faery

Gael Song

September, 2017

Goddess Leading

     Raised in a Christian household, as an adult I was actively involved in my church, following in my mother’s footsteps. But then, six months after she died, I did a simple ceremony to release her and felt a powerful feminine Presence materialize in the ethers beside me. “I will be your Mother now,” that Presence said. Only much later did I realize it was the Goddess, She Who was never ever mentioned in my world. And suddenly, all I wanted to do in my leisure time was search out esoteric books on Celtic lore and times, a hunger within propelling me that I didn’t understand. During the summer before my oldest daughter left for college, we took a trip around the coast of Scotland (sunwise, not that I thought about that then.) And we stopped at every stone circle, souterrain, and barrow along the way, tramping through farmers fields and up unnamed hillocks (until my girls simply refused to get out of the car to look at any more!). My heart was literally starved for connection with my motherland and the divine feminine that poured into my feet and legs as I walked that soil. But after twelve years of voracious reading and searching, I remained restlessly unsatisfied. The Celts hadn’t written anything down, and many of the texts that tried to fill those spaces were confusing or filled with gaping holes or obvious distortions. I kept sensing ancient truths and mysteries, just beyond my reach.

     Then I attended a week-long retreat with a Celtic shaman, which left me astounded to realize I could talk telepathically with trees, stones, and turtles, that I could slip between small spaces and enter other worlds, where druid teachers stood ready to teach me in the hushed silence of moss covered trees. How many more stone circles I visited that way! Saying very little, the waiting druid guides led me on mental journeys to sacred sites and other realms where I’d lived before or quietly opened portals in my heart and mind. At first, I kept trying to talk with them, asking question after question about Celtic life, which brought only gentle smiles and amused silence in response. Not one of those druids ever said, “You must do this or that,” thank Goddess! The choice was always mine in the end. Such silent respect and service to my wondering soul drew me to the path as nothing else could, for in my life I’d known a fair amount of control, servitude, and neglect. And mysterious surprises kept appearing in my outer world, too, beckoning, beguiling me down this Goddess misted path.

     A few years later, I was led to attend a school of energetic healing, using light to heal inner fear in a simple meditative process. And I watched in utter wonder, after one of my classmates or teachers did a healing with me, as the spirit world meticulously cleaned up every reflection of that recently transmuted fear in my outer world. It quickly became very, very clear that my inner fears, many from past lives and my long ago descent from heaven to earth, were holding the patterns of my life in place. None of my druid guides explained this, either, their teachings fiercely experiential. They simply surrounded and held me in silent wisdom and ancient love as I observed and learned for myself. My life was a bit of a shambles back then, a difficult divorce and concomitant financial nosedive with three daughters to raise. And in my misery, these small sips of freedom the Goddess held out put wings on my heart and feet.

     So I began to do healings on myself every morning and evening, hoping for release into happiness within a year, at most. But every time a fear was healed, a new fear took its place. And negative circumstances kept occurring in my life to activate these new fears and open the ancient memories for healing. Life was full of these surprises, though I learned not to take them seriously, for they disappeared as soon as I transmuted them in my next few meditations. Plus, these challenges were interspersed with Goddess enchantment that often left me breathless with joy—like the day I was wrung out from a cross-country drive and a nasty encounter with a lady at a B&B. And suddenly, as I flopped on the sofa after finally arriving home, a hundred fireflies lit up at once, all fluttering just outside my windows in the deepening dusk. I felt their hearts surrounding mine like a crowd of happy children, lifting me instantly out of my fatigue and despair. The most lightning bugs I’d ever seen before were five or six spread out over the river and meadows below. So sweetly magical, that was! And things like this began happening more and more, too, Goddess blessings, every one.

(photo from smithsonianman.com)

     Every couple of weeks, the color that filled my aura moved down into the ground, and another came in from above, as if I was ascending a rainbow ladder of light somehow. I began to tune into these colors, feeling them intimately. And every couple of years or so, there was an intense passage with severe anxiety or time pressure or financial strain that lasted several weeks. And at the end of each of these times, I broke through into a whole new realm in my mind, a place entirely different from what I’d seen in my meditations before. And each time this happened, the outer circumstances of my life instantly changed as well: a home sold, a change of partner, a move, or new financial resources that broadened my life and work. There were seven of these passages, and I could feel that they were initiations: the first earth, next water, then air and fire, then cherub, bone, and diamond. I could see concentric sheaths of light in my aura burning off in light as I emerged through these passages, too, moving from outer to inner. The last challenge is still ahead of me, the diamond initiation, connected with my core wound, my guides say. Currently, I am working in the final sheath within, too, an intensely bright light in the heart’s core that matches the seventh world of the inner planes, the heaven they call the Diamond Core.

     It’s been twenty-one years now since I began this healing process, thirty-six since my Mom passed over, years of solitary druid practice, for no one in my world has been very interested in my path, very few even respectful of the Goddess Who holds me so tenderly, especially in my pain. But during all these years, my inner world was filled to overflowing with fae friends leading me to sparkling fabrics or recycled clothing in nooks and crannies of discount stores, then telepathying unusual designs for ceremonial wear to sew, suggesting delightfully unique recipes for dinner at the last minute, or leading me on spontaneous outings in the forest. My druid star brother was ever nearby, too, teaching me laws of love of the Celtic realms of heaven, the sacred geometry of nemetons, and holding up a standard of respect for all life that was literally out of this world, along with my star sister, always ready to help me understand those ray colors and inner planes of light, 350 in all, that neatly sorted themselves into those seven heavens. The Celtic pantheon appeared, too, one by one, over the past seven years, as regents of the fifteen structures of light in the Diamond Core that regulate cycles too numerous to mention, as I slowly moved up the inner spiral staircase of light.

     Over these years, my home was gradually transformed with Celtic art, a priestess wardrobe, oak leaves and interlaced designs, crystals, faeries, and roses everywhere. The Goddess called Herself the White Tara, and I began to call the God, Oghama, not Christ. And They became my best Friends, eternal partners in love and union without any of the friction between the divine masculine and feminine so common on earth. I began to feel a growing fusion of that Celtic heaven with earth, a rising of the Goddess and resurgence of the Celtic world here, but healed of the old black magic and sacrifice beliefs. Even my smallest questions were finally answered, the warp and weft of the Celtic tapestry finally mended, not by words, but by years of facing fear and embodying truths that empowered my spirit, understandings born of living experience over many years that remade my own little world into a place of shimmering beauty that thoroughly nourished my soul. The Goddess teaches wisdom first and foremost. If you are tempted to give up on your path, I suggest holding on till the next magic lifts you out of distress, for Her gifts have been amazing and ongoing.

