Date: 2013-03-23 10:28 pm (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (0)
From: [personal profile] pythbox
It goes on in that vein for a while, providing tantalizing hints of the effects a wizard can accomplish paired with tempting descriptions of the qualities that imply talent.

The promised next chapter switches to a new topic: 'History, Philosophy, and the Wizards' Oath'.

The chapter opens with a creation myth, delivered in a straightforward, matter-of-fact style that casually drops phrases like 'when life brought itself about'. Apparently, around the time of this event, life also brought about some gods - 'Powers' - to help it invent practical things like light and gravity. None of these beings are named specifically in the myth save one, the 'Lone Power' or 'Lone One', whose contribution to the exercise was unique and unwelcome: death.

The business of wizards, it seems, is to mitigate the effects of that inclusion as much as possible. To slow down entropy by conserving, preserving, and serving all the forms of life.

The manual goes on to finally reveal the mechanism of wizardry: a language called 'the Speech', apparently magical, which can be used to communicate with any living or nonliving entity and can describe reality with such precision that the description changes the thing described.

It's rather baldly pessimistic in its outlook: death cannot be conquered, entropy cannot be reversed. But these things can be fought. That is a wizard's job.

'No one should take the Wizards' Oath who is not committed to making wizardry a lifelong pursuit,' it cautions, although it goes on to add that there is no penalty for abandoning it later and that, since 'magic cannot live in the unwilling heart', those who find the Art too heavy a burden will have no trouble setting it down.

A final warning: 'Should you decide to go ahead and take the Oath,' it says, 'an ordeal of sorts will follow, a test of aptitude. If you pass, wizardry will ensue...'

There is no mention of what happens if you fail. After the ellipsis, the page is blank, and centred alone and undecorated on the facing page is the text of the Wizards' Oath itself.
In Life's name, and for Life's sake, I say that I will use the Art for nothing but the service of that Life. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, is threatened or threatens another. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so—till Universe's end.
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Campbell Mark Swan ҂ "Cam"

August 2013

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