As it slowly sunk home, i remembered where I first saw the stone, it was in the picture story book used by the GrandMaster Coal in tutoring us. Even in the book it pulsed with life, my young passionate and impressionable self wanted to reach out and touch it through the book, make it mine. Maybe it was destiny that made sure the GrandMaster never left the book in the library but always kept it on him, I might have lost my mind because I was too young to fight its power.
Even though we were made to believe by our older siblings that the stone was one of myth, it was brought into the town by a wizard and his company one winter night. The whole town was bathed in magically lights during the night, the stars and moon were not seen for a whole week. There was food, drinks and performances by people and creatures unknown. These things were pale in contrast to the stone and yet not more than a handful noticed the stone hanging around the wizard’s neck. I later found out that he had cast a spell over it.
At the end of the weeklong celebration I approached the wizard to ask for permission to feel the stone because of its beauty. It was dark black, oval, it had a little dent which kept on capturing light. It was alive. He wouldn’t allow me to touch it, but he provided me with its real history. It was formed at the shores of the great sea by the magic of a wizard from the west and a witch from the east. They couldn’t be together so they decided to have their union “imprisoned” in the stone, forever together, held by their love for each other. It was stolen from the witch’s home by a wanderer. This wanderer went on to be the great charmer and first king of the southern seas. This is the history which was not in the book. According to the book, the wanderer found the stone in the belly of Stage, the gapped tooth creature, the terror of ancient times. Stage lived in the lake found on the volcano. The wanderer charmed him to sleep and slit it’s stomach to get the stone.
The second time I saw the stone, it was with an ordinary man, a rich merchant. He was bound to the stone by a greater bond than that of the magician. He loved the stone, it wasn’t a source of pride or a thing of display, there wasn’t a charm to hide its beauty from the world. He hang it around his neck and carried it everywhere he went. I came across them in my 23rd year, the year in which I was to find a princess, a companion and helper. I asked him if I could have the stone for a day and that it had been the source of many of my childhood fantasies. It was one of the best days of my life, it whispered its life story to me, took me on journeys unimaginable, warmed the coldest part of my heart and left me longing for more.
This is the third time I am seeing it, it still belongs to the merchant. But he has given it its freedom, it asked to be free, to be able to express the love of its creators, to explore and to create music, life and art. It chose for its home the lake that was formed when stage was killed, in the valley below the volcano. My tents are pitched on the shores, it came to me in the night and we spoke.