On the Discovery of Magic

On the Discovery of Magic

from Parkstone’s The History of Damensea

When the world was young and men were few and creatures of magic lived amongst them instead of beyond the Walle, an exceedingly inquisitive girl named Rhiannon lived in the ancient kingdom of Lystra, which is no more. Consumed by curiosity about magic, Rhiannon asked everyone in her small village why humans possessed none, but when no one could answer, she left on a quest to unearth the reason.

Since a griffin aerie was near her village and griffins were renown for inspiring truth, Rhiannon first visited these puissant warriors of earth and sky. The griffins treated the inquisitive girl with great kindness, but their beaks could not form human words and Rhiannon had no magic to understand them, so when she asked her question, she could not comprehend their answer. Greatly disappointed, Rhiannon decided she must find creatures of magic who could speak, so she left the griffin aerie with fond tears.

Journeying to the east for many months over the D’vark Mountains and across the Black Desert, Rhiannon visited a clan of wood elves in the Salstra Rainforest. Since elves were renown for their wisdom, Rhiannon expected her visit with these brilliant sages to bear fruit. However, the elves were disdainful of the inquisitive girl and merely smirked when she asked her question. Undaunted by their rudeness, Rhiannon continued to pester the elves until they were forced to expel her from their forest.

As Rhiannon skulked through the trees, a glittering sprite hailed her. Rhiannon warily returned the tiny creature’s greeting since sprites were renown for their malicious humor, but the sprite merely suggested the inquisitive girl petition her Goddess for an answer and even told her the Goddess’s true name so the deity would be obliged to appear.

Inspired by the sprite’s advice, Rhiannon undertook the long journey home and visited the Goddess’s grand temple in Oress, Lystra’s capital. Sneaking into the temple during the night, Rhiannon laid a wreathe of wildflowers on the altar and prayed to the Goddess for an answer to her question.

Appearing in a puff of rainbow smoke above the altar, the Goddess frowned at the inquisitive girl. “Thou art no priestess of mine. How didst thou learn my true name?”

“A sprite told me, Goddess.” When the Goddess heaved a vexed sigh, Rhiannon humbly bent her head. “Canst thou answer my question?”

The Goddess sighed but merely replied, “Because, unlike creatures of magic, humans dost not generate the necessary energy.”

Somewhat confused by the Goddess’s words, Rhiannon beseechingly gazed up at her. “Couldst thou teach a human to use magic regardless?”

The Goddess shrugged. “Yes, but at great cost to the human. The magic takest anything to obtain the necessary energy.”

Heedless of the Goddess’s warning, Rhiannon prostrated herself before the altar. “Please teach me, oh mighty goddess.”

“No.” The Goddess vanished, leaving behind the wreathe of wildflowers.

Still determined to learn about magic, Rhiannon returned the next night with a sheaf of wheat and a comb of honey, but the Goddess refused to teach her again, so she returned the third night with a lark in a wicker cage.

As the lark sang a sweet melody, the Goddess frowned at the inquisitive girl. “Thou shalt never quit, shalt thou?”

Rhiannon bent her head. “Not until I learn magic, mighty goddess.”

The Goddess sighed. “Very well, thou foolish child. I shalt teach thee in return for thy knowledge of my true name.”

Rhiannon beamed joyfully. “Gladly, Goddess.”

The Goddess touched Rhiannon’s forehead with a glowing finger, causing a rush of knowledge to flood the girl’s mind.

Her head exploding, Rhiannon gave a strangled shriek and crumpled into a faint.

The following morning, a group of novice priests discovered the unconscious girl pallid and near death on the temple floor, and they carefully nursed her back to life.

When Rhiannon finally awoke, she attempted to pierce the inky blackness before her eyes but could not. Realizing the magic had taken her sight, Rhiannon finally understood the Goddess’s warning.

Becoming resigned to her blindness in time, Rhiannon opened the first witch school and taught her students some of what she had learned from the Goddess. Rhiannon’s school spawned many others and lasted until Oress was destroyed during the Stone Wars.

However, some of what Rhiannon had learned was too complex or dangerous to teach to the early witches, so she wrote those spells in a grimoire then concealed it with a powerful spell. The Amun Prophecy foretells the Lost Grimoire shall return during man’s greatest need to save all mankind.

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