Proofless Proof

June 6, 2021

I knew the individual calling themselves Daniel had cast a spell on me. It was the kind of thing that people like him do. It was characteristic of the man (I assume he’s a man, going by his name, although of course he cloaks himself in layers of obfuscation and his/her/their name may be one of those). Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of thing that you can ‘see a man about’. No one knows how to believe you. You have to take care of these things yourself.

Fortunately, my own magical abilities allowed me to feel the targeting of the spell long before any actual ill effects were noticed on my part. My magical prowess was, and is, if I may be so bold, of a level to forewarn me of such acts. I cannot describe the feeling to non-magical persons; you’ll need to take my word for it. But it is akin to the knowledge that you are being watched. It is a heaviness on the shoulders, say.

However, unlike that more prosaic feeling, you can’t simply turn around to dispel it. If you were to, magically speaking, look over your shoulder you would likely not see your oppressor. Like Daniel, they would be shrouded in hexes and incantations; you would not be allowed to see, yet you’d know they were there. For similar reasons, you cannot tell someone else of your burden. It is yours alone.

And so, in the case of the attack from Daniel, I set up a counter-spell. For three nights, in private, I worked the summonings and cast the magical objects before me in the prescribed manner. I could feel within myself the building energies, like a thunderhead, as the working was made. Again, any non-magical person would see nothing out of the ordinary: some props, perhaps; an impression of intent. Finally, I unleashed the magic towards Daniel, wherever he was. The nature of magic is such that I needn’t know exactly where he is.The magic finds its own ways in these circumstances. I was soon rewarded with an easing of the effects of his own attack.

And then that was that. Not even my closest acquaintances knew what had gone one between me and Daniel. I like to keep my powers hidden, for fear of unwanted attention, or society’s scorn. Therefore the battle remains invisible.

Now I must turn my attention elsewhere, for there is no use awaiting further confirmation of success. Such luxury is not afforded the likes of us, this secret and rarified group of people. We mages do not even communicate directly, yet our actions are known mutually.

No, I must simply accept the evidence of my own feelings, that my spell was effective against the maleficence of my enemy. I will never see ’Daniel’, nor meet any of the other mages in the flesh. Perhaps I will pass close to one in the street, and yet if either of us senses the other, we will never let on.

So if it pleases you, this is the limit of knowledge that I can impart to you, the uninitiated reader. The unspoken bond of the mages means I can never more fully describe our actions, nor the secret battles that take place each day. Even if I were to try, my words would seem as madness in a world not tuned to the Powers.

And so all evidence of magic and its practitioners remain hearsay, rumour and conjecture, and only these brief words of mine can be its testament.