The Stones of Arcory Chapter Twenty Seven
The Paradox of A Wizard’s Obligations

She raised an eyebrow.

“No, there’s nothing to concern you,” I assured her with a smile. “All the missive suggested was I am now free to stay and get to know what wizards you and your brother have become.”

Although, I decided, it was probably best I made my leave before Trona arrived. I would have a few days. Knowing her, she would come on gryphonback. Gryphons were indeed far faster than horses, but still slower than dragonship, and these islands were near half a thousand leagues from Council. It would be near a cycle before Trona reached Little Albanic. That was if she did not find herself diverted.

So, I allowed myself a few days to renew my relations with two of my most honored former apprentices. And learn more about what had become of their bright new towers on this sliver of ancient and magical Albanic.

The Riven War produced many paradoxes amongst even our most studies colleges of magick. Although it had been fought and finally won and at great cost, there were great riches, new knowledge and powers which came out of the many battles and innovations that were required to defeat both Celestial and Infernal. It also brought about much change in the way magic was wielded and how magical power was to be contained and controlled; whether by our own Council and its Tenets or the Lords of the Southern Empire, both in new powers and the new breed who would wield it.

As a consequences of our choices, magic has become both more widely spread and common people more accepting and less fearful of it, but our sanctioned wizards still are limited by what powers they are allowed to wield and how, by either restrictive knowledge or enchanted geas. Of course, this creates friction, as power attracts all sorts of beings, many mere man, some not so common. Hence the standard of wizards setting their towers in both places poorly accessible and centers of arcane energy. Best for our kind if they be the same place.

Traveling spell-casters are most uncommon in this age, and sanction for such status is frowned on by council. Like wizards of old, the rootless are not so easily controlled, not so easily counseled against overusing their powers, acting against balance, as they will, so it is said. Such behavior, by its nature, is hard on the sanctioned, entowered wizard, all the better for Council rule. Balance is a hard but necessary master.

To ensure wizards remained entowered, restrictions and geas were judged an acceptable compromise, and to which Council and the kingdoms agreed to be bound. I have my doubts, but no better solution has come to my mind, even decades since we chose this path.

I too, apprenticed long before the Collegiate was created, have bound as well, although to a lesser degree. I had now been freed of my obligations, not of course to travel the land wrecking the balance with whatever power I had left, but for the time being free of duty to council, even if just for a few cycles. Someone at Council had made an error in the language of the missive. Likely Drake, or one of his allies eager to push me into irrelevance, or begin proceedings to ease me into hermitage. Too eager. Yet of course, not wanting to seem such.

Arcory often stated knowledge is not wisdom; wisdom can never be rushed.

“Master?” Tess asked again. She had an odd look to her curious smile. She must have wondered why I wore such a foolish grin on my face.

“It’s simply a beautiful day,” I told her. Yes, I could stay and reminisce with her and Drey. Then I could spend the next few cycles seeking the margrave. I might even be able to glean what I could about what he knew about the loss of his march’s Arcory Stones.

I turned to look down from the tower, towards the white beaches and darker shoals which were home to the numerous wrecked skeletons of vessels whose captains had wrongly believed they would be welcomed here.




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