seol_plumfall: (empty)
Isaac Black ([personal profile] seol_plumfall) wrote2010-10-28 04:06 am

→Elly 4: A letter to Isandor

Dear Brother Sandy,

I am that eccentric former sister about which I am sure dear Mayhew has already related a great deal of bizarre and humorous anecdotes. He may also have told you about diffuse plans of mine to leave Stormwind and travel the land, with the possibility of accompanying me as an armed escort; the letter that will be accompanying mine will, I believe, let you know that these plans have become rather less speculative in the past few weeks and that we will begin heading north very soon.

I imagine that you also bear great affection and concern for the boy, talented, good, and sensible as he is. Although I'm sure there's nothing I can write to dispel all your worries for him, I'll do what I can to look out for him and to minimize the risks we encounter. Though I'd advise you, in an arm-wrestling match between me and a gnome, to put your money on the gnome, I have learned a few things from the Church and the Ashen Verdict, so hopefully we'll be able to watch each other's backs on the road. And I'll be reminding him to write you regularly.

Talking with Mayhew has led me to imagine you not only a conscientious guardian but a learned and intelligent man. So, in addition to introducing myself and letting you know about our plans, I was hoping to ask for your advice on a topic that has been bothering me. It is one that has been preventing me from leaving the city sooner, and I suppose I will have to decisively confront it at some point during this little adventure. I hope that you might be able to provide a youth in my situation some useful advice, given your occupation and experience.

My dilemma is this: power is corrupting. The arcane magics, for instance, are widely known to be insidiously addictive, and the first thing any ambitious apprentice is taught is that no one, no matter how pure and careful he believes himself to be, is incapable of losing himself in the power and being wielded by it. Every mage is tempted to imagine himself intelligent, careful, virtuous enough to avoid corruption, or thinks that by following only "good" and "clean" practices he will be safe, but these beliefs can make him, ultimately, more vulnerable.

And so I wonder: how does one guard herself against this sort of corruption? -- not only in terms of arcane magic, but of fel magic, or political power, or even the rapture of the Light, which, if one looks to present-day Lordaeron, does not fully protect its followers from toxic zeal. It is easy to tell someone to be humble and to watch herself for any developing weakness, but what does this really mean, in practice? For I am inclined to think that careful humility and cautious, pious practice might instill a sense of false security into the practitioner; because she conducts herself so carefully, she believes herself safe, but if there is one cobweb-laden corner of her soul that habitually forgets to inspect . . .

I suspect that the answer may be that self-reflection, humility, and caution can only ever provide imperfect protection; the risk will always be there, no matter what defensive measures are taken. Still, I would like to know how to reduce that risk as much as mortally possible and to learn about all practical methods of doing so.

I understand, too, that this is not a question any man or elf can answer easily, but still, I imagine you have more wisdom and experience than I.

I await your response patiently, or as patiently as a teen-aged human can ever wait. If you ever have any question of me, you can pass it to me through Mayhew whenever you please.



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