[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Farris enters the Midnight Gem after a life-changing experience.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Postby Farris on July 29th, 2018, 8:20 am

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76th of Summer, 518

Often, Farris wondered to himself what it might be to have a brother. An only child raised solely by his father the Reimancer needed for little in his time in Ravok. However, until he was older he'd often felt a sense of solitude when at home. After his encounter with Asmid, he'd never be alone again. Immediately Farris was astonished by the power of the replicant form. The prowess and wisdom that Allastor had shown was the reassurance Farris needed to open his soul to the presence of a foreign being.

I was wrong, he thought as he looked over the Kirt. Xypher was in its natural form, pacing back and forth as his last preparations at the Fence were complete. He'd seen his last customers, swept up the store and emptied the till. There was no merchandise to put away nor was there truly anything else left to do. The familiar paced back and forth, its slender, reptile body flat on the floor. The being's skin shifted to the color of the wood and he disappeared from his sight altogether. Farris attempted to ignore the familiar, who proved defiant and ungrateful for the sacrifice made to ensure its survival. A sigh escaped Farris' lips as he watched the stone gecko slide past him and into the back. Flat feet shifted and grew sharp nails. The Kirt used the grip of its newly created claws to scale the surface and fall into an open chest.

When it emerged, it wore amulets and bracelets, wrapped about its neck and streaming from its forelegs as it stood unnaturally on its hind legs. Laughter spilled into the mage's mind as the Familiar continued to undermine his efforts before Farris glared at the creature from across the room.

Will you end this? Surely you hate this place after bells of doing absolutely nothing? Clean up your mess and return the jewelry and I'll take you somewhere you'll like.

The familiar seldom responded to Farris, but its large, emerald eyes gleamed in Syna's light. It removed its outfit of finery and silver, but took from the chest a souvenir of its own. A red ball flew out of the chest and bounced upon the floor. As if making a show of things, Xypher leaped from the chest and tumbled to the floor. The familiar drew to a standing height, holding the ball in his hands before bouncing it up and down several times. The stone gecko did not have a mouth suitable to smiling, but Farris could read the smirk that wanted to exist there.

This is mine, now. If you say otherwise, we are at an impasse, Farris.

With little patience to suffer through Xypher's tantrums, he acquiesced and the Kirt seemed at peace. It placed the ball on the ground and shifted its stance. All feet on the floor, it drove the ball from side to side, toying with it. Farris completed his tasks five chimes later and with them completed there was no reason to stay.

Zeke will be here soon for his key. Make yourself hidden or scarce, I don't care which, he projected to the Kirt. Xypher placed the red ball into Farris' rucksack, an indignant scratching at the wooden floor its only complaint. Zeke's arrival was met with the passing of keys and with their surrender the mage's freedom. Xypher transformed into his sealed form during the exchange and in a matter of moments, the Reimancer was off.

The path to the Midnight Gem wasn't a short one. The Reimancer and his Familiar need tread through the city and rather than let an easy silence between them, Xypher was keen to disturb and inquire.

Why do you work in a shykehole like that? Where are we going? Allastor said you were an intelligent, capable human and yet all I see is complacency!

The Reimancer had enough. He did not save Xypher from the violence of Fyrden to be interrogated by a reptile. His brow furrowed as he closed in on the Gem. If Farris didn't answer, he was admitting the truth of his biting words.

The Fence has proven useful. Just as you are new to this world, I am new to this cit-

Liar, you've been here for seasons -

Farris insisted, cutting off the Kirt just as it did him, I am new to this city and the anarchy it represents. I am not complacent in my position, but it provides an identity with which to interact with the city. Think what you wish but the place has its uses. You'll see where we're going if you shut up and let me get us there.

It wouldn't do to be gentle or indirect with this being. Familiars and their Functions warned Farris of the Kirt and their goading, manipulative ways. Rather than be alarmed or feel betrayed by such a nature, Farris found in that nature a shade of himself, buried deeply in the desire for anonymity. Patience was perhaps the greatest asset to have, and Farris felt he might die trying to be. The two passed the river well into their conversation. He kept to the path and took the route he knew best. Within chimes they were at the door to the Midnight Gem. Farris passed into the store and made his way immediately to the basement. The Kirt didn't need to see the wonders of jewelry and gemstones the Midnight Gem offered for sale.

