“The law of sympathy is one of the most basic parts of magic. It states that the more similar two objects are, the greater the sympathetic link. The greater the link, the more easily they influence each other.”
Ben notices Kote is bored with his lessons. He gathers up a handful of iron drabs (coins) and challenges Kote to tell him about them. Kote explains the historical beginnings of money, from the settlement of nomadic folk and their chiefs roaming the Shalda Mountains, the growing of crops and metal working, leading to barter. The Cealdim, as they came to be known, went on to establish a standardised currency.
Ben shows little interest. Instead Ben talks about what connects these drabs, followed by demonstrating how two objects influence each other. He explains the belief needed to do this (Alar) and gives Kote a phonetic pronunciation called the Sympathetic Binding of Parallel Motion. Kote is left to experiment with sympathetic binding. He learns many more bindings.
Once Kote proves he has mastered a secret he is given another.
Absentmindedly Kote recites a rhyme (a riddle) about Lady Lackless.
“Seven things has Lady Lackless
Keeps them underneath her black dress
One a ring that’s not for wearing
One a sharp word, not for swearing
Right beside her husband’s candle
There’s a door without a handle
In a box, no lid or locks
Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
There’s a secret she’s been keeping
She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
On a road, that’s not for traveling
Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”
His mother gently scolds him for chanting the rhyme because the suggestive sexual innuendo about Lady Lackless is only gossip.
Spending his free time with Ben makes the following year one of the happiest times Kote can remember.
Kote's first lesson in magic: The Binding of Iron. An iron drab (coin) moves in unison with a second iron drab held by Kote through the power of his belief (Alar) and their sympathetic link.