A Treatise on the Shape of Magick

All correspondence to: 

Adjunct Lecturer
Shimming Dew On A Crisp Spring Morning B. Magick, M. Phenomenology of Magick
The Lady’s College, Silverymoon

The dearth of substantive scholarly work upon the nature and shape of magick is a discredit to the realm. Even august institutions like Candlekeep or The Lady’s College are seemingly satisfied with mere incantation and memorisation. We harness magickal forces to tear apart the land without the slightest theoretical underpinning. Even speculation about the nature of things seems to be left to the cranks and eccentrics, like Chromophage and the charlatans of The New Archives.

Do we not care about the forces we unleash? If we cannot understand the nature of magick, we are little better than the raven who learns a trick and repeats it. We must learn the true nature of magickal energies to properly harness them.

In the pages of this very publication last month, the editors saw fit to publish the phrenological ravings of a so-called Professor Alexander Lightfoot. The idea that we can learn about magick from such butchery is absurd. Without a solid epistemological foundation, there is nothing to be learned from slicing open the brain of a noble creature like the platypus bear.

Instead, we must perform the hard, theoretical work to deduce the nature of magick from only what we know for certain and the deductions which can be made therefrom. We cannot simply leap straight from presumption, like your correspondent did several years ago with Web Theory. The hard work of Magickology is to put aside one’s curiosity and speculation, and begin with epistemological deduction. Only with this basis can one proceed to phenomenological observation.

What do we know for sure?

I exist, because I think. But I cannot know for sure that I am as I appear. My eyes may be playing tricks on me. A dangerous magician may have placed an illusion in front of my eyes.

So I know I exist, in some form. I may not be a gnome, my beard may not be so fashionably forked, but I do exist. There is an I.

I know that Garl Glittergold exists. If he did not, then without my creator I could not exist. The being who created me must be good, otherwise I would be gnarled and twisted like a Kobold. So I know that Garl Glittergold exists and is good.

Because Garl Glittergold exists and is good, he would not allow me to be deluded by a dangerous magician. Therefore the world exists as I see it.

I see many creatures using magick, and some magick in the world around me as well. Magick exists. But the magick of creatures is more powerful than objects, and the most powerfully magickal places are the deep woods.

What do the creatures and magickal places of the world share? Despite Professor Alexander Lightfoot’s phrenological rantings in your last issue, there are no so-called midichlorians in the brains of the venerable trees. Such an idea is absurd. No, what all magickal things share is water.

The ink of a spellbook is dried water. The blood of a dragon contains water. The trees of the deep woods suck up more water than those of the younger, less magickally potent ones. Water is the resting form of magickal energy.

The unscrupulous scholars of the Axiomatic Zone have proven that humans need water to live. This is because humans, as the most unusual of the races, are the most magickal. Without the stores of raw magick contained within the water they drink, no human could maintain such an unnaturally huge bulk and strength.

The flow of magick is what allows the flow of water. In the high mountains, water freezes solid. This is clearly because there is a dialectic at work. Magick is in water, but not water alone.

The deep places within the ground are also full of magick. The cavernous nest of a dragon, or the deep gem mines. Because magick comes from the interaction between water and the earth beneath our feet. It is a power which dialectically binds together and draws its strength from both the water and the earth.

So magick comes in the connection between the earth and water. Is it any surprise then, that the elves and gnomes are the greatest wizards? That they choose wooden staves and wands to harness such magick? The trees they surround themselves with are the purest form of conduit between the earth and water. They are the natural form of magick, proliferating from mere seeds to the most venerable, gnarled oaks.

This is why trees are also the natural enemies of dragons. By exploiting the magick within their blood to burn down forests and plants, dragons are a balancing corrective to prevent an overabundance of magick. I am hopeful that once we expand our knowledge of magick, these graceful creatures can be confined and then we can use the power of magick to build a world beyond our understanding.

– Shimming Dew On A Crisp Spring Morning B. Magick, M. Phenomenology of Magick