Closed [The Song's Rest] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Kailani sends a message to Kynier to meet her at The Song's Rest for an Auristics lesson.

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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kailani on November 29th, 2018, 7:09 pm

Kailani chuckled at Kynier’s somewhat embarrassed explanation of his shielding, shaking her head. She didn’t particularly mind the change, since as he said, it was nice to have a warm, dry bed to sleep in. The sailor couldn’t deny, however, that the magic was a little pretentious, especially since he hadn’t even asked. She didn’t fuss over it, though. Something told her that was just who the mage was. Not necessarily pretentious, most certainly not malicious, but simply not very… She grasped for the word. Thoughtful? It would serve as well as any, she supposed.

These musings were discarded from her mind as he shifted the focus back to their lesson. She was eager to try, even if she was unsure of her rate of success. This was uncharted territory for a woman like her; she’d never even attempted anything remotely magical, aside from the use of her gnosis. Though, that was a different sort of magic entirely, if one could even call it that. Oceanus was like an extra sense; she’d never been without it. Using djed was as unknown to her as flying was to a fish.

Make yourself comfortable Kailani. Relax your mind as well as your body. The Svefra nodded, settling into a more relaxed posture and closing her eyes. Banish out all thoughts until your mind feels completely clear. Such an assertion was much easier said than done. Kailani had never tried to think of nothing before, and it presented a far greater challenge than she might have believed. First there was an itch on her stomach, one she thought to ignore, but found next to impossible. Lazily taking care of that need, she tried again, only to find herself preoccupied by a conversation with a patron the day before. Almost angrily, she shoved that to the back of her mind, taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly.

Next, she found herself distracted by the movements of her dog, the Deerstalker rising from his place at her side to go lay in front of the fire. Kona glanced between the two humans with a soft whimper, wondering why it was they sat so still and made no sounds. Neither seemed to be in any danger, he reasoned, settling himself by the warmth with a heavy sigh. It sure was boring to watch, though. What was the purpose, he wondered? It was like they were sleeping, but in an exceedingly strange way. With a very canine shrug, he settled his nose on his paws and closed his eyes. He was beyond attempting to understand the ways of humans. He would just take his own nap while they did whatever it was they were doing.

How does one banish all thoughts? Kailani silently asked herself, absently listening to the sound of Kynier throwing another log on the fire. Are there people actually able to do this? Slowly, ever so slowly, she was able to bring herself to a state of relaxed calm, though the odd thought or two still passed through her mind. I’m sure it will get easier with practice, she reasoned, lazily scratching another itch.

Now, reach inward with your mind. Feel your heart and the way it beats in your chest. The mage’s words whispered through her ears with calm assurance, Kailani releasing another slow breath as she focused on the beat of her heart. B-bump. B-bump. B-bump. The steady rhythm served to relax her further, the rush of blood through her veins warming her skin. There is a place deeper within you. A place that doesn’t physically exist, but you can still feel it. Reach there, Kailani. And you’ll feel your Djed. The blue-eyed seafarer fought to do as he asked, searching for a place that didn’t exist. She could feel the thrum of her life in her heart and blood, but beyond that she was clueless. Her frustration grew as she probed as deep as she could, a frown crossing her brow.

Kailani’s frustration only served to bring her out of the relaxed state she had at last eased herself into, sighing aloud. Can’t be good at everything, she reminded herself as she opened her eyes. “I can’t find it,” she told Kynier in defeat, glancing backward toward his position by the hearth. “Where do you even begin to look?”

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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on December 3rd, 2018, 2:25 am

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The silence had continued to pass as the Svefra meditated and searched for the source of her lifeforce. Kynier stood by as quietly as possible to avoid disturbing her concentration. His own was still set upon her with the power of his Auristics. Kailani’s struggle to find that sense of calm was noticeable, but she still managed to find a semblance of it. During his time at Sunberth, Kynier had heard a phrase on occasion, “celebrate like a Svefra.” The seafaring segment of humans were well known for living in the moment and seizing pleasures that were available in life. To watch one sit and be still was probably a rare occurrence for their breed.

But after chime or so, Kynier felt the heat of frustration coil around his ears. Once he felt that, he silently paced back over to his seat. He was lowering himself into the chair when Kailani admitted defeat. It was unfortunate, but not unexpected. From what Kynier had been told by his instructor, only prodigies successfully found their Djed on their first attempts. Everyone else just needed to learn to navigate through their own being in order to find it. The mage offered the Svefra an assuring smile. “You begin to look at the very core of your being. Not your physical body either, but the very essence of you.” He took another drink of water as he thought about how to explain it better, in a way that wasn’t cryptic with mage-speech.