This is the Midnight Gem. The basement, to be exact. A friend of mine offered me a space to engage in arcane practice so long as I keep it to myself. You and I are different sides to the same being, so I'll take an exception to your presence. Watch, if you'd like. Play with your toy, if you please.

Oh yes, mighty wizard! I'll do as you say! The sarcasm bled from the Kirt's tone and plunged into Farris' thoughts. Lips pursed immediately as the Kirt laughed aloud in his mind.

I'll do as I please and you'll be brave to stop me, it barked at the Reimancer. Rather than acknowledge the Kirt, Farris closed his eyes. Breath drew into his lungs in a slow, steady rhythm. The silence was quickly interrupted by the Kirt, who clearly went after the ball and began playing with it. Farris' hands moved to the center of his chest. His palms faced one another as he began to shift and move them in parallel motions. The Familiar looked to Farris with a measure of curiosity as djed pulled from the depths of their shared soul. A chill poured down Farris' spine and flooded the Kirt's stone body. A breath caught in Farris' lungs as his hands shifted. In the center of the space between his palms, tears formed and a portal to the Other Side began to form.

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Last edited by Farris on July 29th, 2018, 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Postby Farris on July 29th, 2018, 9:03 am

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The portal to the Other Side began as a point between Farris' hands but steadily grew. The air was sucked into the Void by a light pull that the Reimancer sought to form immediately. The rift itself was no larger than his hands, but the distance between his fingertips grew further still. Once the rift formed the Voider saw no reason to move his hands any further. His shoulders were raised, his elbows bent and hands parallel to his shoulders. The rift grew larger and larger, feeding on the djed the pair held. The silence resumed as Xypher held onto the red ball, far more curious about the rift, it seemed, than perpetuating the distraction he seemed so adamant on creating just moments before. Xypher stopped in his tracks and stared at the portal to the Other Side. Farris was equally as engrossed. It never grew stale or boring for the Void mage to create these rifts.

Their purpose was clear. The Void was a cold, barren world, filled with objects that wizards no longer wanted to suffer. The idea of being able to open portals into this realm and be capable of 'getting rid' of his own messes appealed to the mage tremendously. Once the portal was stable in size and shape, he took a moment to observe the swirling, dark hole that existed between his hands. He focused on keeping the flow of djed even, and the rift flowed with the beat of his pulse as Xypher looked into the portal with a measure of curiosity.

That's not a summoning gateway...

Clearly. This is a portal to the Other Side, a realm that is accessible with the discipline of Voiding, he informed the Familiar. There was a moment of silence between them and it seemed that perhaps the Kirt might prove tolerable after all. The Familiar was taken with the concepts of magic and seemed just as determined to understand as Farris was to improve. Going over concepts in his mind was often a habit of his. Now, if the Familiar proved willing, such thoughts were shared. It was on and off with the Familiar. Hot and cold. Two personalities clashed for dominance even when Farris wasn't willing to participate. He sought after power and hardly had the time or motivation to engage Xypher's taunting nature.

Do you only study personal magic? A mind like yours... you'd think world magic would be your forte.

Laughter escaped Farris' thoughts. At times a monster, at others a flatterer. The Kirt was a clever being who made use of language to his advantage. It was a talent that the Voider held an appreciation for.

My father died before teaching me any world magicks. I don't know if he actually knew any. He always emphasized the bending of djed to one's will. He taught me to crave power that did not rely on tools to create. While I wish to learn more, personal magic takes up most of my time...

Neither wizard nor Kirt spoke for a good amount of time and the Voider decided to fill the silence with an indulgence. He slowly closed the portal to the Other Side. The flow of djed ceased and Farris was content to muse upon something else. The Familiar seemed to be in thought and did not share such thoughts for a moment. The mage's curiosity piqued and rather than relax and take a moment, he pulled at the reservoir of his djed again. He willed the Sight to flicker into his gray eyes. He studied the Familiar in front of him and found immediately that its aura was... off.

Our aura, the Familiar corrected. It couldn't see through Farris' eyes but it was by no means difficult to ascertain what the mage was doing. The Familiar's aura surrounded him, in most placed but an inch thick. A beating jewel resided within the creature's body that seemed to rise and fall with the mage's breath. There was another anomaly. The intensity of the djed within Xypher's aura grew at this nexus, then shot outward in a straight path towards Farris himself. The djed they shared traveled between them. It pulsed through his eyes and then transmitted into the world through Auristics. It dizzied the mage to see the aura interact in such a way and he was content to flicker off the Sight a moment later. A faint scratching sound was audible in the distance and before Farris could react, Xypher was off. Farris did not chase after the Familiar but followed it with his sight.

