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Thursday, May 24th, 2001

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History of the Three Suserains (part one)
Magic was discovered at the beginning of the 18th century. Few of the original practitioners' names survive to this day, but whoever they may have been, their secrets quickly spread across the continents until all doubt about the existence of magic was permanently erased.

In the beginning, magic--as it was being practiced by simple people who hardly understood it--was not the fantastically potent force it is today. Men made colors flash and dance before awe-struck onlookers. Others lifted stones with their eyes, or lit fires with their fingers, or summoned small whirlwinds. Magical jesters delighted the courts of noble countries. A king of France was so amazed by one such jester that he demanded to be tutored in the practice. More and more people learned the art of magic, until its use exploded in what would later be called the Naissance.

Magic remained relatively basic and weak for many years, but some individuals possessed the necessary spirit which enabled them to refine its practice. These special people developed their skill to new, previously unimaginable heights. They were the first humans capable of levitation, and were thus called the Levities--an ironic title, since it derives from the latin word for light.

The known Levities numbered in the hundreds throughout the world. Among them was a king, Louis the Fifteenth; the one who learned from his jester. Students came from afar to hear the words of these wondrous floating masters, and to witness their miracles. Their writings founded the discipline of Sorcerie, propelling humankind to a new level of euphoria. But with euphoria came terrible suffering.

The Levities were the first to suffer. Perhaps out of confusion, or for fear of tarnishing the popular image of themselves as perfect and super-human, they kept quiet about their pain. Possibly, they considered their condition a temporary reaction to the intimate use of magic. The first to study and speak out about the suffering of the Levities was Susanna.

Susanna was herself a Levitie from Great Britain. She shocked the world by announcing that all known Levities, as well as some other eminent Sorciers, struggled against a relentless, increasingly intense pain that accompanied the development of higher magic. She described what she called "the Magical Maladie" awakening inside her when, as a young woman, she began learning to hover above the ground. First, migraines assailed her brain, then a crippling nausea would ebb in and out. The more she practiced, the worse her suffering. Susanna felt as though a black ocean was luring her to a drowning death. She assumed the pain was a result of mental strain, but came to the conclusion that the primitive human body may never be compatible with the powerful forces of magic.

The Naissance of global enthusiasm for magic was over, but Sorcerie, as a discipline, grew despite fears of the Magical Maladie, which regularly drove Levities to suicide. Some prominent Levities, such as Susanna, committed themselves to understanding the Maladie as they gained both in power and in sickness. By extending their lives decades beyond their natural death, they continued studying into the 19th century.

By then, Susanna was a saintly figure. Millions of people had come to her to be rid of cancers, lameness, and deformities. She had settled in India as the greatest healer in History, and one of the only Old Levities who hadn't ended her own life. But years of fighting the ever mounting pain of the Maladie had left her insane, and she hovered day and night in the air muttering of the "black ocean rolling in" on her, without ever eating or sleeping. Many thought she'd never die, that she would turn into a living statue of healing for ages to come.

Then, in 1820, Susanna lost the fight against the Magical Maladie. Now a withered, gray-skinned creature, she turned against her fellow humans and brought death to thousands of faithful followers and other innocent souls. Her stupendous sorcerie rained fire and lightning wherever she went, and no span of sea nor range of mountain restricted her movement on the earth.

For one hundred years, Susanna raged unchecked. Entire populations migrated to escape her wrath. She killed senselessly en masse using her eyes as beams of death. Levities old and modern couldn't stop her advance, until she suddenly went out of activity.

Susanna hid in a cave in Britain. Some thought she was dead, but all who approached within miles were vaporized. Rumors circulated that she had telepathically declared herself Suserain of the planet. A meeting between surviving Levities, the Sorciers' Congress, was held to decide on a course of action. The former King Louis the Fifteenth, still alive and sane after having retired from magic and monarchy, was deemed to be the oldest and most powerful Sorcier in existence. He set out to slay Susanna in her lair.

Legend holds that the magical battle was long and arduous, and that she eventually took him to the edge of death. Here, the story splits into two theories. One claims that Louis revived himself and killed her. The other, that Susanna revived him herself, and that she asked him to end the terrible monster she'd become.

Whatever the case may have been: When the battle was over, Louis the Fifteenth came out of the cave more evil than Susanna had ever been, and thus began the reign of the Second Suserain.

There would be one more.

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