A strange black mist surrounded these rings. Shaar initially thought it was some death spirit’s powers but after Tatara’s remark, he was surprised.
Life force? But why does this look so evil and scary?!
“Simple, because these lives were taken by force. The magic of harvesting life force itself is modified from the magic used to harvest spirits,” smirk Dora in his mind.
The unlucky magician who died in Shaar’s hands had his pockets practically emptied. Shaar and Tatara found a well-hidden lambskin notebook and after skimming through, Shaar only found strange text that looked like scrawls used on magical seals.
“This is the Language of Magic, a language specifically used by magicians. This is a type of magic that harvests life force.” Tatara sighed immediately, his greedy eyes fixed on the lambskin notes in Shaar’s hands.
“During Fihar Frankia’s last appearance in Osgiliath, when he left his last words at the church, he also wrote a line of magic incantation on the wall. This incantation was how he used modified death spirit magic to extract life force!”
Tatara was getting excited. “Although the church did its best to ban this spell, information still leaked out through various pathways. That was probably his intentions anyway. Unfortunately, the incantation this madman left behind was not even complete. At least he did not leave the entire harvesting procedures behind, so… if they followed his method… Not sure how many magicians attempted this during the past few centuries but it is too bad none could reach his level.”
Fihar’s contribution: he made a shortcut available so more people could obtain power but there was still a barrier to entry. He merely greatly lowered it.
To cultivate this ‘Life Curse Technique’ that Fihar left behind, first you must be a death spirit magician! You must learn how to harvest souls, then building on this foundation, you will be able to harvest life force.
The second barrier to entry seemed to be something Fihar deliberately did… The spell he left behind was just a fraction of the complete version. A cultivator following this method would find that they could still harvest other people’s life force but when casting the spell, they would spend their own life force too- just that this rate of expenditure would be decreased greatly.
When a spell is cast, it would spend mostly the harvested life force as well as a little of the magician’s own.
This was just in a relative sense. Although every spell used only a little, after a while, it would accumulate… And the magician’s life would naturally be short.
No one understood his intentions of not providing the full spell.
Some people came up with a theory as they speculated, and this theory was accepted by a minority:
In summary, Fihar was a person of ‘high morals’. Although he had created several famine disasters and killed many lives, this was all in pursuit for power and to him, this was ‘selflessness’.
He intended to leave behind a possibility for the world, opening a door to a new path! After the path was illuminated, he did not care how people walked down the path and needed them to used their intellect to conduct research.
If he announced the entire method, then… it would merely encourage laziness: they would just need to cultivate this method.
That was why he did not want to tell anyone what to do, but showing what was possible!
In his words, “If I could shepard enough goats, I would be able to challenge an Archmage! If I had even more goats, I would be able to fight an even more powerful presence…”
And what would that be?
That was unfathomable…
Unfortunately, people could not replicate it.
In the decades after his death, his Life Curse Technique did not spread.
One was because the church suppressed and controlled this technique and on the other hand, the spell was very incomplete and no one as prodigious as Fihar ever appeared again.
If… you had to cut your life short by a few years every time you cast the spell, most people could not accept this price because it would be the same as suicide along with the enemy...
The third reason was the most important: there was an ‘incredibly bad’ disadvantage!
What would the consequence of cultivating the complete incantation?
In theory, with enough number of lives around, then the magician would have unlimited power! Just as what Fihar said about ‘enough number of goats’!
They would not be spending their own life force!
But as for the incomplete technique, there was none of the infinite power effect! Because the magician still had to spend their own life force, just that… the expenditure was a lot lesser.
This lack brought a strange outcome:
A separation of castes.
This was a surprising result.
Other magic had levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced, level 1 to 9.
Fihar’s ingenuity was that he could ignore this system!
Yet, another grading system appeared with the incomplete spell. This grading system did not relate to magical powers but the magician’s own life force.
Or rather… it was determined by how much of your life force you were willing to sacrifice!
The more of your own life you sacrificed, the more powerful you became, and vice versa.
Many people did not understand why Fihar would create such a rule after breaking the previous rules. Perhaps Fihar was just getting back at the world in his own way.