What is an essencer? That’s a question that several people have posed to me throughout this blog. So far, I’m sure everyone has their own ideas, but no one knows what it means to be an essencer better than one of the greatest alive.
Aelathia Novels recently had the exciting opportunity to sit down with Xathon Morbrook, Grand Essencer of the Kingdom of Cardor’s Magical Affairs Commission, Privy Counselor to King Relchar Rultritan, and author of the critically acclaimed Principles and Laws of Magic, which is the tome of how magic works in Aelathia.
(Minor Spoilers ahead)
Interviewer: Good morning and happy Harvest, Lord Morbrook. Thanks for taking the time to join us today.
Xathon (with strands of white mustache in his mouth, mumbles): You’re quite welcome. Bountiful Harvest to you as well.
Interviewer: It’s really exciting to be sitting across from you, I have to admit. You’re the name in magic these days.
Xathon: Please, please. No need to try to flatter. It’s my job to oversee the largest network of essencers and essencists around the northern continent, specifically in Cardor.
I: But you did write the book explaining magic. So, why don’t we get on topic. What is magic?
X: Magic, young friend, is what defines reality, or comprises that which we see, we touch. For example, the chairs we’re sitting in are comprised of material, essences. Magic is concerned with what the world is made up of, the forces that exist and act naturally about that material, and how certain individuals gifted with the ability to see what is typically invisible to the naked eye, can interact with what exists—both the essences and the natural forces.
I: From your book, you call that ‘manipulations’.
X: Yes, it’s not a spell that you speak over something and wave your hands or a stick.
I: You carry a staff. It’s magical, isn’t it?
X: You’re jumping awful far ahead, young sir.
I: We’ll talk about that, won’t we?
X (with a glare that made me want to run away): My time is limited. We’ll see. Now, we do call accessing the fabric of reality and telling it what to do as manipulations.
I: But calling it a manipulation seems to imply that there’s an identity, almost an entity of sorts.
X (glare fades and he picks absentmindedly at the cream colored stole over his red robes): Indeed. It’s because the essences are aware. Sentient, if you will, but are completely willing to interact with humanity if given the right incentive.
I: According to your book and what the Royal Academy teaches, that requires two phrases in the ancient language of Belasna.
X: Correct. I’m impressed you actually have done some of your research. Many interviewers won’t take the time to read the whole book.
I (hoping he doesn’t see me blush…he did have a gho
st writer, after all): It was fascinating.
X: Isn’t it? Yes, Belasna is required to interact with the essences. Otherwise, they’re just as happy to go about ignoring us and doing their normal activity.
I: So, what you’re saying is that this chair, unless we speak the Initiation Phrase, will completely ignore anything I want it to do?
X: Indeed, but there’s more to it. Once you have the essences attention, you have to give them incentive to do as you demand. That requires a Control or a Key, depending upon which philosophy you adhere to. It’s the same thing. The primary control to manipulate an essence is ethereal.
I: But there’s a second.
X (face emotionless and unreadable): There are other methods. More dangerous. Every individual has what is called
a lens cover. To an essencer who can actually see the essences, a lens cover looks like a cloud, an aura that forms around a person’s body. Some people have much more substance to their lens cover, meaning more ethereal. Those are essencers. They have more to work with, more to negotiate with the essences and manipulate them to do as they desire.
I: But what of the second Control?
X: Dark fire.
X: Dark fire is dangerous. There are consequence with dark fire that do not exist with ethereal. I can see, young sir, that you are curious, and that will make your readers curious. Know this, that using dark fire to manipulate the essences can be dangerous and often utterly corrupts the user. The last time a group of individuals were convinced to practice using dark fire, half the city of Dreadbear was leveled and over three thousand lives lost. It is not something to be trifled with.
I: You’re referring to the infamous Dreadbear Massacre. That even prompted the Council of Counts to require the Magical Affairs Commission to register every known essencer in Cardor.
X: Cardor, and the entire continent of Aetia. We have to make sure people understand that manipulating the fabric of existence can be lethal if not trained and not done cautiously. The Registration Act was for the safety of the realm and its people. Everyone who is discovered to have a lens cover of any magnitude can be trained with the Royal Academy.
I: You’ve been known to personally provide tutoring.
