The Sugar Quill
Author: Phoenix's Melody  Story: There's A Place  Chapter: Prologue
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Avalon Prologue

Disclaimer/Author’s Notes: This is my own version of Avalon.  I have drawn on ideas introduced by Garth Nix, Susan Cooper, J. R. R. Tolkien, Tamora Pierce, J.K. Rowling and other authors.  I do not mean to infringe on any copyright.  I do not own any of this.  I know this first part is complicated, but it’s needed so you won’t get lost.  Trust me, I get confused while I’m writing.  Please feel free to give me feedback; constructive criticism is always helpful.  Thanks to Ruth who first read this piece and to Beth who helped me finish it up.

 

 

There’s a Place…

 

 

Prologue

Excerpts from The Isle of Rest: Avalon & Its Lineage, written by Sarah and Jacob Tudor, currently inventoried in the Great Library of Avalon.

“The creation of the Source is a mystery, yet a loose conceptual understanding of what the Source’s magical properties are is necessary to understand the studies and practices of Avalon.  The Source cannot be described by employing practical language, only the understanding that It encompasses the universe as we know it gives us the slightest hint of knowledge of this force.  The Source controls Fate, Life, Death, Avalon and the critical balance between good and evil — a scale that if tipped would mean the destruction of all.  Some might even call It the Creator of All, but this designation has both conceptual advantages and disadvantages.  The Source is only a single function of a larger entity — a force that may prove to be beyond the human powers of reason.  But as the authors are focusing only on concepts relevant to Avalon, not the intricate mysteries of the world, so let us not be diverted.

More than three millennia ago, before King Arthur ruled, Avalon was created by the Source as the initial vehicle of all magical power.  The Source selected people, both magical and non-magical, as Its servants, among them the High Rulers of Avalon: the High Lord and Lady, who serve the Source directly as courtiers of Its intents.  It gifted them with powers necessary to carry out their tasks and allegedly gave the abovementioned servants immortality, though evidence indicates It simply gave them long life spans.  As to the time of this writing, none of Avalon’s Children have died natural deaths and only five have died in the service of the High Rulers in the Outer World.

Avalon was charted to be the fulcrum of balance in the forces of the universe.  It is physically located between Life and Death and was intended to balance both good and evil on its shores.  If the geographical features of the Isle of Avalon closely studied, one would find that there are as many elevated plains as there are depressions.  This was symbolically representative of the Light— the elevated lands — and the Dark — the deep ravines.  However, henceforth events deviated from the Source’s original intentions.  The High Rulers would not tolerate immorality on Avalon’s shores and thus expelled those who practiced the Dark Arts.  These banished servants of the Source formed their own faction on an island whose location is yet unknown to Avalon at the time of this writing.” (Chapter One: Creation)

“One of the many responsibilities that the Source placed upon the Isle was the responsibility of guiding deceased souls to the realms of Death.  The heirs of Avalon to this day must guide the dead through the Middle Land, past Avalon and to the Borderland, a shore upon which the dead are transferred to the custody of a deceased relative to guide them into the Lands of the Dead.”

“Another responsibility that Avalon has assumed over the years is that of the curator of all magical historical and technical annals, becoming the only institution that sees magical traditions long since extinct in the Outer World still passed down from one generation to another.  Magical forces and practices have taken many forms, but the majority of these sects and fractions have faded from the Outer World through the centuries.  For example, the practice of wandless magic has nearly died out in the Outer World.  It has been reduced from the magic that was widely taught as a defensive measure to a petty magical practice used largely for moving furnishings.  The true powers of music have been largely forgotten though its emotional and psychological advantages have not gone unnoticed.  Compared to the average wizard or witch, Avalon-trained wizards and witches are considerably more skilled overall and personify a more formidable opponent to any attackers though Avalon restricts the usage of Avalon magic in the Outer World due to their extreme sensitivity to the disclosure of such powerful magic.” (Chapter Twelve: Responsibilities & Duties)

“Avalon is protected from the Outer World and invaders by many defensive enchantments and spells.  The most visible among these is the mist that surrounds the Isle and is known as the Middle Land by the people of Avalon.  While it is not truly land, its name comes from the fact that anyone, be they good or evil, is fair game for the Middle Land to prey on.  The Middle Land is rumored to be laced with illusory spells that tempt unwarranted travelers to leave the pathway and become forever lost.  There are ancient tales of monsters who prey on any who try to enter uninvited.  Other such protective magics are the sole knowledge of the High Lady.” (Chapter Thirteen: Protections)

