Eventualities (Alses)

And Finally, They Meet

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Eventualities (Alses)

Postby Thomas Cosa on January 24th, 2016, 6:38 pm

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71st of Winter, 515
Dusk Tower Gardens


Thomas sat, the lawn pristine and only just manicured, the scent of recently cut grass welcomed and enjoyed. He breathed in the chill of morning, admiring the playful vibrancy lent to the gardens by the winter sun. He'd been impressed the first time he'd seen Dusk Tower's gardens, although he hadn't said so; Thomas found compliments, especially hastily given ones, potentially strung out into conversations that had nothing to do with the topics that interested him. Perhaps, should he ever choose to nurture an interest on horticulture, he could always bait one of the many gardeners employed by the Dusk's into conversation.

He breathed again, his eyes determinedly open as he began to stoke his magic to life. Humbling as it was, having both his sight and spell-colors robbed from him in Kalinor was hardly an experience he ever wished to repeat. Here, bathed in cold light, Thomas wished to be able to watch everything, examine it all under his spell. His auristics stirred under his call, a pleasant warmth tugging at his core as it spread like molasses towards all ends. He purposely fed the spell slowly, wanting to enjoy the harsh brightening of the world around him.

The magic lingered around him, sparkling the empty space to his senses, the clear void of the empty winter air painfully obvious to him. It wasn't too many days left till the watch colors changed to their Spring colors, but there wasn't any activity, any lingering warmth that would signal Morwen's depature. A spark caught his interest, a small pathetic beat of something and his magic pounced like a hawk on a rabbit.

A ladybug, a tiny cherub. It's shiny reds made all the more stunning under his magical focus, the smooth outer layer of her -- or his, Thomas couldn't yet tell a bug's gender, not that he really cared to -- exoskeleton made obvious by his spell. There was a sudden anxious, a small jot of electric yellow that spiked the aura's living beat, a sudden taste of dizzy sourness. The bug was aware of him, scared, or as close to scared as something of it's sentience could be. He wondered if that's why it was so still. His magic sharpened suddenly, aggressively holding the aura in question as it slowly speared it for more information. Thomas wondered if he could find hope in an intelligence so closely tied to instinct. A human emotion in being so very foreign to him.

Last edited by Thomas Cosa on August 9th, 2016, 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Eventualities (Alses)

Postby Alses on January 25th, 2016, 8:23 pm

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Visiting Chiona Dusk, Alses had decided, was really quite a pleasant thing, for a number of reasons. She was an old alumnus of the Tower – back when they taught more freely – and as such there were many of her old instructors and mentors around the place, only too happy to see their prodigal pupil return – albeit briefly – to the fold.

It was also a good opportunity to see some of her old students – for as she’d progressed in her studies, Chiona – with that mix of playfulness and vindictiveness that so characterised members of House Dusk – had dumped a classful of up-and-coming aurists on her. It had been an education, and not just for those students.

Finally, of course, the Dusk Tower was beautiful. Their taste, as a general rule, might have run more towards the restrained minimalist than Alses’ own, more exuberant baroque aesthetic, but she could still appreciate what had been wrought down the years and centuries. Care had been taken at every step of the Tower’s numerous remodellings to maintain homogeneity, as so the whole of it meshed together rather than being a hotchpotch of different architectural styles.

And then there were the gardens, lush and green and bursting with life and health in the summer, and even in the hammer of winter slyly managing greenery in the lee of rocks and behind cunning shelters, and even the occasional hardy flower – hellebores and poinsettias and a few others, bringing colour and cheer to the otherwise-bleak winter garden.

Her breath puffed out in great clouds of dragonsbreath as she crunched along the frost-rimed pathways of the gardens, admiring the stark beauty of the place, the loss of foliage revealing the curving, scalloped intricacies of the paths and the structural bare-bones of the place, carefully tended and improved with a skilful hand down the centuries.

Alses’ thoughts were gently freewheeling, high and far from Mizahar, and so it was her ever-reliable auristics, forever painting the world in a spangled panoply of light and colour and sound, enriching every experience through every sense, that alerted her to the presence of another, just a curve or two round the garden path.

This was enough to bring her out of the half-there dreaming reverie; she wondered vaguely who it was, the aura almost entirely unfamiliar to her. A new gardener, maybe? No – she corrected herself almost instantly; the flash and flare and sheer complexity of a mage was writ in glimmering filigree for all with the skill to see, and professional gardeners were rarely mages of any stripe.

So a new member of the Tower, then – which was odd, given that each and every one of them had curled in like a nautilus shell over the last few seasons. No tuition given, no magic openly practiced.

