the blogs. OAK:Magister Templi shows how modern science and chaos theory are compatable with advanced metaphysical concepts. This is the OAK 1st Degree study material. Science is not in conflict with paranormal and supernatural activitities.This book is available as a quality paperback for $16.60 or an email download for $6.25! Modern Survivalism gives the basics for modern survivalism and self empowerment techniques.This is the OAK 2nd Degree study material and the ultimate self-help book. Empower yourself today!This book is available as a quality paperback for $16.60 or an email download for $6.25!  Anarchist World places the ancient knowledge of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons into modern context. Universal truths can be restated many ways but remain valid. This is the OAK 3rd Degree study material and is under development. Magick,Mystery and Madness is my own personal book of shadows. This includes material too personal or sacred to share with the general public. If you are interested in magick and energy work this is the place! Available to OAK membership only. OAK Inner Circle is a closed forum for the OAK membership to get together and discuss more personal and private matters. If you are interested getting to know other people or asking me questions this is the place! Available to OAK membership only.[...]

Important message

Thu, 17 May 2007 00:15:57 GMT

Important Message

It has been well over a year since I began my internet adventure posting several threads of information on several different blogs. The time and energy spent has been terrific and I can no longer keep up the pace.

I can't continue to update this blog simply because I don't have the time working two other jobs and trying to have time with my family as well. Publishing a post once a week just is not enough to keep people coming back for more.

If you have enjoyed this information please "Jump into the Fast Lane" and check out Anarchist World. This same information will be there and it will be updated every two days! This is better service and offers more content as well. I can do this through future posting on wordpress blogs. This blog does not support future posting.

By posting in only one location I figure I can free up 75% more available time. That is a considerable amount of time and effort saved. This cost has been so high because I have been trying to maintain over 100 blogs in an effort to find and attract new readers. I will be dropping down to only those you see on Anarchist World.

Visit Anarchist World and find this information there with daily updates! It's faster and there is more to choose from. The focus of my efforts will be there and not here.

thank you


Chapter 11A-Melainie's Initiation

Tue, 08 May 2007 00:25:39 GMT

Wayne and Char were still working on their base camp and making good progress. They invited him to stop by if he was ever in the neighborhood and gave him directions. At least they were not mad at him. Tara was still looking for someone to partner up with for the winter and wasn’t doing so well with the construction of her base camp. It was pretty obvious she was looking for a man. Tobal saw some of his other friends gathered by the kitchen and waved. Only a couple waved back and a few looked the other direction and moved away. He saw the Ox glower at him and sulk past silently. Apparently there were no other candidates that month and Melanie’s initiation was going to be the only one. There was a highly charged atmosphere about the camp with an under current of anger and many were curious to get their first sight of this hell cat that was also rumor had it, prepared to take her solo! She was going to do this without even the traditional month of training and it was causing quite a stir. Later he learned from Ellen the Ox had waited at sanctuary for another student and none had appeared. Both Zee and Kevin had gone there after the storm and waited too but no one had shown up. That’s why they were upset with him. While they had been worried about him he had been out training the only newbie available. She warned him there could really be some hard feelings and resentment among Apprentices unless more newbies started coming in. The last couple months had been abnormally slow and people planning on becoming Journeymen were still one or two trainees away. Ox was obviously on the war path and it would pay to stay well out of his way if possible. He excused himself from Ellen and was thinking about what she had said when he suddenly remembered the attack on his camp and the mysterious mass grave at the abandoned gathering spot. He wanted to ask Rafe about these things. Unfortunately Rafe was involved in Melanie’s initiation as a guard. Tobal also wanted to share his secret camp location with Rafe so he could find it. As Melanie’s initiation began, Tobal found himself casting furtive glances toward the red haired girl. She was talking rapidly and excitedly to an Apprentice that was sitting next to her. He recognized the gray robed figure as the instructor that brought her into circle last time. He suddenly realized Becca was going to be soloing this month along with Melanie. His feelings of responsibility toward Melanie were stronger than his curiosity and he felt himself drawn back into Melanie’s initiation ceremony as the drums started beating in deep rhythm. He was drawn into the dance with the other circle members. Disoriented, she stood hoodwinked and tied before the central fire. Her tunic had been cut a little too high and he caught glimpses of her pubic hair in the firelight. It seemed that some dancers jostled her too roughly but she stood proudly through it all as the power grew within the circle. Tobal could feel the power growing and soon sensed the presence of the Lord and Lady. He saw them with his inner eye. It seemed they were not as happy as before and the energy had an angry tinge to it that had not been there during his initiation. He was happy for Melanie and gave her a big hug at the end of the ceremony. She was now wearing the gray trousers and there were tears of happiness in her eyes. “Thank you Tobal,” she whispered as she clung to him. “This is sanctuary and the safest place I have ever been in my life. I’m among friends I can trust in a place where I belong and you are my closest and dearest friend.” She pulled him close and kissed him deeply, her lips crushing his in a fierce embrace. The party was getting into full swing when some raucous voices called Tobal over in their direction. Tobal saw his friends drinking home brewed beer out of leather drinking jacks and hurried over to help drink it up. This evening was in[...]

Chapter 10D-A Cool Reception

Sun, 29 Apr 2007 22:26:15 GMT

He was at the center of the circle proclaiming Melanie ready for her first solo when he noticed the red-haired girl, Becca, staring at him from the left side of the fire. Turning away, he continued talking and then resolutely returned to his sitting spot determined not to look in her direction again. He had seen the wonder and astonishment on her face and knew she was as surprised to see him as he had been to see her. Tobal’s situation was unique in that he was acting as a sponsor bringing a person into the clan for the first time and at the same time proclaiming that person ready to solo on their own in less than a month. This was not a normal situation and Melanie’s escapade with the guards made a lively buzz of conversation around the camp as people congregated before the circle and chatted together. To his relief the elders approved her solo. There were some farewells as some three year Masters left to become citizens. August was hot, very hot even in the mountains. He was thirsty and walked over to the beer barrel. “Hi Nikki,” he said. “Oh,” she looked startled and turned around toward him. “Hi.”“Congratulations on soloing.” “Thanks.” She said and bit her lip. For some reason she seemed a bit cool towards him. “Is there anything wrong?” “No,” she said, “ I’ve just got to get going. I want to train a newbie and need to get my things ready to leave early.” She turned and walked away from him. “Good luck,” he said to her back as she walked away. There was something definitely wrong and it seemed to be him for some reason. Moving over by the circle he saw Angel dressed in a black robe and was surprised that she was a Journeyman with three chevrons. “I thought you were an Apprentice,” he told her. “When I saw you in sanctuary with your broken leg you were dressed in gray.” “That was because of my injury,” she told him. “When I went through processing for treatment I was given the old gray stuff and my other clothes were ruined.” They chatted for a bit and she was pleasant. It must just be the Apprentices that were pissed at him. “Who is that dark haired girl with Dirk?” he asked suddenly. “I’ve been meaning to find out her name for two months now.” He blushed a bit. Angel laughed. “That’s Misty, she’s only got one more fight to win before she makes Master. Perhaps she can fight you, get you ready for being a real Journeyman?” She winked. Tobal was embarrassed and changed the subject. He always had trouble with girls and didn’t really know how to take them. Anarchist World Live Join the Revolution today! Online rss community of free men and free women. Let Freedom Ring! Who knows why one person gives up and dies while another struggles on through overwhelming odds and comes out on top? We all want to survive. But are we willing to do what needs to be done?Anarchistic Knights Technorati Tags : adventure, books, books on line, ebooks, outdoors, fantasy, sci-fi, teens, science fiction, fiction, survivalism[...]

