Shadow magic has a bad reputation, through no fault of it’s own. There are a number of possible reasons for this, from the image it creates, to that the last dark mage Abe Helex specialized in it. For whatever reason, shadow magic is unpopular, and rarely practiced by the modern mage population. Even though there is no indication that the discipline itself is inherently harmful.
Prudence held back a yawn as she skipped the next three pages of the author justifying writing a book. She did of course agree that there was nothing wrong with shadow magic, hence her reading the book in the first place, but the justifications were grating.
In actuality shadow magic is a general heading for two different forms of magic, that are very similar in appearance. These are shadow and darkness that are most certainly different. Shadows are created by the blocking of light, darkness is the absence of light. A very fine distinction, but when dealing with shadows look for what’s casting them, and when dealing with darkness look at the darkness.
Prudence straight up skipped to the middle of the book, and into the actual technical details of darkness magic. Most of it wasn’t very interesting to her, not that the theory wasn’t very useful or anything. She was however only interested in the bits concerning light absorption to generate darkness and simultaneously power the spell. Natural power sources were always more difficult to deal with than mana, harder to regulate. Although in recent years a lot of effort had been put into getting electricity as a reliable source of power for spells.
Prudence stood up in her empty cell. The stone walls were barren, except for the light on the ceiling, and the red LED next to the door. The LED would turn on if someone wanted to get her attention, disturbing someone in the middle of a spell had potentially nasty consequences. The room was similarly empty. Apart from Prudence herself all that was in it was the metal circle embedded in the floor, and a wooden stool that her grimoire sat on, along with a pen.
She wasn’t sure how long she had been reading the book on shadows, but whatever the time it had been was too long. These old mages were far too long winded for her taste, couldn’t they just put down the information without all of the moralistic crap? It’s like they expected her to care about what they had to say on how magic should be used. She had an ethics class for that, when it came to magic she just wanted to use it.
After a few quick stretches Prudence sat back down on the stone floor in the seize position. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to sit, but that was kind of the point. Closing her eyes she took several deep breaths, slowing herself, relaxing herself. Diving within her own mind she entered her library.
It was simply a mindscape of course, a way to organize information, and memories. She had modeled it on a library she had spent a lot of time in before entering the program. It was a place she was very fond of. While she would not admit it out loud she was also fond of Justin who was in his usual place in the broken down chair, and the Librarian who was at her desk. They were not suppose to be there.
“Have I gone crazy? Because I’m pretty sure this is all in my head, and you two aren’t suppose to be here.” Prudence asked, or to be more accurate imagined asking. Justin and the Librarian reacted as if she had spoken out loud, so it might have been the same thing.
“Actually you’re not suppose to be here, how are you here Prudence?” Justin asked.
“It’s all in her head, she just has a really good imagination.” The Librarian said before Prudence could answer.
“We’re in an extra dimensional library that exists throughout all of space, and she got in just by imagining herself here? I want to call bullshit on that answer.” Justin replied.
“She’s a champion, it makes it easier for her to accidentally run into divine places, especially if her god is currently residing in it.” The Librarian answered.
“Oh good point.” Justin answered. He then looked at Prudence who had been trying to speak but they had been talking over her. “You should probably go.”
“Just wait a minute, what are you two talking about? This is my head, and I don’t remember becoming some kind of champion, and there are no such things as gods.” Prudence said.
“Ooh, well this is awkward, denied by my own champion.” Justin gave one of his mischievous grins. “Nah, we’re just screwing with you. We’re both rogue mages and though we’d stop by and say hi. Good to see you Prudence, we’ve missed you.”
Prudence looked from Justin to the Librarian, and back again. “Ok I can buy the rough mages bit, but this is some serious mind magic, it’s really illegal, and the power costs must be crazy.”
“They are, we’re just about out of power actually, time for us to go. Do come by sometime, it’s nice to hang out.” The Librarian said.
Prudence suddenly felt as if she had been doused with ice water. The shock forced her to open her eyes gasping as she fell back. “The fuck was that bullshit?”
She received no answer of course, the room was completely empty. She hadn’t even known it was possible to do something like that with mind magic. No wonder it was so illegal, because she really wanted to get her hands on some of the theory now. Whatever she only had the room for so long.
Prudence put herself back into her library, quicker than she normally did, so it was fuzzy around the edges. It wasn’t populated this time, only filled with the books she had looked at. Fourth shelf from the front, middle level, four hundred and twelve books along. She found the book exactly where it should be in her mind, Heart of the golem.
“Shadow golems called it pay up you deadbeats.” War shouted at the roomful of gods.
Change looked up from his romance novel. “Fine, fine. Here’s your new scepter” He pulled a short, very pink scepter out of his pocket. It had a heart on the top, and appeared to be generating it’s own sparkles. It even had it’s own theme music. Change chucked it at War’s head.
“The fuck is this?” War growled as he caught it with two finger, holding it away from himself.
“The scepter of eternal bliss, it caused the destruction of Atlantis back in the day. I may have messed with the appearance, just a bit.” Change answered.
“Atlantis was real?” War asked.
“Yes it was, I have several books on it if you’re interested.” The Librarian answered.
“How could you not know Atlantis was real?” Asked fortune.
Change was the one to answer. “You might be the youngest of us gods, but the rest aren’t that much older than you are. Myself, the Librarian, and your predecessor were the only ones to survive the last time we all duked it out. Atlantis was the first city to go, last time around. That’s why we treat things so much like a game these days. Prevents things from getting personal.”
“Oh, that actually makes sense. It would explain why no one was upset by you nurturing a dark lord.” Fortune replied.
“Yeah, I try to keep things interesting. I mean now she’s going to be looking into mind magic, add that to her shadow golems and she’s straight up got an army of terror. It’s going to be great.” Change said with a grin.