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Posts Tagged ‘New Age’

Knight Gareth witnesses something Horrible

King Erik was happy with the outcome. The war had added to his prestige. On his return he entrusted his knight at arms to his cronies all valiant men who had fought by  his  side for long. He paid his courtesy call to his aunt Lady Gisella of Griswold. Then he had his horses and four wolfhounds to look after. Having done these he could walk towards his apartment.

As soon as he entered the palace he hung his battle axe on its rack along with his breastplate and chain mail.  Sooner had he settled his weapons and irons he entered into his private chambers. He drank himself to oblivion. He had earned his drink by Saint Maloy!.

On waking up the king called his court jester Berthold and asked him to fill in his day-book as before with the days events.

Berthold had a fine hand with which entered somewhat as follows.

Tuesday: Reception of the Council of Minisiters. Knight Gareth introduced  to the pards. Dinner: Knight Gareth is seated next to Lady Gisella. The knight  strong with his sword as reports go; definitely shy with women.   Lady Gisella spoke with her eyes and her ladies in waiting all in titter.

Wednesday: nothing.

Thursday a bear hunt. So it was to the forest Malfardeen. Black bears aplenty.

Saturday: Thirty pelts assured. Meat to the wolfhounds. Beaters get farthings and free drinks. Bonfire by the plains. King and party sets out for wenching. Knight Gareth sits apart stone sober. He doesn’t drink like a knight. He doesn’t wench unlike the king. He says he misses his hearth.

Sunday: Lady Gisella drops in on the king’s party. King orders Knight Gareth to escort her back. May be Lady Gisella and Maid Sylvia will need to watch out the knight doesn’t cry on their shoulders.

The scribe wasn’t far from wrong. Knight Gareth was the miserable but he dreaded displeasing the king. He kept company to the ladies  and he  spoke only when spoken to. He was a reluctant gallant who knew his place. Often as he trotted his horse by them he thought how he could drop them all and make a visit to his Greta.

He had no idea how his absence was viewd in his home town.
The battle of the Marshes was celebrated throughout Gothburg with enthusiasm. Only that news from the court began circulating among the elite; and soon  the habitues of the taverns and coffee houses began narrating the valor of a knight. Gareth was a name much bandied about. No one could place hearing of such a wight.
The town of Fidelis by the river Ghoul could take pride in one broad road and it was paved with shale. Every Friday market brought the burghers who made something useful or needed, together. Knight Gareth was a name that the folks could not place let alone remember of having seen. As squire Cut n’Thrust they had hobnobbed and made merry at the end of the day for a pint or two.   Had they known him as the husband of  Greta they could have chattered about their love that stemmed from ther cradle; they knew the ups and downs of their family fortunes; and they knew their tastes in fashion. Their hearts could weave poetry of uneventful life on the refrain of fidelty alone and if some minstrels needed material they would have pointed them to the couple. The squire was a  nobody who made their rude tongues wax eloquent; as the name Gareth awed them to silence.

Greta went on with her life and she was not happy since her lover was absent. Her babe made her life full but something had gone out of her life. Where was he?

One morning Greta got up hurriedly to meet the bailiff from Roget le Duc the lord of the domain  and he was rather abrupt to call on her door early. “If you paid the dues in time I would have been resting in my bed” He abused the manner in which he was harried by folks for no mistake of his. Greta wrung her hands and  sighed. It was three months since her husband had disappeared. She knew he was alive and would not leave her unless he had a good reason. It was her sorrow and it was not going let her off the hook.  So she let sat with him to count how much of her livestock would please the Duke’s collector. They haggled over flock of geese and a cow as surety. She promised to pay as early as possible.  After sending him away grumbling she called her neighbor Agathe and asked,’Will you be going to the market? She had things to do around her house. Knowing the drift she agreed to look after Rudy and told her about the latest gossip. Knight Gareth and his exploits were of  least interest to her.

She had a cart  load of baskets woven by her to sell.  These were beautifully crafted and she also took pride in them. If she could sell them all she could have redeemed her pledge. She was wistful. She didn’t blame her man. Edgar was his name who looked after his family. She still looked winsome her plainness made delicious by her warm heart. After finishing her chores she carried her baby to the neighbor with instructions. Agathe listened to her indulgently.’ I brought in my time eight angels’ she thought to herself.

Meanwhile Knight Gareth was in a manner of speaking held in prisoner by his king. King Erik was besotted with pride of his new champion. He had begun to think grand and he knew Gareth would make his ambition to fruition. The week after he had rested in one of the houses where his knights were housed he asked permission to go and see his wife. “I am sick with love,”he said bluntly and the king assured he would get to see his family sooner than he thought. The king told him that  he was indebted  to him because he shed blood for his honor.”It has cleaned you from your low ignoble birth.” He was certain it was premature: his idea was that he ought to go home only to give his family a new name. A new pomp and circumstance for the House of  Gosling he had almost won by his might.