     But then, my inner longing has shifted once again, for more than any other thing now, I wish to see that Celtic heaven manifested on earth. My druid guides tell me that humanity was once born into light in a single instant in this seventh heaven, each person with an eternal love partner in the image of God/Goddess. And each person has the structures of one of the twelve sacred cultures of the Creator Sun fused into her or his very bones, the specific culture depending on the location each person was created out of there. No wonder I can’t help buying yet another Celtic tapestry at the Renaissance Faire! I am guided to start an intentional community based on those laws of love of the Celtic heaven, Celtic to the core: Celtic art, music, sacred spaces, and architecture, pagan ceremony (blended with open-minded Christian, uniting the two sacred traditions of Scotland in mutual respect), and deeply honoring love for the Goddess, finally! I can’t wait for that! May Her bright blessings enfold us all and lead us Home soon.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then),

and Alba Reborn, Volume One Revised,

and Volumes Two and Three.

Inspiration from the Elf Mounds

June, 2017

So what winds whisper from the elf mounds; what wind breathes from beneath the hollow hills where fairies dwell and myths were born? In other words, how many of us today still feel inspired by the tales of ancient Celtic warriors and wise folk? Which parts of our lives do these stories creep into the most? What do our ancestors still truly have a hand in? What is the meat of modern Celtic influence?

Well a quick “Google” search on the word “Celt” will find you brewing techniques that are based on Celtic history; BBC Wales has a site dedicated to the history of the Iron Age Celts and the word CELT is used as an acronym by organisations in fields ranging from teaching to audio compression! Let’s take a look at the images section now: maps of the Celtic migration across Europe; knot work; helmets; warriors fighting in great battles; beards, shields and swords; jewellery, sandals and musical instruments. Take a look around when you’re out and about and see how many tattoos you see that incorporate Celtic knot work, and how many sterling silver Celtic crosses you can see in the windows of jewellers.

When the paths were resurfaced outside a new housing estate near where I live, there were some elder trees, ancient and gnarled, that were untouched even though they were growing right out of the pavement that otherwise was completely dug out and overhauled. If the trees were left untouched for superstitious reasons (oh how I wish I could talk to the people who did that stretch of road!) those superstitions almost certainly stem from the Celtic reverence for certain trees. This seems to be carried into the names of local establishments. Without travelling more than a couple of miles in any direction, I can visit Copper Beech Nursery; Hollybush Children’s Centre; Holly Bush Farm Conservation Centre; Beech Medical Centre. My own doctor is housed within the Hawthorn Medical Centre! These names show how the importance we still place upon trees, which almost certainly stems from our Celtic ancestors.

The druidic reverence for certain trees led Robert Graves to create the Celtic Tree Calendar which, somewhat unfortunately, has become used as an actual “Celtic Calendar” for some people; it has no real basis in Celtic timekeeping or astrology, but it does, again, show how deeply we are influenced by accounts of Celtic society and how much we want to recreate aspects of that in our modern lives.

The late Sir Terry Pratchett, an incredibly popular British author, created the “Lords and Ladies”, elves that while being beautiful are fierce, ruthless and inhuman. There are similarities here of course to the Fae, who are often described as incredibly beautiful and powerful, yet they too are not quite human. They also can possess great cruelty, as in the story of the death of Cían, Lugh’s father, who is stoned to death in hatred by a rival family until all that is left is a “poor miserable, broken heap”. Terry also created the Nac Mac Feegle, who actually live inside the burial mounds of kings, harking back to the tales that the fairies will take you under the hollow hills to their home. In these tales, often the protagonist finds what they believe is their heart’s desire but returns a hundred years later, to find everyone they love is dead and gone. In one of Terry Pratchett’s stories, this would probably be because the Nac Mac Feegle had drunk them under a tiny table! Pratchett himself implies in his introduction to “The Folklore of Discworld” that tales and superstitions should not be forgotten as they are part of the history of who we are and how we got here. Any homage to these ancient tales is a great example of the way Celtic culture still inspires modern artists and writers. Through their modern art, they will inspire others to go seek out these ancient tales for themselves. We see the same stories being used over and over in a thousand different ways, keeping them alive to pass down to our children and future descendants.

Currently on television [at time of publishing] we have True Blood which is based on Charlaine Harris’ very popular “Southern Vampire Mysteries”. There are a variety of supernatural creatures here but the fairies are very interesting: human in appearance yet inhuman within; old, powerful and able to change their appearance; they also have (in the books) very Gaelic sounding names which hark back again to the tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann. I asked Charlaine if she had intentionally based her fairy creations on the Celtic myths and legends and she agreed she had, but very loosely. The evidence of this is shown in some of the names she chooses for the Fairy characters: Niall Brigant, Breandan and Neave, for example. Breandan is Gaelic for Prince; Niall means Champion and Brigant is possibly derived from the Celtic goddess Brigantia and generally means high, lofty, elevated or divine. Neave is an anglicised version of Niamh which is Gaelic for Radiant. Again, these are tiny droplets of Celtic culture seeping into something that is modern, vibrant, and extremely popular.

When I was very young I had only heard a few tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann- the tales of Tír na nÓg from my father, and a few others. The catalyst for my inspiration to seek more knowledge was a very modern creation; a band called Horslips and their album “The Táin”, of course based on Táin Bó Cúailnge, the Cattle Raid… Not only was the music fascinating- a mix of traditional folk and rock- but the stories held within the words absolutely mesmerized me. After listening to The Táin over and over, I got my hands on another of their albums, “The Book of Invasions”, a name you will recognise already if you’ve been reading the chapters of this book in order [apologies to those only with this excerpt!] The album is split into three sections, based on the idea of a Celtic symphony: Geantrai, Goltrai and Suantrai which mean joyful, sorrowful and lullaby. Horslips themselves describe the three as the three principal categories of old Irish song; the joyful strain, the lamenting strain and the sleep strain. I spent hours with my mandolin and flageolet copying and playing these songs, and imagining the scenes of the stories as the music wound its way around me. The incredible depth of the love stories:

Let me ask you this one question

Is it really such a sin?

To love too much, to be closer than touch when there was no way we could win…

The violence of Cú Chulainn’s conquests:

Two heads are better than none

A hundred heads are so much better than one!

And the betrayal of kings and queens and lovers:

You can fool them all right; but can you fool the beast?

Horslips are a prime example of how these fantastic stories of an amazing people have inspired yet another and marvellously unique retelling of these tales. The band’s use of traditional tunes and songs keep another aspect of Irish culture alive and thriving, making this mythology accessible to those not only interested in tales and legends, but in music and revelry. The commercial success of Horslips in the 1970s meant a whole new generation were introduced to the tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and received a unique glimpse into this ancient and, to most people, almost alien culture. Horslips have complemented their music with a website detailing the stories of their albums and the history of some of the traditional music incorporated into the songs. For anyone unfamiliar with the Celtic legends, these albums are a comprehensive and very entertaining introduction. The band recently reformed after 24 years, and are still incredibly popular, showing how interest in Irish culture in particular, and Celtic culture in general have not waned during the decades since they originally disbanded.

