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Keish- February 22, 2005

February 22, 2005
Dear Arri,
I know I only sent my letter off to you yesterday, but I simply could not wait to share this with you.
Yesterday evening we were in the library when Caden arrived, asking whether or not I thought Imato would have to perform a Bellington ward again.
Brynn and I had been discussing exactly that.
“I’ve been doing some research,” I said slowly, “and I don’t think it matters because I don’t think he can.”
“What do you mean?” Jace asked.  He had been out in his training yard and came in with Caden, so he hadn’t heard Brynn and me debating the subject.
I sighed.  “The truth is it shouldn’t have worked.  I told you how convinced Imato was at first that he couldn’t do it-- he insisted it was hypothetical.  I should have realized that he’d studied it thoroughly.  Of course, I had complete confidence because I had seen him do it in my vision.  It was only afterwards that I started to think about it.  I’ve looked over the whole thing today, all of the material I could gather on the subject, and frankly it’s unsustainable.  It shouldn’t have worked.”
“But it did,” Jace pointed out.
I nodded.  “I know, but I doubt we’ll ever know why.”
Caden looked thoroughly lost.  “How can you say it’s an impossible spell?  Clearly you’ve proof to the contrary.”
“Ah, but Keaton was telling me yesterday that Tish always says it isn’t proof unless you can duplicate the experiment.”  I shrugged.  “Brynn and I spent half the afternoon trying.  Now I know I’m not Imato, but I think I can say that I’m a fairly powerful Brio in my own right without being accused of arrogance.  At least, no more than normal,” I said with a slight smile, “but I can’t do it.  Even on a small scale I can’t make it work.”
“Then how did it work for Imato?”
“Caden,” I chided, “I just said we may never know.  You don’t understand the complexity of a spell like that.  There are too many variables for me to investigate every parameter.  Even if I could, I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to calculate all of them.  Different harmonics could lead to completely different outcomes and absolutely anything could affect the harmonics.  I’m talking about the date, the weather, relative positions of planets, layering juxtapositions, time of day, time of sunrise, location….”
“Even if everything could be calculated, any astronomer could tell you we wouldn’t be able to duplicate the conditions for hundreds of years,” Jace finished.
Caden refused to believe any of it.  “But surely you can…”
I cut him off.  “I would have to have unlimited time and unlimited resources, including access to people.  Which of course would have to include Imato, Queran Aoweir, Arri, and Uncle Quin…” I trailed off, covering my mouth with my hand.  “Uncle Quin…”
“Keisha, what is it?” Jace asked.
I held up a hand.  “Just a moment, Jace.”
My thoughts were whirling in all directions.  I turned to Brynn.  “Did you already know about Uncle Quin’s magic?  Before Trena said anything?”
Brynn tilted her head to one side.  “I might have had a suspicion, like I did with Adlen and then with Jace when I met him, but I didn’t know anything for certain.”
“And with the tests you use he would read as nonmagical.”  I didn’t have to ask, I’d tried with Jace.  “The most you would feel would be a sense of potential-- like I felt with Charissa probably.”
Brynn nodded.  “That’s right.”
I bit my lip.  “Is it possible, though, that other spells would show dormant magic?  With Jace, for example, are there other spells we could try?”
She shrugged a little.  “Of course.  There are many such spells and they’re all just a little different.  For magic like Jace’s, though, it would be difficult.  You’d have to know what you were looking for.”
“Because while most magic runs in documented family lines, there is occasionally spontaneous magic,” I finished for her.  “Like with Jace, whose family shows no hint of potential, even, when tested.  Uncle Quin is likely the same way.”
“Possibly,” Brynn conceded.  “It’s not common, but I don’t know much about the Etautca family.”
“Do you think it would be different in battle?” I asked quietly.  “If Uncle Quin’s magic is largely protective in nature, could a situation spark something causing someone familiar with magic to realize he had some?”
Brynn and Jace both looked very thoughtful at this idea.
“Are you saying that maybe someone in Greste knew about his magic?” Jace asked.
“I don’t particularly like the implications,” I responded, “but someone tried to take him.  There must have been a reason.”
“And you think that dormant magic was the motive?” Caden asked incredulously.
“The only magical item unaccounted for was Quin’s,” Brynn offered quietly.  “The protective charm may have been Jezreel’s, but given the circumstances and the nature of his gift, it’s possible that it became something more.”
“We need to tell Arri,” Jace said softly.  “And we need to warn Imato not to try the Bellington ward again.”
“He’s not likely to anytime soon,” I said.  “Besides, with all the theory he’s been studying, it’s entirely possible he’s been going through the same thought process.”
“Still,” said Jace, “you write Arri and I’ll write Imato.  And Caden can see to it that both letters are delivered quickly.”
The look on Caden’s face said he thought we were all mad, but he nodded.

It’s all speculation, Arri.
Well, not the part about the Bellington ward.  We’re possibly lucky that that didn’t completely backfire on us.
As for your father, I have no idea if we’re right.  It’s something to think about at any rate.

Caden is sending this for me, so you should get it only a day after my last letter.  Brynn is planning to be in Rousha by Saturday afternoon so she will be able to tell you more if I haven’t explained things very well.

Love Always,


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