Hideous, as far as Alses was concerned.

She paused, on the path, not far from where Thomas sat, and studied him for a moment, her sharp eyes and sharper brain missing very little. Tall and lanky, stretched out and seemingly built of knees, she could trace the major bones and joints of his anatomy right through the clothes he was wearing, even in winter.

Physical appearance mattered little to Alses; she was far more interested in what the numinous spark of auristics could tell her, and she stroked the engines of that particular magic into gentle life with the merest flick of mental thought, sending thick streamers of golden djed running through her, a pattern and a network infinitely more complex than even the most torturous of vasculature. Not that any of it would be visible to an onlooker, even a trained aurist; Alses was shielding herself, and shielding perfectly, twisting and tweaking her aura to reflect placid passivity rather than betraying her hungry information-gathering to all and sundry.

A gnosis mark burned on his hand; that was one of her first impressions, a Gordian knot of bright-burning djed that put mortal flames to shame, twisted into his own djed matrix at a million points and yet still, somehow, indefinably separate.

It felt familiar, too, as though she’d seen it before, a twining loop of lavender djed with the nova-core of a deity’s strength behind it.

Which was in some ways a relief, that phantom blaze, in comparison to the icy, blasted wasteland that was the rest of his aura. Shattered stumps of other emotions and feelings stood out amongst the ethereal iciness, and there was the occasional dark copse or forest clinging on in the face of the dull, iron-gray cold – but they were holdouts against the overall impression of chill.

Even in her furs and flowing robes, Alses shivered in reaction to a drop in temperature that was entirely metaphysical and bypassed all mundane defences. In response, she pulled back, let golden magic spill between her fingers and fracture harmlessly into the air as she starved their supply from inside herself.

Not entirely, though; she retained enough to set up an insistent, cyclical flexing of her aura, a steadily-shifting pulse that was like a ringing chime or a sounding alarm, a way of alerting another aurist to her presence, something that – given Alses was fair bursting at the seams with excess djed from Syna’s solar bounty – even a novice could pick up on.

When she judged she had his attention – long and lanky and curled over himself in intense inspection of an early insect and therefore oblivious to his surrounds, until her insistent auristic chime at least – she spoke. “We are well acquainted with the members of the Dusk Tower and its staff both, and yet we find ourself entirely unfamiliar with you. Might we ask who you are?”

It was not a suspicious challenge in any way, a light and unforced question from a smiling Ethaefal. She made sure, as an extra, to keep her aura outwardly warm and calm, a luminous nimbus drifting in shimmering veils around her.
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Postby Thomas Cosa on January 25th, 2016, 10:31 pm

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A ripple of otherness passed his attention, an electric current disturbing his spell. His magic, aggressively inquisitive, perked at the disruption and pulled away from the beetle hungry for something that would satisfy both it's own and Thomas' curiosity. It swung before the wizard even stood, eager for whatever had happened upon it's senses, blindly gripping at naked air. It was only when Thomas' gaze reached Alses that it settled itself around her, the spell controlled now, happily sucking out whatever she decided to feed it.

His lack of instruction was apparent; his magic too wild and instinctive to be anything other than self-trained.

"I should have hoped someone would have introduced us, if you are indeed so well acquainted with the Dusks," Thomas smiled politely, his tone suffocatingly warm, equal parts welcoming and condescending. The stranger's aura was parallel to her, all summer, pleasant warmth and shimmering golds laced deeply with the cool grace of calm. She was like Schon, Etheafal, beautiful and perfect in her god-crafted form. That would have endeared her to him, had she not been so obviously a wizard, the obvious stain of Djed shocking her aura with sickly hues of purple. She, whoever she was, was strong and long-trained in whatever she practiced. Not safe, and certainly not trustworthy, until proven otherwise.

"I was hired as a private tutor by the Dusk family," Thomas watched the Etheafal's aura with an obvious interest, the golden shimmering of calm reminding him of Keene's aura -- both were almost completely devoid of any real emotion, albeit in different ways. Keene had protected himself against emotion, his aura becoming cold and desolate and sturdy. Her's an ocean reflecting her own power easily, flexible and wispy. Thomas couldn't explain why her aura manifested that way, not that this stopped him from trying. "I'd come from way of Kalinor, and as luck would have it, they were hiring," he shrugged, he hoped dropping the name of the Symenstra home was enough to solicit a reaction, a way to begin to gauge the creature standing before him.

