Section I: Spells
Section II: Blessings
Section III: Magical Appliances
“After years of studying old texts I am convinced that more than two millenia ago, there used to be a system of gateways on Gushémal that allowed a traveller to instantly jump across hundreds or thousands of miles to any place he desires. I cannot say who built this sytem, or even who operated it, but all indications agree that it did exist.
“Every major city had at least one such gateway, and all looked like oval mirrors about six feet high and three wide. They had a bejeweled rim of varying colors; perhaps representative of the nations where they were placed. By saying certain command words, a specific receiving gateway could be selected, and the rim began to glow as a sign that the gate was active. The traveller only had to step through the mirror, and he emerged at his destination at the very same instant.
“There are several legends that imply such a system of gateways. The writers clearly assumed that any reader would be familiar with the principle when their heroes leaped to the other side of the continent in moments, to join a battle or for some other purpose.
“I must admit that I have found no direct proof – but, after all, there are very few remains of that time. The centuries after the Elven Empires were destroyed are a dark age to us. Although from various later information we know that the races of Gushémal still flourished and repaired the damage of the Elven Flood, few if any documents have survived into our day. There are ruins, stone inscriptions, statues, yet thus far, no-one has been able to decipher the writing of those days, despite the best attempts by many of my colleagues.
“Since we lack direct evidence of those times, we have to consider the legends and fables that date back to that time. There are always kernels of truth within these legends, and they tell of realms and empires that were well versed in the arts of magic. (According to our best calculations, the tides of magic were at their climax two thousand years ago.)
“A number of the legends specifically mentions magical mirrors, although in varying circumstances. Mirrors appear to have been of great importance during that time, or else the memory would not have remained alive in the tales. Considered together with the instantaneous travel, I find it most likely that both come from the same source.
“Not least of all I base my conclusion on the fact that we do know of some mirrorgates in our present day. As far as we can tell, all of them are some two thousand years old. (There are two or three exceptions, but they work differently from the others and therefore can be excluded from this discussion.) All work by a specific series of command words and function as described above. Many more must have existed a long time ago, yet I suspect that the jewels in their rim were stolen and sold for their own value. The thieves surely hadn’t known that they rendered the mirrorgates inoperative – or that the value of a functional mirrorgate far exceeds that of the gemstones.
“Still, most of my colleagues believe that these mirrorgates work only as matched pairs, meaning that one mirror leads to only one other and can never be redirected towards another. If that were the case, my theory would obviously be false.
“Thanks to our great king, all the magical mirrorgates known to exist on Albinavia have been gathered at Mt. Chayán for me to experiment with. At first, my attempts to redirect a mirrorgate to another destination have all failed. I tried to use the command words from one matched pair on another – but they did not activate.
“Only a few days ago, though, I found the solution! One of the command words in each sequence defines the origin, meaning the gate from which to start. So, when I used the sequence from another gate, I tried to activate the other pair’s gateway. Upon my discovery I exchanged the words that define the origin – and established a gateway between the first pair’s origin mirror and the second pair’s exit mirror.
“Unfortunately I understand too little about these command words to extrapolate how to reach gates outside of Mt. Chayán. Even with the five pairs gathered here I cannot activate all of them.
“Nonetheless it is possible – and that means this possibility was intended by the creators of the mirrorgates!”