Section I: Spells
Section II: Blessings
Section III: Magical Appliances
“’It’s a dangerous world out there,’ Master Wizard Gerauld told his class some twenty years ago. I was one of his students, a young lad of fifteen summers, sitting in the back row of the oval auditorium, fiddling with my notes at the beginning of the lecture. ‘You may think differently. I doubt you have seen any fighting in your lives, and with any luck that won’t change any time soon. The walls of our college protect you, and outside the college you have relied on the police forces of our great Cayaboré. Perhaps in your adult lives you will stay in Hallowton, perhaps you will live in one of the other cities and enjoy the peaceful womb of our kingdom.
“’But then you would hardly be true wizards, now would you?’
“The last words boomed with sudden loudness through the hall, and I dropped my notes in sudden shock, staring at the master wizard with alarm. Gerauld was a small man, well into the autumn of his life. His shoulders stooped forward, as if the weight of the thick white curls of his hair pushed them down. Now, though, his eyes flared intensely, and his frame seemed to rear up all of a sudden.
“’A true wizard doesn’t fritter away his life in a drafty study, reading old texts like a frail cleric. A true wizard is a force of nature, and nature must not be contained – it must be lived.’ He paused for a moment, taking the time to glance at each of his students. I felt like dropping my eyes when his gaze fell on me. The life I had imagined was exactly what he cautioned against; I wanted to calmly, peacefully experiment with magic. Why would I have wanted to leave Hallowton? I was born here, had spent all my life in this town – except for one summer at my uncle’s in Kerrigan. Whatever I might desire, it could be found in Hallowton.
“Gerauld went on, ‘You will have to travel the land in order to fully understand the meaning of wizardry. What you learn here in the college are the mere basics – a skeleton, no more. It’s out there that you find the flesh to put on the bones, the muscles and the skin that make for the complete body. Learn about the land, learn about the people – learn how your magic relates to them. Only then can you become true wizards.
“’Alas,’ he sighed, stooping over a little more, ‘it is dangerous. A wizard ought to know how to defend himself. With better than a dagger or a sword.’ Gerauld raised his right hand to the height of his breast, spread the fingers. Something was forming before the palm of his hand, not quite visible, more like a blue mist.
“Suddenly it turned to flame, a writhing ball of fire that burned within Gerauld’s hand – yet did not harm the master wizard. A smile spread on his face as he saw our bafflement. ‘This,’ he said and raised the ball of fire, ‘is the first and best defense you need to master. With experience you can send it to a target as far as half a mile away from you. The ball will fly in a straight line, and there is little that can stop it during its flight. As for what it will do to its target…’
“He opened his hand suddenly, letting the fireball go. It rushed through the room, barely missing the tops of our heads. We whirled about to see the ball hit a man-sized puppet at the back of our auditorium. I had always wondered why it was there.
“Now I found out. The ball seemed to splash over its head, like a fiery liquid that drenched the puppet and set it ablaze. The fire burned for only a few moments, but when it vanished, the upper half of the puppet had crumpled into a black, unrecognizable mass, an odd stump on the undamaged legs.
“’That should do for most of your enemies,’ Gerauld said in a low voice. He might have whispered; in the silence of the auditorium, we would have understood every word. ‘Of course you can hit only one target at a time, and in your early years I doubt you will be able to conjure up more than one fireball during a fight. Nonetheless I trust that you understand the importance of learning this spell.’
“Indeed we did.”