"You may call me Thomas," he added as an after thought, his tone entirely too pompous for his own good. His magic speared her aura repeatedly, invasive and uncaring as to how she would feel about so obviously being examined. It was clear he had no idea as to her capabilities, or to her identity, even. Surely, he would have reacted differently otherwise.

"And you are?" He asked, still watching, but not as carefully as the golem coiled around his left arm. Four gem eyes glinting coldly, more observant and careful of the stranger than Thomas had the sense to be.

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Postby Alses on January 30th, 2016, 4:10 pm

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Alses raised one eyebrow and quirked a little smile at Thomas, resolutely keeping the sardonic tone from her voice as she did so. “We are rarely at the Tower, young man; whilst we are well-acquainted with the Dusks, we are not exactly beholden to them. And – forgive me, but we doubt you’re that deep in their confidences, either, or else Chiona would have mentioned you to us.

She strolled closer, supremely unconcerned, idly playing with the augers of Thomas’ magic as they speared in, effortlessly shifting her aura just beneath their hungry grasp to that same numinous, sunny quality that glittered and shone and had no true substance beyond vague contentment.

Ah, Kalinor,” she murmured, as though the name had no significance beyond idle curiosity. “A name to strike fear into the hearts of Lhavitian women everywhere. We have an open invitation to visit, in point of fact, courtesy of a doctor who once served here, although I confess the idea of spending any real amount of time in caves…does not appeal.” She shivered, expressively, and not from the cold. “Too closed-in and far from Syna for my tastes. The Kalinese always seem drawn to Lhavit, for some reason, though. Proximity, and the Harvest? Not a personal concern of ours, but still. No matter, no matter; you are not a Symenestra, and so we doubt anyone has much to fear from that quarter – unless you are a particularly fiendish Harvest entrapment, and…” she paused, just for a moment, drinking in his aura “…we do not think that is the case.

Indeed, Alses reacted far more to Thomas’ current employment than to his past and where he’d come from. “A private tutor for the Dusks, you say?” A white ripple of surprise forked and flashed between the golden billows of her aura, ephemeral lightning. “How intriguing, given the Towers have – against advice – curled in on themselves like nautilus shells. We wonder…are you a presagement of a certain relaxation on that front?” She waited, giving him a blinding smile as she did so and, with the pause, sowing the seeds of pride; he seemed the sort to inflate his own importance in the grand scheme of things.

You are arrogant, young man,’ Alses thought inwardly. ‘Your magic is rough and unrefined, you are sloppy and wasteful.’ An internal grin, as she repeated the Dusk Tower’s mantra dutifully: ‘Technique and finesse, technique and finesse.

With finely-honed timing, she put paid to any nascent self-satisfaction: “Or are you, instead, the tutor on how not to practice? Or both? Currently a mystery, to be sure. We’ll ask, if we remember to.” Her boots crunched on the grass, the noise underscored by the whispering rustle of her robes, silk slipping against silk.

Another aura chimed and clashed against the mantling flare of Alses’ own as she devoted more of her resources, more of her magic, to the area around Thomas, filling it with a glittering, dancing filigree from which nothing escaped. It took a little time, to pair the odd, conflicting sextet of subtly-different impressions with what her eyes were physically seeing; when she did, it was with a small cry of unforced delight and another sunny beam.

Oh, you have a golem? How interesting! We’ve not seen a construct quite like it – forgive us our ignorance, if it has a preferred gender – before.” She quirked an eyebrow at him, her aura sharpening and focusing down – still that same solar gold, but channelled and directed, now, all a-quiver with scholarly interest. “Inheritance?” she asked; five of the six impressions echoing back from its jewel-set silvered carapace were old, far older than the boy who, apparently, was its master. “Does it have a particular function?

Oh – you may call us Alses, by the way,” she added absently, artfully reflecting Thomas’ own introduction back at him.
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Eventualities (Alses)

Postby Thomas Cosa on February 6th, 2016, 6:19 pm

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Thomas' mouth tightened into a frown, his magic rippling with frustration as he looked for anything other than Alses' perpetual calm. Her aura seemed to bounce against his spell, liquid and determinedly evasive. "Really? I'd had guessed you a frequent visitor," He intentionally paused, deciding to force his focus over his magic for a quick tick. He dragged it over the shining golden ocean of vacant prettiness, pushing and prodding at anything he imagined interesting. If he couldn't stab information out of the her aura, he would strangle it. "You did, after all, say you were well acquainted with the Dusk family, and the whole of the staff, correct? Or perhaps you just like to imagine you are..." His voice closed with vocal fry, his tone drying into a bitter carelessness. His aura though, was bright with annoyance, clinging desperately to his own hard-won pride, and the shiny-soft beginnings of pink admiration.

