I’m going to try again tonight.
If I’m wrong, this could be my first and last entry in this new book, the sixth record of my travels through Balaen and beyond. Probably will be my last entry, considering how that last test left me pissing red for a week. But I think I know what I did wrong, and I feel pretty confident. Mostly confident. Terrified. No one’s ever going to read this, and I’m not sure why I keep writing, except to have someone else to talk to, even if it’s myself. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m going mad.
I don’t even know if these preparations matter. None of the ancient writers agreed on anything, and they all swore by their own methods. Fast for twelve hours. Sit by a puddle of water in which the moon is reflected and meditate. Burn three kinds of incense. Take off all your clothes—I’m definitely not doing that, even if I am the only one around. The best I could do was find common threads and then use my instincts—that’s something they all did agree on, that magic comes from who you are, at the core, and all this incense and water and fasting and nudity are supposed to make you more yourself. Or something. Anyway, I need this pouvra, and I’m willing to try anything at this point.
Maybe I am mad. Any one of these pouvrin I’ve learned could get me executed, if I wasn’t torn apart by a frenzied mob first. It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when magic wasn’t feared, but I have all these stories that say otherwise. Maybe I should have taken up a career as a traveling tale-teller; it would be less dangerous. Though with the kind of stories I’ve learned, I’d probably be just as likely to get killed, suggesting maybe magic isn’t as evil as all that. I can see why people think it is. The pouvrin I’ve learned are a little frightening—I can summon fire, or water, and I can see through things, and I think I might be able to walk through walls, though I’ve only done that once and I’m afraid to try it again. Suppose I went solid in the middle of something? And if I do this right, I’ll be able to make things move without touching them. I hurt myself trying, last time, but—I’m stalling now, aren’t I? No sense putting it off any longer. If I can make this work, they’ll never be able to trap me again.