[Training] A Chilly Reception

Desperate to reclaim something of the man he once was, the Caldera turns to magic for a sense of normalcy again.

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

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[Training] A Chilly Reception

Postby Elias Caldera on May 28th, 2015, 7:06 am

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28th Day of Spring, 515 AV

The pale mage sat hunched over the table, bare, ghostly white legs bouncing up and down in growing frustration.

Betwixt his calloused fingers wobbled a lone, fragile pillar of res, the swirling source of his ire. As scarred hands started to twist around the arcane irritation, the sorcerer began his familiar mutterings in the ancient language of nader canoch. As if responding to the voice, a ripple ran from the bottom of the miniature tower to its unsteady zenith before the translucent liquid abruptly burst into a cloud of white mist, saturating his hands and the table below.

Sighing, Elias leaned back into his chair, fingers running across his rough scalp in equal parts disappointment and embarrassment. Another, softer hand joined his own and took over the task of massaging his troubled mind.

"More of the same?" Lexa moaned in his ear as she carelessly draped herself across his shoulder from behind. Despite the practiced carnality in her tone, she sounded anything but pleased. Elias nodded apologetically, closing his eyes with a resigned growl before leaning back into the locks of auburn hair that cascaded over his scars. She smelled of cheap perfume and cheaper alcohol, but he breathed her in none the less. He preferred the drykas's telltale scent over the thick, sickly sweet smog of incense that hung across the rest of the palace of pleasure like a incessant morning fog. It was the brothel’s futile attempt to hide the stench of sin that wafted like waves from every rocking room and moaning corridor, and her’s seemed the only escape from its oppression.

Not content to let Elias struggle in peaceful silence however, the whore tutted with a particularly distracting air of disappointment flung directly into the ear she had been playfully nibbling upon.

"But you said you could make it for me. My drink’s getting dreadfully warm, Elias." She bemoaned, and in that way all women seemed to know how to in order to get silly men into doing silly things for them, and though he could not see it, the mage could even feel the way her absurdly luscious lips were now pouting at his failure. He nodded again, having been reminded of the same thing many times over by now. "I guess I’m not special enough for that then."

You are. I’m trying… baby.

He had to remind himself to add that last bit in. That’s what people said in these kinds of situations, wasn’t it? That was normal? That’s why he was here after all, to find his ‘normal’ again, and what was more commonplace and natural than spending a few bells and a few more coins at the House of Immortal Pleasures with a buxom wench to keep your lap warm? After surviving the dungeons, it seemed like the most appropriate thing to do, if not for him, then at least for the man he was trying to appear to be anyway.

Pretending however, was proving to be a… difficult task these days, and even to a desperate Elias, the charade he was putting on felt utterly hopeless at times. His interactions, his words, even his movements felt like a mockery of what they use to be. The only way he had found to describe it was as if he were trapped under the heavy waves of the churning ocean, frantically clawing and scraping his way up to surface for just a breath of air he wasn’t even sure would be waiting for him at the top. It was growing tedious, and the Caldera could feel his mask slipping with each passing tick he was free of the shadows said mask was meant to hide the clinging remnants of.

A pale and forlorn face turned to the sun kissed whore’s and gave her his best attempt at a reassuring smile.

It was wretched.

Yet still she smiled back and placed a passionate kiss on his cracked and peeling lips. Lexa, ever the professional, had put up with a lot from her dearest of customers that day. She was paid well to do so after all, but Elias suspected she was getting even more for this 'humble hooker with a heart of gold' routine she was bathing him in. Likely a little something on the side, snf no doubt from her silent master’s in black who had without question slid her into place like a chess piece before him. This was Ravok after all, and while some may outright deny it for the sake of apperances, espionage was just as part of the city as the canals and the ravasolas were. How else could one explain why a woman, even one of her trade, had been so eager and willing to jump into his stringy arms when he had first limped through those brothel’s doors.

The Caldera, though recognizing he was but a paltry shade of what he once was, was still no fool, and he doubted she would deny the accusation if he pressed the question to the girl. But what was he to do even if he discovered the truth anyway; object? Like he had the luxury of choice anymore. Ha!

