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The Nature of Magic

A puzzle that never ends

"My skills, alright, my skill, feels very natural.  It does not feel mystical or that it breaks any rule of nature.  To me it feels a lot more real and logical than the beliefs in gods, which I have never subscribed to.  It is not fantastical in anyway.  Mostly, it is not even very useful.  I might be able to slow down someone’s urgent need for air so they can fly high on a dragon, but when they get hungry, I can only solve that by cooking them something to eat.  I can’t click my fingers and magic up a four course meal complete with servants and silver cutlery."

Eafa, more commonly known as Weasel, was often dismissive of what he described as his skills. To him his ability to interact with the world in a way that most of us would find incomprehensible was as natural as it is for a carpenter to take a tree and fashion from it a beautiful carving. 

How accurate an argument Eafa poses is much debated with many believing that there is indeed something mystical and "magical" behind the skills of healers, finders and others of the magician class.

Certainly, that a good healer can render a human unconscious with a touch to the neck (and a dragon healer do likewise with a dragon) is something that can appear very magical, though a healer would protest that this is not something that can be done without touching or with the use of an incantation, but needs a very precise action to a very particular part of the spine. 

As with many other mysteries on the world of Dirt, the origins of what is known as magic is lost, and much that it written about nothing more than fable. Those who claim more knowledge, especially amongst the dragons, say that there have never been any great wizards with inexplicable powers, but rather only those with simple skills, as they would have it. 

This is little disputed as magicians with any true ability appear to be extremely rare and are thought to have a common relationship from some long forgotten history.

In better recorded times, the most common so-called magic is that of the healers who have a deep, intuitive understanding of the body and can, so it is claimed, feel their way through a body to find wounds or infection. However, although this precious skill will often find problems that allude others, it is often their knowledge of herbs that they will use to help the victim. 

That their skills, and likewise the skills of Finders and other Magicians, so easily encounter limitations would certainly support Eafa's argument that what he can do is only working within natural law and is not something outside of the world.

However, there is the counter argument that these skills seem to be held by so very few people and these same people are often long lived, that it simply cannot be natural; if it were, surely all people would have some sort of ability, even if very undeveloped.

Amongst the common people such arguments are paid little attention. The common people enjoy their superstitions, but they often cynical of anyone claiming any sort of magical skills and they tend to treat them as charlatans or just accept what they have to offer in the way they would accept the skills of a cobler.

So, magic remains, perhaps appropriately, a mystery to many, but it has so little impact on the lives of most that it might as well not exist and its true nature possibly of little importance.

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