Completed [The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Ember interupts Kynier as he practices Reimancy.

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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 2:32 am

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79th of Summer 518 A.V. 10th Bell


Descending into the basement of the Midnight Gem was always an experience that Kynier enjoyed. Something about receding into the ground, and the darkness it held, had an appeal. Especially in a place he was glad to call home. This time was different. While there were several shadows, including Zavath, that dwelled in the darkness of the basement, Kynier felt as though something else was watching him. Kelski’s words about the Midnight Gem and architectrix echoed in his mind. The structure was coming to life. His mage senses told him that there was an increase of djed at the Midnight Gem. The walls, floor, and ceiling permeated the substance, giving the hairs on his arms a constant reason to stand on edge.

He lit a torch to hang off the sconce that rested on the wall at the bottom of the stairs. While he did not need it to see he found it made the other inhabitants more comfortable when they came down into the light. Kynier could understand why walking in on a mage practicing his art in utter darkness would be uncomfortable. He had considered doing some physical training today. The wound at this side had finished healing over, leaving a line as wide as a dagger as a scar in his skin. It didn’t bother his vanity. While he had a few other scars from daggers, he didn’t bare any imperfections that other reimancers had. If he stared closely at his palms he thought he could see where it was Bourin had cut him for the initiation. It was something Kynier had grown thankful for during the summer season.

But he had been exercising his magic more. While it hadn’t even been fifteen days Kynier had noticed an improvement in his abilities. Conjuring res was requiring less effort. Creating rifts to the void took less time. His shields were becoming more consistent in their durability and shape. Overall, it was an addictive feeling to have a sense of some competence in multiple disciplines. Yet there was always more to learn. While Kynier sometimes felt the need to fully devote himself to the arcane disciplines, recent discoveries only helped reinforce his satisfaction in not doing so.

For a moment he walked around the basement. What exactly he was going to do was something he had not yet decided. And it wasn’t until he looked at the dummy target for throwing weapons that he felt an inspiration arise. He walked over to the dummy and looked it over. With a couple of fingers he pushed it to test the sturdiness. It seemed pretty solid on its base. Yes, that would be it. Kynier closed his eyes and rested his hands on the target’s makeshift shoulders.

In the stillness of the basement he sought to mimic that with his thoughts. Still, and silent. The shadows watched and kept their voices low. The soft chattering of the Makath tongue was just quiet enough to not disturb the mage as he sought an inner tranquility. He needed his djed to be still and malleable when he reached for it. Lungs filled with the cool air of the underground and set his body at ease. When his will dug down to the core of his soul Kynier found the djed readily available in the condition he needed it in. Power flushed out of his being and to the surface of his hands. Kynier’s fingers traced over the surface of the wooden target, weaving a shield over its surface. But it wasn’t quite complete. Still holding the power and the weave, Kynier raised a hand into the air and transmuted some of his djed into res. A tiny trace of translucent material formed in his palm. Come.

A single tongue of flame drifted from the torch to his hand. The res ignited into a small fire, one that Kynier held out towards the target. He willed it to join the weave to protect the target from what he intended. While he could afford to replace it, he’d rather not develop the habit. The shield accepted the small dollop of fire for its tasking. After fifteen chimes the shield was complete and offered a small glimmer to the wood’s surface.

Kynier turned and walked to the twenty foot indicator on the floor. There, he faced the target, eyes focused on the chipped surface of the non-descript head. With an exhale he reached for his djed. The stream of power still flowed close to the surface of his soul and was easily coaxed back to the surface of his physical body. More res formed in his hand, this time in a gaseous state that hovered just above his fingers. Kynier’s eyes were fixed on the head of his imaginary foe as he thrust his hand out, palm forward with a thought accompanying the motion. Ignite!

Res propelled from his hand and burst into flames that condensed into a ball. It soared over the twenty foot gap and struck the target on the left shoulder. Flames splashed around the wood and the shield flared to life. Turquoise light enveloped the target as the shield actively forbade the mage fire to bring harm to the object.