No, he preferred it this way to be honest. The silent, if not uncertain, understanding between them was enough for the reimancer, bearable even, especially when her hands trailed across his decimated chest the way they did, or how her eyes constantly burned with the façade of fierce lust every time their gazes met.

Yes… this was preferable. This was ‘normal.’

Or at least close enough.

But, perhaps too much so at times now that he considered it, for only ‘normal’ Elias would have been so foolhardy as to let his pride goad him into something as dimwitted as trying impress the shapely seductress with promises of magical extravagance. Like making petching ice for her petching drink. He groaned inwardly. It was the reason he now found himself in such a deplorably pathetic situation.

Frowning and redoubling his determination, Elias shook away his doubts and focused his djed once more, a pool of the glistening liquid slipping from his fingertips to coalesce in front of him.

"You can do it."

The emaciated mage turned to stare at Lexa with curious eyes. He had heard the words, but he could scarcely believe them real.

"I believe in you, master Elias.[/i]"

The Caldera could have almost cried right then. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had heard such heartfelt kindness and hope directed at him before. It was almost painful in how refreshing it felt. Elias promptly decided he would make sure he left a little something extra for the whore’s exemplary performance before he left.

In the meantime, he turned his attention back to the slowly dissolving puddle before him, drawing it up into a pillar similar to the one he'd used before with a swift flick of his fingers. Once more, he wrapped his hands around it, cupping it without contact as he pressed upon the intangible substance with an invisible force. In his mind he pictured that which he wanted to create, just as he did with the air and water he'd been using to reach this point. This was the worst part of it all however, the fact that he could actually feel them ready and eager to do his bidding. Both the elements were more than capable of intertwining themselves with one another to form what he desired, yet, almost as if taunting him, they simply refused to cooperate long enough to do so. It was infuriating, especially considering he had been able to accomplish this simple bonding before the stryfe dragged him down to...

No, no, no! Don’t think about that. Focus on something else. Focus on the magic… Normal, remember?

The snowcapped mountains of Taldera eased themselves into his thoughts after a few ticks of concentration. They were gently followed by the images of a frozen fjord, an icy river languid with its frigid waters,the feeling of the winter’s chill itself upon his exposed skin, all of these things the reimancer brought to the forefront of his mind as his brows furrowed, his thoughts focused solely on the res in front of him. Letting his eyes close, he pulled his hands back slightly, his fingers curling inwards. The res pillar bent towards the curve of his hands, and as Elias pushed, the magic swirled, twisting around itself. Slowly, starting at the bottom, the res solidified into a cool, transparent sheen that crept upwards towards the pointed tip. Eyes still closed, the mage could feel the chill of his intention affecting the res, shaping it into his desired state.

Lexa’s excited giggle over his shoulder caught him unaware, and he smiled reflexively in return, turning from his studious labors to catch sight of her satisfaction if only for the sake of his own. His foolishness immediately caused the tiny tower's remaining res to splash onto the table malformed, though the rest remained unaffected by the sudden disruption. "Aww, so close." She grinned, scooping up the remnants of the ice construct he had managed before plopping it in the glass of brandy she wielded. "I was starting to wonder if all that talk about how much of a great and powerful mage you were was just that. I guess there's hope for you yet."

Elias regarded his incomplete ice sculpture now swirling in her cup with a frown. He found it annoyingly unfortunate he'd been unable to finish the transmutation, even in spite of the interruption. It was a matter of speed as much as it was focus, and he'd employed neither… It was a problem that demanded fixing.

Gathering up his djed once more, Elias reattempted the exercise, settling into his seat with a determined finality.

Today was to be the day he mastered ice once and for all.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 5:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 3:44 am

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It took several more trials before the Caldera heir was able to reproduce his icy accomplishment a second time. As it turned out, it took a combination of his vivid visualizations along a newfound understanding of water and his preconceived notions of what the element actually was was. Having had plenty of experience with the concept of "mist" or "fog" over the course of his attempts at creating ice, Elias had found water was more than simply a liquid like many a layman would assume. It could exist when dispersed into the air, suspended as incomprehensibly tiny droplets that hung light enough to float across the winds. Ice seemed to be something akin to that, in that it was the complete and polar opposite. While one was airy and light, the other was dense and dangerous. Yet despite the revelation, Elias still found the practical application of his findings to be difficult at best.