“There are two classifications of Avalon followers.  There are the purebloods, though the term is used loosely, and the mixed-bloods.  The purebloods are known as the Children of Avalon and are those with heavy Avalon heritage.  They have displayed a tendency of being more talented and skilled at Avalonian magic than those of diluted Avalon blood.  The mixed-bloods, commonly called the Descendents of Avalon, usually have one Avalon Child as a parent and a conventional witch/wizard or a normal man/woman, also known as Muggles, as the other. The term is also applied to those who number an Avalon Child among their forbearers.  There is very little differentiation between the two groups, bloodlines are only distinguished nominally.  Ladies and Lords are Children of Avalon while Masters and Mistresses are Descendents.  Avalon women are called Priestesses and Avalon men are addressed as Druids.” (Chapter Sixteen: Social Structures)

“While isolated from the Outer World on the Isle, Druids and Priestesses have often ventured out from Avalon on the orders of the High Rulers to serve as agents in the Outer World.  They often commute back and forth between the Isle and the Outer World for Councils that are held regularly in order to inform the High Rulers of the events and conditions of the Outer World.  While there is only one true pathway through the Middle Land, there are in fact many ways to access this route, either through established Walkways or through temporary gateways that can be instituted only for a single usage.  Established Walkways are hidden in various confidential locations and they can only be approached, let alone utilized successfully, by the people of Avalon.  A few examples of Walkway locations are the British Ministry of Magic, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Le Chateau de Lune.  Though they can be created almost anywhere, temporary gateways are usually constructed near a source of water to facilitate access to Avalon.” (Chapter Twenty-Five: The Two Worlds)

“In general, Avalon has long faded from the Outer World, buried under myth and remembered only as a place of legend.  The High Lord is remembered as Merlin or Myrddin while the High Lady has been called Nimuë or Vivien, but she is more commonly known only as the Lady of the Lake.  Both High Rulers have guided Avalon since its creation and it is believed that they will continue to do so in the days ahead.”

“While Muggle legend holds that Nimuë lured Merlin to his demise after King Arthur was gravely wounded in battle and magical history tells of Merlin’s death at his ancestral home at the hands of his wife, Vivien, the High Rulers are happily married and neither have any homicidal tendencies toward the other.  The mistaken accounts of Merlin’s death in both Muggle and magical history cannot be blamed upon the unfortunate scholars who wrote them.  The Lady Nimuë and Lord Merlin conspired to fake his death in order to keep Avalon’s true identity a secret and to allow the High Lord to return to his true home.”

“While the legends and myths of the Outer World paint Avalon as a cult under the leadership of a high priestess, Avalon is neither a cult nor a religion.  It can be considered as an organization.  Many of the Children and Descendents are practicing adherents of Outer World religions.  Religious tolerance is expected on Avalon’s shores even when the Outer World is in turmoil in religious wars.” (Chapter Thirty-Six: Outer World Perceptions)

Excerpts from Avalon’s Roles in the Outer World: Twentieth Edition complied and edited by Evelyn Whiting, from the library at Hopeford Manor, headquarters of the United Kingdom station.

“Needing the freedom to move without much notice between magical and non-magical communities, Avalon’s network operates in the majority of the countries in the world, with exceptions in areas where it is still too dangerous to blend the two communities.  The majority of Avalon’s Descendents live in the non-magical communities as ordinary people who walk all branches of life.  The minority, living in the magical community, have a tendency to occupy governmental positions.” (A Brief Introduction, pg vii)

“There are six main centers of communications, one for each of the inhabited continents, that are headed by high ranking Priestesses and Druids.  Depending on the country’s size and population, every country has at least one regional headquarters that is commanded by trusted Priestesses and Druids in charge of handling information and managing affairs.  For example, the United States of America has six regional headquarters, and therefore, six commanders who report to the Priestess in charge of the North American continent.  Despite its population and size, the United Kingdom has only one regional headquarters due to the presence of Avalon nearby.  These regional headquarters are often called stations or outposts to avoid confusion with the continental headquarters.” (The Basics, pg 5)

“Since the founding of various Avalonian schools throughout the world, the ranks of Descendents who have knowledge of Avalon have increased slowly.  Still, there are large numbers of Descendents who are ignorant of their lineage and relation to Avalon.  The problem has been slowly rectified as those of the non-magical community are invited and taught at these schools.  The regional leaders are expected to take charge of the general running of the schools under their jurisdiction and often, though not always, the deputy head of the school is also the deputy head of the station.” (Education, pg 20)

“At the British Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the French Academy Beauxbatons, station leaders also assume command of the Night Guards, or, in French, Les Gardiens de la Nuit, groups of elite students trained in Avalonian magic who aide the schools’ faculties in the running the schools and ensuring the well-being of their fellow students.  The majority of the students are recruited from non-magical families or magical families with extensive knowledge of non-magical society.  All students are of Avalonian lineage and are trained in Avalonian arts.  Since their creation in 1985, the Night Guards have existed without the knowledge of the students and the majority of the faculty.” (The Night Guards, pg 50)

 

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