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Gilveidan the All-Knowing's Answer to Magic, the Cosmos, and Everything

Gilveidan the All-Knowing’s Answer to Magic, the Cosmos, and Everything

Gilveidan pointedly waited until everyone else slowly cleared out of the clock tower, busying himself with the various gears and cogs around the room. He wasn’t really being subtle, but most of the group were either unobservant or filled with spite. Some were both.

But after an awkward pause, everyone else scattered to who-knew-where, and he and Cindy were alone.

As soon as Kei left the room, rolling her eyes as Doug yelled something at her, Gil dropped what he was doing and dusted his hands off. A rather tired sigh escaped his lips. “I suppose you have many questions,” he said, turning slowly towards Cindy.

“I do,” she hopped off the wooden stool she’d been perched on, “but let me help you with the clock first. I can’t do much yet, but I’m sure together we could—”

“That won’t be necessary.”

“Okay, but seriously, it’s really gonna bug me and I’m going to retain absolutely nothing you say otherwise.”

“No, I mean, it really won’t be necessary,” he ducked his head a little. It was a new expression for Cindy, who was much more accustomed to the haughty and pompous looks that most often graced his features.

It caught her so off guard that all she thought to ask was: “What do you mean?”

“That daemon hussie isn’t the only one who can weave falsehoods, you know,” was all he said for a minute.

“And?” Cindy prompted.

He sighed again. “The fable is really quite ridiculous. What the daemon told you is true, for the most part. I did agree to keep the clock tower running as part of her charade. And that really was what I intended to do. I had all the runes and magicks in place to make it so as soon as she gave the signal. Yet then the oddest thing happened. The blasted thing just started working on its own.”

“Wait, you mean it just started running again? Completely at random?”

“Not at random in the least. It happened just before I was about to activate it myself.”

“Hold on,” Cindy frowned, suddenly finding herself a little annoyed. “If that’s the case, then why are you still here? You only needed to get it working, right? And, well, on purpose or not, you succeeded. You could have left ages ago!”

“Because I need to know why.”

“You, uh… you know we came all the way here just to look for you, right? And Muirne’s probably worried sick about you.”

“I do apologize that all of you became involved,” he admitted, “that was not my intention. However, you must understand, I haven’t the foggiest idea how this clock tower is even functioning. It’s missing nearly a quarter of its mechanisms, and there doesn’t seem to be any power source anywhere. Like you yourself previously stated, it was going to ‘bug’ me.”

“Your funeral,” Cindy shrugged.

“You really think she’s going to kill me?”

“I’d say the odds go up by about five percent every day. Maybe that’s being a little generous.”

“I don’t understand that pointed look you’re giving me. Are you actually suggesting I give up?”

“Look, I get it, I really do,” Cindy admitted. “I mean, shit, I really wanna know why it’s suddenly working nearly as much as you seem to, and I just heard about all this like five minutes ago. But there’s a lady somewhere out there who’s worried about you. And also she’s got a really big sword.”

Gil gave her a nearly identical expression to the one she always received from Marcell whenever she pointed out that sweater-vests hadn’t been in style in the last fifty years. Disappointed, but ultimately defeated.

“I suppose you may be correct,” his frown only intensified. “But as soon as I’ve explained myself, I may just have to sneak back in.”

“Hey, I just want you to get the hell out of here for five minutes. I don’t care what you do afterwards.”

“Alas, it will be a while before the succubus returns.”

“It might be best to wait a little longer to tell her it’s working,” Cindy cautioned. “Kei will think its weird if we’re done too quickly.”

“Then, seeing as we have much time on our hands, we should get back to the more important topic at hand: your magic.” The look he gave her was grave and concerning. “How did it happen, exactly?”

She gulped, wondering if this was somehow more serious than she had initially imagined. Come to think of it, he’d been more taken aback by this development than she’d expected. Cindy had been hoping to relieve some stress with this encounter, but no such luck, she supposed. “Well, your grimoire unfortunately got… burned,” she admitted, ducking her head. “I was about to give up on it when… I don’t know, it just… felt like something was still there, I could feel it. So I set up a circle and chased it to the very back of the book.”

“You talk about the magic as if it were a sapient entity,” Gilveidan frowned.

“I mean, it was. It looked just like you. I talked to it.”

