The new year had just begun and, as every year, P. came to the chapel on the mountain to see his Master. It was getting dark and he had been driving for a couple of hours, but once he opened the door of his car, the ice cold wind woke him up for good. Taking a deep breath, he closed his jacket very tight. He had some trouble fingering out a cigarette and lighting it, but he managed and took a long look around while enjoying the tobacco’s sensation, before marching up through the little streets of the village.
He would never forget how it all had really started for him up there in the church, only a couple of years ago, when he had entered that same church after a long pilgrimage. His Master had already been standing there with a smile and, equally important, his sword in his hand. His whole world had changed since then. He had since become one of the most influential writers of the world and substantially wealthy, allowing him to live the life of his dreams and follow his dreams. But in his heart, he was still just a humble follower of the path of Tradition.
It was getting darker while he was walking up to the chapel and on the last piece of the way, he could know see it completely lit. He quickly finished up his cigarette and advanced towards the entry, beaming with excitement to see his Master again.
Just as he had entered and closed the door behind himself, his Master stood right in front of him with a smile and they greeted each other not only like Master and Disciple, but as friends. They didn’t lose much time with formalities or small-talk and proceeded to the altar in the front.
P. saw another sword lying on the altar. He recognized it immediately. Only a few weeks earlier, he had sent it to his Master, asking for his advice. P. had received it for his 60th birthday from a friend as a sign of admiration and expression for being eternal comrades in arms on the path. Yet, the sword had its own and strong energy, sometimes it felt even strange to handle it and P. wasn’t sure what to do with it. So after many months of debating with himself, he sent it to his Master to ask for advice. And obviously, he had an answer for him, tonight, which is why it was lying on the altar.
“Let’s pray together, dear brother”, said the Master. They silently put on their robes and started reciting the sacred Psalm of those who travel far to achieve victory. Then they spent some time in silence. With a swift movement, not usual for a man his age, the Master stood up and walked behind the altar. The candles beautifully illumined the Master’s golden breastplate and P. felt a deep inner peace in front of this scene, almost as if the world around them had stopped. He heard only his Master’s voice:
“Tonight, you are going to complete this cycle of your path and will join the Eternal Masters as a Gatekeeper of our Tradition. You receiving that sword was the sign we’ve been waiting for. He might be the one and you’ll find a way to make it difficult for him to receive the sword, so we can be sure. If he does find it, you’ll teach him as I taught you and help him as I helped you. As a Gatekeeper, this is now your obligation while you continue your own journey at the same time. Thus the last cycle of your path and our journey together is about to start, and we’ll spread the Tradition, its secrets and powers to the next generation through him.”
With those words, he lifted a small crystal pitcher and poured what seemed to be dark red whine into a golden skull on the altar. He lifted it up, reciting silently various ancient formulas, drank from it and in the meantime P. had joined him on the other side of the altar. He handed the skull to him and they completed their ritual there with the sword for another hour and a half.
Once they had finished, they left the church, closed the door and the gate in the surrounding wall and entered the little restaurant to the right of the church’s surrounding wall. Silently, they enjoyed the warm meal together and parted ways with only exchanging a few words.
Walking to his car, P. lit another cigarette. He didn’t feel to good about the task ahead. He feared that his power might be taken away from him if he had to teach another magus now. A creepy kind of feeling started to take him over. “I’ll make it impossible for him to get it and send him on a quest he can’t finish”, he thought.
Only minutes later, he laughed about himself, having remembered that he always followed the signs his benefit and the benefit of others. “I’ll still make impossible for him” he said to himself loudly and with a grin – and then started the engine of his car. He had many hours to drive tonight and enough time to think about how to set up the test.