Solo Influences of the void

Xira gets an initiation into the truth of the Other Side.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Influences of the void

Postby Xira Hezmek on August 8th, 2015, 1:03 am

10th of Summer, 515 AV

"You understand why we are here, yes?" The aging Akalak rumbled on without the expectation of an answer. "The other side is a realm of nothingness. It is empty of all things, except where those who open up a path to the void pull things, or by foolishness, void themselves." He let the statement act as the reasoning as he settled the lamp, the only source of light in the cave. "Sit here." Xira obediently took a seat on the damp cave floor, the lamp's light a cordon of protection in the darkness. The man shivered in his small clothes and looked up at the burly Akalak, almost vulnerably. Those lamplike eyes reflected an uncharacteristic cruelty or perhaps disdain but the the sensation was gone in a flash. The cold from below was seeping into his rear and a spike of ice caused the man to jump before he realized it was a drop of water from the ceiling. He knew then that as his body warmed the stone below and grew comfortable he would be jolted out of his comfort by every drop. Not that it was likely that he would warm the stone around him.

"Now. Clear your mind. Focus on the concept of. Understand the meaning of nothing... and bring it here. If necessary, you may repeat Alas An Irst until you understand." Terakant lifted the lamp and turned, taking with him the solace of light. "Let mother dark teach you the meaning of nothing. And remember, you asked for this. Let this be a lesson to you who seek the dangers of the arcane." And with that the Akalak Scholar was gone and Xira was alone.

Djas

Eyes opened in darkness. What was warm grew cold, what was comfortable grew stiff and chill. His heart slowed, his breath rasped and his world contracted to the rhythm or rhythm of the splashes across his back.

He cooled like embers to ash. His eyes closed in darkness.

And all was quiet and still.

Cha

The cold darkness filled him, or did it leech from him his heat? The courier could not decide which. The ice fingers of the darkness stretched into his skin, his muscle and then his bone. It creeped up his folded, through his buttock, up his groin. It spread across his back, up his neck and down his spine with every droplet of water.

His mind was in tatters. He was to mediate in this freezing hole on the subject of nothing. Every time he sought it, it was torn away with concerns of the flesh and concerns of the mind. How was Kavala? What to do about Aoren, his friend who slept on? Does Caelum avoid him now? Will he ever know his past? Who was his father? And on and on and on it went.

But there was resolve. There was control. There was his discipline.

He emptied his mind, his own being. But the thoughts came regardless. I am cold. I am hungry. I am thirsty. I need to urinate.

But even these were transitory, once objectified they could be controlled. But control was an illusion. He must know these thoughts for what they were and allow them in, allow them through. He would let the space left behind empty and there would be Nothing.

Daraq

Eyes opened in the darkness. Or did they? All was darkness, darkness and the steaming warmth of his skin, though... how could he be warm? He drifted. Naught was all but cold and darkness. And he was part of it. There was space bounded by walls, and a space within that space, bounded by flesh. Both were equivalent.

There was nothing.

Is there time? The space thought.
It considered the thought and let it pass also.

Djed

It understood now. There was a perfection in darkness. A completeness, or oneness. But in the same way there it was fractured, perforated and full of... holes. Nothingness filled those holes and nothingness was then proceeded to be filled by... something and said nothingness was gone, only to reappear later.

It could feel. Like a bubbling of water over a fire or the prickling of suds in a bath. There was darkness and then there was Darkness. Almost insubstantial. It prickled in the darkness over and over, randomly. Darkness sprang forth from the darkness and the space need only to reach forth and touch it. It need only widen the perfection. It need only complete it before the hated substance filled it back and broke its perfection.

He reached forth... and opened the way. A tiny speck of true Darkness, but it was enough. He could feel the drain of his spirit, akin to Reimancy, akin to Shielding but with it's own flavor. His weight, will and... backbone bore through the darkness to the void itself.

As it happened at that moment the darkness was broken by a deep amber light swinging his way. Terakant's lantern, now heavily hooded to prevent causing Xira pain, revealed the space. Golden amber light, now seemingly impossibly bright revealed a cross legged Xira, his hands outstretched before a sliver of Darkness, nay, a pin-prick of the void, that refused banishment by the light of the lantern.

