~*~*RINGS OF AMAZEMENT*~*~
"We are here."
Makeda stopped in front of a large building. The children gazed up with open mouth and tried to see the top. There were a lot of strange drawings and symbols carved into to the outside walls. The windows were all made out of stained glass. Nįriėl had her eyes on the door. It was straight and the top was pointed. It had a beautiful drawings carved in it of an Airship. It had one great eye on the mainsail, a wyvern as figure-head and a bell on an rope in the middle of the deck. When she looked closer, Nįriėl also noticed that the ship had angel wings on the sides.
"Please come this way", Makeda said while opening the door.
Nįriėl was thinking. That ship.. it was almost like she saw it somewhere before. In a dream maybe..
The children followed Makeda inside. Before entering, Liath looked back to the street. He growled and shuck his head, and entered the building.
"Welcome to the residence of Hyvan", Makeda said with a smile. One that wasn't really pleasant to the children. "Home of the professor and his personal work place!"
"Wow.." Fixien muttered looking around her. The other children also gazed around them.
The room they stood in was incredible big. It had no ceiling at all, except for all the way at the top. It had one big staircase, swirling around through the building. Everywhere people where walking. All dressed in weird white coats. Walking around reading papers and muttered to each other. The entire building was lit up by strange statues of knights, holding torches and candles. Everything seemed to be made out of old, grey rock. There were also drawings and paintings on the walls. It all looked splendid, bigger from the inside than from the outside.
"Nįriėl!" Silian suddenly called. "Over here!"
Nįriėl walked towards him and looked over his shoulder at a bright painting on the wall.
"See?" the boy said. "This is the same painting we saw inside of Gilroy's castle."
Nįriėl nodded. "The harvest.." she whispered.
"Don't worry", Fixien said who suddenly stood beside her.
"How do you mean?" Nįriėl asked wondrous.
"I understand you are homesick. I think we all do a little.. But we will see our homes again, someday. And then they will all be happy to see us."
"Yes", Nįriėl nodded. "You are right, thank you Fixien."
Fixien nodded and walked back to the ground.
"Sometimes I wonder.." Nįriėl said, looking after the Halfling with a smile, "..how she knows those things."
"I guess we are all special in our own ways", Silian said.
Nįriėl looked at him and nodded.
On the other side, Liath was staring at a drawing carved in the wall with several paint colors. It was a drawing of four persons, standing in a greeting pose with their swords and shields high. Behind them lay the red horizon. And they were surrounded by mountains. Below and in front of them, the land was covered with shadow.
"Where are you looking at?" Doriath asked calm.
Liath turned around and Doriath could see a sad look on his face. Liath sighed and looked back at the drawing.
"This is a drawing of my ancestors.." he said.
"Ah, the King's statues", Doriath said wondrous.
Liath looked at him surprised. "Yes.."
"They were four of the first human knights in Yennevar."
"Not just in Yennevar", Liath said, now with admiring in his voice. "In entire Ilmarissė! And they were called as knight right here, on the Dimath. In my own home kingdom, Bree-fall! They were courageous, wise, loyal, strong..."
Doriath looked at him full of compassion. He could almost feel what Liath did. He was the last of the men. He knew for sure that Liath was more courageous, wise, loyal and strong than any other human ever lived in Ilmarissė.
"And he always will be.." the apprentice whispered.
"Did you say something?" Liath asked.
Liath sighed. "Oh well... it has been a long time." Then he turned around and walked back to the others.
"Oh, they are leaving", Silian said. "We better go too."
"This way, everyone", Makeda pointing up the stairs.
"Listen, Makeda", Elleven said a little annoyed. "Of course you can come with us, but I don't feel like taking orders from anyone around here. So no leader, alright?"
Makeda growled. But he pushed himself to hold back. Instead of that, he bowed. "Of course."
The more they climbed, the more amazing it became. On the first floor the walls were black, covered with stars. There was one drawing which looked like an entire galaxy. Fixien looked at it from the stairs when they passed it. There were planets called Earth and Venus and such. And yes, there was Ilmarissė.
