"I've wondered that too, and I do not know to be honest. I've only met a couple dozen of other sorceress myself. Mostly Sisters of the Light. I'm sure there are those with the interest but I'd assume caring for their families is a far stronger pull than magic is. Most people don't want even want much to do with magic. The gift is also generally stronger in men than in women so perhaps that is also a factor. But again, I can't really say. Perhaps we could try to figure that out together?"
Wicked Witch Of The North
"If you have the calling then that is a stronger pull than anything, it is a need deep in your soul to learn. Just wanting to learn however, while that is rare in men as well it might be a rarer desire in women."
Meeru said and scratched his cheek.
"It might be like you said that the male Han is stronger than the female."
The young wizard looked apologetically.
"Forgive me but it is true, off course skill and precision outweigh raw strength any day. A skilled second or third order wizard who know what he is doing and more importantly how to utilize what he have could take down a war wizard for all his raw, untrained potential. A skilled sorceress could defeat an untrained or undisciplined wizard. But yes in and off itself the male Han is stronger."
Meeru waited a bit nervously to see if the sorceress beside him was angry with him for pointing out that a mans Han was stronger than a woman's, but when she did not seam to get enraged he continued.
"We all have a Han, it is said that it is the essence of life itself placed inside of us by the Creator. When we talk and walk we use our Han, that woodcarver over there."
Meeru pointed to a man who where sitting on a chair in his stall carving a bowl out of a piece of oak.
"He is using his Han right now, his hand's movement, that is Han, his creativity for how to shape that bowl, that is Han. Now a gifted person is someone who have the ability to use their Han to affect things outside of their bodies, to make things happen in and outside of themselves at will, or in other words, they have the ability to work what we know as magic. Now not everyone who can work magic are wizards and sorceresses, you have the bird men and women of the Mud People, who can call birds to them and talk with them, Artists who can draw or paint spells into existence, Sorcerers, the various non human races with inborn magical traits, all this is Han, but most potent are the gift of those who would be wizards and sorceresses."
Meeru took a break from talking, his mouth was dry he had not spoken this much in one sitting since he had been made a Mord-Sith's pet, in fact he had probably not spoken so much in a month, but his eyes shone now with the excitement of talking about magic. Meeru was called, he did not have magic thrust upon him like a gifted, and while he could never become as powerful as one born with the gift he made up for the lack with raw passion for the magic itself.
"Now then we have augmented people, those magic have been used on to give them powers, like for example the Confessors, who while their ability is inborn now where once created, or the Mord-Sith with their ability to catch the magic of others. These and more where ungifted and they had the Han within them augmented to allow for magic, even if it was just in one, distinct way. Richard Rhal wrote many times that he could see magic in the eyes of those who possessed some ability, and many of those had only lesser or augmented powers, I believe what he saw was the strengthened Han of that individual."
Meeru had to take another little break to catch his breath before he continued speaking, and now he took his eyes off the ground, as if he for just a few moment while speaking about magic forgot the situation he was in. Light and life sprang back into his tired eyes and he looked a little like he must have been in the walls of the Wizard's Keep, knowledgeable and eager to learn, he still looked tired but the hopeless gloom in his sapphire blue eyes had vanished.
"When someone with the calling or just the will to learn come to the Wizard's keep we are taught methods to strengthen our Han and magic is worked on us to strengthen us further, not quite the same methods used to augment the ungifted like they once did but somewhat close, all this is to make our ungifted Han strong enough to work magic. Now it is possible that a woman's Han is only strong enough to work magic if she is gifted, that the stronger male Han can be given a nudge as mine was and then bloom and become capable of manifesting spells, but that a woman born without the gift just do not have a Han strong enough, but I do not think that is true. In the Creator's name I should know I live completely controlled by the magic of an augmented woman, and the confessors are all women. Obviously augmentation of the Han to give some limited magical powers are possible in women, so why not the whole thing, making a sorceress out of an ungifted?"
Meeru looked at Ellynara and considered for a moment then he said.
"Perhaps if I am ever free, and if I recover we could hire an ungifted woman to try to learn, at worst she will get some coin and walk away with some meditation and relaxation techniques that could help her in their life, and at best she learns at least a little bit of magic. There are to few magic users in the world, if we could discover how to train ungifted women that number could be greatly bolstered, and that world be a worthy goal."
Meeru smiled, he was tired and he needed food and water, but at least his smile was genuine this time, there was still something alive inside of him, the torture he had been through had not destroyed that completely.
She giggled, "None taken, it is true. My mother is the only sorceress I know of to possess a stronger gift than a male...and me, I guess. I think my gift is as strong as hers was, but I do not know how to use it as well as she did yet."