Lexa, to her credit, was content to simply watch this burgeoning array of realizations from her lazy perch upon the satin sheets of her bed. Or rather, Elias suspected she was content to suffer his company as long as it meant she wasn’t getting petched by a long and steady line of greasy dock workers and shady near-do-wells as was the norm on busy days like this one at the whore house. He had paid for a considerable amount of her time -a ‘marathon’ as they called it here- and she seemed willing to even humor him too as long as his supply of mizas didn’t run dry, or her wine did, whichever tragedy struck first.

Content however, did not exactly mean complacent for a woman like Lexa. The veteran whore teased the mage mercilessly between their ‘sessions,’ constantly pouring her perpetually naked form over him in a veritable waterfall of captivating curves and amorous moans. Relentless and insatiable, Elias was certain his tormented body would fail him completely before the night was through. Every once in a while though, between the salacious flirtations and sweaty, gasping respites, she’d ask him questions about his day, or about his other magical studies, hell, even how he felt. It was all the proper little inquiries a lackadaisical spy required for her report, and Elias gave her everything she wanted without so much as a harrumph.

It was strange now that he thought about it. Not the blatant and uncaring espionage at work, mind you, that he had expected from the moment he realized his torturers hadn’t intended to kill him. No, that Elias now fully understood he was going to have to adapt and live with from now on. Instead, what had caught him off guard had been the sex itself. After crawling his way out of the darkness they had kept him drowning in for god’s knew how long, his libido had been one the last things he’d ever considered quenching when there were so many other necessities the tortured prisoner had been denied. Yet, here he was, indulging in just that for the third time in as many days now. Perhaps there was some foul play at hand, he certainly couldn’t put it past the stryfe, but perhaps there was a less nefarious answer to his suspicions. Maybe it was just as simple as nature and instinct; put a woman like Lexa in front of any man after he’d been starved of even the mere sight of the opposite sex, let alone their longing touch, and was it really such a surprise that suddenly all his priorities found themselves shifting to things more base and primal?

Still, both the Ravokian and the mage in him screamed conspiracy, hypnotism, and deception in tandem with one another!

The new Elias however, merely whispered back “why fight it?” with a knowing and almost serene tone. To all three of their surprise, the latter won, and the reimancer was meekly back to work without a second thought.

Now where was I... Oh yes!

At first he had tried to simply remove the air out of the water by transmuting his res into water and willing it to be solid. That had resulted in just more mess, as the res merely became water and splashed into a puddle. He'd attempted to shape the res as it was becoming water with calculated bursts of wind. This, however, only created what one could call rain and, upon soaking Lexa, was subsequently forbidden from further experimentation. Elias had finally decided the most efficient way to transmute the ice was simply to… transmute it. He was finding it much simpler in theory. Each time he willed his res to take upon itself the properties of ice, it shifted instead into suspended water before drizzling away in droplets.

Finally, Elias had found that the mental images of ice paired with his memory's sensations of the cold helped to form a pleasing mold from which he could work. The water slowly began to become colder with each unfortunate aquatic burst until Elias gradually determined the correct feel and movement of the ice. It wasn't rigid as he had initially supposed. His strict adherence to control and pressure had caused the transmuting res to push back against him, effectively creating the inverse effect the reimancer had been trying to obtain. Instead, ice moved, it flowed, drifted, and slid along as it pleased. Though solid in appearance, ice still retained the fluid quality of its watery predecessor and required as much freedom and expression as water too.

Once that epiphany had been reached, Elias found his res responded much more readily to his demands. It twisted, whirled, and danced into the different forms he willed it, while still making sure to experiment with tiny amounts of his power, rather than his entire supply. It became much more enjoyable to craft crude shapes out of the ice, effectively creating a child’s toybox worth of miniatures. Lexa seemed to be particularly enthused at the sight of his magic at work in full force and jumped at the opportunity for further entertainment.

"You did it!"

Elias grinned a stupid grin.

