This is a text written a while ago to explain a bit how the magika works in the world of 7 Ancients. It exists but things aren’t that simple as it looks like. This is a chat, some years ago, between a young Forwën (the main character of a bigger project called “The Winter Blades”) and the Great-Master principal of the University of Lenes, Aldous Herriot.
This story passes in the year of 1363, 58 years before the actual one, 1421.
Have a good reading!
(Note: English is not my home language. If you find any grammar error, please notice me so I can fix the mistake).
How the magic works
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
It seemed this would be a pleasant day. The bells of the Great Mother’s temple were pealing, indicating the time of the Firsts, or, the time of the Sun rising. Therefore, another new day was slowly beginning in the city of Lenes. The gates were open and the merchants started to mount their tents, also it was possible to see the carts with its wooden wheels grumbling over the tortuous city streets and of course, beggars took their places and drunk people slept in front of doors. Slowly and sluggishly, the daylight was bringing colors to the houses and towers in a mix of yellow and pink until reaching the Royal Palace, which rose imposingly on the only dominating hill around.
Yes, this would be a pleasant day.
These were the very first days of spring, but it seemed that the winter was still satisfied in blowing a cold wind every now and then, just as a reminder that it would be back someday.
That is why; Aldous Herriot was completely covered in a thick cloak made of badger fur, what didn’t prevent him of shaking a lot at each blow, for in the high of the belvedere where he was, without any obstacle, the wind was terribly relentless.
“Come on Uncle Aldous! I want to see city waking up!” said a thin voice of a little girl.
Aldous could not help but smile when he felt his hand pulled. Looking below he saw an impatient eight years girl insisting that he would walk faster.
“Easy, my child, we’re almost there” he answered.
“Then I’ll go first and wait for you!”
There she went, jumping over the floor of stones with different shades, just stopping here or there to chat with a statue.
Another gust of wind removed Aldous’ smile, making him clench his teeth. How could that fragile girl stand that? She was already eight years and the cold didn’t seem to bother her, neither the wind, as they would be old friends.
“Eight years!” thought Aldous. Time flows fast! He could recall well the very day when he saw her when she was still a baby wrapped in cloths and fur to protect her from the wind. When he first saw her, Aldous had already his suspicions; that child would have the aptitude for the Art. The confirmation came in the recurring years.
Eight years ago and Aldous was already an old man. Old and a respected one too, after all he was a member of the old Order of Magistrates: an organization formed by wise people determined to study and unveil the mysteries of the world and creation. Usually, the members of the Order were respected but mostly people feared them. Aldous was one of these members and very important one, for he was the principal of the Great University of Lenes and because of that, he held the title of Great-Master Principal. He could be stern, grave and tough with his pupils and subordinates, but all this hard shell vanished when he met the girl. Her charisma could melt even the hardest of hearts. If only she would be a normal girl like all the others… but her intelligence and sagacity astonished him on each time they talked, so, doing this was of a great pleasure to him.
Aldous tightened more his cloak. As a Great-Master, he had the full capacity and control to call the fire, but this would be a frivolous use of his abilities and something inadmissible for a high member of the Order. That cold was just a bother and nothing more than that. He should’ve stand it like a normal man.
“Hurry, uncle! You’re missing it!” shouted the girl, already at the belvedere balcony.
“I’m coming. Please, a little patience for this poor old man, dear!” he answered. “Don’t get too close to the wall!”
Uncle! Aldous smiled to himself; the girl called him like this and he felt as he truly had some kinship with her. Then he turned to the fortified palace behind him and glanced to the proud descending white falcon over the green and golden background of the Lainas family. Eight years ago, His Grace, king Eadwig III himself, trusted him the function of preceptor for his own protégé. By knowing the true intentions of his majesty, Aldous was fulfilling his duty with zealous pleasure. Since she learned to talk, the girl fondly called him Uncle Aldous.
Finally, he arrived at where the girl was. Peering over the wall of the belvedere, she never got tired of doing that. She had pleasure in looking the awakening of the city with its gates opening and the flow of people while they moved around it.
Then Aldous sat on a stone bench and waited while observing the girl. She had a healthy aspect and normal height for her age. Her skin was a pale pink; pale even for the standards of the keld people and her hair was deep black.
After a while, she noticed that Aldous was already by her side and turned herself, sitting with him.
“Uncle, why didn’t you call me?”
Aldous could fit in her eyes, which were of a sparkling green.
“I didn’t want to disturb you, dear.”
She huffed impatiently, typical of children, then apologized.
“Ah… I’m sorry.”
He just smiled and by passing one of his hands over the girl hair, he said:
“Today we’re going a bit deeper in the subject that we have discussed last time.”
“Ah, we are going to talk about the Great Conscience now?”