Ellynara listened intently, with a big smile on her lips, she was glad to see him returning to at least a part of his former self, "Perhaps. But remember that augmentation and teaching are two completely different methods. To begin with, with augmentation you're forcing a specific talent of the gift into a person for them to use, that transfer to their children. Being taught is simply learning to use what they already have. Some people's Hans are not strong enough to manifest much of anything. So we could teach them all we like, but they won't be able to produce anything without a strong enough Han. If we wanted them to be able to use it we would have to augment them, which could be utterly life changing. They may not be able to go back to their families after such a procedure...."
Wicked Witch Of The North
Meeru nodded he looked at Ellynara as he explained.
"I am not talking about augmentation straight up, I am not augmented, my children do not have a greater chance of becoming gifted. I am saying that, and I do not remember what was done completely, some of the methods used for strengthening the Han of one called or one who simply choose to learn is similar to augmentation, though it is in no way the same. What is done is a combination of teaching an magic to strengthen the Han, it is far less intrusive than actual augmentation. You could say the difference is the same as between a skilled sorceress turning a man into a wolf, and a village witch with a hint of the gift giving a man with marital problems a wolf bone to imbue him with a bit of the essence of a wolf for a night so he would be more...eager...in the bedchamber, the magic is related in some ways but are so far apart in scope and method that they can not really be compared."
Meeru looked down at his hands.
"Augmentation imbue an individual with one specific magic, sometimes that magic can have more than one usage, like the Confessors who have their power of love, and they have their magical rage and in addition there is oddities to their condition like them feeling great pain if they ever where to cut their own hair, however even if it might have more than one effect their magic is limited to one or a few effects. This kind of augmentation was forced on someone, it was a cruel thing done usually to turn humans into weapons. The training of an ungifted is not like that, you are not forced, but related magic us used to nudge the student's Han to become stronger."
Meeru gave a slightly proud smile, but the smile quickly vanished and he looked frightened, he was not allowed pride, he did continue speaking though.
"I am a wizard, I am not an augmented, I have all the flexibility of the gifted, I can cast spells, create spells, contact and feel my Han at will. I will never be as powerful as one gifted, but I am quite accomplished, I am not just imbued with a power, my Han flow in me, fill me and manifest my will, I was trained, not augmented, but magic was used to help my Han fully manifest."
Meeru gave Ellynara a serious look before he continued.
"I would never wish to harm anyone sorceress just for the sake of curiosity or a magical experiment. But since I have been through it I can tell you that being trained in magic as an ungifted is not traumatic, it do not provide the shock and horror that augmentation can. Now off course if we ever got the chance to try to teach an ungifted woman she would have to be told of any dangers, and there is a chance that if he family hate magic that if we succeed that she will not be accepted afterwards, and off course there are always a danger from the leftover fragments of the Blood of the Fold and other such fanatics, but the teaching and magic involved itself, that should not be traumatic."
The young wizard gave a slight smile again as he had a rare fond memory.
"You know sitting here I can almost remember casting my first spell, it is rather foggy, but the memory is there just out of reach, and I remember being so proud and so happy when that first spell went off...and failed at doing what it was supposed to do completely, but it had gone off, and it was magic, my magic. I was so joyous that is what I remember best from my studies."
Ellynara rubbed her chin with her right hand and rested her right elbow on her left arm, "I've never heard of strengthening one's Han like that. I've heard of the Sisters of the Dark absorbing a wizard's gift and strengthening it that way, but not like that. I always thought one's Han was one's Han, it was impossible to strengthen it. Then again I suppose if the Lord Rahl could construct a spell to weaken other's Han while in the vicinity of the People's Palace, the opposite could also be possible...but that was also only temporary, their strength returned after they exited the field."
"But there's also the possibility that your experience will be different from the woman's since our gifts do have their differences. And there's some details that we do not even know, since as far as I know training an ungifted female to use magic has never happened. It would definitely be interesting to investigate though, if we can find a woman willing."
Ellynara smiled, "You will remember everything in time. It will all come back to you after we get you out of here and you recover. I think your mind is just too unfocused, foggy, and malnourished to recall things as well as you could. We'll make you better and then we can sort out your story and your memories."
Wicked Witch Of The North
"Think of it this way Ellynara you will never be as physically strong as that smith over there, I would not either for that matter."
Meeu pointed at a huge man currently haggling with a older man over a fine looking dagger in front of his workshop.
"But if you work with lifting sacks of grain for an hour every day you will get allot stronger than you are now. What is done to teach an ungifted magic is akin to training, it do not increase the Han artificially, but it trains and hones what you got until it is strong enough to be used."
Meeru said as he scratched his cheek.
"But you are right that a woman might react differently to training than a man, and I do not advocate testing such theories out before we know more. But once we know more it would be interesting to try, if we found someone willing to participate."