This is an excerpt from A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors by Mabh Savage, available here and from all good book stores.

amoderncelt

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

June, 2017

Attracting the Fae

 

 

Merry meet.

The summer solstice – along with Beltane and Samhain – are traditional times to honor the fae, fae folk, faeries, or simply, fey. They are magical creatures with powers given them by nature. They are guardians of botanicals, water sources and other natural elements. Others live in a magical underground kingdom.

Fey exist in all cultures, from the little people to elves, and from gnomes to leprechauns. They appear in art, music, folklore and movies. Fey have magic, and magic in and of itself is not good or bad, it’s all about how it’s used.

For some reason, many Americans think of faeries only as cute, tiny, harmless winged creatures. While there are some who look like that, there are many who are ugly and fierce. They can be playful and mischievous or annoying and frightening. If you’ve ever left a pair of earbuds out, the fae will be attracted to come and tangle them. Keys left out can also prompt fey pranks.

The fae like sugar, milk, honey, flowers and miniature people things like fairy houses.

 

 

 

 

Tess Ahlberg makes houses for them from bark, mushrooms and other gifts of nature.

From a young age, she said she was immersed in nature. She’d collect moss, pine cones, mushrooms, animal skins, shells, feathers and discarded insects during her travels in woods, meadows, marshes, swamps and on beaches. Listening to the messages whispered in the leaves, she was inspired to begin making faerie houses out of birch bark she found decomposing on the ground.

I ask permission from the forest, if I can harvest the bark, mushrooms, plants and moss. I also give the spirits a token offering,” she explained.

Milkweed pods and acorns, along with ferns, leaves and wild flowers that she’s pressed also found their way onto pieces of birch bark. She continued making houses, painting cured mushrooms for roofs and adding some details.

They add whimsy and magic when placed in a home; if left outside they will slowly decompose.

To encourage others to appreciate nature, provide homes for the fay, and an escape from the chaotic world, Ahlberg makes kits available. But you can gather all the materials yourself and make a home to invite the fae to visit.

 

 

 

 

In today’s society there is a disconnect with nature,” she said, hoping to help change that by reconnecting people with it.

Faeries are inter dimensional beings. If you go back to remembering your innocence of youth, a time when perhaps as a youth, some of us had glimpses into other enchanted worlds. We saw faeries and other enchanted beings in our peripheral vision,” she said.

You can connect to that magical world by being fae friendly. Houses and other inviting spots can be portals into enchanted worlds.

Try building a cave out of pebbles in a hidden spot in your yard, such as under bushes or in a flower garden. Set out a miniature wooden table and chairs, painted bright colors or wrapped in vines if you wish. Making a circle of stones, shells or pinecones can create a magical space. Hang tiny bells from branches.

 

 

 

 

Flowers such as daisies, cosmos, tulips, honeysuckle, lilac, sunflowers, lavender, snapdragons, pansies and heliotrope are all said to attract fey, as are herbs such as rosemary, mint and thyme.

Fey are also said to be partial to oak, ash, holly, willow and hawthorn trees

 

 

 

 

My three favorite spots in the yard where I was grew up were a stand of lilacs with a narrow space in the center, the small space between two large oak trees, and a willow tree I loved to climb.

To feel close to the fae now, I plant cosmos, sunflowers, rosemary and snapdragons in my community garden plot, leaving the center wild and untouched, seeded with wildflowers that attract hummingbirds, a mugwort plant and morning glories that reseed themselves. I leave offerings there from time to time, and know the fae are present because if I make the mistake of brining my cellphone, they download apps while I work in the garden.

 

 

 

 

They also bless me with joy. May they do the same for you.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

 

Check out Tessimals Celestial Faerie Houses and Faeries on Facebook or at https://www.etsy.com/shop/tessimal.

 

 

Finding the Pagan Way

December, 2016

The Faeries

Winter can often convince us that we are older than we truly are. It is so much easier to take a walk in the summer and sit in the sun and drift back in time. But even though the Winter is a time for quietness and reflection,- there is still much that we can do to reconnect with nature and ,hopefully, our childhood appreciation of the magic which is all around us.
On fine days, tuck up well, and walk in the winter forest. Listen to the wind in the trees. Watch the ash swaying and dancing with its beautiful silvery bark.
Find a Holly tree, all bedecked in bright berries against a shimmering green, ready for the festive season. As it shivers in the breeze, you can hear it make a sound like tinkling tinsel on the Yuletide tree. Relax and open your senses, you will feel the fairies nearby.
When the weather is too cold or wet, – there are still things we can do to tune into the mystery which lies unnoticed all around us.

Sit quietly in a room where you will not be disturbed, or better still, in your garden or patio.
Place your feet firmly on the ground.
Breath slowly and deeply.
Imagine a golden light surrounding you like a large globe, protecting you and keeping you safe and secure.
As you breathe in, imagine that there are roots spreading down into the ground from your feet. Feel them go deep into the earth.
See them in your mind’s eye, spreading wide under the ground and drawing energy from the earth. Listen carefully for any sound around you. Pay attention to any sensations that you might feel.

Call the faery folk to you. Tell them that you mean them no harm. Pay attention to any images that come into your mind. Then ask them to help you to feel more connected to the earth.
Bid them farewell. Then, slowly come back to normal awareness. Have a drink and a snack before you drive or operate machinery. And do not forget to leave a small gift for the Fairy Folk. Scatter some wild flowers or sparkly things on the ground for them. They Love that!

paganway
by Bill Oliver

Short Story: Kiara, The Final Episode

December, 2016

kiara

 

Kiara, The Final Episode

 

Kiara allowed herself to be placed roughly into the chair. The field around her made her feel disoriented at first, but she curled her mind into a small hard sphere inside her head. She had foiled the goblin’s machine before and she felt quite confident that she could again. When she sensed Moira approaching in the form of a spider, Kiara quickly protected her from the machine. They communicated briefly, then Kiara sent her back up to the relative safety of the web above them,. She allowed a small amount of her energy to be drained, until she could find a way to protect the matron and Annabelle. Goblin warriors were pouring through the portal. Somehow, the goblins had breached the shield and were transporting a new type of warrior breed through it. She watched and waited.