For some reason, the sensation of transmuting ice in that moment held for him the most excitement he'd enjoyed since forming his first fireball back in Zeltiva. "Can you move them? Make that… boat fly for me, Elias." The tiny vessel Lexa had been referring to had actually been a poorly crafted cat, but having put little stock in his own artistic abilities, Elias decided it was better to forgive her ignorance just this once.

Whatever you want.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 3:44 am

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Picking the ice sculpture up with one hand, the mage began to pantomime flying, to which Lexa laughed so hard she had to hold her sides from falling over. Blinking in feigned confusion, followed promptly by sudden realization, Elias returned his attention to the ship a second time. He aleady knew what she meant, she wanted to see him move it with his res.

Alright, alright. Prepare to be amazed.

Gazing down at the miniature menagerie which had now taken on an even glossier shine as the heat had begun to deconstruct Elias's handiwork, he dripped a small amount of res from his finger, resting his chin in the unoccupied hand. He watched as the gossamer fluid gathered in a small, undulating ball an inch above the table, floating but a hair's width from the icy vessel. Unsure of how exactly to go about it, Elias formed the sphere into several tendrils and wrapped them around the ship. The res hugged the small construct for a few idle moments while the reimancer considered just what his next course of action would be. Much to his consternation, he was quickly coming to the revelation that he wasn’t entirely sure how to pick it up. Water wasn’t solid, it had never required more than a guiding hand and a gentle encouragement here or there to get it moving. Fire was much the same way now that he thought about it, for neither of those two had demanded more of him that his instincts felt were necessary. Ice though… this was new and curiously perplexing.

Raising a finger to signal the res to rise, it did so without hesitation. The boat, however, remained exactly where it was.

Biting his lip in confusion, Elias lowered the res again, reattaching it to the ice sculpture before trying to hoist it up once more. Unsurprisingly, the thing did not move, save for the drips falling from its mast… or were those it's whiskers, not even its creator could tell anymore.

To the charming chorus of Lexa’s soothing encouragements, the reimancer tried several more ways after that; attempting to push the ice, attach strings like a puppet, and in the end even resorted to passing the res from one side of the cat-ship to the other, glaring as it shifted through the object with none of the intended effect.

"Obey.

The command was given with as much force as Elias could muster short of screaming. His patience had already been worn thin by the mere creation of the damnable para-element, but now using even more of his precious res to somehow further manipulate the already transmuted substance was aggrevating. The ship, however, remained placidly unaware of his plight.

"If you can’t force it, maybe there’s another way." Lexa made a 'come hither' gesture with one of her painted finger and Elias started impassively at her, uncertain what she meant, but was inclined to decipher it for lack of any alternative. She probably knew what she was talking about, he decided, though why that was, he couldn't say. Balling his fists, the ruffled wizard's res rose up in response. As with all great experimenters who had come to their wit's end, Elias smashed his fists together, slamming the res into the boat with all his force. When his knuckles separated, the res followed suit, but once again the boat remained. Glaring at the impassive face of the questionable animal, Elias flicked his eyes to the floating bubble of res and back to the cat.

Ah! Of course… so stupid...

Eyes lightening with a small glimmer of potential inspiration, Elias dripped some more res out of his reserve to join with what was left of his initial helping. With the larger sphere in tow, the Ravokian moved it close to the boat and once more turned his thoughts to the chilly identity he had found ice to be. Instead of willing the res to become what he sought, he chose for it gather like all elements did under a reimancer’s trained command. With a resounding 'clink,' the boat twitched immediately, along with the rest of the partially melted scenery around it. Gathering his focus anew, Elias rallied behind his mind's archetype of "cold", drawing all such things that fell under it towards the revolving ball of res until the ice slowly but surely fell into orbit around it.

"You did it." The woman practically jumped for joy, clapping her hands as if congratulating a child who had just added together his first numbers. Elias didn’t mind one bit though, as he felt a wave of pleasure and satisfaction roll over him like the tide. “Now…” He muttered, head dizzy with emotions. “Where’s my reward?
Last edited by Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 3:45 am

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The next day began much the same as the past several had since his unceremonious release from The Well; with prayer.