“Don’t be discouraged, Kailani. Only the truly exceptional have been known to be successful on their first attempt. The rest us, myself included, require a little more practice.” He set his glass down on the small table and leaned back into his seat. “What you’re looking for is your very soul. That’s where your Djed comes from. From what mages remember, there are four layers to the soul. The outer most is the aura, which is visible to people using Auristics. It emanates from the body. Next is the astral body. This layer is what connects your soul to your physical form. Then there is the Persona. No one is able to remember a discipline that directly interacts with this layer of the soul, because most believe it is where an individual’s memories and personality are formed. So, it defines our unique individuality.”

“Then, there’s the soulcore. The deepest part of any living being. Raw, pure Djed is what creates a soul, and that is where you need to search. Looking into the very center of yourself. For the energies that literally make your lifeforce. These energies can be mentally controlled, but the mind needs to become aware of it first. Simply knowing about it isn’t enough. Only after you discover it and grow familiar with its presence inside you, will it become easier.” Kynier slowly closed his eyes and released his mental hold over his own power. The lapis lazuli mist that was Kailani’s aura vanished from his Sight as his vision returned to normal.

When he opened his eyes again, they were set firmly on the Svefra. Kynier sensed that she was not the sort to abandon something after a single failure. Apart from the advice he had just given, and time, he wasn’t sure what else he could do to assist her in finding her Djed. “Try again,” he suggested with a friendly tone. Rather than sit there and watch, he stood up and went to the wall opposite of Kailani. There was a canvas tucked behind a few others that he selected to work on. Pulling it out from its place, he brought it back with him to his seat and placed it on the small table between them. Then he went over to the desk to retrieve a stick of charcoal from his artisan’s kit.

The image on the canvas was not colored, only shaded with the dark gray stains of charcoal. There were two female figures in the image. One was kneeling before the other and had her chin lifted by the other’s hand so that they could look upon each other. Only a few finer details were visible, but enough to indicate that the one kneeling was mortal and the other was not. Kynier came back to his seat and settled himself on the edge. “Take as much time as you need to calm your mind and silence your thoughts. When you have the sort of relaxation you would expect before falling asleep is the most ideal time to reach inward to your soulcore.”

Kynier waited a moment to see if the woman… possibly his first apprentice… had any questions before she began again with her meditation. Then, he turned his attention upon the canvas. People had a muted sense of when they were being watched, and that could cause a distraction to her efforts. To remedy that, Kynier set the charcoal to the canvas and began working on the finer details of the image. Shading in particular. Rather than using the point draw lines, he set more of the side down and gently pulled it across the surface of the canvas to create the visualization of shadows. Around the standing woman’s feet, he shaded it to be dark. For there had been many shadows that had swarmed around the divine’s feet.

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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kailani on December 5th, 2018, 5:24 am

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Kailani, indeed, had never been one to quit after the first try, the Svefra woman’s tenacity rivalled by few. When she put her mind to something, she devoted her entire being to it, and had never been one to let anyone tell her no. The seafarer listened as Kynier spoke, further elaborating on the layers of the soul. She thought she might understand a little better, but it was all still so foreign to her. The blue-eyed sailor had never spent much time reflecting on such mysteries. As she’d told the mage before, she’d always felt there were more “important” things to worry about. But now? She was not so sure.

Let’s try this again. Closing her eyes, she released a deep breath and slowly let her muscles relax one by one. Such stillness was strange to her, even the very steadiness of the chair beneath her. Kailani’s life was in constant motion, both in the most literal sense of the phrase and in a more abstract fashion. A boat was not a very stationary place to live—gently rocking back and forth even in the calmest of tides and threatening to pitch her overboard in the strongest of them. The absence of motion was alien to her, and an annoyance in itself. Idly, she wondered if she might have better luck on the rolling currents of the ocean.

Focus, she reminded herself, further relaxing her posture and letting go of the tension between her shoulders. At first the sound of Kynier’s charcoal scraping against the canvas was a distraction, but over the next few chimes it became almost soothing—the soft and regular scratch lulling her back toward a more dreamlike state. Each intrusive thought became a little easier to push away, each outside sensation a little easier to ignore, though she knew it’d be a long time before she was able to do this with any sort of proficiency. But at least it was a start.

