Nothing profound this week, it’s been a bit long and I’m under the weather at the moment. So, instead, here’s a little excerpt from my current fiction project:
“Magic is . . . a sort of paradox. It is simultaneously simple and complex. We know at its basic level magic is willpower properly applied to energy. Thus, grab energy, shape it, release. Nothing could be simpler, right? Wrong. If it appears easy, it probably isn’t; if it appears difficult, it probably is.
“As you know, there are three major conceptions of magic. To the witches, magic is an art. To the wizards, it is a science. To the warlocks, well, I’m really not sure, I’ve never gotten a straight answer out of one.
“Whichever tradition you began in will tend to color your understanding of high magics. For instance, wizards tend to treat alchemy like baking, a series of precise measurements and instructions. Witches tend to treat alchemy like cookery, winging it as it were.
“Ultimately, as every sorcerer learns, you don’t need any of that crap. It’s all training wheels. All you need is willpower, a touch of imagination, and a staff to act like a capacitor so you don’t fry yourselves.
“Because, make no mistake, as sorcerers in training, you will eventually be working with levels of power beyond the dreams of any low mage. It is easy to become hooked on that power, we do occasionally have to put down addicted blood mages or run interventions for those hooked on the products of alchemy. But, both are rare.
“All that said, sometimes the props help provide or reinforce focus and concentration. In our most high stress moments, we fall back on the old aids, much like muscle memory. In short, don’t worry about forgetting what you’ve learned before, it will never truly go away. Here, at the Tower, we will build upon that foundation.”
As introductory speeches went, it was not the most uplifting or spirited. But, it certainly had its effect. There were no cheers. There were no shouts. There were more than a few stunned expressions, frozen in a frankensteinian mix of excitement, interest, disbelief, and sheer terror. None of the assembled new students said a word.