Elleven was looking around her too when they passed the first floor. Suddenly, her eyes fell on a man with a long white coat. The coat was so long that you couldn't see his feet. But something came from under it, a tail, Elleven saw. The man had brown hair, all ruffled. He was talking to some other men and was writing things down on a paper. Elleven watched the man suspicious.
They walked up another seven floors. The children were beginning to get tired. But Makeda seemed to have no problem with it.
"How much further..?" Fixien puffed. "My poor Halfling legs.. too short.. too short.."
"We are here", Makeda suddenly said.
The children laughed of relief.
"Great, so which floor is this?" Silian asked.
"Why don't you look down?" Nįriėl grinned. "Then you will know."
Silian looked down over the little wall. Nįriėl and Fixien giggled when they saw Silian's face slowly turning green. Silian jumped back from his shock and breathed heavily.
"Nįriėl!" he yelled. "That was not very nice of you!"
Nįriėl lifted her shoulders with a laughter and helped Silian up.
Doriath looked down. "We sure are high", he muttered. "Amazing.. just amazing.."
"You think this floor stands higher in the sky than Ancient Gilrien?" Nįriėl asked.
"No way", Doriath shuck his head. "Higher than Gilrien... that is just impossible.."
"In here, Children of Ķlma", Makeda said and pointed at two doors. They were both the same kind of doors. Exactly the same as the door where they entered the building.
"Alright, which one is it?" Liath asked.
"The left one of course!" Silian said a bit over confident. And he opened the door and wanted to walk through it. But Liath was just in time to save him from his fall. When Liath looked down he could even see all the people walking through the streets of Argofaith. Silian was staring, but then pushed Liath aside and quickly closed the door.
"Liath.." he breathed. "Thank you!"
Meanwhile, Makeda had already entered the other door. The children followed him inside slowly. Inside, a man in a long white coat with blonde hair greeted them.
"Welcome, Children of Ķlma", he said friendly. "Now, if you would please follow me."
The man led the children through another room, with a big chair, almost like a throne. The man beamed at the chair and bowed.
"Rings of Amazement, I would like to present to you, the Children of Ķlma."
But there was no respond. Even more, the chair was empty. The children looked around them, wondering to whom the man was speaking.
"..Sir!?" the man called. "Oh no not again!"
The children looked at each other. What was going on?
"He lost again!" the man sighed. "Excuse me children, please wait here. I will be back in a moment!" And then he ran out of the room.
For a moment it was quiet.
"What... was that?" Fixien said to the group.
"I have no idea.." Nįriėl muttered.
"Meanwhile, Makeda was carefully banging is head against the wall.
"What exactly are you doing?" Silian asked.
"This is so stupid!" Makeda shouted. "He's lost again! Oh that man is truly impossible!"
"Would you calm down!?" Elleven bit at him. "I bet he went somewhere very important."
"I think Elleven is right", Fixien said.
"No!" Makeda said angrily. "Letting the Children of Ķlma wait like this. How rude."
"You think you are really something, don't you?" Liath growled. "Instead of lowering him, you could help that man find him!" And then he walked away through the door, down the stairs.
"He is right", Nįriėl said. "It's no use staying here and wait. We might as well lend him a hand." And she followed Liath.
After a few seconds, the other children followed them too, only Makeda stayed behind. He lifted his shoulders and sighed.
Outside the room, Nįriėl looked down the stairs. Nine floors.. she thought. So, where to start then.
"Alright", she sighed. "How about this? Liath and Doriath come with me. The rest of you, stick together. We will search from this floor until below. You will search from the lowest floor until up here. Agreed?"
"Agreed", the group nodded, except for Elleven. She growled, but Fixien convinced her by pulling her arm. "Come on, Elleven!"
Elleven and the others ran down the stairs to the first floor. For a moment, Silian stopped and looked back up. But Nįriėl had already gone searching.
"Nįriėl!" Doriath called to the Elf, running up ahead. "Slow down!"
Nįriėl stopped for a moment and waited for him and Liath. "Did you see him?"
"No", Doriath breathed. "We went too fast to see anything.
"Sorry", Nįriėl sighed.
"Come on, you guys!" Liath said. "We must keep searching!"
Meanwhile, Elleven and the others were still running down.
"Silian, Fixien!" Elleven called. They stopped and looked back. "You go search below, I'll be looking here on the first floor!"