She distantly recalled the mage’s words: it defines our unique individuality. So, what was it that made Kailani who she was? The essence of me, she whispered in her head. Who am I? She felt the undulating fins of her tavan, Marikosh, caress over her skin, felt the cold touch of Kona’s nose against her cheek. She remembered the warmth of her mother’s voice, the bell-like tone of her sister’s laugh, the joy and music of her pod, and the soothing presence of their podkin. Deeper, her inner voice insisted in a whisper. Beyond those around you. Who are you?

Thunder rumbled softly in the back of her mind, followed by the sound of waves breaking; storm and sea coalescing in beautiful harmony to form that very answer—the core of who she was. Kailani was the strength and fury of the storm with the beauty and unpredictability of the sea. She embodied the playfulness of a breeze and the calm of low tide, but so too did she encompass the gale of a hurricane and the danger of crashing waves. The Svefra was a conflicting tapestry woven of sea and sky, of wind and water, of love and laughter, of hatred and fury. It was then she began to understand. To see.

There was a glow that emanated from her core, one that snapped and vibrated and moved like nothing she’d ever laid eyes on before. But even though it was unfamiliar, she instantly knew what it was. It was her. Every thought she’d ever had, every tear she’d ever shed, every laugh that ever parted her lips… it was there, an ocean unto itself. My Djed.

Her elation over catching a glimpse of the power she sought served to break her trancelike state, pulling her out of her meditation and thrusting her back into the world of flesh and blood. Kailani’s cheeks were flushed with excitement, looking over to where Kynier sat. She had no idea how much time had passed as she went deeper into herself, only that Kona had shifted from his position by the fire to one by the door, and that the mage’s drawing seemed much further along than it had been when he’d pulled it out.

“I saw it!” she told him with a triumphant grin. “It was there, you’re right! I couldn’t touch it, but… I saw it!” Kailani shook her head in disbelief with a breathless laugh. “It was beautiful. I don’t know what I expected, but… it was just beautiful. Does it look the same in everyone?”
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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on December 7th, 2018, 9:02 pm

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Each stroke of the charcoal stick was carefully made during the silence of the Svefra’s meditation. The challenge of generating the shading was that he was attempting to create more than the depiction of shadows. Kynier softly and carefully filled in the spaces of the standing deity, for her skin was midnight blue. The inhuman beauty of it was unforgettable, and he had been fortunate enough to have seen the goddess twice in his life. Add that darker skin tone to a black and white image was slow and tedious. If he pressed too hard, the goddess would appear to be a void. Too light, and the canvas would only appear to be dirty. Kynier worked on finding just the right amount of pressure to have the desired effect.

After a while, he paused and looked up at Kailani. Her eyes were still closed, and her body appeared to have been very relaxed. A finger scratched under his lip in thought. What could he do to help her if she wasn’t able to find her Djed tonight? For him, it was easier to learn something by performing it once or seeing a demonstration. But Auristics was so personal of a discipline that it could not be demonstrated. All he had to offer where his words and experiences. He could recite those until he was breathless, and it would not make a lot of difference. Was there nothing extra that he could do?

No, there was something. Quietly he set the stick of charcoal down and stood up from his seat. As silent as the shadows, he stalked across the room to the desk to retrieve another sheet of parchment. He brought it back with him and pulled out the quill and refreshed its tip with ink. Kynier began formulating a Sigil so that he could imbue it with magic. The Focus was a runic combination, Djedhea. The intention of the meaning was “to see magic” though the exact translation would not sound that way. But Glyphing was based off the Ancient Tongue and was open to many different interpretations.

The Focus only took him about five chimes to develop before he started on the Barrier. His signature Randjaq chain was made more quickly than ever before. Not necessarily because it was easier to draw, but because he generated fewer links in the chain. Auristics was not as dangerous as say, infusing a lightning bolt of Reimancy, or a gateway of Voiding. So, the ability to contain the power was less critical due to it not being a less life-threatening discipline. Kynier was nearly done with the chain when Kailani came out of her meditation. The silence of the study was pierced by her excitement.

