I sat in my front lane and extended my earth senses to the max. I was searching for the last part of my journey through the Primordial Chaos, ley lines. If I understood what my magic was telling me, ley lines were natural rivers of magic that flowed through the planet like veins and arteries for the body. They could be tapped for use, or serve as natural gateways or barriers to various entities. I wanted to see if I could use this to my advantage, a kind of a magical forge for making my staff. I was also looking for a certain kind. Ley lines that run through volcanoes were fire and earth based, but I had to work with what I had or could find. As I extended myself, I felt a pull behind me, near where the river lay. The Rappahanock river cuts through Fredericksburg and was about a 20 minute walk away.


  I passed two neighborhoods on my way to the river. Some houses looked abandoned, two were burned down, and I passed an old guy working on his truck. His cursing was colorful and entertaining. “Scuse me sir, what’s uh, what’s going on with it?”


  “Damn thing won’t start!” he sputtered without even turning to look at me, “Neither will the generator or wind-up radio. Whole damn town’s gone dark!” So I wasn’t the only one. I figured that would be the case, but it wasn’t the relief I thought it was. With great power comes great responsibility. I didn’t want to be more powerful than everyone else, mainly because I didn’t want to take care of everyone. The feeling that this wasn’t the end just wouldn’t go away. I’m either missing something, or this is the part before the tidal wave where the water recedes from the beach. I don’t like either. I reached the river not long after. The pull of the magic turned me west, towards where the land was rockier. Five more minutes of walking along the river bank wasn’t that bad in the late summer weather. It was actually nice but my eyes were still peeled. An electric current through my foot stopped me. Magic. Thick and dense. It felt like I stepped on a live wire of life. The flavor was wet and rocky, like a waterfall with salmon jumping in it. I looked around; I was on a loamy bank about ten feet from the river. The woods were fairly empty. The ley line was about 5 feet under me and concentrated in elements that I had sorcery over, nature/earth/water. Perfect.


  I sat down and put the ingredients for my staff in front of me. I turned the disk of gold into a ring, and put it on the acorn and set it down. Then I put the iron disk on top of the silver one, and then fit that on the bottom of the acorn, using earth magic to form it to cover the bottom. I then conjured three small lumps of diamond and placed them in a close triangle formation around the acorn. I then pushed the acorn into the earth. Closing my eyes, I crafted what I wanted in my head. A staff, about six and a half feet tall, with a golden ring in the middle where my hand would naturally rest. The top of the staff was a knob of wood with the three crystal pieces in it as a battery and projection platform. The iron would serve as a symbolic base, to make the oak a kind of iron-wood. The silver would be a base cap, to transfer and ground energy if need be, or to be a tap for ley lines when possible. I crafted that image in my head, as detailed as I could, and filled the mental matrix with energy that I pulled from the ley line, gently so as to not fry myself, and sank it into the acorn.


  With my hands, I pushed the acorn into the ground that I softened with earth magic, and then encouraged it to drink from the river of magic under it. I could barely hold it together. The spell matrix was shaking and the acorn looked like a grenade of life energy. “Grow damnit! You want to grow. Exploding is too much work!” The ley line energy soaked up through the silver and iron, up into the seed and through the gold ring. Boom! Through my senses, I saw the acorn sprout a root system to put any grown tree to shame. I grabbed the three crystals from off the ground and held them over the acorn. It started to grow in an upward direction. Roughly two inches a second, gradually thickening as it did. As the knob formed on the top, I put the crystals where I wanted to and held them there so the wood grew around them. As the staff finished growing, I grabbed it around the golden control ring. A feeling of completeness washed through my arm and the staff snapped off at the base. I looked down. The stump started to grow again. I stumbled back holding my staff, happy that what I wanted was actually here, but confused at the rest of the process. Now that I had removed the trunk, my staff, the roots were making another one, but weren’t stopping. The golden control ring that guided the growth was on my staff, but this new tree had a mind of its own. I reached into its base with my nature magic to see what these changes could mean. I am not trying to unleash a tree monster or something that would drain life from the land forever.


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