“Who said that to you?” asked Aldous astonished.
“The wind told me,” said the girl, and before Aldous could reply, she continued: “I know that there’s a Great Conscience ruling the world. She’s so great and powerful and we can’t see her, or him. The uncle and the other uncles of the institute call it as the Universal Conscience as well, don’t you?”
“That Universal Conscience created everything”, she kept talking by running over the words “but no one knows how, because you are still studying this. What you know is that the Conscience had a Dream and after that Dream, she carried the world as a baby in her belly and then gave birth to it. Then the world carries a bit of her as a son. The world is a live being, which is fed by the Goddesses. What people call Art, is just a kind of com… communion (I guess this is the word, right?) between us, and the Conscience coming from the Goddesses and the world. That’s why the Uncle and other uncles study this so much, because it’s hard and even dangerous to use your own body to… connect (?), with the gods.”
The Principal was in complete wonder. Where did the girl take all of this?
“The wind told you… don’t lie do me dear. You may tell me, was Master Archenbald?”
“No! It was the wind, I told you,” she answered in a sulky voice.
“By Amanna, but this is…” Aldous stopped in sudden. That girl indeed had the gift. If she was really speaking the truth, then everything changed. That was an advanced knowledge and the first step to open the eyes to the world.
“Alright then, your explanation wasn’t that wrong,” continued him, smiling when he saw the girl’s face doing a pouty expression for being corrected. Then he stood up and continued. “We indeed study the Great Conscience. Some call it simply as the ‘One’, but others call him ‘the First’, and so on. We have never given him… or it a proper name. Despite our studies, what we know for real is just a few, once we didn’t exist in that time. You’re very young to understand it well, but we have some theories concerning the creation of the World because of some written texts done by our ancestors. Unfortunately, most of these texts are only flourished prose.”
“No, the subject is deeper, my young mistress. I said that we knew just a few things but what we know is that it resides in this world. When I say world, I’m referring to all its composition: skies, lands, stones, trees, rivers… the list is long. However, more important: the Conscience also lives inside us, after all we are part of it. That’s why, when applying the Art, or magika, we connect to the world. In a glimpse of time, we have the domain of the elements just like a deity. This is the Conscience acting. Just like you said, it is necessary to be cautious and to study a lot, for we really connect with the gods and if we don’t do this wisely, our body would not stand so much energy. Many arrogant people felt this in the hardest way.”
“You mean that we also have parts of deities inside us?”
“Precisely. All of us have connection links with the world. The difference is, in some people, these channels are wider than in the others. This could be for many reasons; some of them may have it as a heritage of a far distant relative; others developed through the years and finally some just were born like this. In truth, I speak only for those who can use their own essence as a conductor to use the Art. We call this as High Magika and others even call it as True Magika.”
“So, there are other types of magika?”
“Yes, and I dare say that even an amateur is capable of using some of these types. We call them Natural, Practical and Ceremonial Magika.
“What’s the difference between them?”
“Easy, kid, like I was saying, the Natural Magika is the one practiced by the entities that live on the other side. I mean, the Old or Enchanted creatures. The difference between their magika and ours is just that theirs is primordial, being that said, more primitive. They use this magika from their own essence. Do you remember the connection with the world? Their connection is extremely more powerful, for they are essentially beings molded and dependent to it.”
“So, the legends are true? They really exist?”
“Ah… yes” answered Aldous a bit hesitant. “I can’t confirm everything, but some of these legends are true indeed. The elfi and anani you’ve already heard of. What few know is that they isolate themselves to build their own communities with their own laws and mores, independent of ours; and secondly and most important, is that they act as border guardians from the Otherworld. However, many stories are only fairytales and doesn’t interest us at the moment.”
“Well, as I was saying, they are creatures molded from the natural elements of our world. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t from the same matter too, but it happens that they are more linked to these elements than us. The only exception would be the beings who live in the different Realms.”
“Realms? Like Lehains?”
“No. It’s a bit complicated to explain to a child like you, but we scholars, call Realms those places which are aside our world, but with its own laws and natural rules. Like for example, if you jump here from this belvedere, you will fall and crash on the floor, right? In some of these places, you may jump and take too long to fall, or maybe you won’t fall at all. In another, maybe it’s impossible to breathe, or the east would be the west… as you can see, the list is long and there’s too much to be discovered and studied.”
“Aye… I guess I understood a little.”
“Don’t worry. We may discuss this subject in the future. Now, back to the enchanted creatures, these are their secrets and it’s quite rare for them to teach their talents to any mortal. Those who tried to go deep in the studies simply disappeared or became mad. Only a very few number of people could learn something and even so, under a powerful oath to not pass along this knowledge to nobody. There are some old powers, some of them just as older as the world itself. Even I, being a scholar, know that we must not disturb these powers.”