Chapter 10C-Melanie Knifes a Guard

Mon, 23 Apr 2007 22:03:27 GMT

Melanie took to this new training like a duck takes to water. She was naturally secretive and suspicious of strangers. She moved so quietly with the ability to appear and disappear that she seemed like a ghost. She laughed when he told her that though. Basically Tobal was an even tempered teacher and she was quick and eager to learn. After two weeks of training she had learned navigating by map and compass. While she was an expert with the sling, it took her a while to get her first deer with the bow, mainly because of the terrain they were traveling in. She was now providing the food for both of them and learning to construct various shelters. It was mid July and there were plenty of berries to eat as well. They saw larger animals like deer, bear, cougar and mountain goats. It was certainly an area not occupied by anyone else. After two weeks of wandering they found a small hidden canyon with its own small waterfall and plenty of game. It was a box canyon with only one entrance that was a narrow crack in a rock face. They only found it by accident when Melanie was checking places to set out snares for the night. It was this remote little canyon that he decided to make his permanent base camp. They spent the remaining time building shelters. He finished his teepee and used the blanket material they brought as outer covering. Together they built a permanent smoker and rack for sun drying jerky in the hot summer sun and completed a sweat lodge they were both dying to try out. One morning Melanie came running to him all excited. She had found a honey tree. It was a rare treat and Tobal knew it would make a big hit at circle if they could find a way to get the honey without killing the bees. In the end they covered themselves with poncho material and smoked the bees out reaching into the tree with heavily protected hands and arms. They took two canteen cups full of the rich honey comb and honey leaving the rest for later. Tobal wanted the bees to survive and keep a constant supply of honey available. Time passed quickly, it was almost the full moon and they were far from the gathering spot. To make things even more complicated they would be coming into the gathering spot from the valley and not from the cliff trail most newbies entered on their first time into the area. He didn’t know how that was going to work out and decided to think about it later when they got closer to circle. With a smirk of satisfaction he stepped around the boulder from the wide trail onto the narrow ledge and sat down to wait. He had decided the best course was to simply take her up the trail to where the guards would be waiting. He told her to wait five minutes before following him back down and thought the guards would understand what was going on. He passed the area where they had taken him without incident and felt things were going all right. He was totally unprepared for the blood curdling scream and sounds of struggle he heard coming from the other side of the boulder. He should have given her some kind of warning he realized. It was too late now. Racing back around the boulder he saw Melanie standing with her back to the cliff face, a bloody knife in her hand and a crazed look on her face. She saw Tobal and flung herself into his arms sobbing hysterically and trembling violently. “They attacked me.” She kept sobbing. “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.” One of the guards lay sprawled on the trail bleeding fiercely from a gash in his shoulder. Tobal recognized him as a Journeyman named Dirk. The dark haired girl was applying first aid to her fallen companion and ignoring Melanie as if she didn’t exist. The third guard was presumably running for assistance back to the camp. Tobal held her shaking body keeping her steady until she cried herself out. He didn’t know what to do. Other guards would be comin[...]

Chapter 10B-The Haunted Village

Sun, 15 Apr 2007 12:57:16 GMT

The country was rough and they were careful to keep their own trail hidden. The next camps Tobal and Melanie made were small and well hidden. They now knew why no one else built anything on the lake. It was an obvious target for anyone going up or coming down stream. It was simply not safe and asking for trouble to build there permanently. The end of the lake with the waterfall was very rocky and difficult to travel. There was no shore and the rock simply dropped down into the water. What Tobal had in mind was finding some way to go upstream and explore with Melanie a couple weeks until the gathering. Perhaps he could find a better place to set up a main camp. With this goal in mind they struggled through the maze of rock, boulders and vegetation until reaching the edge of the water on the left side of the waterfall. The waterfall was thirty feet high and you could tell it was ancient since it had once been ten feet higher. Erosion by water in the stream bed caused the rock on both sides of the stream to rise like stone pillars hidden by pine trees and forest vegetation. It was a small stream only ten feet wide. The falling water arched over a narrow ledge that disappeared into blank stone wall at the other end of the fall. Where they stood the ledge opened into a small patio like area that was flat and free of rock. It was less than a foot higher than the lake and formed a deep pool. The water fell into the lake with a roar and violence that made the water churn and froth, but on the side where they were standing the water was inviting and made just for swimming. There was a ledge slightly below the surface of the water so a swimmer could easily climb back out after diving into the icy water. Tobal probed the hidden ledge with his walking stick and the shock of discovery made icy chills explode at the base of his spine. It wasn’t a ledge at all. It was the first of at least three steps that had been deliberately carved into the rock leading down into the pool of water. This was something he needed to explore more deeply on his own later. The discovery of the stone stairs made him more alert and he carefully examined the small patio area where they stood. Melanie shared his excitement and enthusiasm. She finally found what they both were looking for. The cliff face jutted out in a rough and uneven manner. She had been following the cliff face and turned a sharp corner that couldn’t be seen from the patio area. In a small recess there were distinct foot holes and hand holds carved into the face of the cliff leading up the cliff where they seemed to disappear. Tobal was first up the cliff and pulled himself onto a wide ledge that wasn’t visible from below. He helped Melanie over the edge and they both looked around with interest. There was vegetation since top soil had collapsed from above and fallen down. Trees, shrubbery and vines found footholds in the small layer of top soil and clung desperately to the rock. Near the trees a narrow crack in the cliff face formed a small chimney that could be climbed by pressing the body against one side and gradually working up the remaining fifteen feet to the top. They took off their packs and cut one blanket into strips, braiding it into a short rope they used to lift their packs up the chimney. Grabbing onto foliage and tree roots Tobal pulled himself out of the rock chimney helped Melanie out and coiled the rope putting it into his pack. At the top the soil was heavier and the foliage more dense and almost impossible to get through. The ring of foliage gave way to pine trees and the footing got easier. He could see what looked like a clearing ahead and started toward it. They broke into the open and looked around in wonder at what had obviously been a camp. There were the remains of permanent shelters and kitchen area. Near the ri[...]