The king had set a whole regimen to make his knight earn his place at the court. Towards this he had to excel in fencing, courtly dance  and diplomacy.  “You have to think like a prince if you  were to serve me.”  Edgar or Knight Gareth could not find fault with his reasoning. King Erik also confided how he was harried by people who lived across the river. Palatinate of Ghoul was one itching for war. ‘I am a man of peace till odds of victory is in my favor.’ Surprisings there was a diplomat from the Palatinate.  In annoyance he threw his hands and said, “Enough headaches and must you add to mine?” That shut up the knight.

A  fortnight later the king received a few diplomats from the Elector of Palatine. The knight was by the side of the king. Of the many gifts brought the diplomat picked a recorder from a wickerwork . Knight Gareth  was struck by it. It was a  present for Lady Gisella. The visitors conveyed compliments from Queen Mother and presents for Lady Gisella.

The king sent the knight to fetch his aunt.  Knight Gareth promptly went to her apartments and informed his master’s wishes. Maid Sylvia went in and out came the Lady Gisella to receive the message in person. She gave him a smile and he for once was tongue-tied. As always she was radiant and self possessed and her playful eyes were her ornaments. He curtseyed and he could not escape her eyes as she peered into his face. Her breath was fresh and her hands rested casually on his. ‘I am real and wait what else you have to say.’ He again repeated what he was there for. “I didn’t mean that. Haven’t you something to tell me -for yourself?” He fumbled that sent her into peals of titter. Maid Sylvia also was enjoying his discomfiture.  They had fun at his awkward silence.  Oh I adore silences!’ Lady Gisella gurgled throatily and it was comical. The knight knew she was too smart and elegant so he kept his mouth shut.

She made him wait till she went into her boudoir and dressed herself for the occasion.  All in white with her collar trimmed with ermine and train trailing behind her she was beyond compare. Hardly he dared to breathe or look at her. She put her gloved hand  out and he  could not escape.  Her touch was as strange as he took a cold corpse for a walk. One moment she was all warm flesh and looks; in her mere presence  her feminine wiles like an aura enveloped her. Now there was something awful a mystery that hit him hard.  Bravely he escorted her and left her before the diplomats who were true to their form. They made deep courtesy and paid compliments.  The elder presented a message from the Queen Mother which she glanced. He face showed no expression. A page meanwhile took a present and handed it to Sir Roeolf the younger of the two. Knight Gareth saw him tremble and he unfolded the silk sash and Lady Gisella as courtly as ever took it and adjusted folds so the silver patterns fell all on the right side. The knight was certain the entire frame of Lady Gisella was strange and her touch  was as cold and distant.

Obviously the Queen Mother and her present disgusted her. It was the strangest sensation he could not get over. She jerked her chin haughtily as though the gift was her due.

There was an audible hiss. Like the sash unfolding. No it was burning to cinder! The flames hissed and spiraled about her. Lady Gisella went up in flames and not a speck of ash remained. A cold wind seemed to ride along the frame and nothing remained.

King Eric the Broadsword was aghast. So were his court. The embassy from the Prince-Elector of Ghoulish Palatinate was equally astounded. They wanted to express their horror and sorrow. “It was a mistake, an egregious blunder of nature, sire” Baron Thybault The senior diplomat said. The King waved him and his party. ” We shall let you know our answer.” He said and strode off. knight Gareth also made an about turn. He remembered he was entrusted with the presents. The box with recorder.

He carried them and he gasped, ” This wickerwork is familiar.” He sidled to the side of Berthold and whispered. The court Jester bounded down the wide stone steps to inquire.

Knight Gareth left the presents  with the palace Chamberlain who was somewhat nervous. He had already about the terrible event. The news of Lady Gisella going up in smoke was as extraordinary as was provocative. The Queen Mother had insulted the court of Gothburg. Knight Gareth for once felt afraid. Having done his duty he quietly retraced his steps. He saw at the end of the corridor Maid Sylvia who peeked her head out and quickly motioned him to come.

He was puzzled. She almost pushed him into the chamber and shrilled,” Quickly,come sir!” She led him into a ladies boudoir rich with tapestries and polished silver mirror between candelabra. There were deep drawn out sighs and he looked around. Lady Gisella was alive. She groaned and panted. Even in her wretchedness she was stately. From the anteroom he saw her lying in a bed under a purple  canopy stamped with golden bees.

Lady Gisella raised herself up. She looked pale and her eyes were strange. Eyes were kind of mysterious. And inhuman. She called him to approach and he did feeling tremor run through his body. She caught hold of his hand and drew to her bosom and said,” Tell me sire, you will ever protect me”.

