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Enlightenment - Chapter IV

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Various pens and paper scatter the desk, and pitcher of water lies within arms reach. The comforting blanket of silence embraces the scribe as she continues to write.

Much like how two fonts can have vastly different looks yet use the same basic letters, magery and necromancy seem different at first glance yet have the same basic core.

Stop thinking like a scribe Mel! How about… She considers alternatives for a few minutes then give her head a little shake. Move on!

Magery is an ancient discipline that not only has been refined throughout the ages, but has also been in the public eye. So much so that learning the lower circles of magic has become a recurring fad amongst teenagers and young adults despite its relatively complex nature.

Typical spells are made with reagents, which can be obtained at any magic or alchemy shop, and mana, which is provided by one's own body. To assemble these materials into a spell requires the proper words of power to be spoken while making specific hand motions. Mana from throughout the body is focused according to the needs of the spell, which is most easily done when holding onto a mana focus, which is typically a spellbook.

Surprisingly, nothing is any different when it comes to necromancy.

Necromancy uses bat wing, grave dust, nox crystal, pig iron, and daemon's blood. Yes, daemon's blood. Necromancy reagents seem to originate from the animal world, unlike the reagents used in magery, such as mandrake root and garlic, which stem from the plant world.

Why do alchemists and mages share the same reagents, but use none of the necromancy regs? I'll ask Michael… maybe.

These five reagents form twenty-one necromancy spells while magery uses eight reagents to form sixty-four spells. Eight circles of eight. (note: Does necromancy have some similar magic number? Perhaps the craft hasn't be studied as extensively. Has the secretive nature of the necromancers stunted the growth and expansion of the craft as a whole? Or is this just one of the flourishes that distinguishes one from the other?)

The words of power used by each discipline are the same. They originate from the native language of Wind, the birthplace of magic. Oddly, there is no mention of necromancy in any documents or books associated with Wind. This language and no other can be used. Translations do not work.

Assuming the same applies to necromancy. Who can I ask to confirm this?

The reason why has never been answered. Many mages just leave the answer to a higher power. That it is the favored language of one god or another, and that specific god grants them access to spell casting. I disagree. Magic, magery specifically, is too precise. We know all the pieces and how they fit together. For the most part, anyone can perform it and reproduce nearly the same results. Not knowing why doesn't automatically mean the answer is a god. It just means the answer is yet to be found.

The hand motions vary in complexity and precision in both disciplines, with each very distinct. Necromancy requires harsh angles and lines, which tend to form triangular shapes, while magery requires much softer motions to form circular shapes. This clearly identifies the two as separate diciplines. One is not a sub-discipline of the other. There is no unifying theory of magic that ancient scholars theorized about.

Melfina sighs. No one theorizes about anything anymore. No one asks questions. It’s all about money and serving the lowest common denominator. The thought saddens her and she flips through the green covered spellbook. It's so disorganized. Is it because it hasn't been widely adopted and no one has felt a need to make it more accessible? Or is the disorganization a reason why it hasn't been widely adopted? People don't want to read through confusing instructions, but is that the only reason? Or is the disorder of the book a reflection of the disorder of the discipline?

Magery is naturally organized. Eight reagents, and eight circles of eight spells each. Each spell in any specific circle uses the same amount of mana, and has about the same level of complexity and precision required to the hand motions. The higher level of the circle, the more complex the hand motions and the greater precision required, as well as the more mana consumed, and typically on average the more reagents needed.

Necromancy has no such structure. The spells cannot be organized in any obvious way. One spell may require a high level of precision, but have a fairly simple hand motion. Another spell may be very complex, but require only a little mana. No two spells share the same two characteristics.

The exception to this rule is a class of spells called familiars, which are apparently a type of persistent summoning spell. The spells are identical in almost every way, including the reagents used, except for a small tweak at the end which requires varying levels of precision. These spells are unusual in another way. They require an extra ingredient which has no corollary in magery. They rely on the casters talent in spirit speaking. Each familiar requires a varying level of proficiency in this separate craft.

Melfina shivers. Sitting within arms reach of the necromancer's spellbook no longer bothers her, but spirit speaking still has it mystique. Necromancy had been banned within Luna since its founding. So has spirit speaking. Reasons were given but Melfina suspected that it boiled down to this association. Other places allowed the training and practice of this craft, most commonly used by healers, but Luna would not tolerate it. With the ban lifted from necromancy now, she supposed the ban from spirit speaking was lifted as well.

Why the dependence? Is it really part of the spell? Or is it any different than needing a wounded person to be able to heal? I wouldn’t be surprised if this book was wrong with a lot of things.

She shakes her head. Might have to look into spirit speaking now, and add a small section to the book. Melfina wasn't sure how she felt about that. She'd spent a lot of time thinking about the nature of magic, and has plenty of notes and an unfinished book on the subject, but a book on magic in general wouldn't immediately catch the interest of as many people. A book on Umbra or necromancy would.

Melfina tries to continue but thoughts of the nature of spirit speaking keep on invading her mind.

I can't write like this!

She's lost her writing momentum. Switching from words to pictures would organize her thoughts in a different manner, so she picks up a charcoal pencil and starts to sketch.

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