Silian and Fixien agreed and ran further down. Elleven looked around her and turned left to the first floor. She searched for that one man she had seen before. And yes, there he was, still writing. Elleven carefully pulled his sleeve.
"Excuse me, sir", she said.
The man finished his last words writing and then looked around at the Elf.
"Yes, my young lady?" he asked friendly.
"Are you..", Elleven asked carefully, ".. professor Hyvan, Rings of Amazement?"
"Indeed I am", the man said wondrous to the girl.
"I just wanted to report that the Children of Ķlma have arrived."
Hyvan stared at her for a few moments, but then the quarter fell.
"Oh! Yes! Of course!" he said a bit panicked. "Yes.. hum.. lead the way, miss.. hum.."
"Elleven!" Elleven said. "My name is Elleven Rainrose."
"Of course, miss Elleven", Hyvan laughed. "We better go upstairs then. Follow me."
Elleven really hated when someone said 'follow me'. But she nodded friendly and then ran a few steps down the stairs.
"Fixien! Silian!" she called.
From the left and right side of the room below, the children looked up at Elleven.
"I found him!"
Silian and Fixien laughed happily and rain towards Elleven, up the stairs, and followed professor Hyvan. Silian and Fixien just could not get their eyes off the man in his long white coat.
"And what are your names?" the professor asked them when he noticed.
"My name is Fixien Helybell", Fixien said.
Professor Hyvan nodded friendly.
"And I am Silian the Halm", Silian said.
"Oh really", Hyvan said by the children's surprise. "If you are Silian, then Nįriėl must be here too."
"Umm.. indeed", Silian said really surprised.
Elleven growled. Always Nįriėl, she thought.
Running further up the stairs, Fixien waved when she saw Doriath. "We found him!" she called.
"Alright then!" Doriath called back and got Liath and Nįriėl.
When they got back in the room where Makeda was waiting, Hyvan looked at the children one by one and sighed.
"Alright then", he said. "I am sorry for keeping you waiting and everything. But now we are all here, let's begin. You have much to learn, my children. We start with the library."
"Library!?" Nįriėl said exited. "You've got a library in this tower?"
"My dear Lady", Hyvan laughed. "Certainly we do! You must love books. Wait until you see it."
The professor walked to his desk and took a few documents from his one of his drawers. He checked them for a moment and clocked his tongue.
"Alright!" he said eventually. "Follow me!"
The children followed the professor to one floor below, leaving their weapons behind. Nįriėl and Silian ahead, then Fixien, Doriath and Liath and Elleven and behind the group, Makeda followed with his arms over one another, growling a bit. Books, he thought. I hate books.. there's no time for this now.
"We are here!" the professor suddenly said.
They stood in front of a huge door, with a picture of five golden rings, connected by a triangle. Nįriėl gazed at the door. Those symbols seemed familiar to her.
"That triangle", she said curious, "I saw it on the floor of the city square."
"Indeed, my Lady", Hyvan said. "The Triangle of Ķlma. Remember that term well."
"Triangle of Ķlma.." the children whispered.
"And what about those rings?" Silian asked wondrous. "What do they mean?"
"They are symbol for the Rings of Amazement", the professor explained.
"What does that mean?"
The children looked at the man surprised.
"Yes", Hyvan laughed. "I am the Rings of Amazement. A long time ago, Galiad-Sin give that nickname to me. Rings are eternal. So it actually means 'eternal amazement'."
"I think I understand", Nįriėl said. "Your experiments and discoveries amazed people so much. And they still do! Now and forever!"
Hyvan nodded. "Exactly, my Lady."
"But who's Galiad-Sin?" Elleven asked suddenly.
The professor sighed and turned towards the door. "Galiad-Sin", he said while opening the door, "is the ancient Sage of Myths. He knows everything. All that once happened in this world. But he will not always share it with others. He can see into the past, but not into the future like many people think. But still evil wanted him to predict their future, then Galiad-Sin disappeared into nowhere. We haven't seen him from that very day, 10 years ago when the first new Child of Ķlma was chosen. Some say they have seen him. But it's not that lightly. The Sage will only appear to those who are worth it."
