Anarchistic Knights-a serialadventure Chapter 8D-The Lord and Lady by Joe Bandel

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"Powers of the East. Brother Oak is properly prepared for initiation as Apprentice into our ancient craft." He was led further and stopped again at another point. "Powers of the South. Brother Oak is properly prepared for initiation as Apprentice into our ancient craft."

This was repeated two more times, once at the West and once at the North. Then she led him back near the center of the circle where he felt the heat from the bon fire against the front of his body. "You are about to be recognized as an Apprentice of our clan and circle. As an Apprentice you are expected to gain the skills to survive on your own in the wilderness. You are expected to take care of your own belongings and eventually set up your own household.

You are expected to solo for one month to prove your mastery of survival skills. Following that", she continued, "you are expected to train six others even as you will be trained. You must do these things before you are allowed to progress into the 2nd degree of our ancient and holy craft. Do you understand this? Do you agree to do these things to the best of your ability?"

"I do", said Tobal.

"In agreeing to these obligations you have passed the test required and may now take the Oath of our circle. Are you ready to continue?"

"Yes, I am."

"Will you always help, defend and protect brothers and sister of our clan from harm?"

"I will."

"Then repeat after me, I, Brother Oak, in the presence of the Lord and Lady, most solemnly swear I will keep the secrets of our clan. I will never refuse to share these secrets with a brother or sister if they have been initiated as I was. I further swear I will not loose control of my thoughts, words, or actions. I will not use my powers for evil purposes and I will proceed with firmness and courage to the conclusion of this initiation. I will let my inner conscience and higher self guide me in all ways.

I further swear by my hopes of a future life, mindful that my measure will be taken. May my weapons be turned against me if I break this solemn oath. So help me, Lord and Lady and my own Higher Soul."

"Now we are going to take your measure."

Tobal felt the High Priestess and someone else stretch a cord from the top of his head to the ground and heard them cut it. Then the string was placed around his forehead and a knot tied as thet measure was taken. Next he was asked to raise his arms and the string was placed around his heart where another measurement was taken and another knot tied in the cord. Lastly he felt the cord around his hips and genital area where a final measuement was taken.

The High Priestess wound up the string and placed it on an altar that stood near the fire. "Before you are sworn, are you willing to pass the ordeal?"

"I am willing", Tobal answered.

A drum began to sound and he could hear the outer circle come alive as members began to dance and move around the circle. They gently pushed and nudged Tobal as they passed turning him until he was giddy and completely disoriented.

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