Chapter 10A-Ruined Camp

Sat, 07 Apr 2007 02:02:03 GMT

Now that she was calmer and accepted the situation things went smoothly. He helped her go through her equipment and made sure she was wearing her med-alert bracelet. He explained about sanctuary, how the food and water were safe to drink but really nasty tasting and how everything was calculated to encourage people to leave as soon as possible. Tobal showed her the compass and map and which items were more important than others were. He advised her to grab a couple extra blankets off the beds and showed how to pack everything tightly into a pack that she could carry. He decided to wait out the rain. There was no sense traveling in such bad weather and he spent one more day at sanctuary getting to know Melanie and teaching her how to use the supplies. He explained about the maps and compass and how to read them. On the morning of the 2nd day the rain had stopped and it promised to be mild and clear. The sun was shining. The air was fresh and clear. It was a perfect day for traveling and he started by having her triangulate their location and finding it on the map. In high spirits they headed straight for the lake cross country to the South East where his main camp was. Melanie was leading the way and tying knots in her cord every ½ mile. Since her steps were shorter than Tobal’s she used a higher number of steps before tying the knot but the principle was the same. Things didn’t go as smoothly as they had when training with Rafe, especially since he had lost most of his emergency supplies in the flash flood. They did not have much food in reserve and at first needed to rely heavily on the nasty tasting stuff they brought with them from sanctuary. Melanie proved a quick student with an animal instinct toward self preservation and survival. Tobal made a walking stick for her and showed her how to use it. As they traveled toward the lake he taught her many of the things Rafe had taught him. He taught about testing food to see if it was edible and collecting herbs as they went along. She caught on to snares with an uncanny sense of how animals thought and where they made their trails. More times than not it was Melanie’s snare or trap that held the rabbit or quail and not Tobal’s. She turned out to be a much better trapper than he was. He comforted himself with the thought they had plenty of meat and spent a few days smoking jerky and building up their emergency food supply. Melanie proved to be a natural with a sling and said she played a lot of baseball as a kid. She was already skilled in archery, which she learned in high school. She had been on the school archery team. There were less than 24 days until the next gathering and Tobal wondered if Melanie would be ready. He suspected she would given how fast she caught on to things. He would know for sure by the gathering and pushed the thought out of his mind. As they drew near base camp his spirits rose and he began describing the beautiful place he had found. She was a good listener and never seemed to tire of his stories and descriptions. Tobal was a good instructor and leader. All thoughts of Becca Morgan were forced out of his mind by the demands of teaching Melanie and he pushed her to the limit. Still there were nights he lay looking up at the stars wondering about and dreading the next gathering when he would see her again. Melanie thrived in the outdoors environment. Her face became tanned and happy. Her body became hard, brown and sinewy. The bruises on her face disappeared and her laughter was infectious. She became relaxed and easy with herself and with Tobal. The only unusual thing was how she always seemed to have a knife in her hands, sharpening it, tossing it up and catching it, spinning it and even throwing it. Her speed was unnatural.Once they startled a quail at their feet. As [...]

Chapter 9D-Melanie's Story

Sat, 31 Mar 2007 01:21:12 GMT

“Why did you come here then?” He asked. Gradually her story came out. She had heard about the mysterious, Forbidden City of Heliopolis and of how anyone, no matter their race, religion or past could go there and claim sanctuary. There were rumors of time travel and witches circles and magick. She had run away from an abusive home to get here and now she was scared. She didn’t understand anything about this place. “It’s not at all like I thought it would be,” she confessed tearfully. “You ran away from home?” Tobal asked. She blushed and her face went red to the roots of her dark brown hair. That’s when Tobal noted in the dim light the remains of a black eye and a yellowing bruise on the left side of her face. This girl was not a stranger to violence. He shuddered to think of her with the Ox as a teacher. She was seeking sanctuary in a totally different way than he had claimed sanctuary. He had been seeking for clues about his parents and their deaths. She was simply looking for a place of safety. Not quite knowing how to begin. “This is kind of complicated,” he said at last. “Sanctuary is not that easy and becoming a citizen takes a long time.” He began lamely. “You see, they don’t just let people into Heliopolis….” She started to clench up and quiver at his words fighting back tears and he motioned her to keep quiet and let him finish. He tried a kindly smile and saw her flinch at his attempt. “Heliopolis only grants citizenship to those that have proven themselves worthy of being citizens. Claiming sanctuary just means you are applying for citizenship and willing to prove your worthiness.” He stopped as he realized she didn’t understand a word he was saying. He tried again. “You just had a medical exam right?” She nodded. “You’ve also taken a bunch of tests and been given a pack with some clothing and a sleeping bag right?” again she nodded. “What you are now expected to do is go out and prove that you can live off the land by yourself for an entire month.” She looked at him in shocked disbelief. Her eyes were starting to widen in horror with dawning comprehension. “You mean there is no sanctuary here?” She asked. His face relaxed into a grin as he sat up once more on the hard cot. “There is safety and sanctuary in a way. A group of us live outside the city in the wilderness. We have all claimed sanctuary, even Ox whom you already met. We are proving ourselves worthy of becoming citizens of Heliopolis. The requirements are completion of three degrees of work and study. The Apprentice degree is to learn how to survive alone in the wilderness for an entire month or 28 days, which is the moon cycle. You do this without any assistance from anyone else. Once you have soloed you are expected to train six other people to solo. Training these six people proves your mastery and ability to survive in the wilderness. Once these six people have soloed you are eligible for the Journeyman degree which we can talk more about later.” “Ox has already trained five people to solo but I haven’t trained anyone yet. I just finished my own solo three days ago. I came here hoping to find someone to train.” She was much more curious now and attentive to what he was saying. “Ox came here to find someone to train and we had a little personality clash as you noticed”, He grinned ruefully. “At least I’m still alive! I thought he was a little too offensive for my taste.” He looked at her solemnly and said, “I’d be glad to teach you the survival skills needed to solo and receive the Apprentice degree if you would like.” She looked at him with a glint of humor in her eyes and a light smile on her face. “I’d like that very much Mr. Tobal[...]

Chapter 9C-Melanie

Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:34:37 GMT

He was feeling satisfied with his pack and starting to feel better in general when he heard footsteps entering the building and a timid "Hello." He froze in the darkness waiting. There was a short silence and the footsteps continued until he heard the familiar mechanical voice saying. "Do you seek sanctuary in the city of the sun?" A timid female voice answered weakly, "Yes, I do." Tobal moved silently to the edge of the dark archway and looked into the other room. He saw a slight figure with her back toward him. She was entering the sliding door into the exam area. Yesterday he had gone through the exam wearing his med-alert bracelet and it had been nothing like the two day processing he had gone through the first time. It had only taken about 3 hours before he emerged with his new clothing and gear. He knew it would be two days for this newbie to finish processing so he settled down to wait. The pouring rain continued and he assumed Zee and Kevin had decided not to travel in the storm and would be coming later after the weather had cleared. It was around noon on the second day that a sure footed hulk came through the door dressed in the gray tunic of an Apprentice. It was a boy Tobal had seen at circle briefly but hadn't talked to. He felt this hulking boy had been hostile toward both him and Rafe. Tobal remembered the boy's name was Victor, but most people called him the Ox, probably because he was so slow and big. The Ox stopped and grinned when he saw Tobal. "Anyone come in yet?" He asked. "Yeah, someone's processing right now," Tobal replied. The Ox padded over to him, his bulk towering over Tobal in a menacing way. He could see the five chevrons on the Ox’s sleeve and knew the Ox intended to claim this newbie for himself. "You'd better run along little boy," the Ox told him. "I'll take care of this one." An icy feeling settled into Tobal's gut. He felt sick and powerless to stop what was happening. The Ox was too big for him to take in a fight. He sat back on one of the cots without saying anything. A small flicker of triumph gleamed in the Ox’s eyes as he turned and went outside for his pack. Moments later Tobal heard a door slide open and the girl, now dressed in a gray robe and carrying a bundle, stepped into the darker room where he sat waiting. As if on cue the Ox came stomping in and walked up to her. He roughly grabbed her arm. "Come on, I'm your new teacher," he growled. "Let's get going." She shrank back obviously terrified and Tobal instinctively stood up without thinking. "Wait a minute Ox," he said. "I've been waiting here three days and I think you're rushing things a little bit. She might prefer to go with me than go with you." His challenge stopped the Ox in his tracks. "You still here scarface?" He asked, "You'd better run back to Rafe before I mess you up." "Why don't we just explain the situation to the newbie," said Tobal reasonably, "We can both talk to her and she can make her own decision about who she wants as a teacher." The Ox didn't even wait. He spun and lurched over to where Tobal was standing, grabbed him by the tunic and threw him down on the floor. In disbelief Tobal narrowly missed being kicked in the face by a huge boot. This guy was really trying to hurt him! He rolled hastily to his feet and watched the Ox with fear in his eyes. There had been no real warning. Tobal was caught completely off guard by the viciousness of the attack and had no idea what to expect next. The Ox was obviously used to getting his own way and was coming around the end of the cot to close with him and give him a real pounding that could involve serious injury. Instinctively Tobal’s hand went to his knife and he held it in front of him protec[...]