Kynier looked up and saw the wonder of her expression. The mage was very pleased that she was able to discover her power. Sitting up straight he fidgeted with he feathered end of his quill. “No,” he said softly, “it does not look the same with everyone. Our lives change our soul in subtle ways. From our decisions, to our eating habits, and even the interactions with the divine can make small changes to our soulcore. I do not know what it is you saw when you found it, but for me it was less beautiful and more breathtaking.”

Kynier allowed a moment to pass for Kailani to be able to ask questions, or to simple enjoy the accomplishment for a chime longer. The mage finished the chain for his Barrier and set the fingertips of his other hand over the Focus. Kynier reached for his own Djed source and brought the power forth to his hand. When he set his fingertips down on the parchment, a faint white glow could be seen in the low lighting of the study. The Focus, Djedhea, became animated as power was infused into it. Kynier set his will to the power he was placing inside, a will to infuse one’s eyes with magic and open their Sight to the veiled portion of the world. After thirty ticks, he took his fingers away and the runes turned still.

Quietly, he added a trigger to the upper right corner of the parchment. As he formed it, his other hand raised a part of the parchment to conceal the contents from Kailani’s eyes. It was necessary, for the trigger was being set to “when gazed by a Svefra”. When he was done, he lifted the parchment off the table and looked at Kailani. “The next stage is learning how to manipulate what you just saw to your will. But, I think you might enjoy a little demonstration of what it is that you are wishing to learn.” He held up the parchment without showing her the Sigil to indicate it. “This will give you a glimpse. It’s be brief and allow you to see auras. On your first use you should not focus you will on an aura. The body needs to adjust to using the senses in such a different way.”

Kynier held out the parchment by pinching it between two fingers and letting it dangle in between them. “When you’re ready, just look at the rune in the center.”

There was only enough power in the Sigil to grant thirty ticks, perhaps one chime’s worth of Auristic use. Unless Kailani had an unforeseeable, innate ability to channel her Djed to sustain the spell and keep it going for longer. But before a full chime passed, she would likely begin to feel the pain behind her eyes from its use. It shouldn’t be possible for her to experience overgiving from the scroll’s use, but that was going to be something he told her about before she left for the evening. Kynier didn’t want her to blindly push through unexplained discomforts when she practiced on her own.

When she experienced the warm rush of Djed to her eyes, she would see the auras of everything before her. Ink would disappear from the parchment as magic opened her Sight. Kynier was likely to be the first one she noticed. His aura was amethyst in color and the various shades of that hue. Being young, and healthy, the fringes of his aura would end in a pure white color. At the core of him, there would be a swirling darkness smaller than the size of his fist. A darkness not present in anyone else she was likely to perceive with her Auristics during her lifetime. People of less charming demeanor tended to have vile colorations, but Kynier had never seen one with so deep of a darkness.

The thing he was most curious about, was which sense of Kailani’s was most directly tied to her use of Auristics. For Kynier it was the ability to feel, and not the sense of touch. Some could hear auras, taste them, or smell them. Other mages never had any one sense tied directly to the magic, and simply perceived what they saw.

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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kailani on December 12th, 2018, 7:16 pm

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Kailani looked at the piece of paper Kynier held with interest, wondering what it was he was doing. His drawing was set aside, ink seeming to fill the parchment for a different purpose. Before she could even ask, however, he was answering her question—explaining the rune and what it was for. A demonstration of what using the power would look like. The Svefra was intrigued.

She nodded as he explained what to do, a brief smile tugging at her lips. As he held out the parchment between them, she gazed at the mark in the center and then… everything was different. Kailani gasped aloud in wonder as a different sort of sight filled her eyes, her gaze narrowed in on Kynier in particular. A beautiful violet light surrounded the man, shifting and moving as he did. Swirling purple ended in white with a dark, pulsing heart at the center. But more than the sight, she could taste… A dusky sort of smoke seemed to fill her mouth, one that spoke of secrets and things hidden. The Svefra wasn’t entirely sure how to interpret that, but it was intriguing, nonetheless. Wide-eyed and practically slack-jawed, she then turned her attention on herself.

Holding out her arms, then looking down at her chest and lap, she gazed at the deep blue light that seemed to shine from within her. A different sort of taste filled her mouth, sea and salt, fish and brine. Kailani laughed softly—it didn’t surprise her that she would taste like the ocean. After all, what else could there be?

The Svefra then turned her attention to her dog, Kona enveloped in a bright red glow. Copper and blood seemed to fill her mouth, Kailani’s nose wrinkling in distaste. What did that mean? How did anyone manage to sort through these sensations? How long would it take for her to learn?