Xira blinked owlishly up at the azure man whose face was hidden in darkness. "Good job, human. Perhaps you have talent after all. I expected before these past eight hours were up that you would have given up and come to find me, thus ending our lessons for good."

Xira frowned as his focus wandered and the darkness faded. "I may not have your blue skin, but you will find that I have every bit the determination and discipline as you." He muttered sourly, irritated at the constant lack of faith in him. How often must he demonstrate it? Terakant offered a hand to which Xira took into his own, clasping his forearm as he the old man helped him to his feet.

The courier's joints creaked and his legs were asleep. Needles of feeling rushed into his limbs as warm blood finally began to win the war against the chill. Now that he was out of the rhythmic splash and the cool stone, he would be given normality. Yet, somewhere the space in the dark lingered in the back of his mind. A state in which he wondered if he could ever return. Certainly there was a form of contentment, being one with the darkness. Unity and disunity, one and many.

Terakant led the way with his lantern and spoke. "That was your first taste. Most mages take weeks struggling with the concept of nothing. Now you will be known as a voider." The scholar paused and breathed in such a way that Xira knew he was going to pontificate on some historical fact. "According to the legends stretching as far back as the early protohuman era, In the beginning, the Void was a realm of emptiness. It was nature and its messy ways that mixed our realms together. Soon, mankind and the many others learned the paths to that realm. For many it is a way of banishment or a place of storage. For the Other Side is thought to be without end and our portals open up at random." As he explained the grandfatherly scholar offered up a blanket to the shivering courier whom had not noticed his own shivering. He gathered it around himself gratefully.

"I understand, sir."

He nodded and continued on a different track, "There is no air in the Void, so a portal can be used to pull. It is also deathly cold. Truly, to be trapped in the void is certain death. For a portal can only be made and maintained on This Side. Remember that." He paused to slowly dim his lantern, presumably drawing close to the cave entrance. "In time you will learn to open larger portals, you will learn to use these portals to push and pull. Trap, banish and release. My historical sources even mention a means to anchor a portal on the Other Side, though I could not tell you how that is done, or how exactly it could be used."

The entrance was bathed in light. Warmth began to seep back into his bones.
It was over. He did it, he had started on a new path of magic.
But it was only the beginning.
Last edited by Xira Hezmek on September 7th, 2015, 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Influences of the void

Postby Xira Hezmek on September 7th, 2015, 9:32 am

Golden light suffused the city as Syna's brilliance began to sink below the rim of the world. Akaja's veil creeped out across the opposing side as stars winked into life. The city of Riverfall began to settle down into it's nighttime patterns. Akalak and their wives clasped each other in their dangerous, desperate love. Brothers, sons and fathers comforted each other before heading to Nysels realm. Terakant and Xira stood side by side cresting a hill to the north. Rolling hills and forests stood around them, but the area was clear between them. Light and shadow played games across the city as the sky deepened to indigo.

"Here is good. Before we return. Contact the other side." The teacher said as he turned to the mageling. That grizzled face was almost grandfatherly, but... it was often tinged with something that was decidedly not.

The courier felt hollow inside, the remnants of the his time in the cave. He pulled the rough fabric about himself in a struggle to keep warm despite the warm summer evening. He had his clothes back, but there was something of himself was left behind in that cave. He nodded to Terakant and outstretched his hand, his other keeping the blanket close, and focused.

He reached for that place inside him, that hollowness that resonated with the perfection from before. His eyes closed but he could not feel what he felt in that darkness. He could not equate himself to the void once more. "...I can't. I think I need to return to the cave to do so." He looked up at the historian in that vulnerable, hollow way. "What should I do?"

Terakant nodded and crossed his arms, studying the human. Again those lamplike eyes flashed as the final dip of the sun left only its fading glory in the sky. "You may have contacted the Other Side quicker then most, but you need to figure out how to do so outside of that cave. This is not uncommon, actually. In there, it is easier to focus, easier to clear your mind. With less distractions you are easily able to reach beyond the veil." The blue man stretched forth his burly arms. He was by far the strongest elder that Xira had ever met, with muscles like tree roots, or shaped iron. He closed those yellow irised eyes and began to chant.

