The towers of Corell
In another part of the Corell forest stands three mighty towers, like giants
of old. The teeth of the trees. A single light can bee seen in one of the
top windows. A sick eye in the dark watching the the roof of the forest.
The tall one shook his head.
"Hypnosis is not understood by many civilized people. In fact it was only
in 365 that the Priests of Adonar recognised it as an ethical form of treatment and even now very few of them know anything about it."
He felt agreeably relaxed and was amused by the hooded man`s persistence.
"Tell me more. Must you have "the gift" or can anyone do it?
"Hypnosis" said the hooded man slowly, "is difficult to define. But one can say that it is a condition of narrowed attention to the world with resulting decrease or absence of visual, auditory, taste and pain reception"
"And how can you produce this?"
"Take the church, for example," said the hooded man. "Think of the dark interior, the sombre music, the fixation point at which everyone looks,
say Aldonar`s holy symbol, and then consider the repetitive chant, the silence, the repetitive chant... the deep... dark... silence which you can feel.
The smell of incense, but above all the deep... deep repetitive chant."
He changed the tone of his voice, the tall man felt his breath brush his face.
The hooded figure held him with his stare, he could barely make out the one shining eye under the black hood.
"Noises like like that, repetitious, deep throated and mellow. All these combined with the darkness and that fixed point which is the symbol of God
or a priest`s mitre conditions people to be unaware of the world around them. So they forget problems at home. They forget their love affairs and they forget their sins. They forget... they forget... forget their abnormalities. Their world becomes reduced in size and every sense is diminished." He laughed. "All that conditions toward hypnosis."
"But what produces it?" The tall man felt sleepy. He had never used Condir before and decided he would cut it in the future. The stuff had a rotten hangover. He was half asleep. And it was in the middle of the night.
He liked the sound of the hooded man`s voice. Mellow and rich.
And the fellow seemed to know what he was talking about.
The hooded man looked at him cynically. "Various moods further improve
the chances of successful hypnosis. For example fear, or self-consciousness or indeed any form of tension makes the subject more susceptible."
"Then that rules me out," the tall man sounded comfortably smug.
I do not possess a solitary nerve in my whole d**ned body. How do you classify levels? How do you calculate the depht of a hypnotic trance?"
the hooded man lifted his arm to the side.
"A normal man in the peak of condition might be able to hold that arm outstretched for six or seven minutes. But for much of the time his arm
would be trembling and it would be a visible effort. Now under hypnosis he would he would be able to hold it in position for the same length of time but he would do so easily, without tremor and without evidence of strain.
Or, again, one could persuade a subject that he was unable to rise from a chair or was unable to see another person in the same room. In other words one could narrow the depth of his visual and physical powers. And this sort of thing is the first level of hypnosis."
"So let us have the second then" The tall man shivered, what if this
man had put a spell on him? How would he know? He poured his third glass of Condir liqour.
"One can take a subject from that first level to the second level by persuading him, for example, that he is a child again. One can ask him to write as he did when he was a child. Or one can demonstrate various nerve reflexes which are found only in childhood, but yet which will reappear in the hypnotised subject who had been suggested back to childhood. And to continue, one can persuade the subject that he does not feel pain... and can prove to onlookers that he does not in real fact, respond to pain stimuli at all. or by contrast he can be made to react as though a glass of cold water pouring over him was scolding hot. And indeed his skin could become red as though it had been burned. Or again one could make the subject attack a friend of his and attempt to kill him..."
"And that would be your third level?"
The hooded man nodded. "I can make them do anything."
The tall man went to the window, a white silver fog lay over the tree tops.
The air was moist and hot. He wondered how this would turn out.
Somewhere out there were the party, given a mission that would probably lead them into certain death, pain and darkness. He turned to the dark figure sitting by the fire place. He seemed almost like a statue of black obsidian when he did not move.
"So the word have been given? The Moriandar will leave our "servants"
The hooded man stirred.
"Yes indeed old one, the message has been given. And if things go ill we can always depend upon my subject which is among them right now."
An owl flew towards the moon disturbed by the laughter from the window.