Droc was working feverishly at the controls of his machine. Using the magic of the princess, he had opened a wormhole through the faery web that was around his planet. His troops were pouring through now. They no longer had to wait for bodies to be constructed. He sent them off to arm themselves and clear the manor of any humans left. His keen hearing could detect the noise of doors and furniture being smashed, then the sound of squabbling as they found the pantry, presumably. It was well stocked, he had made sure that it would be. This was their base to conquer worlds and send materials and food back home. He wished,- not for the first time, that engineering the warrior goblins had not made them so stupid. Still, he had his vanguard with him. His most loyal soldiers. They would lead the armies while their bodies stayed safely back in the mountain.

Lights started to dim on the console and Droc swore. He was checking gauges and turning dials to no avail, too preoccupied to see a small orb fly across the room. Then the chair died and the lights flickered off. When they came back on, the faeries body was slumped forward in the chair.

He went to check the body, and as he touched it, Kiara’s shell seemed to shrivel and then crumpled into dust. He was cursing as he returned to the console. The two goblins who were holding Matron and Annabelle, both died at the same moment. They fell forward just as a circle of orbs appeared around Kiara and her two charges.

Mandrell appeared first. He was almost as tall as Kiara, with jet black armour and helmet. Reaper was already in his hand and his eyes were blazing. He looked at Kiara and then to the door leading to the armoury. She drew her sword and prepared for any returning goblins, gesturing to Annabelle and Matron to stay behind her. Then Azira manifested. She was as tall as Kiara, with flaming red hair and green leather armour. She had a crossbow and was already firing into the goblins with a steady stream of bolts, as they appeared from the portal . Each bolt seemed to be replaced as soon as the last one was fired . Gortek was as round as he was high with a huge axe. He swirled into the goblins, creating a circle of decapitated bodies. His armour was bronze coloured and studded with large spikes like a porcupine. Azul was a giant, even by warrior standards. Eight foot tall and wearing only light leather armour, he carried a small circular shield and a mace. Any goblins who got past the other three were quickly crushed by the giants blows.

Drawn by the noise of battle, goblins started to return from the armoury, to be cut down by Kiara’s flashing sword as they came through the door. Another half-dozen or so faeries appeared and circled around the door in front of Kiara. Mandral sent them to secure the armoury and to clear the house and grounds of goblins. Kiara followed behind them, protecting Matron as she ran to check on James. He was weak from loss of blood but his wound was already healing rapidly from Kiara’s touch. Matron knelt beside him and cradled his head in her lap.

Mandral and the Gortek were carving a path though the goblins as the Azul and Azira ensured that none escaped from the room. Azira fired a stream of bolts that pinned Droc to the console, sending sparks flying and frying the goblin as the energy blasted into him, shorting out the equipment. The portal died and no more goblins came flooding through. Mandral and Gortek hacked and slashed their way through the oncoming troops and a stream of bolts killed any goblins beyond their reach. By the time the last of the remaining goblin troops had been slain, there was only a charred husk remaining of the king of the goblins. The large room was by now filled with corpses and the stench of charred flesh was sickening.

Gortek stood guard by the portal. Azul and Azirah went to help clear the house and to prepare for an elder to come and consecrate a new guardian tree. Moira dropped from her web and, resuming her habitual appearance, she went to her great uncle.

When two of the other faeries, Graela and Driff came back to report the house cleared. Kiara asked Graela to guard the room and went with Driff to see Mandral. Kiara was sickened by the sight and smell of the bodies. She opened out her arms and the bodies and blood vanished as the room changed into a large brightly lit marquee with chairs and cushions. She left the console and the portal in place. While waiting for Driff to give his report, she sat down on the chair which had been used to steal some of her power. She had been brought to this manor as a confused child, but now she was every inch a princess of the Fae.

Moira brought Mandral to her. He bowed, “Thank you Milady for helping us in our hour of need”. Kiara smiled, “Thank you Milord for your timely arrival. I believe we may have much to discuss”.

Several more chairs appeared beside them and she invited them to sit down. “Thank you Moira for bringing me back to my old self. Without your warning about the goblin, things may not have gone well.” Turning to Mandral, she asked if if he realised that the goblin king and his generals were still very much alive. He nodded, “They have to be dealt with, Milady, and their machines must be destroyed”. He looked grave. They both knew the cost of a sustained war with the goblins.”It is very much in my hands”, he said.”I must raise an army and invade their kingdom. Their are many outland Fae who will join me, but to insure a large enough army I need a princess by my side.” He looked at Kiara, “Milady, we have not had a warrior princess for over 10,000 years. I know that I ask a great deal, but there is much at stake. The goblins plan to spread their empire once more. When they are strong enough they will attack our home world. Win or lose, the light of the Fae will be dimmed for many aeons to come, unless some of us sacrifice our light for the many.”

They sat in silence for some time. There were tears in Kiara’s eyes as she thought of the hundreds of years of happiness that she was leaving behind,- perhaps forever. She wanted to be with Jeremiah, playing silly games and laughing at his jokes as they wandered in the woodland. She had been a carefree child for 500 years. Faeries seldom love as humans love, but that love had blossomed between them during a summer of delight. She had hoped for an eternity of joy with Jeremiah by her side. She had changed much already. Would he even know her when she returned?

“ Milady!”, Mandral spoke with urgency in his voice.”We must follow them through the portal and destroy their machinery. If we do not, then none of the worlds will be safe”.

When Kiara looked at him, her voice was cold, but, the blazing coals were burning in her eyes again. “Very well!, call your army!”. As she spoke, the console came to life and the portal began to glow.

*****

Finding the Pagan Way

November, 2016

As winter approaches in our hemisphere, there is a tendency to take a little more time for reflection. The sense of wonder and anticipation which Springtime brings to us is long past. For many of us it will begin again after Yule,- when are thoughts are once more drawn to the year ahead.
Summer, with all its moots, rituals and events is still a warm memory.
Autumn, with its riot of colours and chaotic weather, is slowly slipping into Winter.
Opportunities for being out in nature are reduced for many people and modern civilisation tends to loom much larger in our lives.
With the coming of Christmas, – western commercialism is at it’s height. Spirituality can be so easily pushed into the background as the annual round of gift buying and over-indulgence gathers pace.
Now is a good time to look back at the year that is closing in preparation for the changes which we want to make in our lives in the coming new year.
What have we learned about ourselves and the communities we are in? Taking time to write down the best and the worst of the passing year will help us to decide which improvements we want to manifest in our lives as the wheel turns and the new year comes upon us.
Away from the big festivals and the busy Summer, – perhaps we can find time to arrange small groups in our own homes to work on our own spiritual development?
A small group for chanting, drumming or discussion over the quieter winter period may help to keep us focussed on more spiritual matters. It will also lessen the feeling of isolation which is a problem for many pagans in this increasingly secular world.