The other objects in the room held less fascination, a soft luminescence emanating from each one. The tastes she’d experienced from looking at those who were living were curiously absent, and she sorted that away to think about later. For now, this was enough. She couldn’t wait to learn to do this on her own.

After a chime or so, the sensations subsided, a dull ache forming behind her eyes. Kailani rapidly blinked as the visions faded, scrunching up her eyes and rubbing the bridge of her nose. Would it be like that every time? Or was it simply because of a sense previously untapped?

Smiling, she turned her attention back to Kynier. “Well, that was… interesting.” Kailani laughed softly, shaking her head. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I know it wasn’t that.” She glanced between him and Kona, the Deerstalker snoozing quietly by the door. “I could see things, but more that… everything… tasted different. I looked at you, and I tasted smoke… I looked at Kona, and I tasted blood… I looked at myself, and I tasted the sea. But when I looked at say, the couch, or your quill, I tasted nothing.” She looked at her teacher curiously. “Is that normal? Does it mean something?” A self-deprecating laugh before she continued, “I suppose that’s a silly question. Of course it means something. But how do you learn to interpret it? Is it just… intuition? Or is there some sort of… what’s the word… guide for this?”

Kailani then indicated the now blank piece of parchment, gently tapping its surface. “And this… what is this? How did you do that?”
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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on December 13th, 2018, 1:54 am

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It was clear when the magic had activated. Kailani’s reaction was unmistakable, the way her eyes grew so large and how her mouth sagged open with a gasp. As he expected, her eye fell on him first. What he didn’t anticipate were the facial expression she made as her tongue registered flavors from nothing. Why she made such faces he wouldn’t be able to guess without some serious consideration. A smirk was pulling at his lips despite how that voice, the one that had been quiet for so long, stirred uncomfortably in the back of his mind.

As she turned to look at her dog, Kynier thought about what to do next. Judging from the look in her eyes, Kailani was enjoying the experience. Even if she was still overcome with the wonder of it. He could encourage her to try and replicate the experience without the assistance of his Glyphing. No. First, he needed to talk about overgiving and the signs she needed to be aware of with Auristics. Once she knew those, she could practice at her heart’s desire. When she pinched her nose, Kynier felt worried for an instant, but then realized it was just the strain of using Auristics for the first time. She was borrowing his power and not channeling any of her own.

When she spoke at the end of her experience, Kynier found himself leaning in slightly to listen. Tasting? And his aura had the flavor of smoke? That was certainly unusual. The intuition of her power functioned differently than his own, so he could not fathom what sort of interpretation to make of that. The question about why the inanimate objects did not trigger such responses was an easy one to answer. “It is because their auras are weaker. You would need to concentrate harder on them for your… taste to be stimulated. And when you focus intently on an aura, your perceptions become more acute.” He chuckled softly at her next question.

“Unfortunately, no. When I use Auristics, I can feel emotions as though I am feeling them. Interpreting the tastes of auras is not something that I am familiar with, thusly, I could not really offer any guidance on that. It is one-part intuition another part time and experience.” An idea occurred to him. “Some time, we should take a walk through the city. I know a few auras that would offer some valuable insights.” He wondered if he should show her the mysterious slab that’s abord the abandoned Saique. Kynier decided that he should, but only after she had some time to practice and acclimate to the physical demand of the discipline. The slab was dangerously powerful and would provide an important lesson that he had to learn the hard way.

When she tapped the now blank parchment, Kynier smiled a little. “That was another discipline. A rather unique one because it isn’t magic in the traditional sense. It’s called Glyphing. An ancient discipline that assists with channeling, harnessing, and,” he indicated the blank parchment, “storing magic for later use. Glyphing’s purpose is to augment every other discipline of magic. If it is not combined with another discipline, then it may as well be art. Because it can’t do anything on its own. If you wanted a to learn Glyphing I could teach that as well.” Kynier smiled broadly, “Though it is a bit more extensive and would require a lot of dedication on both our parts.”

Kynier moved to the edge of his seat again and took up the blank parchment and quill. He dipped the end in the ink as he spoke. “There is one last thing that is very important for you to know, Kailani, before you attempt to use Auristics with your own Djed. There is risk in using magic. Not just the social one from being a mage in Sunberth. The risk I’m referring to is called ‘overgiving’. No matter how powerful or experienced a mage or wizard is, they all have a limit. Pushing past that limit is overgiving. Auristics is one of the safest disciplines, because its overgiving signs are easy to notice and normally less severe.”