Her heart beat furious and yet he felt nothing. What he experience had seared his thinking and he felt numb.

He fell silent. “See to what extent my enemies plan my destruction?”

He knew she spoke truth after her fashion. He dreaded her.

He knew he had come across the first witch that he had only heard in whispers. Now he was within her striking distance.

iii

Late that night Master Berthold brought news that the diplomats had made a stopover by the town by River Ghoul. Knight Gareth felt his heart beat faster. He asked which and the Jester was clear. Fidelis. Blood rushed into his head he knew the wickerwork was the handiwork of his beloved. Her artistry was unmistakeable. He knew in the manner she wound the cane around the corners to create little ornamental flourishes; the way she could glide her knife to round the split canes she had left her signature. The type of cane she used itself told its story. He felt homesick. But the king had expressly sent word to him to await his further orders. He knew the king was preparing for a war with the Palatinate. The Queen Mother had played her card. It was the king’s move now.

Berthold had found ways to befriend the page in the service of Baron Thybault and he also let known a few tidbits. Probing further Knight Gareth found the Queen Mother like Lady Gisella dabbled in witchcraft. She must also know a witch of unsurpassed skills in the town of Fidelis. The Queen would not have sent her diplomats to his home town for nothing! It also made sense. Who was a witch of such power? He was stunned. The diplomats would have contacted their person in the town and found use for canework. It made his wife vulnerable. Probably the witch was very close to Greta and used her wicker basket. But he knew Lady Gisella’s attention would also be drawn similar to his line of reasoning. He was troubled at the thought.

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1.

When the king from Camelot announced a New Age, in Gothburg the folks were busy planning a war. King Erik the Battle- Axe found a war always sharpened his axe and his faculties. His wrist was indefatigable in mowing down armies by dozen and his trusty shield kept him from all harm. You see his aunt lovely Gisella was a witch who  had made him mighty. His magic shield and axe of course enhanced his daring. Lady Gisella spent her days weaving spells as ladies in Camelot went on their embroidery that decked the kings halls and palace chambers with beauty and grace.

One morning King Erik felt miserable. His hands as strong as oak didn’t have anything to do. So he sent word to Lady Gisella. She remembered the dream she had just before the dawn broke. Now her nephew was asking for war.”It  is war then!’ She knew her dream never lied. She dressed herself in haste and went to the map room. At random she unrolled the map of the kingdom lying beneath the kingdom Gothburg. She jabbed her finger as if moved by her own vision and it  was on the marsh people of  Krepits. Instantly King Erik got up and sent his wolfhounds to their handler and made preparations for the war.  Thus on a fine morning he set out from his palace set high on a crag.

The army set off in highly elated state. Every varlet got a weeks ration and enough to drink and gamble in the inns they passed  through. After that it was up to them to fend for themselves looting peaceful burghers or begging. The lowborn of course made fine cut-purses and tricksters even when they were demobbed. King Erik and nobles went on a single file through a village where the Squire Cut n’ Thrust was up and about. He had stepped from his cottage before his wife Greta was up. His babe lay in her arms.

The squire wanted to bring water  from across a stream and fill the huge casks he had for the family and cattle. The king and his retinue didn’t like him to hold up their onward progress. The squire tried to break a few skulls of the nobles who were furious with him. They had provoked him by kicking his wooden pail around beating with the flat side of their broadswords. He defended hmiself as best as he could. In the end he was handcuffed and taken along. The young king was hardy in his physical endurance. He called the squire who impressed him with his pluck. He asked him to lift his battle axe in one sweep.

“Squire Cut’n Thrust didn’t think it was much of a challenge. So he laid his hand on the axe and swung it as though it were a feather and brought it on the noble Baron Mastiff Ears. He  had lately insulted his low birth and spat on him. Now he was in his sight. The axe seemed to have  a life of its own. It was almost grazed the chainmail of another before the king caught hold of his wrist. “Stop!”said the king,”You have proved you are my knight at arms.”The squire wasn’t interested. He only wanted to please his king and go home to his  Greta.

“Who is Greta?”asked the king in amazement. He could not think  any one could be more interested in anything other than the honor and wealth he could grant. Squire Cut ‘n Thrust explained and the king could understand it was love that he honored most. “Well you never had the chance to enjoy being my comrade in arms.” In the end he asked why he was called Cut’n Thrust.

The squire gave a weak smile and said,”The way I feed my cattle. I cut the straw and thrust it for them. I get my exercise and the cattle get a stomachful to eat. Of course for the king such Arcadian pleasures sounded so boring. King Erik for the first time made a right choice. He discovered one  whose skill in a fight and personal courage was unmatched.

At last the army came to a  forest overlooking  the  marshes. Krepits were unaware of  battle coming so soon .

