On Magic and the Prohibition Thereof

By the Butterfly

On the sixth tablet of Iridine law, the crime of using forbidden magics is listed as one of the most serious crimes against the Republic itself, placed above all save for treason. So it has been for many years, and those who govern us reassure us that we are the better for it. Magics are used only by those who serve evil, and have no place in the Republic.

Yet we are not free of evil magic due to the prohibition. One has only to trek through the tunnels of the sewers beneath the City and witness the fate of the Altene mercenary Feysal to realize this. As Moonfall draws ever closer, the threat from the magic of the Ravanites and other evils becomes ever greater. The prohibition does not prevent the Ravanites from wielding magic; it merely adds to the aura of fear surrounding them and magic in general, giving them greater power to use terror to control the populace. For as long as the prohibition is in effect, the people of the City have little or no defense against the spells of our enemies.

Imagine if ordinary people were allowed to learn magic. Then, whenever the Ravanites attempted to attack us with their powers, the people of Iridine would be able to resist their attacks. Curses such as that placed on Feysal could be studied, understood, and lifted.

It has been rumored that the Cult of Ereal is studying the lore of ancient religions in an effort to understand the force of magic and apply it towards their own goals, which at the moment are in general noble and good. Yet, once the Ravanites are eliminated and the Erealites are left the only group allowed knowledge of magic, what is to prevent them from using it for deeds as evil as those of the Ravanites? Any time a tool - be it knowledge, weaponry, religion, or magic - is kept concentrated in the hands of a small minority of the population, the potential is there for it to be used for control and exploitation of the majority.

If the Republic is to be kept free of the influence of evil magic, then the ban on magic must be lifted, completely and immediately. The right to learn the ways of magic must become as integral a part of the rights of the Iridine people as the right to speak freely and the right to wield a gladius. For as long as the Senate keeps the ban in place, for as long as magic is kept only in the hands of a criminal underground or a small elite segment of the population, for as long as there is an aura of fear and distrust kept on those who practice magic, the people of the City will be forced to live in fear of what those who disregard the ban may choose to do with their forbidden magics.

I, for one, will not bow to the law in this instance. If the opportunity is given to me to learn the way of magic, I will take it without fear of the constables, and use it to defend my friends, my loved ones, my fellow citizens of the Republic, and all men of all other nations from those powers which might choose to harm or control them.

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