A list of the minor signs was being generated on the parchment. Headaches, metallic taste on mouth, fatigue, dialated pupils, incoherent speech, and temporary loss of physical senses. Kynier realized that the metallic taste may slip her notice give her personal connection to the discipline. He supposed she would just have to learn the difference. “The extreme effects of overgiving can cause permanent damage to the mage’s mental state. But one would have to be either extremely foolish, or in a very dire situation to use the discipline to that extent.” He finished the list and held it out to her. “These are all the signs of minor overgiving with Auristics. As soon as you experience any one of these, the wisest thing to do is cut off your flow of Djed and cease your use of Auristics until the next day or later.”

“I encourage you to practice, even when I’m not around, just so that your body can get used to the physical strain of perceiving the world so differently.” He gave her a moment to review the list he had given her, as well as an opportunity to ask any more questions. The Svefra never seemed to have a shortage of them, which was good. Asking questions was not a bad thing for a mage.

“Now, how do you feel about trying to activate your Auristics with your own power? It’s not very difficult. Meditate and reach for your Djed as you did before. Then draw upon it with your mind to channel it to your eyes. And when you’re done, cut it off like you were making a dam in a river.”

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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kailani on December 17th, 2018, 11:51 pm

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The look on Kailani’s face was more than a little embarrassed as Kyiner handed over the piece of parchment, carefully taking it and laying it out in front of her. One hand reached to scratch at the back of her neck, her smile sheepish as she looked at him. “This was very kind,” she said, tapping the symbols on the page that looked like nothing more than doodles to her. “But um… I-I can’t read.” With a self-deprecating laugh and a blush, she shrugged. “Fratava has no written form, and I’ve only picked up Common in recent years. You might as well have drawn me a picture for all the good this will do.”

She pushed the paper back over to the mage with a soft sigh. “The good thing is I have a sharp memory. If you wouldn’t mind telling me the signs I’ve done too much… I’m sure I can remember them.” The Svefra flashed a brief smile before sobering and offering a nod. “I will be careful, I promise. Most things have consequences. It does not surprise me that magic is the same.”

Consequences never used to be of concern to the lively sailor, her life lived as if on the edge of a knife. Since coming to Sunberth, the Svefra was slowly realizing how much more dangerous the world was than she’d ever believed. Her people were the masters of the seas; out there, she had little to fear. But here, on land? Everything was so much bigger, so much more drastic than she’d realized. It really served to give her a broader perspective, to force her to see things from a different viewpoint. More Svefra should spend time away from the pod, she thought to herself, idly toying with the end of one of her braids. Perhaps we really could learn a thing or two from the land-dwellers. Maybe we wouldn’t be so hated.

Kynier’s voice brought her attention back from her own thoughts, another smile tilting her lips as he suggested trying it again without the use of his glyphs. Another discipline he offered to teach her, but one she wasn’t sure she could really master. If she couldn’t read, how was she to write? Perhaps it was better to think of such things later, when she had a better grip on what he was already teaching her. After joining the Pearltides, there was time enough. It would seem she wasn’t going anywhere.

“Aye, I can try,” she answered with a nod, settling herself back on the couch and seeking to relax her body again.

Such a task was easier said than done, especially on the heels of what she’d just seen. It was difficult for her to relax her mind in general, but even more so when she was excited. What would it be like to be able to see that sort of thing more frequently and on her own? To use senses previously unknown to her? Her mind reeled with the possibilities, and reeling was about the last thing she needed her mind to do at that moment.

Focus, she firmly reprimanded herself. You’ll never get to do it again if you can’t bloody well focus.

Appropriately chastised, Kailani let loose a deep breath, closing her eyes and settling her body. Again, she let each distraction go-the sound of Kynier’s breath, the restless movements of her dog, the feeling of her clothes against her skin… released like a fish off the hook. It still took quite a bit longer than she would have liked it to, but she reminded herself that practice would make it easier. It would not forever be such a cumbersome practice; at least, she hoped not.

Several chimes went by before she found that unseen place again, the hidden well deep within her that housed such beautiful magnificence. This time, she kept her grip on her concentration, refusing to let the wonder of its presence thrust her out of her meditation again. Clumsily, she reached out toward that bright pool, focusing her will to bring a drop of it under her grasp.

