Wizard! Chapter 168
William found that he was feeling better after his discussions with Chris. For some reason, relatively trivial things had upset him a lot more in the moment than a future looming event that was really much more important. That was just the way humans seemed to work, and William didn’t think he’d ever understand why, or be able to do anything about it even if he could. People just felt things, and though William would have liked to believe was purely logical, he wasn’t above his feelings.
William had come to terms with the prophecy. He realized it didn’t matter whether it was true, and that he would be fine with either result. As for why the prophecy seemed accurate up to the current point, he had a theory about that. Perhaps the only point of certainty was Chris appearing. That was hard to argue, since they had been looking for him- though of course they would have thought about the situation as looking for “it” since they didn’t know about Chris in detail, and Chris was a staff. Regardless, Chris had certainly been predicted somehow. It could have been assumed afterwards that there should be an important message associated with it. Then, after William showed up and said his part, the rest of the prophecy could have been made up on the spot. William didn’t think that he was being lied to, nor that anyone would have even believed it was being made up, but it could happen. Memory was a fickle thing, and it was possible prophetic magic could fill in likely details after certain conditions were met. It would feel like these were known the whole time, but that wouldn’t be the case. Or… the prophecy could really have been legitimate, but William still didn’t like to admit that… because he still didn’t understand how it worked.
His time in Ustil was soon coming to an end. There was little point in staying around much longer, and William probably should have been prepared to leave a few days earlier. However, he couldn’t give up the chance to spend just a little bit more time at a new library. He hadn’t had any particular goal in mind, but the librarian had been paying attention to what he had read. He had started to recommend things to William. Today, he had actually shown William a particular book- little more than a pamphlet, really. “I think you will find this… interesting.” The librarian smiled, and stroked his chin. “It’s from when we used to practice magic here… a long time ago. Not that particular copy, of course, but it is a faithful copy.”
William sat down to read it. It took some time to puzzle through, since the wording was older… and it was not in one of his best languages. The text was not too long, and he finally managed to get through it. When he had, he wasn’t exactly sure what he should think. The writing detailed a particular magical endeavor. The prosperity of a nation’s capital often reflects the prosperity of the nation as a whole, not just as a symbol but in a practical manner. Thus, they decided that they would make it so that their capital would always have water. Making it always able to rain would require a large magical formation, which would be expensive to set up and maintain. However, they had a different plan. It would theoretically possible to shift things behind the scenes, changing the weather patterns. Some people thought it could be done permanently, in a manner that wouldn’t require magic to maintain it. They were not wrong, and the plan was finalized, and then it worked. The capital city of Jeim had more water than it could ever need. William thought that the results were pretty good, except for one thing. Ustil hadn’t been a desert country. Instead, the land had been relatively fertile… but after several years it became obvious that what they had done drained most of the water from the rest of the country. By the time they noticed what they had done, it was too late to stop the damage.
Various plans were made to counteract what they had done. They couldn’t exactly set things back how they were before, but they could try. However, as they considered what they could do, they also thought about the effects on the surrounding countries. They couldn’t say that they would avoid affecting them if they changed more things. That was the biggest problem they encountered, that they didn’t know what the exact results would be.
Finally, it was decided that they would do nothing. They should do nothing, for fear of making things worse. They had the power to change the weather on a large scale, though they were not completely certain whether it would be permanent. However, even if it wasn’t, the damage wouldn’t be easily repaired. The mages of Ustil gathered together and made a decision. They had power, but not the knowledge to use it properly. They thought they knew what they were doing, and found themselves to be wrong. Perhaps in the future something similar or worse could happen again. They decided against letting that be a possibility. They destroyed all of the work that would allow them to attempt such large scale magic, and made a pact to never research or perform most kinds of magic ever again. They left behind their capital as a symbol of what could be done… and why it shouldn’t. It was a warning, as well as a reminder of the past.
William couldn’t say he disagreed with their decision to give up magic. He thought he probably wouldn’t have attempted anything that large in scale to begin with, but on the other hand he had never really had the chance to use magic. Perhaps he would have thought that something dangerous was a good idea, and others might have been convinced of that as well. Regardless, he thought it was a wise if somewhat depressing decision to give up on magic because of such a mistake.