A black mouse scurried into the basement and was within feet of Farris on the ground. It didn't suspect the Kirt, it seemed, for the familiar abandoned its ball toy and charged the mouse on all fours. It moved far quicker and louder than Farris might have expected. If the mouse didn't notice the charging gecko before, it did immediately after. The Kirt lashed at the being with its tail, causing the mouse to tumble and fall flat on its stomach. It struggled to rise but the Kirt was far too quick and close to avoid. A stone limb reached out and pushed the mouse forward before Xypher chased after its toy ball. The red object was thrown at the mouse, who received the full brunt of impact and was sent tumbling backwards, squeaks of pain audible. It shivered and sought escape, Farris reaching forward and grabbing Xypher before it could make chase.

What are you- gah, unhand me cretin! it shouted out into the Voider's mind, cursing violently in its displeasure.

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[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Postby Farris on July 29th, 2018, 9:31 am

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Anything that's an animal in this house might be a Kelvic, Xypher. I'm not going to risk my place in this facility because you decided to bully a rodent, he answered the Familiar as it commanded to be released. Farris let the rodent scurry out of the room before setting Xypher back on the floor. He wasn't quite satisfied. Rather than attempt to raise the size of gateways to the Other Side, Farris was intent on creating such entryways faster and with greater ease. It took Farris nearly half a chime to form small portals and he never believed he could increase their size without seeking to make his current portals efficient and routine to the senses. The Void Mage mused deeply regarding his habits when it came to Voiding.

The movements of his hands, parallel and slow were perhaps too gentle to manipulate djed in a quicker manner. With proficiency in three personal magicks at his disposal, the mage was quite capable of bending djed to his purposes and sought to take advantage of that fact. He closed his eyes and let breath draw into his mouth in slow, steady intervals. Farris did not raise his hands but rather let his palms rest upon his knees as he willed djed to coalesce at his palms. He clasped his hands together and felt the surge of pleasure cast upon his senses as his casting commenced.

Xypher was able to hear the musings in Farris' mind. The Kirt knew the intricacies of djed, for on Fyrden it went hungry craving after djed to satisfy its needs. On Mizahar, djed was plenty and the bonded he needed to suffer was a practitioner of multiple magicks. The djed in the air was sweet to the senses and the chill that poured through Xypher's body surged a delight through its form that Farris understood too well.

As the djed pooled within the Voider's palms, he began to pull his digits apart. The gateway began to form with the separation. Djed swelled in the center of his hands before it pushed matter out of its way. The tears of a rift formed in the air between Farris' hands, marking a straight path between palms before it elongated. An ovular rift formed between Farris' hands. It was as long as his forearm, swelling and breathing as the wizard did. Farris pulled breath into his lungs as he focused on the portal. It's shape normalized after a moment, turning from ovular to spherical as he stabilized it with a steady flow of djed. The Voider left the portal open for three chimes before the djed flooded matter back into the wound to the Other Side. Farris fell back, his back on the floor as he looked up at the ceiling. There was a measure of fatigue that crept upon his senses as he considered what he did. The motions he'd taken with the formation of this portal seemed to suit his task. The rift was formed in twenty ticks rather than half a chime and Farris was very pleased with his efforts.

To work on bigger and better portals. I need to grow, to improve. I have the time to dedicate, but I need to tread carefully...

You do not, the Familiar interjected. It climbed along Farris' legs before it continued to speak into his thoughts.

You say carefully as if paving a path full of fear will aid you. Your study needs to be tempered with a desire to live, but this is the complacency I spoke of. You're content to study without trying to innovate. Do more or be destroyed by time, foolish mage, the Kirt warned, its gaze centered on Farris, unmoving and unconcerned with the mage's scrutiny.

How can I innovate on a tiny portal? I try to improve and increase my capacity for manipulating djed. I spend days on a thought so that I never need to address it again. I will not pretend my method is perfect, but it's been around longer than you have. And it's been more useful than you have. Now, remain silent. I need to clear my mind and try to recover my composure. There's one more exercise I wish to undertake while I am here.