Whoever she was, Alses played nicely enough. She met his wit, perhaps would surpass it, and her magic, although it made her a threat, could prove her beautifully useful as well. She did whatever she practiced well enough to Djed-taint her aura, and Sahova had long taught him to forgive any character annoyances for talent.

Thomas was surprised at her nonchalance regarding both Kalinor and the Harvest. His own spell stuttered, splinting back into it's instinctive movements, skidding the surface and striking randomly. She should have shown something, even Laria who'd walked Sahova without fear, had been afraid. True, she'd made safety her priority in the Citadel, and had built relationships and alliances around her like a giant wall of owed favors. In Kalinor, she had nothing, and had only bothered to tell Thomas that any woman, even her, was dead should she ever be discovered walking the caverns. Luckily, they had hidden the Eypharian well, and escaped the caverns easily enough. Alses said that all Lhavitian women would be afraid, and she confessed an open invitation without even fidgeting?

She was protected then, Thomas decided, but by whom?

"I would like to imagine the Dusks would have found me out, if I was some fiendish plot sent here by the Symenstra," He shrugged, doing his best to pretend nonchalance. He wouldn't be out done by some Ukalas reject, that he promised himself. "That, and I also like to imagine the Dusks wouldn't waste their money or time on a tutor who didn't know how his own subject," His own aura swelled with self importance and offense, but Thomas did his best to keep his face calm. "True, they apparently have more than their fair share of the former, but the latter? Time waits for no person," he added, throwing it pointedly at the immortal creature. Schon had also thought too important to be die, such a mortal thing to do after all. Now, as far as Thomas knew, he'd been carried away by the Citadel magecrafters, and only Avalis would know what really happened to particular Ethaefal.

He wondered whom protected Alses so, that she felt so safe? Surely Lhavit, despite it's ornate beauty and wonderfully civilized people had it's own dangers.

"Stranger, you mean?" A smile escaped him, finally the conversation falling into his comfort zone. "I would be very surprised if you'd seen something similar -- his body type was very in vogue pre-Valterrian. And as for inheritance, his body is, but the magic that powers his intelligence is all mine, isn't that so, my friend?" He asked, Stranger uncoiling to see Alses all the better, Thomas' gnosis now open for show.

"Yes, Thomas. You are my animator," The coiled golem creaked and growled.

"Are you an animator, Alses? Thomas asked, a pure interest shimmering against his aura, "Perhaps you might be able to guess his function, then," he wondered aloud, hoping her answer might resolve a few more question about the Stranger.

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Postby Alses on March 3rd, 2016, 2:14 pm

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Alses gave him a slightly sardonic look. “We have responsibilities, and so I cannot make it here quite as often as we might wish. And besides, some of my closer friends in the House like to visit me at my home. For one reason or another.” One side of her mouth quirked upwards for a moment, a private little amusement that Thomas – as a new affiliate of the House – wouldn’t understand, then smoothed out again.

But…we were educated here, young man. And then, in the fullness of time, we educated in our turn, and I am not so old that my mentors and pupils and friends have all passed on, of that we can assure you.

Thomas brought forth a laugh from Alses as he speculated on House Dusk’s reasons for his employment. “The Dusks are ever labyrinthine,” she said, mirth still tickling the corners of her mouth. “Comes of having the city’s secrets at their fingertips, we suppose. Indeed, to ascribe them merely one motive for doing something is painfully naïve, in most cases. Considering you…well. The Dusks teach a certain method of using their particular specialty, a method expanded and refined over five hundred years or so of constant effort – and the occasional catastrophe along the way, we must admit. You, on the other hand, have an entirely different method – brute force, in the main, if we may say so. As such, you could well serve as a useful object lesson to the more experienced students, as well as being capable of instructing the bare novices.

Alses smiled, a lazy upcurve of perfect lips parting to reveal perfect teeth, and her aura hummed with all the trappings of sunny, perfect contentment, as though everything was drowning in a rich, honeyed haze. “An elegant economy, and one which His Excellency would no doubt approve of. And as for Time…” Her voice tailed off, her eyes distant for a moment, looking back upstream with the lens of her memories.

Time waits for everyone, Thomas. Some people hurry and others dawdle, but…from Tanroa’s perspective, we’re allplaying catch-up – even those of us for whom Her river doesn’t pull so strongly.” She shrugged. “Just another way of looking at things. We’d recommend you visit Tanroa’s Temple here – although as an aurist, don’t look too closely at the stones.