Kynier sucked on his teeth in thought. Only on two occasions had he utilized reimancy in combat. Both times it had been very close distance. Now he was appreciative of the Daggerhand folly to press in so close. Otherwise his fire would not have been as lethal, given his current performance. After a chime the flames pressing against the shield died. The weave protecting the target faded from view, but Kynier knew it was still there. As he set his stance wide in preparation for another round of reimancy he heard the door at the top of the stairs open and close. Kynier relaxed his body and waited to see who was coming down.

A young girl that appeared to be around the age of eight climbed down the stairs. She was wearing a simple child’s dress and had her dark hair in a braid. While Kynier had never said it himself, the girls face had been described as cute with the round cheeks and large eyes. Ember had her red ball and was bouncing it on each step on her way down. At the bottom of the stairs she grabbed it with both hands and smiled at him. “Hello Kynier,” she said happily before sitting on the bottom step.



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Last edited by Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 3:24 am

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“Morning Ember,” he said to the young kelvic with a pleasant enough tone. The girl had been staying at the Midnight Gem for a few days now. So far Kynier had not really had much interaction with her. Ember was Kelski’s niece, her actual family, so he had stayed a bit distant in order for his fellow Nightstalker to become acquainted and ask the many questions he was sure that she had. Kynier’s own curiosity had him listen in on many of the answers. The K’etir clan were a family of kelvics and their bond-mates. One that lived in some seclusion from a good deal of the world. But they were craftsmen and mages. Over the centuries they had combined the two into a single profession. While the girl’s father was going to be visiting sometime in the early Fall season, he had sent this daughter ahead.

“Did you need something?” he asked. Kynier didn’t know if the young kelvic took to any martial practice, or was just wandering through her new home until something had caught her interest. She shook her head as she continued to stare at him with a small smile. Kynier arched an eyebrow. What did she want then?

Ember rolled turned the red ball over and over in her hands, never taking her eyes off of him. She didn’t possess the silver eyes that her aunt, and apparently her father, had inherited. They looked darker and more natural, instead of the uniquely colored variants the family was known for. “Is it true that you’re a mage? Aunt Kels says you are. That you’re one of several that she knows. But that you’re the most interesting one that she knows.”

Since moving to the Midnight Gem, Kynier had been taking liberties with his secret. The other residents had come to know of his abilities, which was inevitable. Kelski had been working at getting him to be more open to others. It bothered her when he didn’t fully trust the people that she trusted right away. Ember was different though. Not because she was young, or because she was kelvic. It wasn’t because her family was one that practices disciplines and safeguarded ancient practices he wasn’t familiar with. Ember was family.

“I am. But remember what your Aunt told you Ember. Mages are hunted in Sunberth. Don’t speak openly about magic or mention anyone being a mage.” The young mouse shook her head and made a gesture as though she were buttoning her lips closed. “Good girl.” Kynier turned to face the target dummy again. Half closing his eyes he reached for his djed. His mind brushed past his aura and his astral body. Reaching down past the persona layer of his soul he…

“Which disciplines do you know?” the young kelvic said with her loud, innocent voice. Kynier sighed at the loss of his concentration. “Father knows a few. Mostly magecraft so that he can make special things for people. They always look really pretty when he’s done with them. But he never lets me into the lab to watch. Do you know magecraft?”

A small chuckle bellowed from deep in his chest. “No, I don’t know magecraft.”

“I didn’t think so,” she said disappointedly. “There aren’t any rooms that look like they have the right tools for it. Aunt Kels’ room for jewelry making is really nice! She showed me how to find flaws in some stones and how to fix them so they’re as pretty as she sees them. The way the stones change as she works them seems like another form of magic!” Kynier could not help but smirk at the child’s wonder. While he had watched how Kelski works once he didn’t pretend to understand the process at all. It was a skill requiring lots of patience and delicate touches. More than probably what he was able to tolerate. Ember caught his gaze and began to beam. “Can I see your magic?”

“You’ll need to be quiet for a moment, but yes.” The girl was bobbing with excitement. Kynier closed his eyes and turned again towards the target. With a deep breath he brought a hand up in front of him, palm facing the ceiling. His will retreated to the depths of his soul core to gather the power that his very existence created. Bringing it up took less and less time with each casting. The difference may have been miniscule, but Kynier was noticing the cumulative effects. Mentally he initiated the practices of transforming the djed into res as it seeped through the skin of his palm. A gaseous haze wafted up and took a spherical shape a few inches above his hand. Ignite.

