LIAB Text 10
Jack remembered a day.
He didn't remember every day. At the best of times, his mind had not been the sturdiest of clay pots. It had been shattered and the pieces incompletely reassembled since this day he was thinking of.
But the specific memory seemed clear and whole. It came to him like a lace curtain, brushing across his face in the breeze. The grunting and farting and leather-slaps of wings to all sides of him faded from his mind, as he studied the landscape below. Jetstone's orchards and fields scrolled by, so similar to Faq's...
Foolamancy is Eyemancy. By habit and trade, a Foolamancer must look. At all times, the Foolamancer must observe the nouns around him in finest detail and broadest stroke, in a way that other minds do not. Other minds take shortcuts. Other minds construct, telling themselves stories about what they see, rather than seeing. Foolamancy is therefore only a narrative. To tell a mind it sees something, the Foolamancer must both see the world as it is, and also as it is seen.
Staring into the void of that discrepancy is what drives one mad, really.
He glanced at Lady Firebaugh, up ahead. There was surely a vessel cracked worse (and repaired worse) than he.
She had been present, on that day he recalled. They'd awaited the Princess together. Upon the solemn ramparts of old Faq, they had talked about love.
"You know my position, Jack Snipe," said the Lady Firebaugh. In those days, "Jack" (as in "Knave") was his title as well as his name. And though as Casters they were equals at the philosophical feet of King Banhammer, she'd always kept the habit of calling him by his entire moniker.
"That would be extraordinary," said Jack. "To know someone else's position, without being certain of my own."
The Lady made a face. She didn't much care for semantics. "You know well what I mean. If love is Natural Thinkamancy, then show me the spell which binds or dispels it. Can you, Eyemancer? You cannot. If love were like Loyalty, it would be subject to control. There would be..." She turned and looked out at the mountaintops to the east and shrugged.
He followed her gaze to the near pass, where Princess Jillian would soon appear. Too well, he knew what the Lady Firebaugh meant. He didn't believe the Croakamancer was aware of their common affliction, but he could never be sure. "There would be defenses," he said quietly.
She shot him a look. "The Hippiemancers have a better claim. They have some spells..."
He breathed out a sigh and leaned his silk-sleeved elbows upon the rounded stonework, gazing down upon the city. "Those spells... Yes, love could be Natural Hippiemancy. But I suspect it is not. I suspect the Thinkamancers and the Florists and the Signamancers all are dancing about some cosmic fire they cannot comprehend."
He stood straight, and looked into the deep blue pools of pure Naughtymancy that this woman had for eyes. "I suspect," he said gravely, "love is something greater than magic itself, perhaps something even the Titans are helpless before."
The Lady Firebaugh seemed about to reply, but a horn sounded, short and sharp. Tiny yellow forms came into view in the eastern sky.
She turned to look, but Jack studied her a bit longer. "It is something we can discuss further in circle tonight, I suppose," he said.
The Croakamancer smiled and shook her head, looking off into the far distance. "I will be occupied tonight."