Enchanted Pools (fantasy)

At the beginning of the Seventh Age, the kingdom of Garnami was ruled by the siblings Esha and Arsh. They were strong rulers and protected their kingdom with both wisdom and the power of their enchanted wards. To the east of the kingdom, stood a tall mountain and atop it they placed three large bowls of water. The water in those basins were charmed. They were always still and could not be removed from the bowls, nor could ordinary water be added to them. As long as the bowls remained intact, the three perfect circles of water protected Garnami from the moment the first rays of the sun touched the still surfaces till darkness replaced them. To the north, south and west, they also placed wards, and these protected the kingdom while the moon glided across the sky.

One day, a lone child wandered from a distant land to the top of this mountain and tired and hungry he sat down by the basins. Noticing the cool, clear water, he dipped his fingers in the bowls and brought out his cupped palms full of sparkling liquid. But before he could bring it up to his mouth, the water vanished. He tried again and again, but with no success. He put his mouth to the rim of the bowl, but couldn’t pull in a mouthful. He tried tilting the bowls, but not one of them moved. They were too heavy and he was just a child. Finally, almost crazed with thirst, he picked up a big rock and threw it against one of the bowls. It bounced off, without harming the basin. Regretting his rage, but almost faint with the burning in his dry throat, he sat by one of the bowls and cried.

Now, Esha and Arsh alone knew the secret of the eastern ward. To protect their people, they told the source of the magical water to no one, but they had forbidden all children from climbing the mountain. Any disobedient of this rule, were punished severely.

But, now this child sat by the basins and his tears rolled slowly down his cheeks and into the unusually still water. He didn’t notice, and not a single sound was made, but as soon as his tears touched the surface of the water, a million cracks appeared on all three basins.

The little boy cried for a long time, but when he finally rubbed his eyes clear, he looked around and could not see a single bowl. Pieces of the magically strong earthen basins were littered all around him and the charmed water had been spilled all over the grass. It was slowly seeping into the ground.

Not knowing what to do, he dug the wet soil with his fingers and found that water rushed into the small hollow from the earth. Still very thirsty, he cupped this water and brought it to his mouth, the water touched his lips and didn’t vanish. The boy drank it and found his aching throat completely cured and his empty stomach suddenly full. He dug more and drank more. When he was very full he lay down on the ground and fell asleep.

Esha and Arsh had felt the breaking of the ward and in a panic, they took a large guard of soldiers and hurried up the mountain. There they found the small child asleep and the bowls in pieces. In anger they shouted that the child be thrown in prison. He woke up and very frightened, he started to cry again. His tears joined the water under the soil and suddenly three little holes appeared in the ground. No one noticed them, but quickly they widened and deepened. Just as the child was being dragged away, a soldier looked back and shouted. Esha and Arsh turned and saw three deep pools in the ground which were perfectly circular and perfectly still.

Suddenly, the clouds in the sky cleared and the sun’s rays spilled across the enchanted pools. Esha and Arsh felt a new ward take birth. Stronger, far stronger than before, its magic cloaked the land in its protective shield. Amazed, the monarchs took the child to their palace and questioned him. They found that he was an orphan who had wandered far from his city. On his way, he had met three old men who had advised him to climb this mountain. They had promised that atop it, he would find the path to a new home. Esha and Arsh wondered who these wise men could be and how they had known the secret of the wards. They never found out. The pool’s water had come from the tears of many children and only a child’s earnest tears could have broken through their magic.

In the end, though, the three men’s promise was kept when the royal siblings adopted the child as their heir. Neither wished to marry and so the boy found his new home.

To this day, if one could make up the steep slopes of the mountain, they would reach a flat grassy land and amongst the green they would find three deep pools.

The Garnami kingdom is no more, the pools have long lost their enchantment but the water is still sweet and very satisfyingly filling.

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