Elias rose early to begin his morning reciting of the Voice’s teachings almost as soon as the toothbrush had cleared his lips. This was followed promptly with some light reading through the glorious works of the Black Sun and their most hallowed of preachers as worked the muscles in his deadened and disused limbs. It took a unique amount of effort that day to fulfill his faithful duty however, thanks in no small part to the throbbing hangover Lexa’s insatiable drinking games had left him with from the day before. It took longer than usual -a few bells as it turned out- but after he felt confident in his memorization and renewed understanding of the holy texts, Elias's interests were eventually refocused, having been admittedly rather distracted for most of morning, for obvious reasons.

He stood over a wash basin’s worth of water, his res already swirling a foot above the surface of the liquid in the shape of a thin disc. His attention was focused on the stillness of the liquid beneath him, and in his mind he saw waves, rain, rivers, and storms, the images swirling and writhing with the spirit of the turbulent sea itself. Slowly but surely, the water began to rise out of the basin as Elias willed it into motion, drawing it to his res. It was strange, reverting back to this almost ancient classroom method of incite a reaction out of his primary element of all things, but if yesterday’s debacle of a lesson had taught the young reimancer anything, it was that he needed to return to the basics if he ever hoped of finding his groove again, and he wasn’t just talking about with his magic either.

For the time being however, it just so happened that magic was his sole focus.

Rising out of the basin as a single tendril, the water slowly grew in girth as it wobbled its way up to the summoning res, seemingly latching onto the swirling arcane substance. It danced giddily in response to the disc's rotation, its momentum inevitably forming a flattened whirlpool of sorts under his outstretched fingers. The reimancer increased the speed of the rotation, the water whipping around in tighter circles with each spin. Wih it now firmly under his command, Elias aimed the disc at the back wall of his cramped room, letting loose the hurtling liquid with a flick of his wrist and unleashing his res throughout the water as he did so, demanding that it freeze for him. To his chagrin, it only partially solidified before reaching its target, resulting in a watery crash of splintered ice chunks all over the wall.

Annoyed but not dissuaded, Elias released some more res and walked over to there the water still lay, the sphere of shimmering liquid hovering near the hand that had excreted it. Extending his hand over the mess, he drew the water back up into to the sphere. The broken shards of ice remained, but Elias had little need of them at the moment and contented himself to simply returning to the basin,

Stooping over the bowl this time, once more the pale man began transmuting the res into ice. The images of the frigid cold in all its known instances danced through his mind as the magic solidified into the blueish clear crystal. Already he had used about the same about of energy as the day prior, but for his theory to work he required another fistful of res, which he produced willingly and added it to what he was already working with. He could feel the flow of his djed shift and compensate for the loss within him. It was a strange, lightening sort of feeling he found both disconcerting and exciting, though the unnerving nature of the experience had so far kept him for pursuing the excitement too far. That, and he hadn't needed anymore as it so happened.

There was a sharp snapping sound in response to his perseverance, the entire contents of the water basin freezing over as the rapidly expanding water pushed out and left a sizable crack in the plain wooden finish of the wash basin.

It was a success, even despite the loss.

The process had required Elias's full attention and concentration unfortunately, which was fine for practice today, but lacked in practicality when it came to tomorrow’s challenges. He'd been able, presumably, to enhance the intensity of his ice's chill, however for it to be of any use in combat, it would require either a faster vehicle of dispersion, or a temperature so intense the water would freeze instantaneously.

Both would prove a challenge, yet he swore both would soon to be conquered.
Last edited by Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elias Caldera on September 1st, 2016, 3:45 am

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The next few chimes were spent gathering water for his tests.

On one hand, in a city like Ravok he didn't need to look far to find any, but on the other, few people enjoyed being reminded that mages and their wicked arcane shenanigans existed in the same world as them. As such, it took a great deal of careful surveying and an extra helping of lazy determination to get the water from the nearby canal up to his second story window without anyone accidentally happening upon the watery serpent slithering its way into his room.

This time there was no basin to ruin or contain, just the floating, calm lake of Ravokian canal water he had gathered hovering with tranquil temperament in the center of his room. The feeling and familiarity for handling was coming back to him as smoothly as the hilt of his sword had. In the end it seemed his worries had been for naught, for how could one forget what made them who they were? Reimancy, and subsequently water itself, were practically a part of Elias, and had been ever since his traumatic initiation. He had been a fool to think that connection would simply disappear because he hadn’t been able to practice the art for whatever amount of time.

