This is Chapter 2 of the AEGIS CHRONICLE "Savage World" book series. I've included this as a continuation to my other submission AEGIS CHRONICLES intro and chapter 1, hope you enjoy. comments welcome
author: Ted Davies
In my dream, I was shown of a time on earth millions of years ago. Before the ice age, this area was covered by a great sea. The dream told of a meteor that tore through the heavens and collided where the lake of the Hurons is now. Over eons, the sediments from this meteor were carried, ground down, and deposited by slow moving glaciers. These glaciers then melted and formed specials pools. These pools could miraculously heal the injured or diseased that came in contact with them. A divinely selected group of guardians were put in place. These groups of men and women have come to be known as “the AEGIS”. Ogima’s ancestors were one group, ironically called “the keepers of the fire” to throw off any suspicions. They were given this task since the dawn of their kind. They have protected the secret, through the generations, hiding the pools from the evils of mankind.
The dream started to darken, it showed a wicked, ancient evil whose sole purpose was to control this sacred gift for its own benefit. Greed had caused this being to destroy everything in its way, consuming it entirely. The vision showed a pale man that sailed these great waters nearly a thousand years ago. His ships, looked more like dragons than sailing vessels. The large sails were white with a single blood red dragon head painted in the center. The man had three ships, all with what looked like native crews. Strangely, he was the only white man on any of the ships. Further into the dream, the scene blurred carrying me through time. An ancient native’s camp was set ablaze, under attack by this pale man and his army. Flames burned everything, smoke filled the air and dead bodies scattered the blood soaked ground. Native and white men alike were killed. A small native boy and this pale man where the only survivors. The boy’s tribe and the man’s army were destroyed. The pale man was terribly injured by an arrow shot by the young boy. Feeling great remorse for injuring the man, the boy carefully gave him a drink from his flask. In this small container, the boy had given this man the secret to immortality. Having incredibly been healed, the man continued his rampage and forced the boy to tell him of the cure. The scared boy, fearing for his life, took the man to the tribe’s sacred pool. Once there, understanding what he had been shown, the man killed the little boy. For years, the man, consumed all he could of the pool, stock piling it in wooden barrels. When the pool dried up, the pale man, began a search for more healing waters. He enslaved the natives of the land and sailed his ships to the north-country. He forced them to dig grave sized holes looking for the sacred waters anywhere, even under the soil. He accidently discovered metals, such as copper and iron in the ground. He built deep mines and established huge trade routes for the newly found metals. We see the ruins of the ancient mining today in the upper- peninsula. His search was only for the healing waters, to extend his own life. After centuries of using the sacred waters, he had become aware of another sacred pool in a vision. This enraged his greed, controlling him completely. He would stop at nothing to obtain it.
A sudden tap on my shoulder from Ogima, woke me. “I thought you weren’t coming back”, he laughed, smiling, his crow-footed eyes tightly shut. He was always light hearted back then. The morning was beautiful with the sun warming everything it touched. The frost was melting quickly on the tree limbs and the ground. Thankfully, the fire had been tended faithfully all night. After a light morning meal we started on foot again to another hunting land just a few minutes away. After a long, sunny, day of tracking and hunting we headed back to camp. Upon our return, the smoke filled air, and the smell of sage spice, told us of our awaiting meal. Throughout the day I was told that we were going to discuss our visions if any of us had them. Apparently, the tradition of “story rocks” are more than fiction. We had come to this “hunting ground” because of “the rocks” not the hunting, after all. To say I was shocked and a little scared would be an understatement. I patiently waited as we ate our meal and sat down for our discussions. Each of the tribesman told of their visions or dreams he had the night before. Finally, it came to be my turn.
I couldn’t believe I was telling this unbelievable story to Ogima, and the clan of hunters. I thought they would send me back to Quebec… But after the first few sentences, everyone in the camp became still. The fire cracked and snapped keeping time between my words. I went on with the entire vision, as I recalled it. The entire explanation of my dream must have taken what seemed to be hours. Reassuringly, Ogima, looked at me as if I told him a story he himself had written. Even though I was both son-in-law to Ogima and brother-in-law to his sons I felt a kinship that transcends words or titles. I was still concerned by what it all meant, and why the reaction was so universal with all the tribesmen?