Chapter 9B-Becca

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 20:57:25 GMT

He chatted with Wayne and Char for a bit before sunset. They were building a permanent base camp and planned on spending the winter together. That got Tobal thinking about the coming cold weather and how he needed to get prepared and make some changes in his training. He resolved to pick up his winter gear he had cached at Rafe's on the way back to circle next month. He thought he would be ok for this month and furs were not prime yet. He visited with Tara for awhile. She was concentrating on building a base camp and getting ready for the coming winter. She was hoping to find someone to share camp with and was disappointed when Tobal said he was planning to train during the winter. The bon fire was lit and word came around that there was going to be several Apprentice initiations and Ellen wanted to get started early. Tobal almost forgot about it until he heard one of the guards boom out. "Becca Morgan is welcomed into our clan as a new member."Along with the others, he was caught up in the shouting, applause and craning his neck to get his first view of this new member of the clan. As the High Priestess and High Priest began the initiation ceremony Tobal found himself remembering parts although some things seemed reversed. Then he realized the High Priest was doing the initiating and not the High Priestess. They had reversed roles because of Becca being female. It seemed the High Priestess only initiated male candidates and the High Priest initiated female candidates. Tobal was admitted into the circle by the High Priestess with a hug and a kiss and found a place to sit on the northern side of the circle. He sat with others as the circle was purified and made ready for the candidate. Everyone sat back in anticipation as Becca was led out hood winked with both hands tied behind her back. Her guide was the same dark haired girl that had been his guide and he still didn’t know her name. He was going to have to ask someone. As Becca was initiated Tobal found himself staring at her. Her tunic had been cut so short he could almost see where her slender white legs joined together beneath the cloth and he found them incredibly attractive. He was watching the candidate or rather watching her legs as the charge was read and began reliving in his own mind the particulars of his own initiation. He could feel the energy building within the circle and he sensed the presence of the Lord and Lady as they took their accustomed places over the central fire. When the drums started and it was time to move around the circle and build the cone of power he found himself dancing clockwise with the others. As he touched her shoulder and gently turned her it felt like a spark raced up his arm and then down his spine. He felt thrilled and uncomfortable at the same time. What was going on? He was obviously aroused and attracted by this unknown girl. He could even feel how she must feel as the focus of all this energy. His elation turned to shock and horror as the Priest took the hoodwink off Becca and her face was exposed to the fire light of the circle. As she blinked, he saw it was the face of the girl that almost clawed his eyes out a year ago. She was being initiated into his clan and his circle as a sister. Stunned and hurt, he got through the rest of the ceremony by retreating so deeply into his own thoughts and inner anguish he hardly realized what was going on within the circle. He sat through three other initiations in a stupor. Later when the party started Tobal made a pretense of having a good time but soon slipped away and nobody seemed to notice he was gone. Tobal didn't know if anyone had missed him. He left that evening and struggled his way up the cliff leading back to sanctua[...]

Chapter 9A-The Lake

Sun, 11 Mar 2007 13:48:28 GMT

Chapter 9 The next day continued at a luxurious pace. For the first time there was no hurry or pressing matter. He indulged in curiosity and took exploratory hikes away from the stream to check out interesting and promising areas that from time to time caught his attention. There was plenty of small game and he was always able to knock down some bird or animal for a quick meal. He never thought about using his bow. He had no need for that much meat and didn't want to waste the time curing and drying it into jerky. As long as he was following the stream he didn't have to worry about getting lost or even using the map and compass. All he had to do was keep going downstream. There were actually a few times when it was raining that he would set up camp for a few days in the same spot and just sit out the bad weather. It was so peaceful and beautiful that one day led to the next. There was no pressure to perform and no Rafe to challenge him or push him harder. He loved setting his own pace and being his own boss. He moved as the spirit moved him and his solo was more like a vacation than actual work. When he arrived at the lake he made one spot a semi-permanent base and spent two weeks at the lake just fishing, exploring and working on his clothing and equipment. The lake was good sized and fed by several mountain streams. Tobal spent several days just exploring around it and enjoying the colorful sun sets in the evening. But nights were not restful and his dreams were filled with dark, menacing visions of people being killed and bodies being piled into mass graves. The Lord and Lady never came to him and it seemed the dead walked in his dreams instead of the living. Game was plentiful and he started a permanent camp similar to Rafe’s. No one seemed to be at this particular location but he did run across the remains of old camp fires and a few shelters. There was nothing recent. He saw many deer with young and the bear had come out of hibernation. He saw one mother bear with cubs and gave it a wide berth. Spring was the natural time for most wild species to give birth and nourish their young. Many of them at one time or another came down to the lake for water usually in the early morning or late evenings just before sunset. One morning he even saw a cougar or mountain lion on the opposite shore of the lake. It seemed like birds were everywhere and he learned to listen to the forest and what it was telling him. There were times when it was noisy and times when it was almost too quiet. At night the trees would creak and sway in the wind and he would hear night creatures prowl around the camp in the darkness. It had not bothered him when Rafe had been there to talk to. But being alone in the woods was a lot different than being with someone. He thought maybe his dark dreams were getting to him. Tobal thought about the time he would have to teach six other people to solo just like Rafe had done. He didn't know if he wanted to teach anyone yet. It would be much more fun to explore and develop a permanent camp. Perhaps he would take his newbies down into this area. With that in mind Tobal began building his own teepee shaped structure. He could get the blanket material from sanctuary later after the framework was completed. He began setting up things he had seen at Rafe's, a smokehouse, a rack for drying jerky, a sweat lodge, and several traps for fish and for quail. These were spares for later in the winter months since he didn't need them right now. It didn't take him long to realize that he needed more cord and string. He also wished he had something heavier than a knife to cut wood with. A good axe would come in handy. He remembered the one he had se[...]

