Solo We build and build and build

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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on September 9th, 2018, 4:17 am

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3rd of Fall, 518


It was a couple days before Madeira dared to take the book out again. Leth's light and a single sputtering lamp were not enough to illuminate the dark space under her bed, where she was forced to grope blindly for its leather binding. Her fingers first brushed the bristly fur on Raj's snarling lip, and if she squinted she could just see the starlight from the porthole reflected in his glass eyes. She had set the beheaded Kelvic on top of the book to weight it down, but subconsciously she had hoped he would protect the book from prying eyes.

Gently moving Raj aside, she fished out the heavy tome as quietly as she could. Allister was working his night shift on the deck, but the cabin was still full of sleeping occupants. Spooks the cat was flat on his back on her pillow, grunting in his sleep. Bird had his head under his brilliantly blue wing in his golden birdcage, and Rosie was a puddle of feathers in her applebox nest.

Madeira sat with her back to the wall and smoothed the book across the lap of her skirt. Lightly waterstained from its adventures in the shipwreck, the book was otherwise in mint condition. Yet she couldn’t help but think it was impossibly old. Everything from the strange way it was bound (with an adhesive she didn't recognize and tiny metal prongs) to the subject, which was a discipline of magic she had never even heard whisperings of, spoke of something ancient.

She traced the embossed title, Architectrix: a Compendium of Knowledge, and marvelled again on how she could be initiated in a magic she knew nothing about. Well, that could be fixed. Steeling herself, she opened the book's creaking spine.

It was at that moment that a magic she knew very well reared it’s head, as her senses detected the lingering taste of soulmist in the air.

"Emma, don't spy. It's rude."

Slowly a sheepish little girl in her nightdress materialized crouched in the corner, her brown curls obscuring her gruesomely scabbed face.

"I wasn't spying. I was just being quiet!", she whispered entirely too loudly. Spooks gave a loud snort and tossed on the pillow.

"Shhh! If you must speak do so over here."

The petulant ghost glided silently through the cramped room and settled at Madeira's side. The lick of Emma's flickering shroud sent bolts of electric cold up her arm, she scooted over to put a more comfortable distance between them. The ghost craned her neck to see what Madeira was doing. Her eyes skimmed the printed words without comprehending, as she couldn't read.

”What's that?"

"A book on magic", Madeira explained, "Architectrix. Have you heard of it before?"

Emma shook her head.

"I didn't think so. Well, lets see if we can learn anything about it.” Madeira smiled, and opened to the index. With a finger trailing down the silk smooth pages, she found the page number for the introduction. Clearing her throat, she began to read.

"Architectrix is a discipline of world magic that breaths a piece of a mage’s life force and the life force of another Architectrix into a physical structure and gives that structure full and unquestionable life." Madeira whispered. The idea of an structure being 'alive'
wasn't a huge leap for the girl who grew up in Alvadas. But even then the city was alive only spuriously, and only by divine magic. To think she could actually make one herself, bring something alive into the world...

Emma had her lip between her teeth, cracking the crusted sores in the corners of her mouth. "Arch-I-treck...."

"Arch-ee-tec-trix" Madeira explained. "Try again."

"Arch-ee-tec-trix", the ghost sounded out carefully and smiled proudly. "Is it talking about houses?"

"It can be anything, it seems." Madeira mumbled, scanning the text. "Keeps, castles, farms, shops, ships..." The opportunities were laying out before her. She read through accounts of a great Empire before the Valterrian that gave rise to sentient military fortresses that worked to protect the soldiers inside. Another spoke of an Architectrix temple that was given a gnosis by Avalis, and learned to prophesies the future. There was an orphanage that took care of the children after the suspicious disappearance of the Mistress. These buildings had motives and instincts and could be marked by gods. They were nothing short of full, sentient people.
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Madeira Craven
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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on November 5th, 2018, 11:46 pm

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Skipping ahead several pages, Madeira moved from the preface to a chapter called Initiation. It was headed by a drawing of what looked like a family standing formally in front of a small shop, beside some strange mechanical beast on wheels, but it was like no drawing Madeira had ever seen.

"Woah!" Emma leaned in close, eyes wide and excited. "Maddy, look!"

Madeira was indeed looking, she wasn't sure she could look away. The drawing was on the same silky sheet as the words, in full, bright color hardly touched by the fade of time. But what shocked her was how... perfect the depiction was. It was like the artist had taken a moment of time and embossed it on the page. It was the imperfections of the scene, the turned collar of the boy's coat, the gust of wind pushing the woman's hair out of place, the fathers club foot turned awkwardly in his boot, all done in vivid, unsettlingly pertfect detail. There weren't even any visible ink or paint stroke in the picture. Just looking at it made Madeira uncomfortable in ways she couldn't explain. Like maybe it wasn't a drawing at all.

Shaking herself out of the disturbing thought, Madeira soldiered on. This was her magic now. She needed to know its secrets.

"Initiation", she read allowed, and was interrupted almost immediately.

