Magic stuff

Posted: March 10th, 2009 under Background, Contents.
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I went back to the scene that was giving me such trouble days ago and saw that what was missing was the other part of what they discussed (besides having the wrong number of dead people–hate it when that happens.   If A says there were six killed, and B says four, and both were there and neither lied…the writer has had a lapse between pages.   Which is better for the plot?  Pick one and stick through it in all subsequent scenes.)

And that was magic stuff.    A doesn’t know that B has magery of the old type.  B doesn’t know that A has some elven abilities and a whopping dose of taig-sense.   B doesn’t know what taig-sense is, and A only knows oldstyle magery by repute.    These are not the same but there are overlaps, and of course similar objectives…people want power so they can accomplish something with it, and those who have power (want it or not) must learn to use it to accomplish things.

What sorts of things might be attempted?   Communication of useful information, transportation (of self or an object),  transformation (from one type to another), and multiplication (from one to many)  are common objectives.     “Balance” and “healing” are others.

A, in this case, is half-elven.   Elven magery works via song–re-singing things into a new reality–and thus enchantment and illusion, but it can also draw on the taig.   Taig-sense allows those with it to sense the health or sickness of the web of living things.  Those with little may be able to tell if a plant or animal is getting sick before it shows any outward sign (such as sensing the first cancer cell, though they know nothing about cells in that world.)   Those with great taig-sense can perceive the taig across great distances, and detect areas of weakness or sickness….and taig-sense is the first requirement for healing the taig.

B is of old magelord stock, and has the full range (or nearly) of magelord abilities.    Magelords use a different method or system to reach the same (nearly) results as elves.    Just as one person may drive a car powered by gasoline,  and someone else may drive a hybrid,  and someone else a car powered by electricity (or anything else)…but they all want to drive from Smithville to Jonestown….so the methods differe in magic but the aims are often the same.   The consequences of using different methods, though–the cost to the mage or elf,  not only in amount but in kind–are different, as are the “side effects” to the rest of the world.

The great change that Paks set in motion (without realizing it of course) in her story will propagate through magic systems as well as politics, economics, religion…everything.  The balance of magic systems will be shifted (and I don’t yet know for sure in what direction.)

Today,  A and B, by discovering each other, and starting to talk about themselves, their magic, and how they do it, are moving closer to the  edge.

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