Chapter 8D-Solo

Tue, 06 Mar 2007 03:04:04 GMT

The drums beat faster and faster until the dancers were sweat streaked but showing no sign of stopping. A sudden signal from the High Priestess brought complete and abrupt silence to the entire circle as everyone turned and looked at her. The tension and energy in the circle was overpowering. "Lord and Lady," she shouted, "We ask you to send your blessings and our blessings out to those in special need this night. We especially ask you to bless and assist those that are about to solo. Be with them and guide their steps so they may return successfully to us in a month’s time. So mote it be!" "So mote it be," the entire circle replied and Tobal felt such a wave of energy and love wash over him that he was swept out of his body and up once more into the arms of the Lady, this time as a baby. She gazed lovingly into his eyes as his consciousness faded away. Tobal woke as someone helped him back to the edge of the circle where his robe was laying. The circle felt empty, the energy was gone although he still felt it inside himself. That wasn't the end though because Nikki's initiation began. Again he experienced the build up of energy, only this time it was directed at Nikki. Again in his minds eye he saw the Lord and Lady taking their place above the central fire. Later there were people standing in relaxed bunches around fires drinking and eating. Instinctively he knew the circle had done some powerful magick that night and that his solo would be blessed. This was quite different from the wild party he had experienced last month. There was a feeling of joy, friendship and goodwill as people joked and talked with each other helping themselves to enormous quantities of food and drink. They gradually moved into small groups to quietly sit together and talk far into the night. He made a special point of welcoming Nikki into the clan. He spent time chatting with Zee and noticed Angel was back from sanctuary. She was limping slightly but otherwise seemed to be doing well. He met another Apprentice named Tara. He had noticed her dancing and made a special point to meet her. Wayne and Char were both there laughing at some of the stories Rafe was telling. It was a good party and he felt warm and happy when he finally made his way to bed. Tobal's solo wasn't the way he envisioned it. He left circle on the 2nd morning when everyone else was leaving. He had decided to explore some country that he hadn't visited before and wanted to find a place with adequate water. He was also interested in finding an area where he could set up a permanent base camp. To his surprise, he wasn't interested in the solo. He was interested in exploring. With those two things in mind he decided to head south and see what the country was like. His map showed a small lake about a hundred miles South. He wanted to check it out and do some exploring. It was out of the area he was expected to stay within but there were no hard rules about where he could and couldn't go. His vision of the Lord and Lady seemed to be directing him and pulling him toward that lake for some reason. He had noticed it on the map before but it was only since last night he really felt compelled to see it on his own. Somehow the energy of the circle last night had changed something inside of him and altered his plans about where he was going to solo. Still it felt right and he headed east until he found a small stream that emptied into the lake. With a light heart he whistled as he started out. The day was bright and shiny. He kept on the lookout for things to eat and made a leisurely camp near the stream. It was late May and the weather was a little chill in the evening but wonderf[...]

Chapter 8C-The Lord and Lady

Wed, 28 Feb 2007 02:05:56 GMT

The entry was sealed and the High Priest took the bowl of water and started at the North signal fire behind the altar sprinkling it with the water and salt mixture. He continued around the circle stopping at each quarter sprinkling the water and salt mixture intoning. "I purify you with water." Coming once more to the North he continued around the circle sprinkling each member with water and blessing him or her. As he was doing this a different Master in a red cloak took up a smoking smudge of sage and stopped at each quarter waving the smoking smudge saying. "I purify you with air." She continued around the circle blessing and purifying each circle member. Another Master took a flaming torch from the central bonfire and purified the circle and members with fire. Only the High Priestess and High Priest had their hoods down. The other red cloaked figures had large hoods that covered their faces and hid their identities. Tobal only recognized Ellen as the HighPriestess. The High Priestess went to the East of the circle and drew an invoking pentagram of air with her knife."Watchtowers of the East, powers of air. I call upon you to be with us tonight." Moving along the edge of the circle to the South Quarter she traced a matching invoking pentagram of fire in the air in front of the signal fire. "Watchtowers of the South, powers of fire. I call upon you to be with us tonight." Moving to the west she traced an invoking pentagram of water in front of that signal fire. "Watchtowers of the west, powers of water. I call upon you to be with us tonight." Moving to the North she traced an invoking pentagram of earth in front of that signal fire. "Watchtowers of the North, powers of Earth. I call upon you to be with us tonight." Tobal suddenly felt an electrical tension that filled the circle. It was a powerful energy but also quiet and balanced. He sensed each of the four energies and wondered at their uses. Returning to the altar in the North, the High Priestess made the sign of the cross and turned with her back facing the altar. Her robe slipped to the ground displaying her naked body in the fire light. The High Priest with his right fore finger touched her right breast, left breast, womb, and back up to her right breast making a downward pointing triangle. "I invoke and call upon the eternal Lady that is deep within you and has always been within you from the birth of your physical body and from the birth of your eternal soul. Join us in peace and love within our circle and give us your blessings." The High Priest stepped back and waited silently. The High Priestess opened her eyes and Tobal could swear it was not the same person. Her eyes and voice took on a power and authority that filled the entire circle. "Let there be Love." Slowly they traded places and the High Priest stood with his back to the altar and his robe slid to the ground exposing his hard and muscled figure. The High Priestess with power and authority touched him first on the center of the forehead, then the left shoulder, the right shoulder and back to the forehead once more making an upward pointing triangle. "I invoke and call upon the eternal Lord that is deep within you and has always been within you since the birth of your physical body and the birth of your immortal soul. Join us in energy and light within our circle and give us your blessings." Then she stood back and waited. The High Priest opened his eyes and responded spreading his arms wide in blessing. "Let there be Light!" Tobal could feel energy filling the circle. It was charged with a type of static electr[...]

