For those who suggested that I had not emphasized the basis of my series, The Ring-Witches of Nesht, that is, Enhancement Rings, I agree. It’s time we know more about the symbiotic nature of these ancient tools. Rings are earned as children, and are worn by Mayra and Wolfe, the primary Ring-Witches of this series, as well as all the witch-warriors. But those wearing the Rings actually know little about them. What are Enhancement Rings? Where did they come from? As Mayra and Wolfe find each other and battle to free the dragons, they soon realize they don’t know the dark side of their Rings; in fact, that know very little at all about their purpose.
The following bit of conversation between Mayra and her warlord/father-figure/mentor, Leisher–shortly before he utterly betrays her–explains what she knows of the Rings she wears. It is far from all there is to know.
“…the Rings are for enhancement of power. The Guild doesn’t give them where magic doesn’t exist, nor do they strengthen one. Anything you see me do, I could do without them. But the Rings do make magic possible with much less effort.” Her eyebrows drew together. “If they do add anything, it is swiftness and precision in using magic.”
And later: “Our magic is based upon being one with and using, nature and the elements. Secondary magic, which is physical, hands-on incantations, relies upon knowledge of herbs and plants, and some alchemy. Enhancement Rings are given to a child once they have been taught all that the Guild can teach them…”
She ran a finger across her Ring and shivered. The gesture was no longer entirely soothing. Wolfe had shown her another, sensual side of her Rings, one she was certain she wished to explore further. Her instructors had never told her that being touched by a male with Rings—and a certain gleam in his eyes—could make her feel as though she were on fire inside.
She glanced at Leisher. He was waiting quietly. The next part—she wasn’t sure she wanted to convey it, nor the warlord to hear it, but she took a deep breath.
“Inside are minuscule filaments, of various lengths and as fine as hair. The Guild Healer cuts our wrists open across here,”—she drew her finger across her inner wrist—“and the filaments are fused with nerves. They then grow into the nerves throughout our bodies. Supposedly, if someone should remove the Rings, the loss will kill the person. After a month or so, we have healed enough to start learning to use and control the Rings. I didn’t—”
She looked up and stopped short. Leisher—his face pale and pinched—stared at her with something akin to horror in his dark eyes. He was hardly aware that he was clenching his hands into huge fists.
“I-I never would have allowed that to happen to anyone I cared about.” His voice was strained and hoarse. “How can it be expected that you will forget—carry on life after enduring such a thing?”
“Leisher, you cannot understand,” she began gently. “From the day we are given over to the Sorcery Guild, we are told every day what will happen. After a while, it’s a part of growing up, as you know you will get taller, your feet will get bigger”—she gave him a quick grin—“it’s just something that will happen to us.”
Leisher’s large hands closed around her small ones as he stared down at their arms. Lights glimmered off his gold and leather wrist guards as he reached out a cautious finger and touched a small, flat, coin-shaped piece of metal at the top outer Ring…
She poured more tea for them and continued: “Ring lore says the bands are symbiotic. That hasn’t been proven, but somehow, they can refuse the person they are supposed to bond with.” A smile lifted one corner of her lips. “The nightmare of a new Ring-Witch. So, now you know the very basics about a person who can turn a thought into action.”
But that is far from all that Mayra eventually learns about her Rings, and how they are part of dragons and their lore. You will find more about the mythos of Dragon Rings in Dragon Rings. The story of Mayra and Wolfe and the dragons continues in Dragon’s Revenge.
You can find both books here