"Let me guess", Doriath said. "He used to be an old friend of yours."
Liath was thinking. He had some suspicions of where the Sage could be. Somehow he just felt who it was. A wise person Galiad-Sin was. But he knew another man who was very wise.
Professor Hyvan laughed, but did not answer Doriath's question. When the door was opened, he led the children into the room.
"Is this.. the library?" Fixien said surprised.
They stood in a small room with about five bookcases. Thin books they were, standing on the shelve rather sloppy.
"No my dear miss Fixien", the professor said a little mischievous. "This is the library!"
He turned the children around and led them into another room. The children's mouths fell open when they saw it. A huge round room with a roof and windows of stained glass. The ceiling was high, you almost got tears in your eyes when looking up. There were three circles of bookcases, high until the roof. The outside one stood against the wall, the inside one in a small circle in the middle of the room. Big and old books. Red carpet on the floor. Drawings and inscriptions everywhere on the bookcases and shelves.
"Here", professor Hyvan started, "we keep all the written knowledge of the peoples of Ilmarissė. The books are sorted on alphabetic order of the subjects. And those books are also sorted on alphabetic order. I know you have a lot of questions about many sorts of things. You can seek for answers here in this very library. Make sure you will be in the Great Hall by sunset, on the second floor."
"Thank you, professor", Nįriėl said, still gazing at the books with open mouth.
After another few seconds of staring, Fixien was the first one who ran off to the subject 'Fruit'. She found a book about Cherries and sat down on the red carpet to read. Then the other children moved out as well. Only Makeda was left behind. He was thinking.
"Master Makeda", the professor said. "I know you are searching for answers about your own kin. May I give you this book?"
He showed the boy a book with the name 'Crowlings' on the cover. Makeda took it carefully and examined it.
"This book has all the answers to your questions and riddles", the professor said. Then he bowed and left the room. Makeda stared at the book. Then he decided to give it a try.
"'Magic and Mages'", Doriath smiled. "This is great! Perhaps I can learn more sorts of magic from this book!" He took the book from the shelve and sat down on the floor against the bookcase. The book was very big and heavy. Doriath took off his hood, lay the book on his lap and carefully started to turn the pages.
"Whoa", Silian said with open mouth, gazing up towards the ceiling. "This library even has different floors! On no, the book I'm looking for is on the third one..."
"Hey Silian!" Elleven suddenly said from behind is back. Silian was startled and bumped against the bookcase. Some books fell down from the shelves and hit Silian on his head. Elleven laughed while the boy put the books back in the case.
"Elleven! You startled me!" he said still shocked.
"Noticed", Elleven laughed. "What are you looking for?"
Silian swallowed and pointed up. "I'm looking for a book called 'Young Warriors'. It's a book I used to read during class in the Woodland Realm. It might come in handy for getting better at sword fighting. I still haven't started on the technique chapter."
"Oh I see!" Elleven said. "Nice! It might indeed come in handy! Well, later!"
"No, wait!" Silian said when Elleven walked away.
The Elf grinned for a moment, but then turned around. "Yes?" she asked like she was surprised.
"Umm.." Silian started.
Elleven felt she had to laugh.
"Well... umm.. " Silian stuttered, ".. there's one little problem.."
"Well..", Silian pointed up the bookcase. "It's on the third floor... and I.. umm.."
"Let me guess", Elleven now laughed, "you're afraid of heights!"
Silian swallowed and nodded.
"Well", the girl sighed. "Since you are afraid and I don't feel like climbing.. you'll have to find another way."
Then she walked away and left Silian behind, totally surprised and stunned. But just before Elleven disappeared into the second circle, she knocked against the bookcase with her fist. A large book fell down from a shelve on the third floor and landed right in Silian's hands. He was surprised by its weight. He stared at the book and then to Elleven who disappeared behind another bookcase. After a few seconds of gazing and not knowing what just happened, he laughed proudly and sat down to read.