Chapter 8B-Circle

Wed, 21 Feb 2007 22:45:24 GMT

Circle was different this time around and Tobal whistled merrily as he traveled the path into camp. He didn't see anyone on the trail and no one tried to stop him or Rafe. Rafe seemed amused at Tobal's whistling but didn't say anything about it. He only whistled a few short bars at two sharp turns in the trail and that was it. People were setting up teepees and gathering wood for the fires. There was a lot of work to do and Tobal joined in with enthusiasm. He helped dig the roasting pits where the bigger animals were being prepared. It felt good to work along side other clansmen and joke with them. He was grateful to contribute and as evening came closer he wondered what the night would bring. Everyone was changing into robes. All clan members at circle wore robes that they kept in one of the storage buildings. A black robed guard was handing them out. There was no reason to haul robes around all month when they were only used here. Tobal was given a long gray robe similar to the one he had gotten at sanctuary. "Just bring it back tomorrow when you're done with it." Was all the guard told him. It turned out only four newbies were being initiated that night. Tobal made some new friends and was hanging out with them. They were all Apprentices. Zee was a raven haired girl with shoulder length hair and a good sense of humor. She had been one of Rafe's students and was training her first newbie. Nicky, the newbie had just arrived at sanctuary two weeks ago and was being initiated as Apprentice tonight, but would be waiting till next month before starting her solo. Wayne was a stocky good natured fellow with sandy hair. He had been an Apprentice for two years and wasn't in any hurry to make it to Journeyman. He didn't have any student and hadn't been training anyone for the past few months. He was more interested in being with his girl friend that was also an Apprentice. His girlfriend, Char, had curly brown hair and a ready smile. They were always seen together at circle. Tobal remembered both of them from last circle. It was easy to tell they were in love. A tall, lanky, sandy haired kid was soloing the same time he was. They hit it off right away during last month's initiation. In fact, all six that had been initiated last month were soloing this month. Kevin was more nervous about his solo than Tobal was. It made Tobal realize Rafe was a very uncommon teacher and extremely good at teaching others what they needed to know. Most soloists didn't have the quality of training or the experience Rafe had given him. Kevin kept thinking about bad things that might happen in the woods, things that hadn't occurred to Tobal since his first weeks of training. Many clansmen were excited about the six of them soloing and they were given lots of support and encouragement. Nicky kept staring at Tobal's face, finally she blurted out. " What happened to your face anyway?" Tobal was caught by surprise and off guard. "I was attacked by a wild animal that knocked me down. I fought it off and was really lucky." He lied. "I almost lost the sight in this eye," and he fingered the long scar around his right eye. Nicky said, "It makes you look kind of sexy and dangerous," and it was her turn to blush. Rising to her feet, she crossed over to where Tobal was sitting and crouched down in front of him putting her arms around his neck. "Very sexy," she whispered and kissed him deeply and passionately on the lips pulling his hand against the top of her breasts where her robe lay casually open at the top. Then she stood back up and walked toward the kitchen to refill her mug of beer. Tobal wa[...]

Chapter 8A-Rogues

Sun, 11 Feb 2007 14:36:17 GMT

Chaper 8Rafe explained the best way to survive in the winter was to hunt the larger animals like the deer. Each kill would provide enough food for a week or more. In the winter it was very important to have some food set aside for emergencies and when the weather really got bad. Winter was also the best time for trapping animals for their fur. He would need winter clothing and this was as good a time to learn as any. He could make some things now while the furs were prime and keep them at Rafe's camp until he needed them. In the meantime it was spring and life was abundant. Flowers bloomed in the meadows and insects flew and crawled all over. Tobal learned to make containers and drinking cups out of the green bark of birch trees and boiled water in them. He used them to make teas and ointments that kept the deerflies and ticks away. His skin became tanned and his muscles hard from the constant exposure and work. He could stay outside in any weather and walk the entire day without being exhausted. By the end of the second week Tobal was living completely on his own food. He was not only finding food but was providing food for Rafe to eat. He still had trouble cooking though. Nothing he cooked tasted as good as the mouth watering victuals that Rafe provided. Still Rafe never complained. Tobal learned the importance of keeping his knife razor sharp, both of them. He kept the one from his initiation on his belt and his old knife strapped to his right leg above his ankle just as Rafe did. By the end of the second week he was getting bored with the monotony of the daily grind and the constant need to keep busy. He was looking forward to something new. They moved out from Rafe's small valley and traveled in different directions meeting up at designated spots on the map every other day. Tobal became proficient with the map and with triangulating where he was at any given time. He spent some evenings alone and others with Rafe. The evenings he spent with Rafe were spent creating different kinds of shelters and sleeping in them. He was amazed at how many things could be used for shelter. But they all had the bed made of soft fragrant pine boughs and he followed the first rule of never sleeping on the ground if it could be avoided. Leaning trees that had fallen provided shelter when combined with the gray poncho material. Two trees and his walking stick lashed between them became an impromptu tent. Lean-to shelters were easily made and he also made a small teepee using the gray blanket material. The need for water was always present and he never strayed too far from a good supply of it. He learned where to look for fresh water springs and waterholes. He also learned to collect rain water with his poncho or blanket and fill his canteens and other containers. Rain water was fresh and didn't need to be boiled. Water from stagnant pools needed to be boiled before drinking. He practiced continuously with the sling and his bow. He got his first deer at the end of the third week. He was really excited even though there was too much meat. They spent two days slicing and smoking it into jerky that could be stored away to eat later. It made his pack much heavier and he cached some carefully in a tree marking the spot on his map so he could return to it later. Once in awhile they would see an air sled in the distance with a medic on it. They would wave and sometimes the medic would wave back. Medics were not allowed to interfere with the Apprentice degrees unless there was an emergency but they did keep an eye on things. It was during the fourth and final we[...]

Chapter 7D-Learning to Hunt

Sat, 03 Feb 2007 23:41:12 GMT

"Ya, We can try that." He said. "You did a good job thinking about what you were going to do and made a plan. You also remembered we need water and that's very important out here. It looks like a good plan and I'm willing to try it with you. Lead the way." He said. Tobal pulled out his cord and undid all the knots in it. He aligned the red line on his compass for a northeast heading and surveyed the landscape seeking the best pathway through it. Choosing his route between trees he set out purposefully with Rafe following cheerfully behind him. It was rough going the next three days. He didn't need to worry about water because it rained all the way to Rafe's camp. Tobal was glad for the makeshift woolen poncho that kept him halfway warm even when it was wet. It was miserable travelling. He made a hat to keep body heat from escaping out the top of his head. It was welcome protection from both the sun and the rain since Tobal had fair skin that burned easily. Rafe had been insistent he had some type of head covering. One of the quickest ways of loosing body heat was not having your head covered. Sun stroke and sun burn could be dangerous killers. In the wilderness these things were not to be taken lightly. Tobal learned to move carefully and deliberately in the rain and slick mud. Rafe continued his education by pointing out and gathering herbs. The unceasing rain made the snow disappear almost overnight. He explained about tinder and how to find good dry firewood even in the rain. Tobal learned to always have enough dry tinder and kindling to start a fire. He carried it with him in a pouch on his belt. The pouch was created by cutting some of the fabric off the poncho. He used the sewing kit to sew it together. He also used the sewing kit to mend some of his socks. He made it a habit to gather small pieces of firewood as they went along so he didn't need to look so hard for it at night. While it was more weight to carry, it was easier than looking in the rain and darkness for dry wood. Each evening Tobal would select the campsite and start the fire under Rafe's supervision. Together they would gather the rest of the evening's wood and take turns preparing the meal. At night they set snares for small animals. In the morning they would check the snares and sometimes they would be lucky. Often they would find only an empty snare. They couldn't get warm enough in the constant drizzle but the fire did feel good even if they couldn't get dry. During the day they also hunted for small game. Rafe and Tobal each cut a long strip of fabric and made a sling out of it. Together they practiced with small stones at various targets. The first day Rafe hit a rabbit and that night they ate rabbit stew. There was always some kind of greens for a salad. Small animals were not all they would eat. Rafe showed him how to break open rotten logs and find the grubs within them. "They are better cooked in something." Rafe grinned as Tobal fought off a wave of nausea. "Still, they are better than not eating at all. The large wood ants have a lemony flavor but you need to make sure you bite them hard before swallowing or they will try to crawl back up." By water they set traps overnight for fish and set snares for small animals. If they caught anything it was usually a rabbit or squirrel and went into the stew or was simply roasted. They ate the fish immediately. At noon every day Tobal triangulated his true position on the map and made small corrections in their course. At times he rethought the best route to Rafe's camp f[...]