“And it spoke back?” he seemed almost disturbed by her words.

But she kept speaking anyway. “It was going to die if it stayed in the book, so I offered to take it in. And it accepted. What’s wrong?” she finally asked as Gil started pacing.

“This is all very new to me…” he stammered. “For one, I’ve heard rumors of very old, powerful magicks, particularly isolated specimens, gaining some sort of consciousness, but never to the extent of which you speak. And I’ve certainly never heard of anyone communing with it.”

“Well, that’s what happened.”

“I’m not doubting your tale. After all the times I’ve been dismissed that would make me a hypocrite. But it’s not only that. There’s also the matter of you, and of Ede Valley in general.”

“What do you mean?”

“Magic no longer exists in our reality, I’m afraid. At least not any naturally occurring. Back in the days of Lemuria, magic was everywhere. Children were born with miraculous abilities with astonishing regularity, though I suppose back then it was more a fact of life than anything.”

“You’re digressing,” Cindy frowned.

“Apologies,” his pacing became even more sweeping. “But since then, magic in our reality slowly… died. The last true magus I’ve heard of lived in the eleventh century. Since then, not a single person born has been capable of even handling magic on their own, let alone naturally imbued with it.”

“Gil, what the hell are you talking about?” Cindy asked. “I know for a fact I wasn’t the only witch around. Not by a long shot.”

“Patience, Miss Miller, I was getting to that. Witchery is different, you see. It was granted to you by a daemon. But that was not your magic. It was merely magic channeled through the grimoire. Thus, less powerful, but also less likely to cause spontaneous combustion.”

“Excuse me?”

“Like I said, no modern mortal should be even remotely capable of handling and maintaining raw, unfiltered magic within themselves, of any amount, of any kind. Which includes yourself. What has happened to you should not be possible. You should be dead.”

“I don’t know how that could be. I’m an entirely ordinary person. Or, at least, almost.”

“I have to concur,” he nodded. “This seems to be a case of the magic becoming aberrant, not necessarily your person. Have you experienced any sort of unexplained pain? Nausea? Migraines?”

“Only when I overexert myself,” she shrugged. “Magically, I mean. The more I use, the more sick I feel.”

Finally, he stood still, only to cup his chin with a hand and stare at her intently. He seemed to be looking for something specific, and when he found it, he simply raised an eyebrow. “That is… absolutely unbelievable. It’s not a perfect fit, but it seems as if you and the magic are slowly synthesizing. It appears to be slowly changing your physical attributes in order to contain itself.”

“Actually, that’s why I wanted to talk to you,” Cindy interjected, embarrassed by being stared at for so long. “There’s so much more I can do now, it seems, but I have no idea how any of it works, and I can barely do any experimenting before I feel like throwing up.”

“Yes, I would imagine that’s due to the nature of your magic acquired… second-hand. It may still be attuned to my specific energies, so it is much harder for you to utilize than it should be. Your body is having trouble with that extra toil, it seems, both physically and mentally. Do you mind?” he asked, sticking out a hand and taking a step towards her.

She shrugged, and Gil put a finger to her forehead, at the spot directly between her eyes.

“Yes, that appears to be exactly the case.”

Cindy decided not to ask how he could possibly tell that just from her forehead.

“All magi experience fatigue to a certain degree. There would be no limit to their power, otherwise. Every person has a limit, but yours seems to be much smaller than the average magi, perhaps due to not being naturally proficient in the skill.”

“So is there anything you can do to get my chakras aligned or whatever?”

“I don’t know what that is,” Gil frowned, but seemed to chalk it up to another bit of sarcasm and proceeded to think about it for a full minute. “I imagine that the more you use it, the easier it will become. The magic and your body will fall more in sync, and using magic is just like building any other muscle, really.”

“So what you’re saying is that I’m going to be having problems for a while,” Cindy sighed. She had been afraid of that.

“There are things that can be done. I remember a few children at the monastery where I was raised having similar problems. Alas, I was not one of them,” he admitted. “So it has been a… very long time since I witnessed them.”

“I’m not gonna have to like, meditate for five hours while standing on my head or something, am I?”

“Of course not…” he looked confused. “And why was that hypothetical so oddly specific?”

“I don’t know, thought it’d be funny, I guess,” she shrugged. “Maybe the weirdos are rubbing off on me or something.”