Alas An Irst.

In moments a speck of black appeared to open and it grew to the size of an apple before him as he looked back at Xira, pleased with himself. "The trick is to reach down into that memory of the cave... and remember that there is nothing different from now and then. Light illuminates, reveals and sheds darkness. But it does not fundamentally change anything, only creates distractions. This was a lesson from Mother Dark. To open the gate anywhere you will need to maintain your focus despite the distractions of light. You need to constantly feed the gate or else it will close on it's own." He gestured. "Come try again. The sun has set and even now Mother Dark embraces us, it should be easier now."

"Of course, Master Terakant. Just... give me a moment to try and clear my mind." This time he would manage, after all, he had done so in that gods forsaken cave, why not now? He closed his eyes and tried once more. There was a pressure behind his eyes, now that the darkness gently settled over his eyelids. "Lights" or perhaps paradoxically pinpricks of perfect dark danced across his vision of the dark... not unlike before, in the cave. He reached for that Nothingness that had settled in his soul. He let the thoughts flow through him, and take with them his sense of self. Once more it was simply a space and those spots of perfect dark were "visible" to his mind. He breathed in... then exhaled the words, "Alas An Irst" and he took hold of a point of perfection and forced it to expand.

He opened his eyes to the exhalation of his master's breath. "Yesss, good job child. Now, remember. The gate feeds on your djed, so only give it enough to sustain itself unless you want to make it larger. No, don't try and make it larger. You need time to adjust." Before his up raised palm was a stark hole in reality. It appeared as if someone had taken a knife to the space around that point and simply cut it away. Xira almost stumbled as vertigo set in.

This was unnatural. Mortals were not meant to see a hole in their world. But all the same he was intrigued. Though, that hollowness remained and his curiosity seemed... remote, perhaps clinical.
Last edited by Xira Hezmek on September 7th, 2015, 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Influences of the void

Postby Xira Hezmek on September 7th, 2015, 9:52 am

Leth slid across the horizon to their left, bathing the landscape in a ghostly silver glow. "Now... if you need to close a gate quicker then usual you simply reverse the process of voiding. Fill the void with... stuff, djed if necessary and the portal will shrink and disappear. Try it now, instead of opening, maintaining or widening the gate, close it."

Maintaining the portal was in essence an easy task. He needed only minimal concentration and to slow drip his djed into the portal. He imagined that widening the portal was the same. But to sully perfection? That was a shame if it must be done. His hollowness resonated with his personal speck of Nothing and so it pained him to obliterate it. But such was life.

Xira began to reverse the process and brought the imperfection of... reality to the portal. In his mind, he filled the speck's center, willed it to shrink and so it did before he lost connection with his portal altogether. Out of everything he had done that day, that was what took the most from him. He had traded something... intangible for a connection to the void and even now he betrayed that connection by closing it in this way.

"Good. Let us go before the glassbeaks come. I would rather not lose my life this day." He grumbled as he lit the lantern once more and the two made their way down to the city.

"Master Terakant?"

"Yes child?"

"Do you feel every portal you make?"

"Hrm? Oh yes, every portal."


Xira struggled with the phrasing for his next question. "Do you feel... bad about closing your portals?"

The Akalak stopped short and turned to Xira. "No? Why would I? The portals are a means to make contact with the Void. They are not a thing themselves... they are gates, openings, bores through what is to what is not. I suggest straying away from that train of thought."

"But..."

"But What?"

"The Void is so perfect. I can not help but feel... guilty pushing djed into it and make it so much less then it was before. I suppose that is silly."


The response seemed to put the scholar off balance and thus his next words were slow in forming. "Truth is, the void has many things in it that don't belong. It hasn't been perfect since the beginning of time. Be wary of the things that you might unleash in the void. Anything 'living' that could survive the void was probably put there for a reason. The void is often used, yes used, as a tool for banish that which is dangerous."