Meeru smiled and looked up at the young sorceress beside him, the debate on magic had done him good and while his body was still very weak his mind seamed allot more alert.
Meeru gives Ellynara a sad smile when the sorceress begun to talk about how he would recover once he was free, it was a nice dream but the young wizard did not dare believe in it completely, to get free from a Mord-Sith was no easy task. Meeru knew he would most likely die as Ulyssia's pet, but Ellynara's talk was pleasant and Meeru very much desired to regain his memories and his freedom.
Ulyssia stood in a tall, arched window that overlooked the marketplace and watched Ellynara and Meeru talk with one another. The Mord-Sith had a slight smile on her lips, Meeru where talking about something, he seamed back to at least a shadow of his former self, for a moment Ulyssia was jealous that it was that young sorceress and not herself who could get Meeru to act that way, but she knew such feelings was useless, Meeru was in such a sorry state because Ulyssia had tortured him, every day for years, off course she could not expect him to react well to her anymore, it did look good to see him like that again though, alive and at least somewhat happy. Ulyssia looked down, again she wished she could take Meeru away from here, promise him he would never feel the touch of an Agiel ever again, but she could not, she had duty to consider and her superiors told her to keep her beloved as a pet, so what other choice was there?
Ellynara laid her hands back in her lap, "I suppose so. I guess I never thought of my Han as a muscle. It was just a part of my being. My soul. Always there. Always at hand. Powerful and calming...." She smiled at him, "Yes, but we won't know more until we try it... Actually, one of the Sisters could know something about it. Perhaps we could ask them....," she stood and offered him her hand again, "Now, shall we go get that pie? I'm rather hungry myself, and I'm sure you must be starving, Meeru...."
Wicked Witch Of The North
"I can not remember if I have ever met a Sister of the Light, but I must have, anyway talking with them about this might be a good idea, and would be quite interesting."
Meeru muttered. The young wizard looked at Ellynara's offered hand for a moment as if he was still a bit worried about physical contact, but then he accepted it. Meeru slowly rose to his feet and he nodded.
"I am quite hungry yes."
The young wizard said, he had not eaten since yesterday and after a session with his Mistress's Agiel he had emptied himself of most of what he had eaten then long before it could do him any good.
The pie seller smiled when Ellynara and Meeru came over, he was a man in his late 40's with thin, graying hair, blue eyes and a tall, chubby body.
"What can I offer you Lady."
The pie seller said as he gave one last nod to another customer who was already doling out pie to her three nagging children. The pie seller never looked at Meeru, all he saw was the collar around the man's neck.
"All of my pies where baked fresh this morning by my wife and me, please have your pick Lady I am sure you will be satisfied."
The man continued in a friendly voice. Meeru kept himself behind Ellynara with his eyes on the ground and the wizard just looked nervous and said nothing.
Ellynara looked over her shoulder at Meeru, she knew he probably couldn't remember his favorite kind of pie so she tried to size him up herself. Apple pie was generally a pretty commonly liked pie, but she wasn't sure how he'd feel about them, seeing as apples were red inside and people from the Midlands thought that eating red things would kill them. She wondered if he knew the truth of it. She could, of course, dispel any worries about them if he didn't, though. Besides, apple was one of her favorites along with strawberry and pumpkin. She did wonder though, if some pie would be even be enough to fill him up. As hungry as he was, he could probably eat 5 of them alone. Then again, if he was going to have three Mord Sith torturing him perhaps a full stomach wasn't the best idea...
She turned a bit, reached back, grabbed Meeru's hand, and gently brought him around to stand next to her and get a better look at the different kinds of pies, "Take your pick, Meeru. What looks the most delicious to you?"
Wicked Witch Of The North
Meeru did not protest when Ellynara pulled him forward but he did look rather nervous and unsure as she asked him to choose a pie. The salesman manning the stall looked everywhere but Meeru but the young wizard tried not to mind him. After a while Meeru picked out a mixed fruit pie, the young magic user was nearly getting more than a little bit nervous at being asked to decide something for himself, even something as simple as lunch.
"That one look good, the one with the full crust there."
Meeru said and looked down. It first now occurred to him to think about how he would pay for his food, he had no coin on him and he could not expect the young sorceress to pay for his lunch, but then again if his Mistress had asked her to watch him for a few hours perhaps she had also given Ellynara some coin.
"Ehm...Ellynara I have no coin on me."
Meeru whispered to the young sorceress by his side low enough that the pie maker could not hear him.
"Unless my Mistress have given you coin to pay for my lunch I just could not let you cover the cost and I own nothing of value that could be traded for coin to repay you."
Meeru looked very uneasy now, he looked down and fingered the fabric of his shirt, the young wizard just id not know what to do, deep inside there was a sliver of pride left in him, and that pride made it hard for him to accept his new friend paying for his food when he had no way to pay her back.