Once an author creates a fantasy world, she must also create the rules and laws that govern how it works. In an earlier post I wrote about the Magic of Magiskeep. Magic Rivers This sets up the basics of "Magic 101" in the Saga.
But what about the rules within the Seven Arts?
The first is actually the Rule and Vow of Magic taught to all young Prentices from the start. It is a consequence of Wizardchase, the ancient times when Magicians overused the Magic in the world of Turan, creating the rift between the world of mortal men and the world of sorcery that led to the creation of the Rim. "Magic is the Power, none other need be sought, if deeds for any other need be done, then deeds have best be deeds undone." Once he has Magic, the Magician needs no other power over the world, and especially over other men. It is not the Sorcerer's right to try to conquer and dominate the world with his Magic. Magic is all the power he needs. If he thinks he has need of more power, and decides to do something to gain it, he is in the wrong and those acts are better left undone.
Magicians who use their power to manipulate others for their own gain, are treading the path of immorality in Magiskeep's world. However, human nature is difficult to overcome. Time and time again in the Saga, Sorcerers will work on their own desires rather than for the good of the rest of the world. Usually, they must pay the consequences when they do, but power is an easily corrupting force. Lord Acton said best and he was right. Power is a strong temptation and a person who has it often finds it hard not to use it for his own gain.
This is one of the temptations Jamus faces over and over. Turan's Way seems to have destined him to become one the most powerful Magicians who ever lived--the Rivermaster. His struggle against the lure of that destiny and all the challenges it brings is an essential driving force in the Saga.
Illustration by David Melanson
What would you do if you could have anything you wanted with just a wave of your hand? What if you held the power of life and death on your fingertips? Could you contain your rage against your enemies? What would your world be like if you never had any difficulties to overcome? What if every passion, every desire could be fulfilled in a breath? What if you never had to "wait for Christmas" any more?
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great mean are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority." Lord Acton
Is it possible to be a good man with absolute power? That is certainly the goal of Magiskeep's principles. But it's never easy in a world that demands justice.
As far as Magic goes. this is one of the questions the Saga poses. It's worth thinking about.
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