Full Version: The Circle of Magic (Spoilers all books incl City of Dragons)
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This has been niggling at me since my first reading of the RotE books and is finally continuing a thought I touched on in the The Skill and The Wit thread:

(Jun-01-2010, 11:18 AM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]Possibly they even have the ability to be open to ALL of the old magics eg hedge-witchery, the Wit, the Skill, scrying in water etc.

In 'Golden Fool', the different types of magics are all listed together as part of 'The Circle of Magic':

"Thus every magic has its space in the spectrum of magic, and together they make up the great circle of power. All magical lore is encompassed in the circle, from the skills of the humble hedge-wizard with his charms, the scryer with his bowl or crystal, the bestial magic of the Wit and the celestial magic of the Skill, and all the homely magics of hearth and heart. All can be placed as I have shown them, in a great spectrum, and it must be clear to any eye that a common thread runs through them all."

It goes on to say, regarding the wielding of all such magics:

"But that is not to say that any user can or should attempt to master the full circle of magic. Such a wide sweep of the art is not given to any mortal, and with good reason. No one is meant to be master of all powers."

It does go on to say more re fire magic and water-finding skills, which I want to talk about later, but first...I have often wondered if this translation on magic is merely mentioned to point out the various magics to us OR is it a precursor to a character within the RotE mastering all magics within the circle?

That the various facets of Beloved have all dabbled in either the Skill, the Wit, hedge-magic and possibly even scrying makes me wonder if it is the goal of our favourite White Prophet to obtain knowledge of all of the magic and hence have the ability to wield all for the good of the world (I think I've mentioned somewhere before that Fool's room at Buckkeep had a pond of water in it and could maybe have been used for scrying)?

Beloved is not a human so may not truly be considered a 'mortal' as the writers of this passage, Treeknee translating and Oklef the original author, consider a mortal?

As an alternative to Beloved (I am using "Beloved" as I think this title best fits all three facets? I'm not only talking about "Fool".), in the very beginning it was Fitz who I first thought would become master of 'The Circle of Magic', given that he already had the Wit and the Skill, and that his ability with scrying and hedge-magic had been mostly untried. Though Chade did attempt scrying with Fitz at one point (I think it was in RA or AQ), and Fitz was unable to see anything in the water, was this because Fitz did not HAVE the ability to scry or was it because Fitz was not really himself at the time of testing?

Of course, Fitz IS a mortal but he is also an Elderling descendent, not to mention 'Changer' - a catalyst who may prove that the wielding of all magics is actually possible?

The quoted above translation does also go on to say that:

"For a Skill-user to demean himself with the Beast Magic of the Wit is to invite the decay and debasement of his higher magic. Such a vile ambition should be condemned."

While this is the opinion of Oklef, and also Treeknee as we learn from Treeknee's own writing regarding the Skill, we all know that Fitz could never have succeeded in his role as Changer without both abilities. That having both has been a benefit to Fitz (though he may not agree Wink !), and the future of the world, is it possible that Fitz and the world may also benefit from his mastery of all magics? Or even Dutiful, as he also has both Wit and Skill magics, and maybe the ability to wield more?

I have more to add but will place that elsewhere as it has to do with a theory regarding the demise of the Elderlings and my idea that it involved a sorcerer somehow (one now trapped within a cave or underground somewhere), and possibly this sorcerer had once wielded all magics within the circle Undecided .
Considering that the magic is based solely upon Elderling blood, it would be logical that the more blood you have, the more power you can get. Since elderlings have pure blood (which the characters from DK & DH will eventually get), they will also logically have access to all the magic. Most likely humans, even those with greater amounts of elderling blood, will not have enough blood to be able to handle the forces evoked by trying to use the entire spectrum. It is not unlikely that FitzChivalry had the trouble with the traveling stones because his blood was far from pure... The elderlings would not have relied upon any technology/magic that would be dangerous in the long run to use... They would have basd themselves upon safer means of transportation....
I think that circle big container ship sized pile of bull.... Okay I agree that certain magics might have a greater affinity to others. But I disagree about theb part with the skill and the old blood. I strongly believe combining the two is the future of the farseer magic. Though of couyrse it is my opinion.
In regard to what 'thul said, I recall Prilkop saying that the Elderlings recognised the Skill Pillars as dangerous and only used them to transport important objects when speed was important etc.. and then only used one pillar at a time, sending another person through the next one. For this reason I doubt Fitz having a problem was more that he was tired, stressed, overconfident and not overly cautious with them.
Interesting points everyone!
Hmm there is SO much that could be expanded upon in future books in this world. So exciting!!
'thul suspects the real reason for the danger to them was to avoid having to write several extra chapters, and thus to keep the books shorter. But it is also wise to have limits on such magics.
(Oct-23-2010, 12:49 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]It does go on to say more re fire magic and water-finding skills, which I want to talk about later

Just re-reading the passage I first quoted from GF (at the beginning of Chapter Eight, Ambitions, by the way), it does also say,"As illustrated by the chart, each of these lesser arcs of magic are adjacent to the greater magics, and thus a mage can expand his powers to include these minor skills as well."

