“Esteemed members of the faculty, visiting patrons, my honoured guests. It is with great pride that I open this debate today on the negative manifestation of magical energies.
Having travelled the length and breadth of Trillanin I can assure you that although the need for this discourse is essential, the need for action is greater.
We are gathered here, in a centre of learning, The Falltriasa Academy, a home for many of us who study and practice the arcane. And we are here amongst the crystalline towers and ancient libraries with a mission, a mission to ascertain the cause of certain recent phenomenon and deliver a response to the populace of our beautiful world, who have been subject to what I believe is just the start of an impending calamity.
As most of you are aware, my position within Trillanin’s academia has varied often over the years. Nurturing those with the talent for magic and teaching them how to use it. Discovering and cataloguing new forms of arcana. Researching methods of energy transference that are both safe, and efficient. Most importantly ensuring a healthy discourse amongst magic users of all kinds, both on and off this plane of existence. This makes me uniquely qualified to helm this debate, an honour of terrible importance.
I must state before we begin that the intention of this debate is not to assign blame. There are no accusations of magical malpractice or maleficence. All we have been doing is ascertaining the facts about the manifestations and establishing cause and effect.
We have amongst us many of the long-lived races, not to mention a few who have obtained alternate methods of prolonging their time on this mortal coil. I am confident that you can attest, the world is changing.
The Ickhari elves of the northern Iceland’s have been, rightfully, telling us for many years that the land is suffering. The great glaciers that entombed Shal-Lam-Gratar, the world eater, are diminishing. Now we know the Ickhari have been warning us for a few hundred years, but this is unavoidable fact, not foretelling. I have seen him beneath the ice with my own eyes, felt the force of his hundred-year heartbeat, watched the tidal wave it caused sweep away across the ocean. Only fifty years ago this would have been impossible, the ice is melting at an increasing rate.
In the crushing depths, deep below the Untrio Seas, the nymphs of Sinturo witness a sickness spreading at an alarming speed. A devastation beneath the waves corrupting sea life of all kinds inflicting vast losses. Tribes of nymphs and sea elves find themselves without fish to hunt, unable to farm algae due to contamination.
The coastal towns of the human races in Bur’andu and Limesh are seeing devastating changes in tidal patterns as the seas rise. They are unable to fish at the high season, and their very homes are being gradually swallowed by the rising seas.
Even the dwarves, deep within their mountain holds, have felt the changes. Unable to venture out in winters so fierce, the Stone hunters, who travelled the ice planes to retrieve the Hammer of Jimot, have rarely seen the like.
Finally, the humans, their civilisations reaching every corner of Trillanin, are being hit by famines, droughts, and plagues. Nothing new there you would say, the world turns, and famines occur, water runs out, disease spreads. But not like this, not with this regularity, this severity, and in a time of such magical advancement?
So, we are here to ask why, why is all this happening, is it all connected? And what, exactly, can we do about it?
I have asked the gods, personally, if this has anything to do with them. If our world is being punished for our hubris? The response my friends, is a sobering, NO. This is no deity fixed on using us as playthings, for a change. This is our own doing and the divine pantheon expect us to fix it ourselves.
During my travels I have witnessed an increase in the use of alchemical and arcane devices, charms, and magical artefacts. As a global populace we have made the magical, mundane. Yolks of speed on horses, so merchants can deliver their goods to market faster. Wards of protection on crockery, so your cookware never breaks. Entertainment spheres, to keep children busy while their parents make a living. Magic has progressed at an unchecked rate over the last two hundred years, but we still know so little about this resource, about where most of our magic comes from.
My hypothesis, and I hope you can keep an open mind, is that the overuse of magic, in its many forms and energies, has weakened the bonds that hold our world together. We know that fire magic can deplete resources from nearby. You light a torch with a spell and someone across the room gets a shiver, you heat an entire castle with magic and who knows where this energy is coming from? I believe we are sucking our world dry by overuse of magic.
And that, is what we are here to discuss. How to generate efficient cleaner magic, and how to use it responsibly, for the benefit of our world. Renewable magic for a healthier Trillanin.”
Hemrill stood as straight as he could, the years were creeping up on him, his back complained, and he stifled a grunt as something clicked satisfyingly when he stretched. Before him stood a tall mirror, a majestic device rumoured to be crafted by Falltriasa herself. As he studied his reflection a ripple on its pristine silver surface dissipated as it met the ash black frame which contrasted with the brightness of the reflection within. It was always daylight in the mirror, despite the torch-lit ambience of Hemrill’s chambers.
He adjusted his long blue robe, watching as tiny motes of golden light glistened like constellations, winking in and out of existence within its fabric. The aged wizard stroked his long grey beard and elegant moustache thoughtfully, before looking back at the parchment in his hand.
Vanity was not his domain, but this had to be a performance, a show. It was too important not to impress upon his peers the severity of his findings.
He read the last few lines of his speech again, lips moving silently as he held the parchment closer.
“And THAT, is what we are here to deliberate.”
He glanced longingly at a chair in the corner of the room, his travelling clothes folded neatly upon it. Plain hose, a thick woollen robe, and a leather cape. He could get a younger mage to do the presentation, there was still so much to document out in the world.
A low huff from behind startled him, he turned to stare balefully at Leo, his wyrmling familiar, curled up in the corner of the chamber. His forked tongue flicking out to caress his blue and green scales, red eyes watching his master rehearse from over his coiled form.
“What? Too much? Come on Leo, I must sell this, it’s important.” He looked back down at his speech, the flowing script scrawled upon the parchment was his best hope at convincing his peers.
“Maybe I should mention the shadow fiends? Their having a real issue with light pollution!”