On the other side of the library, Liath was walked past the cases on the inner circle and looked up at the books. Then he stopped when his eye fell on a very large book. The pages were held together by golden nails. He stared at it like he had seen it before. He walked up a little stairs and took the book with both hands. He dropped the book on to the soft carpet and climbed down again. He grabbed a pillow and took the book on his lap. It was all covered in dust. When Silian blew the dust away, it revealed the title, written in gold: 'Sage of Myths'. He sighed and opened the book. By his greatest surprise he saw a picture of a man in old red-brown robes and a hood on. He had a long grey beard and hair. He held a staff in his hand. It was like he was calling the thunder from the sky. A man who seemed strangely familiar to him.
In the middle circle of the bookcases, Nįriėl was wandering around. She was not sure what she was looking for. There were so many questions he had in mind, so many answers she was searching for. Then she suddenly remember the words he read in Ancient Gilrien.
".. Vinwarin.. Calcindan.. Halfin.. Enlioth.. something like that."
She tried to remember the name of the book. 'Tongues of Doors' it was she believed. Yes, that was it. Quickly she began to walk to the 'L' section. But between the subject 'Languages', she couldn't find it. Then she went to the 'T' section and searched all over the 'Tongues' part. And then suddenly she saw it. A gorgeous night-blue book it was. 'Tongues of Doors' indeed. She got the book from the shelve and lay on the ground. She lay the book in front of her and started to read. She found interesting pages, like 'Door of Darlody' and 'Door of Dragons'. But then her eye fell on the chapter 'Door of Kirinimh'.
"Kirinimh..." she whispered thoughtful and got the sculpture she got from Nimlir out of her pocket. She examined the Fe-line witch sculpture and turned it around in her hands. She thought for a moment and quickly continued reading.
Ours went by, while the seven children wandered through the library. They found many books which held many answers, just like the professor said.
"So, how are we going to do this?" Gilrien-Hyn asked.
"Well.. I don't know. Let's think about it some more", Aurora said.
The two sat on the roof of the library, watching the children. They looked through the stained glass, down at the huge bookcases. Gilrien-Hyn was thinking. How I would like to spend my day down there as well, she thought. So many questions..
The sun was setting after a few hours. Nįriėl looked up from her book and saw Silian standing in front of her.
"Hey", she said. "Did you find any?"
"Oh yes", Silian nodded. "I read that book we used to have at home, you know, 'Young Warriors'."
"Oh yes", Nįriėl said while getting up with the book in her arms. "You didn't have the time to finish it in Eathron."
"That's right. Say, it's getting dark, we should be heading to the Great Hall."
"Okay." Nįriėl turned around and put the book back on the shelve.
"You ready?" Doriath suddenly said. He, Elleven and Fixien were already done too and ready to leave.
"Makeda has already left", Elleven said.
"We only need to find Liath, but this library is huge. Do you know where he is?" Fixien asked.
"You go ahead", Nįriėl said to her friends. "I'll go look for him."
"Alright", Silian said. "But don't be late, okay?"
Nįriėl sighed when she saw the other children walking out the library's door. Then she walked to the middle circle to find Liath. The boy was turning the pages of his book rather panicked and confused.
"How can this be?" he said while looking at all the pictures. "Is it really him? It cannot be.. he would have told me!" Then he looked up and was startled at the face in front of him. Nįriėl sat cowered and giggled at Liath's scared face.
"Nįriėl!" the boy said shocked, "Don't you ever scare me like that again!"
"Hihi, sorry!" Nįriėl laughed. "Bad conscience I guess."
"No! It's not that!" Liath said still a bit exited, but confused.
Nįriėl began to understand there was something wrong. She looked at the picture on the book, but Liath's hand covered half of it. She carefully removed his hand and examined the picture.
"Owen.?" she muttered suspicious.
"What kind of book is this?" Nįriėl took the book and looked at the cover. "Sage of Myths... Galiad-Sin? Are you saying that?"
"I don't know.." Liath said and lowered his head. "I'm so confused. He seemed like such an ordinary man. Could it really be?"
"Hmm.." Nįriėl stood up and put the book back on the empty spot on the shelve. "Nothing is impossible. But I guess the answer on that question cannot be found here. So come on!" She reached out her hand at Liath. It made him laugh a bit. He took Nįriėl's hand and stood up. "It's already dark", the Elf said. "We should get going."
"Alright", Liath agreed and together they left the library for the great hall.
And the roof of the library, Gilrien-Hyn was sleeping, but Aurora saw Nįriėl and Liath walked away.
