Bad news. A couple of mages from Norsselen’s group approached me to complain. He’s been “teaching” by way of spouting meaningless but inspirational-sounding platitudes that boil down to “if you practice magic hard enough, you’ll be given more of it.” Basically what he was telling them before, only now (according to the mages) he’s backing it up by explicitly referring to his greater skill with magic. And those mages have been talking to friends in other groups who really are learning to understand magic, and they realized they’re being cheated.
So we went out on the patio with our lunches, and I had them do their best to explain how they perceive magic. I didn’t understand fully, but it took a while for Jeddan and me to come up with a shared vocabulary, so I wasn’t expecting to. It seems where Jeddan and I see pouvrin as existing shapes, me observing them from the outside and Jeddan feeling as if he’s on the inside, this third group sees magic in pieces that shift until they reach the right configuration. Their explanation was more detailed than this, and “right configuration” isn’t accurate, but at least it makes a kind of sense.
I told them I would talk to Norsselen and that his approach wasn’t necessarily wrong, since it had worked for him. I felt bad about lying to them, but I’m still working out how best to handle Norsselen, and challenging his authority isn’t the way. Yet.
More progress. The new mages are surprisingly quick to learn, or maybe it’s just that Jeddan and I know which paths are dead ends and just avoid those in our teaching. Jeddan managed the mind-moving pouvra this morning and turns out to be just as weak at it as I am. Hope that’s not a result of my teaching. He doesn’t seem to mind—asked me how hard it is to learn to pick locks. I said with the see-inside pouvra it’s not even a challenge. Neither of our doors has a lock, so we’ll have to search around for one so I can show him.
I miss the days when it was just the two of us on the road, though not the cold ground and the bad food and the small-minded, bitter, xenophobic people. Jeddan says he’s also working variations on the see-inside pouvra at night. He’s more dedicated than I am. At night I barely have enough energy to keep my record up to date before I fall into bed.
Dreamed of Cederic again last night. That was the first time in a long time. I’m embarrassed to admit that, having some privacy now, I didn’t try to wake myself up when things got really good. I miss him. I hope he’s safe and well, and that he and the mages are making progress in bringing our cultures together, because I know that’s what would matter most to him. That, and finding me.