Chapter 02

Wedding Gift

Blue sparks danced like a light mist. It swirled over Namia Zora’s hand, around his wrist and disappeared into his forearm. It continued up his body igniting like tiny lighting bolts in his brain. Magic was strong this day.

With his hand on the cave’s wall, the wizard took a deep breath, calmed his mind, and listened. The dwarf didn’t exactly hear the words, but felt an impression on his mind. He needed the milk, life, and blood of the land.

The war was over. This was a monumental wedding and the beginning of a new era of peace, ending a twenty-three-year war between two kingdoms. On the day of the wedding, there would be a gift giving procession. Unfortunately, the war had left the Prairie Kingdom poverty-stricken. It would not do for all gifts to be of lean cows and scrawny chickens. There should be at least one gift of such value so as to awe the Sea-Side Kingdom.

Namia Zora, the wizard-dwarf, would present the new king and queen with a jewel beyond compare.

The wedding would issue in a new era of wealth and prosperity. Now that war was finally over, farmers would be returning to the valley. Food would be plentiful again. It would once again be safe to trade with the over-sea merchants who come to the Sea-Side harbor. Everyone in the Prairie Kingdom, including Namia Zora, was excited over upcoming prospects.

Deep in the caves, white limestone dripped into stalactites and stalagmites: Milk of the Land. Deeper still, there rested an underground lake: Life of the Land. At the depths of the mountain flowed a stream of lava: Blood of the Land.

He placed a bit of each in a caldron on a fire in his home caves. Finally, he dropped in the handful of small rough diamonds along with powdered zinc and tree sap. The mixture would simmer. The zinc would soften the diamonds. The tree sap would combine the smaller stones into one large jewel. The brew would cook, and in three days time, it would be ready. Perfect.

***

Tabisya just wanted to be useful, helpful. He didn’t want his master’s brew to settle and burn. He’d just stir it, a little. Just a little.

He tied a rope at his thin waist to keep the hem of his robes from dragging on the cave floor. A pouch hung around his long neck filled with things only a gnome would value: a head of a dead rat, a cowbird feather, a coyote tuft, a rabbit paw, and a piece of cinnamon stick. He tucked the pouch in his rope-belt.

The spoon he used was made from the root of a geewry tree that grew on the side of the mountain. The tree’s roots were long, thick and strong and dug deep into the ground and tightly held on, preventing the tree from falling.

If he’s stirred it the day before the stone formed, or a few hours later after the stone had formed and settled into its new shape, it would not have mattered. But Tabisya chose the exact moment the brew was combining the smaller diamonds into one large jewel.

Tabisya heard the sound of glass breaking and the pieces drop to the floor. He looked over his shoulder to see what had broken. Nothing. It must have been his imagination. In that exact instant, the spoon dissolved. Magic seeped from the geewry tree’s ability to latch onto the mountainside and gave the forming gem long, thick and strong, magical tentacles that could dig deep onto a mortal’s heart and hold on tight.

The ground beneath his feet seemed to shake. The gnome slipped and just barely caught himself before he fell in.

His pouch plopped out of his belt and quickly sunk into the white mixture. Blue mist drifted like smoke from the liquid. Craftiness from the dead rat brain, deviousness from the cowbird feather, trickery from the coyote fur, covertness from the rabbit foot leached out and attached itself to the gem. Finally the color of the cinnamon stick turned the forming jewel orange. In that instant, the diamond changed into an agent of Magic.

Tabisya pulled himself up and the pouch out. He shook it free of moisture and tucked it inside his robe. Then he noticed the end of the spoon was gone. Evidently, the mixture was not meant to be stirred. He decided to make rabbit stew and thought no more of his master’s brew.

***

On the third day, Namia Zora poured the mixture out and reached into the caldron to retrieve his magical creation and stared at it in bewilderment.

Tabisya gasped. “What is it?”

“Topaz,” Namia Zora said. “I thought to make a diamond, but this is better than I imagined. A blue topaz is far more valuable than a diamond, but an orange topaz is so rare, it is priceless. I have out done myself.” He proudly held the orange jewel, the size of a man’s hand, up to the lantern. Deep in the jewel’s facets, threads of red, yellow, and white swirled as if dancing.

“I have never seen anything like it. You have outdone yourself,” Tabisya complimented. “The king and queen will be pleased and all will be amazed at the magnificence of your talents.”

 ***

Gnomes and Dwarfs, like all creatures of the earth, desire, crave for, lust after precious jewels found in the ground. But Namia Zora and Tabisya knew this gem was made of magic and knew it was no more valuable than a trinket. Humans could not tell true value. If it looked valuable, they believed it was valuable.

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Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

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