X: To certain parties. With larger lens covers. A person who studies or trains others to use ‘magic’ is called an essencist. It is quite possible for an essencer and an essencist to be one and the same.
I: Indeed. Now, there’s a whole new group of people out there who aren’t essencers or essencists but are studying the essences.
X (nods): Physicists and chemists. They’ve formulated their own theories, which correlate with mine.
I: They’re calling it String Theory, aren’t they?
X: Well done. As an essencer, I can tell you that the chair we’ve discussed so much in earnest actually consists of threads that are connected, closed strings, fermions to the physicist. Whereas the four forces, or bosons, that act upon fermions, like gravity, are much more difficult to control and almost impossible to visualize. More like a blind man walking across a busy street with only a staff to guide him. There’s nothing there until he can connect with it. Then things happen. Right now, physics in Cardor deals with more mathematical and philosophical questions, while we see a rise in chemistry in southern nations, specifically in Istante.
I: So, you can see these fermions, these strings, but you can’t really see the forces.
I: What does a string look like?
X: To an essencer, they see the world with colors, vibrant colors that most humans can’t see. Think beyond the detailed color spectrum, but also variations of it. There are multiple types of essences, each with their own color, and each one requires intense study to master. Some essencers are only able to master a few of the types, or Disciplines. The various symbols on my stole represent the Disciplines. Others acquire skills over multiple disciplines.
I: This is truly fascinating, but we’re running out of time. I’d like to move on to a few other questions.
X: Related to magic.
I: Of course. First, there are rumors that essencers can manipulate more than just essences, that they can manipulate people’s emotions—and convince animals to do what they want, also.
X (face unreadable again, but that mustache somehow got tucked back in his mouth): Rumors, I’m sure.
I: If they weren’t rumors, then I’m sure you can understand the growing concern among the public that essencers are controlling whole kings, queens, and governments. After all, you are the Privy Counselor to King Relchar.
X: I can understand the concern. One of three Privy Counselors. The second is retired High Lord General William Greggor, who has an outstanding reputation of his own. The third is the King’s Steward, who has served the Rultritan family for generations. Every King is entitled to maintain his choice of a Privy Council, as he sees fit. If there was more to the rumors…
I: In the Southern Province of Cardor, there’s an old saying—
X: (right corner of his mouth turns upwards): ‘Beware the weaving and musings of essencers,’ yes, I’ve heard it.
I: Is that something we need to be concerned of? As a public? It seems that a small group of people has extraordinary power available to them, power to do things that non-essencer scholars are just starting to understand. How can you assure the people of Cardor that you aren’t manipulating their King and Queen? The Council of Counts?
X (laughs): If I was manipulating the Council of Counts, you’d know.
I: Would we? How?
X (grins fully): My good sir, let me remind you that the Magical Affairs Commissions has multiple divisions in it as well. Without us, Cardor would be sorely lacking in public education and libraries. We use the essences to enhance building structures—even provide for a bountiful harvest. Further, we’ve provided the world’s only communication infrastructure, using the essences to send actual-time communications globally. With all of the benefits we provide the global community, I think it is important that we fully weigh what the Magical Affairs Commission and its essencers are capable of.
I: There are other rumors. About Commission agents working undercover along with King’s Men as a part of intelligence services.
X: You’re a journalist, young sir. Do you deal with rumors or facts?
I: I prefer to report on facts.
X: Then leave the rumors to me.
I: That’s all the time we have for today. Once again, thank you, Grand Essencer Xathon Morbrook for joining us.
X: My pleasure.
I: Looking forward to the week-long holiday?
X: What holiday? As everyone’s celebrating Harvest Eve, I’ll be tending to the King during the World Sustenance Summit.
I: You know I could extend the interview to cover more about the Summit…
X: I have a meeting with the King. And I prefer to keep dinner with my wife on schedule, if I can help it. Good day. Happy Harvest.
I: And a bountiful Harvest to you, also.
This ends the interview with Xathon Morbrook, Grand Essencer of the Magical Affairs Commission and author of the widely acclaimed Principles and Laws of Magic. If you would like to know more about what some of physicists out there are saying about “Xathon’s theories”, check out a few of the links below.
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And as always, happy Harvest.
Links for String Theory:
(Originally published September 9, 2013)