"What's that mean?"

"It means beginning something, or a ritual that lets you into a secret group."

"Were you initiationalized into Arch-ee-tec-trix?"

"Initiated. And yes, I think so. Lets read more."

Clearing her throat, Madeira continued. "Nobody knows what the first Architectrix structure was or where it is now. Most assume the structure has long been destroyed, others insist the building is a rotting ruin in the southern jungles. But what is agreed upon is that this structure is the original seed that all seeds descend from.

To be initiated one must find a fully sentient architectrix building that is willing accept you and preform the ritual. Some need more convincing than others, and still more may never find you worthy. Listen and be patient, forcefully removing a piece of the structure to act as a seed will not work and is very unwise to attempt. Only once you have the structures complete trust can you move to the next step."

"Are there any more weird pictures?" Emma mumbled, already bored. Her ghostly hand tried to flip the pages herself, but couldn't quite summon the fine motor control needed. Madeira waved her away.

"Hush, Em. We'll flip through it later. But first lets learn more about this magic nobody has seen in more than five hundred years. Look, even Raj is excited." She pointed over her knees to the tiger head looking down on them from his perch on the bed. Raj's face was forever a bone chilling snarl of hatred, but Emma considered her bondmate a moment and nodded.

"Yah, he wants to know about that birdhouse he hears under the bed."

"I'm sure we'll learn all about it. Lets continue."

WC: 524
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on November 5th, 2018, 11:46 pm

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"Initiation typically starts when a sentient structure removes a piece of itself, such as a splinter, and inserts it beneath the mages’ skin where it will rest undisturbed by the mages natural abilities to fester the foreign substance out like a mage would do with other more normal splinters."

Madeira opened the palm of her right hand, where a little speck of black, like a long grain of rice, sat underneath her skin. The birdhouse gave it to her. Before she had supposed she had stabbed herself with a splinter she didn't notice. Yet after time to think she came to believe that she made no mistake, there was no slip of the hand, no wayward spines of splintered wood. The sliver had all but leapt into her hand, and buried itself deep in her flesh.

"Once a splinter or another such piece of the structure is safely within the mage’s body and does not kill the mage, the newly inducted mage will slowly develop the full capacity to understand an Architectrix building and communicate with it."

Her face wrinkled with distaste at that. She remembered that part. There was a heat and burning pain that had traveled down her arm and into her heart, until she felt her whole body was on fire. To hear Jomi tell it, she had had a fit and passed out, and for a chime afterwards he had thought her dead. The sliver had almost killed her. Yet afterwards, she could hear the strange call of the birdhouse too.

"Because Raj and I can hear the birdhouse, does that mean we are mages to?" Emma clapped silently, excited by the notion. The girl had once parroted her parents wary view of magic and disgust of those who practiced, but two years with Madeira and her magic had softened her childish heart to the concept of magic and mages.

Madeira chucked as she turned the page. "I don't think it quite works like that, kitten. But that's a queer thought, isn't it? Why can you and Jomi already hear the birdhouse while I had to be initiated to learn to?"

The girl shrugged and began picking at the scabs between her fingers. The mystery failed to ignite her curiosity the way it did Madeira's.

Shaking her head at her strange little ghost, Madeira flipped forward again, skipping the rest of the Initiation chapter and moving on to a chapter called Practice and Maintenance. The picture above it was more sensible than the last. It looked to be a floorplan with numbered sections. Several annotation next to asterisks at the bottom of the page referenced corresponding page numbers where one might find advice pertaining to those specific areas. Madeira pointed to the bold title and tilted the book towards the ghost.

"Do you know there words? No, I supposed not. But remember your letters? Lets sound them out together."

It took several tries and edged dangerously close to tears from the frustrated ghost, but with gentle coaxing Madeira managed to get the girl to puzzle out the words. And once she was sure the girl knew the definition of those words, as well as the pronunciation, they moved on to the text below.

WC: 543
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on November 5th, 2018, 11:47 pm

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"Architectrix is very simple in practice", the book explained. "Little to no intervention is needed by the mage to bring the structure to sentience. But there is much a mage can do to maintain and look after the structure. Like other buildings an Architectrix structure must be maintained to remain healthy. It is prudent to learn simple repairs when one has decided to take over the care of a structure. Otherwise it is possible to empower a structure with ones own dijed either to replenish its energy or bring it to sentience faster."

"Hmm", madeira mused allowed. "That's rather like a ghost, isn't it?"

Emma blinked at her, her big round eyes hooded by a puzzled brow.

"How?"

"Well..." Madeira tapped the edge of the binding as she considered how best to convey her thoughts.. "A ghost comes to sentience by itself, must be maintained to remain happy, and can be embowered by the soul of another person. see?"

"You mean dijed and soulmist is the same thing?"

"Well... no, not really. But it comes from the same place. Dijed is the power of a living soul, and soulmist is a product of a dead soul. I can dress you in a piece of my soul that I harvest for that purpose, and you feel better afterwards. Well, it seems I can do the same thing for this other sentience."