“I guess I heard the uncle talking about this with some novices, but, maybe you know someone who learned that kind of magic and didn’t become crazy?”
“In truth, I do know, yes. Two people to be more exact, but I will say nothing about them.”
“Because of the oath?”
Aldous smiled. “That’s why I like clever girls. Yes, my child, as you’ve quickly guessed, I’m bond to an oath.”
“Alright” she didn’t complain. “What about the other magikas?”
“The Practical and Ceremonial Magika you have already seen. The Practical is very simple and even a lay can do it. We also call it as Sympathetic for beginners. It is the mundane magika, as the one practiced by old healers to heal warts and bellyaches, or like when a young damsel wants to attract the love of her dreams, and so on. Besides the prejudgment of some, this practice is very important, so we can use a common concept in the Practical Magic: the opening of the power of the mind. We need to focus strongly in what we wish, so we can open the channels, which I’ve told you before. One can even say that the Practical Magika is the first step to achieve the High Magika. Of course that even with all these explanations, usually, people fear these practices.”
“Finally we have the Ceremonial Magika. This is the most intriguing one, because it can be simple or extremely complicated. Curiously, though, it’s accessible even for people who understand nothing about magika. This is the kind of magika that it can or cannot be served by a channel and it’s called as Ritualistic Magika too. The name itself says about the nature of this kind of practice. It is the one, which will demand the use of some ritualistic objects and the even the appropriate time of the day, as a channel. If prepared incorrectly, it can bring terrible consequences for the practitioner.”
“I see,” said the girl. “So, let me see if I got this right. There is the High Magika which is used by us in… connection (is it correct?) with the World and the so-called Conscience. Then we have the Practical, Mundane or Sympathetic Magika, and that’s the one that beginners and even common people can use. This is what the novices study here to learn to open their channels; after that, we have the Natural Magika, which is similar to the High Magika, being the Natural one older and more powerful. The creatures from other worlds use it. Then, finally, we’ll have the Ceremonial or Ritualistic Magika; used for rituals that can be either simple and complicated. Am I right?”
Aldous caressed strongly again the girl’s hair, making them a bit scruffy.
“Absolutely right, my child. I wouldn’t say better. What we know yet is that everything have it’s link with the Conscience, because all the worlds connect to it. Another common point is the four rules of magic. This is an absolute law and everybody should follow it. It’s them: Connection, Unity, Formation and Execution. The Connection happens when we open the channels and we unite to the world and the energies around us; Unity is just when we become one being. That’s the question about the communion with the Conscience. Here, we become in a lesser scale and briefly, the Conscience itself, the practice of Formation happens when we mold our thinking. Treat this part as an architect who plans a building. It is in this time, our mind acts as the architect. Finally, in Execution, we play the role as the builder: we simply take our imagination’s project and gathering all the needed materials, we execute the work.”
The girl was astonished. It was too much information at once to digest.
“I was thinking on the channels. Are mine open enough?” she said.
“Yours?” Aldous laughed and touched his index finger on the girl’s forehead. “Yes, yours are wide open, but stay advised that this apparently can be a blessing, but also a curse.”
“Those, whose channels are very open, are likely to open the Great Conscience and realize an involuntary action, hurting the others or even oneself. This is why we receive many youngsters to study in our Academy or in others of this kind, around the world. We have a strict code to use the magika only for studies and understanding, or to help those in needs, yet never for exhibitionism or selfishness, like… some people do out there. Beware that this could be something unstable in reckless or ruthless hands. Anyway, our objective is to the studies of the beautiful mysteries of the Creation.”
“But… there should be some bad people doing evil with magika, isn’t there?
“Yes, unfortunately, there are indeed” Aldous sighed. “They are people that in a way or other, learned to control a bit the channeling of Conscience, or even worse, people who used the knowledge acquired in any university for selfish actions. It would be great if we could have control of the actions of all the students that come to us, but this is impossible and even unethical. It’s always like that with young talents; they think they can dominate everything and do whatever they want. Many of them learn their lesson a bit late.”
“I, I will never be like that!” exclaimed the girl, getting up.
Aldous hugged her. “You spoke with your heart. Of course this will never happen to you, dear. This is why you’re with us: to learn with wisdom. I’m totally sure that one day you’ll become a Great Wise Woman.”
Then, he showed his hand to the girl and said. “Alright, now that you’ve seen the awakening of the city, shall we get back to the palace? A little patience with this old man, I’m not that resistant to the cold.”
Nevertheless, the girl had already released his hand and was far away, jumping happily.
“Hurry, uncle! You will miss the breakfast!”
Aldous sighed and smiled.
Yes, that would be a pleasant day.