Wherefore springs the source of magick? Neither
the written word nor the talk of men can
interpret this mysterie. The answer cometh from
within thy selfe!
Translated from Storia Di Incanto;
Watcher In The Shadows
THE LIGHT OF A RISING MOON cast ghostly
shadows along the branches of an ancient oak.
For centuries, the majestic tree had thrived in
a small clearing, a symbol of prosperity and
good fortune. The tree had overcome weather,
pestilence, and the ravages of time, but now it
faced a more sinister challenge. Death lurked
below its branches, brought there by an evil
force. The trees leaves shivered in the breeze,
whispering of the wickedness that had come to
Brandishing lit torches, eighteen hooded men
moved beneath the tree. Their bodies swayed with
a growing fervor as the torchlight flickered
across their black hoods. They formed a circle
around a securely tied man, a blindfold covering
his eyes. In morbid fascination, they taunted
him with long sticks and shouts of derision.
Moments earlier, the men had piled branches
around the trunk of the tree and poured gasoline
over the wood. The fumes lingered in the air,
foretelling of their dark plan. Hang the
witch; burn the tree! they cried, their words
slurring with the false bravado that came from
figure emerged from their ranks and raised his
torch in rhythm to their chants. Leaning his
head back, he emitted a beastly howl. He was
their leader, a huge hulk of a man with a heart
as black as night. His hooded minions called him
the Minotaur, a special name within their secret
brotherhood. He relished the image of fear the
name invoked, but he was not a mystical creature
just a man with an evil soul.
Minotaur pointed at two of his followers and
motioned them forward. Take him to the tree,
he commanded, indicating the bound man.
two men dragged their hapless victim towards the
massive oak. One carried a long rope with a
noose on its end; he threw the rope over a high
branch, letting the noose hang freely. The other
placed the noose over their victims head. Then
they awaited their leaders signal to pull him
up. The rest of the hooded men roared their
approval. Hang the witch, they screamed,
their voices rising as one.
watcher stood among the trees at the edge of the
clearing, viewing the scene with tearful eyes.
No one could see him in the dark shadows or knew
he was there. He held a bow and quiver of
arrows, fighting the impulse to shoot at the
hooded men. If only I could help him, he
thought, wanting to do something, anything, to
stop them from harming his friend, Tsusga Gineli.
Regretting his promise not to interfere, he
muttered bitterly to himself. Tsusga Gineli
doesnt deserve this.
Minotaur raised his hand for silence as he
pulled the blindfold from the bound mans head.
Witch, behold those who have judged you, he
bellowed, gesturing grandly towards the hooded
Tsusga Gineli stood tall and straight, seemingly
unaffected by the Minotaurs words or the shouts
of his minions. No trace of fear showed in his
eyes, despite the rope around his neck. His long
black hair waved in the night air as he stared
at his tormentors. Then an expression of sadness
crossed his face.
Minotaur glared triumphantly at the bound man.
For seven long years, this man, the so-called
Tsusga Gineli, had thwarted his efforts to
destroy the ancient oak. The Minotaur had
waited, cleverly fabricating a string of lies
that convinced his followers the man was a
witch. They were a slow-moving and cowardly
bunch, yet the Minotaur had prevailed, almost
believing the deceit himself. Now, on this very
night, he would eliminate both the man and the
tree. Only one small victory was missing; he
wanted to hear the man beg for his life.
Minotaur circled his enemy, jabbing at him with
his torch. Your hour of judgment has come. You
have bewitched this tree and turned it against
us; the prosperity we once enjoyed has left our
valley. Tonight, the tree will accompany you
into the depths of hell. Admit your foul deeds
and plead for our mercy!
Gineli managed a step forward, unhindered by the
ropes binding him. He glanced briefly at the sky
and a sudden shadow fell over the clearing. The
hooded men failed to notice the clouds forming
overhead or the waning of the moonlight. Their
eyes stayed upon their victim, anticipating his
Tsusga Gineli spoke in melodious and forceful
tones, denying the accusations against him. No
pleas for mercy came from his mouth. Instead, he
delivered a poetic message a rhyming prophecy
full of dire warnings and predictions. When he
finished speaking, he studied the men
confronting him. He saw confusion and a trace of
fear on their faces. Perhaps they will heed
my words and leave while they can, he
thought with a flicker of hope.
stunned silence fell over the clearing as the
hooded men considered Tsusga Ginelis words. All
of them were thinking the same thing: What
kind of man said such things while facing death?
