Planning for Feather-Styling [17 Trandary 4261]
For my next enchantment, I would like to make a device which shrinks clothing to my size. This is more or less the Cobbler for Puppies spell, except that it must work on Herbador as well as Corpador. Any suggestions that I am practicing Mutoc and Corpador with some particular spell in mind are probably true.
It should also be noted that I can cast Lizard's Envy. One may wonder why a lizard should bother with learning Lizard's Envy -- am I supposed to envy myself? In point of fact, the spell will grow heavy scales on top of my ordinarily delicate pretty scales, making me look more feminine than co-loverine by Herethroy terms, and works in all ways for me just as well as it would work for you. One may also wonder why I have bothered to graft Lizard's Envy. My ~mother~ insisted that I have a moderate collection of defensive and escapive spells, just in case ... oh ... in case an Orren invites me to go swimming, but off in the secret private pool hung about with wenezza flowers, I suppose. I am very much a city lizard, and any monster strong enough to break into the city isn't going to be much slowed down by a mere Lizard's Envy.
(The point of that scaly digression being that I am just shy of being able to cast Cloak of Another God.)
But, back to a talisman casting a Cobbler for Puppies variant, which is how I had hoped to practice enough to cast Cloak of Another God. Frustratingly, some calculations show that I cannot do it so easily. It's an easy enough spell; I've been casting it for most of a decade, and as a spell it works quite adequately. But with a spell, a good measure of the spell's force comes from your own skill, and a good measure of it comes from the cley you use on the spell, and between those there's most of the spell's power -- even if you're not overwhelmingly mighty -- and in that way any cobbler or, say, young Zi Ri can shrink things considerably.
For enchantments it is quite otherwise. Enchantments do not require cley to use -- which is, after all, a main point of the enchantment. Enchantments do not require anyone's skill to use -- which is, after all, another main point of the enchantment. (Prof. Trillisanguinus Spreen would complain about both of these broad and generally-but-not-always-true statements, but if Prof. Trillisanguinus Spreen is reading my diary I am already dead of embarrassment.)
So, between those two lacks, there's not very much power left in the enchantment. And a Cobbler for Puppies without very much power might shrink things by a ninth or a tenth, but not enough to be useful for me.
"But what about the great and mighty enchantments of the World Tree?" you may very well wail in a voice loud and sharp enough to rend world-bark. "They are mighty and great! Do they not also possess greatly mighty and mightily great power as well?"
Well, yes, they mostly do. But every bit of power that they possess has been built into them, by means of considerable effort and skill of the enchanter, spending greatly and mightily of cley and time and effort and clever tricks and graces of the gods and peculiar materials and all sorts of whatnots.
For this assignment, I have one week. Not that it has to be done in a week -- it would hardly be surprising to waste a week or two or three with some minor failure or other. (I am pleased that my project last term took only the one week, but I recognize that this is a matter of luck as much as skill.) But the project must be designed for one week's effort; otherwise I should a much worse chance of finishing it within the semester.
And I don't know most of the tricks by which one may cram more than a week's worth of enchanter's work into a week of enchanter's work. In any case, I don't have time for them -- I have other classes to take, other Orren to date, and all of that.
So, I am going to do something which fits nicely in a week, and has some value to me for its own sake, and involves Mutoc and Corpador. After long deliberation and studying of ancient archaik [sic] spell lists in ancient archaik [sic] tomes in the library by the light of mystic globes of glowing mist and/or corpse-tallow candles burning in lanthorns made from the hollowed-out horns of horrid beasts that should never have been born, and chatting a bit with Yarwain and Thery, I have decided on a variant The Magnificent Do, as a feather-styling spell rather than the usual fur-styling one.
There is some actual intellectual content here. I'm sure that someprime has worked out a variant of the spell that works on feathers before -- some crazed Rassimel charger-herder or some such -- but it's not a common spell by any means. At least not common enough to have a name in the first couple of handbooks I looked in. (There are a few spells involving feathers -- including a truly odd one that Glikkonen invented a very long time ago that stiffens a feather to the point where it can be used as a blade or a saw -- but feathers are, somehow, not a very important topic. I could regret having them, except that they are attractive.)
(And, as a related aside, it is not simply a deficiency in the magical corpus; it is a deficiency in the crafty corpus as well. Furdressers are, for some hideous reason, baffled or boggled when confronted by feathers; they do not know what to do; they have trained for smooth fur and coarse fur and stripey fur and chitin and perhaps heavy fur or other smooth fur -- and if they are well-trained indeed they may have met leathery skin, or, just possibly perhaps, scales. I am the only feathered prime for miles and miles and miles around. If I want someone knowledgeable and expert and paid to groom my head, I must ... um ... go to the stables where Shadowfrog is kept. Grooms who work with chargers must of course know how to deal with feathers. Of course, I have not done -- it would be hideously embarrassing -- I just thought of it.)
In any event, I hope to arrange matters so my feather-styling talisman can be used thrice a day, not once. The romantic possibilities of this are limited only by my imagination!
(And, well, by opportunity.)