Var'Ak, on the existence of magic

Posted on June 20, 2020 by Joachim Desroches

"All ideas are unique, and as such, so are we: as individuals, we are of but separate from the ideas that accreted into our races. I remain a Dragon, born to power and comfort, and I enjoy possessions as much as I do not mind cruelty. But a life of scholarship and study has led me to honesty towards myself, and accept for what they are my motivations. Therefore, it is fully conscious of why I have found it necessary to pursue the following topic that I present here my research on those who have the most potential to destroy me: the Raws.

Reader, if you stumble upon the obscure writings of the recluse old drake that I have become, I will assume you are a fellow scholar and familiar with the Song of Beginnings. If you are not, seek it: until you are, you will find this work to be of little use. Amongst humankind’s First Bloods, there was much diversity amongst individuals, and all were not equal, as they have emerged from the less organized thoughts. The most wild, the most untamed, the most primal, were gifted with magical powers. Called the Raw, I hypothesize that there ability to manipulate magic, which I have from sufficient serious sources not to question, comes from their existence striking a balance between matter, mind and heart. Show a running river to a dwarf, and he will think of a mill and torque. Show the same river to an elf, and he will compose a poem, all the while losing himself in thoughts on the causality of flows. Only a human will see a spirit to be prayed and respected, and thus gain mastery over the waters. It is said that Raws are distinguishable from other humans by a constant spark of light their eyes hold, a glint not obeying the physical laws of reflection. “Candle light in eye awry goes bright” is evoked as the justification for several hangings I have found accounts of, giving this claim substantial backing.

The breadth and capabilities of their magic is ill-known. Ancient military history, salvaged from the Subjugation wars, speak of them as fearful in battle: able to summon and control beasts, or enter a state of invulnerable berserker rage, or manipulating elements. I have also tracked the account of the execution of a Raw woman by inhabitants of the Rea’k region, in the seventh hundred and thirteenth year of the Alek’vria calendar. Said inhabitants followed the tradition of the Death Forest, and the woman was responsible for keeping the ideas of the dead inside the forest and at peace. It is unknown why exactly her fellow villagers turned on her; however the proceedings seem to imply the summoning of the very ghosts and undead she was supposed to protect the from. Several other accounts, such as The Heraldic of ancient Kru’v families by Gar’lin, or the elvish Elreanor’s accounts of the inexplicable mention that Raws occupied preeminent places in primitive human societies. Sometimes respected leaders, sometimes mystic outcasts, they were in all cases both feared and looked to in time of need. It is my thought that our greatest victory against the Raws has always been to turn their kindred against them, using the fear they inspired.

Whether a human is a Raw or not is thought to a be a matter of bloodline. The last recorded Raw found on the Continent was captured by the defense minister’s special forces and sent away to dull in an overseas camp a few years before I entered university, several centuries ago. She could manipulate the life flow of plants. Rather than remaining hidden, she opened a flower shop and sold plants that, sic, always seemed to cheer you up. It is a mystery to me why she would choose to walk towards a certain end for so trivial a goal. She had no children, and they are now believed to be extinct."

Vrek’shua, linguistics and political history professor and head of the University of the Golden Tower’s library and archives looked up sternly at the old elf who, seated, was shuffling uncomfortably on the other side of a massive oak desk standing between them like an altar to the drake’s authority. “And you have found this… Where?” they asked, not relenting their gaze on the wizened librarian who was almost squirming now, and who uneasily answered “In the old archives, my Lord, while I was cataloguing draconic esoteric lore from the past five centuries.”, before stuttering another “my Lord” and trying desperately to avoid eye contact with the unmoving unblinking opal eyes trained on him. Smiling, Vrek’shua pushed back the sheaf of papers delicately cut in that idiot hermit’s precise handwriting. “Burn them”, they said, turning their eyes to the hearth set in the wall to their left, in which burned a small everfire. The librarian, aghast, became several shades paler, but obeyed under the encouraging smile of their lord: the bared teeth held a sinister promise that took it’s full meaning when, as they watched the precious manuscript turn to embers, then ashes, the drake spoke again: “Now, I trust that you understand that I will ensure the same fate to any knowledge remaining of this old fool’s rants.”, carefully watching the elf, and then the fire. “I know nothing, my Lord, nothing at all!” the librarian answered in a small, terrified voice, before fleeing from the room.