It was… reassuring the say the least, because if he could get the hang of this again, it gave hope for the rest of his abilities as well, arcane and otherwise.

Rubbing his hands together in rekindled resolve, the reimancer reborn sprinkled concentrated drips of res into the mass of water, spreading each bit throughout the giant liquid ball, much like water droplets within a cloud. Once that was accomplished, Elias flexed his fingers once before clenching his hands into tightened fist. It was a signal, one that ushered in his admittedly novice understanding of ice and bid it to do what it did best for him.

The water rippled, but remained as indifferent to Elias's influence as it had before he'd begun. Glaring at the liquid pool, the mage felt the urge to stab his finger into its halcyon mass, hissing in surprise as it stung at flesh in icy protest. Unpleasant, but he'd affected the temperature then, excellent. Uncertain how much res was required to freeze the whole thing however, Elias dripped several more drops into the water, dissolving it into the liquid just as he'd done before… and just as before, the reimancer failed in his efforts.

The process was repeated several more times, each instance of res injections growing larger and larger in quantity. The draw on his reserves was minimal, but the reason for the incremental amounts was less one of energy conservation and more of simple observation. Once the water did finally freeze, Elias found he had reached a relatively fair amount of usage, though considering the size of the giant boulder of ice he had eventually managed to create, he considered the price more than fair.

Staring up at it in contemplation, Elias ran his finger over the solid surface while another worked at massaging his chin in typical, contemplating form. It had already begun to melt in the relatively warm temperature of the apartment, but another layer of res beneath was doing wonders to keep the trickling dew drops from reaching the floorboards or the unsuspecting heads of his neighbors beneath.

He decided, even without Lexa’s cheering him on from the sidelines, this was a moment worthy of celebration. He’d gone from baby’s first reimancy lesson to something of an experienced ice lord in barely a day’s time, which considering where he had been coming from with this whole endeavor, was quite impressive. From his experiments the mage had been able to deduce a many number of things, one of which included the amount of res required to freeze an already active supply of water. From that Elias could figure out the necessities for larger and smaller amounts, but more importantly, he’d also be able to discover how much it would take to create the ice outright instead of relying on the slow, cumbersome method of combining the two elements of air and water.

See, he told himself in chipper fashion, this is normal. This is us, we can do this. It’s just going to take some time, but we’ll find our rhythm again! We’ll find our way. We have the Black Sun to guide us now and a loving god to catch us when we stumble.

Its all going to be okay again.” He reassured himself as the tears began to fall.

Were going to be fine.
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[Training] A Chilly Reception

Postby Sayana on September 17th, 2016, 3:33 pm

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Don't forget to edit/delete your grade request. If there's anything I may have missed, please PM me and I'll be happy to look into it.


 
Elias
Skills
  • Reimancy: 5
  • Acting: 2
  • Meditation: 3
  • Philosophy: 1
  • Prayer: 1
  • Flirting: 3
Lores
  • Location: House of Immortal Pleasures
  • Acting: Trying to appear 'normal'
  • Whores: It's all an act but worth it just the same
  • Reimancy: Transmuting ice
  • Reimancy: Visualization to assist in transmuting different elements
  • Reimancy: Ice is the polar opposite of mist
  • Reimancy: Ice still flows even if it is not quite like water
  • Reimancy: Attracting ice
  • Reimancy: Transmute sufficiently cold ice to freeze surrounding water
  • Reimancy: Distribute cold transmuted ice evenly in a body of water to cause full freezing
Miscellaneous
  • -8gm for "Marathon" at the House of Immortal Pleasures

Comments: I love how much depth you put into your writing. For large sections, I couldn't necessarily find any experience to award, but it was rich and drew be in as a reader, as well as intimately depicting Elias's character. I also enjoyed the reimancy techniques you employed. Initially I was skeptical at the ice freezing the surrounding water, but when you described how the res was evenly distributed, it was much more believable. Great work.

Your Grader,

Sayana
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