AquarianM & the Heart of Winter post 00002:
After class, the four met in the schoolyard, near the Blasted Cherry, as they called it. Transmagic was a long class, as it involved complicated principles and safety techniques for every mode of Spatial translation that was taught, so it was now the end of the school day. This close to the end of the Fall term, there was no homework to do. The four walked out into the quiet of the grounds, into the wooded area in the far distant corner of the estate. There was a small stone canyon there with a small waterfall, one that froze in the Winter. There were deep brown fallen leaves and bare branches everywhere, and the occasionally small clearings with stands of tall swaying tawny grasses from the past Summer. They had long ago concluded that the official color of the American Midwest was “tawny.” There was limestone and trees and shriubs, grasses and cattails and burst milkweeds all in various shades of brown and gold. There were husks of occasional native prairie flowers, and more.
In the canyon, they placed Warn spells at the entrance; they had no intention of any of the more annoying students surprising them in the place. The end of the canyon where the frozen falls were was awash in mejical power, the frozen fall itself shining with the unmistakeable glow of Spiritual energy. This was a sacred place, a place where nature and the divine met. It was here that they had chosen to commit their friendship to a ceremony that was as ancient as the innocence and idealism of youth. They would form a Blood Bond through ritual, cementing their friendship for eternity. Daniel pulled forth from his pocket a small crystal blade with an ornately carved Oakwood handle. Sarah brought forth a beautiful clamshell bowl with a gleaming mother of pearl interior. Beth brought forth four pieces of maple heartwood and bandages of soft unbleached natural cotton. Jamal revealed and lit four candles of beeswax and a single red-tailed hawk feather, a full flight feather.
Jamal placed the candles atop four stones surrounding the blue ice of the falls. As he lit them, golden motes of light began separating from the candle flame. Each tiny point of light flew upward to a point along the canyon, bathing the entire canyon in soft warm golden light. Swarms of motes began spiraling up and down the ice shaft of the frozen falls, giving warm light but no heat. Soon the entire canyon was bathed in a soft light, yet from above it was invisible. To anyone outside the canyon itself, it was dark and cold and empty. Once they were ensconced in their Cathedral of light, Sarah brought out another candle, a small orange pumpkin filled with beeswax and a thin wick. She lit the candle and a small sharp reddish flame rose from the wick. She put a small pewtar wire frame of wrought stars above the pumpkin candle, and set the clamshell upon it. Beth then took a small chip of the pure ice from the base of the falls and set it upon the clamshell, and it began to melt.
At this point, Daniel led with the initial invocation of their ritual chant:
“By the pure sacred water of our homeland, let our bonds be clean and pure, let our blood be joined as family from now and through our lives, by the treasured feather of the hawkwing, let our friendship always soar the clear vision of the heights, and by the blood we share in common bond shall we be as family, now and ever.”
Wthe the last words he nicked his finger and squeezed four droplets of blood into the clamshell bowl, which was now softly steaming rose colored liquid. Each of the remaining friends walked up in turn, nicked a finger, squeezed four drops, and repeated the invocation.
To be continued...