The fire of reimancy burned red and orange, casting new shadows about the room. Kynier focused on the flames and set a steel edge of determination with his intent. Conjuring a little emotion from memory rather than current stimulation, a fragment of anger welled up within him Kynier harnessed the anger and fed it to the burning res. The flames changed color to white with a red center. Kynier took a step forward and hurled the fire at his target. The flames made whoomping noises as they moved through the air and across the gap. When it struck the target the dummy it landed at the dead center of the chest where he had been aiming. The target shifted backwards a couple of inches from the impact. Turquoise light from the shield flared up as flames tried to lick the wood.

Kynier smiled to himself before looking over his shoulder at the young kelvic. Ember was staring with her mouth agape. Eyes filled with amazement as she watched the flames burn nothing but the strength from the shield. Kynier watched the light dance in her wide eyes. He could tell that reimancy was not something she had seen practiced before. When he was a child not much older than what she appeared to be, he remembered having a similar reaction the first time he watch Bourin conjure the elements. His instructor already had an understanding of all four, while he only had the one to demonstrate. That one was enough to impress the child all the same.



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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 3:49 am

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It wasn’t until the fire had burned itself out that Ember turned her eyes back on the mage. Kynier enjoyed the look of wonder she had. Wonder left uncorrupted by the prejudice of a city that would seek his blood for his abilities. A city that had justification for their hatred, but none for their closed mindedness. Magic was not inherently good or evil, it simply was. However, the city only had memory of evil uses of djed upon the masses. So much so that they lost the ability to differentiate good uses from bad. Thusly they determined that all uses were bad, except for Spiritism apparently. Damned ghosts and all that.

“You now Reimancy?” the girl shrilled. She had scooted to the edge of the step she used as a rump rest. “Father says that the K’etir family once knew how to use Reimancy. But was lost to us a few centuries ago.” Kynier shifted his weight and crossed his arms. That was interesting. That a family that could hold onto something as obscure as Architectrix had a severed lineage in the lines of Reimancy. It would only take one generation though. Reimancy required initiation and couldn’t be learned from nor stored in a book. Without a teacher that was capable of it, any knowledge only ever served as theory. “Father says that many K’etir have tried to regain the lost discipline, but no one has been able to.” Ember stood up, ball held tightly though absentmindedly in her hands. “Would you teach Aunt Kels how to use Reimancy? That way we could tell Father that the family has learned it again! Please Kynier? Please! Please! Please!”

The smile had faded from his lips at the prospect. The sea eagle kelvic had demonstrated an interest in learning magic. And had already made a few mistakes. But she had realized that and chose to make a correction. When they first met she had asked about learning how to “create the fire”. Kynier supposed that the interest had not faded, and may have only grown more intense recently. “Perhaps, Ember. Perhaps. It won’t be before the time that your father arrives for his visit. Someday though, I would teach your Aunt Reimancy.”

Kynier turned and walked back an additional five feet. With a deep exhale followed by an equally sharp inhale he tried to bring forth the djed even faster. As the power came to his hands from the greatest depths of this being, his eyes began to sting. It forced him to squint but he refused to close his eyes. Taking the frustration of the pain he added that fuel to the res as he willed it into a condensed sphere. Ignite! As white flames erupted from the gas he hurled the blazing sphere. It struck off center of the main body and caused the target to shift diagonally. Kynier sighed and rubbed his eyes. He was sure that they had become bloodshot. One of the first signs of overgiving with Reimancy. But he was sure it was from his haste, not from running low on spare djed that he could use for magic.



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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 12:53 pm

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“Would you teach me too?” Excitement and hope laced the words of the young kelvic. Kynier rubbed his brow with his fingertips when he really wanted to rub at the stinging sensation in his eyes. Ember was looking up at him rather expectantly. All he was able to do was offer her a smile.

“In time Ember. There’s a certain danger in teaching another person Reimancy. I suspect that danger is why your family lost the discipline.” Ember seemed to think hard on that, the way her eyes narrowed lowered to look at nothing in particular. “Before I can though, I need to become more skilled in Reimancy. The danger is reduced when the teacher is very skilled at it.” He had a thought and walked over to kneel in front of the girl. She looked at him curiously. Kynier held up his hands to display both palms to her.