"Sent-tea-ance" Emma mumbled, already distracted by a word Madeira suspected she knew but couldn't quite define.

"That just means you can feel and think and are aware of what is around you", Madeira explained gently.

"I knew that!"

"I know, sweetheart." she coughed to disguise her laugh and quickly began to read again. "A mage may also, with proper convincing, bring an entirely new structure to seed. One must first collect a piece of an already sentient structure. This piece or 'seed' must be willingly given, and it can be anything implantable, like a window, floor tile or shingle." Madeira's eyes flicked to the space under the bed, where she felt the sleeping awareness of the birdhouse. "This seed may be installed into a new structure, and a new Architectrix will then begin to take root. At this point the magic will act similar to a disease, where it will take time to 'infect' the given space. How much time it takes is dependent on the skill of the mage and the size of the property. No further intervention is needed on the mages part, besides the aforementioned dijed transfer, for the building to reach its potential."


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Madeira Craven
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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on November 5th, 2018, 11:47 pm

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Emma's eye too had travelled to the birdhouse she could feel to, that sat with a pregnant kind of energy beneath the bed.

"It's a seed? Like a plant?"

Or like a person, Madeira almost said, her hand fluttering nervously to her belly, where the gentle roundness was starting to push beneath her blouse. A seed from an already fully sentient structure, to be implanted and nurtured until it grows into its own sentience? Was this new magic nothing more than making herself a second child to raise? Madeira shook the thought from her head.

"Just so, kitten. Do you promise to help me tend our new home once we have seeded it?"

"Yah!" The ghost's voice was a shiny little pop of excitement. "I'll be really helpful. Me and Raj-"

"Raj and I", Madeira corrected with a chuckle.

"Raj and I will talk to it all the time!" Emma repeated impatiently. "And we'll make sure it feels okay and never gets lonely."

"That sounds wonderful, kitten, thank you", Madeira leaned over to kiss the top of her head. The sharp, electric cold of her shroud was as familiar as the touch of a living person. "Lets look at more chapter, then I need to get some rest."

"'Kay."

Flipping the pages again, Madeira came across a much shorter title titled simply 'History'. She tilted the book to Emma. "Here, lets do one more, okay? This is an easy word that I know you know."

She made the ghost sound out each letter in turn: h-I-s-t-o-r-y. They plodded through the hissing of the h and s, stopping hard at the t and rolling through the vowels until Madeira was sure the girl would recognize the word should she stumble upon it again. She made sure to praise the girl extravagantly when they were through, hoping the girl would learn to like the accomplishment in learning to read.

"This unique magical practice began in the Suvan Empire. Vivian Roscanali, a champion of Kihala, is credited with its creation and development. The first Architectrix was said to be Vivian’s stronghold, Cyprus Manor located in the swamplands of the Kalean West Coast. Vivian breathed the essence of life into the structure after developing a way to bridge the gap between divine magic and world magic to do so. From Cyprus Manor all other Architectrix’s have been born, and can trace their linage backwards to Cyprus Manor."

"That first manor is all the other Arch-ee-tec-trix's Papa?"

Madeira inwardly flinched at the wording, it mirroring her own tangled thoughts in that straightforward way only a child can.

"It seems so, yes. But It wasn't a natural phenomenon. The magic was created by a really smart woman near the city we are going to."

"Do you think she's still there?"

Considering how this pre Valterrian book spoke about Vivian in the past tense, Madeira's immediate answer was no. But she knew that was not what Emma was asking. She considered the question and measured her words before she spoke.

"Vivian lived hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Ghosts don't really like to stick around that long. She probably got tired and moved on so she could be reborn."

The ghost didn't answer. Her fragile mind seemed to skip right over the question as she leaned into the Spiritist. "What else does it say?"

Madeira sighed and closed the book with a snap. "No more tonight. That was a lot to take in, and I need to think. Want to continue tomorrow?"

The ghost nodded enthusiastically, which brought a gentle smile to Madeira's face.

"Goodnight, kitten."

WC: 624
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
Words: 714453
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 4
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We build and build and build

Postby Madeira Craven on November 6th, 2018, 12:00 am

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Grades Awarded!

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Madeira Craven

Skills
    Architechtrix: 5xp
    Teaching: 5xp
    Deduction: 1xp
    Rhetoric: 2xp
    Philosophy: 1xp
    History: 2xp

Lores
    Architechtrix: any solid structure can be seeded
    Architechtrix: can be marked by gods
    Architechtrix: Initiation
    Teaching: how to read
    Architechtrix: ghost can communicate uninitiated
    History: of Architechtrix
    Architechtrix: limited by the size of a property
    Lore of the similarities between Architechtrix and reproduction
    Architechtrix: how to maintain a sentient structure

Awards & Retribution
+Item gained
+Trait recieved
-Injury
-Mizas spent

Notes
Notes here.
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 908
Words: 714453
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Featured Thread (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1) Donor (1)


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