WC: 714

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Last edited by Farris on July 29th, 2018, 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Postby Farris on July 29th, 2018, 4:47 pm

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Oh? And what might that be? the Familiar asked. There was a laugh in his tone, mocking in nature and clearly disbelieving. As intelligent as both bonded and familiar were, their personalities clashed and it left Farris a foul taste in his mouth. There were small droplets of blood on the floor from the abuse. The black mouse left for good, it seemed, but in its place, a child entered the room. The child was no older than nine with flecks of blood coagulated in her hair. It was clear that something wounded it and Farris looked to the floor to find blood from the rodent of before. The child looked to Xypher with a great measure of trepidation before offering a small smile to the wizard. "Thank you for getting that... thing away from me," she offered, answering the unformed question in the mage's mind.

Farris was right, it seemed. Kelvics seemed to increase in number at the Midnight Gem with the phases of the moon. The thought struck in Farris' mind but it was Xypher that spoke mentally first.

More Kelvics? Is that Kelski woman creating a zoo?

The Reimancer couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. The Kelvics he'd met already were interesting creatures with thoughts and facilities to offer. But, when something was funny the wizard couldn't help but laugh. Farris nodded at the girl's words and bent to a knee in order to speak to her at face level.

"It's quite alright. Did the little stone man hurt you?"

"Just a little..."

"Well... maybe we can make it up to you."

As Farris spoke, Res began to leak from his scars and coalesce into shape. He had the djed-infused gas climb up his body and leak from the collar of his shirt. The Kirt wasn't paying attention to Farris and instead openly taunted the girl. He raised the red ball over his head in a threatening gesture, but the red ball was very quickly taken over by Res that surrounded the Familiar. Farris willed for air to attract to the Res. A gust of wind flowed in circles around the Familiar.

Ah! You foul, traitorous, spawn of a petch in the woods!

The Res brought with it a will to bend the air upwards. As it powering through a funnel, the torrent of air squeezed through the cylindrical mass of Res and pushed Xypher up and into the air.

AHHHHHHHHHHH! it screamed into the Reimancer's mind. Laughter spilled from Farris as the familiar continued to scream and wretch with the flow of air and grip of gravity. Up and down it went as torrents of air flooded from the Res and the girl burst out in laughter, easy giggles escaping her as a bright smile cast upon her features. When the Reimancer was satisfied, he reached out and caught the Familiar in two hands, keeping it prisoner in his grasp. Xypher, of course, wasn't one to hold still. Its stone forelegs beat against Farris' hands as the mage willed for the Res to dissipate. He furrowed his brow and let the Familiar go. It fell to the ground with a final thud, glaring up at its bonded wizard with a measure of fiery disdain. The little girl offered Farris a parting wave before she said, "I'll head out, now. It was nice to meet you mister!" and absconded up the stair away from the familiar and bondmate.

Is that what you are, Farris? A people pleaser?

The Reimancer shrugged his shoulders as he let the Res that lingered set into decay. Uncontrolled, the mass collapsed upon itself and began to diminish. Farris shook his head before he stood up. He claimed the red ball from its place on the floor and set it in his pocket.

When it's useful, why not. The people who live here aren't our enemies, Xypher. Your actions will create enemies out of friends. Keep that in mind as we live in a city that acknowledges our existence with pitchforks and torches.

The admonishment was not angry in tone, but rather, there was a healthy fear in Farris' expressed thought. Xypher seemed to shrug it off, looking to the wizard with an unease in his expression.

I make no promises, mage. If our life becomes more difficult then it is a test of your worth. You are not powerful enough for me to consider your life worthy. I saw much in you in that earthen prison. Much that I'll take back now as desperation to leave Fyrden. You will change, or be changed. Expect no sympathy from me.

And the wizard didn't. He gathered his things and gripped at the Familiar's forelegs until it was encouraged to enter its sealed form. Once he was finished with that the wizard left the Midnight Gem, intent on sleep and food to satisfy his craving gullet.

WC: 819

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[The Midnight Gem] A Nuisance at Best

Postby Kynier on August 13th, 2018, 2:26 am

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Auristics +1
  • Familiary +5
  • Observation +4
  • Reimancy +1
  • Voiding +3

Lores Learned
  • Kirts: Goading and manipulative
  • Self: Appreciates Xypher’s talent for the use of language
  • The Fence: Proven useful
  • The Midnight Gem: Keeps getting more Kelvics
  • Xypher: Seldom responds
  • Xypher: Sarcastic
  • Xypher: Taunting Nature
  • Xypher: Finds Farris complacent
  • Xypher: Will make enemies out of friends
  • Xypher: Will give no sympathy

If you have an questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

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