*HAPPY BIRTHDAY* Sean Bean 4/17/1959
"Another story — and this really is an index of the real man… I met him in LAX (Los Angeles airport), he’d come direct from New Zealand. We were both going to London. He was carrying what seemed like 20 bags and he’s got this old man and old lady there. I asked Sean if I could give him a hand. After waiting a few minutes, I asked whether he was going to introduce me to his friends. ‘Is this your Mum and Dad?’ He said he’d love to introduce me to them but he didn’t know their names. The rather dazed old couple introduce themselves…they were just an old couple who had been on the plane and had been struggling with their luggage, he’d decided to help them out. They had no idea who he was. We get to Heathrow and I’m running for a connection and out of the corner of my eye, I can see Sean very patiently taking their bags off, stacking them and steering them through customs. I don’t believe, to this day, they had any idea who he was. The man is pure gold. I love him to death. He’s just a thoroughly good man and a marvelous actor."
John Rhys Davis on Sean Bean
On the origins of magic (1/?)
Of the breaking of the world and the coming of magic into the world - a myth of the Romans and Greeks with some Celtic influences. From Myths of Magical Europe ed. Quaxo Coricopat, Author Unknown, Year Unknown.
In the beginning, before time began, the First Man and the Sorceress lived together in a cave at the heart of the world. A homely cave it was, warm and welcoming, not too large and not too small. A fire always burnt in the centre of the cave, day and night, warning any who might look upon them with unfriendly thoughts that those who came seeking to harm and destroy would suffer and burn. Welcoming those who sought shelter from the harshness of the world.
In those days, the world was smaller and volatile and the friendly wild creatures of the world would come crawling to the cave, seeking refuge from the winds and storms which would rise up from nowhere and tear through the world. In those days, the Sorceress wove magic around these wild creatures who came to her and bid them stay and tamed them and put them to work. The Horse, the Dog, the Cow - all of these she tamed while the First Man slept and hunted; but that is another story which is better told elsewhere by others more skilled at telling these tales.
For while the First Man hunted with the Horse and Dog and kept house with the Sorceress, all was well. Together they bore a child, a son and he grew swiftly to be a strong, strapping lad. Strong of limb and fleet of foot as his father was.
In those days, Man was ageless and death could not touch him or his son. None knows how many ages passed between the coming of the First Man and the coming of death, war and treachery into the world. Suffice it to say, in the time that passed many new creatures of strange and curious shapes came into the world - strange and wonderful they were, some large, some small, some half and half, some whole. Some the Sorceress tamed and kept for her own, some she let run wild, naming them and keeping them - for one day her son might have need of them and she would have to weave the magic to summon them to her son’s side.
One day, the First Man brought home with him a new creature - like the Sorceress in form and beauty, but with no magic she could weave, like the First Man. The First Woman, he named her and bid her stay with them, share their food and share their cave with them. The Sorceress bowed her head and quietly accepted, for why she should deny a home and sustenance to one of the friendly creatures of the world?
Ah, but if only the tale ended there, the world should have been a very different place. For with the passing of time the First Woman bore the First Man a son. And one son too might have been of no consequence, but then there was a daughter, then another, and then one son after another. One after the other they came, until the Sorceress wondered if she should close the First Woman’s womb - else one of them would be forced into the wild world.
Then came the Great Cold and the First Man bid the First Woman and the Sorceress come to him.
“One of you must leave,” he said, “for we must shut the doors of this cave to keep the cold out and I cannot do so while so many live here.”
Oh but the First Woman was cunning. She fell to her knees and wept and begged. Her children were still unweaned, she sobbed, how could she leave them and take her three eldest with her? Who would feed them in her stead? Did not a child need its mother?
But the Sorceress was proud and said nothing, though she saw with second sight and the world was darkened in her eyes. She warned the First Woman that the price for her staying behind would be very high.
“There is naught you can take from me,” she replied with the arrogance of one who believes the battle won.
For two days and one night the Sorceress sat in a dark corner of the cave and thought to herself. It was time.
On the second night she wove a new magic - the first of a new kind, for it did not give life or refuge, but deceived and endangered - and summoned the strange and new creatures of the world to her.
“Will you serve my son?” she asked them.
“We will serve him if he does not hunt us, if he protects us from the First Man when he comes after us with the weapons which sting and the weapons which bite,” they answered together.
“He will not,” she said, “You have my word,” and she finished weaving her new spell and when she was finished, the creatures which had come to her could now comprehend the tongues of men, forever binding them to the the Sorceress and her son. Light magic she bestowed upon them, such that would protect them against the biting weapons and the stinging weapons of the First Man and would give them the strength to help her son.
Next she summoned her son to her and bid him sit by her.
“It is time,” she said, “for the second weaving of the new magic.”
A second magic she wove, a brewing magic, and in that she brewed the future storms of the world, setting war and conquest and revenge into it, pouring half her power into it and when it was finished, she offered it to her son in a golden cup.
“Drink it and you will have power to stand against the cold. Drink it and you will never be weak again. Drink it and all these creatures before you will serve you. Drink it and you will be like me, a weaver of magic and ruler of the world.”
Her son did not fumble or pause, but raised the cup to his lips and drank silently from it.
Then she arose from her corner and approached the First Man and First Woman, seated by the fire.
“Are you still so resolved?” she asked the First Woman.
“Take your price then,” said the First Woman, “I have naught to give.”
Then the Sorceress drew herself up to her full height, great and terrible was she to all who beheld her in that hour, dark and fearsome and powerful and the First Man and his First Woman cowered where they were seated. This was the third weaving of the new magic.
“Foolish woman,” she said and then spoke three curses, “Life, you will have - but it will be bitter and tinged with grief, for once the cold is passed death will come to you and your kind. Warmth, will you have, and weakness too, you who seek to be untouched by the cold of this world. A safe refuge and haven you will have, but be warned, for my son will never forget it was you who cast him out into the cold. Know this, foolish woman! With your selfishness you have saved your children for war, treachery and death. So it is said, so it shall be done.”
When she had finished speaking, the earth shook and a chill wind that seeped into their bones and froze their marrow swept through the cave extinguishing the fire which had always burnt in the heart of the cave. Cold it crept through their veins, slowly draining the warm life that coursed through them. But the Sorceress’ son stood tall and proud, for the warmth of life that had been so drained from the First Man and First Woman and their children still ran strong in him.
And in that hour he rose his hand and spoke and commanded that fire be brought forth, for his heart was darkened when he saw that the fire he had known and loved had gone out, and it came about that there was fire because he spoke. Pity stirred his heart as he looked upon his father and his brothers and sisters and the fire he gave to the First Man, his father, and the First Woman, his not-mother to keep, to warm them through the Great Cold.
“In better times I will not be as merciful,” he warned them and with that he and his mother departed from the cave at the heart of the world, into the Great Cold.
So it was and so it ever shall be that the children of the First Woman fear the sons and daughters of the Sorceress; that the children of the Sorceress despise those who cannot work magic with their words; that each should fight each other; that the strange and wonderful creatures of this world should be bound to the children of the Sorceress.
So it was that the world was broken and death, trickery and magic entered the world.
Addendum: Reproduced from the private papers (1966) of deceased Ministry employee, Unspeakable Caius Marcus Rookwood. All known copies of the book Myths of Magical Europe were confiscated and locked up in the classified area of the Department of Mysteries in 1964. No copies are available to the public on the grounds that it contains highly incitatory material. - A.R.
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