What is a Magician?
Knowing there is something called a magician and actually meeting one is something that is common with all people on Dirt, human, dragon or calliston.
To be fair, many will say they have met someone who claims to be a magician, but it is unlikely that they will have believed the claim. As a profession, if it can be called that, it is so populated by cheats and frauds that magicians are often highly distrusted and are very unpopular.
Magicians, those with skill who use such a title, are all human. Although Healers are also magicians in their own right, and there are dragon healers, notably among the Draig Bach-Iachawr, many do not see them as magicians. Certainly skills such as Finding and Speaking are unknown in both dragon and calliston populations.
Magicians are, traditionally broken into two categories; Greater and Lesser magicians. However, the only so-called Greater Magician known in more modern stories was the man known as Dierren who was supposed to have lived for some three thousand years. The stories about him are generally accepted to be nothing more than tales and little is known about him in reality.
When Eafa discovered that Dierren was his real father, he quickly realised that the reality of the man was very different from the stories and he also realised that the entire idea of Greater Magicians was not credible and had been blown out of all proportion by both humans and, more importantly, dragons who had always seen them as a threat.
The revelations of his lineage not only made him question his own abilities, but the very nature of all magicians of what ever skill.
It is often said that magicians are very long lived but with the exception of some healers and Eafa, there is little evidence to support this. Eafa jokes that magicians are unpopular to the point of being hunted out of town, and certainly there is evidence to support this claim, so that the chances that they even get to live a normal length life is slim.
Healers with good abilities certainly do live long lives, though in more recent times many have hidden their true ages.
Magicians are broken down into skills, though it is believed that some do have more than one skill, though perhaps of little use. All magicians work in a similar way in that their skill allows them to interact with the world in a way that others cannot.
Often not regarded as magicians at all, healers are by far the largest group of the magicians and probably account for eighty out of a hundred of all magicians.
Also, unlike others, they are often trusted members of the communities in which they live. Of all magicians they are the most like to live long lives and this has lead to many becoming travellers. However, despite being the majority of magicians, true healers are still very rare and most are nothing more than just good herbalists.
Finding, a skill which Eafa as Weasel often made a meagre living, are skilled in finding objects that have been mislaid. They must have some connection to the object, normally someone who has had hold of the object. It is a most unreliable skill and they are little trusted. The skill has attracted many charlatans. Some finders can find missing people, though this is a rarer skill. This was where Eafa excelled.
There have been no records of speakers for many, many centuries and it is often supposed that they perhaps never existed, though the dragons hold some records. Their skill is much misunderstood and is at least part of the reason why magicians as a group are so unpopular.
A speaker has the ability to communicate in a very basic way to another who has the same ability. In the stories this made them popular with the military as they could be used in a limited way to communicate between remote regiments.
However, it was believed that speakers could read minds, which is highly unlikely, and they were soon distrusted and for while even hunted down.
A speaker can communicate with a non-speaker if that other has some latent ability, but it is really nothing much more than a touch. In greater dragons, this ability is common, greater dragons being naturally very empathetic, though they are not speakers and cannot communicate in detail. Some dragons have the ability stronger than the others, most notably the Draig Awyr. As relations between dragons and humans broke down over the centuries, so speakers were seen as a threat by the dragons as a whole.
Eafa was a continuing problem for the dragons over the years. Seen as an important part of the argument for mending relations between dragons and humans, he and his friend Bren-Aneirin were accepted and even lauded by some of the greater dragons. Yet, his speaking ability was particularly well developed which many dragons found most difficult.
Very rare, wind talkers are always female and are only from a handful of families. This most peculiar ability allows the magician to understand the minute currents that can be found in any passage of air, however gentle.
This skill would seem to have little use other than as a curiosity value, but it was discovered that by working with a very skilled tillerman, a wind talker could improve the navigation of a boat, particularly in unfavourable winds. They did this by being able to help the tillerman adjust both the tiller and the sails by very small amounts to take the most advantage of the winds. Although the overall change in speed was hardly noticeable, over a full day of sailing, they could make an important difference to the number of leagues travelled.
It is believed that only one family of magicians ever developed the ability to find currents in large bodies of water.
Working in a similar way to Wind Talkers, a Wave Talker (which was always a man) could help negotiate difficult currents by again making very fine adjustments. As with Wind Talking, there is not discernable difference to the speed of the craft, but an overall improvement over the course of a day.
The existence of makers is much disputed. In theory they are able to understand faults and strengths in stone and wood which makes them incredibly good masons and carpenters, but it is argued that this just might not be a special skill at all.
The Haften's used makers to construct their buildings and some of these became notable architects of their time.