Sneek Peek taken from Krypendorf – The Fourth Lesson, chapter 10 – The Wizard’s Riddle.
Introduction by Author – In this excerpt, Richard is worried about the things that seem to be formulating in the very near future.Lady Mary, his grandmother, tells him of an old oracle in the form of a great oak tree.This was used by his grandfathers in the past and proved most helpful.Now, Lady Mary, Yenwolk, and Skylar give information and encouragement to Richard on what he should do…
Lady Mary stood and took hold of Yen’s sleeve and then looked at her grandson. “Richard, stay here with me for a moment. I need to talk to you and Yenwolk.”
“Yes, my lady,” replied the gnome.
Richard nodded quietly and rested his head on the back of the chair.
She looked first at the gnome and then at Richard. “I’m going to tell both of you something I don’t expect to leave this room.” She paused as each of them nodded. “Richard … I know you must be troubled about many things that are happening to you now. Skylar spoke to me of them, especially about her encounter with that bug thing in the wormwood box. Now you tell us we may be involved in a serious disagreement with another wizard.”
Lady Mary raised her hand, cutting the young wizard off. “I’m not after your apologies, my boy. You continue to do what you think is best. I’m sure William would have done the same. I’m just saying at times like these, my William would travel north to a place on the Green River. He’d then cross that river and journey on foot to the east, where a very old tree exists. It’s not a regular tree as we are accustomed to, but an oracle. William called it by name several times. He referred to it as The Great White Oak. I don’t know at what point he crossed the river, only that a ferryman took him.”
Skylar moved from her couch as the others left the room and moved closer to the two. Lady Mary noticed at once.
“Come, girl,” she said with a smile. “Shelley is still here. She’s a dwarf, and I know she won’t tell. I would expect the same silence from you.”
“I’ll be going with him,” replied Skylar as she scooted in the chair next to Richard.
Lady Mary looked at her and laughed. “You’re braver than I when William and I first married … Anyway,” continued Lady Mary as she removed her shawl from the arm of her chair. Beneath it laid the Book of Benjamin. She then turned about midway in the book and laid her right hand on its pages. “Here are your directions,” she said with a smile, patting the pages. “Your grandfather wrote them in the form of a riddle. They did that a lot back then. I do know, as the book will tell you, you have to summon a faerie. Her name is Limen, but to do that, you need the help of Oak Woman, not the Wood Woman of Dragon Oaks, but the Queen of the Dryads. I’ve never seen her, but William did, and many times.” Lady Mary then turned to Yenwolk. “That’s where I need your help. I have not a clue how to get in touch with her, Yen … Do you?”
“Yes. You must summon her also, Richard.”
“Great,” responded the young wizard weakly. They said nothing of that in Krypendorf’s class.”
Yenwolk laughed and settled back in his chair. “You weren’t listening, my boy. I’m sure he said you would learn many other things when you least expect it. Well … this is one of those times. You must pay attention, Write them down in Old Ben’s book, and most of all … keep the book safe, and remember what you write.”
“Then teach me, Yen,” said Richard as he leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. “I’m listening …”
“Very well …” The old gnome sat up in his chair and looked all about the room. Almost everyone had left; only a few remained just outside the front doors. Yen then moved closer to the lad. Lady Mary, Sandra, and Shelley moved closer also. “You must do this under an old oak—the older, the better. If possible, it should be of some importance to you.”
“I know of such a place,” replied Skylar excitedly. “The one Aundrea took me to … Remember, Richard?”
Yenwolk looked back at Richard. “There is such a place?”
“Yes, Yen. I consider it an old friend of mine.”
“Good,” said Yen, as he was beginning to also get a little excited. “Go there at dusk. It must not be day. It must not be night. When the sun drops below the earth, and its memory still lights the sky, you must summon with fire made from the four elements of that tree—wood, root, leaf, and seed. If your need, and your spirit are true—and she will know by your aura—she will come when you call her name at the right time.”
“Right time?” said Richard. “How will I know when that is?”
