Lecture given by the Magician Alexis Romanov to Private Norin, Youth Division, Special Branch
Sensory perception is acquired through age and understanding it through experience. Even though your senses are more sensitive when you are younger, you will not understand its implications until you are older. It is difficult to give a name to a sensation you are unable to comprehend. As you grow older, you might lose your sensitivity but you will gain the ability to name them. For a sorceress or anyone hoping to master any form of magic, sensory perception is a skill they must make their own. They must unlearn the sensations they have known since birth, then re-experience the sensation, giving it a name, before learning to identify the sensation with only the slightest hint, if any are given. For an Illusionist, failing to understand this will not only be fatal, it can lead to insanity.
It is easier for a child to learn this than it is for an adult. This is because simply a child has not had the time to experience most sensory experiences, which makes training them for the first step easy. However, adults who have managed to pass the first stage, often surpass children when it comes to the following levels. Their age and maturity aide in their understanding, and while theory may not be necessary, they are often useful to comprehension. Sensory perception is one skill you will not find lacking demand in our field.
Once you have mastered your basic senses, it is time to move on to the next. However, long before you reach that stage, your teacher will ask you whether you wish to master any particular senses. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that by specialising in one sense, you will only use that sense for the rest of your life. Whoever said that was a fool. The only reason one would choose to specialise in a certain sense would depend on the field you are going to enter much later on. If you are an assassin though (and that seems to be what the Matriarchs are training you to be), resist the temptation to specialise. An assassin is much more useful as a Generaliser than she is a Specialist. Even if you see the Specialist being paraded in front of you, remember that being a Specialist limits your ability and flexibility.
In our field, when politics come into play, flexibility is not something you can compromise on.