In this it seems that it's perfectly okay to have one of the greater magics and some of the lesser ones as well however having an ability in more than one of the greater magics (the Skill AND the Wit), is deemed detrimental to the one wielding the magics, and is also condemned.

Will we see a true RotE 'mage' emerge Magic , if we haven't already?

The passage continues on,"But to have larger ambitions than these is a great error. For one who augurs through a crystal to attempt to master the bringing of fire is a mistake."

This instantly makes me think of the crystal walls within Time's Labyrinth/Time's Rainbow, and also makes me wonder if someone, such as a White Prophet of old, had augured via these crystals to try and highlight/prevent the future destruction of the realm via the mastering of the volcanic eruptions, "the bringing of fire"? Even further, possibly these eruptions were initially somehow controlled by ones who weilded 'fire magic'?

I just don't know...
My last post for a while, I promise Blushing ...I really DO have a life, and a busy one at that!

Another thought on crystals...memory stone is lined with crystal (the white seams that are within the black stone). This is evidenced by passages such as:

AQ, Chapter Twenty-Six, Signposts – Fitz says of the Skill-pillar, “It was hewn of black stone with glittering crystal.”

AQ, Chapter Twenty-Seven, The City – Fitz again, “Twice more I woke the city before I realized all it took was the touch of my hand on a crystal-veined wall.”

From the same chapter – “I walked towards it and it was the same ubiquitous black stone veined with gleaming crystal.”

AQ, Chapter Twenty-Eight, The Coterie – Kettle tells Fitz, “I looked at the guidepost by daylight. It is hewn of black stone with wide threads of shining crystal in it. Like the walls of the city you describe.”

Is there a connection with the crystal in the memory stone to the magical properties of an actual ‘crystal’ used for RotE Hedge-witchery?

More evidence of the use of crystals within the realm:

In the prologue of RA – “There are the Hedge magics...These are magics both verified and suspect, including palm reading, water gazing, the interpretation of crystal reflections (now THAT definitely sounds like what Time’s Labyrinth was used for!), and a host of other magics that attempt to predict the future.”

RA, Chapter Three, Renewing Ties – Of the fair booths at Springfest, Molly says to Fitz, “One was an old man telling fortunes with crystals. You know how they do. They hold a crystal to a candle’s light, and tell your future by how the colours fall across your face.”

I doubt these following, extra points have any bearing on what’s happening in the RotE in any way but, as some fun curiosities to add in case there IS a connection, in our world a crystal is considered by some* to have “the power of a living stone” and apparently “stores and conducts energy” (sure sounds like anma-imbued memory stone, or even wizardwood to me!). A crystal is also said to have healing properties (fits with a Skill-healing!) and, if given to a friend, helps form a physically-communicative link between the giver and the receiver (the ability to Skill!).

* Not me! I simply Googled the properties of a crystal/quartz to get these little points. OMG, did I say quartz??!! Chalcedony is a form of quartz o_O !!
I wonder if it is the properties of the "quartz" material streaking through the black stone, or whether it is the stone that is magical. Can they be taken apart and studied separately? Perhaps a combination of this and other crystals with other stone/materials will result in different properties/potency?
It sounds like it could be something worth looking deeper into. There is the reference I made in the Mythical Creatures thread regarding "dangerous sorcerers spell-locked in caves of gems" - does the cave simply have gems in it or is it the gems themselves that form a part of the spell? All very interesting!

I can't help but think of the friezes on the walls of the Kelsingra map tower (Cariandra the Fecund with her plough/oxen and Sessicaria the dragon), which were white against the black stone of the tower. I have long wondered what the source of the white material was, and now have to further question if it could possibly be crystal or something similar? I can't think what purpose it would serve as an external decoration though, and the crystal within the memory stone tends to be described as silver, not white (which I always took as a connection to the silver of the Skill River?). With this in mind, and the fact that Fitz describes it as 'white stone', suggests that it is most likely some other material? From where would white stone be quarried?

I overlooked including these two objects in my list of Kennit's findings from Others Island but, as well as a copper feather, he also found a "handful of small crystal spheres" on a final stretch of beach. I will add those to the list in the related thread but the 'crystal' element bears significance here, I think.
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