Due to various life things happening, I have neglected posting for quite some time. I return with the next installment of The Silver Shores
The Amulet Saga, Volume Three
The Silver Shores
What came before:
“Herbs will be your most powerful weapon,” Ada explained, setting an array of plants before Manae. “No matter where you go, you wil find plant life. Even the driest desert has plants somewhere, and plants grow deep in the ocean. If you can find plants, you can use them to conduct magic.”
Manae nodded. She’d studied some of the more potent herbs in earlier lessons, but if Ada felt a review was necessary, she would commit every word to memory.
“Different herbs are more beneficial for different things,” Ada went on. “Anything green, as well as many stones and gems, can be a conduit for magic, but herbs also have inherent properties. Even someone with no knowledge of magic at all can make medicines for various ailments with herbs.”
Ada pointed to the first plant on the table. “What is this?”
“Lavender,” Manae said at once
Ada nodded. “Lavender is one of the most versatile herbs in the world. It has many inherent qualities, like helping with healing wounds and stomach ailments, but it is also easy to grow, and can thrive in many different climates. You will carry a bag of lavender with you at all times .Even if you have nothing else, you can make do with lavender for a great number of things, both magical and not.”
Manae nodded her agreement, and made a note to herself to also carry a sprig of live lavender with her in a pot, if she could, so she had a constant supply.
“In potions, lavender is especially potent for anything having to do with manipulating attitude or behavior. It has a calming effect that makes the subject more compliant and easier to work with. It is also a core ingredient in anything having to do with healing.”
Ada pointed to the next plant. “What is this?”
They went on like that for most of the morning, with Ada identifying the primary uses for each plant, both medicinal and magical.
The next day, Manae received a similar lesson in gemstones.
“Like plants, gemstones can also be used as magical conduits. Different types of stones are more receptive to different types of magic and may even have some inherent energy, but any gemstone will have some neutral magical properties.”
“Only gemstones?” Manae asked. “I can’t just pick up any rock and use it for a conduit? Why not?”
“In theory, you could, because the earth is symbiotic with magic, but in practice, some things are better conductors than others. For practical purposes, the clearer the stone, the easier it will be to channel magic through it. Diamonds, therefore, are one of the most powerful conduits. The downside of using diamonds, however, is that there is no filter at all, so the user must have very great control in order to channel magic without making themselves melt.”
Manae suppressed a giggle at the thought of someone melting into a puddle.
“Manae, please try to concentrate.”
“I’m sorry. Please go on.”
“Amethysts are the national stone of Legerdemain. They are one of the few gems that can act as a storehouse for magic as well as a conduit. In addition, they are one of the most powerful gems in their own right. Their primary function is for strength and control. They can enhance the power of any spell, and are often used to bend the will of a stronger opponent.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Magical use is like any type of skill. Some people are more inclined than others, and all can increase their ability with practice. An amethyst used by a weaker or less experienced magician can equalize the power distribution, so the weaker magician stands a better chance.”
“What if the stronger magician also has an amethyst?”
“Then the weaker must practice harder and be more clever and have better spells and stop interrupting so they can learn.”
Manae gave Ada a sheepish, look, though the twinkle in the old woman’s eye indicated she was only partially teasing.
“Amethysts are associated with pure magic and the strength of spirit one must possess in order to become a great magician. You will do well to always have an amethyst hidden somewhere. Sapphires, on the other hand, are nearly the opposite. They are used for spells in which peace and tranquility and gentleness are required. Spells which require a great amount of concentration or detail work well with sapphires. Sapphires are associated with loyalty and trust.”
By the end of the first week, Manae felt as though her head would explode from all the magical knowledge Ada stuffed into it.
Ada drilled her constantly, first asking the primary purpose of a specific plant or gem, then suggesting a spell and asking what types of ingredients would be best to use, correcting and making suggestions at every answer Manae gave.
“Very good,” Ada smiled at the end of the lesson on the sixth day.
Perhaps the first smile she’d worn all week.
“Take tomorrow to rest and clear your thoughts. The day after, we’ll start practicing some potions and spells, starting with gathering and preparing your own herbs.”
Manae took a deep breath. She left in three weeks. Despite all she’d learned in one, she only realized how much she had yet to uncover. Yet she would not change her plans. Reith needed her. He was depending on her, whether he realized it or not. In three weeks, she would be on her way to rescue him.