Alses’ lips quirked into a little smile at the unusual name of the golem. “It is our pleasure to make your acquaintance, Stranger,” she said solemnly. “And yes, we are an Animator,” she added, her focus switching momentarily back to Thomas before resuming her careful study. “Although we are merely a novice, as things currently stand. We have the facilities to improve; the only issue, as with so much else, is time. And that, at least, I have a surfeit of, in the long run.

She studied the golem carefully as it uncoiled, sharp eyes picking out the beautiful workmanship in more detail, the way the serpentine, segmented body perfectly fitted together; flexibility without vulnerability.

More importantly for her – she wasn’t a gadgeteer, although she could certainly appreciate a fine mechanism – were the modular slots, crafted into its body, and the complex matrix which seemed to allow for modification. It was fascinating, dizzying in its glittering beauty, and something that would need far more study than even she could manage in a single sitting.

And speaking of time, your golem’s structure is very complex. We’d like to make a study of it, in truth, and document our findings properly; a garden is not really the optimum place for an academic assessment.
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Postby Thomas Cosa on March 5th, 2016, 3:17 am

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"An Aurist."

The realization shocked Thomas, no doubt his expression loudly announcing his own surprise. His magic, stirred up by the intensity of the mage's own feeling, launched a frenzied attack against Alses, clawing and grasping at anything and everything. How could she hide herself so easily from him? Was she deflecting his magic, escaping as easily as air from his clenched fist, or was she so well trained, so controlled, that this ever-living thing could simply wish away her emotions?

"I very much doubt the whole of Dusk tower teaches the same methodology, at least, I would hope not," He said, the ever present tone of condescension weighing heavier with each word. It was obvious a thought had long since formed, and Thomas was quickly putting it to words; perhaps more obvious was the notion that he believed this idea right. "Although out here, so very far away from anything remotely Alahean, well, perhaps the teaching of a single methodology is the norm? I'm no teacher, more mage than instructor, you should know," he added pointedly, still sore to the idea of teaching any magic at all. Why should he? Besides being able to afford the lessons, why did his so called students deserve him? More importantly, what had they done that made them worth his magic? "Teaching the same way of practicing magic seems to me a very dangerous way of creating several students all with the same and very obvious weaknesses as their instructors," he shrugged, a smirk creeping over his face, "Perhaps the Dusks now see that? How does the saying go? 'Variety is the spice of life' I think?" Thomas wondered aloud, his magic splintering into a thousand needles, each threading randomly into Alses' aura, oblivious to her magic as always. Still, something would set her off, surely something he said would force the immortal into some kind of emotional showing. No one could maintain control so perfectly, Thomas more than anyone knew that; he had broken through to Keene, and surely he could do the same to Alses.

"But, perhaps you are right. I do agree that the more I learn about my new employers, the more I think it painfully naïve to assume their motives in anything. Hopefully, in due time, the answer wil become clearer," Thomas offered her a smile, as fake as the first he had shown her. Now, he was well aware that she would see through him, but his display, he hoped, would show her he just didn't care.

"No, a garden isn't a place for much of anything, aside flowers and surprisingly entertaining conversation," Thomas agreed, taking hardly a tick to consider what the Ethaefal was saying. Stranger was far too complex a animation for her to understand, he believed anyway, even with the help of her magic. She would need him, which would perhaps put him in a more favorable position such they attempt to negotiate. The question was, what could she offer him? "I wonder, perhaps we can arrange something? You do seem, apparently, well connected, and your Djed stains are obvious even to my magic," he began, immediately hinting at the two things he would consider for a chance for her to study his golem: information and magic. And with any luck, he could get her to discover the secret directive that Cid or Mashaen had added to Stranger. Thomas was hoping if he played this right, he could come out on top.

But how do you negotiate with someone who can see everything you're feeling? Perhaps even more, considering Thomas knew very little about the limits of Auristics.

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Postby Alses on March 5th, 2016, 7:10 pm

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The basics of the craft are all taught the same,” Alses replied. “There’s a mantra in the Tower, or there was during my time: ‘Technique and finesse’ – it’s at the core of the Dusks’ way of doing things. Why hammer at something with a thousand needles of djed-” she knew full well what Thomas was doing, flashing him a wickedly knowing smile too brief to be commented on “-when you can slip an elegant little ribbon of it through the defences and see what you want that way? There are variations, of course there are; people learn in different ways, after all, but the key principle remains the same.

