Of course, the downside of “ordinary people matter” is that the villains can use what regular people come up with, too.
AKA one of the neat things about writing a rough draft of a second story is figuring out some of the details the bunnies may have glossed over a little in the first story. In this case, part of how enchantment works – why Myrrh can do things that make most human magic users whimper, and even most supernatural types take a step back – and just how Steven pulled off some of his tricks.
In two words, processing power.
If you think of a spell as an algorithm – a defined set of steps to solve a problem – then yes, in a way, it is very like a computer program. You have starting conditions (input), what you want the spell to do to them (program statements) and the hoped-for results (output).
I make no claims to be a programmer, but I did take some courses waaaaay back, and I was always very impressed by C and C++’s use of two things: libraries, and function calls.
(Note, I’m not saying I ever learned to use either very well. I can break down problems into algorithms fine, but programming? “Hello world” is about my speed.)
Still, the concepts stuck. Because algorithms for problem-solving in general are very, very helpful… and the idea that with one statement, say #include <coffee>, you could put in a whole bunch of variables, methods to handle other problems, etc., etc., all from one predefined bunch of code.
Back to processing power. The human brain has a lot of it. To the point computers are just starting to be able to pull off some tricks our brains do without half-thinking about it.
Myrrh is, effectively, an ultramarathoner when it comes to enchantment. She is both very good and very trained at what she does. And part of what she’s done over her long life is assemble an impressive amount of information on how the world works.
Essentially, she’s built up an incredible amount of libraries, compared to most people. So when she casts magic, she can throw in with a very few “statements” what she wants done – while a mind trained in meditation under extreme circumstances yanks up the requisite libraries very, very fast.
Myrrh managed to build a lot of her libraries, in large part, during times when there were no fast ways to get anywhere. Foot, ship, beast of burden; getting information from one place to another was slow and often iffy. Yet she managed it.
Now we have the Internet. And very fast computers.
Yeah. Steven might have been one of the first to figure some nasty things out. He probably won’t be the last….