It was hard, much harder than she expected, to access a power she’d never even known existed. It took her several attempts to call it to her, and sheer frustration almost caused her to give up. But Kailani was nothing if not determined, and finally, after what felt like the hundredth try, she managed to take hold of just the barest amount of that luminescent energy. She focused her Djed toward her eyes like Kynier said, willing her sight to shift to the unseen.

Taking a deep breath, she opened her eyes, and another broad smile lit up her features. It was as she’d seen before, a shifting violet brilliance surrounding her companion. Once more, the taste of smoke filled her mouth, its acrid flavor almost making her cough. This time, she examined him for a little longer than before, letting her focus shift from the bright white at the edge of his aura to the swirling darkness within. It pulsed at his center, an angry-looking mass that she was hard put to decipher. Was this something normal? Did others possess this dark heart? She hadn’t seen it in herself or Kona, but that hardly meant anything. She’d never seen any other auras.

Kailani examined his aura for another few ticks before she looked back at Kona, rising from her seat to move in closer. He looked up at her approach, his tail thumping the ground behind him as he rose to his haunches. Leaning down, she cupped his cheeks, that coppery taste of blood flowing over her tongue. Why blood? she wondered, gently rubbing her thumbs over his face as she observed the crimson at his core fade into a washed-out coral. Because blood is red? Surely that can’t be it…

Kissing the top of his head, she released his face and stepped back. Kai walked back over the couch before looking briefly at the pale glow it gave off. Already, she could feel the strain of holding onto such unaccustomed sight and did as Kynier said—cutting her contact with the power as if lowering a dam. As soon as she severed the link, the world went back to normal again, and she slumped back against the cushions with a drained sigh.

“I didn’t expect this to be so tiring,” she remarked with a yawn, feeling the beginnings of a deep-seated exhaustion creep into her bones. “We’ve just been… sitting here. I feel like I’ve been swimming for miles.”

Another yawn parted her jaws before she offered a tired smile. “But I did it,” she said with a muted sort of triumph. “I saw what I saw before. It’s beautiful, in its own way, if… confusing.” That wasn’t quite the word she was looking for, but in that, her Common failed her.

“How often will I be able to do something like this in a day before… what was it you called it… overgiving?” she asked, ever curious even in spite of her fatigue. Besides, it seemed a rather important question to ask; she didn’t wish to overtax herself. “How often should I try it?” She leaned in closer, her face a little more serious. “And you’re sure others won’t know I’m doing it? I don’t want a mob of Berthers after me because I got a bit curious what a beggar’s aura looked like.”
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[The Midnight Gem] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kynier on December 25th, 2018, 10:08 pm

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It did not dawn on him why Kailani’s reaction was the way it was. He had grown a bit ignorant about having the luxury of being able to read. Lot’s of people couldn’t, but those Kynier spent the most time around were able to, so he had forgotten about. Gods, he hoped that he hadn’t offended her. Kynier withdrew the offered parchment with a meek apology. She explained why it was that she never learned to read, nor expressed whether learning to do so was something of interest to her. But before long, she was smiling again and displaying a portion of her usual cheer.

“I’m sorry, Kailani. I… I had just assumed. The signs… yes. Um… The minor signs are headaches, fatigue, temporary loss of your physical senses, dilated pupils, fast and incoherent speech, and a metallic taste on the tongue. Though, I imagine that it will be difficult for you to notice the metallic taste as a sign, based off what you said. Understand, that you can use magic after you experience these signs. But doing so will have harmful effects on you.”

When she decided to try again, using her own power, Kynier repositioned himself in his chair and waited. Nervous to what the outcome of this attempt will be. While he never heard about it being so, he supposed that some people may lack the characteristics it took to be a mage. Everyone had the ability, but perhaps not the qualities. Kailani was a woman of determination though and could likely discover how to make it work even if it shouldn’t. And for several chimes, it seemed like it wouldn’t. The small lines on her face formed and disappeared as she struggled to grasp her own power. And when her eyes opened again, Kynier could instantly tell that she had succeeded.

It wasn’t the subtle clues of the eyes when using Auristics that gave it away, but the lack of frustration in the rest of her body language. Here Svefran eyes lingered on him for a time. The presence in the back of his mind stirred uncomfortably, and Kynier also felt a little tense from being examined so. For whatever reason, that presence never appreciated it when Kynier was a focus of Auristics. Kailani never said anything and eventually turned her eyes back to her dog. The boy rose and came to her. A finger scratched at just under his lip, wondering what it was that she saw, and tasted, from her little companion.

