All use of Talent follows the Path. If it does not, if it remains untutored, or comes Undone, it leads often to the destruction of the Talented, and those he cares for most. There was an age of the world when Bards were guardians of the Talented, safekeeping all those who shake with Macháin’s Word. This is why, it is said, they are universally honored and respected, because they have held the world in this way, in addition to literally, in their memories of history. Of course, that was a history lesson at the Practical, so its skew may be evident.
There are 3 Paths: The Path of Flesh, The Path of Thought, and the Path Beyond (the Path of Spirit).
The Path of Flesh is the alignment of the corporeal with the vibration of the Words. The Path of Flesh is mastery of Elements, of Body. Masters of the Path of Flesh are the most common. They exercise their power by writing the Word upon the world, by shaping the word about them, and causing the expressions of the Mother to respond to their expression. Tangibility, Gesture and Voice are important to this Path, and most of the Sciences fall most comfortably in its purview.
The Path of Thought is the internalization of the Word; the intricacies of the word enter into Understanding through Voice, Connection and Understanding. Your Path, as Master N’s was, is this one. It is thought that most of the Unbound come from this Path, since because of its subtle nature it is the most likely to go initially unnoticed.
The critical practice of the Path of thought is the formulation of Concept and the Holding of the Word in the mind’s eye. Some pathwalkers formulate the literal letters in their mind. Master N taught you there was also the way of holding the Concept, finding the sheer vibration of the naming of something, and holding that in your consciousness. In that state, the consciousness of other beings is also a kind of shaking which can be sensed, and occasionally secrets like motive, or intent can be discerned.
The Path Beyond is mysterious, it is the way of connecting into the future and the past, a way to touch the fallen heroes and powers that populate the Vault of the Night – it was said at The Practical that there are no remaining students of the Path Beyond, that all perished in the great Wars of Freedom (or Wars of Blood) that freed the 5 kingdom’s from Arddbyn’s rule.
The Sciences are something else than the Path, like a way of Walking. For some obsessives, they are a Path all their own, or can be a refuge on a weak Path. For some they are a rough guide – especially the Talented of Arddbyn.
The Great Science of Letters is Ciánan’s binding of the Word in concrete form. Letters allow the peoples of Arcodd to fix the memory of the past beyond any single human’s recollection, a kind of miracle that the Bard’s of Pynwydden Abbey fear will lessen their grip on Mawr’s culture.
There is a subtle blasphemy, a kind of secret lawbreaking in the heart of all who work the Science of Letters. Perhaps that is their true power. The writing of words is a power unto itself – even for those without the Talent. For the Talented, when they write Macháin’s words – perhaps in ink, or their own bodily fluids, or on their flesh, or in their imagination, they participate in the power of the Gods, the naming, the making, the binding of the world.
You are skilled in the Science of Letters. You know the Modern Script and the Ancient Script. Typically, the Modern script would be used to affect the vulgar world – the thoughts and minds of men. The Ancient Script would be used to affect the subtle world – the nature of things, the connections of the world, the understanding of what is.
One of the great fears directed at those who stride the Path of Thought is the fear of the dark mentalist – of the man who can sort through one’s thoughts and root out hidden sins and misdeeds. There is no mindreading – not as such. By holding a Word in mind, and speaking that same word, making eye contact with another person, you can influence their feelings, thoughts, immediate behaviors. The more unlikely the influence the more sure the Talented can be of strange results.
There is an Application or collegiate Science to Letters, called Casting, which is the placing of letters into physical objects, and imbuing them with power. Often the walkers of the Path of Flesh are thought best at Casting, but in Master N’s drawings and designs, you began to suspect that was not the case. As with any Hunter – even the vaunted Questioners, you were competent enough to create your Scían (or Scíandearg), your Witchblade. You were working, also, on a medallion that you dubbed one day in jest “Friendly Revelation”, using some of the designs from Master N’s work. You hoped to have it give you a general Sense of things, of the perturbations of the Word without the need to open the Eye. You were not able to complete it before you left the Practical, and have not worked since.
The Science of the Eye is the embracing of the Secret World. The making and unmaking of things can be perceived with the Eye. The execution of the Talent can be perceived. Secrets and new insights can be leaped into with the exercise of this Science. Be wary with this work – things Seen cannot be forgotten or unseen, and it is said that the Emptiness strives always to enter the Talented through this Science.
Master N spoke with some wonder and fear of the opening of the Eye in the presence of Builder artifacts.
This is the easiest Science to come to naturally, and the most difficult science to learn. This is the tying of two things together – once bound, they are destined to travel the Mother’s world together, either as counterbalances, as twin experiences, or simply being drawn back together.
Your talent with the Path of Thought allows you to do this on a limited basis with people. You can draw people back to you, or destine them to avoid you. Generally, an intimate exchange is required.
The Master Sciences
It is said that there are a number of other sciences reserved for Masters – for those who relinquish their names to be known only by secret letters at the Colleges of the Twin Kingdoms. Your teacher, Master N, was a student of something he called Lines. It had something to do with his obsessive charcoal rubbings and ink drawings of Culae architecture.
These are the basics of the Path. Tread wisely.
The passage of the Mother’s bright children in the sky have a direct effect on the Talented and their workings.
- Golden Loynnir makes inspiration, creation of thoughts, binding easier; it makes confusion, hiding, obfuscating more difficult.
- Gray Brwgann makes convincing, impelling, coercing, darkness easier; it makes steadying, positive and creative effects more difficult.
- Silver-blue Gromyrgwd makes hiding and locating more easy; she makes clarity, revelation, light more difficult.
- Dark Dorllan eases travel, rest, sleep, makes hard construction, creation.
- Black Newvni increases the power of all Workings, and adds the possibility of unexpected failure.
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