“Listen to the fire … You’ll know.”
Richard turned around and looked out of the big window behind him. “I’ll go this afternoon.”
“We’ll go, Richard,” corrected Skylar. “I’ll be right beside you.”
Richard looked quickly to Yen as if for approval.
“Don’t look to me, wizard. This is your show,” laughed Yen. “In my never-to-be-so-humble opinion, if Amora appeared to Skylar, she shouldn’t have any trouble with the Queen of the Dryads. Anyway, you must establish Skylar a relationship with as many entities of these forests as you possibly can. In her, they should also see you. If you get into trouble, they will not need to hesitate calling on her for help if they need it.”
“Good then,” agreed Richard.
“That’s my boy!” exclaimed Lady Mary as she patted Richard’s knee stoutly.
“Now …” continued Richard. “What about this way to the White Oak?”
“Lady Mary picked up the Book of Benjamin and handed it to Skylar. “Here, girl,” she said. “These old eyes don’t see as well as they used to.” She then pointed out the riddle.
And Skylar read:
Bear north from the White Stones
placed by the first Dewin.
On to the city of the Old Ones
who guard the gates of Elysium.
Straight on, and across the Green Way
from the bald orange face,
to a forest where the white oak
refuses to take its place.
Summon the fae known as Limen
with fire and mistletoe,
collected by the way
only the Oak Woman will show.
Set your summons fire
just west of the great tree.
Persist with it there
through two times three.
When the wind returns the seventh time,
the fire will hold its glow
and call the tiny lepus
watching from her nearby hole.
Richard sat back in his chair, lolled his head around, and looked at his grandmother. “I hate riddles …” he sighed.
Yenwolk said with a smile, “It keeps the wrong sort from these places, my boy. If they get hold of that book, they won’t know what to make of it. You should also learn to put your words down the same way.”
“What is a Dewin, Lady Mary?” asked Sandra.
“Well …” laughed the grandmother, “I do know that one, child. It’s a magical person—probably a wizard. It can be male or female, good or evil.”
Richard then sat up and also looked at her. “Stones piled by the first Dewin?”
Yenwolk laughed out loud and slapped his knee again. “Whitestones, my green, young wizard. We’re here,” he laughed, pointing down at the floor and looking at Skylar.
She quickly smiled. “He’s speaking of this castle, isn’t he?”
The gnome silently nodded his head. “Go on, girl…finish it.”
“The first Dewin in this area was Basil,” she continued. “As far as the white stones are concerned, we’re in them right now.”
“Exactly!” exclaimed Lady Mary.
“What about the old ones and the Gates of Elysium?” asked Skylar.
Lady Mary looked slowly up toward the gnome.
“Brakenmore,” he replied. “The old ones are the Elwyns who live there.”
“So …” interrupted Richard, “we’re now past Brakenmore and still going north.”
“Not too far,” quipped Yenwolk as a smile beginning to curl under his bushy mustache. “Do you remember a huge orange stone jutting out of the ground at the ferry north of Brakenmore? It was just west of the old store and across the field a ways.”
“That’s the bald face!” exclaimed Skylar as she slapped her hands. “One of the old ferrymen named Beeker Johnson used to live there. He knew Richard’s grandfather. He said he would come and cross there as many as four times a year.”
“Is he still living?” asked Lady Mary.
Skylar sighed and sat back in her chair. “No, ma’am. I believe they said his son had replaced him.”
“I see,” said Lady Mary. “It’s been a long time since I heard that name.”
“What do you make of ‘where the white oak refuses to take its place’?” asked the gnome. “That’s a good one.”
Lady Mary slowly shook her head. “I haven’t any idea what he’s talking about. You’ll have to figure that out when you get there.”
“I think I understand everything else,” said Skylar, “except this lepus thing. What is a lepus?”
The gnome shrugged his shoulders and looked at Lady Mary.
“Don’t look at me,” she laughed. “That’s another one of those ‘when you get there’ things.”
Hope you enjoyed this little peek.There will me more added as time progresses…