For those of us who can, – long walks among the trees is Autumn is an awesome experience.
It is as if the trees draw our energies deep into the earth with them as they draw their own deep into their roots in preparation for Winter’s sleep. It leaves a peaceful, dream-like feeling. Tucked up well and walking among the falling leaves has to be one of the most pleasant and enjoyable experiences of the Autumn. For me, It brings back a feeling of childhood and excitement. Sensing the Earth preparing for sleep, reminds me that She is alive and sentient and will awaken again in Spring, with all the possibilities of the coming year. Even a walk in the local park can bring the same sense of connection. All we need to do is to open up our hearts and minds to the energies around us.

There are many differences of beliefs in the Pagan community, but, it is this deep connection with the Earth which binds us all together in brotherhood and sisterhood. For a little while, some of us may have difficulty in getting out into the fields and forests, but a few fallen leaves and nuts in a basket or bowl will help to remind us of this connection over the worst of the winter.

Winter Fae

The winter has been long and cold, and springtime still seems very far away.
I sit here snuggled in the warmth and dream about my childhood, and the Fae.
How I miss glowing embers, underneath the flaming sods of turf that fed our fire.
When I used to sit in quiet contemplation as the faeries fed my heart’s desire.

Dancing gaily through the woodlands, mirrored in the phosphorescent world of smoke and flame.
Faerie troopers marched across the gleaming forests edged with crimson and with gold.
Carriages of purest white, and silver reins upon the coal black shires that proudly cantered by.
Horsemen dressed in silver armour, prancing as they raised their glistening lances to the sky.

Then the Faery Queen,- magnificent in sparkling gown, she turned and waved to me.
Her wings like delicate, translucent butterflies, that fluttered blue against the ruby trees.
I cannot think of any other joy as sweet as this, my fondest childhood memory,
Though fifty years have passed since then, it lingers still, as fresh and clear to me.

Every word I place upon the page brings childhood’s wonder closer to my mind.
All the joys and mysteries that, for a little while, I thought that I had left so far behind.
Join me now and let us gaze upon the embers hand in hand with our own inner eyes.
The perhaps we both can sleep, and dream of meadows filled with sprightly flowers,
And cloudless sunny skies.

Patrick W Kavanagh 28/01/2015

paganway

 

by: Boy So Blue Graphic s and photography

Short Story: Kiara, Episode 14

November, 2016

Kiara, Episode 14

kiara

 

The moment that Kiara touched the daisy, Moira became aware of her. She watched as she changed the daisy symbol she had given to her and hung it on her ear. The long corridor seemed dark and much too quiet. Moira could sense the servants huddled in the kitchen. She felt their uncertainty and drifted into the kitchen. Although they were unaware of her, they seemed to brighten a little under the influence of her presence. Cook was sitting at the big old wooden table in the centre of the room. The servants were all sitting around the table. Jed, the gardener, sat at her right, facing the big sink and worktop where the sunlight was beginning to seep in His son Michael sat opposite with the light shining through his fair hair, forming a halo effect around his head. Moira paused to admire the lad. He was broad shouldered and handsome, with a round friendly face. Annabelle sat further down the table beside Maria, holding her hand for comfort. They both looked pale and nervous. Two shotguns lay on the table between the gardener and his son. She stopped and listened to them for a moment. Michael broke the silence. “I should go and see if mistress needs any help”, he said. Jed shook his head. “ No!, we are to stay here and protect the youngsters”. He spoke kindly, but with an edge in his voice. Matron said that we are to leave her behind if necessary and take ourselves and Annabelle as far away as possible!”. Like his son, it made him feel like a coward, but his instructions had been very clear. He was not sure what was going on, but he knew it was bad. The purse of gold, handed to him by Matron, had convinced him of that. He would stay here until forced to leave, then he would return to help once the children were safe.

Moira returned to Kiara and noted the many racks of armour in the anteroom. She realised that she must report it to Mandral as soon as possible, but the noise and the roars from one of the rooms ahead, pushed everything from her mind. Kiara rushed through the door and she followed her.
As she passed the body of the servant, James, Kiara leaned over him and touched the wound and the blood stopped flowing. He was very weak and Moira was not too sure if he would survive. She hovered over him, sending healing as Kiara stepped into the next room. She followed as far as the doorway and watched as Kiara challenged a giant goblin. She felt no need to intervene as she felt that Kiara was more likely to find her a hindrance than a help.. The huge size of the goblin in the room still surprised her, despite seeing the armour in the anteroom. Kiara, however seemed totally unconcerned, so Moira continued to watch the scene without interfering. She almost gave herself away as Kiara’s fight with the goblin made her giggle. The magic of the royal faeries was legendary, but Moira had never expected such an easy victory. As Droc hung his head in defeat, she broke off her contact and sought out her great uncle. She needed to let him know that the goblins seemed to have amassed an army of giant warriors. Although the princess had foiled the goblin’s plans without any real effort, this was still worrying.. She left the scene behind as she focused on her home world.

******
In the kitchen, the calm that had settled on the occupants was short lived, after Moira had left. The initial breaking of the door had startled them, but both Jed and his son grabbed the shotguns as the roar of the goblin echoed through the house. Alice’s scream rang down the long corridor next making them feel sick with fright. Annabelle pulled away from Maria and ran from the kitchen shouting for her mother.
Michael ran after her, calling to his father to take the rest to safety. He grabbed a belt of cartridges from a hook near the door and slung it across his neck. Annabelle was already down the corridor and passing into the goblins lair as he left the kitchen. He hurried after her, but by the time he reached the anteroom, there was no sign of her. It went deathly quiet. He paused and listened. He could hear muffled voices somewhere ahead. A huge creature was growling as it approached him from the doorway ahead of him. He loosed both barrels into the creature and it collapsed in the doorway. A second goblin was trying to get past, and Michael quickly reloaded. As it climbed over its comrade he fired again stopping it in his tracks. More creatures were fighting to get through the doorway and he backed away as he loaded again. They tore the furniture in the room apart and started throwing it at him, forcing him to retreat further.
He retreated to the armoury and propped the door with anything he could find. First, he jammed some spears against it. He then put the shotgun down and pushed over one of the big racks to brace the wooden door. As he picked up the gun again, the goblins were pounding at the door. He heard what might the huge table from the room beyond being used as a battering ram. He realised that they would be through the door very soon. He took a sword from the rack and left the armoury. Closing the damaged outer door, he used the sword to jam it shut by sliding it through the iron handle. He checked the kitchen, which was empty, and left the manor to search for the others. When he got to the gate, Jed was waiting for him in the car with the others. They all sat there, reluctant to leave without the others. They decided to wait until the very last moment in case anyone should escape. Michael went back down the access road to keep watch. He hid behind a bush at a bend in the road, and watched the house carefully for any sign of activity.
As Kiara stepped forward to attack, the goblins started to growl, building themselves into a frenzy.
At that moment, Annabelle ran into the room and was grabbed by a goblin who was nearest the door. As kiara darted a glance at the girl, Droc grabbed Alice from the chair and placed his sword across her throat. “Put your sword down or they both die!”, he screamed above the growling.
The room grew silent as Kiara paused. There was no way to reach them both in time. The hellish fires in her eyes began to die down. She seemed to shrink as she dropped the sword from her hand.
“Put her in the chair!” commanded Droc, and in seconds she was trapped by the energy field.
The machine began to glow as it greedily sucked the magical energy from the faerie princess.
She seemed to be shrinking as she returned to the familiar shape of the little girl who had first come to the manor. Droc finally relaxed. He threw Alice to another goblin. “Guard these two with your lives!, I have plans for them!. He ordered the rest of them to get themselves armed and ready, and they headed to the armoury. He was distracted by the sound of a shogun in the entrance room, and he never noticed the small spider slipping through the energy field and landing on Kiara’s head.
It dropped down behind her left ear, where she had placed the earring earlier.

