The door to the bar opened and I felt the room go motionless.
I threw back the drink.
“What is your business here?” I heard in a soft, accented voice.
I turned my head, focusing through the slight blur of my vision from drinking too much battery acid too quickly. The man was tall and thin with long, delicate fingers and skin the color of coal. He was perfectly still, watching me with large eyes. His fingers were the only thing about him in motion, stroking the various talisman he had pinned to his clothing.
He was a shaman, I knew that immediately. Well, that’s what we would call him, he was actually a Vodun, a voodooist. And again, it wasn’t really voodoo, it had nothing to do with religion, not really. The various talisman radiated a sharp, lethal power, small in scope but almost poisonous in sensation. They poked holes straight through his aura, like needles that pressed themselves against anyone around him.
What was really my concern though, was that he was obviously a hunter, an approved hedge mage contracted by the Guild to weed out Sorcerers. He probably wasn’t flexible enough to be called a true Sorcerer or Wizard, but just because you didn’t have the full toolset didn’t mean you couldn’t get the job done.
It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t had near enough alcohol for my head to be swimming like it was. Worse, I realized one of his talisman was made from cloth and hair. I remembered back to the kid bumping into me and smiled. Voodoo, gotta love it.
I discussed the Guild a bit yesterday and their control on Aether. The Guild is basically a collection of houses that drew together for the same reason the Guild of any other occupation would. They are most powerful in the old world, Europe and Africa, but also have houses in North America and Asia.
Where they are at their most powerful, such as Africa, they have directly influenced the law of the land. Sorcery and any magic not directly licensed by a Guildhouse is illegal.
Even in the U.S. Sorcery is looked down on. I used the analogy that a mage is just like any profession, well a Wizard went to Harvard while a Sorcerer has a G.E.D. There is no organization for Sorcerers. No Guild, no club, nothing. They learn on the streets, from any Sorcerer willing to tell them a thing or two. Oftentimes they learn the principles of magic the Guild teaches, they just may learn them out of order or in different ways. Their magic tends to be more chaotic than the Guild’s for that reason. Not less powerful, just different.
The above example is a hedge mage. Wizards are associated with the Guild, Sorcerers are street mages who grew powerful enough to be recognized for their magic. A hedge mage is just a slang term for someone who has a trick or two up their sleeve. That doesn’t mean their any less dangerous, just less flexible. The Vodun is a powerful caster of voodoo magic, in tune with things Virgil has no idea about. There are hundreds of examples of this. For every person born into their magic there are two that found that came to it by other means; through divine influence or Aetherial contamination, as a gift from countless magical entities, a symptom of arcane diseases, or discovered with ancient artifacts, you name it.
If you are interested in seeing the various types of magic of my world, of delving into the the difference between Wizard and Sorcerer, seeing the raw power of a WyrmLord, the chaotic cacophony of the Fay, the soul defiling curse of Lycanthropy, head on over to Amazon and give Sorcerer Rising a try.