“Take a look at my hands Ember. Do you see or feel and scars?” The girl traced her finger carefully over both palms. It followed the wrinkles from where the skin folded carefully. Ember’s finger was soft and small as it pressed against his palms. When she was done she shook her head. “The man that taught me Reimancy was a master, and had taught many people before me. The initiation, more often than not, leaves scars on the student’s hands and other places of their body. It is easier to identify a Reimancer than any other discipline because of that.”

He set his hands on the girl’s shoulders. “At this stage of my practice, there would be a strong possibility that my students would be horribly scared. Perhaps even killed. So when you’re older I could teach you. By then I should be talented enough for the scars to be hidden like mine are.” Kynier gave the young kelvic’s shoulders a gentle squeeze and she smiled at that. When he stood up to return to his practice Ember started bouncing the ball off the ground. It was a rhythmic sound, which Kynier could easily ignore during his efforts.

Blinking hard once to try and force out the stinging pain in his eyes, Kynier took a deep breath and extended a hand out towards the target dummy. Fingers spread, he evoked the power of his soul to emerge. As djed came to the surface his arm and hand thrummed with energy. Hairs stood on end as res secreted from his hand. The gas was less translucent and tinted purple. His arm began to tremble as the muscles under the skin started tightening. The muscle contractions nearly distracted him from his target, but Kynier kept his eyes focused and set the pain of overgiving into the res as he willed the res to fly. Ignite!

White flames with red at their heart shot from his hand. It struck the target just below the head with an intensity that caused it to shift until the profile was sideways to him. Kynier could see that the shield was beginning to fade. Turquoise light that kept the flames at bay was lower in its intensity. There was still no snapping sound to indicate that the mage fire was burning the wooden target. But he was going to need to renew the shield before he could continue further with his practice.
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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 6th, 2018, 2:06 pm

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Before the mage fire had burned itself out, Kynier crossed the twenty five feet to the target. For a moment he watched the white flames dance, though the light stabbed at his eyes. So he closed them and felt the warmth on his face. After a couple of breaths he lowered his head until his chin rested on his chest. Shielding was a more gentle magic and required less power and strain to cast. While his Reimancy was beginning to place its toll on him today, bringing forth more djed for one more shield seemed perfectly acceptable.

Mage fire died out and Ember’s red ball echoed in the training room. A few times the ball paused and Kynier thought he felt the young kelvic open her mouth to speak again. To his gratitude the young girl refrained and allowed him to establish the tranquility needed. Mind and emotion in a state of calm, Kynier set his hands on the wooden surface of the target. Small pricks pressed against the palm of his hands were the tips of Kelski’s daggers had pierced the surface. Djed came, though in a thinner portion than before. His hands slowly shifted over the rough surface as he spun a weave to protect the object from his intension. But had forgotten about the component for the task again.

“Ember, do me a favor and bring the torch over her please.” Small feet padded around. Kynier held the unfinished weave in a state of suspension. The scrapping sound of the torch being removed from the sconce echoed and preceded the soft steps of the young mouse’s approach. When he could hear the harsh sound of fire shifting close by in the air he spoke again, “Just hold it up close to the practice dummy.” Kynier opened his eyes to see Ember following his instruction. One hand drifted towards the fire, bringing a trace of the weave with it. The torch flickered as Kynier fed a piece of the fire to the weave in order to task it.

“What’re you doing?” the girl whispered. Kynier smiled. Unlike Ebon, she had the sense and probably the experience to know not to disrupt a mage that was in a quiet state.

“I’m making a shield to keep the practice dummy from burning. But to do so, the magic needs a taste of fire in order to know what to keep out.” Kynier took a deep breath as the shield settled. A brief glimmer of light rippled over the wood surface before turning translucent again. “All done.” He took the torch from the young kelvic’s hands. “Thank you Ember.” As he took the torch back to the sconce she stayed in place. The ball did not bounce off any surfaces, leaving an unexpected silence that felt a bit awkward.

