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  • Louis Sauvain

Cast the Spell








Asullus Anguli XIII ... Asullus’ Corner


Cast the Spell


So, Asullus here once again, along wi’ trusty an’ sweet Morphia, the Spritae, still actin’ as our scribe, fer all ye oldsters an’ wee ones alike as ha’ been writin’ wi’ yer requests an’ demands — some more polite than others — to be informed o’ the most serious an’ needful questions o’ our time an’ tryin’ to bring answers to the queries such as those as reach the Tower o’ the North.



Well, lasses an’ lads, welcome all, an’ we be here today, at the request o’ Lovejoy Caecus. Now some o’ ye’ll recall a Master o’ the same name, since passed, at the College back in the day. He was a sturdy sort, he was, but clearly favored the Senior Class at the school durin’ the year young Master Thaddeus was at first-session. There was always a mystery as to the why an’ wherefore o’ his bias which, methinks, I’ll be gettin’ to in the next one or two o’ this here series. But otherwise, our inquirer, here, bears no relation to that Master o’ which I knows. Or maybe so…


In any case, our correspondent Lovejoy ha’ asked some very pertinent questions as regards the how o’ how Sorcery is actually performed. ‘Tis a good query, I’m thinkin’ an’ so, let’s go off down that path an’ see (apt word choice here as it turns out) where it’ll all lead.


Now those o’ ye who ha’ had a chance to go through the 1st scroll in our series may recall young Thaddeus askin’ me the verra same question as to how it’s all done. An’ hereso was me reply…

“I swear, do they no’ teach the young anything at all these days? Ye must concentrate an’ use Sorcerous words, laddie, when ye performs Sorcerous acts. Sometimes it needs a Sorcerous gesture or a Sorcerous object, too, an’ sometimes no’, dependin’ on what it is ye be doin’--one’s natural strengths an’ skills, the difficulty o’ what ye be tryin’ to accomplish an’ so on…”


Well, that’d be the gist o’ it. Ye first needs to meet all o’ the requirements o’ being one o’ ye Sorcerers or Sorceresses—hmm, ye may recall how Master Anders pointed out on one or two occasions, how that’s a hard to say word—which include in yer basic nutshell: inborn talent, will to succeed, an’ loving experience.


Plus it ne’er hurt matters to be a bit bright an’ turned toward the character o’ wantin’ to help folks out wi’ this an’ that problem.


Now the language to be used when one o’ ye might be practicin’ Sorcery is the Lingua Imperatoria. But here, this old mule ha’ to chuckle as the argument is, to which Empire does the Lingua refer? Ye need be no profound student o’ History to know that there were/are Empires in both the Eastlands an’ the Westlands—though the latter was out o’ sorts fer a few centuries till our Thaddeus’ lad came along an’ made it all right.


But in any case, the one Empire is wont to say ‘twas their Language as became necessary to speak the spells, whilst the other Empire is goin’ to say the exact same thing. I’m thinking this is a good deal like those who say that Sorcery arose on account o’ the Lady an’ those who say ‘twas actually the work o’ the Daemon. I guess ‘tis one o’ those ye pays ye money an’ ye takes yer choices.


Well, in anyways, ye must be able to speak the right word an’ or phrase an’ oft times, ‘tis connected wi’ a gesture. So ye must learn these as well, an’ that be no easy task. As Master Anders ha’ said many times an’ on many occasions, ‘tis no’, um, ‘intuitive’—yes, that be the word. That means ye must learn each spell an’ each gesture that goes wi’ it, if it do, one by one. Tedious, that must be.


An then to top all the matters off, ye sometime must ha’ ye an object at some time. Master Liber o’ the Department o’ Alchemy ‘n’ such at the College says these objects work as—oh, here’s another word--um, ‘catalyst’, yes that’s it. It’s when you need something to make a go o’ what yer doin’, but it takes no direct part in the creatin’ itself. So it’s still good after ye ha’ cast yer spell, so ye can use it again.


But I must tell ye I ha’ heard it said that from time to time one o’ these objects ha’ been used up an’ consumed in the spell-casting process. So ye must choose here what to believe. I, meself, will reserve judgement till I knows more directly.


Now we at last comes to the second part o’ Lovejoy Caecus’ question. Are only those who can speak the spells the ones who can become Sorcerers? Or, what about those that nary see so well? Or those as canno’ be wavin’ an arm in a gesture because the Lady, fer some reason, did no’ chose to give them an arm, or, perhaps, they might o’ had both arms an’ legs goin’ into a war, but no’ comin’ out wi’ em?


Or how aboot those as can say the spells an’ make the gestures but be no’ so gifted wi’ the ability to be readin’ an’ learnin’ all the ins an’ outs as do the next one down the line?


The answer to this do seem harsh to this old mule—‘tis no’ the same fer e’ery bein’. An’ I ha’ witnessed this meself. I recalls the time at the College when one o’ the Professors—Master Plaga, it was, I’m thinkin’—a perfectly good Sorcerer doin’ his best an’ all, one day fell down, an’ could no’ speak nor move his left side. An’ he ha’ ne’er had that sort o’ problem before.


Master Celsius was called but said the old Master might ve’y well regain his speech an’ movement an’ to give it some time. So, all did an’ much did return to him, but he ha’ no’ regained e’ery bit. So, he could speak, but ‘twas no’ so clear an’ try hard as he might, he could no’ get the spell-castin’ back to work.


It was at that point that Master Celsius stepped back in an healed the old man complete-like, an’ he was good an’ all recove’ed, but he died the followin’ Spring—whether ‘cause o’ what happened or what was done fer him, none can say.


An’ then what aboot those as come to the College sorely wantin’ to be Sorcerers but lackin’ one o’ the key posted ingredients. ‘Tis then I ha’ heard that such were nearly always to be turned away. ‘Twas explained that the Master Sorcerers—me own Master, Silvestrus, bein’ a prime example—do, themselves, go scour the countryside hither an’ yon, lookin’ fer likely prospects. An’ ‘tis the Masters, then, who gets to choose whose to be in an’ who no’ so much.


The reason gi’en fer that, I’ve heard it said, is that they canno’ take too many an’ so must turn away those as exceed their positions available. So it seems, somehow, these Masters do be relyin’ on their Sorcerous instinct to tell ‘em which lasses an’ lads are deservin’ o’ an invitation an’ which no’ so much. How they know to do this, I ha’ no idea unless, perhaps, it was something as was somehow told to them by the Lady.


Now that Cinnian scalawag, Tai-Pawn, current Emperor o’ the Eastlands, ha’ said the process be different in his neck o’ the woods, wi’ people ha’in’ to be sponsored or proposed wi’ scrolls an’ testimonials from the well-knowns an’ such to back them up. Well, to each his or her own.


One caveat here I should take the time to mention, be that I ha’ heard Master Silvestrus, on occasion, on his recruitin’ trips—often takin’ wi’ him his brave an’ trustworthy mule, that’d be meself—would come across one o’ the lads or lasses who would not usually be picked on account o’ this or that impediment situation, an’ if the Master thought they were well worthy, he’d speak some words as to resolve whatever the impediment might be.


Now, I ha’ no idea as to whether others o’ the recruitin’ parties might do the same, but ‘tis sure me own Master did that.


Well, that’s as much as this old Mule knows, so it’s time to stop an’ gi’ our Sweet Morphia’s wrist a rest, until next time.


Fare-thee-well.


Asullus

Mule-in-Residence

The Great North Tower, Northfast



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