Alses quirked an eyebrow at Thomas in askance as she continued: “Djed is precious, don’t waste it – wouldn’t you agree? Magic is a wonderful and useful tool up to a point and then you die – or wish you had, at any rate.” She shrugged, idly, as though the subject were of no more import than the weather. “Which is a point.” Her voice was harder, suddenly, a touch of steel amidst the honey, and her gaze had sharpened as she looked back at Thomas, the man himself half-hidden behind a thrashing hydra of splintering djed, the metaphysical component to his remarks.

Stop pouring torrents of yourself against me; we know exactly what you’re doing, and we know how to counter it. You will put yourself in the Catholicon for no good reason in short order, and we assure you, your reserves will run dry long before mine. It would be a terrible waste, and you are giving me a headache.

After a brief silence, she continued as though nothing untoward had occurred, her voice back to its sweetly soothing, vaguely compelling melody. “And as we are speaking of waste…The Dusks don’t like wasting potential; when the novices have learned control, have learned their technique and finesse, that is when you bring in the alternatives, the sloppier ways of doing things – but you make very sure that good habits are ingrained early on. Thus, my surprise at a self-taught tutor on the Tower payroll.

Alses tipped her head to one side, contemplative, regarding the stiffly-upright Animator and the prickliness he wore like a cape. “We have very few incidents of serious overgiving here, or of mages going mad and trying to wreck the city.” A smile. “Must be doing something right. And on that note, we do then have to ask: why are you teaching, since you dislike it so? You’ve said the Tower was hiring, but there are many jobs fit for an aurist in Lhavit that don’t involve instruction.

Conversation lapsed for a few moments as Alses scrutinized Stranger, utterly serene and focused on the task in hand. “Stained? We would be right, then, in our assessment that you use vision as your primary augmented sense? Either way, an odd phrase to use; you have unusual taste in description.” she shook her head in wry amusement at the eccentricities of others, before picking up the thread of conversation once more, eyes once more roving over Stranger’s polished carapace and senses reaching outwards.

You’re right, though; we are ‘stained’ with magic, as you so quaintly put it; it’s in the blood. Many of our former lives were sorceresses of one flavour or another in vanished Alahea, and our love for magic has carried on down the generations and even into our latest incarnation.

A little more of her attention was diverted back to Thomas as he mentioned an agreement, something that required a little more brainpower than his clumsy auristics to negotiate. Alses was bright enough – and had had enough dealings with the self-important – to recognize the subtle slant Thomas put on his words, the carefully-chosen flattery that was at unfortunate and jarring odds with his condescension of earlier.

Had he spent more time with people, in particular those for whom their word was their bond and therefore were careful about giving it, Thomas might have masked his tone more effectively, and in so doing gained a modicum of control over his own aura. As it was, Alses was idly leafing through the upper layers of his as though it were one of her books, interpreting everything he said and did through the lens of that knowledge.

An excellent proposition, how gallant of you to mention it!” she made sure that her voice was bright and sparkling with sincerity, before adding her own little twist. “Yes, I’m sure we can come to some arrangement in compensation for my time and expert consultation in the matter of your golem.
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Eventualities (Alses)

Postby Thomas Cosa on March 8th, 2016, 12:59 pm

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Holy Avalis, the Etheafal could prattle. Thomas hardly listened, although he wasn't surprised with how easily Alses preached and lectured; she had admitted she'd spent time here as a professor. He smiled broadly at her suggestion, however, his magic rippling as he forced control against his own instinct, the threads slowly drawing away until the spell flowed into a single ribbon, twirling delicately along her gold shimmer-stained aura.

It was then, for a tick, the whole of her steeled, rebuffing instead of redirecting his magic. A reaction.

"Of course, you know," Thomas rolled his eyes, his expression perfectly adolescent. "You all but declared yourself a Tower-trained Aurist. I only wanted to see how long you'd pretend ignorance for the sake of civility," he shrugged, disappointed as her aura melted back to soft honey. For a moment, she seemed all the sorceress she'd claimed to be -- in response, Thomas recoiled his spell in defeat, feeding it only enough of himself to keep it barely awake. He was far too hazed to be in immediate control, as much as he would like to believe otherwise, but he could at least try to keep his spell focus on his immediate surroundings.

