Chapter 1: Of Darkness, light and not fully being honest about feelings.
Leshac floated in absolute darkness.
It was at least as absolute as he could manage, not even air remained, thankfully Leshac just had to shift into a form that didn’t need to breathe to solve that issue.
Like the darkness, Leshac was in a sense formless. He was a Dlutholl, a pure shapechanger. It was actually rare enough for his kind to become mages, as when you can transform into almost whatever you want, you tend to rely on this ability and use it to the exclusion of everything else.
Leshac however was not quite back to the level of being a full mage, a wizard in his case. In the past he had dabbled and then dived full into corrupt power. The rehabilitation had not left him unscathed, much of his understanding and power was gone. He was at the level of a mageling, a person who knows merely a few magical tricks.
Even this pure darkness had recently been established by Leshac. Many fledgeling dark wizards would commit vile acts to have their hands on such a good cultivation tool.
For wizards, who lack in actual power, their understanding of the flow of magic and the patterns given rise by that flow is vital to their ability to make spells, that is to say patterns.
For a dark wizard logically what it important is the patterns of darkness, but normally darkness is not on its own, it shrouds countless things with their own patterns. Trying to understand a single pattern is unlikely enough, trying to understand one amid a mess? Even harder.
It was debatable that it was even possible to truly understand a pattern, but the results of meditating on a pattern of surrounding yourself with that pattern, with the flow heavy with the essence of that thing.
Leshac was in theory supposed to be meditating on the patterns of the darkness, the swirling flapping designs, dense and almost impossible to see. However, a particular idea had captured his fancy of late.
Magic can be said to have six main… flavours. The nature of the flow. The prime elements.
Heart and Vim, Chaos and Order, Phantasm and Radiance.
Darkness was subject mainly to Order and Phantasm, and Phantasm which had appearance, and illusions hugely in its nature, was something Leshac had a strong affinity for. He was after all a magical being able to take many shapes.
No, what had snared Leshac was the idea of generating radiance via phantasm, or in this case, light from the darkness. If Phantasm was the shroud, the Radiance could be considered the hand tearing apart the shroud. Radiance was connected to the body and the physical, while Phantasm the mind and the insubstantial, for Leshac, to do anything with Radiance was very difficult and at worst fatal.
However, while some might consider them simple opposites, that was a misunderstanding of the elements. Everything had a bit of all the elements, some just had more of one than another, and the pairs more than being opposites were complimentary.
So, Leshac was instead of diligently cultivating his understanding and making the image of darkness clearer in his mind, was tugging at the patterns.
His thought was that if he could pull away the darkness, light would take its place, or more to the point, the flows would make the patterns of light emerge. Then, through manipulation of darkness, he could cast spells that had the aspect of light.
He was fairly sure it could be done. There were even stories of it. It was perhaps a bit too ambitious though. After all, many dark wizards never progressed far in their understanding of the patterns of darkness and the flows that give rise to them.
Leshac was immersed in these obscure thoughts when someone’s voice flitted into his mind.
-Lesh, sorry about disturbing you, but, my old master has sent a messenger, he’s calling in the favour you owe him- a woman’s voice in his mind.
It was Quil, who was once an apprentice to Liokh Balreah, but had aided Leshac in recovering his shadow when he lost it. After that event, she had moved into his tower and helped him dispose of his old research.
She was… Leshac wasn’t sure what the pair of them were, but he knew he owed her far more than he really owed her old master. They had made a spirit bond with each other. Leshac got a little flustered thinking about that. They had convinced themselves that it was solely to make research and communication easier, just as Leshac had convinced himself that taking the form of a pixie that was attractive to Quil was just because it was easier for them to work together if they were the same size. Quil was herself a pixie one of those tiny insect winged humanoids descended from flower fairies.
It turns out the life or death experiences with a mountain and howling freezing wind have a tendency to draw people together, also magicians focused on research are a bit dense about their own feelings.
-I’ll be out in a moment, but he’s calling the favour in so soon?- Leshac said, a little apprehensive about what Liokh would ask of him.
-Don’t worry- Quil said, sensing his unease over their bond -I’m sure he won’t ask anything too unreasonable-
Quil was not at all sure of this, but she really didn’t want to tell Leshac that. As far as she was concerned Leshac was still recovering from being a chlanic magic fuelled terrible person.
Leshac floated to the top of the room of darkness, he turned open a hatch and ascended to another much smaller room, closing the hatch a ticking sound began, finally, with a hiss the small chamber began to brighten up. It was a cylinder only big enough for one person.
When the chamber was fully lit and brought to be like what it was outside, he opened the door and flitted out.