The Continuing Adventures of Sif No. 14

Sif blinked. The answer seemed self-evident to her, which in her recent experience meant she was thinking about the wrong question. She was cold because it was cold—she was surrounded by cold air. Not as cold as it could be, though. The luftsenmagiker kept the city warm—warmer—through the winter. How? They couldn’t move warm air from somewhere else; there was nowhere nearby to move it from. They had to create it themselves.

If they could turn cold air warm on a grand scale, Sif could do it on a smaller one. She put her forefingers and thumbs together to make a triangle, then pulled them apart, a simple cumulation. The accompanying effort of will stretched the weave. It sang tautly, ready to snap back into place according to her design.

What shape it would take was not fully clear to her. Leifsson had taught them how to make light, a trick left open by the Twelve to all magiker, and light and heat weren’t that far apart. She snapped her fingers, following the form but touching the weave in a slightly different way.

Suddenly, the air around her was warm, but it quickly faded, swept away by the wind. She tried again, setting up a swirling barrier around herself and feeding the heat-without-light into it. That worked better, but keeping the air moving and warm took her whole consciousness.

Someone said, “Good.” It filtered into her awareness and upended the delicate balance of her attention. The winter wind overtook her bubble of relative comfort, and she wrapped her cloak tighter again.

“You could not carry that on in the face of the slightest distraction,” Leifsson observed. Sif nodded. “There is a solution.”

From there, it quickly got more technical. They had learned about patterns in the weave earlier. Leifsson had used the word ‘gyre’, which sent Sif straight to her dictionary. After consulting it, she preferred to think of them as resonances, self-sustaining patterns. Spirits were the foremost example, such as the ælfish gods, the impression left upon the weave by a river or a forest, or the part of Sif which was truly Sif, and not merely flesh.

Leifsson showed them how to set up similar patterns in the magic they wrought. It still took attention—no resonance lasted forever—but much less of it. After two hours of practice, Sif could build a bubble of warmth around herself, walk around, and carry on a conversation at the same time. That earned her an approving nod from Leifsson. Soon after, he dismissed them.

Lilja came up to her. “Still going to the library?”

Sif nodded. “I need to get my books. You should go and get Einar.”

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