Chapter 7C-Tobal Leads the Way

Sat, 27 Jan 2007 02:40:47 GMT

"There are some hard feelings out there and some day something is going to happen. That's why you have to be careful. Not everyone here is friendly. Some people would like to see you or me disappear or come up with a broken leg or something. Watch you back brother, watch your back." Tobal thrilled at being called 'brother' but a chill feeling of dread swirled around his tailbone. What had he gotten himself into, he wondered? The events of last night's party were hazy and he didn't remember much. He did remember the initiation though and how powerful it had been. He said as much to Rafe. "You'll have plenty of opportunities to participate in other initiations and experience them more completely. In fact," he grinned, "you can have an active part in every circle and initiation from now on if you choose. It is an important part of your spiritual training. That's how we do it out here." As they walked toward the center of the camp Tobal was surprised at how big it was and how many permanent log buildings had been built. This was his first real opportunity to see the camp in daylight. There were permanent structures like the sweat lodge nestled near a clear pool of mountain stream water. Others seemed to be just empty sleeping quarters. The larger log building where they were headed was the galley and stood out from the others. Teepees were being taken down and put away. It seemed some of the empty buildings were used for storage. The teepee seemed to be the favorite for those desiring a little more privacy. They were built with long poles lashed together at the top and spread out in a conical shape at the bottom. They were covered with the gray woolen material that seemed to be used for just about everything out here. Many were insulated with heavy furs fastened over the woolen material and tied into place. Tobal wondered in an amused way how many trips through the sanctuary building had been made to get that many of the gray blankets. They were not the only ones getting ready to leave. Many others were already leaving or saying their final good-byes. Tobal was trying to remember the names of people he had met and failing miserably. He felt good though and found himself looking forward to next month when he would see them again. In the galley they had a final breakfast of cooked venison, wild onions and sweet potatoes. With bellies stuffed packs and canteens full, they picked up their walking sticks and headed out of the camp. They didn't go back up the cliff but went down further through the valley and into the foothills. Rafe explained that nobody stayed near Heliopolis. His camp was about 40 miles away from sanctuary and there were other camps even further out. Most people stayed no further than thirty to sixty miles from the gathering spot though. Everyone was expected to find plenty of food and game in individual areas that were not over hunted and fairly private. It was mainly a nomadic existence, especially during the training phase. So you followed the food. At various times of the year animals would migrate and move out of one area entirely and into others. Winters were hard and people set up permanent camps with stored food caches to help survive when fresh food was hard to find. This time of year the weather was mild and the days were warm and beautiful. The snow was rapidly thawing and new shoots of green vegetation ensured they wouldn't have to worry about adequate food in a few more weeks. There were small animals and new plant life everywhere they looked althou[...]

Chapter 7B-Making Enemies

Thu, 18 Jan 2007 22:57:14 GMT

"Hey, get up! Get up!" Someone was pushing and shaking Tobal. Groggily he raised his head. It was Rafe shaking him and grinning mischievously. "Hey, c'mon. We’ve got a lot to do today. You going to sleep all morning?" Tobal groaned and put his hands to his head. He had a splitting headache and a nasty hangover feeling in his gut. Must have had too much of the mead and home brewed beer last night he thought morosely. He rolled over and tried going back to sleep but Rafe was shaking him again cheerfully. "C'mon, I’m not kidding. It's a busy day. Let's go get some breakfast." Tobal sat up and looked around realizing he had been sleeping in one of the teepees he had seen yesterday. He didn't have any idea how he had gotten there. There were empty blankets where other people must have slept but they were all gone. He was the only one left.He looked bleary eyed at Rafe. "What are we doing today?" He tried valiantly to ignore the throbbing in his head and the churning in his gut. Rafe gave him another light hearted, good natured poke with an elbow. "How does it feel to be a witch?" He asked cheerfully. "Perhaps I should say an Apprentice witch." He chuckled."An Apprentice witch?" Tobal mumbled. "I didn't know I was going to become an apprentice witch! What the hell are you talking about anyway?" Rafe hunkered down on his haunches, "I keep forgetting your parents are dead," he said. "I can't believe all of this is completely new to you. Most of us have grown up within the system and understand it." "Well I don't," grumped Tobal. "Maybe you can fill me in on what I'm getting myself into here." "There are three separate degrees in our system," Rafe told him. "These three degrees correspond to the three degrees of the ancient mystery schools, the three degrees of ancient Freemasonry and the three degrees of witchcraft. We simply call it the three degrees of the Craft." "The first degree of Apprentice is concerned with learning the basic survival skills that will keep you alive in the woods during all seasons of the year. We are given gray tunics and trousers…by the way." He grinned. "How do you like your new trousers?" Tobal flushed and grinned back, "They are pretty nice actually. It was getting kind of drafty after they shortened my robe." Rafe snickered, "Well anyway, the color gray symbolizes the degree we are in. The second degree is black. You probably noticed your guards last night were wearing black?" Tobal grinned. He was starting to feel much better. "They were pretty rough too, but my guide was nice looking, that dark haired girl?" Rafe ignored him, "That's part of the Journeyman degree. The Journeyman degree is where you learn self-defense among other things. " Rafe looked at him quizzically, "Do you remember how you have to train six other people to solo before you can enter the Journeyman degree?" "Yeah." "Well, to complete the Journeyman degree you need to beat six other people in hand to hand combat. That doesn't mean how many times you get beat yourself," he grinned ruefully. He looked a little worried and Tobal couldn't help but think Rafe was a bit anxious about becoming a Journeyman. That was probably due to his small size. It was hard to think Rafe could beat anyone in a fair fight. "What about the third degree then? What’s that degree about?" he asked curiously. "Are they the ones dressed in red tunics and robes?" "Yes, they are dressed in red." They are titled Master of the circle and accorded the highest respect. Y[...]

