by Patrick Coughlin
The Magician’s Way
Isberian was born with two kinds of magic inside of her. From her father, Aldo the Awesome, she inherited the Small Magic, which is the lightest of all kinds of magic, the magic of illusion. From her mother Amalia, she got the most potent and rare of all magic, and that is the Healing Magic.
Isberian didn’t know it, but Amalia had forbidden Aldo, the more active of the two parents, to encourage Isberian in the development of the healing magic within her, and even to forestall it’s discovery. Amalia was made a prisoner because of her healing magic, and as she knew her jailor, King Caster, would have covetous eyes on little Isberian to see if she too had a deeper magic than Aldo The Awesome’s illusions. Magic he would imprison her for so as to have it all his own.
And so it was, Isberian was raised as a small magician, in the world of entertainment and storytelling, and she was a most capable assistant and pride and joy to Aldo The Awesome. She became an actor of deep and varied nuance, and performed so convincingly as Aldo weaved his story and philosophy based “Magic Tricks”, becoming any and all characters featured, using her own small magic to enhance the illusions, that she became a star in her own right, and Aldo and Isberian, the Father and Daughter magician team, came to be in high demand, and commanding of the highest prices, in many cities.
As Isberian grew into a young woman, men and boys old enough to looked on her with covetous ardor. It was not something Isberian liked, and she sometimes was afraid of them, though Aldo was ever there to protect her, and so she took to dressing and keeping her hair like a boy, using her small magic to complete the illusion. By this practice, and by the way she used her small magic on the stage, Isberian became quite adept at changing her form and face and voice. It was her specialty.
So-called Small Magic can be developed by the insightful and masterful in nature to achieve depths as great as any Wizard or Sorceress of the higher or nobler magics. All with wisdom know this to be true, but the scarcity of such practitioners, coupled with simple prejudice, are what made the majority of magicians of the Hidden Cities to be scornful of all “Small Magicians”. Aldo and Isberian were, in fact, two of the greatest magicians to ever live, small or otherwise, such was their mastery of their own inner fires. Of course at this time, young Isberian was still just starting on the path to this destiny, and it is our privilege to go along with her.
For Aldo had filled her head always with the way of the magician, and that way had a fundamental feature, that of striking out on your own. She waited until the last night of the summer visit to Mother Amalia at
King Caster’s castle to do so, taking only her own fast little horse, and leaving a note for her loving parents. She did not want to leave Aldo, but she knew he had come to expect it, and accept it. She was used to leaving Amalia, and felt that she knew only that she would see them both again someday.
Her heartmind had always been stirred by talk of The World Mountain and that was the direction she traveled, to find her wondrous way in the world.