******

Short Story: Kiara, Episode 13

October, 2016

KIARA EPISODE 13

kiara

Cook carefully removed the bandage to change the poultice as Kiara slept. The child was no longer feverish and was in a deep peaceful sleep. When she cleaned the area and saw no sign of either a wound or a scar, she began praying and making the sign of the cross over and over again. Just at that moment the door gave way to the goblins lair and she jumped with fright as the noise rang through the house. Kiara awoke and smiled at her. Somehow, the smile brought tears of relief. Then the girl was standing beside her and gave her hug. “Thank you! You must be exhausted ! Why don’t you go to the kitchen and make yourself a nice cup of tea!”. Before she knew it, cook was heading to the kitchen.

“You’re taller!”, said Annabelle accusingly. Kiara laughed. It was like the sound of a hundred tiny bells tinkling. She grew taller still and a pair of beautiful wings appeared . They sparkled and shone with rainbow colours that made Annabelle’s eyes go funny, and then they vanished and Kiara stood before her again, looking just like her old self. Annabelle rushed across the room and hugged her.

“Hold on Hold on! I must dress” said Kiara laughing. She stepped back for a moment and she created a beautiful silver frock with bows and ribbons and two big pockets. As she put the daisy into one pocket, she realised that the dress was a little long, so she grew into it. “That’s better!”, she said.

“Put your hand out!” Annabelle put her hand out and Kiara placed a bright red pebble into it. “Now, say Elsewhere!”. She did what she asked and found herself on the far side of the room.

“Listen carefully, you must go with cook and stay in the kitchen. If anything should happen, or you get scared, grab her hand and hold the pebble and say elsewhere! Okay?”

Annabelle nodded , and giving Kiara a last big hug, she ran after the cook.

Kiara had, of course, almost returned to her old self and in typical faerie fashion she only had a vague memory of what had happened. She remembered the boy and promised herself to visit him, once she had dealt with the silly goblin. Then the memory flooded back of the fire and the destruction of the goblins in the woods. Her shine dimmed a little, but she pushed it out of her mind. After all, she thought, they were not real bodies. It was just like breaking toys that belonged to naughty children. She brightened up for a moment, then realised that unless she smashed the machines, she might have to kill a lot more of the goblin troops on their own world, where they would be very real. It was a promise that she had avoided making just yet, but she knew that she could not abandon her own kind when they needed her. On impulse, she took the daisy from her pocket and turned it into a small earring which she placed in her ear, for safekeeping.

James opened the next door and the stench that hit them was overpowering. It as a large room filled with large heavy tables and benches. There was a large pipe with an open cover in the corner of the room where the smell seemed strongest. It had to be some sort of waste pipe, judging from the bones scattered around it. James held his breath and went to check it. They quickly moved on and shut the door behind them. They heard a humming sound from the next room and realised that they must be near the goblins machinery. They stood still, listening for any sounds before opening the door. James carefully closed the shotgun and handed it to Alice. Indicating that he wanted her to stay and watch the door. He opened it quietly and stepped through. He looked around in amazement at the lights and dials set into what looked like large wooden cupboards spaced all around the walls and joined by some sort of tubing. Seeing the next door open, he cautiously approached it and looked through.

There was a chair similar to the one in the doctors office, with tubes leading from it to a cabinet and from there, to huge covered cubicle. He checked the room carefully before calling Alice to come in. “ I think I found it!, he shouted. Alice followed him in quickly, not wanting to be outside on her own. They stood and inspected the room, wondering what exactly they could do to put the equipment out of action.

James was very unsure of what would happen if he sliced through the tubes. He knew nothing about electricity except that it could be dangerous and that metal conducted it. He looked at the cabinet that lit up the wall behind the chair. Alice seemed to read his mind. “Let’s go back and get the sledgehammer”, she said. She handed him the shotgun and he led the way.

As they stepped back through the door, the goblin pounced. The knife flashed between them and by the time James had turned, the broadsword was sweeping through the air. He blocked it with the barrel of the shotgun. It was almost torn from his hands by the impact, but he somehow managed to swing it back up and fired both barrels at the goblin. The noise was deafening and Droc stumbled backwards, giving James a chance to remove his sword from its scabbard. He shouted to Alice to run, but she stood near the door, frozen in fear. “Run!”, he screamed above the roar of the goblin.

Droc was a terrifying sight with his armour blackened and peppered with shot and one side of his cheek torn and bleeding. He raised the huge sword and James knew he moments left to live. James swung low with his sword and slashed across the goblin’s leg as he rolled out of reach of the sword. Droc ignored the wound and swung downwards as James got to his feet. He blocked the swing, but it sent him reeling backwards across the room. The goblin stepped forward, trapping Alice at the doorway.

He began to swing the sword down on James but as James raised his sword, Droc kicked out and sent him sprawling against the wall. Alice tried to take out her gun from her pocket, but the goblin was too fast and pinned her hands together. He swung her around and onto his hip as if she was a child and walked over to James. He kicked him over onto his back and casually thrust his sword into his belly. Alice screamed. “scream all you like, hag! You will scream much more before this day is through. He carried her back into the portal room and threw her onto the chair before sheathing his sword. He flicked a switch and she was trapped in the chair by invisible cords. Numb with shock, she hardly felt the tingling of the energy that held her in place.