When she lowered herself with a heavy sigh, Kynier smiled a little. It seemed that the lesson would have to end here. There was the fatigue that new beginner’s frequently experienced. She asked good questions about Auristics. “Your fatigue is one of the first signs that you should stop for today. When you no longer feel this way, you can practice more. Food and rest will assist in making it pass faster. Depending on how dedicated you wish to be with the discipline, I would recommend waiting a full day or two between practices. Longer, if you feel so inclined. As for signs of its use…”

“The outward signs are very subtle and someone would have to be uncomfortably observant to notice. The irises will swirl softly, like whirlpools. One man I knew, the color of his eyes would change from blue to purple. It was not a drastic change, but if someone were observant,” he shrugged a single shoulder. “Caution should always be exercised. Other Auristic users will be able to see you using Auristics in your aura. The appearance is a white glow around their eyes in their aura. But you can exercise a lot of caution. The auras you can see will be whatever is within line of sight.”

Kynier adjusted his position in the chair again to find a more comfortable one. “I believe that is enough for the first lesson. In a few days, you can practice on your own. Whenever you’d like, I would be willing to answer more questions, or give further lessons. Would you like to stay and have something to eat?”

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[The Song's Rest] A Curious Svefra (Kynier)

Postby Kailani on January 1st, 2019, 1:32 am

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Kailani basked in the glow of a job well done, even as her eyes threatened to close with each passing tick. It had been a rewarding day, albeit exhausting, and the Svefra was glad she had finally reached out to Kynier. She listened carefully as he relayed a few more final words of caution and offered a sage nod in response, storing both those words and his earlier warnings about overgiving away to think on later. There had been a time in her life when the sailor was anything but careful, but she liked to think she was maturing beyond that now. At least where it mattered.

An audible growl of her stomach answered the mage’s question for her, Kailani laughing as she patted her belly. “Aye, food is a good idea, I think,” she replied, standing from the couch and giving Kona a brief whistle to join her. Groaning and sighing, the dog stood and walked over, amber eyes meeting hers as if to ask why she’d gotten him up. “Supper,” she told him in Fratava, the Deerstalker’s ears perking at the familiar word. No longer did he seem so offended, tongue lolling out of his mouth as he eagerly pranced over to the door. “Mhm, that’s what I thought, you dirty little glutton.” His tail wagged ferociously as he waited at the door, yipping softly as if to hurry her along.

“My treat,” she offered to Kynier as she walked over and let Kona out of the room. “It’s the least I can do after bringing you here.” Even if he argued, she wouldn’t hear a word of it, gesturing for him to precede her to the common area and shutting the door behind them. The sweet, cheerful strains of music drifted up the stairs to caress her ears, and her hips already itched to be swaying. So much nicer than The Drunken Fish, she thought, not for the first time that day. Who would have ever thought Sunberth would have such a pleasant tavern?

The sailor’s thoughts were cast adrift as they entered the common room, walking to the bar and ordering them a jug of ale and three helpings of whatever the simple meal they were offering that night consisted of. Kona stayed close by Kailani’s side as they selected a table, laying at her feet and keeping a watchful presence over her and her companion. When the food was brought out, she took one of the plates and set it in front of his paws, the dog all wiggling excitement as he dug into his meal. She laughed before proceeding to eat her own with a similar vigor, if with a little more decorum.

It was true what she’d said before—she felt as if she’d been swimming for miles rather than meditating in a quiet room. Kailani was amazed at how ravenous she was, though the unremarkable repast served to reinvigorate her with every bite. I’ll have to keep a few snacks at hand the next time I attempt this, she thought to herself, scooping the last bite up onto her fork and shoveling it away.

The remainder of the evening passed in peaceful companionship, Kailani enjoying both Kynier’s company and the music that surrounded them. I will have to come to The Song’s Rest again, I think, she mused, feet tapping along to the rhythm of the drums and body swaying gently to the cadence of the singer’s voice. If only to hear music again. It was a simple pleasure she’d missed sorely since she arrived in Sunberth. The city was so full of doom and gloom all the time that it was hard to find such basic joys in day-to-day life. She’d take them where she could, even if they were few and far between. For what was life without music? Not a life worth living, that’s for sure…

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