“Oh aye.” The old man at the tavern scratches his chin ponderously as if the subject were concerning the sale of sheep or cattle. “Woulda had me first spell the first fortnight after that feller in England brought magic back, I reckon on the dates. Could feel it in the air, bit like fergettin’ somethin’ ‘n knowin’ yer reit close t’ rememberin’ but y’ can’t yet.”
Normally the old man didn’t spend time in town, doing his trade in the forest or even making a longhunt in the woods of the territories, but you happen to catch him on a rare night out to the tavern to enjoy a pint after selling his goods.
“’Sa bit like… listenin’ to a song, once ye know how.” Old Ed chews on a stalk of timothy grass as he speaks, pronouncing his S’s rough like old bark. He turns his head and spits the stalk out only to take out a pipe, using one of the complementary sulphur matches most taverns provide. Using the long thin match, he holds it over his pipe and takes a few puffs.
“Ye feel it. If ye can’t pay attention, yer never hear the song, but when ye do, ye’ll know. Like the other day, was on the peninsula and I saw a reit queer sight: was a ship, run aground. Woulda been out o’ sight fer you all in the city, but on the peninsula I was farther out, so I could see it.”
He adjusts himself, nodding as the tavernkeeper puts your drinks before the two of you.
“Gotten themselves stuck onna shoal ‘n from the looks offit through me telescope, they’d been through weeks o’ trouble; mast is broke t’ hell, think their rudder cables are shot, ‘n it’s keelin’ t’ one side. So I step out onta the beach with alla them pebbles, ‘n I listen. I want the ship t’ be released, ‘cause I’m worried ‘n they look like death’s gottis eyes on’em. So I put me hand in the water, ‘n I close me eyes. I want’em t’ be free, ‘cause I’m scared. Scared maybe they ain’t gon’ t’ make it if they wait fer the city t’ spot’em.”
He chuckles, removing his pipe and taking a drink. “’N the water listened. Came up, real soft, lifted the ship up like the tide’ad come in. ‘Parently they had themselves a weather witch–a reit iffy one though–’n she got’em the rest o’ the way t’ port.”
There’s a look in his eyes, like he finds something funny and is trying to keep it to himself.
“Magic like that… ye hafta know what ye really want. Not in yer head, but in yer heart. If yer head tells ye t’ clear the sky, but yer heart tells ye t’ hide ‘n beat back whatever scarin’ ye, well.”
He chuckles. “It’s goin’ t’ listen t’ yer heart; not yer head.”