“If all of our online shopping is done, and the first meeting of your mutual admiration society is over perhaps we could get back to the important stuff,” Bran said, hoping to prevent any further bonding between Isi and Medrorn.
“Yeah, just let me read through this last part and see if there’s anything else of importance. . . Right. As far as the incantation is concerned, I’ve got that part down. We should be just about set.”
“Yeah, just so long as he’ll join power with us and not just let us do all the work then sacrifice us to Asmodius so he can get away,” Bran said.
“Oh, he will. If he doesn’t then he’ll become Asmodius’s bitch which will make death by Mongolian Death Worm seem down-right pleasurable,” she replied. “And we’re not in the clear yet. There are still some things I don’t understand.” She looked at the sorcerer.
“All right, I’ll play. What would you like me to explain,” Medrorn said.
“Asmodeus was bound by the archangel Raphael and thus kept from this world. My understanding was that he remained bound. So how did you unbind him to be able to summon him here in the first place?”
“My ancestor obtained King Solomon’s ring.”
“The one given to him by the Archangel Michael?”
“That’s the one.”
“But how. . . ?
“I don’t fully know, only that it has been passed down in my family since those days.”
“But you must have known what a risk you were taking. What exactly did you want with the King of Demons?”
“Nothing good I’ll guess,” Bran said in a sulk, trying once more to derail their conversation. Both ignored him
“Why was it so important to risk everything to steal his magic when you already had your own?” Isi continued.
“I just wanted what was rightfully mine. The magic of my forefathers,” Medrorn replied, sounding defensive.
“I don’t understand. Why would his magic be rightfully yours? Black magic that you couldn’t even use until it changed over?”
“Not specifically his magic per say, the level of ability. I needed more to be able to take my position as Supreme Sorcerer. I was born to it.”
“Okay, hold on,” Bran interrupted. “There’s only one Supreme Sorcerer at any given time and they tend to be around for a really long time like a couple hundred years. I mean didn’t the last one just get killed in a . . . “
“Demon raid,” Isi finished. “Your father?”
“Great Grandfather actually.”
“I’m sorry,” Isi said.
“Me too, I didn’t know,” Bran added quietly.
“It shouldn’t have happened. He had ruled for generations, closer to four hundred years than two. When the Supreme Sorcerer dies all those related by blood gather to see who the power will travel to. Sometimes it may be an immediate family member other times not. We knew this time it would be a close relative, given the level of magic and ability members of my family has. Everyone expected it would be my Grandfather or father. Maybe there was an outside chance it would be my older brother.
Usually there is singing, dancing, chanting and general celebrating when the chosen is illuminated by the power selecting him. It passed over my grandfather, then my father and each of my brothers. When it selected me there was only silence. Nobody could see how it was possible. They didn’t say anything but I knew what they were all thinking. That it was a mistake. My Great Grandfather was the only one who had confidence in my abilities, the only one I could ever be myself around.”
“That’s the way it is between me and my Great Uncle,” Bran said in a voice almost too soft to hear. “Wait. Then that means that you’re the . . . ” Bran seemed unable to finish.
“The Supreme Sorcerer, yes. At least in name,” Medrorn finished for him.
The three fell silent. Suddenly, Isi’s eyes cut to Bran then to Medrorn, then back to Bran. “Ohhhhh. I get it now.” She looked like she’d just had an ‘ah ha’ moment. “That’s why your message was delivered to Bran. You’re just alike.”
“Hardly,” said the sorcerer with a snort, “No way,” said Bran at the same time.
“Let me hazard a guess. You think that this endeavor of yours is the only way to prove them wrong,” Isi said. “You wanted to bind Asmodeus to you so you could take his power and your family would see not only that you could vanquish the second most powerful demon, but that you could perform magic like no one’s ever seen before. Because every so often your magic still fails you. Especially when you rely too much on physical objects in conjuring spells, using set rituals that you didn’t create or refuse to do what’s comfortable,” Isi said.
“What your family probably calls something like flying by the seat of your pants.” Bran added.
“Haphazard magic wielded irresponsibly and totally without control, thought, or respect for long established procedure, actually,” the sorcerer said tight-lipped.
“Man, and I thought my family was bad,” Bran said. Medrorn looked at him with a different expression. Bran thought it seemed like understanding but quickly dismissed the thought. He was still the same sorcerer who’d threatened to feed him to a death worm. Not exactly the warm and fuzzy type.