"Oh, well, thank the gods! Avalis herself couldn't foresee the destruction an overgiven aurist could manage," Thomas snorted, his sarcasm palpable. The wizard found Auristics an incredibly useful and adaptable discipline, but he'd certainly never considered it capable of much damage. It wasn't hypnotism or reimancy, surely. "And even so, I would hardly be so proud of Lhavit's apparent lack of overgiving," Thomas began, his own spell lazing about a wildflower. He was, as best he could, distracting himself from the pretty challenge that was Alses' aura. She was right, no matter how hard he pushed, stabbed, or beat, she had easily deflected and detoured him. At least now, it wasn't worth the effort. "It seems a very mainland ideology, that overgiving always means a certain end to mages. I would argue though, at least what I saw back on Sahova, those who overcame overgiving, well, I doubt you've seen any magic like theirs," he said, adding, "Definitely not here, at any rate," Thomas shrugged, trying his best to mirror Alses nonchalance. "Although to be fair, Lhavit is much more prettier than Sahova is, everything here is just so...shiny," he smiled, his tone whipping his words pointedly at the Ethaefal.

"I don't dislike teaching," he admitted, pausing in reflection. Just how much should he reveal about his conversation with Ald'gare? His gaze sharpened in sudden suspicious, wondering if she'd been sent by the Dusk patriarch. Had she been? Would Ald'gare do such a thing? And to what end -- the man had seemed to know everything about Thomas and Laria. Hai, he'd found Thomas at the bottoms of Kalinor, and the animator still hadn't figured out why he was here. "But I did owe Ald'gare a favor -- I was perhaps more surprised than you were that he collected his debt with me as an Auristics teacher, of all things. As you so quaintly put it, I'm not exactly Tower-trained," he said, the pink hues of embarrassment playing his voice softer than before; Sahova had made him many things, but it hadn't made him an Aurist. "I do detest the idea of sharing what I've learned with any dimwit with enough money in their purse. I hate the idea of wasting time, Alses, and I would abhor any student who came into my classroom simply because they liked the idea of seeing pretty colors," he scoffed at the idea, his pitch colored in disgust. "So few can comprehend the theory of Djed, let along gather enough willpower to bumble through their first spells! I would expect every student of mine to force and push themselves to their very limits, to discover their own potential, and ride their magics to greatness! But is that realistic? In this day and age? I would say not," Thomas complained, his annoyance obvious. Magic wasn't for everyone, not unless every person understood and accepted the risks for that power. And if they weren't willing to devote their time to becoming great, than why bother seeking power at all?

Thomas nodded at her assessment, "I am dedicated to the Seer, so it would make sense," he realized only then that his gnosis only ever revealed picture memories; anything else had to come from a direct intervention on his part. His Auristics too, was completely sight orientated, unless he made choose to open his other sensory canals. The animator had never considered this, not until Alses had spoken this obvious truth, but it was something he would consider later. "And what a impressive spiritual pedigree, Alses? I wonder if you knew any of my old masters. They were around in ancient Alahea, too; although, they just decided not to die."

He wondered if even pretending civility would have any effect on their negotiations. Obviously, he'd been crude and obvious, so why bother hiding anything now? It wasn't like Alses wouldn't be able to snake out his attentions anyhow, the talent she was at her magic. Thomas would remember to actively find out anything he could about her later; information was always good leverage to have, at any rate.

"I was suppose compensation would depend on how much I needed your consultation, or expertise, versus how badly you wanted to examine my golem?" Thomas stated, obviously, the going-ons of his mind painfully obvious to the Aurist, he was sure. No point in hiding his thoughts if she could so effectively guess them. "We both know what I'm offering: a time spent examining Stranger, and," he paused, for dramatic effect, "My own knowledge on his animation and his body, if you can afford it. I would be extremely surprised if you would find anyone even close to my ability in animation. Hai, if you make it worth my while, I would even considering tutoring you in the basics of Alahean animation," he stressed the word, an easy addition, considering how much he liked to talk about himself, in the positive anyway.

The question was now, what would she offer in return?

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Thomas Cosa
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Eventualities (Alses)

Postby Alses on March 12th, 2016, 9:20 pm

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Well, we’ve not hit you with something yet, so blessed civility still reigns,” Alses replied lightly. “Despite your best efforts to the contrary.” The briefest of pauses. “Not to worry; we’ve not hit anyone for a good while.

Alses toyed with the idea of compressing Thomas’ aura against his will, of blasting him with the full force of her unleashed aura, the power sufficient to appear as though a deity had descended, but whilst it would have been deeply satisfying, and whilst it sparked a wash of burgundy desire dancing through the solar shallows of her aura, reason prevailed; there was no reason to waste that much djed, and for no reason but her own pride.

Even if Syna perpetually brimmed her reserves with every brushing touch of sunlight.