As they pondered this question, their concerns
grew. They wondered if the bound man spoke
truthfully and looked towards their leader for
Minotaur did not disappoint them. He emitted a
laugh so horrible it sent shivers along their
spines. Anger bubbled up from the dark pit of
his soul, filling his voice with scorn. Sothe
witch threatens us instead of showing remorse.
Can he not feel the rope around his neck? Will
we cower at his lies while he stands helpless
before us? No, we will not!
Minotaurs fierce determination convinced his
minions. Their doubts disappeared as the
strength of his malice took control of their
minds. Hang the witch; burn the tree, they
chanted in response.
Minotaur nodded his approval. We shall wait no
longer. Beneath his black hood, a contemptuous
smile spread across his face. He signaled to the
men holding the rope and threw his torch towards
the wood stacked around the tree. The hooded men
followed his example, filling the air with their
Suddenly, the torches halted in mid-air as if
frozen in time. One by one, the fires went out
and the smoldering stubs dropped to the earth.
The men holding the rope gave it a forceful
jerk, intending to haul Tsusga Gineli upward. To
their surprise, the rope fell away from his neck
and wriggled in their hands like a vicious
serpent. With cries of alarm, they dropped the
rope and fled towards their comrades. Then an
amber glow began to spread along the branches of
the tree. Awestruck, the hooded men tried to
back away, but their feet seemed glued to the
ground. They gave each other baffled looks, a
sense of dismay forming in their minds.
Thankful the ropes binding his victims arms and
legs were still in place, the Minotaur reached
for the revolver in his waistband. Ill put a
stop to this with a bullet, he thought. At
that moment, the ropes around Tsusga Gineli
separated from his body and flew towards the
Minotaur. The pieces turned into snake-like
creatures that knocked the revolver askew and
swarmed over his huge bulk. The Minotaur
screamed in terror as the ropes bore him to the
at last, Tsusga Gineli stared grimly at the dark
clouds overhead. A vision of this night had come
to him several months ago. Despite his efforts,
he could not change what fate had decreed. With
resolve, he focused his mind and summoned his
magic power. Then he raised a hand towards the
sky and the clouds swooped lower.
hooded men watched with disbelief as Tsusga
Gineli moved freely while their leader screamed
under the onslaught of the ropes. Realizing
their folly, they began to tremble. When they
saw Tsusga Ginelis eyes turn into white-hot
coals of fire, they sank to their knees and
begged for his forgiveness.
Ignoring their pleas, Tsusga Gineli pointed at
the gasoline-soaked wood at the base of the
tree. It rose into the air, rotated as a solid
mass, and broke apart. The pieces flew at the
hooded men, knocking many senseless. Then Tsusga
Gineli pointed at the Minotaur. A mysterious
force lifted his rope-covered body and tossed it
towards his minions. They all cried like lost
children when he fell among them.
more, Tsusga Gineli reached towards the clouds.
As he did, a white globe of energy enveloped his
body. The hooded men tried to look away from the
brilliant force, but they could not. Their eyes
watched as he spoke to them one last time. Let
ye who survive this night, remember well my
the sky erupted with tremendous fury. Lightning
streamed from the clouds, striking the hooded
men. Claps of thunder, so loud eardrums
shattered and minds went numb, followed
immediately. The lightning came repeatedly, one
merciless bolt after another; the earth trembled
with each terrible strike. At last, the dark
clouds dissipated and a deadly quiet fell over
the clearing. The hooded men lay on the ground,
severely injured or dead.
Slowly, the watcher emerged from the shadows,
shocked by what he had seen. He had watched as
the globe of energy surrounded Tsusga Ginelis
body. When the globe finally faded away, his
friend vanished with it. In sudden anger, he
yelled out at the hapless bodies on the ground.
He warned you why didnt you listen? His
question went unanswered, a lonely cry in the
a few minutes, the watcher left the clearing.
Fresh tears spilled from his eyes as he walked
to his village. It was the year 1937; he was
barely more than a boy, yet his heart carried a
heavy burden. Tsusga Gineli had told him the
reason for this terrible night, but asked him
not to speak of it until the prophecy came true.
The watcher knew
many years might pass before the time would
come. He would wait patiently the moment would
eventually arrive. Tsusga Gineli never spoke
falsely; his friend might be gone, but his words
would hold their truth.