Journey to the South: Twenty-Seven of Thirty

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Fiction
Tags: ,

     I must admit that during our first few days at sea, I was a bit perturbed by the thought that the Tainir were regularly using magic around us. Those of my audience of readers who are Kravri will surely understand my apprehension to this notion, but others of the Moy – or even of the Hundred Kingdoms, should this work spread through those foreign lands – may be less certain.

    When Jarutu Nohn Kriiv first united the Great Clans of the Kravri under the rule of the Monarchy, he instituted a set of laws that all of the Seven Clans could agree upon, and these were called the Seven Tables of Law. Ever since the time of Jarutu Nohn Kriiv, the Seven Tables have been the locus of Kravri law, justice, and governance, and one of the fundamental laws has been the Edict Against Magic.

    Legends say that in the ancient days, rogue magicians would terrorize the world and its peoples. The Seven Great Clans each developed their own set of laws establishing the lawful and unlawful use of magic, which generally revolved around involvement in the Priesthoods of the Kritanoi: priests and priestesses – individuals who had been rigorously trained in their art and ethics, individuals who had acquired enormous discipline of mind – were allowed to use the blessings of the Kritanoi that were revealed to their respective orders. But anyone who was not clergy was considered an enemy of the state and was to either be forced into one of the Priesthoods or executed. This general view of the use of magic made its way into the Seven Tables of Law under Jarutu Nohn Kriiv and had been a core part of Kravri law ever since.

    And so, to be surrounded by individuals who were not priests or priestesses but used magic casually and constantly, upset a part of myself on a deep level. But, as the days passed and I saw the Tainir crew using their magics not just casually, but masterfully and responsibly, my apprehensions began to dissipate. Like many in the Moy, I had assumed that in order for magic to be used rightly and properly, it had to be under the auspices of one of the Kritanoi. Otherwise, the use led to narcissism, megalomania, and a callous disregard for other beings.

    The Tainir proved this not to be wholly true.

    Perhaps it is a difference between Men and Tainir? Chejir and Akar both explained to me during the voyage that the Tainir develop and mature as children with the ability to work magic – some are more skilled and capable than others, some are specialists by choice or fate while others seek to become generalists – perhaps it is the pervasive, constant exposure to it that tempers the minds and souls of the Tainir? Perhaps Men are just incapable of using that much power without losing all sense of decency and good judgment in the absence of an external structure to enforce ethical behavior?

    I fear that only the Kritanoi only have an inkling of what the correct answer is to such questions.

    But, I must say that the experience aboard the Dancer of the Winds cemented in my mind to write a letter to the Moynama regarding this particular point of law and theology. There would have to be some reasonable way for the Tainir – and those others not of the Moy who perhaps used magic responsibly, but with less strict regulations – to not fear for their lives when traveling through our lands, simply because they performed an action that was as natural to them as breathing the air is to us.

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