or the one who wields the four Sentences of Will shall control the
Tear of Avá, laying waste and chaos to the world. And the dragons will bow to
him; the humans follow him; the orcs defy him; the elves fight him. And the
Dream will tremble, and all will be lost... unless three arise to claim the
-- Prophecy of an unknown ancient source.
by SILFER DARKFLARE
They were all so fascinated by
little tricks and magical sparks. “Showmanship! It is nothing but showmanship.
Magic is as intricate and endless as the Dream itself... The flame you can
produce above your palm is of the same level as the injèrá in the sky – the only
difference being the intensity.” One of the professors said it once, being
highly annoyed with a pitiful pyromancer student. Oh, how he agreed with that.
Magic was intricate... producing simple force was easy. Using your will to bend
the reality of the world, on the other hand... That was
power. And there was
nothing he desired more.
These thoughts kept swirling through his head as he went by the halls of Ximax, heading for his room located quite far away from his classroom. One of the students thought it funny to send him sprawling backwards trough the classroom today. By simple force of wind... brutal, but boring. Amusing, was it not? Well, the poor student would surely regret that, Lucaj chuckled mentally. “I almost wish I could see the next time he will use his fancy feather as a reagent to aid his spellwork. I may not even be close to manipulating reality, but I do know some things in this world.” The feather would cause the poor students cár’áll to turn, creating a random effect... also known as a chaotic fizzle. With that pleasant thought, Lucaj entered his chambers, magically sealing the door behind him.
Eying the mess on his desk, the black ring of ash on the wall (made by a failed spell) as well as the rest of the room, one could easily conclude it to be a typical Ximaxian student’s room. However, Lucaj had no wish of changing it. Magic was chaotic – he enjoyed the chaos in his own room.
Sitting down on the floor, Lucaj quickly banished all disturbing thoughts, beginning the ritual of concentration. “I live, I breathe... and I am focused.” Those were the words starting it. Then, he sent forth the first question. “Who am I?” The thought seemed to flow into the tunnel that was He, vanishing in the dark, endless depth of his mind. But every action caused a reaction. In this case, a powerful echo, coming from the depth of his mind, “responded”. “I am Lucaj Fari, lord of my own mind, soul and body.” He knew what he was doing – the first question loosened the cár’áll, while the answer focused it, allowing him to control it with greater precision. As the words of the answer “faded” throughout the dark depth of his mind, the first noticeable effect came into being. Lucaj’s senses increased in power! He could feel the dry air in his room, needing fresh moisture. He could smell the parchments on the table, the smoke from the candle and even the small stench of burned tree, coming from the fireplace. And finally, he could hear.
Enjoying the sharpened senses for a moment, Lucaj focused on various things to hear, smell or feel, just to ensure that his mind would control the senses of itself, without his direct interference. He certainly didn’t need any unnecessary disturbance.
Drawing a deep breath, he proceeded to the next step of the intricate ritual. “What do I do?” Once again the question vanished into his mind, leaving no visible trace. Yet, the response was now stronger, carrying his power to the “surface” of his mind, allowing Lucaj to directly access it. “I focus...focus...focus!” A bolt of lightning flashed throughout his mind, blinding him. For a moment, Lucaj saw nothing but white light. Then, everything returned to normal... but now, he could sense the cár’áll within his room. He was connected with it, being a part of the Xeuá in the room, a part of the Idea. From now on, control was a life-saving ability... for if control was lost for a brief moment, he might simply lose his mind... lose himself, allowing his cár’áll to spread through the room, balancing all the others to a degree. For magic seeks balance... always.
But the reward for this painful control was sweet – Lucaj could freely manipulate his cár’áll. It was the way to ultimate power... the power of Will.
Concentrating, he reached out with the fire part of his own car’all, touching the wood in the fireplace... shaping the desire of heat. The wood burst aflame at once, the explosive flame quickly subsiding to a pleasant fire. “That is force – the first level. Hard to restrain, but easy to guide... like a small spring. Try to restrain it, and it will flow over, finding another path. Guide it, and it will willingly take the path you offer”. Those words were written on a piece of ancient parchment Lucaj had once found in the library.
It was time to advance to the second level. Gathering the cár’áll of fire from the burning wood, Lucaj made a flame above his hand. “Now, that is the easy part”, he thought. “Now for the hard part...” While maintaining the tiny flame, he applied the Idea of Wind to the flame. The fire became transparent... And vanished, draining almost all of his mental energy. “Damn it! I still lack the necessary control. But I WILL make it”, he thought angrily, stirring his car’all even more, quickly losing control. He had to end the trance now... otherwise, he might be unable to return.
“Who am I?” Now, the question did not go into the depths of his mind. Instead, it “spread” itself over the room. He was so many things... the fire, the book, the candle... so many things connected with him. “No! I must focus... I am Lucaj Fari, lord of my own mind, soul and body!” The echoing answer rang clearly trough the room, sharpening his mind and giving him enough control to end the ritual. “What do I do?” The question encircled everything in connection with him, “highlighting” the bonds. “I return...return...return!” With a psychic snap, he was once again back, disconnected from the rest of the room, and his cár’áll still whole.
Heaving himself up from the floor, he paced along the room, the anger still present in his mind. “What is keeping me from advancing? Why does it always fizzle when I am about to accomplish the second level? I am in complete control all the way up, and then it just... FIZZLES!” The anger became too strong. He had to release it... now.
Swiftly striding up to his desk, Lucaj eyed his goal: A fine knife with a strangely carved hilt. The anger boiled through him, searing his soul and clouding his mind. In one swift motion, Lucaj grabbed the knife, slashing it across his bare hand. The sharp pain and the freshly drawn blood calmed him – the anger was released. Panting heavily, Lucaj sat down on his bed, the knife still in his hand, blood slowly dripping from the blade. Absentmindedly wiping the blood away with the sleeve of his robe, Lucaj recalled the first time he had done this. It was terrifying, and yet, it gave so much comfort... It did more good than bad, and the small injuries did not cause any major discomfort. It was, he reasoned, a good way of disposing his anger.
He kept thinking of recent events that needed “sorting” inside his mind, absently twirling the knife in his hand. Time passed, and the late afternoon soon turned into late evening. And as much as Lucaj desired to attempt the ritual again, he dared not. The last fiasco still hung heavily on him, and the mental energy lost in the fizzle was still not recovered. He would wait – haste would only bring more problems. But he wasn’t sleepy yet... being a nighttime person, Lucaj seldom went to sleep before the night was fully settled in.
“Ah well, might just make the best out of it.” Lucaj rose from the bed, and returned the knife back to the drawer. Grabbing a new candle as well as a scroll of empty parchment, he exited his room, heading for the great library.
Story written by Silfer Darkflare