Laugh if you like,” Alses remarked serenely. “It’s amusing to me that you seem to think most aurists here practice their discipline in isolation. It’s beautiful and wonderful on its own, of course it is, but combine it with other disciplines and it really begins to shine. So yes, an overgiven aurist may not appear to be so dangerous, but that aurist often has an arsenal of secondary magics to call upon. And if they’ve been driven insane by their auristics…who can say what destruction might rain down?” A faint smile. “I nearly drove a Shinya guardsman mad once. We count ourself fortunate that I had a powerful sleeping draught on hand. He made a full recovery, his mind not terribly altered, to our knowledge. That is always a risk, after all; losing your mind. Or changing it beyond all recognition, which has its own consequences, none of them particularly palatable.

She laughed herself, suddenly, a delighted little trill that chuckled and danced in the perishingly cold air. “Not that we eat, of course.” Alses pressed her fingertips against her lips for a moment, the smile dancing beneath them and the brief laughter dying away. “Sorry. Our little amusement.” Her gaze sharpened again as Thomas pontificated, seeming to assume any mainland – as he put it – views on the theory and practice of magic were backward and bumpkinesque.

We are proud of Lhavit’s lack of serious overgiving; do pay attention to the entire sentence, and not merely those parts of it you like. Of course overgiving doesn’t necessarily lead to death or endings; we used to make our novices overgive. With Catholicon support, of course; a controlled experience and a salutary lesson for most of them.” She raised her eyebrows; if she’d worn glasses she’d have peered disapprovingly over the rims.

We are discussing, Thomas, the sort of overgiving that the Catholicon cannot repair, the kind that irreparably damages life and limb and property and that more often than not ends with the mage in question inconveniently sprouting a Shinya glaive from their belly. Happily, that is rare in the Diamond, and I would contend that a city in which the overwhelming majority of practising mages – be they professionals or dilettantes – are cautious enough and concerned enough with the consequences to not skip merrily down the primrose path of overgiving towards oblivion is something to be rather proud of.” A shrug. “But that’s our opinion. Yours may differ, and you are of course entitled to it, even if we would consider you a damn fool for thinking so.

Alses tipped her head to one side, considering. “I don’t know much about Sahova,” she confessed. “Little beyond what the corpse-merchants would say, and the usual tales and myths and half-truths. If it is indeed the dead hand of old Alahea clinging on, then I don’t doubt you’ve seen some splendid things. Lhavit has its own glories, though; you simply have to look for them. Sometimes past the shine, which surprisingly few manage.

She watched with interest as Thomas’ spiky aura swirled and eddied and tightened in crazy, undisciplined whorls, and the phantom chattering sound of a thousand metal teeth ghosted to her ears. She kept the wince from her face and her aura both by dint of long practice, maintaining the soft, pliable, ephemeral nature of it by act of will. “You certainly don’t like teaching,” Alses pointed out, and then gave a little chuckle that was resignation and amusement in one as Thomas outlined something of the circumstances of his employment. “That sounds very much like His Excellency. But enough of that – why should a student not wish to pursue auristics for its beauty? There are worse reasons – and besides, the more who understand at least the rudiments of a discipline, the less magic is something to be feared amongst the general population. Here-” Alses made a broad, sweeping, inclusive gesture, seeking to encompass the entire city within her point “-mages walk the streets and practice openly; it’s a good occupation to have. Children with an aptitude and a desire are encouraged to learn, rather than the opposite. Such places are few and far between in this day and age, and we contend it is the accessibility of magic which has contributed significantly to its acceptance here.

A pause. “Which leads me to ask, then, who thought you were worthy of magic. And why.

As to people we knew…understand that an Ethaefal’s glimpses into their past lives are fragmentary, at best. And in our case, stronger at night, which is a time we generally choose not to experience. There are a few names, more faces and still more impressions, but as to their relative stature we couldn’t say. So much was lost in the Valterrian in any case.” She shrugged, her gaze turning pensive and speculative as Thomas came back with his own counter-offer.

I suppose it does, doesn’t it?” she stated blandly. “You want to know a little more about Stranger, though. And quite desperately, since it was near enough the first thing out of your mouth when we mentioned him and you’ve been rather more reticent with almost everything else.” A smile touched her lips, briefly, quirking the Cupid’s bow shape upwards. “You boast well, but this is a city of mages, and there are many disciplines sheltering behind our walls. Tell me, what is it you can do with your Animation that makes you so exceptionally skilled? Then we may be more inclined to haggle, to put more of our skills into the negotiation.” Alses paused, and then said idly, as though it had no real import: “Auristics is not our primary magic.
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