“I think I will let you watch your little brat die before I show you what this little toy can do to ungrateful hags, he said. He turned a dial and searing pain flowed through her whole body. She felt blood in her mouth were she had bitten her tongue. He turned the dial back down. “Ah!, I see I have your full attention”. He smiled, showing two huge canines. “I think you had better let her go!,- said a voice from the doorway, making him turn around. There stood Kiara, still in the form of a child, and leaning on a sword that reached up to her chin. To hear a goblin laughing is a terrible thing. His bellow echoed across the whole manor.

Kiara began to laugh too and before he realised it, Droc was laughing until there were tears in his eyes. He was still laughing when the flat of her sword crashed down on his helmet. He screamed out in rage and frustration as he fought to remove the battered metal pressing into his skull. The leather strap tore away and he flung the crushed helmet at her and charged forward swinging his sword. All thoughts of needing her alive had vanished from his mind in his fury. She vaulted the huge arc of his swing, but he carried on in a huge circle of flying steel like a scythe. By the time he had swung around in a full circle, she had turned and blocked. The swords met in a flash of sparks and a piercing screech as metal slid against metal. As he powered through her block, and her sword slid away, she again vaulted over the swing and struck him in the face with the handle of her sword as she leapt to the other side of the room.

He spat blood and shook his head to clear it. Kiara was leaning on her sword in front of the cabinet, and laughing as if it was a great game. His rage knew no bounds. He ran across the room and sliced down in an effort to cut the arrogant faerie in two and silence her maddening laughter.

At the last moment she sidestepped and his sword bit into the cabinet, sending a pulse of energy back though the sword that knocked him off his feet. She turned to face him, when Alice started to scream. As she looked at Alice a goblin came out of the portal and pinned her arms from behind.

Droc smiled as he ran her sword right through her. He looked totally bewildered as he stared at the goblin warrior skewered on his sword. Kiara had vanished and was at the portal. She struck another goblin with the flat of her sword as he came through,- sending him sprawling across the room. With a wave of her hand a huge sticky web grew across the opening to the portal.

Kiara turned to look at Droc as he drew his sword from the dead warrior. “Enough!”, she said. “Release the matron and I will allow you to return to your world”. As she stared at him, Droc felt all the fight and the fury drain away. How could one little girl thwart all his plans? He was thinking furiously as she spoke. In the portal chamber more troops were arriving and soon they would be crushed by their own numbers. He put his sword down. “Okay faerie, You win”, he said, and walked slowly over to the control panel. He turned the dial up to full and Alice started to scream as the chair tried to draw energy from her body. Kiara rushed over and as she drew near, the energy field from the chair arced towards her, and began drawing on her power. He knocked her to the ground with his fist and ran back to pick up his sword. The web disappeared and goblins started to flood into the room. Kiara jumped up and switched of the machine. It as all or nothing now, she decided, and manifested her warrior form. Before the eyes of the goblins, she grew to seven foot tall and long black braids of raven hair, tipped with razor sharp blades hung down the silver of her gleaming armour.

The sword she had used earlier, now looked like a child’s toy in her hands. She threw it at the goblin and drew a long curved katana that glowed with a dull red, almost the colour of drying blood. Her eyes glowed like large black pits filled with glowing embers. Instinctively, the goblins backed away.

MagickalArts

September, 2016

This month the Magickals has an offering of flash fiction. Enjoy!

Tessie’s Gift

magickalarts

Tessie was a sprite. Not just any sprite, mind you but one who could craft the most pleasant of magicks. Her magick was one of bestowing gifts to those who would otherwise remain in need and despair. She was able to command all of the elements; something quite unusual as all of the other sprites were only able to weave their magick with one. Her favorite magick was gently coaxing the winds to do her bidding and she loved watching a golden haired child named Sasha dancing with the gentle breezes Tessie created in the fields.

 

Sasha was a gentle and sweet child whose life was filled with sorrow and pain. Her parents had never wanted her; a fact they made known to her every day. She was scolded for being too quiet and beaten for making too much noise. She ate what was left of the scraps that had been fed first to the cows and pigs as their selling and butchering was the source of the parent’s livelihood.  Even Sasha’s clothing was made from the remnants of old burlap feed bags.

 

Despite the hardships and unloving home Sasha was grateful for what was given to her and snuggled in closely each night, stroking and speaking softly to the animals whose home she shared. Her most treasured companion was a pig named Piper. She told Piper all of her secrets and he grunted happily as she sang him to sleep each night. It had been Tessie who had long ago whispered into Piper’s ear and told him to look after Sasha because she needed to be loved more than anything.

 

One cold morning, Sasha awoke to see Piper being taken off to the slaughterhouse. She begged her Mother and pleaded with her Father, tears streaming down her face and body shivering from the cold. Both pushed her aside and told her she would have no supper that evening for creating such a fuss. Her heart had been broken.   

 

That night Tessie stole into the pens and found Sasha sobbing and sitting alone in the space where her beloved Piper had been. Tessie called out to Sasha and the sobbing momentarily stopped as Sasha looked around. Tessie breathed out a gentle burst of air stirring the dirt up towards Sasha’s tear streaked face and Sasha’s eyes widened in seeing this tiny sprite.  She lowered her head for a closer look and smiled returning Tessie’s loving gaze.

 

Tessie told Sasha that she had been watching her for some time and that such a sweet and gentle child should have a loving home and parents. Sasha said that it was not so bad and that her parents tried as best they could. Tessie told Sasha that she knew of a family that would love and cherish her and as a gift for her kindness, the guardian of the dancing winds would take her to a new home. Sasha’s eyes lit up in excitement and she told Tessie that she would gladly go because this would make it so much easier for her real parents if she were not always underfoot.

 

And, so that night it was agreed that the sprite who could craft the most pleasant of magicks would take Sasha to the loving home she deserved. Tessie told Sasha to lay down and placed an enchanted flower in her hand. Sasha yawned and fell into a heavy and deep sleep.

 

Tessie called to the guardians of the winds and bid them come to her. The air thickened and a gentle woosh of wind spiraled around Tessie. She whispered into the very center of the wind and watched as the sleeping Sasha was gently lifted upwards. Tessie spoke softly to the winds and with each word Sasha was lifted higher, still soundly sleeping and gently cradled in a pocket of airy bedding.

 

The next morning, Sasha stretched and yawned opening sleep filled eyes.  The bedding underneath was soft and smelled of freshly washed linen. Light streamed in through sparkling clean windows lighting up a lavender painted room. She sat up, looking around in disbelief and her eye was drawn to the single periwinkle colored Forget-Me-Not on the pillow next to her. Carefully, she picked it up and vowed that she would never forget Tessie and her gift.  She brought the flower up to her nose and gently inhaled its sweetness as the sound of a loving voice called her downstairs for breakfast. And, what of Tessie? Her story is just beginning.