As he stood besides King Erik the Battle Axe he murmured, ‘O  Greta, I do this for you.”He sighed and felt  the sword presented to him by his king.

Meanwhile the k ing was outlining the strategy. He heard and said it was doomed  to fail.  The general who drew  up the plan was aghast.  Only the king pacified the old soldier from exploding. He asked the squire to explain and he said the terrain did not help the horses. “Marshes are treacherous sire!”He suggested him to draw the enemy into the mound on the south. “Only we keep our reserves hiding behind” . He was sure the enemy  will  be too surprised to resist. King Erik  got the idea.  The War Council came up with a new plan.

Then the Krepits were quickly routed. At the end of the slaughter the  king knighted the squire and asked, “Are you a wizard?”

No, sire “said Knight Gareth of Goslings who was a squire an hour ago. He said he thought as a Krepit and the rest was easy.

King Erik stood there stunned. All he could murmur was ” Not a wizard . Wait till Lady Gisella hears this.”

(To Be Cont’d)

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Religion is for man. Quality of religion is such an abstract quantity that makes no sense unless it is shown in practice.

Religion requires a base from which anyone may show off the merit of belief-systems that he subscribes to. Man is one such. He or she may demonstrate its color and other qualities. It is said of Cicero that even as a child his fame was such parents of his schoolmates came to see for themselves the pupil who carried such an excellent  report. Religion is now debased that each one chatters the quality of his or her religion and we see no one ever showing the proof in their lives. Megachurches hold thousands of listeners where the preacher gives his performances. One would think he has some serious personality problems that he requires so many lights on him and he needs to show his best side, in terms of his looks and morals, in order to keep the crowd’s attention. Take any religion and you see those who preach too loud so often are farther from demonstrating the merits. Speaking doesn’t mean proof. Love thy neighbor as thyself. One may speak of it every hour and it doesn’t demonstrate one is proving love that he so vigorously declaims. Praying five times a day  for this reason means nothing.

Idiots are everywhere in churches or in mosques and they are degenerate idiots who preach in order not to fulfill the very demands of their religion.

2.

Man as a social animal needs to belong and he often continues the traditions of his parents without questioning whether the merits of their belief were proved in their own lives. Churches over the years have been getting leaner. Is it because people have found religion had not filled their pockets with cash or larders with goods? No. Those who were placed in positions of trust to lead the children of men into ways of righteousness have misled their flock. Out of their own personal ambitions or out of their stupidity. He who preaches his infallibility and also hides evil priests is a Satan’s disciple.  Protestant and Catholic churches are not freed from this. How can such evil men lead the men to better themselves? Or Mullahs who preach hate and use children in the name of Jihad to pull chestnuts from fire for their own ends? Christianity and Islam alike have failed in their practice.  Take religions from all over the world. Do they make the Earth a better place?

It is not the fault of religion which are ideas but men who have lapsed in their thinking. They have fouled up the earth with their stupidity. No more proof is needed as to this than seeing the environment pollution around us. Recently an astronaut seemed to have observed the Earth has changed for the worse. In Hebraic tradition of Creation God gave Adam domination over the Earth and the Rule is still valid. Aren’t we all guilty of flouting it? Christianity has always given an undue emphasis to man, his soul and his obedience to body of men whose merits for commanding such honor have not been always proved beyond doubt. Think of all the witch hunts throughout history. How the Church has treated women for witches? Their sins? They loved the earth and worshiped the spirits they didn’t understand. We say we understand our spirits and yet we do not follow them. What difference is then between organized religion and paganism? Will slaughtering suspected members of the cults help? If pagans let nature cure their ills the Churches relied on their own cure miracles and their members, the so called  physicians try their cure.  In a way it has been detrimental in developing a respect for environment.

Now the Earth cults are gaining ground but how much responsible are they? Many of them may have genuine desire to live close to the nature but do they have a cohesive and positive plan based on universally acknowledged facts to reclaim the Earth from deteriorating  any further? I do not see any such body that holds the credentials. There are many cult groups each flexing his  muscles in his own fashion. Private revelations and gifts are not the answer but a clear scientific temper that can enthuse all men to respect his own hearth and backyard; who dares to claim his or her moral soundness for the good of all. Neither Pope nor a shaman has it in himself to speak of religion without his credentials of humanness. Science speaks for discipline and education.  If these cannot make a man to think for himself what is the purpose of science?

Religion is for man. Is man for such religions that are short of proving with deeds?

3

Overheard: Thank God! I am an atheist!

An atheist is a silly man who denies God but cannot understand how close to Him he is nevertheless. It is to be proved with his life and from his context with all things living.  If his humanness cannot make him rise above some contrary beliefs or atheism he is foolish indeed. Merely mouthing the tag of his non-belief proves his foolishness.  Religion and lack of it should not hold unearned influences. Neither should Science.

benny

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