“Perhaps,” he chuckled. “They all are certainly, ah, ‘characters’ as you might put it.”

“Ugh, we’re getting off track,” Cindy huffed. “I’ve got so many more things to ask you. For starters: how does magic even work, like, how—”

“Cindy,” Gil interrupted. “I apologize for my rudeness, but before you continue, I want you to understand something. At best, I am an adept magus. There are many things I can teach you, to be sure, many answers I can provide. But I myself am still a student of magic. In all likelihood, I always will be. If you truly want to learn to be a proper magus, you should find a proper master.”

“I see what you mean,” she said. “But there’s just one problem. Like you said, there’s no magic in Ede Valley anymore, so its not like I have any idea where to find anyone like that. So, I uh, don’t suppose you have any suggestions.”

“All of the masters I knew are long dead.” Yet even as he said that, an odd smile began to cross over his face. “However, I may have one idea. And I think he may be just as interested in meeting you as you might be of him.”

“How so?”

“His name is Cephias Griffin,” Gil explained patiently, “and he is an exceptionally powerful magician. Most magi, including witches, mind you, are rather long-lived. The magic slows the aging process. But in the end, we all eventually must meet the wings of the Morrigan. Yet somehow, Griffin has persisted throughout entire ages. Seemingly, he has achieved immortality.”


“The man is more a legend than a person. Many have met him in his wanderings through the cosmos, though few have ever learned anything of him at all. All that is truly known is that he is always following something.”

“So what does this have to do with me?”

“He might possibly be the only person in the cosmos who can understand your… unique position.”

“You’re saying he wasn’t born a magus.”

“No one really knows, but he implied as such when we briefly met.”

Cindy blinked a few times, then shook her head, sighing. “You know you could have started with that, right?”

Gil tilted his head, genuinely confused. “What can you possibly mean?”

“Well, you know, like ‘oh, by the way, if you’re looking for a teacher, I’ve got an acquaintance who might be able to help you, cuz I’m pretty sure he’s just like you are,’ instead of the entire dramatic run around. And I know it’s not an Atlantean thing. Muirne never acts like this.”

“Cindy, please. The drama is all I have.” He said that in such a deadpan tone that Cindy couldn’t tell if he was being facetious or not.

She sighed. “I guess you wouldn’t really be ‘Gilveidan the All-Knowing’ without it. But alright, how do I find this guy?”

“It will be quite a journey, I have a feeling,” Gil admitted. “It would not be something to take lightly. He is not an easy man to find.”

“I don’t know if that’s in the cards for me at the moment,” Cindy admitted. “I’m supposed to be starting college in a month.”

“It is a potentially life-changing decision,” Gil nodded. “I can teach you enough to get by, you have a life to live, after all. But Cindy, if you change your mind, I may be able to help you find where he headed.”

“Thanks. To be honest, I’m entirely unsure of what I want to be doing at the moment, but I guess that’s one more thing to add to the ever-growing pile of options.”

Yet as she thought about it for just a moment, she felt something… odd. It was a lightness, a weight off her chest that had previously kept pressing harder when she thought of what came next in her life. But the thought of a journey, an adventure even, seemed to be lifting that weight. It would be dangerous. It would take her far away from her friends, her family, everything she knew. But it also sounded fun.

Like Gil had said, this wasn’t something to take lightly, of course. This wasn’t something she could decide right now. But for the first time in a while, Cindy felt a little relief claw its way into her chest. She may very well have another life option to choose from.

“Now, we still have quite some time before the harlot returns,” Gil interrupted her thoughts. “So there’s no point in delaying what lessons I can teach you. But before we do, something tells me that you have another question.”

Cindy ran a hand through her hair, embarrassed. “Just one,” she admitted. “It’s something I’ve been wondering for a while now. I know the difference between witches and magi, but you’re a warlock, and just now you called Cephias Griffin a magician. What is it that… determines what you are?”

“That is the magus’ greatest secret. We do covet our titles. It is a way to impress our wisdom and knowledge onto the common folk.”

Cindy rolled her eyes a little at that.

“But the truth is that, in reality, there is really no difference at all,” he grinned at her, to a devilish extent that she wasn’t used to from him. “In the end, you may choose whatever your heart desires.”

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