They walked in silence for a long moment and reached the city entrance before either had spoken. Xira still shivered, but the cool night air was a balm to his thoughts and besides his shivering had nothing to do with the cold.

"You've given me much to think about young Xira."
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Influences of the void

Postby Xira Hezmek on October 21st, 2015, 10:35 am

Both Terakant and Xira settled in around a warm fire that evening, the elderly gentleman in a padded rocking chair that groaned under his weight and Xira in a straight back chair swathed in blankets as the young man continued to shiver. There was a darkness around Xira's usual bright features, to the young mageling it felt like an unshakable cloak that weighed down the soul. His experiences were not too traumatic, as other disciplines of magic might be, but not even Reimancy left a mark quite like this. Reimancy was living, infectious and invasive maybe, but it was warm and brought passion between two people if cultivated correctly. If anything, Voiding was the opposite. It was cold. It was numbing. It was loneliness incarnate. It made all that was into nothingness, living husks and stole meaning from all things. If one was not careful, that person might surely become a nihilist.

Xira could feel them around him now, if he set his mind to it. He could feel the percolation of the void even if he couldn't see them. Even when he had his eyes open and could peer into the dancing flames he could feel them, seeds of perfect nothingness popping into existence and decaying back into nonexistence over and over. If he so chose he could simply... reach out... feed those seeds into a glorious injuncture to grow and swallow those flames. He gave the command word and he focused in on a spot a few inches above his hand instead. He willed the darkness to grow, he sought deep down into his core to will forth the necessary djed to feed into the void. The speck opened into the visible spectrum.

He wondered for not the first time he was not insane. Perhaps he wasn't surrounded by nothingness coming in and out of existence. Perhaps he was generating these sparks and seeds of nothingness. The thought hurt hit mind though. It was too much to think of himself delusional. If this was the only way he could do magic, snaring the bubbling of nothingness to do his bidding, even if it was just an artifice this would be how he had to do the magic.


Xira pushed more and more djed into his portal, the speck of darkness taking time to grow. The fire beyond the portal seemed to be... lensed, the edges of the portal distorting the image of the flame in strange ways. There was an addictive edge to using his djed this way. Just a bit larger, his master over the darkness could be supreme if he just made it larger. His heart started to pound and a rushing light-headedness swept up from the bottom of his torso, up through his lungs, past those massive arteries in his neck and into the base of his brain.

By now the portal to the Other Side was roughly the size of his hand and with a twist of his will, it began to pull. Tassels of his blanket lifted up and oriented on the disc of darkness. It would not pull it in, but the rush of air and the escape of a moth into the void was proof that he was managing one of the more useful aspects of the void. Entrapment through Pull.

All the while Terekant watched in silence. The man puffed on a pipe and his yellow eyes glittered in the fire light. He slowly rocked in his chair. Stray tendrils of his smoke swirled around the courier's portal. It slide down in lazy spirals, like a vortex or a whirlpool; more frantic as it grew closer to the center.

"You will be skilled with that magic one day. You grow stronger even by the hour."

Xira stared at the Akalak blankly, hollow eyed and incurious.

Strange that this was how they were going to "discuss that day's happenings."
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Influences of the void

Postby Konrad Venger on March 8th, 2016, 1:22 am

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Nice job! Your work has pleased The Sloth!

Xira

XP:
Meditation - 1
Endurance - 1
Voiding - 3
Observation - 2
Philosophy - 1

Lore:
Terakant: A Harsh Teacher
Meditation: Dealing With Distractions
Voiding: Perfect Dark
Voiding: The Nature of The Void
The Void: Not Just A Plane, But A Prison
Philosophy: Musings On The Void
Voiding: Entrapment Through Pull

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Nicely done, dude! I thought you captured very well the wonder and awe that Xira felt in his first exposure to Voiding, but also his shrewdness in confronting the darker side of it. Very nice, and well-earned.

Oh, and please make sure you go back and edit your post in the Request Thread to reflect the fact this one is now done and dusted. PM me with any questions and later 'tater!

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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