The Wizard's Gift
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The charmed box woke him with a song. He didn't really know where the charmed box came from or who made it. How it was made was so far beyond his comprehension he didn't try to think about the complexity of its creation. Although it had the glyph of the ancient fruit of knowledge that represented the powerful collective of wizards from a nearly mythical land where it's always sunny, it only reinforced to him how magical the thing was.
A few years ago he could never have dreamed of holding such power in his hand, but now he couldn't dream of living without it. The box isn't much bigger than his hand, and it contains wonders beyond imagination. All of human knowledge at his fingertips whether the thoughts of great leaders around the world or simple entertainments. Symphonies or the music of the folk in the city are his to hear. He can call forth long dead troubadours to dance in ghostly images in the palm of his hand or watch the sport of the day from the other side of the planet as it is played.
Of course, one does not play with such power without finding arcane twists and turns. The box has a charm that makes it behave like a book of glowing text and images -- not just any book, but a book of the random thoughts of billions of people. Naturally there are many pictures of cats, as cats are the familiars of witches, and this is powerful magic.
The magic book allows him to see relatives he has never met. He can be friends with people he has never seen. And he can share his thoughts and ideas with all of them. It doesn't matter that those friends and relatives are so far away he could never reach them if he walked for a hundred days. It doesn't matter that they might not even speak the same language as him -- the book gives him the gift of tongues, or at least, it changes other languages into his own.
It isn't a secret power, his charmed box, although it often feels that way. He didn't have to climb a mountain or fight a mortal enemy to possess it, although he did have to swear his fealty to the wizards for the next two years, and swear it again if he wanted to retain this power.
And who wouldn't? His friends all have such power, and while some boxes are made by other magicians with other arcane requirements, the magic is the same. Instant knowledge, remote viewing, nearly telepathic communication with people all over the world. To not succumb to the power of the magicians charmed boxes would be like choosing not to learn to read or learning to speak -- the incredible power of the box didn't make him an invincible being among mortals, it made him normal.
Like any great power, it slowly insinuated itself into his life -- becoming an extension of his mind, and eventually replacing parts of his memory. Why remember the route to town when the box will remember for you? Birthdays, anniversaries, even the names of his friends slowly became things he would ask the box to remind him of.
This isn't good magic or bad magic, it's simply so powerful those who possess it can't understand the responsibility they have in their hands. Rather than fighting to understand it, they accept it, until it becomes mundane. They live in the halls of the gods, with unimaginable power, and feel their lives are dull and incomplete.
As it has always been for the lives of gods.
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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic:
The Physical Impossibility of Migrating to the Cloud