Chapter 5C-More Map Work

Sat, 30 Dec 2006 12:30:11 GMT

"That's right," Rafe said. “The full moon in March or early April is a very special time when we celebrate the beginning of spring and Osteria." "What's Osteria? What’s that mean? I’ve never heard of anyone celebrating Osteria before." Rafe answered, "When we live in the woods we try living in harmony with nature. We try to understand the tides and energies of the seasons. Have you ever felt the energy of spring before, the energy of the spring thaw? Have you felt nature coming back to life again after the cold winter? When you tap into that energy it makes you feel alive and great! We study the natural forces of nature and how to adapt to them. The yearly cycle has major festivals to celebrate the energy changes that are important to us. There are eight major festivals in the year. Four of them are solar festivals and four of them are lunar festivals. You will learn more about them later." "Consider yourself lucky to have your initiation during Osteria because it will give the added power of spring." "Anyway," Rafe continued. "We are going to the gathering spot for the celebration and for your initiation into the clan. That way you’ll get to meet everybody. The gathering place is about 30 miles north of here." "What initiation?" "Your official initiation into our clan as a brother. It is when you will be introduced and welcomed to the other members of our clan." "Our clan?" "Forget it for now. We’ve got to get moving." Rafe pulled out his map and laid it flat on the ground. He showed Tobal. "You remember last night? You said we were right here," He made a little mark on the map with his pencil. "Oh, by the way, don't forget to make marks on these maps. Mark all of the places you want to remember." Then he pointed to a spot on the map Tobal recognized as the campsite. Tobal nodded. "OK," said Rafe, "We spin the map around so it's facing north just like before," he spun the map around. "Have the string straight north like we did before. 30 miles is how far on the map?" Tobal looked at the gridlines and did a quick calculation. "30 miles will put us right about here." He pointed to a spot on the map about 3 inches north of their campsite. He noticed there was an "x" marked on Rafe's map at that spot. "That's right," Rafe chuckled. "What can you tell me about getting there?" "What do you mean?" Tobal asked. "Look at the map. Do we go in a straight line or what? Describe the terrain we need to cross." Tobal looked more closely at the map and noticed something strange. "What's this," he asked suddenly? Rafe looked smug. "What are you talking about?" "Well," Tobal continued, "the lines get real close together and then there is just one thick dark line. It must be a cliff or ravine. Do we have to climb down a cliff?" "That's right," Rafe grinned again. "We can't go in a straight line to the gathering place. We can almost go in a straight line until we get to the cliff but then we need to find a way down into the valley from above. Fortunately I know the way down. It’s not too far out of our way and for all practical purposes, we will just head straight north today." "Now," Rafe said, "take all the knots out of your cord. You will be tying new knots today." "New knots?" Tobal said blankly. "That's right, we don't keep knots in the cord forever. We're already where we wanted to be. The cord is a tool to get you where you want to be, not to tell you where you’v[...]

Chapter 4A-Sanctuary

Mon, 18 Dec 2006 22:20:46 GMT

Adam Gardner was very effective in making travel arrangements and in a few hours Tobal found himself with a full stomach, refreshed and once more on an airbus heading toward what he fervently hoped was his final destination. It was mid April and the sun was shining brightly as the airbus flew east toward the Rocky Mountains. Patches of snow grew the farther they flew until it covered everything in an unbroken blanket. From the air he could see deer sheltered in valleys and herded together for protection against natural predators such as the timber wolf and mountain lion. Hardwood trees looked like skeletal ghosts as they raised leafless arms to the heavens. There were patches of them scattered like occasional cemeteries hidden within the deep pine forests. The airbus flew low enough that Tobal could make out an occasional fox or wolf. Flying over the wilderness made him realize how far from civilization and the Federation he was going. The pines were dark green and the boughs weighed heavily with snow and blocked all efforts to see the ground beneath. It was almost an hour before he caught his first glimpse of Heliopolis. From the air the city-state looked huge and modern. He saw one huge complex that must be the living quarters. There was a large open agricultural area and a wooded park. They were all within tall imposing walls that encircled the city itself. To Tobal it didn’t look much different than any other modern city-state he had visited. As the airbus descended he was surprised the pilot was not taking him into the city but dropping him outside of it into a snow covered courtyard. "There you go son." The airbus driver told him cheerfully, "Take care of yourself, they're a bit strange here. Don't really see much of anybody. Haven't been here that much and I don't want to either." The driver opened the door and Tobal stepped outside into the cold winter landscape. It was one o'clock in the afternoon on April 13. The airbus took off leaving Tobal standing in a cloud of snow just outside the high walls. Tobal began looking for some way into the city. Not finding any, he spied a small building near the edge of the woods about 100 yards away from the wall. He waded through knee high snow toward the windowless dome like structure. There was an arched doorway with a faded snow covered sign. The snow was so bright it hurt his eyes and he had to squint against it. As he came nearer he made out the word "Sanctuary". He recalled the letter from his parents had mentioned claiming sanctuary. Somewhat reassured, he entered the portal that opened silently at his approach and stepped inside. It was dim and his eyes took time adjusting to the faint light. He kicked the snow off his boots onto the gleaming tiled floor. To the left, he saw a computer terminal. A light on the consul was flashing urgently. He walked over to examine the terminal more closely. As he neared it, a disembodied voice came from somewhere near the terminal base. "Welcome, Welcome." "Do you seek Sanctuary in Heliopolis, the city of the sun?" The same words scrolled across the screen. "Do you seek Sanctuary in Heliopolis, the city of the sun?" A prompt flashed on the screen "Say Yes or No." "Yes," Tobal said. "I claim sanctuary." "Then enter here," an oval door slid open to reveal a small interior lighted room. The door slid closed behind him as soon as he stepped completely into the room. "What is your name?" The voice int[...]

Chapter 3D-More Questions

Sat, 16 Dec 2006 12:53:24 GMT

It was Old Seattle that was a breath of fresh air to Tobal with its strange shops and residents. The entire area was filled with people that dared to be different and creative. Each person was living their own self-created reality and prospered or reduced to poverty on the merits of their vision and efforts. Old Seattle survived on the seasonal tourist trade. Still, it was surprising how much business it drew even in the slower months of winter and late spring. There was a darker side to the city as well and they tried to steer clear of it. Drugs and prostitution had found a home in the old city along with other illegal activities not allowed within New Seattle. There were dangers that beckoned with shadowy fingers. This was an area of human predators and there was little protection from the law. Tobal realized why there were iron bars and heavy reinforced doors on most of the homes and shops. The freedom of the old city came at a heavy price. That price was no medical or police service. It simply was not available even though one could go through the gate into New Seattle and have instant service. New Seattle did not want people living in Old Seattle and did not support its occupants. The local community united together to provide emergency service and transportation when needed. They looked out for each other through a neighborhood watch program. Sarah and Adam lived in a fairly safe and respectable neighborhood but even she was concerned when they were followed home one snowy night by a shadowy figure they couldn't quite make out. They never did know if it was a friend making sure they got home safely or a predator. The mysterious figure vanished into the snowy night when they reached the shop entrance. Tobal spent a lot of time talking with Adam. One afternoon he was helping set up a new display in the shop. "Where does all this stuff come from," he asked? "How do you find things like this?" The old man answered evasively. "They are just hand crafted items here on consignment. I know the people that make them and have an exclusive trade agreement with them. While I get a commission on each sale, I don't really know the history of each piece." He eyed Tobal speculatively and continued, "Several times a year I take some time off to restock my supply. When I'm gone Sarah takes care of the shop for me. That's why I’m going to miss her so much when she leaves." "Have you ever heard of Tavistock Educational?" "Hmm, yes I think I have. Why," Adam asked? "That's my old school. I graduated from there." He paused and corrected himself. "I mean this spring is my graduation but I graduated early." "Anyway," he flushed, "last Halloween we had a costume ball and I was wondering if our theatrical department got its costumes from you. This shop reminds me of the costumes we were wearing." Adam Gardner eyed him shrewdly. "Your uncle must do pretty well to send you to an exclusive school like Tavistock Educational. It’s a very hard school to get into and I've never heard of anyone graduating early from it. I've heard it's real high society, not like your parents at all." Tobal persisted, "Did the school get the costumes from you?" Adam relented and said mysteriously, "Yes, they have an account with me and are one of my good customers. There are not many places that can afford high quality reproductions. I move in some pretty elite circles myself." Then he changed th[...]