As Faramir thumbed through his book of Alchemy, he pondered the next few hours and what they would mean to him and his realm. He was destined for this moment and the time was almost upon him when he would have it all.

From birth Faramir had been the chosen one, the wizard who would bring utopia to Dumnonii and in doing so hold the ultimate power, the Crystal of Clarity. The crystal had been handed down through the generations of chosen wizards and sages but none had ever had the courage to use it. It was the supreme force and could give life or take it away.

Faramir was escorted to the assembly of the Great Counsel. The rulers of all the magical realms gathered for this historical moment. Faramir took his seat and with a nod of his head, the congregation sat down. A few moments later, a fanfare sounded and the giant doors to the chambers opened. Attended by her nymphs and elves, Orlaigh, the Fairy Queen made her entrance. Escorted by her entourage, she made her way slowly and majestically to the side of Faramir and took her seat.

Now all the pieces were in place and the ceremony began. Faramir had always known that he would not have been able to take his rightful place without his love at his side. With Orlaigh as his Queen, Faramir could unify the counsel and bring the long overdue peace to the realms. For many a year, the different realms had vied for power and finally with Faramir and Orlaigh as the supreme rulers, the prophecy had been fulfilled and the Great Counsel of Realms had united. As Faramir clasped the Crystal of Clarity, all was well.

Many months passed before Faramir was awoken one night by a commotion coming from the bedchamber of his queen. When he entered, her nymph attendants were weeping and her body lay still and lifeless on the bed, a dagger through her heart. For a moment, Faramir stood motionless unable to move, then with a wave of his hand ordered everybody from the room. Kneeling by the side of Orlaighs bed, he wailed like a wounded animal – his love was gone!

With his mind a pool of confusion, Faramir tried to gather his thoughts. As he cradled his beloved queen, realisation hit – Erasmus! His very dark and very jealous twin brother whose final words before he was banished to the underworld rang in his ears. He recalled his wicked pledge to take away from Faramir his birth right and to bring chaos and destruction to the realms.

Faramir felt helpless, he was the all-powerful wizard and yet he was unable to cast a spell and bring back Orlaigh. Bereft and grief stricken, he summoned the Great Counsel of the Realms. There was one hope for him and Orlaigh and he had to inform the counsel. As he entered the chamber he demanded that the Crystal of Clarity be brought to him.

The great wizard knew that to use the crystal for personal gain would ultimately mean the death of his much longed for peace of the realms, but what was he to do? He knew he couldn’t go on without his beloved Orlaigh. He handled the beautiful crystal as he proclaimed his intention to the gathering; he headed for the exit, not interested in the shouts and objections coming from the gathered counsel. The anger that was directed at him soon turned inward and Faramir watched in disbelief as the members who just a few minutes ago had been united in their condemnation of him, turned on one another.

He stood with the crystal in his hand and witnessed the hate and aggression, old rivalries and past disputes laid bare in pockets of rage. He knew that if he carried on with his plan to use the crystal for the purpose he intended, this scene would be magnified and replicated throughout the realms, friends would be become foe and all hope of everlasting peace would be lost for good.
Slowly and feeling as though his heart would break, Faramir raised his hand and called for silence. As a hush descended on the room, he called for his servant and with trembling hands he handed back the Crystal of Clarity, it had served its purpose and he had seen the truth of his actions. The power of the crystal had somehow revealed to him that sacrificing his own happiness and the life of his wife would ultimately lead to a greater good for the people of his realms. His one unselfish act would manifest itself into peace for all time.

Just then doors to the chamber opened and there silhouetted in the doorway was a cloaked figure. Suddenly, a sense of fear engulfed him and he wondered if he had unwittingly harnessed the power of the crystal and had indeed used it for his own selfish needs. Now he had to answer for his selfishness. Faramir walked towards the figure and with unsteady hands removed the cloak. He gasped as he recognised her. A greater magic than his had somehow returned his beautiful Orlaigh to him.

As his Fairy Queen praised him for his courage, they both knew then that his actions of returning the crystal without having used it had somehow saved her. He understood now why the power of the crystal had never been harnessed for personal gain – there was always so very much more to lose.


©Tracey Louise Marinelli