I remember reading two short stories in this series, but I can't remember the titles or author, and I don't know if there were any more after the first two. I think they were published in TSR's Dragon magazine, but I can't narrow down the date very much; from late 1980's up to the date they stopped shipping to Europe.

The first story begins with an elderly witch near death. As her powers fade, her polymorphed familiars break free and return to their original forms (the first law of power: what power binds, weakness frees). When the last familiar breaks free, he asks the witch if there is anything he can do for her; she asks him to give her a proper burial because it will serve as a lesson for her daughter.

The witch's daughter inherits the old witch's powers, reclaims dominion over her familiars, but is puzzled by the fact that her mother has been given a proper burial. After regaining power over the last familiar, he reveals that he gave her a burial of his own free will and teaches her the second law of power: what cannot be taken can be given.

In the second story, the young witch is seeking the third law of power, and encounters a priestess who offers her the opportunity to learn it by spending the night in a tomb in the hope that the law will be revealed to her in a dream, but with the penalty that she must take the priestess' place if she learns nothing. The dream reveals that the priestess doesn't really have any power, which teaches her the third law: the semblance of power believed is power itself.

1 Answer 1


Richard Parks' The Laws of Power

Short stories appeared in Dragon Magazine starting in 1994 with "What Power Holds". Also includes "The First Law of Power" in Realms of Fantasy Magazine in 2001. Other short stories between those two are implied as well.

Ref: http://richard-parks.com/2012/10/22/life-could-be-a-dream/

Related books include:

The Laws of Power

The actual Dragon Magazine issue which includes "What Power Holds" can be found here: http://annarchive.com/files/Drmg209.pdf

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.