A few days passed after our excursion and the council of elders convened to discuss my vision. I was told to wait outside the large bark skinned council lodge until they were finished. It seemed an eternity until the elders emerged from the large wooden hut. Ogima, met me stern faced, “I want to walk with you” he said. I thought for sure, my love, Apo-ni and I were on our own. We must leave the tribe due to my madness. My mind was a blur of anxious thoughts, none making sense. As we started walking, Ogima’s sons started to follow and a few more elders from the tribe. Soon we had a group numbering 20 or more, I thought I was doomed. After some time walking we came up to a circular cropping of trees. Two guardian braves were watching over the area, long before we had arrived. Both were not aggressive but both were there to protect something. At first I thought it must be a graveyard and I’m done for, these are my executioners and I will never see my Apo-ni again! Ogima, knew I was nervous and placed his hand on my shoulder, he said, “It is time to discuss your vision.”
Ogima made his way under the trees to the edge of the circled area, it was covered with fallen leaves and looked like another part of the forest landscape. He told everyone to gather and sit, which all did, but the two guardian braves. “Gabriel “ Ogima said softly, “you have been given a great vision! Not many have, outside the clan. In fact, you are the first.” All the elders nodded in agreement, which didn’t make me feel any relief. He continued, “We have brought you here to make sense of your dream and to explain our interpretation of it. First, my son, your vision is true, the sacred pools exist as the “story rocks” showed you .” Now, placing his hand in the cluster of fallen leaves he revealed a sparkling pool of clear shimmering water. The leaves floated to the edges almost by command. It was a sight to behold. Ogima, quietly said , “Our people are the keepers of these sacred waters. We have been entrusted with this since the dawn of our kind. It is said that when a vision is given to a person, that person is the next to preserve and protect the sacred gift. We believe, Gabriel, you are that person.”
What could I say, I was awe struck. Ogima knew that I needed to see, for myself, what the waters could do. Without warning, he pulled his dagger from his side and sliced my hand open. I was wounded terribly, the pain and the blood was intense. Suddenly, I was pushed from behind by one of my brothers-in-law, they were waiting for that chance, I’m sure. I was completely submerged in the water. I immediately felt a warmth around my wound and a calming, almost soothing feeling came over me. I raised my head above the water and looked down at my hand and it was healing, like I’ve never seen before. It was if the knife never touched me. I looked around at the smiles on everyone faces as I knew what just happened. I couldn’t believe it. I soon was out of the water and drying myself when the guardian braves noticed some movement around our tree line. Everyone got quiet, Ogima, quickly put his hand in the waters and commanded the leaves to cover the exposed pool. After a few minutes the braves had secured the area and the group of us were on our way back to our camp. I knew there would be a deep discussion when we returned. Ogima and I sat alone in the counsel lodge by a fire we had made. I was still trying to get dry and keep from shivering. Ogima, gave me another blanket and started to tell me more of the sacred pools.
He started by telling me, “Every living thing has a time. A time of living, a time for dying. This is a truth in this world. Extension of this should not be taken lightly. Yes, there have been people to extend their lives with the sacred waters, but it is not natural and can do more harm than good. It effects the balance in nature, do you understand Gabriel?” I nodded. He continued, “Once the spirit has left the body, it is not to be taken to the waters. This is a paramount truth. Once that soul has left it will not return to that body. You must understand this, no matter how great the grief or loss, under no circumstances may this happen. The pools were meant for healing only! Men tell of the legends of these pools, and as such, we are always aware and on the lookout for those evil ones.
We were entrusted with the duty to help those who need healing. The ones that are true of heart, the ones that can’t help themselves, the ones that are hurting. We are here for that reason. Not everyone needs the waters, they may just need to know that someone will be there for them in their time of need. This is compassion for all human beings, love others as yourself, your book says. That “Jesus” was of Potawatomi blood?” Ogima smiled. “The reason we keep it protected and hidden is simple. The people of the world are not ready for it. It will be consumed and lost forever like a forest burns to ashes from a single spark. The fact that we help those in need is enough. To protect the gift of the sacred waters difficult decisions were made and continue to be made. Many people have gone without healing due to their greed or lack of compassion for others. You as an Aegis or protector must make that decision. “But, isn’t that a form of greed on our part?” I interrupted. “No!” Ogima said quietly but firmly. “We must take into account that this may be the only sacred pool left of its kind. As such, we must be wise and deliberate with our intentions for this blessing.” I always felt like a bit of a “judge” saying yay or nay to the hopeful. Who was I to be making such judgments? But, I understood the vision and what I was destined to do. A guiding hand was placed to give me a cosmic push to help those worthy few. I thought to myself, “God must have a sense of humor.”
Ogima didn’t discuss the pale man in my dream, but did warn me. “You and that pale man may be linked with the sacred pools. Visions can be viewed from all sides, Gabriel, be aware...”