“The Four Magi”
Maratom Foronwyn, Keeper of Legends
Written 873 AE
To ye peoples of the hearth, I present a legend of the land, taken from the mouths of men and set on page, that ye may heed its words.
Upon the fourth night of Winterkiss, a lord of the land was visited by four Magi. After they presented themselves as the four traveling Magi of south, he bade them welcome to his castle. At his dinner, when all had ate their fill, he said to them, “Tell me the nature of magic, and in words a mortal can know, for I do seek to have a knowledge of the great mystery that surrounds us”. And the first mage, garbed in a robe of woven white, spoke. “Magic is like the wind, my King. It surrounds us, and though we cannot see it, it can be felt, and can be as delicate as a spring breeze on a leaf, or as terrible as a tempest on the plain.” And the second mage, garbed in solid robes of deep dusk, spoke. “Nay, brother, it is like the earth, in that it is the foundation of Aryth, and from what all things spring. As a man does shape the earth, so is he born from it, and so does he end in it.” And the third mage, garbed in robes of shimmering crimson, spoke. “Well-spoken, but in a shadow of imperceptions. Magic is as the fires that burn in this hearth, the source of the warmth and the life. It dances around us, but for a man, to touch it would be no easier than for him to catch a flame in his hand.”Â And the fourth mage, garbed in flowing robes of blue, rose and said, “What ye have said may be right to thee, but I hold the truth. Magic is like the waters and oceans of the world, flowing under us, and picking us up in its currents. And as a man puts his fingers in water, and the water flows around it, so does a mage put his fingers in magic, and shapes it to his liking.”
And at this they began to bicker amongst themselves, until the king took anger at them and said,“Silence, ye workers of the world! Ye have come into my hearth, and have unsettled the peace of my keep. For ye are all right; magic is the wind of the world, flowing from castle to farmhouse without any paying it heed. Magic is the earth of the world, tilled by peasants who know not what they do. Magic is the fire of the world, into whom many have thrust in their hand, and burned another. Magic is the waters of the world, holding the souls of the countless who have delved too deep and drowned in its depths. What fools are ye, to think ye hold the truth, when only by seeing all sides of the gem can one hold it in one’s hand.”
And with that, he leapt from his seat and cast a spell that held them in their chairs, where they sit to this day.
Footnotes & Sidenotes - This is presented as, and was written as a legend rather than a true description of magic. While its true intent is to illustrate the folly of pride and quarrel, it does a decent job of outlining the feel of magic in the world. Also, as a note, “Workers of the World” is simply an old-world name for Magi and Wizards.