Short Story: Kiara, Episode 12

September, 2016

Kiara4

 

Kiara: Episode 12
Alice felt much better after a good nights sleep. She had slept well much to her surprise,- having James outside the door made her feel much safer. She thought of that night she had seen him hanging around beneath the gas light, obviously up to no good. She had thrown him a shilling, thinking to keep him out of gaol for at least one more night. Then something in his expression had struck a chord with her. She remembered her own rebellious childhood. She thought she had found love but had been forced to run away from home in disgrace. The kindness of one person had saved her and she had worked hard for many years until she became a matron in a large hospital. In all that time, she had closed her heart to everyone. Then something in the roguish urchin touched her, and she decided that perhaps it was time to pay back for the gift of a new life that she had been given herself. Not for a moment had she imagined just how much she would come to depend on this scruffy urchin in the years to come.
Annabelle stirred. “Go back to sleep, sweetheart” she said.” Later, after breakfast, I want you to go and sit with Kiara in the infirmary and to stay there until I come for you. Bring a book and read it to her. It will comfort her”.
There was a softness in her voice that Annabelle had never heard before. She had been forced to have dinner with the servants the previous night. Mama had dinner with James and she had never done that before. Although she had said it was to discuss the household, both of them seemed different somehow, when they had escorted her to her mamas room to sleep for the night. As she drifted back to sleep, she wondered what had happened to Kiara. There had been a fire in the woods and Kiara had been injured, but no one would tell her what had happened. Perhaps Kiara would tell her later.

James straightened in the chair and his eyes flew open as Alice unlocked the door and stepped into the hallway. She smiled at him and he smiled back. “Come and have a hot drink with me in the kitchen before we tackle Docter Boglins quarters. Who knows what will greet us there”. He crooked the open shotgun on his arm and they walked slowly down the quiet corridor to the kitchen. Their hands brushed together by accident as they walked and she felt herself blushing. She was almost thirty years his senior, but he looked twice her age. She knew that the goblins treatments had a cumulative effect and she might have years of youth before they wore off. She did not know what would happen then. Would she begin to age again, or would she wake up one day to find a lady in her seventies peering back from the mirror?. She refused to entertain the question any longer. It seemed pointless, when he could reappear at any moment to take a terrible revenge on them all. She knew that she loved this man whom she had known since he was a child, but that was another problem that would have to wait. She knew that he loved her and that was enough for now. The future would sort itself out,- if indeed they had any future at all.

Despite the early hour, cook was up, and there was fresh bread and jam with their early morning tea.
There was an energy between them that made them feel breathless, but both of them were afraid to speak..Alice and James sat opposite each other and said little until cook went upstairs to relieve Maria and bring a fresh poultice for Kiara. “We will need something to break the door down”, Alice said, “It is quite solid and he always keeps it locked”. James left the shotgun open on the table near her and went to the garage to find what he needed. A few minute later he came back with a wooden wedge, a pry bar, a sledgehammer and some thick gloves, and they set off for the goblins quarters.

The goblin had taken an entire wing of the massive old manor. In many ways the building was constructed to look like a castle, with an exterior made from huge stone blocks, but using modern materials and design to allow much larger rooms on the interior. It had been some rich man’s folly,- built on the flood of wealth that had poured in from the empire. It had been totally sealed of from the rest of the house with solid brick walls and a small oak door on the ground floor giving access. Beside this door was the entry to his office. Dr. Boglin would see the children in there and there was some equipment in those rooms. Many would then be sent back to their parents, cured of many nervous diseases and thereby building the wealth and prestige of the home. Those who went through the little door , however, were never seen again.
Matron had a key to the office and a quick check revealed nothing unusual. James handed the shotgun to Alice and set to work on the door. There was no room to get the pry bar near the lock.
He placed the wedge against the base of the door and tapped it in with the sledgehammer. It took several large blows to force a gap. The noise echoed around the hallway. They paused and listened for sounds within, but it was impossible to hear much through the thick door. James managed to get the pry bar into the small gap near the lock, but even with all his weight behind it, it refused to budge. He hammered the end of the bar into the gap then using the wooden wedge between the lock and frame, he swung the sledgehammer with all his strength until the door flew open with as the jam splintered apart.
They stood amazed as they walked into the anteroom. It was lit by what looked like electric light bulbs. There were racks all around the large room filled with medieval armour and weapons. They stood there for a moment, puzzled. The armour looked much larger than the doctor or his fellow goblins. James, who was almost six foot tall would have found them large and cumbersome. There were bows, arrows, crossbows maces and huge swords. James picked up a sword, it was incredibly light and gleamed blue in the strange light.. He decided to keep it just for the moment and tied a scabbard around his waist to free his arms for the shotgun. Without a word, they pressed on. They did not even know what they were looking for. But the goblins had gotten here somehow. They needed to find out how and destroy his machinery. Otherwise, they suspected, there was no place on earth that they would ever be safe.
As Droc stepped out if the portal which was attached to the Cradle, he beamed with satisfaction. It had taken him thirty years to build it, but now, from the tiny gap in the shield around his planet, he had created a highway. Once he boosted its power with the magic from the faery princess he could transport many troops at once and make a new base here on this planet. They would harvest it’s resources to prepare for their invasion of the faery home world. He paused for a moment as he tried to remember the name of the home word of the Fae. It slipped through his mind like quicksilver. Never mind!, he thought, they had found a way in and they would find many others as they prepared for the final assault. First ,there was a hag to kill and an entire planet to feed from.

He picked up a chair and tore it apart. He was pleased,- perhaps he would not kill the weasel, Hrirc after all. He went to a rack and donned his armour, adding a belt of razor sharp knives and a long broad sword. He tested the sword, slicing through a table with a single blow. He had to stoop down to get through the door to the next room. Others would follow soon, when the power had built up, but he had no patience to wait. He would go and find the princess and get his plans moving. For an inferior race, the humans were proving to be less easy to control that he had imagined. He had lost four days and his biggest fear was that the faeries had somehow saved the guardian tree. For all he knew they might have warriors waiting in the woods to surround his troops and put a stop to his plans. He remembered nothing after the blow to the head that had crushed his old body. He needed to find out what had happened. He also needed to feel his claws dig into the neck of that treacherous hag.
He checked the instruments in the room and patted the chair fondly that was attached to them. From this spot, the empire of the goblins would be rebuilt, and he, Droc, would be their greatest ever warlord and Archdeacon.
He heard the noise of the door to the rest of the manor being breached. He could smell her, and that lackey of hers. That lapdog that she had kept with her for far too long. She had resisted every attempt to remove him. She must have planned treachery even then. Let her come into his cell. He would have some fun with her, away from distractions, while he waited for his troops. She would tell him all he needed to know before she died. He unsheathed a knife and hid behind one of the large control panels to wait.

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