“Master, I do not understand what you hope to achieve by such a spell. Surely for the amount of time and effort that you have afforded to such an endeavour a more potent effect could be reached. Perhaps if you altered the equation by changing the focus to a bit of barbed wire and extending the chant into a Calatynian drone…”
“Droning indeed… Essadr, You have yet again missed the point of the spell. You rely to heavily on raw power and not enough on guile. There are no shortage of idiots on Argyle with enough arcane capacity to throw a fireball. It takes far more of a mind to venture into the fifth or sixth circles of magic; a feat you will never master if you continue to rely completely by magic. If –”
“But master, surely it takes great command of arcana to –“
“Interrupt me again, Essadr, and you shall spend another week adorning my hall. You make a fine statue.
“I – yes master, sorry master.”
“As I was saying. If you wish to unlock the true strength of magic you must understand its weaknesses. The first, and most prevalent weakness of arcana is the wielder. There are nigh countless ways that a fool can get himself killed, or worse, if he does not understand the relationship between the craft and the master. I have seen casters of the fifth circle bested by casters of the second circle simply because they do not understand these concepts.
A tool is no more than that, a tool. No matter the quality of the tool, if it is used incorrectly it will not be effective. Magic is, perhaps, the most complex of all tools to which we mortals have access. We elves, being of ancient magical traditions are more apt to understand that magic and thus not use it incorrectly, however, that belief breeds arrogance.
Let us take this spell for example. You are correct, if I wanted a more potent effect I could alter my focus or style of chant, but that would drive up the amount of power that I require to cast. Such a thing would also drive up the complexity of the spell and thus destroy its entire purpose. So tell me Essadr, what is the purpose of this spell?”
Fox sat alone by the brazier in his room. The way station was slowly becoming silent as the caravan settled into rest for the evening. Fox knew he was not getting much sleep tonight. Fox felt a stronger connection to the heavens than he had ever felt before, yet there was no divine anger surging through him anymore. Fox’s will was now more his own than it had been since before joining the church of Damie. There was another power in his mind that he had never felt, yet it was familiar.
A knock came at Fox’s door, snapping him out of his meditation and causing him to instinctively grab for his bow. Fox calmed his mind, let go of his bow and walked to the door.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you…” Azaziel stood at the door with he hands clasped behind her back.
“No, it’s okay. I wanted to ask you a few questions actually. Come in?” Fox stood back, holding the door to his room open.
“Thank you,” Azaziel walked almost confidently into the room “What did you want to ask me?”
“You once spoke about former incarnations. You said that my soul was ancient. I wanted to ask you about the me’s of my past.”
“I will tell you what I know, but I wasn’t there for every one. There are many that I have missed, much time I spent without knowing you.” Azaziel’s eyes dropped for a moment and then came level with Fox again.
Fox hesitated a moment before speaking, “I have had glimpses of a man during my meditations. A man in black robes with hard eyes. I could feel a great secret and a great burden on his mind. He spoke to one named Essadr.” Fox closed his eyes and tried to capture more about the man in his vision.
“You are speaking of Evardus, he was a great magus who sacrificed his life to oppose the spies of Talib. It is doubtful the elven court would still be in tact if not for his sacrifices. Although this is not how he has been remembered in the annals of history; one more sacrifice I suppose.”
“Evardus? The same as Evard? The necromancer.”
A hint of pain went across Azaziel’s face, “You were no necromancer. You merely required people to believe you were in order to serve them. This was one of your greatest incarnations, and although I knew him, he never allowed me to love him.” Azaziel’s warrior demeanor seemed to melt in front of Fox. “I – I am sorry, I need to go.”
Fox stood dumb-founded as Azaziel left the room hastily without another glance.