“But something didn’t go as planned,” Isi continued. “You doubted your natural abilities and tried to summon him the way others said it should be done. He took your magic before you could figure out how to take his. And the irony is, you were more powerful all along. You’ve just never been able to accept it.”
“That may or may not be the case. Even if it was I hardly see how that makes me and the . . .
Bran started to raise his hand towards the sorcerer.
“. . . er, him, alike.”
“Bran is not lacking in power. In fact he is the most powerful witch born in over 1000 years. Instead of having his powers start to come in at maturity then continue to develop and grow for the next 20 years of so, he was born with them, all of them. And by all I mean that he has the capacity to perform every kind of magic that exists though some of his talents are stronger than others. He never had to wait to learn how to use them.”
“But that would mean . . . “
“That he’s an archaist, a natural, yes. One who possesses and controls the original magic before it was divided and altered. He needs no spells, no potions, no runes yet these things do help him strengthen and better focus his magic since he hasn’t yet learned to master it. Does any of this sound familiar?”
“You think I’m an archaist?” Medrorn asked Isi.
“It makes sense doesn’t it?” she replied.
“No, I don’t think that’s it. I think that I’m just not powerful enough, will never be powerful enough on my own to be the Supreme Sorcerer,” Medrorn said softly.
“But the power of the Grand Sorcerer wouldn’t have selected you if you didn’t have the potential already within you. Isn’t that how it works? You have to already be a vessel for the power or you can’t hold it, can’t use it to lead. It can’t be wrong, can it?” Isi asked.
“No, it can’t be wrong,” Bran asserted. “My Uncle taught me about this. There is always balance within the Universe. There are always ten Great Archmages and of the ten one wields the mantle of leadership, the Grand Archmage. If something happens to him the new tenth is searched for and once identified and the circle closed, the power is called to choose another.
My uncle was the tenth after my Great Grandfather was killed in the first Demon Wars. He was only nineteen at the time, the youngest to be called to the circle ever. No one thought the power could possibly go to him, but it did. He said he was terrified at first. He didn’t believe anyone would listen to him, that he could possibly be a worthy successor to his Grandfather. Others didn’t believe it either. But he learned differently. He didn’t think his power was Grand Archmage quality but it was. He’s the most powerful Grand Archmage that’s ever been.
And it’s the same thing with the Supreme Sorcerer. Of the ten Great Sorcerers, only one is capable of wielding the power of Supreme Sorcerer, and that’s who the power chooses. My Uncle says the power of Grand Archmage and the power of Supreme Sorcerer always choose true and it seems the ones chosen always doubts. He says it’s only those who aren’t worthy of being a vessel for such a great power who think that they are.”
“In other words, you have to be the right vessel or the power would never have chosen you,” Isi said. So, you never had any need of a demon’s powers to make you the right one. Don’t you see? It’s not about the amount of power, it’s about the type of person. Only one in several generations is a worthy vessel. This time it’s you. It’s not about your magic, it’s about you.”
Medrorn’s eyes had a shine to them and he blinked several times then looked down and cleared his throat. Looking up, then to Bran and Isi and back down again, he said, “Thank you. Both of you. No one has ever said anything like that to me before. Or about me.”
The silence grew and none of the three knew exactly what to say. Each retreated into their own thoughts for a brief time. Isi was the first to surface.
“If we’re going to help you get your magic back before it’s too late and kick that damned Asmodius back to the Netherworld where he belongs we should get going.”
“Right,” said Bran. Medrorn just nodded.
In this episode we see a bit more of who Medrorn really is, and why he needed Bran, specifically Bran, and not his Great Uncle. This is also why Bran received the message in the first place. Medrorn is the Supreme Sorcerer the counterpart to the Grand Archmage. But he doubts his ability thinking it must have been a mistake. Bran explains that it’s impossible as the power always chooses correctly.
We learn what a natural, also called an archaist, is. It’s someone who doesn’t need physical objects or even spells to perform magic. These individuals are also born with the ability to do every kind of magic in the magical world. Since they are so rare, there is usually no one who can teach them, especially when they’re young. So they grow up thinking there’s something wrong with them because they can’t do magic the way everyone else can.
For the first time, we are seeing the three characters beginning to bond. This will be crucial for them to work together to achieve their goal and all come out of it in one piece. Will they be able to manage it? Stay tuned to find out.
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