"Princess.. Princess!" she called. "They are leaving, Princess! Hyn? Wake up!"
Gilrien-Hyn woke up a bit shocked and looked around her. "What? What is it, Aurora?"
"Look below!" Aurora said a little annoyed. "They all left! For the Great Hall! Shouldn't we go after then, princess?" But when she looked on her left, Gilrien-Hyn was gone. Aurora looked around her a bit panicked, but even panicked more when she saw Gilrien-Hyn climbing down the tower. "Princess! Get back here!"
"Quiet, Aurora", Gilrien-Hyn said. "The entire tower is going to be aware of us if you keep screaming like that."
"Princess..!" Aurora called quietly and flew towards the Elf. "What are you doing?"
"Come on", the princess said. "The Great Hall is a side tower, just like the library. If we want to keep an eye on them, we need to get to the Great Hall's roof!"
"Are you going to spy on your friends?" Aurora asked.
"They are not my friend.." the Elf muttered. "At least.. not yet. But I'm doing this for them! You and me both know Makeda cannot be trusted." Gilrien-Hyn started to climb further down and down. Aurora didn't agree, but still went with her. After all, it was her duty to protect and aid the princess of Ancient Gilrien.
Down in the Great Hall, Liath closed the door behind him and he and Nįriėl joined the other around a huge round table.
"My children", the professor spoke to them. "Have you found your answers?" But no one aid a word. Hyvan nodded, he took that as a yes. "That is good. Tomorrow morning you will leave. But first, let's eat!"
The children immediately looked up when they heard the word 'eat'. They were all starving. Then suddenly a long line of man came into the room. All carrying plates and goblets. The children sighed when they smelled the aroma of chicken and pork. Even Gilrien-Hyn was drooling from the roof.
Hours of eating and talking went by. Professor Hyvan told them many interesting things. Like, that Ilmarissė has two moons. One red and one blue. The blue one is said to have magical healing powers. Ilmarissė also had more suns, three. He told them about Colls-Marth, land of the nobles. And also about Lurin, the unicorn island. After a half an hour, all the children were full, including Makeda. The man came into the room again and left taking along the empty plates and goblets. After a few minutes of relieving from the delicious food, Hyvan prepared himself to tell the children something very important.
"Listen my children", he said. He clapped in his hand and suddenly a light appeared on the round table, in the form of the map of Yennevar. The children were all amazed and surprised. "Wow.. Whoa.." But when the professor sharpened his throat, the children gave him their attention.
"There are many things to tell you. First, Yanduryn i still somewhere in Ilmarissė, we do not know where. But he does not have his body yet. His spirit is still caught in that one goblet, like many years ago. Now, Yanduryn has gained himself a sidekick. This person seeks out the four goblets of inner elements. These goblets have the power to unleash the dragons from the Underworld once more. And by doing that, Yanduryn can return as well. But, we do not know where those goblets are, neither do we know were Yanduryn's sidekick dwells."
After a moment of silence, the children began to whisper and mutter at each other. "Professor", Nįriėl said. "How come you do not know where Yanduryn is? I mean, if you don't, his sidekick could attack anywhere too, right? Isn't that very dangerous for the people?"
"It is", professor Hyvan nodded. "We are trying to seek him out, my Lady. And after we found him, you children will go there at once. But before that, I have another few tasks for you. Take the airship Argo-Eye to the south. To South Island. There you will find a white mountain of snow, with on the top a white tower."
"The tower of Galiad-Sin..." Liath suddenly said. He could remember it from a picture he saw in that book. A white tower on a white mountain, an island in the south.
"So that is why South Island was hidden from most maps", Silian said while carefully touching the light of the island on the table. "There is where the Sage of Myths live, they don't want anyone to know that."
"Indeed", Hyvan nodded, proud that they knew it. "But I'm afraid the Sage does not live there anymore. Nowadays he appears only to those who are worthy. And I believe you are those. You must go to the island. If you meet him there, try to convince him to come to the sacred realm Ķlma. After you've been there, come back here and I will give you further instructions."
The children agreed.
"Now", Hyvan continued. "it is time for us to go to sleep. Goodnight, my children."