The Magus Introduction
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The Magus: Introduction
It was the eldest of them all, the woman whose hair was streaked with long lost colors and replaced with shades of gray. Her face was certainly no face at all, but just many folds of leather, that held a coincidental resemblance. “Would yeh like me teh read yer cards? Perhaps yeh can see if this is a wise decision for yeh teh make.”
“No, I will be fine.”
“Well, I ‘ave already read yer cards on the matter and I can tell yeh tha’ it is not an advisable decision teh make. Yeh are goin’ teh find yerself as the five of coins, boy.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The five of coins means that yeh will be entering a difficult time. Things will get better, as they always do, which is the ups an’ downs of life, but until they get better, I promise tha’ yeh are not goin’ teh enjoy the next few months, maybe even years, if yeh decide to do this.”
Tristan gave her a blank stare.
“Come with meh.” She lead him back into the wagon where her table was set up with a dark violet velvet cloth draped over it. Cards were already laid down. She sat in the rocking chair in front of the cards and gestured for Tristan to take the stool that was directly across from her.
“Yeh see this card?” She gestured to a boy who wore a hat and a red and orange tunic. He held a long staff in his hand. “This is the card I chose to depict yeh in this readin’, as I guesed yeh wouldn’ be willin’ teh be present when I laid out this readin’. It is the Page of wands – a young man full of energy an’ life’s fire. The card on top of it – tha’ – “ she pointed to a card with a tower that was burning. People fell from the tower as lightening was striking it. “Tha’ card is the tower. It represents yer situation righ’ now.”
Unnerved, Tristan clenched his jaw and dismissed it. “I’m hardly falling out of a tower.”
“Literally, no. but it represents a false foundation. Yer world and everythin’ around it is bein’ uprooted. Complete destruction.”
Tristan felt himself go cold.
“It’s not a bad card though,” she went on. She raised her pale eyes to his. “Its wipin’ the slate clean so yeh can start from scratch, start the next phase in life. It’s breakin’ all yer ties to what was so yeh can start anew. An’ this card is what stands in yer way, the page of cups. This is the girl tha’ yer so in love with, Jessica.”
Tritan felt tears in his eyes, but blinked them away before the crone could see them.
“This is what yeh should be workin’ toward, the Magus. I’ve known this since I first met yeh. Yeh’ve got the right sort of energy in yeh to be the Magus, an’ I wan’ teh ‘elp bring tha’ forward. But I can’ do tha’ if yeh go off on this mission.”
“Why are you trying to stop me?” Tristan could feel his temper flair. Momentarily his fear which always lingered in the corner of his mind was forgotten. “Do none of you understand that Jessica is the only person I have ever loved? Ever? And I killed her. Don’t you understand? I have to see her. I have to tell her good bye.”
“Love is a powerful thing,” Cnute said softly as he entered the wagon with two tin mugs of tea. “It can make a fool out of a scholar. It can make a warrior defenseless. Your heart is not always right. But we cannot stop you. If it is you wish, then so be it.”
The old woman sighed. Tristan knew that she was no human. It was common knowledge that due to the war, no human in any of the kingdoms could enter the goblin tunnels. But she was not a witch, certainly not a nymph, a fairy, or an elf. How she could be underground though…
“What else does it say?” Tristan inquired, trying to sound skeptical.
“This card represents yeh – “
“I thought the first card represents me.”
“It does, but more representing yer situation than yeh as a bein’.”
Tristan nodded in understanding, then gulped when he saw what his card was. “Death?! I’m going to die?!”
“Calm yourself,” Cnute said. “Let the lady speak.”
“Death rarely represents the physical act of death, Tristan. When choosing what card I wanted to represent yeh, I was in two minds about whether to use this card, but I think the page did well enough in the end.” She sipped her tea and nodded a thanks to Cnute. “The death card means transformation and change.”
Tristan observed the card which was a bare skeleton riding a black horse. There was no moon in the dark starry sky behind him, but behind him were the bright wings of a butterfly. “Oh I see, because a butterfly starts out as a caterpillar then transforms, right?”
“Very good, Tristan.” The crone smiled at him before going on. “Death is in fact just a transformation of the self, which yeh ‘ave done of course, and are in the process of adjusting teh. This next card is yer surroundings.”
“Both of them?” In the column of cards, the next three placement the cards were pared, unlike any of the others.
“I’ll get teh tha’. The left card is yer external influences, if yeh continue as yeh plan teh. Yeh ‘ave the five of swords. It remin’s yeh tha’ what yer plannin’ is a very strong act, but yeh aren’ ready teh go in teh this sort of situation. Thinkin’ yeh ‘ave it all sussed out won’ get yeh anywhere tha’ yeh need teh go.”
“And the right card?” Tristan said sternly through a clenched jaw.
“Tha’ is if yeh take our adviece an’ stay with us. Yeh ‘ave th eight of coins. With us yeh will learn yer talents and be able to do wha’ is in yeh teh do –“ she pointed back to one of the former cards “- be the Magus.”
“I don’t even know what the Magus is!” Tristan barked. It was all touching too closely to home and making him uneasy.
The woman drained the last of her tea and Tristan took his first sip of his, realizing it had gone cold. She continued. “The magus is yer destiny, Tristan.”
Cnute shifted nervously before coughing and mumbling something about helping Kasimire skin a rabbit.
“This pair here,” the woman went on. “This is yer fear and this is yer hopes. Do yh wan’ teh know what they say?”
“You’re not going to tell me?”
“Tha’s not wha’ I said. I asked if yeh wan’ed teh know. It can throw a lot of people off balance realizing their fears, especially when their hopes an’ their fears coincide as yers do. So I repeat mehself: Do yeh wan’ the know?”
Tristan took in a deep breath and looked at the cards that were displayed. In the fear position a large cup filled with water was painted, and just that. In the hopes position the card depicted a man in a cart holding reigns to two pegasi, one white and the other black.”
“What does a Pegasus represent?” he asked.
“To know one, yeh must know the other.”
“I’m not asking to know the card meaning, just what a Pegasus means. There’s two of them in that second card,” Tristan argued.
“Do you want to know what the two cards mean?” She asked calmly.
Tristan sighed. “No, I don’t think I do.”
“When the time is right, yeh will understan’ them,” she assured him. “Yer last two cards are the most likely outcome. The left card, remember, is if yeh continue the way yeh are ‘eaded, which is the five of coins, as I explained before. An’ if yeh stay with us, yeh ‘ave the ten of coins.”
“And what does that mean?”
The crone smiled and sat back in her chair. She folded her fingers together and said simply: “Family.”