The silence was short lived. When Kynier set the torch back on the wall, Ember spoke. “Why aren’t you and Aunt Kels bonded?” The mage whipped around to stare at the kelvic incredulously. Ember wasn’t smiling anymore but had an expression of sad confusion on her face. Her eyes were wide with that child-like need to understand something. “I see how she is when you’re not there, and how she changes when you are. You do the same thing.” For some reason it had become the favored topic to talk about. His relationship with Kelski. While Kynier was a bit annoyed by the inquisitive glances and soft whisperes, he wasn’t surprised by their existence. Four kelvics lived here. Bonding was of great importance to them.

Just over tenday past, Ebon had expressed some of his thoughts on it to him. While they were not comforting thoughts, what was left unsaid expressed what the night lion thought about the two of them. Ren was nice, considerate, and had a subtle way of questioning what the situation was. Ember, was young and just came right out with her curiosities. A moment had passed before he brought himself to speak. “It’s complicated Ember.”

“No it’s not,” her voice was accusatory. “You either want to or you don’t. I’ve seen many kelvics bond with less love for their bond-mate than you two.” Her words left him feeling rooted where he was. Kynier wanted to pace, to move, but instead he stood. Ember brought insights to the Midnight Gem that no one else could possibly have. Right now she was spouting them, and Kynier desperately wanted to hear them though they may hurt.

“Something happened Ember,” his tone a bit harsh, “and recently. Your Aunt and I still haven’t talked about it.” Life returned to his feet as he walked back over to the line on the floor that indicated a twenty foot space between him and the object Ember still stood next to.

“What does that have to do with bonding?” she cried in childish annoyance. “Aunt Kels accepts you,” she padded away from the target to approach him, ball in hand. “Now you need to accept her for the bond to form.” Kynier was trying to refrain from glaring at the young kelvic. He could try to make her understand, but he himself didn’t completely understand. Kynier had not been present with the idol of Rhaus explained what had happened to Kelski. That left him to put the pieces together on his own. While he was still missing several facts, Kynier could see the image that the clues were forming. It was not something to be explained to a child. It was not something that Ember should know, and Kynier did not want to change the dynamic between Kelski and her niece.

“Something happened, and your Aunt was different afterwards,” he said with a voice slightly raised. “She has chosen not to speak to me about it despite the severity of its importance!” Frustration that he had suppressed for fifteen days swelled in his chest. Kynier paced in circles to avoid reaching for more djed. Casting reimancy in anger was effective but painful, and he didn’t want to repeat that mistake inside the conscious buiding. Or in front of the kelvic. “I have tried to allow her to come to terms without being overbearing! Instead, she seeks answers to questions that I can provide from other people!”

Now he was screaming and his voice was echoing. When he realized this he stopped and took several breaths to calm himself. “I’m sorry Ember,” he offered in a low voice. He looked to see she had taken a few steps away from him with fear reflecting in her eyes. Those eyes struck him with shame. Eyes wet as though tears were waiting to answer a summons. Kynier sought his words but didn’t know what emotion to associate them with. Then he abandoned the effort and spoke the truth of his perspective. “I love your Aunt, Ember. But I don’t know what it is she really wants or needs from me.”

For a few ticks the kelvic just stood there staring at him. Then she walked over to him, wrapped her arms around his waist, and set the side of her head against his abdomen. Kynier set a hand on the girl’s back and pressed her tighter against him. “Just tell her that Uncle Kyn,” she said. Her voice slightly muffled by his body. Kynier looked up and away at the new use of his name. His breath trembled for an instant before he retook control of himself. Ember’s acceptance of him wasn’t something he had actively sought. Yet having it gave him comfort he seemed to have needed. Comfort that someone wasn’t angry at him for his decisions. Because right now, he wasn’t able to provide that comfort for himself.
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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
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[The Midnight Gem] The Mouse and the Mage

Postby Kynier on August 23rd, 2018, 12:43 am

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Observation +5
  • Reimancy +4
  • Shielding +2
  • Socialization +3

Lores Learned
  • Self: Appreciative of not having Reimancy initiation scars
  • Ember’s Father: Knows Magecraft
  • K’etir Family: Lost access to Reimancy
  • K’etir Family: Has tried to regain Reimancy initiation
  • Reimancy: How to conjure white mage fire
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

Character Sheet
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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 629
Words: 841857
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
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